the vatican ...


#1

… i was reading matthew (my favorite gospel) and got to 23. and for some reason i’d never made the connection, but i had this eerie feeling he was foreboding today’s vatican and telling us what they teach is true but they themselves are evil. i was going to quote particular verses, but for fear of taking them out of context, i’ll just quote the whole thing:

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5 "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

8 "But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.** 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.[c]

15 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

16 "Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

29 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

33 "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.**

don’t get me wrong, i love benedict. i just want a good, thorough answer to this so i can still feel safe in the roman church.


#2

Why wouldn’t you feel safe. The Church teaches the same truths, confers the same true sacraments, offers the true sacrifice.

The warnings apply to wicked leaders and teachers in every age (and there have been some in every age, not just this one). They are the only ones that need to feel “unsafe”. So, if you’re not one of them, you don’t need to worry. Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail - which ought to prepare us for the fact that hell is going to try to prevail against His Church! Believe Our Lord’s promise.

Nita


#3

what i want to know is: is the church heirarchy the evil authority christ is talking about? they are very rich and preach to us to solve poverty, yes they’re still really rich. they are obviously involved in scandal and have been in certain periods throughout history.

i know that sounds bad … i just want clarification though. i have to try to play devil’s advocate here to get an answer.

on the other hand, is this christ telling us that the truth of the catholic church is the truth, regardless of the conduct of the heirarchy?


#4

Who are the “they” you are talking about? None of the people who work at the Vatican own any of it.

Some of the leadership is great and some of it is not. This keeps us from putting our confidence in men instead of God. They can be judged according to how they measure up to the Gospel. Note the parable about the weeds and the wheat. There are many good holy priests and religious people, but we never hear about them.


#5

Yeah, when was the last time you read a headline like, “400,000 Priests Execute Their Office With Dignity, Charity, and Holiness”?

Scott


#6

touché.


#7

No! First he was speaking about the heirarchy at that time and second of all, the Chuch has no evil authority? What do you mean by evil authrority? Are you saying that the pope is evil and hypocrate (like they were)? :confused:

There is of course sin and it is present in the church. Some members of the church might not be as Christian as we would expect…but in this case read the first paragraph of the passage you quoted.

they are very rich and preach to us to solve poverty, yes they’re still really rich.

Who is very rich? My priest? My archbishop? The Pope? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Please be more specific and support your claims.

they are obviously involved in scandal and have been in certain periods throughout history.

Yes, the membership in the Church nor the sacrament of holy orders will make you sinless.

on the other hand, is this christ telling us that the truth of the catholic church is the truth, regardless of the conduct of the heirarchy?

Yes, the truth is protected by the Holy Spirit and even the few of the immoral popes did not effect the Truths we preach.


#8

Can anybody observe Benedict XVI and see evil? If that is not a saintly man, then there are no saintly men.


#9

Even if our current Pope (God bless him!) were another Alexander Borgia in personal sin, that still would not make ‘the hierarchy’ evil nor would it negate the Truth of Catholicism.


#10

Hey! I like Pope Alexander. Without his treaty dividing up the New World, we wouldn’t have cool pirate films. Arrrrr! :thumbsup:

Scott


#11

[quote=repo man] they are very rich and preach to us to solve poverty, yes they’re still really rich.
[/quote]

The Church is not rich. Read this:

Isn’t the Church rich?

[quote=repo man] they are obviously involved in scandal and have been in certain periods throughout history.
[/quote]

The Church has been involved in disciplining those perpetrating scandal over the ages. Sometimes those perpetrating scandal have been formally excommunicated.

[quote=repo man]on the other hand, is this christ telling us that the truth of the catholic church is the truth, regardless of the conduct of the heirarchy?
[/quote]

The Church cannot err on matters of faith and morals. The Holy Spirit Himself protects the Church in that regard. Are there sinners in the Church? Yes.


#12

I don’t know that the OP has read that passage carefully. What Jesus says is that the authorities must be obeyed in spite of and regardless of their personal failings, ‘because they occupy the seat of Moses’ (substitute the Chair of Peter in here for us Catholics).

And that their personal sins are no reason not to obey them, since these actually run contrary to the truth that they teach.

Let’s use the notorious Alexander - womaniser, poisoner and seller of Church offices - as an example. If Satan wanted to ‘get into’ the Church, what better way than to have him declare that these things were no longer sinful? DID he, though? No! The Church in his time continued to teach, as it always had, that these things were sins, regardless that Alexander himself practiced them all.


#13

It is my understanding that the Pope doesn’t draw a salary. In a similar vein, a priest once told my youth group that he gets $4000 a year (but the benefits are out of this world!!). I really don’t imagine that bishops would take much more, or we’d hear about it from the parish council!
Now, about the feeling itself. It is not a sin to have these feelings, but I would recommend sharing it with a priest you trust, and hopefully he can help you get past it. Also, pray! This sounds very much like spiritual warfare, and the best ammo we have is the Mass and the Rosary.
God bless


#14

actually i did :stuck_out_tongue:

but i had this eerie feeling he was foreboding today’s vatican and telling us what they teach is true but they themselves are evil.

then later …

on the other hand, is this christ telling us that the truth of the catholic church is the truth, regardless of the conduct of the heirarchy?

that being the point of the chapter still raises the question “does this mean the heirarchy is corrupt with greed and unwilling to sell its riches to the poor”. however, the question has been answered. i suppose the church’s riches are its poor (st lawrence). thanks guys!

god bless,
dave

edit: thanks for that link! it’s always bugged me when people call the catholic church too rich when i know that priests make like … what? $8000 at best? $4000 someone said? yet i heard some lutheran ministers get like … $100,000 a year. i hope i misheard that. :stuck_out_tongue:

by misinterpreting him, yes. i’m having a debate with an atheist who was being immature telling me i supported child rape. i condemned the acts of that fairly small percentage of all priests, but he kept coming. then he said that the church spends hundreds of thousands a year on sexual molestation insurance (whatever that is) to pay off victims’ families. which, even if that is true, i suppose that’s not really a bad thing. it’s compensation and reparation for damages done (not to put a price on such a heinous act).


#15

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