On men and women

74 Responses

  1. Vincent Couling says:

    I think that this is a very wise Editorial, touching on the very heart of this most pressing issue.

    I would like to point out that there are already significant efforts underway in the Catholic world as regards men’s spirituality. I have some insight into one of these: I was privileged to attend Franciscan Fr Richard Rohr’s workshop on restoring male spirituality (held at the Schoenstatt Retreat Centre in May 2010), as well as his men’s “wilderness” retreat (at Mizpah, off Sir Lowry’s pass). I was deeply impressed, and can report that Fr Rohr’s ministry passes the Editor’s most insightful litmus test, for it very much serves “to help men adapt to new social realities, not to react against them”!

    I would highly recommend that Cardinal Napier contact his brother Franciscan for guidance in fostering/establishing a local men’s ministry. (The Center for Action and Contemplation (home of the Rohr Institute) website at https://cac.org/ has a link to “men’s spirituality” under “events”.)

    Incidentally, Fr Rohr was also the guest speaker at the COSA (Contemplative Outreach South Africa) national conference that year … and a most blessed conference it was: what a privilege to spend time with Rosemary Gravenor and other dear souls in a truly ecumenical contemplative experience.

  2. Mark Nel says:

    I am pleased at the content of this editorial. After the intense criticism that some of Cardinal Napier’s articles in this newspaper have received, this editorial is indeed out of the blue and extremely refreshing. Let’s hope this is a sign of good things for 2013.

    Sadly the editorial drawing attention to the important message contained in Cardinal Napier’s articles has almost immediately been diluted with comments pointing readers to some rather questionable sources, namely Fr. Richard Rohr.

    I must therefore again caution readers about the recommendation contained in the previous comment by Victor Victoria. Catholic readers should be extremely wary of Fr. Richard Rohr. Fr. Rohr’s “male spirituality” can most certainly not be called Catholic and Catholics should quite frankly steer well clear of it. Amongst others, Fr. Rohr has proposed that it is okay to refer to God as “Mother”, encouraged homosexual advocacy, denied the spiritual reality of Original Sin as well as the necessity of the Cross for redemption.

    Of course one cannot take my word for it, so here is an in depth report by Rev. Bryce Sibley, STL, who holds a Licentiate degree from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Rome, on why Fr. Rohr’s presentation of his so-called “male spirituality” should certainly not be called Catholic: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=6819

  3. Malcolm says:

    Mark In your comment to Vincent, a k a Victor Victoria. You flexed a fish and found calamari.

  4. Mark Nel says:

    LOL … Malcolm, no calamari about that…

  5. Derrick Kourie says:

    @Mark: This is the second time you have attacked prominent Catholic personalities for their spirituality. First it was Thomas Keating, and now it’s Richard Rohr. I have not personally engaged with the writings of either persons in any significant way, but I know many people who have. I have also encountered a few arch-conservative Catholics who have launched a campaign of suspicion and calumny against them. It seems that you have fallen for their campaign.

    1. Regarding Keating, note the following: Fr Rolheiser’s column in the Souther Cross of 9-15 January 2013 lists his personal favourite books for 2012. Included in the list is Thomas Keating’s “Manifesting God”. Rolheiser describes Keating as “one of the major spirtual leaders of our time and perhaps the foremost guide to contemplative prayer.” Is Fr Rolheier perhaps also under suspicion of not being adequately orthodox? Or is he just naive and uninformed? Is this just another instance of the Southern Cross betraying its obligations as a Catholic newspaper?

    2. Richard Rohr: I am aware of a number of malicious web articles attacking the character of Rohr. Last year, when he became aware of these attacks, an acquaintance who runs a Rohr study group wrote directly to Rohr’s superiors in Rome to enquire about their veracity. Within a day he received a response from a top Franciscan in Rome, giving the assurance that Rohr is to be regarded as a Franciscan “in good standing”.

    We all know that one can find evidence for just about anything on the web. I once stumbled across an arch-conservative Catholic website claiming that Paul VI was a practicing homosexual. The fact of the matter is that the web content is unrefereed. The references you give have not made it into any reputable refereed source. Both charity and common sense demand that they be treated with deep scepticism.

    I have a suggestion. If you believe that the information you have cited is reliable, please go and update the Wikipedia web pages for Keating and Rohr. Wikipedia tries very hard to remain neutral, unbiased and factual. It is only if your information can pass this kind of refereed test that it deserves to be taken seriously.

  6. Magda Kus says:

    Good Editorial!

  7. Vincent Couling says:

    I don’t particularly wish to get into a tit-for-tat with MN, and it goes without saying that both he and Fr Sibley (with his master’s degree in conservative theology) are entitled to their opinions.

    I do wish, however, since the issue has been raised on this thread (by someone other than myself), to make an observation. I will make it by quoting the highly-articulate words of prominent psychologist Professor Steve Biddulph, who has amply researched issues of masculinity. He makes a striking comment that I believe goes to the core of the contemporary crisis in masculinity.

    “Boys feel a strong need to prove their ‘masculinity’. … Into this scheme of things, especially as puberty arrives, comes a strange twist. The existence of homosexuality as a biological fact in the human race, combined with many people’s inability to simply be comfortable with this variation in type, means that the dread of being thought to be gay hangs over the head of any boy who is different in any way from the norm. The risk is great, and varies from being consequently rejected, ridiculed, beaten or even killed, depending on the severity of the culture. Our non-acceptance of gays exacts a severe price on every straight young man. It leads to the self-censoring of any kind of warmth, creativity, affection or emotionality among the whole male gender. ‘If I’m not “macho”, then I might be seen to be gay.’ … When we oppress gay people, we oppress ourselves as well. No-one feels free to be himself or herself.”

    I would urge Wilfrid Cardinal Napier to take this observation into account when implementing a men’s ministry in the South African context. The evil of “corrective rape” by young males is particularly prevalent in our society, and I believe points precisely to this malaise. It is an issue that should be taken up by the SACBC Justice and Peace department.

    There is much work to be done in the Lord’s vineyard … let us roll up our sleeves, and get busy!

  8. Mark Nel says:

    @Derrick, why don’t you get off your high horse and stop being offended just because it is me that has said it. Also, why don’t you and Vincent admit that you are engaged in a personal agenda to defend any content that has been published in this newspaper, under the guidance of your friend Gunther Simmermacher, rather than sincerely and objectively looking at the content and admitting that some of it is not good for Catholics. Clearly Gunther Simmermacher has been mustering support behind the scenes instead of taking a good long serious look at just how damaging some of the content of this newspaper is to Catholics.

    Of course intellectuals such as yourselves believe everything is open to discussion and debate, even to those who may not be able to deal with the complexities of some of the topics – and please do not here, as Vincent has done before, turn this statement around to mean that I am calling some Catholics stupid. Some are just more able to discern than others, just as it would not be reasonable to expect a grade 7 pupil to cope with material at a masters level. This is why we have the Magisterium and ultimately we must adhere to the teaching of the Magisterium. Those who disagree with the Magisterium must approach them and debate at that level directly without sowing discord and confusion in the process.

    As for the subject of Fr Rohr. I did not make the statement that I made because I happened to find an article with those views therein. I don’t insult your intelligence and neither should you mine. Instead, do what I did, read there teaching, do some research, and decide first hand exactly what it is that Keating and Rohr actually teach. If you really believe after that their teaching is in accord with Catholic teaching I would be surprised. Of course I could have taken the time to personally write why I disagree with the teaching of Rohr and Keating, but if someone has already put it together in a way that I do not believe I can improve on, then it makes perfect sense to refer others to that content.

    As for your statement that Fr Rolheiser has himself made reference to these people. You cannot seriously expect us to accept the work of Rohr or Keating merely on the basis that someone referred to their work. That is in fact exactly the problem. Rohr and Keating present content that is often at face value very close to Catholic teaching but deceptively in fact not. Then, because people start to refer to them, they begin to build credibility based purely on these references, all the while the falseness of some of what they teach is perpetuated until people regard them as authorities in certain areas, like Vincent who believes Rohr is an authority on “male spirituality”. Yet anyone who takes the time to study their teaching would know immediately that this is not true and that he should not be used as a model in the subject. The article I referred readers to sets that out very clearly.

    Vincent, as for your dismissal of Fr Sibley because of where he obtained his masters, this shows that you are in fact not as open minded as you claim. You have developed a theory about homosexuality and you stubbornly refuse to accept anything on the subject as truth until it conforms to your belief of truth. Sadly, that is not how it works and you should begin to seriously consider whether the Church does not have this one right.

  9. John E Cunha says:

    @ Mark Nel: As Always Mark you are the voice of reason and Truth when responding to comments filled with errors and deceit. Thank you and please do keep it up.

    A cruce salus!

  10. Vincent Couling says:

    Oh dear. Seems that MN isn’t so pleased with the content of this Editorial after all. Maybe he finally read it carefully enough to regret his initial effusive commendation.

    The ad hominems pour forth ceaselessly … the Editor has certainly not wasted his time trying to muster my support. I cannot speak for anybody else, but that isn’t really a problem, since Mark “the seer” Nel appears to be able to speak for everyone … what utter genius!

  11. Vincent Couling says:

    I really wish that I hadn’t made that last post … I hate it when these threads descend to such an ugly level, and am trying not to make my own contribution to this seedy phenomenon.

  12. Vincent Couling says:

    It sort of speaks directly to the issue masculine violence, doesn’t it!

  13. Malcolm says:

    Well said Mark, there are many who share your sentiments.

    Just a side issue, its quite amusing to read the pseudo intellectuals traveling some distance, to hear only that, which supports their current secular philosophies.

    It is the same mind set of those who visit Ray Mc Cauley, he hands out calamari, and his followers present it as fish, to feed the multitudes.

    People really do get upset when they are found out, so expect more personal attacks.

  14. Mark Nel says:

    The editorial is excellent.

  15. Derrick Kourie says:


    Readers have a right to know that the secretary general of the Franciscans in Rome has affirmed that Richard Rohr is a Franciscan in good standing. They also have a right to know that a respected writer and columnist of the Southern Cross, Fr Rolheiser, is one of many who holds Thomas Keating in high esteem.

    Armed with that information, they should note your attack on these prominent Catholic personalities, assess for themselves the information that you provide, follow up with refereed information and come to their own judgment about Rohr and Keating.

    Although I am indifferent as to what you think about me and the motives you impute to me, readers also have a right to know that your imputations are entirely ficitious. That you wildly lash out when challenged says more about you than about me, and should be factored in when assessing your views on Rohr and Keating.

  16. Gunther S says:

    Mark Nel, you have the fertile imagination of a narcissistic and paranoid conspiracy theorist.

  17. Derrick Kourie says:

    What follows is a matter of self-indulgence on my part, and goes way off topic. Mercifully, no-one is obliged to read it and the editor is welcome to remove it if he believes it is irrelevant.

    I am moved to share, as briefly as I can, my personal take on Keating, Rohr and like-minded teachers, even though my exposure to them has been rather limited.

    Keating promotes “centering prayer” as an approach to meditation. Hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of Christians have found his approach helpful. I confess that am not personally drawn to a meditative type of spirituality. I tend to fall asleep instead of meditate!

    Many searching Catholics appear to have found much comfort and encouragement in the talks and teachings of Richard Rohr. Amongst other things, he too emphasises quiteness, stilling of the mind, etc and so-called “non-dualist” thinking.

    In both cases, there is an emphasis on apprehending our one-ness with the divine. They appear to draw on concepts and vocabulary found in some of the Eastern religions (Budhism / Hinduism) and apply them to Christianity. Their critics are concerned, inter alia, about a kind of creeping pantheism—the idea that God is basically the sum of everything, and that I, as an individual, am simply a sort-of temporary manifestation of the divine. Proponents of these teachers would deny that they are pantheists, but would claim to be pan/en/theists—i.e. they believe that God exists beyond the confines of time and space, but inter-penentrates time and space. God, therefore, lives within me and in some sense, I am part of God.

    Rightly understood, the latter is part of established Christian tradition and scripture. For example St Paul says “I live—no not I, but Christ lives in me.” He speaks of a time when “God may be all in all.” Jesus says: “I and the Father are one”, Paul speaks of our unity in the mystical body of Christ, etc. So, for Keating, Rohr and others, quitening of the mind and body helps us become aware of our unity with the divine, and recharges us spiritually.

    However, as Chesteron so solidly propagated, truth often lies embedded in the tension of ideas—in what might appear to be a paradox—rather than in a single statement. In Christianity, there are two ideas in tension are: 1) “I live—no not I, but Christ lives in me”, and 2) God loves /me/ as an individual; God calls me by name; I survive death not as some drop falling back into an ocean, but as me—that which I truly am, and therefore “differentiated” from God.

    For me, a distinctive feature of Christianity (as opposed to other great world religions) is its emphasis on the value of the individual person. (At this point, “non-dualist” thinkers might accuse me of dualism, and point out that other great religions also value the individual. Nevertheless…) God loves /me/. When I die, it is the fullness of /me/ that survives and lives in communion with the divine. I believe that much of the distinctive Christian energy derives from this deep instinct of the value of the individual.

    Teilhard de Chardin points out that the entire history of the universe has been a drive from undifferentiated elementary particles along a line of increasing complexity/consciousness, which is simultaneously a line of increasing individuation: things that have evolved are increasingly endowed with their own uniqueness, personality, and character. This individuation reaches a summit in human beings. If the climax of human life is merely a melding back into one big divine in which ‘Me’ is lost, it would constitute a kind of contradiction of the entire process of evolution. It would be more consistent with the sweep of evolution if, after death, I live within the divine as most fully me. The climax of evolutionary consciousness, therefore, is that God values me because I am me—rather than that God values me because I am part of God.

    I do not know where Rohr and Keating stand on these matters. I suspect that they would accept that there is a tension between these two truths, and that both need to be held together. Perhaps we should draw inspiration from the words of John the Baptist when Jesus draws near: “He must increase and I must decrease” — but John did not say “I must disappear”….

  18. Malcolm says:

    Mark made fair comment, nowhere is there an attack on Fr Rohr, rather the attack is from you and your sidekick.

    People are free to make up their own minds if warning is fair or not, in an informed manner.

    Mark is a credible man, we need more of his caliber.

  19. John E Cunha says:

    I dont see why people are attacking Mark. He made a fair comment in response to that made by Vincent. Is it not the Newspapers stance to allow for fair discussions?

    Im really quite disgusted on the approach made by certain individuals, and by the attacking comment by Gnther S on Mark. I believe that an apology is certainly required from Gnther S to Mark Nel.

  20. Mark Nel says:

    Nice one Gunther. Thank you for setting a clear guideline, as the editor of this newspaper, of what is tolerable here. (Of course you will argue there is a difference between you commenting as “editor” and as “Gunther S”. Such a concept is of course utter nonsense since Gunther S is the editor.)

    I believe it is you, Gunther, who have repeatedly demonstrated narcissistic qualities and an utterly subjective approach in these comboxes. I can see why others have previously commented in these comment boxes that they question whether you should be the editor. As Derrick says, your attack says more about you than me.

    @Derrick, your reply above suggests that you have based on your assessment of Keating and Rohr on a purely superficial level. As I suggested earlier, please do some research about the realities of exactly what they teach and compare that to the teaching of the Church. Denying the reality of “Original Sin” or claiming it is okay to refer to God as “Mother” when Our Lord specifically taught us to call him Father, suggests serious flaws. The report I referenced above provides sufficient examples of why the need to be cautious of Fr Rohr’s “male spirituality” and some of his other teaching. As I said before, don’t allow your preconceived ideas about me to block objectively looking at the facts. He may still be a priest in good standing but that does not making him infallible.

    Finally Derrick, I very specifically said in my comment that people should not take my word for it and suggested research including reference to others more qualified than me to make such an assessment. It was you that launched an attack, as is typical of you, Vincent, Rosemary and Gunther. Read my first comment again and your unreasonable reaction.

  21. Gunther S says:

    John, Mark Nel made an accusation that I actively coordinate people to defend The Southern Cross and me in these discussions. That is not fair comment, but a vicious and untrue attack by somebody with an openly declared agenda against this newspaper and my editorship.

    I will not apologise for calling such calumny the product of the fertile imagination of a narcissistic and paranoid conspiracy theorist.

  22. Mark Nel says:

    Gunther, I am done with this argument wherein as usual you are focused on yourself.

    I return to my first comment in this thread and repeat that it is valid, fair and that Catholics should take note thereof. I would suggest that Derrick and Vincent do more than express superficial affectionate support of Fr. Rohr and instead explain why Fr Rohr teaches content that directly opposes the Magisterium. They could also explain why they feel that it is inappropriate for me to tell fellow Catholics to be wary of and challenge Fr Rohr’s teaching when some of it is so obviously contrary to the teaching of the Church. Fr Rohr may be a priest in good standing but if he teaches that which contradicts the Church, we cannot be silent about challenging his teaching and warning fellow Catholics.

    It seems that Derrick and Vincent would rather ignore the truth out of a sense of loyalty to each other, the editor and an obvious communal desire to attack me for speaking the truth, all the while seemingly quite satisfied with leaving Catholics completely oblivious to the errors contained in Fr. Rohr’s teaching.

    Gunther, as usual, you cannot be relied on in these discussions because you are instead more focused on yourself and completely miss what is going on, probably blinded by your outrage at me having the audacity to question or challenge you. Wait, isn’t that a narcissistic trait?

  23. Gnther Simmermacher says:

    I did not refer to the Rohr discussion but to your absurd suggestion that I marshall other people to my defence. It is bizarre that you did so in a discussion I hadn’t even contributed to.

    And we are still not friends; please don’t address me by my first name.

  24. Vincent Couling says:

    Johe E Chuna declares “Im really quite disgusted on the approach made by certain individuals, and by the attacking comment by Gnther S on Mark. I believe that an apology is certainly required from Gnther S to Mark Nel.”

    Is this a parallel reality? MN engages in a delusional attack on the Editor, and JEC demands that the Editor apologize to MN!

    My flabber is aghast!

  25. Vincent Couling says:

    MN shamelessly pursues his attempted demonization of some of the great mystical prophets of our day, namely Fr Richard Rohr OFM and Fr Thomas Keating OCSO.

    I was reminded of an insight of Fr Albert Nolan OP, in his book “Jesus Today” … he speaks of two histories of the Christian Church: “the history of the institution with its popes and power struggles, its schisms, conflicts, and divisions, its heresy hunting and bureaucracy; and the parallel history of the martyrs, saints, and mystics with their devotion to prayer, humility, and self-sacrifice, their freedom and joy, their boldness and their deep love for everyone and everything.”

    While acknowledging some overlap between the mystico-prophetic tradition and that of institutional authority, he observes that in the main, these two traditions have run parallel to each other, and have often been in substantial tension and conflict.

    It should come as no surprise that this observation holds as true today as it has in the chequered past … Rohr and Keating are of the mystico-prophetic tradition, and I’m hardly surprised that MN or Fr Sibley (both apparently disciples of the tradition of institutional authority) are scandalized by the teachings of Frs Rohr and Keating.

    Mark wants to hold fast to a black-and-white picture of what is and what isn’t authentically Catholic … he often declares things like “[Fr X’s work] can most certainly not be called Catholic” … not even “/I don’t think/ that such and such is Catholic” mind, but a rather more emphatic and absolutist “it isn’t Catholic,” or it should be censored from a Catholic newspaper!

    What dreadful arrogance! Even St Paul had the humility to acknowledge that “for now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am.”

    At least try and be open to the possibility that the ministry of such mystics as Fr Rohr and Fr Keating might have something to teach us about the Divine! I, personally, have profited enormously from the insights and teachings of both of these men, and find that they have a great deal to teach us about the Divine

  26. Vincent Couling says:

    I just have to get in another gem from Fr Albert’s book, for it elucidates much of what is going on here …

    “Mystics, like prophets, are not appointed by any religious authority to fulfil their role as mystics. The authority of saints, mystics, and prophets has always been based upon their holiness or closeness to God — their experience. And institutional authority has always found it difficult to deal with such freedom of spirit.”

  27. Vincent Couling says:

    Though we note well that even today’s rather heavy-handed institutional authority has not censured either Fr Rohr or Fr Keating (in spite of them having been “reported to the authorities” by sniping ultra-conservative self-appointed watchdogs).

  28. Malcolm says:

    Obviously by your tone and exaggerated description of what has been said here, is a testimony of your own short comings.

    If I may, are you a short little man whose head is to close to his hips. This might explain why you persisted, for some in calling yourself Victor Victoria. Just checking if you suffer from short persons syndrome.

  29. Vincent Couling says:

    Google Victor Victoria, dahling, and then the penny might just drop …

  30. Malcolm says:

    I leave the googling to you, I happen to be a happily married man, Vincent you are a teeny little person not so, come, you can tell me.

    I am just trying find out why you come across as such an angry person, it detracts from what you say.

  31. Mark Nel says:

    Gunther, that is your name / handle. We are not friends and I will call therefore you by your name as you have registered on this site. Change your name/handle if you want to be pompously addressed by another title.

    It should be noted that the fact that you, Gunther, chose not to refer to the Rohr discussion but only the portion of the discussion that relates to you, highlights the problem precisely. Your only involvement here is when it involves you because you are solely focused on yourself.

  32. Mark Nel says:

    VV, you have still offered nothing, except bluster, to explain why it is acceptable for Rohr and Keating to present teaching that directly contradicts Church teaching. You are the man who loves the word empirical. Come on, explain why you believe we should silently sit by and accept contradictory teaching to that of the Church from Rohr and Keating. A true prophet of the Church would not contradict the truths given to His Church by God. A person who does that is no prophet, except perhaps a false one.

    It seems the standard for acceptance for you is personal like and general popularity, even when it contradicts the Magisterium. I am sorry, you are way out of line and all your bluster will not hide the truth. You want to mislead Catholics by referring them to people who teach content that is in opposition to the Magisterium. Swallow your pride and explain why this is okay in your mind!

  33. Mark Nel says:

    Oh, by the way VV, yes, I definitely want to hold to a fast black and white understanding of what is and is not Catholic. If God didn’t want us to know definitively what is right and wrong, he would not have bothered revealing these truths to us. By example: Why would our Lord specifically teach us to call God Father if what he really mean’t is Mother or Father. No, that is the spin that people like yourself and Fr Rohr put onto these topics to mould it to your personal agendas.

    It really is very simple and I hope that one day you will come to the realisation that one cannot spin God. If it contradicts the teaching of the Church, then it is not Catholic and not of God, period. That’s how simple it is. None of the relativism that you seem so fond of.

  34. Gunther S says:

    Mark Nel, you may use the full handle under which I post, but not my first name. I do not wish to give the impression that we are in any way on friendly terms.

  35. Vincent Couling says:

    Do I really need to point out, once again, the 1866 teaching of the Magisterium as regards slavery? Do I need to point out that prophetic voices oppossed this teaching, at great personal risk? Do I need to point out that the Magisterium subsequently evolved its position? This is becoming a little tiresome.

    As for the gender of God (God is /not/ male, God is /not/ sexual) … well, we all know that the word Father is a simple metaphor, and that if one prefers to use a feminine metaphor for the Divine, what can possibly be wrong with that? Even the Holy Writ itself doesn’t shy away from using feminine metaphors for the Divine. After all, even mere women are made in God’s Image and Likeness … though the Church has had some dodgy teachings as regards women, and their /a priori/ imperfections (defective males and all that rot)! (Note the sarcasm in describing women as “mere” … don’t be too literal … I am most decidedly /not/ a fellow misogynist.)

    I have offered what I want to offer. If you regard it as bluster, so be it. It wasn’t really intended for you anyway, but for others who might have read your nasty ad hominem attacks and have become confused.

  36. Vincent Couling says:

    MN launches into a vicious, yet spurious, attack of the Editor of our beloved Catholic weekly on this thread, making unsubtantiated and potentialy libellous allegations, and is surprised when the Editor describes his overly-fertile conspiracy-theorist imagination to a tee … isn’t this phun!

  37. Malcolm says:

    You are repeating yourself Vincent and it demonstrate your meanness. You do yourself no favor.

    Lets challenge you Vincent, give your interpretation and conclusion to “1866 teaching of the Magisterium as regards slavery.”

    Let me guess what you will imply Vincent.

    A) The Church said or did little about slavery, or no condemnation of slavery from a certain date.

    Therefore the Church is wrong about the homosexual act, as prominent people support it, and will approve it in the future. So people do not take the teaching authority of the Church seriously, look what they did with slavery.

  38. Vincent Couling says:

    My interpretation? Forget /my/ //interpretation//!

    How, Malcolm, do //you// interpret the following mutually-exclusive papal pronouncements?

    In 1866, Pope Pius IX signed the following statement: Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given.

    In 1993, Pope John Paul II asserts [in Veritatis Splendor (no. 80)] slavery to be intrinsically evil and objectively disordered.

  39. Vincent Couling says:

    And yes, there are /many/ prophetic voices in the Catholic world today urging the hierarchs to re-examine their teachings as regards homosexuality … just take a peek at Robert McClory’s article published last week ( see http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/why-church-disdain-gay-marriage-dead-wrong ) to see evolution in action …

  40. Malcolm says:

    The problem that you have Vincent, is that you go on a AK47 offensive, the substance that you spray around, is exaggerated, nasty, incoherent, subjective rubbish, that lacks substance and devoid of any meaningful objectivity. In other words MISINFORMATION.

    You seem to be a slave to, the cult of the personality, that serves your lifestyle.

    Other that that, I am not sure if being a Catholic, has any, some, or no value to you, regardless of your Mystic or self proclaimed prophetic voice speeches.

  41. Vincent Couling says:

    Your back’s to the wall, isn’t it!

  42. Johnny says:

    “For which cause the same Our Predecessors, have, with Apostolic fortitude, constantly resisted the nefarious enterprises of wicked men, who, like raging waves of the sea foaming out their own confusion, and promising liberty whereas they are the slaves of corruption, have striven by their deceptive opinions and most pernicious writings to raze the foundations of the Catholic religion and of civil society, to remove from among men all virtue and justice, to deprave persons, and especially inexperienced youth, to lead it into the snares of error, and at length to tear it from the bosom of the Catholic Church.”


    Encyclical of Pope Pius IX promulgated on December 8, 1864.

  43. Vincent Couling says:

    Isn’t this [Pope Pius IX] the same Pope who declared that “slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given.

    Well, Blessed John Paul II has taught that slavery is intrinsically evil and objectively disordered. That means that slavery, /per se/, is, always has been, and always will be evil.

    So much for the “current errors” of 1864/1866 …

  44. Johnny says:

    “John Paul II reaffirmed the Church’s clear opposition to contraception, abortion and homosexual activity. His book Memory and Identity said that the push for same-sex marriage might be part of a “new ideology of evil… which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.” He refined some of these positions in their theological context in his Theology of the Body lectures.”

    “I, again, stress that our Holy Father (Pope John Paul II) has encouraged the American bishops to give true pastoral care to homosexual men and women. during his pastoral visit in 1987, he urged:

    I wish to en courage you also in the pastoral care that you give to homosexual persons. This includes a clear explanation of the Church’s teaching, which by Its very nature is unpopular. Nevertheless, your own pastoral experience confirms the fact that the truth, however difficult to accept, brings grace and often leads to inner conversion.” —– PASTORAL LETTER ON HOMOSEXUALITY, Bishop Thomas Daily.

  45. Johnny says:

    From Malcolm’s Comment: “Other that that, I am not sure if being a Catholic, has any, some, or no value to you, regardless of your Mystic or self proclaimed prophetic voice speeches.”


    “…the devil causes many to believe in vain visions and false prophecies; and strives to make them presume that God and the saints are speaking with them; and they often trust their own fancy. And the devil is also accustomed, in this state, to fill them with presumption and pride, so that they become attracted by vanity and arrogance, and allow themselves to be seen engaging in outward acts which appear holy, such as raptures and other manifestations. Thus they become bold with God, and lose holy fear, which is the key and the custodian of all the virtues; and in some of these souls so many are the falsehoods and deceits which tend to multiply, and so inveterate do they grow, that it is very doubtful if such souls will return to the pure road of virtue and true spirituality.”

  46. Vincent Couling says:

    Like Pope Pius IX on slavery, Blessed John Paul II was by no means the final word on homosexuality …

    The paradigm shift we appear to be undergoing as regards homosexuality bears many similarities to other paradigm shifts that the church has undergone in other areas of moral theology … slavery, usury, religious freedom — to name a few.

  47. Johnny says:

    Dictatorship of Relativism


    “A new intolerance is spreading, that is quite obvious. There are well-established standards of thinking that are supposed to be imposed on everyone.

    When, for example, in the name of non-discrimination, people try to force the Catholic Church to change her position on homosexuality or the ordination of women, then that means that she is no longer allowed to live out her own identity and that, instead, an abstract, negative religion is being made into a tyrannical standard that everyone must follow. That is then seemingly freedom for the sole reason that it is liberation from the previous situation.

    In reality, however, this development increasingly leads to an intolerant claim of a new religion, which pretends to be generally valid because it is reasonable, indeed, because it is reason itself, which knows all and, therefore, defines the frame of reference that is now supposed to apply to everyone.”

  48. Johnny says:

    “56. What is St. Pauls teaching on homosexuality?
    That there are three passages in St. Paul on this important doctrine.

    In his first letter to the Corinthians (6:9), the apostle identifies homosexuals among those who will not enter the Kingdom of God.

    In the letter to the Romans (1:18-32), St. Paul uses homosexual behavior as an example of the blindness which has overcome human beings. Instead of the original harmony between Creator and creatures, idolatry has lead many people into moral depravity. The clearest example of this depravity is the practice of homosexuality.

    Finally in the first chapter of his first letter to Timothy, St. Paul singles out the sin of homosexuality as evidence of heretical doctrine (HP6).

    57. Is there a general statement of the Catholic Church on the morality of homosexuality?
    Yes, according to the Churchs infallible teaching a person engaging in homosexual behavior acts immorally (HP7).”


  49. Johnny says:

    I ask all readers of these latest comments (which hopefully are not too many) to please pray for Vincent and his conversion. I found this prayer to be quite relevant:

    “Let us pray also, for heretics and schismatics, that our Lord and God may deliver them from all their errors, and vouchsafe to recall them to their holy Mother, the Catholic and Apostolic Church. Let us pray. Deacon. Let us kneel. Subdeacon R. Arise.
    Almighty, eternal God, Who dost save all, and willest not that any should perish, look upon the souls deceived by diabolical fraud, that, abandoning all heretical depravity, the hearts of the erring may regain sanity and return to the unity of truth. Through our Lord. R. Amen.”

  50. Johnny says:

    And that will be my last post on this particular thread, no matter what admonishing comments or outbursts or insults or explanations our brother Vincent may have.

    Tata, J.

  51. Malcolm says:


  52. Vincent Couling says:

    I’m speechless …

  53. Malcolm says:

    Praise be to Jesus.

  54. Greir Nel says:


  55. James Alexander says:


  56. Vincent Couling says:

    Why am I speechless?

    Because a certain Johnny-come-lately states that “In his first letter to the Corinthians (6:9), the apostle identifies homosexuals among those who will not enter the Kingdom of God.”

    What is a “homosexual”? Let’s look at the OED definition: “noun. A person who is sexually attracted (often exclusively) to people of his or her own sex.”

    Malcolm, the Nels and James are quick off the mark with their A-men brother!

    And yet, these conservatives should surely be enamoured with the formal equivalence translation so preferred by the Vatican these days, and should find the extreme dynamic equivalence of Johnny’s interpretation of Cor 6:9 especially toxic. In fact, this interpretation (of the Greek words Malakoi and arsenokoitai) is utterly false, and quite contrary to the CCC, which states “2359 Homosexual persons … can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

    How dare Johnny declare that St Paul teaches that homosexuals will not enter the Kingdom of God! How dare the Nels, Malcolm and Mr Alexander give a resounding Amen, and not set the egregious error and heresy of Johnny straight!

    Why dont they instead demand censorship of Johnny’s unCatholic lies from this Catholic site? Why don’t they attack the Editor for allowing such unCatholic heresy breathing space on this Catholic site?

  57. Vincent Couling says:

    And why do the conservatives always bring us back to “the topic”?!!!

  58. Johnny says:

    Alas I must go back on my word of not adding to this thread.

    @ Vincent: Johnny did not declare anything Vincent, Fr John A. Hardon, S.J did (you miss the link?) and so does the Church.

  59. Malcolm says:

    You have been weighed and measured Vincent, and been found wanting.

    If you have any credibility, you will answer the questions that Johnny put forward to, that have now been deleted.

  60. Mark Nel says:

    Now that is the editor showing his true form again. Amend any comments not to their liking. Unbelievable, yet we are expected to believe that fair non-discriminatory moderation is applied to all. That question posed by Johnny was a reasonable question.

  61. Johnny says:

    @ Malcolm & Mark: I am not surprised that my comment was amended. It is proof enough that what I stated is true.

    As such, my next course of action has been made clear. I, along with many others, will be forwarding letters/e-mails to the Archdiocese of Durban raising our concerns. In particular, letters will be submitted to the bishops for immediate attention. The salvation of souls is at stake here and we cannot stand idly by. The bishops will decide on this, and whatever it is they decide, I will accept as this is now a Church matter.

  62. Vincent Couling says:

    Someone who won’t even reveal his surname (that takes real courage!) heard a rumour from a little birdie who is nameless (what a paragon of moral virtue) … and that is proof enough for something or the other!

    The Kangaroo Court of the parallel Magisterium seems like a hotbed of rumour-mongering filth and slime.

    I’m trembling in my dainty little booties … not!

  63. Malcolm says:


    This is what is said by you Vincent, then read the Link.

    “How dare Johnny declare that St Paul teaches that homosexuals will not enter the Kingdom of God! How dare the Nels, Malcolm and Mr Alexander give a resounding Amen, and not set the egregious error and heresy of Johnny straight!

    Why dont they instead demand censorship of Johnnys unCatholic lies from this Catholic site? Why dont they attack the Editor for allowing such unCatholic heresy breathing space on this Catholic site?”

    You not only called everyone who is opposes to your teachings Vincent, Liars. you called this saintly priest of the Catholic Church, a Liar and a heretic.

    This is what I mean, when I say that you are an angry person, mean and nasty, that sprays rubbish around in a AK47 offensive.

    You are a distorter of the truth, Vincent.

  64. Vincent Couling says:

    Thanks for that link, M … it explains much.

  65. Vincent Couling says:

    Incidentally, the most vituperative meanness, nastiness and anger is displayed by those who would hold (contrary to the CCC) that homosexuals will not enter the Kingdom of God … and who dare to put these very words (via the shoddiest of mistranslation) into the mouth of St Paul! Talk about spraying rubbish in Kalashnikov-type offensives …

    I know who the real distorters of the truth are … and so will the hierarchs who receive Johnny’s letters/e-mails!

  66. Malcolm says:

    Well, no one said Homosexuals per say, the Church and scripture, to be blunt, is quite clear on the sin of SODOM.

  67. Johnny says:

    The Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about Hospitality — By: Msgr. Charles Pope

    “And thus it is specified that the central sin of Sodom involved sexual immorality (?????????????) and perversion (?????????? ????? ?????? ?????? literally having departed to strange or different flesh). And this would comport with the description of widespread homosexual practice in Sodom wherein the practitioners of this sin are described in Genesis 19 as including, all the men from every part of the city of Sodomboth young and old.


  68. Vincent Couling says:

    Malcolm opines as follows: “Well, no one said Homosexuals per say … ”

    And yet, Johnny quotes Fr Hardon (how to say that with a straight face?) as having said homosexuals /per se/: “In his first letter to the Corinthians (6:9), the apostle identifies homosexuals among those who will not enter the Kingdom of God.”

    Am I missing something?

  69. Vincent Couling says:

    Where in 1 Cor 6:9 is there any reference to homosexuals, practising or otherwise?

  70. Derrick Kourie says:

    Matthew 7:1-6
    Luke 6:36-49

  71. John E Cunha says:

    “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.'” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)

    And some others:

    Titus 2:7-8
    2 Tim. 1:13
    Jeremiah 23:16,32
    2 Peter 2:1

  72. Mark Nel says:

    VV, In the RSV CE the last word in 1 Cor 6: 9 is “homosexuals”. The non-Catholic edition replaces the word “homosexuals” with “sexual perverts”.

  73. Vincent Couling says:

    MN, I know how the RSV CE mistranslates the words “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” .. that was probably Fr Hardon’s source for his misinformation! It is interesting to note that the New RSV CE doesn’t use the word “homosexuals” … though what they have replaced it with hardly indicates sound biblical scholarship. It is also interesting to note that Fr Hardon was forbidden by his own order (the Society of Jesus) to teach at any Jesuit-run institution for the last sixteen years of his life.

    I was delighted to read, earlier this morning, the Editorial in this week’s Southern Cross … it is a masterpiece of measured synthesis of faith and reason … see https://www.scross.co.za/2013/01/the-soho-mass-effect/