Cardinal O’Malley has baptism “reaffirmed” by Methodist minister

This past Sunday, Cardinal O’Malley preached at a Methodist church in Sudbury.  This Boston Globe article gives many of the details, making it seem like a glamorous event.  What the Globe neglected to mention was that Cardinal O’Malley proactively asked the female Methodist minister to “reaffirm” his baptism with an “anointing” at the Protestant church.

During a special ecumenical worship service in Sudbury, Cardinal Sean O’Malley asked the Rev. Anne Robertson of Plymouth to administer a baptism reaffirmation ritual to him. (George Martell/Pilot New Media)

As RORATE CÆLI observed, the Patriot-Ledger, reported on the female Methodist minister’s “completely unexpected” request from the cardinal here:

“What moved me was not so much that I was anointing him,” she said. “It was him being willing to accept that from my hand – to ask me, as a woman in ministry, to do that.”
A Rhode Island native, the Rev. [Anne] Robertson was the only female clergy member who assisted at a special 50th anniversary worship service at Sudbury United Methodist Church….
As part of Sunday’s anniversary service, the 500 who filled Sudbury United Methodist to overflowing were invited to receive a drop of consecrated water on their forehead and be told, “Remember your baptism and be thankful.” The ritual resembles the ceremonial receiving of ashes on Ash Wednesday, but isn’t a formal United Methodist sacrament.
Cardinal O’Malley and New England United Methodist Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar led the ritual in the sanctuary. The Rev. Robertson and a Catholic priest were on their way with small bowls of water to a side room, for others watching the service on a large-screen TV.
She paused with the priest at the cardinal’s pew, so they could receive the baptism water from Cardinal O’Malley. The next moment, the cardinal quietly asked the Rev. Robertson to administer the water for him.
“My heart immediately went to my throat,” she said. “To be asked that by the man who might be pope someday – I was stunned. I was choking back tears for hours.”

RORATE CÆLI as well as BCI were stunned as well.

315 Responses to Cardinal O’Malley has baptism “reaffirmed” by Methodist minister

  1. RJH says:

    My Jesus, mercy.

    • Michael says:

      Was O’Malley concerned that his first baptism wasn’t “good enough?” Or is his self-esteem so low that he needed reaffirmation?

      • bostoncommon says:

        A reading comprehension class is in order for you. She didn’t “rebaptize” him. She said “Remember your baptism and be grateful.” A beautiful Christian sentiment.

        Do you still drive an extra mile to avoid going past a Protestant church?

      • Barry Moorhead says:

        What do you think you do every time you enter a church and dip your hand in the font and sign yourself in the name of the Trinity?
        It is a reaffirmation of your Holy Baptism. Isn’t your first baptism “good enough?”

      • Michael says:

        but I don’t have a woman trapsing around as a high priestess blessing me on the way into church

      • Michael says:

        The (satirical) Catechism of the Catholic Church
        1237 Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate. The celebrant then anoints him with the oil of catechumens, or lays his hands on him, and he explicitly renounces Satan. Thus prepared, he is able to confess the faith of the Church, to which he will be “entrusted” by Baptism.39

        1238 The baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis (either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be “born of water and the Spirit.”40

        1239 The essential rite of the sacrament follows: Baptism properly speaking. It signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ. Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water. However, from ancient times it has also been able to be conferred by pouring the water three times over the candidate’s head.

        1240 In the Latin Church this triple infusion is accompanied by the minister’s words: “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In the Eastern liturgies the catechumen turns toward the East and the priest says: “The servant of God, N., is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” At the invocation of each person of the Most Holy Trinity, the priest immerses the candidate in the water and raises him up again.

        1241 The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one “anointed” by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king.41

        1242 In the liturgy of the Eastern Churches, the post-baptismal anointing is the sacrament of Chrismation (Confirmation). In the Roman liturgy the post- baptismal anointing announces a second anointing with sacred chrism to be conferred later by the bishop Confirmation, which will as it were “confirm” and complete the baptismal anointing.

        1243 The white garment symbolizes that the person baptized has “put on Christ,”42 has risen with Christ. The candle, lit from the Easter candle, signifies that Christ has enlightened the neophyte. In him the baptized are “the light of the world.”43

        The newly baptized is now, in the only Son, a child of God entitled to say the prayer of the children of God: “Our Father.”

        1243.5 Occasionally, the full effects of the sacrament of Baptism do not take, and a “re-affirmation” is necessary. Re-affirmtion typically will be administered by a female methodist “minister” in order for complete coverage (so to speak).

      • Joe A says:

        Catholics confirm their baptism on certain holy days and reaffirm their faith. And any believer can baptize an individual; it doesn’t have to be a priest. Really, you ought to know a bit about a religion’s tenets before you comment.

      • Michael says:

        Joe A … what does the A stand for?

        Joe A said: Really, you ought to know a bit about a religion’s tenets before you comment.

        What part of or Catholic faith condones this nonsense? Answer none. The propaganda that O’Malley is employing through this little gimmick is breathtaking. Your blind loyalty is admirable but misplaced … unless of course you are part of the propaganda campaign.

        Is O’Malley in favor of women priests?

        Joe A … do you believe in one tru faith? Or are they all the same to you?

  2. jbq2 says:

    I will “choke back tears” for the next week. Cardinal O is one of 8 cardinals on the pope’s board of directors. He represents the United States and most of the Americas. Now, just what do you think that this means from a pope who was quoted by Eugenio Scolari in an interview that he “no longer believed in sin” because of the infinite mercy of God? Also, that “all violence is caused by economic disparity”. The Vatican is being overrun with gerbils.

    • Harry Johnson says:

      Do you have so little faith in the power and mercy of God as to believe that he cannot overcome sin? And do you have so little faith in our Savior that you do not believe what he said about camels and needle’s eyes? Or the love of money being the root of all evil?

  3. KFB says:

    There is no need for the so called “New Evangelization” if this is how things are going. Why convert to Catholicism if it’s just one of many religions all on the same level? The fact is that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. When will our bishops & priests have the courage to say it? And even more to the point, when will the laity (like me) have the courage to say it within our circle of influence – family, friends, co-workers, etc.?

    • bostoncommon says:

      Yes, by all means stand as high on that pedestal as possible. Catholicism IS one of many religions, all of which have their own faith traditions leading to the one God.

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        Are you Catholic?

        “First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you” (Matt. 28: 19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.”

    • Bill says:

      Oh my. Another confused arrogant Catholic. There will be more Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, Taoists, and yes, Protestants in Heaven than there will be the likes of you. The door to heaven does not lie thru the Vatican, even if the Vatican says so. Regardless of what you’ve been taught, God is far larger than religion, and the people who truly see Him are the ones who realize that. Jesus did not care what religion, nationality, creed or other superficial human dividing lines separated people in the world 2000 years ago; and he still doesn’t. Wake up and live in God’s grace rather than in the delusion of your chosen religion. It doesn’t matter.

      • Actually Christ said the only path to salvation is through Him. Muslim beliefs are lies, murder, hatred, rape and never ending violence, no Muslim will ever end up in heaven. Protestants are Christians, if they like all Christians are worthy in Gods eyes they will go to heaven… but unbelievers, will not go to heaven, which is why Christians are obliged to reach out and attempt to bring unbelievers to the faith. You aren’t God, you don’t define God’s laws or get to redefine Christ’s teachings. In all candor, while I can’t claim to know what your god is, he certainly isn’t our Lord.

    • Mavis says:

      Probably one of the most offensive arrogant, judgemental and ignorant comments about Catholicism I have ever read. If you’re banking on your membership in the Catholic church to guarantee your salvation, you are clearly misguided. This belief could not be further from the teachings of Christ. Having been raised Catholic, I do not forget that the Catholic church emphasizes the man made doctrine of the church and not the word of God as we have been given through scripture. Hence the reason you will never find a Bible in the pews of a Catholic church. If people were exposed to the Biblical teachings of Christ rather than the laws of the church, they would begin to question Catholic doctrine. The story and picture being discussed are a beautiful example of how we are all one in Christ. That is what he taught us. The Catholic church does not have exclusive rights to salvation. The Protestant church gets this because their teachings are rooted in Scripture. The Catholic church can learn a lot from other denominations but this can’t happen until the superiority complex is dropped.

      • Boston Gal says:

        “…you will never find a Bible in the pews of a Catholic church.” ….Whatever are you talking about?? Wow! In fact, the Mass is chock full of scriprtur…Are you now at least somewhat aware of this fact?!?

        I urge you to read any (and hopefully more than one) of Dr. Scott Hahn’s tremendous books.

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        Your statement about not finding a Bible in the Catholic Church demonstrates ignorance about the Catholic Mass. Clearly you’ve never opened a Missal or payed attention while you went to Mass.

        Here are the Facts:

        Each Catholic Mass has Old and New Testament Readings, Psalm and Gospels reading. If you went to Mass every Sunday over a 3 year period you would hear almost 70% of the entire Bible. Here are the facts

        In fact, numerous Protestant denominations use the Catholic lectionary as a Guide for reading the Bible in their services.

        How much of the Bible over a 3 year period do you read at your denomination?

        “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

        ― Fulton J. Sheen

    • Bec215 says:

      The last time I checked, God was pretty clear that salvation only comes from one place, and it’s not an institution or human…

  4. warren Goddard says:

    He received Protestant “consecrated water” baptism! Blasphemy!

    • naturgesetz says:

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines blasphemy at No. 2148. It says that blasphemy “comsists in uttering against God — inwardly or outwardly — words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name.”

      The article does not quote any words of Cardinal Seán which in any way fit that definition. So in a spirit of fraternal correction, I point out to you that your exclamation of “Blasphemy!” is nonsensical, and you don’t know what you’re talking about. It is a false accusation on your part, and a material calumny. Calumny is, of course a serious sin when committed with knowledge and full consent of the will. Your ignorance probably diminishes your guilt this time, but you really need to be careful about judging that others have committed serious sins, in order to avoid being guilty yourself of the sins of rash judgment and calumny.

      As for “Protestant ‘consecrated water,'” I don’t see anything in the article that tells us who “consecrated” the water. For all you and I know, it is entirely possible that the water was consecrated by Cardinal Seán, another priest, or by Protestant and Catholic clergy jointly. And I am unaware of anything that forbids Catholics from having water “consecrated at an ecumenical service applied to their foreheads by a Protestant, even if that Protestant is ordained in her ecclesial communion.

  5. Stephen says:

    I think the fat lady just sang.

  6. dale says:

    What if she advocated and supported the murder of 56 million Jews? As in, a lock-step Nazi? Would His Eminence be publicly blessed by her on camera? I bet not. In fact, I bet he would publicly condemn her beliefs and avoid her like the plague.

    Well, guess what? She IS an advocate and supporter of the murder of 56 million. They just so happen to be babies.

    No difference between her sympathies and a Nazi. Well done, your Eminence.

    • Harry Johnson says:

      Are you as bloody concerned about sending the babies to be murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan once they are grown? I thought not. You might think about setting down those stones you are casting.

      • Are you so omniscient that you can determine dale’s attitudes towards Obama’s failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? You’ve outdone the Sadducees or Pharisees in hubris. Even they paused to allow some response from Christ.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        Sounds like I have sized up your views and his about correctly.

      • No, actually you caused a gag reflex….equating your spin of Jesus’ words and your use of them as a cudgel brought up some unpleasant effluvia…

      • Forgive my “gag-reflex” double post. This comment merely caused a bemused sigh. Your ability to read minds and assign “views” to others is almost preternatural.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        You make ad hominem attacks but have not denied the correctness of what I am saying.

      • Wrong again. You state that dale has a cavalier attitude about sending “babies” to die in Obama’s Iraq and Afghan wars (apparently there is an ongoing infant’s war). Absolutely nothing correct in your absurd attempt to assume that dale is motivated by bloodlust and a love of seeing babies slaughter each other in interminable wars.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        Again I hear no condemnation fo war or torture, just ad hominem personal attacks against me like those leveled at the Cardinal. Do you believe in God and the words of Jesus or do you believe in the Catholic church?

      • Do you believe in indicting some one you don’t even now for wishing to send babies to die in bloody wars? Is this your idea of Christianity? Apologize to dale!

      • Harry Johnson says:

        Perhaps you are the one who needs to apologize but that is quite against your holy religion to do so.

    • Gwen Jones says:

      Well at least that’s 56 million babies that can’t be sexually abused by Catholic priests.

      • An ungrammatical hater….

      • a polite but ungrammatical hater….

      • sorry hater, that should have attached to your sheeple comment.

        If you add homosexual before priest and note that homosexual abusers were less than 1% of all Catholic priests, you’d be well on your way to an insightful comment.

      • You mean by homosexual pedophiles who infiltrated the church to exploit the trust parishioners have for priests, to get close to little boys to rape them. Just as hompsexual pedophiles also become teachers, social workers, camp counsellors for the same reason. Homosexuals like you seek to slander the church you hate, by attempting to blame the church for your own actions. Odd isn’t it, how when homosexual pedophiles not in the priesthood are caught, homosexuals and their leftist tools attempt to cover it up and attack anyone who reports it? As homosexual Kathy Renna of GLAAD bragged in 1999 of frightening the media into silence when little Jesse Dirkhising was raped and murdered by 2 homosexual pedophiles. or in 2009, when homosexual pedophile Frank Lombard was caught raping, distributing child porn & pimping his adopted black son out to what he thought was another homosexual pedophile in a chat room, or ‘father of same sex “marriage”‘ & Human Rights Campaign, activist homosexual pedophile Larry Brinkin was busted not only possessing child porn, but distributing it, and his vile, racist emails, commenting his disgusting approval of the rapes of 1 and 2 year old white and black boys. Where is all the outrage from the anti-Catholic orgs that claim to represent child sex abuse victims? They are nowhere to be found, because they were only interested in slandering the church for the actions of homosexuals.

    • naturgesetz says:

      How do you know that she advocates abortion? How do you know that the Cardinal knew it (if it is true) before he asked her to touch his forehead with the water?

      • She wrote a book, God’s Top 10: Blowing the Lid Off the Commandments where she proudly discussed and tried to justify her vote for the pro-abortion candidate, John Kerry, in the 2004 election. The book was endorsed by the pro-abortion “Catholic in Alliance for the Common Good,” which focused on demoting the issue of an individual’s right to life in favor of other less foundational social issues.

        If the Cardinal did not know about this, whose fault is that?

      • naturgesetz says:

        Why does it have to be anybody’s fault? I don’t imagine that the Cardinal has the obligation, or the time, to read every book written by a Protestant cleric — even by an American Protestant cleric — even by a Massachusetts Protestant cleric. He doesn’t even have the time to read everything written by everybody who will take part in an event he is attending.

        I think n the absence of proof that he knew of it, we are obliged to assume bona fides on his part.

      • If the Cardinal is going to go to attend an event, he should have someone on his staff–either one of his two priest secretaries, his $180K+/year secretary for communications, his handsomely-paid PR firm, or someone else–do a quick google search on the names of people with whom he is planning to appear. If there is anything controversial about them, appropriate action should be taken, including the possibility that he would not attend the event. There is absolutely no excuse for that not to be done in this case.

      • naturgesetz says:

        Well, we could discuss whether he should have known about the book, whether he knew she’d be there before he accepted the invitation, and so on, but I think the more important question is what would have been “appropriate action” if he had known, “what sort of woman this is, that she” wrote a book justifying voting for John Kerry. I also won’t raise the question about whether she explicitly supports abortion on demand in all cases or whether she has a less expansive position on the question, in which she sees the importance of other matters of public policy as overriding abortion in the circumstances of that particular campaign — not that I think they did.

        Rather, accepting, for the sake of argument, that the comments which characterized her simply as a supporter of abortion without distinction are correct, what is “appropriate action?” I’m inclined to believe that attendance at the event was still appropriate, and that it was appropriate for him to ask her to perform the little ritual with the water which was created for the occasion.

        We have to accept that appearing with a person, participating with that person in an activity, cannot, must not, be taken to constitute approval of all that the other person says and does. This was not about abortion, and to bring up a participant’s expressed beliefs about abortion is a red herring. To pretend that the Cardinal’s actions in any way imply some acceptance of abortion on his part is, in my opinion, wrongheaded and unjust. We cannot refuse to cooperate with others on non-abortion-related matters simply because they are wrong about abortion. And in my opinion it is calumny to suggest that anyone who does the sort of thing Cardinal Seán did (or Cardinal Dolan in hosting Obama at the Al Smith dinner) is being unfaithful to Catholic teaching about abortion or somehow derogating from our message.

        I think Pope Francis is right: while we are very clear about the wrongfulness of abortion, we must not obsess over it to the extent that it paralyzes us, keeping us from participating in activities, worthwhile in themselves and unrelated to abortion, with others who are wrong about abortion. We have to be able to make distinctions between support for abortion and cooperation with supporters of abortion on other issues. We have to realize that such cooperation is neither material nor formal cooperation in the evil of abortion. And if there are people who don’t understand these points, we should try to help them understand.

        We must engage with people, with the hope that the love we show will help the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts. And if the Holy Spirit never does manage to enlighten Rev. Robertson, perhaps he will be able to attract others to the Church through this magnanimous gesture by Cardinal Seán.

        What would Jesus have done? I think he would have gone there, showed his love for her, and spoken about abortion another time (as Cardinal Seán will).

      • Concerned Parent says:

        “We must engage with people, with the hope that the love we show will help the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts.”

        Where is that “spirit of fraternal correction” that you apply to posters with whom you disagree? Seems as though you have a bit of a double standard.

      • Concerned Parent says:

        And in my opinion it is calumny to suggest that anyone who does the sort of thing Cardinal Seán did (or Cardinal Dolan in hosting Obama at the Al Smith dinner) is being unfaithful to Catholic teaching about abortion or somehow derogating from our message.”

        “Calumny”? Isn’t that a bit harsh? It is perfectly obvious to anyone with a basic knowledge of marketing that superficial impressions can have enormous impact. Church leaders who hobnob with public figures who are vocal proponents of abortion, etc. give the public impression of tacit approval, or at the very least create the impression that the pro-abortion stance is a matter of less than grave concern. Church leaders would never appear with certain evildoers (nazis, for instance) nor should they but for some strange reason deem pro-aborts worthy of a pass. The resultant optics clearly “derogate from our message”.

      • naturgesetz says:

        Concerned Parent — You say, “Church leaders who hobnob with public figures who are vocal proponents of abortion, etc. give the public impression of tacit approval, or at the very least create the impression that the pro-abortion stance is a matter of less than grave concern.”

        I don’t think so. I think most sensible people understand that it makes no sense to refuse to have anything to do with proponents of abortion. To participate in an event which has nothing to do with abortion along with someone who favors abortion does not imply acceptance, or even “less than grave concern” regarding abortion. It merely shows that the person involved realizes that, important as abortion is, it is not the _only_ thing.

        It is profoundly unjust to call the Cardinal’s opposition to abortion into question on the basis of this event.

      • Concerned Parent says:

        “It merely shows that the person involved realizes that, important as abortion is, it is not the _only_ thing.”

        5. You shall not kill.

        Unequivocal statement; no relativistic interpretation possible. To argue that it is justifiable that a Catholic shepherd choose to engage in a public religious ceremony with a pro-abort of ANY stripe because “abortion is not the only thing” indicates a relativistic view of Catholic teaching.

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        Once again what the Catholic Church teaches….

        The 9 Ways We Participate in Others’ Sins
        By counsel
        By command
        By consent
        By provocation
        By praise or flattery
        By concealment
        By partaking
        By silence
        By defense of the ill done

      • naturgesetz says:

        CC aka CD —
        It would be helpful if you’d cite the source of your presentations of Church teaching.

        I checked the Catechism and found something similar at No. 1868, although it uses somewhat different words, and does not include “silence.”

        If your intention was somehow to insinuate that Cardinal Seán is participating in the participation of Rev. Robertson in abortion by her defense of it, I think you’re wrong. When it comes to abortion, he has done none of the 9 things listed in your formulation nor the eight listed in the Catechism.

        But you didn’t actually say what you thought the significance of your post was. Maybe it applies to something else, since it clearly does not apply to the Cardinal. If so, what were you trying to say?

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        I own multiple Catholic Missals that have the list in it…

        What 1868 in the CCC says is

        1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

        – by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

        – by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

        – by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

        – by protecting evil-doers.

        One could argue that by taking part in this service Cardinal Sean is implicitly approving the pastor’s position on abortion.

        The fact that we have had, and continue to have, this conversation demonstrates Cardinal Sean’s unwillingness to lead his flock with clarity. It could have been really simple for him too. Wasn’t Cardinal Sean present at the Walk for Life? He could’ve made a statement about the attending these services that have caused so much controversy in his flock and requested the pastor to recant her position and join him at the Walk for Life…

        It appears that there are multiple opinions about what is going on and none of the opposing opinion holders are making progress. The leaders of the RCAB should be stepping in clarifying these issues but they are absent. In lieu of leadership I’ll go with what the Church has taught for 2 millennia and not the novelties of the past 50 years.

        For those priests looking for people to fill the pews, here’s how it’s done. If only there were an old German Parish in Boston, oh wait…

  7. Michael Brennick says:

    I see our media cleric had the Boston Globe in tow to observe and propagate his absurdity. John Henry hired John Allen to boost the Globe’s RC Church coverage in order to promote the antics of our ambitious Capuchin.

    • Michael says:

      You have to admit that he is a quick learner. Pope Francis has been getting away with his media campaign quite successfully. So really what is stopping O’Malley from jumping on the same train. Great move to keep the “He’s the frontrunner for the next pontiff” campaign in full swing.

      I forget — is it two four-year terms? … or is it a life appointment like the Supreme Court Justices? Whatever … never smart to miss an chance to stay on the forefront of one’s constituents minds in case the opportunity arises unexpectedly. Never know when we’re gonna need a new Pope.

  8. Publius says:

    what a faker!
    The man never affirms anything but himself
    and truly believes he can pr himself to be
    “cardinal sean” does not like criticism either.
    One cannot comment on his website which
    are mere snapshots of him playing at being
    a real cardinal.

  9. WRBaker says:

    Years ago, I remember reading in the Catechism that Catholics shouldn’t go into another church.
    Maybe the cardinal wants to convert?

    • Michael says:

      He wants to convert by giving her position of “authority” an heir of credibility? Is she a “woman of the cloth?” Or is she a misled person, misleading other people on a large scale? … intentionally or not (doesn’t really matter)?

    • bostoncommon says:

      Right, baker, YEARS AGO.

    • naturgesetz says:

      Years ago, 50 to be precise, Cardinal Cushing went to that same Church.

      Rather than living and judging others according to snippets from a dimly remembered past, you would do well to clarify your understanding by reading and pondering the implications of the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s discussion of the belief that “The Church Is One,” found at Nos. 813-822. Consider especially Nos. 818 and 819. See also Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism.

  10. A.D. says:

    Why do I feel this was his feeble attempt at a photo op to push him onto the national “make me the next Pope” stage?

  11. David S. says:

    In the spirit of ecumenicism, and with prior approval from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, I could see a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church asking a Greek or Russian Orthodox priest to “re-affirm” his Baptism as these Churches have apostolic succession and valid Sacraments.

    But this “Baptism” of a Successor of the Apostles by a so-called woman “priest” is absolutely bizarre.

    Venerable Fulton Sheen, pray for us.

    • Barry Moorhead says:

      Oh, come on. The Catholic church has always recognized the validity of baptisms of other churches and Christian denominations.

      Everyone knows that even non-believers can baptize as long as they are done in the name of the Trinity and some water actually flows over the head (as we used to say, “an eighth of an inch if in a pinch”).

    • naturgesetz says:

      In the article, I see nothing that calls what happened a “Baptism” or a re-baptism. In calling it a “reaffirmation,” it clearly indicates that the only baptism in question is the original one, which the participants were invited to “remember.” Of course, most Catholics don’t remember the actual event, but they remember the fact, which they have learned, that they were baptized. So to call it a “Baptism” is to misrepresent what happened.

      The Methodists do not call their ministers “priests.” Therefore is is false to describe the woman as “a so-called woman ‘priest.'”

  12. oh please! says:

    Where was the ‘humble friar’ when marriage
    needed to be defended when the Methodist church fired a minister for
    performing the mockery of homosexual marriage? O’Malley said nothing at that ecumenical moment! When something needs defending ,cardinal Sean hides.

  13. Michael says:

    Where was he when traditional marriage was stolem from us by Mitt Romney? He was standing next to romney in a “defensive” stance, acting as if he and Romney weren’t undermining marriage worldwide and forever. Oh yes and he was at that very moment busy trying to hand mounds of cash over to personal injury lawyers. One has to know that when you are being complimented by the plaintiff’s bar, you are doing something wrong.

  14. QC Lou says:

    My opinion is simple, His Eminence is a good person who is trying to do his best as he see’s it and gets too much criticism from a lot of people.
    Give him a break you zealots !
    Whenever I have talked to him, I have felt his sincerity and humble soul.
    call me naïve , but I think he is a lot more Christ like than a lot of other cardinals and certainly more than a lot of the members of the Curia !

    • daler says:

      And I believe you. I think he is probably a wonderful and holy man on many levels. May God bless him with a successful ministry of spreading the Gospel and may he spend eternity with Him in heaven. I have no animosity toward him whatsoever. I love him as a fellow human being and as a Christian.

      But do you honestly believe His Eminence would be blessed and photographed with a person who supported and advocated for the murder of blacks or Jews? A racist or anti-Semite?

      Maybe he would. Maybe he wouldn’t. If I had to guess, I would assume the latter. If that is the case, then why would he want to be blessed and photographed with a woman who supports and advocates for the murder of babies? How is this any different. Can you, or anyone, tell me the difference?

      I would think that His Eminence would pray for the conversion of the racist and anti-Semite, and have strong words against his or her support for such things. I would hope the same would be true in this case for one who supports and advocates for the murder of innocent children. We all need to pray for her conversion, for her confusion is dangerous at best, and evil at worst. Abortion is just as bad as ethnic cleansing, if not worse.

      • Joe22 says:

        I have talked to Cardinal multiple times and even though he talks nicely and says he will support the pro-life movement he is just a politician and does nothing. Ask his own people, any good priest or pro-life leaders, people who pray at the abortion clinics.
        Note also she is for gay marriage and the Sean does not seem to care about priests that think that is okay, like Msgr Garrity of St. Catherine’s in Norwood, He put the Holy family on par with Gay couples and preached it from the alter to young families and put it in the bulletin.

    • Stephen says:

      You are naive.

    • justme says:

      With all due respect but…
      Pope Pius IX (1846-1878)

      On Promotion of False Doctrines

      “7. Here, too, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, it is again necessary to mention and censure a very grave error entrapping some Catholics who believe that it is possible to arrive at eternal salvation although living in error and alienated from the true faith and Catholic unity. Such belief is certainly opposed to Catholic teaching. There are, of course, those who are struggling with invincible ignorance about our most holy religion. Sincerely observing the natural law and its precepts inscribed by God on all hearts and ready to obey God, they live honest lives and are able to attain eternal life by the efficacious virtue of divine light and grace. Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.”
      “8. Also well known is the Catholic teaching that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church. Eternal salvation cannot be obtained by those who oppose the authority and statements of the same Church and are stubbornly separated from the unity of the Church and also from the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, to whom ‘the custody of the vineyard has been committed by the Savior.'(Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in its letter to Pope Leo.) The words of Christ are clear enough: ‘If he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you a Gentile and a tax collector;'(Mt 15.17.) ‘He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me, rejects him who sent me;'(Lk 10.16.) ‘He who does not believe will be condemned;'(Mk 16.16.) ‘He who does not believe is already condemned;'(Jn 3.18.) ‘He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.'(Lk 11.23.) The Apostle Paul says that such persons are ‘perverted and self-condemned;'(Ti 3.11.) the Prince of the Apostles calls them ‘false teachers . . . who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master. . . bringing upon themselves swift destruction.'(2 Pt 2.1.) ”
      [Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, August 10, 1863.]

      Condemning Current Errors

      “For you well know, …that at this time men are found …who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of ‘naturalism,’ …dare to teach …’that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones.'”

      • naturgesetz says:

        The statements of Pius IX which you quote should be read in the light of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism. I do not see an inherent contradiction between the two. (And if there is, the Council trumps the non-dogmatic opinions of the Pope.)

  15. Michael Brennick says:

    Interesting, you castigate those who have personally experienced the Cardinal’s derelictions by touting your superior personal knowledge of the Cardiinal. Then you turn around and indict all members of the Curia and “many cardinals”, of whom you have no personal knowledge. Apparently the law of contradiction has no applicability in your bubble.

  16. Ferde Rombola says:

    What a disgrace to our Holy Mother Church. Is there no limit to this man’s heresies?

    • Sue A. says:

      How is the simple act of reminding us of our baptism heresy?

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        “V—Although in all these meetings and conferences any communication whatsoever in worship must be avoided, yet the recitation in common of the Lord’s Prayer or of some prayer approved by the Catholic Church, is not forbidden for opening or closing the said meetings.”

      • bostoncommon says:

        Captian, how much energy do you use everyday living in such a hateful way? I’m sure you remember that scrupulousness is a sin yes?

        The Catholic Encyclopedia calls it a sin. That should keep you up at night,

        “The idea sometimes obtaining, that scrupulosity is in itself a spiritual benefit of some sort, is, of course, a great error. The providence of God permits it and can gather good from it as from other forms of evil. That apart, however, it is a bad habit doing harm, sometimes grievously, to body and soul. Indeed, persisted in with the obstinacy characteristic of persons who suffer from this malady, it may entail the most lamentable consequences. The judgment is seriously warped, the moral power tired out in futile combat, and then not unfrequently the scrupulous person makes shipwreck of salvation either on the Scylla of despair or the Charybdis of unheeding indulgence in vice.”

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        Hateful? for pointing out what the Church teaches? Nice try…

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        BTW, allow me to point out your hipocrisy in calling me hateful, read your own posts from today…

    • Harry Johnson says:

      Is that you Tomas de Torquemada?

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        Geez Harry,
        So much for your heeding your own words about Christ below, huh?

      • Harry Johnson says:

        Just asking the question. There are strong accusations of heresy, vile abuse and anger over a simple christian act of respect and decency. Torquemada would be proud of all of you.

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        I’ve made NO accusations of heresy, vile abuse or anger, none, zero. I’ve disagreed and pointed out the appropriate Papal encyclicals, or Vatican documents about ecumenism. Read my posts.

        This BCI blog entry and these posts are about Cardinal Sean’s dealings with a Methodist minister. Stick to the point!

        This response addresses your blatant hipocrisy. Below you talk about Christ’s love and here you call me ‘ Tomas de Torquemada’? And YOU call out vile abuse and anger, brilliant Harry.

        And in my pointing out your hipocrisy I will be exercising Christ’s love as he meant it and the Catholic Church teaches in admonishing the sinner. Christ’s love as it is taught consists of the Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy, listed below:

        The Corporal Works of Mercy

        Feed the hungry
        Give drink to the thirsty
        Clothe the naked
        Shelter the homeless
        Visit the sick
        Visit the imprisoned
        Bury the dead

        The Spiritual Works of Mercy

        Admonish the sinner
        Instruct the ignorant (This and the next work are extremely pertinent categories today, when so many people are confused by what the Church teaches on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, etc.)
        Counsel the doubtful
        Comfort the sorrowful
        Bear wrongs patiently
        Forgive all injuries
        Pray for the living and the dead

      • Harry Johnson says:

        My original question was in response to a comment which said and I quote “Is there no limit to this man’s heresies?” And you jumped in to support that accusation. You need to stop lying. It is a sin and a violation of the ten commandments.

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        I have lied about nothing. Unlike you I not have accused nor judged anybody. Nice try

        Call people names, change the subject, obvuscate the truth and judge everybody and everything all the while pointing to Jesus and his teachings.

        You’ve come to a Catholic bulletin board and harassed and made fun of Catholics….


    • Confused says:

      What heresy is this? The catechism accepts baptisms from outside the Catholic Church. This isn’t even an actual baptism. It’s just a reminder of baptism. Why is it wrong to remember our baptism with people from other denominations?

      Baptism is not a weapon that you can use to bludgeon people you don’t like.

      • justme says:

        Well I guess for one, Pope Benedict changed the Baptismal
        back to the original rite. The words are different from what they were changed to after Vatican II. That’s what makes the situation

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        It was I who accused the Cardinal of heresy. I neglected to point out the particulars of the heresy and to point out it exists on several levels. Let me correct those omissions now.

        The Cardinal supplicated himself before a female who alleges herself to be a priest. He participated in the ceremony of an heretic Christian sect. As a result of the foregoing, he degraded the office of bishop by creating confusion in the faithful and other interested parties,. He did this by giving legitimacy to a heretic sect and its priestess, where it’s his job to dispel confusion and to clarify what is and isn’t legitimate Christian practice. He associated himself with an abortion monger and a supporter of homosexual ‘marriage,’ both offensive to Catholic teaching, about which he is supposed to be the principle teacher of the Faith in our Archdiocese.

        These are all heretical acts, whether the apologists agree or not.

    • naturgesetz says:

      Ferde, there is no such thing as an “heretical act.” According to Canon 751, quoted in the Catechism at No. 2089, heresy “is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same”.

      Denials are words. If you choose to see in this action an indication that he disbelieves some truth, that’s your problem, but it will not do for you to calumniate him, as you have done.

      As for the particulars you list, in the first place, the Methodists don’t call their clergy priests and priestesses. Furthermore the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism acknowledges a certain legitimacy of Protestant ecclesial communities and of participating in prayer with them on occasion.

      Get with the Church.

  17. "Cardinal Burke" says:

    No one of Faith is attracted to this kind of meaningless

    It makes one want to not donate to the Archdiocese.

    • Michael says:

      makes one want to … try … stopped several years ago … and won’t start back up until it becomes clear that the money will be used to further Catholicism

    • Harry Johnson says:

      Keep your money. It will do you no good where you are going.

  18. MJM says:

    Ah, more blasphemy and scandal from the post-Vatican II Church. Well done, your Grace.

    • Sue A. says:

      How is the simple act of reminding us of our baptism blasphemy?

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        “V—Although in all these meetings and conferences any communication whatsoever in worship must be avoided, yet the recitation in common of the Lord’s Prayer or of some prayer approved by the Catholic Church, is not forbidden for opening or closing the said meetings.”

      • Sue A. says:

        Reply to Capt Crunch, it seems that you missed the last 50 years. Wasn’t it because of the Unitatis Redintegratio that Cardinal Cushing made the visit to Sudbury in the first place. Core to that decree is the message, “Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren. It is right and salutary to recognize the riches of Christ and virtuous works in the lives of others who are bearing witness to Christ, sometimes even to the shedding of their blood. For God is always wonderful in His works and worthy of all praise. Nor should we forget that anything wrought by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of our separated brethren can be a help to our own edification.”

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        Actually I did miss part of the last 50 years, I’m not 50 years old!

        11. The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded.

        At the same time, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand.

        Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue, Catholic theologians standing fast by the teaching of the Church and investigating the divine mysteries with the separated brethren must proceed with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility. When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a “hierarchy” of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith. Thus the way will be opened by which through fraternal rivalry all will be stirred to a deeper understanding and a clearer presentation of the unfathomable riches of Christ.(34)

      • Concerned Parent says:

        “Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren. ”

        So we should take that to mean that it is therefore a good idea and edifying for Catholics for a Prince of the Church to offer himself for anointing by a female abortion-apologist?

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        Sue, it’s blasphemy because the Cardinal, the alleged leader of the true Faith in this Archdiocese, appeared for a renewal of his Baptism before an heretical sect which does not understand the meaning of Baptism regarding the removal of Original Sin. They consider it a symbolic act. IOW, the Cardinal renewed his Baptism under the auspices of people who don’t recognize it.

        The ‘common heritage’ you (or whoever you quoted) refer to isn’t common at all. What Methodists manage to get right about Baptism is what their leaders accepted from the Catholic Church at the time of their rebellion, as is everything else they have in common with Catholics.

        Don’t be so eager to be nice. Being nice is the core doctrine of Methodists and many misguided Catholics, lay and clerical. Niceness has gotten us exactly nowhere in the past 50 years. It’s a failed project and must be abandoned.

      • naturgesetz says:

        MJM, blasphemy is speech against God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2148) It seems as if you don’t know what you’re talking about and are just throwing words around with no regard for their meaning. In doing so, you are making a false accusation against the Cardinal, which is materially a calumny.

        There is by definition no blasphemy here. As for scandal — I don’t think it is fair to blame the Cardinal when people make false accusations against him. He did nothing wrong nor is he leading others who understand his action to do anything wrong.

  19. Stephen says:

    There is much here.
    When Pope Francis was blessed on his knees by an evangelical as Cardinal at least it made a little sense. The Church in South and Central America is and was taking a beating from evangelicals with thousands leaving the Church and joining protestant sects. It was a kind of cool Jesus thing.

    In the case with our Cardinal it is bizarre. A trusted strategist must have suggested it. It certainly take the attention away from Fr. Garrity at this point. It seems to be a profound gesture begging for meaning with none to be found. All style and no substance. The Modernist Again!

  20. John Wesley says:

    The Roman Catholic Church recognizes most Christian
    baptism as valid.

    It is a shame Omalley belittles the sacrament to all Christian
    faithful of all churches by using it for a public relations stunt.

    Where there is doubt-faith, despair-hope, darkness-light
    Where there is Omalley, there is camera.

  21. lou says:

    Ah, here are the comments that IU would expect from Boston Catholic Insiders! LOL! You guys kill me! 😉

    • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:


      “That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection.”
      — Judge Chamberlain Haller:

  22. Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

    The RCAB should be considered mission territory.

    “While Jesus was kind to sinners… He did not respect their false ideas… He loved them all, but instructed them in order to convert them and save them.” — St Pius X

    • Chris Whittle says:

      RCAB is mission territory. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is mission territory.

      • fathergraziano says:

        One Vicar Foran actually used those words in referring to us – mission territory, while adding that those not coming to church are “pagans.” Great way to fill the pews.

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        Depends on your priority, is it teaching the truth or filling the pews.

      • fathergraziano says:

        Does it matter what you teach if there is no audience? Filling the pews is a start, not an end.

      • “Does it matter what you teach if there is no audience? Filling the pews is a start, not an end.”

        This would be fitting if our lord and savior were P.T. Barnum.

      • Michael says:

        grat idea three altars with different sacraments happening at the same time. The conter one obviously should be reaffirming your baptism with Protestant women priests. Same sex marriages should be on one of the others … not sure about the third … give me a minute

    • naturgesetz says:

      But much of what the Protestants believe is true. We respect their true ideas. We also respect the sincerity with which they appear to hold their false ideas.

  23. All I want is the truth says:

    I thought the Roman Church was suppose to be intelligent?
    U lost me. Seems the Russian Orthodox are still faithful. I will
    look there.

  24. joyful noise says:

    Aside from the religious objections here, I find this action awkward and forced, given Cardinal O’Malley. Have viewed lots of photos of him on trips and at events over the years and have always noted that he surrounds himself with men only. Just an observation, not an accusation. He attended seminary at the tender age of 12 so his comfort with and reliance on women is nonexistent, I suspect. I think this was far from spontaneous. As a woman, I am very unimpressed. He has achieved nothing other than providing fodder for a blog or two. He may mean well but . . .

  25. Edmund Punch says:

    I have a complaint in progress for years against a brother from Boston. The Franciscans just say “we have no record ……”. I dare you to tell my that I am lying. I dare you to tell me that I am making up my claim. I dare you. – Edmund Punch (attacked by
    Bro. Fidelis (Francis) DeBerardinis, O.F.M. in Limerick, Ireland)

  26. Sue A. says:

    I think everyone reads way to much into this. I like what I saw in the NRO where Michael Potemra provided a simple explanation, “O’Malley was not denying any doctrine of his Catholic faith whatsoever; he was not saying that he believed that the Methodist Church has the same amount of truth as the Catholic Church, nor was he saying that in his opinion women should be priests of the Catholic Church. What he was saying was that all baptized Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ, and that this remains true despite the unfortunate divisions within Christianity.”

    • …..and yet Cardinal O’Malley affirms his baptism at the hands of a cleric who is a pro-abort. The PR would not play the same way (in the Globe and the rest of the legacy media conglomerate) if the Cardinal affirmed his vows at the hands of a pro-traditional marriage, outspoken pro-life, staunch Bible Christian. Unfortunately our Cardinal would not make that kind of a gesture for fear of the reaction by secularists. Instead he chooses a path of “cheap grace”.

    • warren Goddard says:

      Sue, being separate from the Catholic Church is being separate from Christ.

  27. Earnie Bay says:

    Has anyone ever seen Sandals O’Malley and Rowan Williams in the same room? I hate to say this, but what difference is there between the two? Recall that Williams admitted that he’d become a Druid – look it up – which was at least a little more stylish than receiving a replica of a sacrament from a replica of a cleric! What on EARTH is this man thinking? Or is he so “spiritual” that he doesn’t think at all? Every time one tries to give him the benefit of the doubt he forfeits his credibility…

    • Michael W says:

      Rowan Williams spins his worldly religion in an erudite Oxford accent. Sean O’Malley prefers a dull monotone.

      • All I want is the truth says:

        Always thought the Cardinal’s speaking was crafted and artificial denoting insincerity.

        Wonder where the Globe will lead him next.

  28. Chris Whittle says:

    This pretty much sums it up: Cardinal O’Malley refuses to defend the Catholic Faith and assume fiscal responsibility in the Archdiocese of Boston, the diocese he was appointed to by Pope John Paul II 11 years ago. If he wants to leave the Catholic Church, then do us all a favor Your Eminence: RESIGN!

  29. john wesley says:

    I truly wish he would resign

    The Church should become a missionary one and
    go for quality not quantity.

    I think O’malley is just an institutional catholic, a kind of church
    business man, a functionary and not a man of true faith.

    The ‘new evangelism’, so called is a new form of clericalism and
    the sad part is that it will weaken the Church and Mass attendence
    will dwindle.

    Trying to become a secular celebrity and publicizing oneself
    is a real turnoff!

  30. Susan Goeller says:

    I am going to send this to Fr Mario, I am stunned.

    Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 03:12:37 +0000 To:

  31. […] a story floating around the Catholic blogosphere; in particular at RORATE CÆLI, Boston Catholic Insider, Catholic Champion, and the Boston Globe about Sean Cardinal O’Malley asking a United […]

  32. Mike M. says:

    Of course I don’t like any of the smug clerical attitude nor the marginal, pablum-like theology I hear – you know the ‘stuff’ we are all now so used to year after year after grinding year. That is why I voted with my feet some time ago: no money to the chancery, no defense of the Cardinal in the workplace, no physical support of their ‘mission’ and I go to the religious orders for the sacraments. Do I miss the Church in Boston, not at all – you’re welcome to it: there is nothing of value, spiritual or temporal, they have to offer me; and, I only darken the door of a archdiocesan building when I am forced to. My prayer life has become much less cluttered and my blood pressure has reverted to the normal range. It is such a pity, too. Given all the things going for this area, Boston could have been a vibrant hot spot in Catholicism. Thanks, guys, you did nice job.

  33. […] ecumenism right,” some conservative Catholic bloggers expressed themselves “stunned” by O’Malley’s “farcical […]

  34. As a retired, United Methodist clergywoman, I am not at all surprised by this. I have had positive relationships with Roman Catholic priests in many communities where I served through our local ministerial associations. I have actually preached in two Roman Catholic Churches during community Thanksgiving services (non-Eucharistic services).

    The Roman Catholic Church recognizes the validity of baptisms that were held in United Methodist churches, and The United Methodist Church recognizes Roman Catholic baptisms as valid. Both churches recognize that ONE baptism is a gift of God through the church, and one baptism is enough. Neither church practices “rebaptism”. Catholics reaffirm their baptism often as they touch the holy water near the door of the church and make the sign of the cross. Neither The United Methodist Church nor the Roman Catholic Church expects adult converts to be “rebaptized”.

    Reaffirming our common faith in a service of Reaffirmation of Baptism is a wonderful sign of our commitment to Jesus and our essential unity in Christ.

    I would like to see more Roman Catholic and Protestant churches use this moving service to proclaim our unity in Christ and in Baptism. The controversy this event has stirred up demonstrates the need for such a witness.

    • warren Goddard says:

      We don’t have a unity in Christ. You, being separate from the Catholic Church, are separate from Christ.

      • As I understand Catholicism, I am welcome to attend worship in the Roman Catholic Church even though I may not receive the eucharist. It is perfectly acceptable for me to venerate the Eucharist for hours and hours in a Roman Catholic Church. I may also remember my baptism by availing myself of the Holy Water placed near the church doors. The cardinal was simply remembering his own baptism, not receiving a sacrament at the hands of a woman. Both the Roman Catholic Church and The United Methodist Church affirm that there is one baptism. We accept the baptism of people who choose to convert from one church to the other and do not require rebaptism. On most Sunday mornings I recite the Nicene Creed in my congregation. I affirm that I believe in the “one holy catholic and apostolic church”, and by the grace of God I am.

      • For 4 sacraments–Baptism, Confirmation, Matrimony (assuming the marriage has not been annulled) and Holy Orders, there is no such thing as re-receiving or reaffirming the sacrament in the Catholic Church. You could restate the vows, but you just cannot reaffirm the sacrament.

      • naturgesetz says:

        Warren what you wrote is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

        See the Catechism of the Catholic Church at Nos. 818 and 819.

    • Concerned Parent says:

      “I would like to see more Roman Catholic and Protestant churches use this moving service to proclaim our unity in Christ and in Baptism. The controversy this event has stirred up demonstrates the need for such a witness.”

      I pray we do not see more of such “witness” as these types of actions result in confusion among the faithful and promote religious relativism. The controversy is a result of the perceived inappropriateness of the Cardinal’s public participation in this shallow ecumenical display. Empty, feel-good ceremonies serve no purpose except to blur the lines between the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and other churches.

      “We say, therefore, that the Catholic Church is unique in its essence, in its doctrine, in its origin, and in its excellence…Furthermore, the eminence of the Church arises from its unity, as the principle of its constitution – a unity surpassing all else, and having nothing like unto it or equal to it” (S. Clemens Alexandrinus, Stronmatum lib. viii., c. 17). For this reason Christ, speaking of the mystical edifice, mentions only one Church, which he calls His own-“I will build my church;” any other Church except this one, since it has not been founded by Christ, cannot be the true Church. ” – Pope Leo XIII, Satis cognitum

  35. Stephen says:

    We don’t have a common Faith.
    Your roots go back to John Wesley around 1750.
    Ours goes back to the Apostles and Jesus at the
    Last Supper.
    I’m sorry if you have been given the impression that
    our Faiths are equal.
    They are not.

      • Stephen says:

        Strong argument hollyboardperson

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        What holly calls ‘poppycock’ is simply the truth. Protestants have been calling the truth ‘poppycock’ for about 500 years.

        Is there something not true in what Stephen wrote, holly? If so, let us in on it.

      • naturgesetz says:

        Stephen and Ferde, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 817-822, especially 818 & 819, and the documents of Vatican II which they cite.

      • fathergraziano says:

        Thank you. I was beginning to think I was in the wrong church.

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        Which church are you in, fg? The truths found in Protestant sects are not their truths, they are truths the 16th Century heretics didn’t throw out with the Pope when they launched their rebellion; they are Catholic truths, something all Catholic priests know or should know. That fact was overlooked by the fathers of Vatican II and the writers of the Catechism, perhaps intentionally in their ‘ecumenical’ zeal.

        If you can do something about getting holly, the Madam priestess and others similarly situated to adopt the Catholic truths they reject, you’ll be doing something constructive. Liberal, bleeding heart appeals to niceness have taken the Catholic Church far from the Church deconstructed by ‘the spirit of Vatican II.’

      • naturgesetz says:

        Ferde, I’d suggest to you that in the Catechism and in the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism, the fact that the truths found in Protestant ecclesial communities are Catholic truths, far from being ignored, is the only basis on which the recognition of our brotherhood with them in the Lord can be spoken of. To give one example, toward the end of No. 4 the decree says, “Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren.” Our common heritage can only be what was present in the Catholic Church prior to the Reformation.

        I really think you would do well to read that document, prayerfully, with the docility of faith.

        What I am trying to uphold here is not the “spirit of Vatican II,” but its actual teaching.

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        Thank you, naturgesetz, for your suggestion. I have read, and studied, the Council’s Decree on Ecumenism and know it quite well. In part, it says,

        “Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communities present themselves as the inheritors of Jesus Christ; all, indeed profess to be followers of the Lord, but they differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided.”

        “One Church and one Church only….” In that context, we have no common heritage with those who reject Catholic teaching and follow the teaching of men. Catholic heritage begins at Pentecost. Protestant heritage begins in the 16th Century and no amount of false ‘ecumenism,’ which isn’t ecumenism at all, is going to change that. (I suggest you look up ‘ecumenism’ and find out its real meaning.)

        The truth is available to any Protestant who seeks for it. The truth converted Scott Hahn and his wife, Francis Beckwith, Thomas Howard and his wife and thousands more. Those who ignore the truth and insist on their heresies, while privately thumbing their noses at the Catholic Church get no sympathy from me, nor, I’m sure, do they want it.

        As to reading, read Ezekiel and see what it says about our responsibility toward the sinner and the consequences of ignoring it.

      • naturgesetz says:

        Ferde, you say, “we have no common heritage.”

        The bishops of the Catholic Church say, “Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren.” — Unitatis Redintegratio, at No. 4, eighth paragraph

        I will follow the Catholic Church rather than your human opinion in blatant contradiction thereto.

        As for the definition of ecumenism: “This movement toward unity is called ‘ecumenical.’ Those belong to it who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, doing this not merely as individuals but also as corporate bodies.” — U.R., No.1
        “Today, in many parts of the world, under the inspiring grace of the Holy Spirit, many efforts are being made in prayer, word and action to attain that fullness of unity which Jesus Christ desires. The Sacred Council exhorts all the Catholic faithful to recognize the signs of the times and to take an active and intelligent part in the work of ecumenism.

        The term ‘ecumenical movement’ indicates the initiatives and activities planned and undertaken, according to the various needs of the Church and as opportunities offer, to promote Christian unity.”

      • naturgesetz says:

        Ferde, you say, “The truth is available to any Protestant who seeks for it. The truth converted Scott Hahn and his wife, Francis Beckwith, Thomas Howard and his wife and thousands more.”

        The Catholic Church understands such individual conversions as good and desirable but not as invalidating the ecumenical movement. “However, it is evident that, when individuals wish for full Catholic communion, their preparation and reconciliation is an undertaking which of its nature is distinct from ecumenical action. But there is no opposition between the two, since both proceed from the marvelous ways of God.” U.R.. No.4, fourth paragraph.

      • naturgesetz says:

        As for our responsibility toward sinners, sin and error are not the same thing; and the Church’s moral teaching is clear and well known to all who are willing to listen.

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        naturgesetz, some of the documents of Vatican II are orthodox and some marginally so. I’m not here to debate the veracity of the documents, but how they are observed by today’s bishops. Please stop telling me what to read. I’ve read just about everything you’ve posted. If you’re not a Protestant, some day you’ll make a good one. It’s a Protestant specialty when debating a Catholic to ignore what’s said to him, change the subject and write a speech, as you do.

        Yes, I say we have no common heritage with Protestants and I say it again. If you think we do, that’s your business. That means you think they are part of the ‘one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church’ as they do. The Decree on Ecumenism, which you cite when it suits you, says there in only one Church that fits that description. Do you agree with that or not?

        I don’t know what you mean by ‘ecumenism’ and ‘the ecumenical movement’ but in the real world it means getting together for drinks and dinner, chatting about God for a while, shaking hands and going home. There is no ‘movement toward unity.’ Are you aware of any Protestant sect that has any interest in discussing reasons to convert to the Catholic Faith? That’s what ecumenism is and it’s not happening today except for the Episcopalians who have been driven to the Church by their presiding bishop’s loopy notions about Christianity.

        The rhetoric contained in the part of U.R.. No.4, fourth paragraph which you cited is complete nonsense, whether you agree or not.

        Two more points: I’m not asking you to follow me or anyone else; not all error is sin, all sin is error.

      • naturgesetz says:

        ferde — “Yes, I say we have no common heritage with Protestants and I say it again.” And in saying that you are directly contradicting the words of the Decree on Ecumenism. I think at this point someone with your rhetorical style could well ask you the question you ask others: “What church are you in?”

        “If you think we do, that’s your business. That means you think they are part of the ‘one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church’ as they do.” No it doesn’t. That’s a non sequitur. That said, I firmly believe the teaching of the Catechism at No. 838, which quotes the Constitution on the Church and the Decree on Ecumenism. Do you reject this teaching and exalt your personal opinion above the teaching of the Catechism and the Council?

        “The Decree on Ecumenism, which you cite when it suits you, says there in only one Church that fits that description. Do you agree with that or not?” You are paraphrasing. I accept what the Decree says. It seems to me that you pick and choose among the things the Decree says — accepting some and rejecting others — whereas I accept the whole document.

        “I don’t know what you mean by ‘ecumenism’ and ‘the ecumenical movement’” Well, you ought to, because I quoted what the Decree says they are, and that’s what I mean.

        “…but in the real world it means getting together for drinks and dinner, chatting about God for a while, shaking hands and going home. There is no ‘movement toward unity.’” Your opinion. My opinion is that the restoration of unity will be something that will take a long time, just as Protestantism and the East-West schism have been around for a long time. It is ultimately God’s work, in which he can use us as his instruments. It is not for us to dictate the timetable to God or the route by which he must lead us.

        “Are you aware of any Protestant sect that has any interest in discussing reasons to convert to the Catholic Faith? That’s what ecumenism is” No. It’s what is described in the second paragraph of No. 4. As Catholics, we believe that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, all these things will lead to the restoration of unity, which can only be within the Catholic Church.

        “…and it’s not happening today except for the Episcopalians who have been driven to the Church by their presiding bishop’s loopy notions about Christianity.” That’s not ecumenism, as U.R. states in the fourth paragraph of No. 4: “However, it is evident that, when individuals wish for full Catholic communion, their preparation and reconciliation is an undertaking which of its nature is distinct from ecumenical action. But there is no opposition between the two, since both proceed from the marvelous ways of God.” Unlike you, I accept what our bishops said here.

        “…all sin is error.” No. Error resides in the intellect. Sin is in the will. In fact, ignorance mitigates or even eliminates the guilt of wrongful acts. Catechism Nos. 1853, 1859, & 1860

    • Concerned Parent says:

      “We don’t have a common Faith.”

      Correct. Some common elements, obviously, but not a common faith. The four marks of the true Church (One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic) are not present in the Methodist religion.

      “Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of “Church” with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?


      According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery[19] cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense.”

      • Stephens says:

        As we know the documents of Vatican 2 are not dogmatic but rather pastoral in nature. Thank God for that. There are many catechisms of the Catholic church. The latest is full of ambiguous often flowery relativistic language and it has help lead to today’s crisis. Some suggest it was written by Modernists, that is, if you believe in such things as heresy.

  36. Harry Johnson says:

    What I read here in response to the Cardinals kindness and compassion shows very little of a Christlike spirit. It sounds much more like the Pharisees and Sadduccees, very condemning, prideful, narrow minded. Much like the prior to Vatican II church of my youth, full of mean spiritedness and nastiness, abuse. The Pharisees (and the Romans also) thought they had the sole path to righteousness. They felt so strongly about that that they tortured and executed someone over it by crucifixion. You might wish to consider the words and actions of Jesus himself regarding exaltation and humility, about praying in private, about compassion and forgiveness about love for God and your fellow Man being far more important than rituals or cult membership.

  37. No actually you caused a gag reflex-your spin on Jesus’ words and your use of them as a cudgel….brought up some unpleasant effluvia…

    • Harry Johnson says:

      When the words of Jesus make you ill then you have a serious problem. And if you see quotations about humility, acts of compassion and decency as a cudgel then an examination of conscience is definitely in order.

      • The inspired words of Jesus makes me joyous. The twisting of them by a tin-jesus makes me ill.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        Then you need to reread your own words as well as those of Jesus. And consider them thoughtfully and with respect.

      • I suggest you do the same . You can start by admitting that accusing dale of being a warmonger were not Christ-like .

      • Harry Johnson says:

        I have yet to hear either you or Dale say a single thing against the murder of these children once they are adults. All I hear from you is abuse and ad hominem attacks. Nothing christian or decent at all.

      • Your red herring about your love of humanity and hatred of war is as relevant to this posting as a prediction about Sunday’s NFL playoffs would be. Your attack on a commentator as a warmonger is directly in issue. Please man up and admit you were out of line.

      • oh please says:

        physician heal thyself.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        Again none of you have said that I am incorrect in my statement that you support war and torture once the babies are grown yet spout endlessly about abortion. You say I have no way of knowing but none of you have said war is wrong or that the misadventures in iraq or Afghanistan were wrong or that torture in Iraq or Guantanamo is wrong. You just call me names and attack, attack, attack. But in the end I am correct about all of you and your wrong wingnut extremism that jumps up and down in support of war and torture while using abortion as a club against your political opponents. That is tribalism and True Belief not anything at all christlike or spiritual.

      • Harry, You are wrong. This is bit about what you or another person THINKS. The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is morally wrong under all circumstances. That is non-negotiable. Period. That is not the case with war, where in some cases it can be justified. End of story. If you cannot accept that fund yak fact, which apparently you cannot, then please take your comments elsewhere.


      • Harry Johnson says:

        When you place ritual and rules above morality you are in the place of the Pharisees and Sadduccees who Jesus explicitly condemned for precisely that thing. You know every rule. follow every ritual scrupulously to every jot and tittle but completely miss the point behind the rules and rituals. End of story. If you cannot understand that I will pray for you but it will take more than my prayer to bring you to God.

  38. Paul Girouard says:

    I am glad you were not around when Jesus at ewith the TAX men and the prostitues – you would have prov\bably purchased the naissl for his cross.
    Plus you still don’t hve the guts to identify yourself. Guess it is time to sign off from this site,.
    Paul Girouard

    • oh please! says:

      Christ also took a whip and cleared out the temple.

      What about the good lady minister joining us for
      prayer in front of a ‘planned parenthood center’?

      we all know no one goes there to plan a family
      but to deplan a life.

      and it aint no ‘reproductive health’ center neither.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        Do you also go with the priests who protest the torture school in Georgia and the nuns who demonstrate against nuclear weapons or does your all consuming concern with the sanctity of life end at birth?

      • oh, please!,

        Please forgive Mr. Johnson. He believes that you fall short of his Christ-like status unless you proclaim his ideology as the Gospel. Very reminiscent of the “big tin jesus” in Flannery O’Connor’s inspired story “The Lame Shall Enter First.”

      • oh please says:

        We all go where we can be most effective.
        and I believe with Mr. James Joyce
        that the womb should not be a chamber
        of horror.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        And all of you are horribly “concerned” with abortion at least as a club to beat your political opponent but then are dead silent when these same children are grown and sent to be slaughtered or taught to torture. Sepulchres whitened with hyssop all shining on the outside and rotting and putrefaction within.

      • The fact that you celebrate abortion is relevant to a post about a Cardinal and a Methodist Minister only in the fever swamps you inhabit.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        Say that to your buddy who is ranting about abortion as a club to respond to anyone they disagree with.

  39. the good bishop burke says:

    One always grows weary of this Disney theology
    of All Dogs Go To Heaven”

    Dunce Omalley is not suppose to be participating
    in these ceremonies. Vatican II restricts it.

    He can pray with them, but just as the good
    retired Methodist minister above pointed out
    above she does not receive our Communion.

    That is the respectful ecumenical behavior
    that the humble pr friar man aching to pose
    for cameras should adopt.

    • naturgesetz says:

      You say, “Vatican II restricts it,” but it does not forbid it, and it says, at No. 8 of the Decree on Ecumenism, “The course to be adopted, with due regard to all the circumstances of time, place, and persons, is to be decided by local episcopal authority, unless otherwise provided for by the Bishops’ Conference according to its statutes, or by the Holy See.” In this case, the local episcopal authority is Cardinal Seán whom you disrespectfully call “Dunce.”

      Unless you can point to some statute of the USCCB which applies specifically to this situation, or to something specific from the Holy See concerning this sort of thing, I must, in a spirit of fraternal correction, tell you that you are just plain wrong.

  40. Gwen Jones says:

    Religion is a disease and Catholicism is the worst disease of all.

  41. oh please says:

    Thank You Mr Muggeridge.
    I thought your comments to
    that bore were erudite.

    How many people were
    killed by nuclears weapons
    and how many are killed
    by the abortion industry

    The first act of morality is the
    ability to think correctly.

    • Harry Johnson says:

      And the first act of a pharisee is to proudly exalt themselves above all others.

      • As you do in supporting the holocaust of the unborn…

      • Harry Johnson says:

        And you use the unborn as a club to beat your political opponents. You have no concern with them once they are born. It is just a political power game and self righteous arrogance with you. Sepulchres whited with hyssop gleaming on the outside all manner of rottenness and putrefaction within.

      • Not true at all. The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights. Consider this info just put out by Lifenews:

        1.382 million abortions every year 115,167 abortions every month 26,577 abortions every week 3,786 abortions every day 157 abortions every hour 2.6 abortions every minutes

        In Catholic teaching, abortion is unequivocally a moral evil.

        No one here wants to see our soldiers killed in war. But war and abortion are two totally different things. Kindly stop trying to put them on par with each other.


      • We get it. You’ve memorized the anti-Catholic playbook. Come up with some new material. But have mercy no jokes.How about a haiku?

      • Stephen says:

        Got cut off your pony tail.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        But to all of you the “right” to life ends at birth. It is just a political club to you to beat your political opponents. When you excuse war and repeat Augustine’s tedious hair splitting to justify an unconscionable wrong you are no better than a back alley abortionist with a coat hanger. It is all True Belief and cult worship. No spirituality or morality except for the mroality of belonging to the “right” chosen tribe.

  42. John Fisher says:

    Not only does this anointing parody the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation, it is contrary to the fact these Sacraments cannot be given more than once or reaffirmed. Once give they leave an indelible character on the sole. If the Cardinal wants to be basted with oil he call always get some cooking oil from the kitchen as it is about as meaningless. Now he has affirmed fat woman who wants to be a “minister” into thinking her pretence is valid!

    • naturgesetz says:

      This was no more a parody of baptism or an attempt to given again than it is when one blesses oneself with holy water or is sprinkled with it at Mass, both of which are said to remind us of our baptism. At the Easter Vigil we are all invited to renew our baptismal promises, as are the parents and godparents at baptisms of infants.

      And what does oil have to do with it. They didn’t use oil, they used water.

      • Concerned Parent says:

        Whatever they were using, the fact remains that it was an empty, pointless gesture. Rather than running around engaging in scandalous photo-ops with pro-aborts of other faiths, perhaps he ought to be working on correcting the problem of priests in his own churches (Monsignor Garrity and others) who promote the homosexual agenda from the pulpit. Seems like a strange priority on his part to be engaging in a controversial ecumenical ceremony while neglecting the problems in his own back yard.

      • naturgesetz says:

        There is nothing scandalous or controversial to any Catholic who understands the teachings of the Church on ecumenism. Engaging in ecumenical activities is worthwhile, according to Vatican II’s “Unitatis Redintegratio,” and raising the Msgr. Garrity issue — as if going to the Sudbury event keeps him from dealing with it as he judges prudent — is a false dichotomy.

      • Naturegesetz, to many people, this event with the Cardinal had the effect of communicating a sense of parity between the Catholicism and the Methodist faith. It also appears that you are only familiar with some Vatican II documents–not all–and are not familiar with documents from the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II. Furthermore, there is something scandalous about what happened. Stay tuned for our next post, where we will share how Cardinal Sean O’Malley himself described people who act in ways like this Methodist minister has acted as “bordering on scandal.”

      • Concerned Parent says:

        “as if going to the Sudbury event keeps him from dealing with it as he judges prudent — is a false dichotomy”

        Not a false dichotomy when considered as part of a larger pattern of questionable priorities and mixed messages emanating from our leadership vis-a-vis the battle against the “Culture of Death” (of which abortion and homosexuality are both a part). If the Cardinal judges it prudent to engage in religious ceremonies and pose for pictures with those who promote the Culture of Death, and to allow false teachings from the pulpits of his churches, then faithful Catholics have every right to question his prudential judgement.

      • naturgesetz says:

        bci — By now Catholics should realize that ecumenical events such as the one at Sudbury do not imply that the Catholic participants regard the other ecclesial communities involved as equal. Unfortunately, some seem not to have noticed the memo. It is regrettable that you did not correct those who mistakenly saw heresy, blasphemy, indifferentism, rebaptism, or approval of women’s ordination in the Catholic Church as inherent in the event. It seems to me that the unity of the Church around its shepherds, and simple justice to Cardinal Seán in truth, require such corrections; and it’s too bad that it falls to me, an occasional reader, to have to do your job.

        I’ll look forward to the next post. From what you say it sounds as if it will give all the more reason that certain false interpretations should not have been misread into the Sudbury event.

        BTW, I would not claim great familiarity with the documents of Vatican II. I have read the major ones, and when a topic comes up to which they seem relevant, I’ll look them up.

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        naturgesetz, do you know what an enabler is? When any Catholic prelate places himself in the kinds of circumstances the Cardinal did, and by his actions puts heretics on an equal footing with him, or in this case, elevates them to a position above his, no matter how briefly, he is allowing them to think they are actually on an equal footing with Catholic prelates. What about that don’t you understand?

        I have told you Methodists don’t believe baptism absolves the baptized from original sin. You have ignored that fact and just sail on as if your opinion has some validity. It doesn’t. This ceremony, because of the Cardinal’s presence and his enabling of the non-Catholic participants, made the event worse than a parody. It was a farce.

        I asked you to look up the definition of ‘ecumenism.’ Did you do it? What is ‘ecumenism?’ What is the Church’s teaching about ecumenism?

        The ‘Garrity’ matter is pertinent to this one because this one is not the first issue spawned by the Cardinal which has offended faithful Catholics and brought scandal on the Church. Do you know what a priest named Unni is up to at St. Cecelia’s. Do you know who Brian Hehir is, where he comes from, what his teachings are and what his influence on the Cardinal is? Cardinal Sean has a history in this Archdiocese. Are you defending all of it or you ignorant of his history? If this incident in Sudbury were the first of its kind, this thread wouldn’t exist.

      • naturgesetz says:

        ferde —
        I think your spin on what happened — that the Cardinal, momentarily placed the minister in a position of superiority to him, is incorrect. I don’t think she is so stupid as to think that this means that the Cardinal sees her as an equal beyond the equality of all human beings as creatures of God and the equality of all believers in Christ — “neither Jew nor Greek, etc.”

        “I have told you Methodists don’t believe baptism absolves the baptized from original sin.” So what? Everybody there understood that Methodists do not believe everything Catholics believe. Nobody said otherwise, as far as I know. Their baptism is whatever it is, and they were invited to remember it. Our baptism is what it is, and the Catholics were invited to remember that. Your reading stuff into this that just wasn’t there.

        I looked up the definition of ecumenical movement, and quoted it to you. I think that’s the functional equivalent of looking up “ecumenism.”

        I followed the posts and comments about Fr. Unni a couple of years back, and I’ve looked an the two recent ones about Msgr. Garrity. I won’t rehash the Unni matter. About Garrity, I’ll say that if he was saying that the same-sex couple and child(ren) are the equivalent of the Holy Family and this is blasphemous or heretical, then he was also saying that the natural family of mother, father, and child(ren) is the equivalent of the Holy Family, which is equally blasphemous or heretical; yet I didn’t see anybody complaining about his making natural birth equivalent to the Incarnation in the latter case. It’s spin and selective outrage.

  43. A Novel Idea says:

    I think emotion might be forgetting reason a little bit here.
    Back in the 1960s, Pope Paul VI gave the Anglican Archbishop Ramsey his own episcopal ring. Was this a heretical/blasphemous gesture? I’m sure that for some, it was just slightly less than denying the Trinity. But Paul VI was no heretic. No matter how much one may dislike the liturgy he promulgated.

    I’d bet subsequent popes performed similar gestures. Could they have been all wrong, while we remain all right? Has the Holy Spirit really not been getting through to Rome?

    We do reaffirm our baptism at every Easter Vigil; in fact every time we enter our church and dip our finger into the holy water stoup.

    O’Malley is no heretic. But in this situation I think he was insensitive to how his gesture would be perceived. St. Paul did not wish to be “a stumbling block for the blind”, a source of scandal, and so he did not eat meat when he was with those who believed eating meat was wrong. When he was with carnivors, I’m sure Paul filled his plate with all the dark meat and stuffing he could find. But he was sensitive to the consciences of the unweary. And so was O’Malley, in my opinion. May lay Catholics –and maybe even ordained– do not see any real difference between Christian denominations. For some, being Catholic really is no different from being Methodist, other than Catholics have much worse music. Doctrine for many is not crucial. A RC priest and Protestant minister differ only with respect to being married. Even some of our most crucial, core doctrines are being watered down or forgotten. And I think this is dangerous, and certainly no help towards ecumenism.

    I think O’Malley unwittingly affirmed many misconceptions many Catholics hold about the sacraments, ecclesiology and ecumenism. I think he did them and the wider RC church a disservice. And it would not be right for him to say, “Well, if these Catholics were offended or misled, that is their problem. They should know better.” (Not that he did say such a thing.) For as much publicity that service got, and all the misunderstanding his gesture generated, I think it would be proper for him to quite vocally to explain what happened and why. It may help clear their air. And dissipate some real nasty comments.

    I regret that Rev. Roberston has been the target of so much criticism. She certainly well understood what O’Malley was and was not saying. We may not agree with her theology but we owe her every bit of human respect. If we can’t do that perhaps we have not understood our own baptism well enough.

    And I hope O’Malley will be more careful about not being a stumbling block for the blind.

  44. Stephens says:

    A novel idea ,
    An outstanding essay. Indeed, why can’t we all just get along?
    To my knowledge the Vatican has not used the label heresy or heretic since the time of Paul VI. It is only now that Rome seems to be tossing the label about in reference to those who prefer the Latin Mass or hold the outlandish position that sodomites need to repent.

    You mockingly ask; “Has the Holy Spirit really not been getting through to Rome?” I’d suggest you offer that question to some Christians in the Middle East who are seeing neighbors heads lopped off and their churches burned to the ground.

    If “core doctrines are being watered down or forgotten” you have fallen from Grace and need to seek confession and get back on board the ark. It is really not that complicated?

    Cardinal O’Malley has created a bind in his latest parody of himself. It begs the question “what the hell were you thinking?”
    Were we having problems with Methodist /Catholic relations nobody knew about? It was like your Father meeting your 8th grade teacher for the first time, and he kisses her on the lips. The human response is to run far and fast away from the icky. I don’t get it, and I suspect many don’t.

    And finally your thoughts and apologies to Ms. Roberson. Where are they coming from? She is a victim of a colossal faux pas that is about it. As far as owing her ‘every bit of human respect’, to put her church on the same footing as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic one in neither charitable nor honest.

  45. warren Goddard says:

    Hollyboardmam; Madam, The Nicene Creed; One- faith, Holy- the only means of salvation, Catholic- universal, Apostolic-from the apostles.The term “Roman Catholic” is not a proper name for the Catholic Church though one often feels constrained to use it to avoid ambiguity since the Episcopalians like to style themselves “Anglo-Catholics” and the Greek orthodox have at times been called “Greek Catholics”. Yet neither the Anglicans nor the Greeks can manage to call themselves simply “Catholics” lest they be mistaken for us who are recognized by all as Catholics without qualification. The Catholic Church is indeed the Roman Church or the Church whose visible head is the Pope in Rome, but the use of the name “Roman Catholic” is at best a condescension to others who would falsely claim the name “Catholic”.
    Furthermore, there is no religion called Christianity and there never has been such a religion. There is and always has been the Church, and various heresies proceeding from a rejection of some of the Church’s doctrines by men who still desire to retain the rest of her teaching and morals. When St. Peter appointed Ignatius Bishop of Antioch (A.D. 69) the Church was still called but the Church, as in “And he is the head of the body, the church” Colossians 1:18. Bishop Ignatius wrote a letter in Greek to the faithful, and in contradistinction to dissidents existing even at that early time, he addressed it to the Church Universal — the Katholikos Ecclesiam –the Catholic Church. So from then until now there exists but the Colossians 1:18 Body of Christ Church and separate non-Catholic religions.

  46. […] ecumenism right,” some conservative Catholic bloggers expressed themselves “stunned” by O’Malley’s “farcical […]

  47. Harry Johnson says:

    A man died and went to Heaven. Saint Peter was taking him on his tour of the grounds orienting him and showing all the wonders that would be his for all eternity. After endless wonders and beauties beyond anything we can comprehend. They came to a tall wall around a beautiful garden. There was a group of people there keeping all to themselves, ignoring the man and ignoring Saint Peter. And while they had a beautiful garden they were missing out on most of the glories of heaven. He asked Saint Peter “Who are those people and what are they doing apart from all the others?” Saint Peter said “Oh those are the Catholics. They think that they are the only one’s here.”

    • Stephens says:

      I think we have our answer.
      The Huffington Post article was the reason for the photo op.

      • Joyful Noise says:

        Yes, and I posted about this angle days ago. See here:

        “joyful noise says:
        January 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm

        Aside from the religious objections here, I find this action awkward and forced, given Cardinal O’Malley. Have viewed lots of photos of him on trips and at events over the years and have always noted that he surrounds himself with men only. Just an observation, not an accusation. He attended seminary at the tender age of 12 so his comfort with and reliance on women is nonexistent, I suspect. I think this was far from spontaneous. As a woman, I am very unimpressed. He has achieved nothing other than providing fodder for a blog or two. He may mean well but . . .”

        Odd that the usual bloggers here remain silent on the Cardinal’s blatant attempt to “elevate” the status of women. Also, if the Pope had done this, he would have been wildly heralded as enlightened. It is all in the context of the actor’s life and history. Cardinal O’Malley simply does not have the track record or history (yet) to pull this off.

        Just my .02 as a professional woman.

      • Stephen says:

        As a follow-up on the Huffington Post connection. The reflex time on the article and three paragraphs from Ms. Ministers blog strongly points to this being prearranged, or at least very deliberately capitalized on. To offer the type of internet publication this is: check this

        When people like this are cheering you on you should probably check in with the Communion of Saints, in fear and trembling.

      • naturgesetz says:

        Stephen and Stephens —

        The event occurred on January 12. The Huffington Post article appeared five days later, on January 17, and it notes that there had already been articles in the Boston Globe and National Review Online, and well as negative reaction from individuals. This blogpost was published on January 15, two days in advance of the Huffington Post article. So the HP article was certainly not a rapid response. If the “anointing” had been prearranged with them, they could have posted much sooner.

        They hadn’t known in advance of the day that there would be an overflow crowd that would be in the side room, so the Cardinal couldn’t have known before the event that Rev. Robertson would be passing by him. As Rev. Robertson gives the background in her blog:
        “As the time drew close and it became clear that there would be a large crowd, Joel [the pastor of the church] prepared an overflow room in another part of the church with a live feed of the sanctuary on a large screen. But this presented a problem for the liturgy. The Reaffirmation calls for the people to come forward and to receive the sign of the cross on their foreheads from the blessed waters in the baptismal font. Cardinal O’Malley and Bishop Devadhar would be doing the honors for those in the sanctuary, but the logistics of the overflow room were problematic. To address that, Joel had me and a Catholic priest in attendance suit up as the B Team to take the water to the overflow room and anoint the folks in there.”

        Thus, the Cardinal’s request to her was, as she puts it, “A completely spontaneous moment.”

        To call it a photo-op or to suggest that it was prearranged is not supported by the facts as they are known.

        As for its being capitalized on — it’s certainly being capitalized on by some people here as an excuse to badmouth their bishop. As for the Globe and the HP, it looks to me like something they treated as a feel-good story, saying something nice about the Church instead of more negativity.

    • Keep your day job, a joker you are, not a joke writer.
      This may be your first honest posting. You declare yourself as an anti-Catholic. Previously you lacked the integrity to say so, disguising yourself as an uneducated, misled Catholic. You’re showing a little growth. See, being honest isn’t so hard.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        And you are one of those who believes he will be the only one there. It will be an awfully lonely place but you will be happy knowing you are better than everyone else for all eternity.

      • Wrong. To be an effective anti-Catholic you need to get more of the lingo down. Assuming I’m going to end up in heaven is the sin of presumption. I assume nothing.

      • Harry Johnson says:

        presumption is your middle name. It is a sin to look down on other people for not belonging to your cult. And it is a sin to put scrupulous ritual, rite and cant ahead of respect, compassion and kindness. You will fit in well with the rest of us sinners.

  48. […] Cardinal O'Malley has baptism “reaffirmed” by Methodist minister … […]

  49. Ganzalo says:

    The plethora of negative and uneducated comments about this simple and beautuful happening that took place at an eccumenical event are just one more reason the Catholic church ranks right up there with the rest of the religious cults. And yes, it is a cult run by men who dictate what you are to believe and not believe and very little of these teachings are rooted in those of the Bible. It uses fear and superstition to control and turns its back on those who challenge it. It is the wealthiest corporation in the world. It is more concerned with gold embellishments, over the top flamboyant costumes, elaborate statues and praying to false Gods. Everything Christ worked against. Shameful, sinful and embarrassing.

    • Another anti-Catholic building their self-esteem by raging against their hate object. This is a syndrome that needs to be studied clinically.

    • oh please says:

      The ‘negative uneducated’ describes your comments perfectly.

    • Ferde Rombola says:

      There are lots of avenues to irrelevancy, Ganzalo, Congratulations on finding yours.

      Parenthetically, if you really want to be a modern, with-it anti-Catholic bigot, you should dump the moth-eaten rhetoric and think up some new and flashy insults. Four year old Baptists can recite your by heart.

  50. Mark Seminn says:

    My sister had said one day it does not matter denomination you are although we are Catholic it’s what path in our lives we take to get there. My stepfather is Lutheran and would never think his faith wouldn’t allow him into the kingdom of heaven. I applaud this Cardinal of this Ecumunical gesture.

  51. I see the Catholic liturgical Pharisees are out in full force again!

  52. It’s amusing that each village atheist, village secularist and village anti-Catholic has memorized the same talking points spoon fed by their favorite support group websites. The unthinking/uniform nature of their comments is right out of Orwell.

    • oh please says:

      You said it. The Church also has an insight in
      recognizing that some people are ‘invincibly

  53. justme says:

    For those who are anti-Catholic, please explain the incorruptibles
    that have existed over the last 400 yrs. For example, Mother Marriana died 1640. When her body was to be moved to a new convent, the nuns discovered that her body was as if she was asleep. No corruption occurred in her body.

    • Liam says:

      FWIW, Incorruptibility is not limited to Catholics saints. There are non-Catholic incorruptibles, too, that have not been mummified or dessicated. The phenomenon is known among Buddhist lamas, for example.

  54. Stephen says:

    Harry Johnson,
    I’m sorry you have been sold the lie that being a Catholic man is about being a ‘good guy’. Conscientious objectors don’t win wars. It may make you and the ladies feel uncomfortable but men have been engaged in war in one form or another since the beginning of time. As a fat post Vatican 2 do-gooder engaged in beard growing and reminiscing about how your generation ended the Vietnam war and brought to the secular alter, the human sacrifice of abortion you need to smell the coffee of reality.

    The men and he-women serving in today’s military are volunteers fighting for a cause and a career. In my first hand experience with many of them they are virtuous recovering warriors. It is sad that your globalist girly President has created essentially an American ‘french foreign legion’ because his foreign policy is so feeble. It is however, what it is.

    The accusation that those who protest, reject and recognize abortion as the scourge of our time are somehow hypocritical because they don’t think putting daisies into to rifle barrels is the way to go is simply stupid.

    I suspect Harry that you have neither stood outside an abortion clinic nor carried a weapon for work. If you had or at least known men who have, you would know deep down inside that the difference is only the field of engagement. There is a reason for the term Church Militant.

    Those who refuse to protect the innocent are not worthy of the protection of the righteous.

    Move along Harry, you’ve been cut from the team.

    • Harry Johnson says:

      99 percent of the wars are not about protecting the innocent but about taking what others have. Just as the whining from your gang about abortion is not about protecting the innocent but about scoring political points against the “other team”. In fact most of this whining and discussion from your gang is about being on the “right team” not about doing the right thing. The comments about Cardinal O’Malley are a case in point. He did something fundamentally christian, respectful and compassionate and you whiners squeal as if he were torturing cats or people. In fact you scream louder about his compassionate act than you do about torture of people. And those that whine about abortion while not opposing war, torture or capital punishment are not pro life they are part of a gang trying to beat up the other gang. This is pharisaism not christianity.

      • oh please says:

        Abortion is not a issue of politics
        lives are eliminated! It transcends
        your god of politics.Move on
        your pretense at being remotely
        christian has been shattered by
        the majority of commentators.

      • Harry,
        You keep repeating the same exact tired thing with different words, despite BCI and multiple readers trying to convey both Catholic teachings on this issue and the logic that shows the flaws in your reasoning. You have shared your opinions, and it is clear you have nothing new to say. Please kindly take your comments elsewhere. We will make it easy for you by moderating your comments going forward.

      • Thanks moderator for not allowing this site to become the playground for secularist and anti-Catholic trolls. The absurdity of rabid secularists dictating to, and attempting to browbeat, faithful Catholics, on internal Catholic matters is beyond arrogant.

  55. Lazarus' Table says:

    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”

    ― Fulton J. Sheen
    I wonder…. I wonder how many Catholic in the United States love what they wrongly preceive the Catholic Church to be?

  56. I just read through this entire comments thread and my decision to leave Catholicism two decades ago has been decidedly reaffirmed. The largely insular, smug, self-righteous, intolerant bunch opining above are indeed sorry exemplars of the greatest of all Christian virtues. Pride goeth before a fall people, pride goeth before a fall . . . .

    • Ms. Trivialino:

      Obviously you reject the perennial teachings of the Magisterium and seek to ratiionalize your rejection by finding the mote in your brother’s and sister’s eye. I applaud your integrity to the extent that you’re not disguising yourself as a faithful Catholic

    • oh please says:

      Love is difficult but it makes things possible.

      • Indeed it does–I agree. Conversely, hostility and rejection engender only impossibility. Very few are inclined to follow an invitation couched as “my way or the highway.”.

  57. Stephens says:

    If you are confirmed in your lack of faith by reading a blog, you should perhaps dig a bit deeper.

  58. Mary Sweeney says:

    From Francis, Bishop of Rome… If the shoe fits…

    “Self-absorbed “promethean neopelagianism.”

    Thankfully, Francis clarifies the meaning of this phenomenon. These persons “observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past.” They assume a doctrinal and disciplinary superiority that leads to “a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying.”

    • Fascinating. A call for “non-judgmentalism, compassion, and non-rigidity” that insists on corralling all those who diasgree under a phrase of Pope Francis that decried the excesses of extreme traditionalists who reject the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass. This phrase could very easily be turned to indict your joyfulness in placing people in neat little boxes.

      • naturgesetz says:

        It is always a possibility that the tax collector in the temple could pray, “I thank you Lord that I am not like other men — like this rigid, legalistic, judgmental Pharisee.” We all need to guard against that basic human temptation.

        That said, it seems to me that the words quoted by Mary Sweeney can apply more broadly than just to extreme liturgical traditionalists, and that those who are bound to find fault with Cardinal Seán by spinning the meaning of a legitimate ecumenical event and a gesture within that event into “heresy,” “blasphemy,” support for ordination of women by the Catholic Church, scandal, indifferentism, etc. can well be considered to fit the definition.

        The Pharisee (cf. the gospel of Monday’s and today’s Masses) is still a Pharisee — clinging to old ways of thinking which were adapted to earlier times but that God is calling us to rethink under new circumstance. And no, I am not talking about abandoning dogma; I am talking about an ecumenical movement which would have been unthinkable 150 years ago; I am talking about being able to see that dialogue and ecumenical activity are not inherently indifferentism. I am talking about realizing that the non-dogmatic pronouncements of Pius IX and Pius X carry no more weight than those of Vatican II and Pope Francis. In fact to the extent that they are responses to the conditions in which those Popes lived and the mindsets of those times, the earlier Popes’ pronouncements would carry less weight than the Council’s and our present Pope’s.

      • Mary Sweeney says:

        I did not see the quotation as referring to Liturgy, but rather a mindset which is constantly operative.

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        naturgesetz said:

        “…the earlier Popes’ pronouncements would carry less weight than the Council’s and our present Pope’s.”

        Bullseye!! My friend, you have put your finger on the real problem in the Church today.

    • Ferde Rombola says:

      LOL! Mary, let the Holy Father spend as much time as I have trying to lead Protestants to the truth and he’ll know just how effective evangelizing can be. Most Protestants of my experience, all, in fact, have their heads in the sand up to their shoulders. They are not interested in evangelism.

      If the Pope wants to get into some real evangelizing, let him get started on his bishops. Begin in Boston.

      • naturgesetz says:

        I understand you to be saying that you have spent considerable time “trying to lead Protestants to the truth,” and have had zero success, a result which you see as occurring because, “[t]hey are not interested in evangelism.”

        In light of the fact that the people you mentioned in another comment, and many others, do convert from Protestantism to Catholicism, it is worth considering the possibility that your style of evangelizing is not well adapted to winning contemporary Protestants the the Catholic faith. Perhaps your negativity toward Protestantism — your inability to see and acknowledge any elements of good in it, as expressed by your comments here — may be a part of the problem.

      • Mary Sweeney says:

        “They assume a doctrinal and disciplinary superiority that leads to “a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism…” This seems to encapsulate your comment well.

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        Mary Sweeney: “They assume a doctrinal and disciplinary superiority that leads to “a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism…” This seems to encapsulate your comment well.

        Well, no. Except for the narcissistic part, it encapsulates ME well. I definitely have a doctrinal and disciplinary superiority compared to you and people like you, who would rather, it seems, that the Church had no doctrines at all. Besides, if I’m out of line here, I’d rather err on the side of doctrinal orthodoxy than on the weak, sort of, cafeteria Catholic who isn’t a Catholic at all.

        Isn’t judgementalism against your religion?

    • Concerned Parent says:

      If the shoe fits…

      “Self-absorbed “promethean neopelagianism.”

      Is this “trickle-down” invective now considered an acceptable detraction when directed toward those within the Church who have legitimate concerns and questions regarding the actions of the hierarchy? Seems hypocritical to be concerned about ecumenism while condoning mockery of those within the fold.

      • I don’t recall our religious left crusaders labelling those who routinely vilified BXVI as a “Hitler Youth”…..or who made repulsive remarks about his “designer” red papal slippers and his “handsome” bodyguard. It seems the inquisitors of calumny were on sabbatical for these outrages.

  59. The Pope’s use of the phrase struck me as imprecise and polemical., and as such ill advised. FYI: The Pelagian heresy has been used for centuries to denigrate religious liberalism, sometimes fairly, sometimes not. I’m not surprised that the religious Left would seize the opportunity to re-tool it.

  60. Stephens says:

    Pius X firmly identified a heresy.
    Relativism, a strong yet erroneous thread through much of Vatican 2 suggests that The Church must be ‘current’ and that truth somehow changes with the times. The Church and Christ transcends time.

    • naturgesetz says:

      God alone is transcendent. All creatures, including the Church, are contingent.

      • naturgesetz says:

        It isn’t that truth changes, but that we humans are finite, and our understanding of truth is necessarily finite. Because our understanding is finite, it is always capable of development and clarification.

        Blessed Pope John XXIII well understood that to be heard by the people of any age, the Church must speak the truth in ways that they can readily understand.

      • Stephen says:

        Half right.
        The Church is not one of his creatures.
        It is a unique earthly structure: the Bride of Christ.
        It is the vehicle through which Christ truly comes to us
        Body Blood Soul and Divinity. (Although it appears such belief has fallen out of favor with the hand holding V2 crowd)
        There is no other institution that makes such a claim.

        Also, “our understanding of truth is necessarily finite” and there is the confrontation of Faith and Reason. (see previous posts on problems of theology without metaphysics)

        “Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.” Dewey Reims 11:1

        A belief in the contingency of humanity is to deny the first order of things; The sanctity of human life, made possible only through the incarnation. ( thanks Fr. Pavone, a true Saint of our Time)

        Put that in your pro-choice pipe Harry.

  61. Now that he’s a Methodist, does he get to remain a Cardinal Archbishop? Does the Methodist church have Cardinals? Has he made a formal announcement of his conversion/apostasy?

    • Ferde Rombola says:

      There is one mitigating factor in the Cardinal’s defense. He did read a passage from the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism which puts him and the Methodists in the proper prospective:

      “Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communities present themselves as the inheritors of Jesus Christ; all, indeed profess to be followers of the Lord, but they differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided.”

      He’s obviously aware of the differences, even if he doesn’t act like he is.

  62. Mary Sweeney says:

    Francis of Assisi, after returning from the now-famous peaceful encounter with Sultan Malek al-Kamil in Damietta, Egypt, around 1219 during the Fifth Crusade, instructed his brother friars when going among Muslims or other non-Christians to live “spiritually among them” and “not to engage in arguments or disputes but to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake” (Regula non bullata, Ch. XVI). It is for this reason that Pope John Paul II called a multitude of religious leaders from all around the world to Assisi in October 1986 for an interreligious prayer service for peace.[From: New York Franciscans, Pope Francis, and The New Yorker.

    I don’t think that many on this blog would have liked St. Francis, or many of our other Saints. This should be cause for pause…

    • Sweeney’s Court is now in session. So far you’ve found guilt for “neo-pelagianism”, intolerance, calumny, anti-ecumenism, hatred of bishops and now anti-St. Francis of Assisi tendencies. The Pharisees and Sadducees and the Spanish Inquisitors would be jealous of your ability to read into the hearts of those who differ with you. What is the sentence for these outrages? Banishment a la Andrew Cuomo? Assignmnt to a re-education camp? Forced attendance at saccharine ecumenical services?

    • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

      You ONLY listed HALF of what St Francis said in the Regula non bullata, conveniently the half to make your point. St Francis’ emphasis was on that they were Chrisitans. The WHOLE thing says…

      6. One way is not to engage in arguments or disputes, but to be subject to every hu¬man creature for God’s sake (1 Pet 2:13) and to acknowledge that they are Christians. 7. Another way is to proclaim the word of God when they see that it pleases the Lord, so that they believe in the all-powerful God—Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit—the Creator of all, in the Son Who is the Redeemer and Savior, and that they be baptized and become Christians; because whoever has not been born again of water and the Holy Spirit cannot enter into the kingdom of God (cf. Jn 3:5).

      One point here at the time this was written the ONLY Christians were the Catholic Christians….

      Personally, at this point, I’ll go with the words of Bl. Catherine Emmerich

      September 12, 1820

      “I saw a strange church being built against every rule…No angels were supervising the building operations. In that church, nothing came from high above…There was only division and chaos. It is probably a church of human creation, following the latest fashion, as well as the new heterodox Church of Rome, which seems of the same kind…” 17

      “I saw again the strange big church that was being built there (in Rome). There was nothing holy in it. I saw this just as I saw a movement led by Ecclesiastics to which contributed angels, saints and other Christians. But there (in the strange big church) all the work was being done mechanically (i.e., according to set rules and formulae). Everything was being done, according to human reason. I saw all sorts of people, things, doctrines, and opinions. There was something proud, presumptuous, and violent about it, and they seemed to be very successful. I did not see a single Angel nor a single saint helping in the work. But far away in the background, I saw the seat of a cruel people armed with spears, and I saw a laughing figure which said: ‘Do build it as solid as you can; we will put it to the ground’.” 18

      “I saw that many of the instruments in the new Church, such as spears and darts, were meant to be used against the living Church. Everyone dragged in something different: clubs, rods, pumps, cadgels, puppets, mirrors, trumpets, horns bellows – all sorts of things. In the cave below (the sacristy) some people kneaded bread, but nothing came of it; it would not rise. The men in the little mantles brought wood to the steps of the pulpit to make a fire. They puffed and blew and laboured hard, but the fire would not burn. All they produced was smoke and fumes. Then they broke a hole in the roof and ran up a pipe, but the smoke would not rise, and the whole place became black and suffocating. Some blew the horns so violently that the tears streamed from their eyes. All in this church belonged to the earth, returned to the earth. All was dead, the work of human skill, a church of the latest style, a church of man’s invention like the new heterodox church in Rome” 19

      — Bl. Catherine Emmerich

      • Mary Sweeney says:

        Emmerich was beatified on October 3, 2004 by Pope John Paul II.[1] However, the Vatican focused on her own personal piety and set the books written by Brentano aside while analysing the cause for her beatification, given that “It is absolutely not certain that she ever wrote this”.[7][8]

      • winslow1191 says:

        Whether she wrote it or not, you must admit it’s prophetic up to today’s date. 

      • naturgesetz says:

        It doesn’t seem to me to be at all prophetic about what’s going on within the Catholic Church.

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        If you don’t like Bl. Catherine Emmerich then you can look at the Church approved Our Lady of Quito prophecies. They are pretty similar.

        And, of course, since they are private revelations you may choose to ignore them…

      • patrick says:

        very good and vital clarification
        by Capt Crunch that Francis told them to stand
        out as Christians not to follow.

        Cardinals are suppose to lead!

      • Mary Sweeney says:

        “Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium[collective sense of the faithful] knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church. Christian faith cannot accept ‘revelations’ that claim to surpass or correct the revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such ‘revelations’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 67).

      • naturgesetz says:

        patrick — you say, “Cardinal’s are supposed to lead!” So follow him!

    • Initially the Sultan was determined to slay St. Francis but was moved by his incredible Faith to spare his life. Our good Cardinal risked a poor camera angle for his photo-op.

      Somehow I rather doubt that those on the religious left, who accuse others of “not liking” St. Francis, would approach Muslims in his manner. It’s less risky (and more self-satisfying) to slash and burn faithful Catholics.

      • oh please says:

        Francis was faithful and believed and the Moslems
        were struck by it.

        That is what belief does it makes us stand out and
        preach the Truth of Christ which is vested in the Roman
        Catholic Church.

        Cardinal O’malley (sorry – ‘cardinal sean’, the former too authoratative and outstanding) does not stand out. He falls in and his ecumenism is to
        render the Faith as St. Francis understood it meaningless and bland.

        His belief is to suck up to the world and preach that we will not stand up
        for what we believe in the hopes of government subsidies and favorable
        mentions in the media which to the faithful Roman Catholic amount to
        less than nothing.

      • Mary Sweeney says:

        “Somehow I rather doubt that those on the religious left, who accuse others of “not liking” St. Francis, would approach Muslims in his manner.”

        Guessing that I might be the one referenced above. It is phrased as a “hypothetical”. I lived overseas for 21 years and had many Muslim friends and students. Please expand on your life credentials.

      • I’m not sure what “life credentials” are. I won’t take the bait and transform this into a “i’m better at life than you”, richard sherman/skip bayless exchange ( ) . I breathe. I have consciousness. I’m endowed with a soul. However, If this is a job interview I can forward my professional credentials under separate cover.

        I’ll admit that (unlike St. Francis) I have never walked into an armed Muslim camp, during a crusade or during one of our modern interminable wars in Islamic countries, and attempted to convert Muslims to Christianity. St. Francis asserted the justness of the Fifth Crusade and specifically called the Muslims to salvation through conversion to the Roman Catholic Faith. And he and his companion were severely beaten and prepped for execution by the imams present.The effect of his witness on the Sultan was amazing and he was spared.

        If you have espoused the Truth of the Roman Catholic Faith to your Muslim friends and students then I withdraw my comments. That would be admirable (however not on the level of St. Francis heroic virtue, of course) However, if you merely engaged them in exchanges along indifferent, relativist, historicist and syncretist “comparative religion” lines then I stand by my statement that you are a true daughter of the religious left.

  63. Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

    The future….

    • Michael Brennick says:

      These services remind me of Malcolm Muggeridge’s description of being the editor of Britain’s satirical Punch magazine and the difficulty of trying to satirize the foolish antics of clerics. Muggeridge delayed his entry into the Roman Catholic Church due to it’s embrace of the same kind of absurdity during the 60s and 70s.

      “The eminent so often say and do things which are infinitely more ridiculous than anything you can invent for them. That might not sound to you like a terrible difficulty but it is, believe me, the main headache of the editor of an ostensibly humorous magazine. You go to great trouble to invent a ridiculous Archbishop of Canterbury and give him ridiculous lines to say and then suddenly he rises in his seat at the theatre [at a performance of Godspell] and shouts out: “Long live God” . . . which, as I reflected at the time, was like shouting, “carry on eternity” or “keep going infinity” . . . And you’re defeated, you’re broken.”

  64. Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

    “The Second Vatican Council was the main event in the Church in the 20th Century. In principle, it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council.”

    — Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga at Synod Closing Assembly

  65. Stephen says:

    Isn’t that like saying “we had a meeting and agreed in principle, to an end to the hostilities between the sheep and the wolf”?

  66. naturgesetz says:

    So sit back and enjoy the ride. 🙂

  67. Michael Brennick says:

    Blessed John Henry Newman, the greatest prose stylist of the 19th century, summed it up beautifully:

    “Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. Devotion is not necessarily founded on faith. Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither. They may fraternize together in spiritual thoughts and feelings, without having any views at all of doctrine in common, or seeing the need of them. Since, then, religion is so personal a peculiarity and so private a possession, we must of necessity ignore it in the intercourse of man with man. If a man puts on a new religion every morning, what is that to you? It is as impertinent to think about a man’s religion as about his sources of income or his management of his family. Religion is in no sense the bond of society.”

  68. naturgesetz says:

    opes John XXIII and John Paul II], enabled ecumenical dialogue to become an essential dimension of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, so that today the Petrine ministry cannot be fully understood without this openness to dialogue with all believers in Christ. We can say also that the journey of ecumenism has allowed us to come to a deeper understanding of the ministry of the Successor of Peter, and we must be confident that it will continue to do so in the future. As we look with gratitude to the progress which the Lord has enabled us to make, and without ignoring the difficulties which ecumenical dialogue is presently experiencing, let us all pray that we may put on the mind of Christ and thus progress towards the unity which he wills. And to journey together is already to be making unity!” Pope Francis, January 25, 2014

    • naturgesetz says:

      Somehow, the internet decided to leave off the beginning of the quote in my preceding reply. It begins:
      “The work of these, my predecessors, [Popes John XXIII …”

      The whole paragraph is good, but I especially call your attention to the following lines:
      “ecumenical dialogue …[is]… an essential dimension of the ministry of the [Pope]”
      “And to journey together is already to be making unity!”

  69. naturgesetz says:

    To all who have accused Cardinal Seán of heresy, blasphemy or some other offense, the words of the Apostle James which appeared in today’s Morning Prayer are worth bringing to prayer and reflection:

    “Do not speak evil of one another, brothers.” James 4:11

    (Verses 11 and 12 were quoted in full in the liturgy, but this sentence makes the point.)

    • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

      So let me understand your statement above.

      We are to take one line of scripture above, apply it to this situation and only in the way that you decide to interpret it. Why isn’t the converse true? Why aren’t the comments such as “hateful, pharisee, sadducee, liar, etc. etc. etc.” all relevant to the same scripture? You point is not to judge all the while judging…

      The people here that have criticized Cardinal Sean have done so because what he did is inconsistent with the REAL Catholic Teaching on ecuminism. Which is also scriptural…

      Please refer to Galations 2:11

      “11 But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong. ”

      Catholics can play the “twist a single line of scripture to support an agenda” game too. We USUALLY choose not to because it is folly. It results in endless unresolvable conflicts such as this…

      Scripture and Tradition…

      • naturgesetz says:

        CC aka CD —

        You are right, of course, that the verse from James applies to all of us.

        Nobody here has pointed out how what Cardinal Seán did is inconsistent with Unitatis Redintegratio, which is the real Catholic teaching on ecumenism. A few people have played the “twist a single line of [Unitatis Redintegratio] to support an agenda” game, or tried to trump it with earlier, non-dogmatic papal statements, but their efforts do not establish that the Cardinal did anything wrong.

        It grieves me that people who consider themselves good Catholics are expending such an effort to give themselves a reason to hold their bishop in contempt. What’s happening here seems to me to be totally contrary to the way Catholics should think, speak, and act about their bishop. (cf. the epistles of St. Ignatius of Antioch)

        (And if you think I’m speaking ill of someone, I claim the Galatians privilege.)

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        “Nobody here has pointed out how what Cardinal Seán did is inconsistent with Unitatis Redintegratio, ”

        Not once but TWICE I’ve pointed this out:

        First Time:
        Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:
        January 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm
        Actually I did miss part of the last 50 years, I’m not 50 years old!

        11. The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded.

        At the same time, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand.

        Moreover, in ecumenical dialogue, Catholic theologians standing fast by the teaching of the Church and investigating the divine mysteries with the separated brethren must proceed with love for the truth, with charity, and with humility. When comparing doctrines with one another, they should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a “hierarchy” of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith. Thus the way will be opened by which through fraternal rivalry all will be stirred to a deeper understanding and a clearer presentation of the unfathomable riches of Christ.(34)

        Second Time:
        Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:
        January 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm
        I posted the same link 4 days ago, Read 11.

        renical has become a commonly used adjective to design an idealist and pacific conception, such as the democratic peace theory.

        The point is ireniscism.

        False irenicism or false eirenism is an expression used in certain 20th-century documents of the Catholic Church to criticize attempts at ecumenism that would allow Catholic doctrine to be distorted or clouded. Documents using the term include the encyclical Humani Generis, promulgated by Pope Pius XII in 1950, and the Second Vatican Council’s 1964 Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio.

  70. Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

    More statistics…

    From the looks of these statistics the only solution Catholics will have in the future are the SSPX, CMRI or Willing Shepherds. That’s what the statistics are pointing to now go ahead call me hateful, scrupulous, liar, whatever…

    Marginalizing Catholicism it NOT the ANSWER!

    • Concerned Parent says:

      “The current crisis in the Church is distinct from those of the past above all in the fact that it is the highest authorities in the Church themselves who have unleashed this crisis, who maintain it, and who prevent the implementation of effective measures for its resolution…. From time to time priests and bishops have departed from the True Faith. But never, as in our times, have errors and the public negation of truths of the Faith been spread abroad thanks to the tolerance, approbation, and even the active efforts of the Roman authorities and the episcopate throughout the world.”

      Fr. Matthias Gaudron, “The Catechism of the Crisis In the Church”

      • Mary Sweeney says:

        Great CV you’ve got there… Fr. Matthias Gaudron was ordained a priest of the SSPX by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais in 1990. For 12 years he was rector of the International Seminary of the Sacred Heart in Zaitzkofen (Bavaria). He is currently serving at the Priory of St. Peter in Berlin.

        If you don’t know the history of the SSPX, suggest you read the link.

      • Concerned Parent says:

        So is it your point that anyone affiliated with the SSPX is incapable of uttering a true statement? I am not affiliated with the SSPX but it’s clear to me that “errors and the public negation of truths of the Faith been spread abroad thanks to the tolerance, approbation, and even the active efforts of the Roman authorities and the episcopate throughout the world”. Why attack the messenger rather than face the reality of the problem?

    • Stephen says:

      Some suggest it is the only solution we have in the present. All thinking Catholics should be aware of these three ‘fringe’ groups and at least understand what they claim. Most will be surprised to know that all three have a growing presence in Boston.

      • naturgesetz says:

        Schism is sinful. Catholics who think that the magisterium of the Church is leading the faithful astray in matters of settled doctrine should ask themselves who appointed them to judge their God-given teachers. Who appointed them as the standard of orthodoxy to whom their Pope and bishops must bow? They’ve got it backwards.

      • Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

        “Schism is sinful.”

        Then what’s keeping you from coming home to the the One True Catholic Apostolic Church?

  71. Stephen says:

    The Magisterium is the body of knowledge and wisdom through the ages. True it can not lead us astray. Heretics within the hierarchy can and have many many times through history. What has happened to the Church since Vatican 2 is unprecedented.

    You are going to have to reconcile the quote from one of the 8 Cardinals.
    “…an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism”

    It implies The Church has embraced a true Heresy, Modernism. This clearly would suggest that a heresy identified by the Magisterium and
    a Saint and Pope is now not a problem, because The Church has changed its mind on it.


    The three quaint fringe Catholic groups mentioned offer valid sacraments except marriage and confession. They are not licit, I think they are the only entities in our culture that are not at this point.

  72. Capt Crunch aka Collateral Damage says:

    Excellent summary of the Catholic position…

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