Cardinals Discuss Pentecostal Threats

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Nekita Lamour
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Cardinals Discuss Pentecostal Threats

Post by Nekita Lamour » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:15 am

Cardinals Discuss Pentecostal Threats

By NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press
Friday, November 23, 2007; 1:30 PM

VATICAN CITY -- The Roman Catholic Church must figure out what it is doing wrong in the battle for souls, because so many Catholics are leaving the church to join Pentecostal and other evangelical movements, a top Vatican cardinal said Friday.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, who heads the Vatican's office for relations with other Christians, told a meeting of the world's cardinals that the church must undergo a "self-critical pastoral examination of conscience" to confront the "exponential" rise of Pentecostal movements.


"We shouldn't begin by asking ourselves what is wrong with the Pentecostals, but what our own pastoral shortcomings are," Kasper told the gathering, noting that such evangelical and charismatic groups count 400 million faithful around the world.

The Vatican has been increasingly lamenting the rise of Protestant evangelical communities, which it describes as "sects," in Latin America, Africa and elsewhere, and the resulting flight of Catholics. In Brazil alone, Roman Catholics used to account for about 90 percent of the population in the 1960s; by 2005, it was down to 67 percent.

Kasper's comments came on the eve of Saturday's ceremony to elevate 23 new cardinals. As he did during his first consistory in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI asked the world's cardinals to come to Rome early for a meeting to discuss church concerns.

This year, Kasper briefed the cardinals on relations with other Christians, focusing on the church's relations with the Orthodox, Protestants and Pentecostal movements.
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Kasper said the rise of independent, often "aggressive" evangelical movements in Africa and elsewhere had complicated the church's ecumenical task. Nevertheless, Kasper told reporters that "ecumenism is not an option but an obligation."

Kasper opened his remarks by updating the cardinals and cardinal-designates on an important new document approved by a Vatican-Orthodox theological commission that has been working to heal the 1,000-year schism between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

In the document, Catholic and Orthodox representatives both agreed that the pope has primacy over all bishops _ although they disagreed over just what authority that primacy gives him.

The development is significant since the Great Schism of 1054 _ which split the Catholic and Orthodox churches _ was precipitated largely by disagreements over the primacy of the pope.

Kasper told the cardinals that the document was an "important turning point," since it marked the first time that Orthodox churches had agreed there is a universal level of the church, that it has a primate, and that according to ancient church practice, that primate is the bishop of Rome _ the pope.

Kasper said that the Vatican's relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, in particular, had become "significantly smoother" in recent years.

"We can say there's no longer a freeze but a thaw," Kasper said.

Tensions between the two churches have been strained over Orthodox accusations that the Vatican is seeking converts on traditionally Orthodox territories, particularly in eastern Europe _ charges that Rome denies.

The rift has precluded a meeting between a pope and Patriarch Alexy II, long sought by Pope John Paul II and pursued by Benedict.

Kasper noted that Moscow had "never categorically excluded" such an encounter.

___

Associated Press Writer Daniela Petroff contributed to this report.

Gelin_

Re: Cardinals Discuss Pentecostal Threats

Post by Gelin_ » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:18 pm

[quote]... the church must undergo a "self-critical pastoral examination of conscience" ...[/quote]
What does this means?

gelin

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Guysanto
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Post by Guysanto » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:28 am

Ah, Gelin, monchè! The answer is in the very next sentence: "asking ourselves...what our own pastoral shortcomings are".

That, they must certainly do if they are to adapt and survive.

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Post by Guysanto » Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:17 pm

I, for one, would say that one of their pastoral shortcomings is their habit of inventing "stuff" and turning it into dogma and then sticking to it like glue, even when it has been thoroughly discredited.

Here's an example:

[quote]INDULGENCES AND PURGATORY

A plenary indulgence offers full pardon of the temporal punishment (suffering in this life or the next) due to sins already forgiven in confession.

Purgatory is a kind of spiritual waiting room - for people who do not go directly to paradise or hell after death - to purify souls of residual sin before they enter heaven

Pope approves Lourdes indulgences

Pope Benedict XVI has authorised special indulgences to mark the 150th anniversary of the Virgin Mary's reputed appearance at Lourdes.

Catholics visiting the site within a year of 8 December will be able to receive an indulgence, which the Church teaches can reduce time in purgatory.

Lourdes has drawn pilgrims since Mary was said to have appeared in 1858 to shepherdess Bernadette Soubirous.

The waters of the French shrine are said to have miraculous healing powers.

The Pope is expected to visit the shrine next year.

The pontiff also said believers who prayed at places of worship dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes from 2-11 February next year - or who were unable to make the journey - would also be able to receive indulgences.

The decree was signed by US Cardinal J Francis Stafford, who is head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court dealing with indulgences and matters of conscience.

Indulgences became infamous in the 16th century for being sold rather than earned, helping, historians say, trigger the Protestant reformation.

While some might consider indulgences an outdated concept, great spiritual importance have been assigned to them by Benedict XVI and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/e ... 131088.stm

Published: 2007/12/06 16:44:28 GMT

© BBC MMVII[/quote]

Enough said!

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:59 pm

Guy, the article above is one reason I ask my question. What can the 'mea culpa' really mean, or is there even a need for one if it's business as usual? The more some things change the more they stay the same...

gelin

Tayi
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Post by Tayi » Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:21 am

Merry Christmas everyone!

I was quickly browsing through the spirituality/religion section and saw this thread. A couple things stood out to me today. One of them is actually something which I have been convinced about before; that is, certain issues cannot be fruitfully debated with someone unless there is first some common ground or common understanding of some givens. For example, Guy says:

[quote]I, for one, would say that one of their pastoral shortcomings is their habit of inventing "stuff" and turning it into dogma and then sticking to it like glue, even when it has been thoroughly discredited. [/quote]

I think that by "inventions", Guy is referring to the teachings on Purgatory and Indulgences, which, of course, I believe are truths contained in Divine Revelation; that is, reason alone could not come to reach them--but they are not and cannot be contradictory to reason. Since the Church would base those teachings in Divine Revelation, a debate as to whether or not they were "invented" would have to logically come after an agreement on the existence of Divine Revelation, which, of course, would presuppose the existence of God. If someone does not believe in the idea of Divine Revelation, how can one argue about what it contains? If someone does not believe in God, how can one argue about what He's revealed? Despite these preliminary guardrails, a person who does not believe in God or Divine Revelation can still make a case against something allegedly contained in Divine Revelation by showing that the idea is inherently self-contradictory, such as the idea of a married bachelor. But there is nothing self-contradictory about the ideas of Indulgence and Purgatory, so we are back to our need to first have a common understanding of a couple basics, namely the existence of God and of Divine Revelation.

I might be able to argue with Gelin, for example, about whether or not the idea of Indulgence or Purgatory are actually part of Divine Revelation because we both have a common belief in Divine Revelation, which can then be used as a ground for the debate.

Now, I am not claiming that it is not possible at all to have fruitful discussions between a non-believer and a believer (or any other two opposite groups), but that some issues will presuppose others that have to be dealt with first. So let's get to it :-)

I will be starting a thread with an argument for the existence of God, and I'd like to know your thoughts.

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Post by Guysanto » Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:02 pm

Tayi, please enlighten me! How did the Divine Revelation which you and Gelin presumably share bring to evidence the existence of Purgatory [or Hell?] and Indulgences [which appears to me to be a Moun Pa system through and through] ?

Speaking of Moun Pa and going down the history lanes of Catholicism, do you recall indulgences being bought and paid for? I wonder about preferential currencies: the gourde, the dollar, the yen, the euro? Rich versus Poor, and their respective worths that must be drawn on for the purchase of those indulgences? Chosen people versus Pagans [the "unChosen"] ? Tell us more about those divine [or simply religious] preferential systems. I would like to know, at the very least, from an intellectual basis.

Finally, Purgatory... how analogous is that to Torture? In that particular purification system, how long does it take for a sin to evaporate? What is the melting point? Did God specify exactly how much pain one must endure for each pound of sin? Or did he designate some theologians to do that for Him?

Just a few questions from someone to whom nothing of the sort was revealed, but who would like to get some understanding regardless...

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:23 pm

Indulgences and Purgatory are not part of the divine revelation - as far as I understand from the teaching of Jesus himself and his apostles. Anything else I don't receive.

gelin

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Post by jafrikayiti » Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:56 pm

Tayi wrote:

[quote]Since the Church would base those teachings in Divine Revelation, a debate as to whether or not they were "invented" would have to logically come after an agreement on the existence of Divine Revelation, which, of course, would presuppose the existence of God. If someone does not believe in the idea of Divine Revelation, how can one argue about what it contains? If someone does not believe in God, how can one argue about what He's revealed? [/quote]

Please remember that there are also some of us who actually believe there is a "God Creator" but who are nonetheless quite aware that the Leonardo Da Vinci look alike, vengeful, ethnocentric, close-minded, sexist deity invented by the Judeo-Christian culture is anything but real. Likewise for all the fear tactics invented to scare people into giving their resources to the gangs in power (Rome etc..)

If a wise god has anything important to reveal to humanity in 2007, do you truly think there is a fat chance that SHE would first reveal it to these fools in Rome who are not even capable to face up to actual facts of history? (Remember what Ratzinger had to say while he was in South America recently?).

I am currently working on an online edition of Viv Bondye Aba Relijyon..., I took this as my own "divine revelation" for the upcoming year... now, I am sure if God had this revelation transit via the fools in Rome, they would have never transmitted the message to me in a timely manner and , certainly not free of charge. They have not changed these temple priests who caused Mary and Joseph to have their son murdered by the Romans. They have not changed at all !

Jaf :0)

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