When did Catholicism become nonviolent?


#1

Excuse me if I don’t understand this, but ever since when did nonviolence become the norm in our faith?

Seriously, read the Bible- it’s a violent book. Good guys kill bad guys all the time. And I’m not just talking about those special cases involving mass slaughter of wholesale peoples during the Exodus, but almost every book involves someone getting killed. I was just reading Judith this morning. God blesses the good guys, the bad guys die, the end.

Now sure, some of you might say, well Jesus was nonviolent. Well yes, he was, but look at the Catholic Church. Do you know why people weren’t sculpting anatomically correct Corpuses made out of chocolate in the 13th century? Because if they did they’d be burned alive. Just look at the Albegensian Crusades- that heresy died because The Church killed it- and in doing so killed a lot of people- rightly so, I believe.

It’s not that we think killing is wrong now, but that we don’t think those same things are deserving of the ultimate penalty. It’s just like what CS Lewis said about witches- if we truely believed there were people going around ruining harvests, cursing people and doing horrible things then most people would consider them worthy of death- it’s just that we don’t believe there are such things anymore. However, if we hold to our faith, we cannot believe that in the case of heresy and the mockery of our faith.

Seriously, anti-Christianity has always existed- just look at the Joungulers and the “donkey Mass” of the 12th century. People laughed at it too. If you think that the reason why we’re seeing all this anti-Christianity in our culture is because the “times are changing” or that somehow we are in the midst of something inevitable then you’re completely wrong- those with power change the times and control the times. The only difference is that now power coerces the ‘soul’ and not the body, think about media manipulation for example- but ultimately, it rests on force even though we’re one step removed from the sword in the modern world.

Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m saying here- I’m just asking a historical and theological question. I know you cannot use force to force people to believe, but can’t you use force as a political tool to stop the political power of those who perpetuate heresy? Otherwise- they will take over and squash you into the ground by controlling the society and the norms people accept as true.

Most people are drawn to power and accept power as being synomonous with truth, and in a democracy, what ‘most people think’ will be the rule- the lowest common denominator.


#2

So you believe that the siege of Beziers, in which some 200 Albigensians were killed – along with the ordinary Catholic population of 10 to 20 thousand people – man, woman, and child, was justified? The battle which gave us the quote ‘Kill them all! God will know his own!’ was a glorious victory for Catholicism, no matter that the papal armies killed fifty to a hundred Catholics for every Cathar?

The Albigensians were essentially the Quakers of their day. Sure, there were some bad apples among them, but then Richard Nixon was a Quaker (and Arnaud Amaury was a Catholic). They were exterminated.

So apparently you believe genocide is good and moral and just, as long as it isn’t your group getting it and it’d be convenient for you. Good start.

Seriously, anti-Christianity has always existed- just look at the Joungulers and the “donkey Mass” of the 12th century. People laughed at it too. If you think that the reason why we’re seeing all this anti-Christianity in our culture is because the “times are changing” or that somehow we are in the midst of something inevitable then you’re completely wrong- those with power change the times and control the times. The only difference is that now power coerces the ‘soul’ and not the body, think about media manipulation for example- but ultimately, it rests on force even though we’re one step removed from the sword in the modern world.

I would distinguish between true anti-Christianity and poking fun at Christianity’s expense. The former involves lions, the latter clowns. Since you seem to be more concerned with the jesters – and rightly so, since it’s been a long, long time since Christianity was really systematically persecuted as it was in Nero’s days – keep in mind that the highest targets are the most aimed at, and Catholicism has set itself up pretty high.

Sure, people make fun of Catholicism, just like they make fun of Buddhism (what did the Zen monk tell the hot dog vendor?), the French, rednecks, hippies, and brussels sprouts. You guys really aren’t all that special in that regard.

I know you cannot use force to force people to believe, but can’t you use force as a political tool to stop the political power of those who perpetuate heresy? Otherwise- they will take over and squash you into the ground by controlling the society and the norms people accept as true.

What exactly is the difference between the two cases you propose? In case A, you coerce people into saying they believe what you do; in case B, you coerce people into saying they don’t believe what you don’t. It doesn’t matter how you do it; you’re still quashing all other options by the threat of torture or death.


#3

Firstly, I suggest you look up Albigensianism. It is not quakerism, it’s almost more of a non-Christian religion than a heresy. Go to New Advent or Wikipedia if you want a non-Catholic view. Furthermore, anything that splits up the Church is going to make it weaker and more vulnerable to its enemies.

Secondly, the siege of Beziers breaks Just War Doctrine and thus should not be considered a legality of Catholic warfare as such. It was an unchristian action and an exception.You are setting up a strawman and that is intellectual dishonesty.

Thirdly, the current atheistic regime installed in the west has killed tens of millions of unborn children in the last 30 years. Is this more just, even if we include the atrocities committed from time to time by a Church Militant- in the literal sense of the word?

Lastly, I am not claiming that Catholics are the only ones that have a problem with anyone else. I am emphatically not writing to prove a point from universal reason, which I believe to be dead (a fashion belonging with mutton chops and top hats), philiosophically incoherent and absurd. I am trying to ask a question from the historical view of Catholic experience, and I am asking those who are Catholics. This is not a debate but a question aimed at those who share my experience as a Catholic.


#4

I am well-acquainted with the Albigensians on a secondary-source level, at least. They did, in fact, foreshadow the Society of Friends in several ways: they preached pacifism, refused to swear oaths, lived simply.

As to splitting up the Church, that is the Church’s problem. If you truly believe the promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against it, why are you so worried – to the point that you want to deny people other religious options by force and violence, no less!

Secondly, the siege of Beziers breaks Just War Doctrine and thus should not be considered a legality of Catholic warfare as such. It was an unchristian action and an exception.You are setting up a strawman and that is intellectual dishonesty.

There is no strawman. Beziers was the first major battle of the Albigensian Crusade, not an unauthorized side-jaunt. It doesn’t matter how ‘Christian’ the massacre was, or how good it looked on paper: it happened, at Innocent III’s command, and the papal legate gloried in the slaughter. Just war? The entire Crusade would never have risen above the level of ‘international incident’ had the idea been followed!

If you are going to approve of and support the actions of the Catholic Church in eradicating the Albigensians, you are condoning the obliteration of Beziers

Thirdly, the current atheistic regime installed in the west has killed tens of millions of unborn children in the last 30 years. Is this more just, even if we include the atrocities committed from time to time by a Church Militant- in the literal sense of the word?

Given that I do not hold Catholic sensibilities and positions with regard to abortion, I do not think this will be a very productive line of discourse. However, if I did think Catholically on this topic, every abortion in China would do not one bit of good to the blot on the Church’s escutcheon that is the Albigensian Crusade. That other people have committed vaster and more insidious evils does not erase any of our wrongdoings. Evil is evil, no matter the scale – and that you would attempt to conceal the skeletons in your closet behind a curtain of aborted fetuses is cowardly and shameful.


#5

I’d say Catholicism became nonviolent when it lost all its political real estate. That’ll do it.


#6

I think a lot of what you’re talking about isn’t so much a loss of violence as a loss of confrontation. We no longer do anything at all to protect our Faith, and we give up the Sacred as if it were just peppermints from candy jar. Whenever we do try and stand up for ourselves, and proclaim that something is offensive to us, we’re told not to be so touchy, or told “Well that’s nothing, look at what you did to ____________ in 1476 AD!” or whichever new battle or crusade that Dan Brown and the Discovery channel are ‘documenting’ this week.

Catholicism has seemed to have lost Her voice, and Her will to stand up to those who mock or ridicule Her. Face it - if someone painted a picture of a black slave woman being raped by a man dressed in KKK robes, there’d be outrage. Show the Pope being sodomized, we’re told to relax, it’s just art and it’s up for interpretation. Refuse to support a charity at work because it gives to Planned Parenthood and you’re not a team player or push your beliefs on others. Ask someone to purchase a raffle ticket for your parish’s Our Lady of Fatima celebration, and watch the excuses fly.

When Catholics once again are Catholic, and not just ‘CINO’s’, ‘Catholic-School-survivors’ or ‘recovering Catholics’ then we’ll once again not be subject to the whim and fancy of every pop star who needs to revitalize their career, so they hang themselves on a cross.


#7

Midrath: Agree to disagree. Like I said, I’m not too concerned with debating my enemies (sorry, but we really are, perhaps we could get along quite well in real life and enjoy a drink and a chat but deep down, we’re enemies because we disagree about Truth) anymore because debate is pointless. All modern debate is, is two people trying to win- in an earlier age, they’d be using swords, so it’s all really much of a muchness. Swords, words, it’s all about winning, not learning. Maybe it was in a past age, maybe not.

I’d really like to hear more responses on this subject. Rawb, mdlazio, thanks alot for your input.


#8

From the interest expressed in this topic, I can say we’re screwed unless Jesus comes back pretty quickly.


#9

Everything you’re talking about is non-Catholic sentiment here in a very non-Catholic country. We may be told to relax at sacreligious art, but those of us who care **do not **listen to these platitudes. We who care do denounce these things, calling a spade a spade. In this country, they may think you’re fanatic, but so what?
I agree that Catholics must BE Catholic, not just say they are, and that we need to have more backbone. Pacifism does not mean you don’t stand up for your faith. ‘Turn the other cheek’ has been misrepresented. We need to remember the faith of our Fathers, who were slaughtered for their faith. Remember what Christ did to save us.


#10

…wow


#11

The Church still defends the use of violence when necessary to protect peace and order.

The Church tried to solve the Albigensian heresy peacefully first. The Albigensians were proselytizing with violence in addition to their violent religious practices. Pope Innocent III first sent some Dominicans to preach to them and engage in dialogues to bring them to the true faith. Instead, the Albigensians murdered St. Peter of Verona and Bl. Peter of Castelnau. They then realized that the state would have to take action to protect its citizens. The Church even today would support the use of arms to suppress violent, murderous movements.

The same can be said for other heretics who the state used force against. They always were a violent threat, not just like the local methodist down the street who minds his own business. Wycliffe preached that princes in mortal sin lost their authority and that those in mortal sin lost the right to possess their property–this led to massive social chaos that the state had to suppress with force.

The same principles the Church preaches now concerning the death penalty and war were preached then, they are just applied to different circumstances now and then and that is what yields the different results.

In the OT, the violence was punishment from God. The temporal death administered to sinners was a figure of the eternal death we actually receive. Now that eternal damnation and mortal sin have been most fully revealed, and now that we can obtain forgiveness for sin through Christ, there’s no need to put sinners to death except for defensive purposes.


#12

The Church has condemned dueling and jousting and things of that nature at the Third Lateran Council (in the age you speak of where Catholicism was allegedly violent).


#13

What fairy tales have you been reading? That’s what the Da Vinci Code tries to teach. The Albigensians practiced ritualistic suicide and abortion, proselytized violently, and killed Catholics who tried to convert them.

The Crusade against them was most definitely a just war, but it was carried out poorly with many abuses–but the state action was necessary against the Albigensians.


#14

That’s the way of the Cross we are supposed to follow. What did Our Lord do as He was mocked and spit upon–He humbly continued on the way of the Cross. Read the saints–one of the most sure paths to holiness is bearing outrages and insults with patience, kindness and charity.


#15

Yeah, but historically like I said we did stand up for ourselves, and that’s why the culture was Catholic back then. Regardless of what some say, there have always been those who hate God and religion, and those who are in the middle (i.e., don’t care), and those who do want to do what is God’s will- plus other religions.

Back then, the culture was Catholic because well, secular legitimacy hadn’t been invented yet, so in turn the Pope carried a big stick. If the Pope would of just ‘bore the cross’ then Catholicism probably would have been wiped out and maybe we’d even be praying to Mecca today.


#16

:clapping:


#17

The Church is still suffering violent marderdum today in some countries. We may get our turn here in the US, but marderdum is a gift from God that should not be grasped for.


#18

Get something straight.

The Catholic Church is NOT non-violent. It’s no violent, but it is not pacifist either. The Church’s moral teachings allow, for just reasons, the use of war, the death penalty, and lethal force for legitimate defense.

I would not have it any other way.


#19

The church was always violent. Remember the Inquisition?


#20

Tell us about it. What was the Inquisition?


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