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IS CATHOLIC CHURCH HEADING FOR A SCHISM? ONLY IF THE HARDLINERS TRIUMPH IN THEIR BATTLE AGAINST POPE FRANCIS

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY DEC. 28, 2016) — You may have missed it, but in his annual address to the Curia of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis excoriated the hidebound group of Church governors for their obstructionist resistance to reform. The Pope blamed his board of directors for tying his hands in the ongoing battle to bring the Catholic Church into the 21st century.

Francis realizes that relevance must take precedence over mere “religion” if the Church is to resume its rightful place not so much as a moral authority of zealotry but as a merciful beacon of hope.

In response, American Cardinal Raymond Burke warns of “a very serious division in the Church which has to be mended” or it “could develop into a formal schism.” Burke is former head of the Vatican’s highest court, and he spoke just before Christmas on the Pope’s letter on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). Cardinal Burke claims the Pope’s ambiguous stand on divorce and remarriage must be clarified. He says the letter isn’t clear on whether it is okay for divorced or Catholics remarried in civil ceremonies, who according to Church law are living in adultery, to receive Holy Communion at Mass. Burke wants Pope Francis to answer this question, Yes or No. The Pope has kept his powder dry and has yet to respond.

THE PLANET places Cardinal Burke’s question in the category of ultra-righteous penny pinching, the type that sent The Church off the rails when it began debating such questions as “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin.” While the Church dawdles with such nonsense, it does so at the expense of its role as conduit to a higher, better, more spiritual way of life that meets people in their need where they are, as they are, who they are. That includes divorced Catholics and those who have been remarried in civil ceremonies.

Cardinal Burke and his kind of bloodless formalists remind THE PLANET of the angry mob that caught a woman in adultery, looking to stone her to death. As the New Testament relays it John 8:1-30:

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’ This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.

“Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.

“But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.'”

Cardinal Burke would do well to look closely at this story. Jesus does not condemn the woman. He does not want her punished. He forgives. The Law would require the woman be put to death, but Jesus reminds us that The Law is made by men and therefore cannot be applied in absolute moral fashion to any tangential human situation, particularly one where someone has done the wrong thing. This should answer Cardinal Burke’s question: Some 3,145 angels can dance on the head of a pin, and Yes, it is okay with God that divorced or civilly remarried Catholics can receive Holy Communion.

The most tantalizing aspect of the story in John is the part, mentioned twice, where Jesus writes something on the ground. Why did the Gospel writer include this detail? And what did Jesus write? Allow a few observations:

  • It shows that Jesus knew how to write and therefore likely had some formal education.
  • It’s a catharsis to write on the ground with a finger or a stick. We’ve all done it. Maybe Jesus was relieving  frustration.
  • Perhaps a clue comes from the Old Testament, in Jeremiah 17:13: “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.” In the preceding chapter of John, Jesus speaks of Himself as living water. Was Jesus writing the names of the Scribes and Pharisees into the ground and in doing do fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy? Is that why they left, beginning with the oldest?

Whatever it was, we can be sure that Cardinal Burke would profit from it. Maybe Jesus simply wrote, Love One Another. That’s all we need do to bring peace to our lives and to the earth.

It is so simple.

It is so complicated.


“Therefore, love one another as I have loved you.”Jesus bar Joseph

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in the comment section or opinions published within the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not those of PLANET VALENTI or endorsed in any way by PLANET VALENTI; this website reserves the right to remove any comment that violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service.

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VillageKnight
VillageKnight
4 years ago

It is not so easy subject to discuss openly…

Paul
Paul
4 years ago

I’m amazed that the Catholic church has any followers anymore.

Wilson
Wilson
4 years ago

So the only difference between Catholicism and atheism is that Catholics get to have no conscience?

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

The Catholic Church is not perfect, but God is above all of that. Believing in God doesn’t mean having to agree with everything the church does since the church is made up of flawed humans.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

Pope Francis is a beautiful spiritual man. My reason for saying this is because he cares about God, the Church, and all of the people.
The Catholic Church has always had a problem with ultra conservative fascists who put the institution above humanity!
Jesus said that we are all sinners, and the Jesus died on the Cross for our sins.
How does anyone go and sin no more when we are all sinners?
I never understood that one!
I am a sinner, but I am to go and sin no more, but I am still a sinner. I should always ask God for forgiveness for my sins. I should also recognize that both my humanity and my sins make me human.

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

We have a new God and he lives in a golden tower which reaches towards the heavens. And this new God has appointed and anointed disciples such as the one called Tillerson. And so shall it be for now and forever.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

Oh please. Obama said he could stop the rise of the oceans. Progressives didn’t say he thought he was God.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

The heavy hand of the Catholic Church came down on the poor.Only they could not buy their way out of divorce forever committing adultery.I recall during the scandle of child sexual abuse they admitted to nothing in a letter from the pope and after hearing the letter read allowed from the alter many Catholic parents never went back through those doors.

trumped Up
trumped Up
4 years ago

The Commandments are never practiced, sort of like sinning all the time with impossible temptations, for instance, coveting thy neighbors wife, really, is the married woman at the night club exempt from this? Get real, we are all sinners and most die with it, ask yourself, if you committed murder and confessed to the Priest, are you absolved and still go to Heaven, come on.

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Commentary in Berkshire Eagle today by Charlotte Rampell says, “Trump handed Great Economy; what happens when it tanks?”
They will be pushing this narrative to make it look like weeks into Trump becoming president when the media finally starts to tell the truth about how bad the economy really is that Trump is the reason. The media has been hiding how bad the economy really is for the past 8 years. The people who voted for Trump didn’t think the economy is so great. Stocks are rising because of Trump being elected. Pensions are in trouble. This so called economic recovery is built on sand.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Gasoline prices have shot up 25 cents since Trump was elected and his oil company friends were put in charge.

Oh my!!!

Still Wondering
Still Wondering
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

You may go now.

Kate Dempsey
Kate Dempsey
4 years ago

As George Carlin said about God and religion:

“If you do any of these ten things, he has a special place full of fire, and smoke, and burning, and torture, and anguish. Where he will send you to live and suffer, and burn, and choke, and scream and cry, for ever and ever, until the end of time…but he loves you.”

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
4 years ago

The one that gets me is the suffering of Children, why would this be allowed by Our Heavenly Father?

Magoo
Magoo
4 years ago

School committee hit the nail on the Thumb

A short look back in Catholic history of Western mass shows deceit in the Saint Joe debacle

Priests were protected by the diocese while committing crimes during the sexual abuse cover up

And they continue to believe they are elite and above reproach
Sadly the good have turned a blind eye, as they favor the church more than the parishioners that support them

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Pat ….this economy is Obamas just as Bush economy was handed to Obamas…..Pat you do acknowledge the banking collapse Obama dealt with…….Trump has a very strong Wall street….companies are strong and the bank are strong…..you and I bailed them out.Trump has it made…..he can rebuild America and create jobs and give you and I a tax break…….Dems on board.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
4 years ago

look at the swamp…. the critters are the same as they’ve been for the past 40-50 years. Trump makes some people feel better about the problems and some people feel worse. The problems aren’t changing, just who’s egos get bruised.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Apparently Trumps ego gets bruised easily. He responds to every little thing he thinks might be a slight against him. He is like a little girl in the fourth grade. Can you say …Scary for America?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

Obama seems pretty childish saying that he could have beat Trump. Why say that now as a still sitting president? Sounds arrogant to me. I don’t believe the polls saying that Obama is so popular leaving office just as I didn’t believe the polls saying that Hillary was 12 points ahead of Trump.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Every time I mention Trump you bring in Obama. Are you going to do this for the next four years? Will you always have an excuse for him?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

No excuses. I will watch Trump to make sure he doesn’t do any executive actions that he shouldn’t. I will loudly complain about that. He needs to work with Congress. He is all about the art of the deal so I expect him to work with others including Democrats.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

They ALL are pretty childish. Are we really debating who is more idiotic?

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

you would win that question

H
H
4 years ago

Let’s not confuse the facts. Obama is still President, he ownsthe gas hike until imaugauration.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  H
4 years ago

Oh yah. but what about the jump in the stock market? Oops, no. The good stuff goes to Trump and the bad stuff to Obama.

H
H
4 years ago

Never said Trump was the reason for anything. Obama is President, anything happens good or bad is his, till Trunk gets in.

Paul
Paul
4 years ago

The President has nothing to do with the price of gas.
Most of the snowflakes that are whining because Trump won have one thing in common. They simply do not know how our form of government works. I love it when they say we are a democracy. Ignorance is bliss. It is truly a shame that our school system no longer teaches basic government functions.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Paul
4 years ago

Maybe you should tweet that message. Donny would be proud of you.

H
H
4 years ago

I think the u s is SCREWD with this clown.

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Obama didn’t care what Putin and Russia did during his entire presidency now in the final hours of his administration he decides to punish Russia. Something just doesn’t sound right to me. He will get Russia angry at us and leave Trump to deal with the fallout. Create problems for Trump so he can’t do what he wants to do. Russia shouldn’t have been allowed to get away with everything it has so far, but Obama did nothing until now.

Listening to our local Alan Chartok radio show this morning. Rosemary says that Obama should pardon all illegal immigrants with a criminal background just to spite Trump. Her other co-host Libby says that she teaches children and one of the kids wrote an essay saying that Trump was elected because he made people fearful. Of course she encourages this type of thinking. Very scary that she is molding young minds. This radio station is unbelievable with what they are saying. I only listen to it to keep on top of the lunacy. Frightening that many people in the Berkshires listen to this station like it is their gospel.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Stick with Fox news Pat. Everything they say is true. Only them and Trump love you.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

President elect Trump to you he, he.

Paul
Paul
4 years ago

The Chartoks are bat crap crazy. One thing I have noticed with the majority of pro illegal aliens and pro refugees is that they know none of them will moving near them. They are all in their ivory tower neighborhoods and gated communities.

mi
mi
4 years ago

Wait until shots ponder miscalculates and someone is either not saved because of it, or there is harm to the good guys because of it. this is close, very close to the Covanta Boiler bailout, using free cash to pay contracts, the Monty hiring and firing,zzzz, the Stanley tax breaks, the new School, stipend for School Committee, Health Board no cig license on a business willing to invest, paying top rate to an administrative assistant, alienating the rest on the step scale, while saying on Planet Valenti, the Mayor could not do the job without the assistant…. picking up Garbage at night, talk about a injury lawsuit, giving free needles to junkies so they can stay healthy and still do drugs, and a meth clinic around the corner of a new Hotel, along with all the other walking dead..raisng taxes 5 plus percent with a new extra pick-pocket tax, that you voted for.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  mi
4 years ago

Once again…nobody is getting any kickbacks. You must believe this.

mi
mi
4 years ago

And the Chartock’s are crazy?

Evian
Evian
Reply to  mi
4 years ago

Crazy as ultra-leftists can be. i respect the left when they can use some reason maybe a bit of logic. the ‘tocks? Embarrassing. Look for then to be gone this yr.

RobEM
RobEM
4 years ago

Geez. You all got A.D.D.? The article was about the Catholic church and the Pope. Now look where you are. Went from the Pope to Alan Chartock.

Harlan Rinklenutts
Harlan Rinklenutts
4 years ago

Not far from the truth though..some people think Chartock’s a God.

Two Cents
Two Cents
Reply to  Harlan Rinklenutts
4 years ago

Yes…Alan and his wife!

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
4 years ago

Saw this in the BB today……
PITTSFIELD — City property could be made available for the cultivation of marijuana, under an economic development opportunity that Mayor Linda M. Tyer foresees.

“The growing and the cultivation of marijuana is where the jobs are,” Tyer said. “It is entirely possible that we would make available, for any kind of economic development opportunity, city property” including marijuana.

In an interview Wednesday, Tyer said she intends to convene a workgroup to study the issue and make recommendations about licensing and zoning that could possibly “inspire growing and cultivation.”

She cited airport land as one location that could allow an “agricultural use.”

I’m not against weed being legal but growing on city property???

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Joe Blow
4 years ago

I think she has been smoking too much weed. Even lawmakers in Boston are trying to delay this pot law because they see how dangerous it can be when we don’t know what we are getting ourselves into. We have serious drug problems in this county and country now. I really don’t think we should turn the county into pot central.

Knock Knock
Knock Knock
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Exactly Pat, we should be discouraging growth of Pot and usage, it was a stupid affirmative vote. Cops and Law Enforcement will have hands full, all it will take it one car crash and MADD will be all over this. The Lawyers will be the ones who Benefit.

B. Clairmont
B. Clairmont
Reply to  Knock Knock
4 years ago

The reporter corrected the story the following day. What she said was misunderstood by the reporter. Occasionally that happens.

Barry

southeast
southeast
Reply to  B. Clairmont
4 years ago

The Eagle gets a lot wrong.

That said, I would love to win a license to grow weed. I don’t smoke it, so none of the product would be diverted. I grew up on a farm, so I know how to grow stuff.

What do I need to do?

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Taxes way up under Tyer and she has no plan to control our tornado effect taxes.Fire her.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
4 years ago

I heard that effective taxes were actually going to decrease in Pittsfield.

southeast
southeast
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Ok Shakes, so my house was previously assessed at $150,100. My house value on my new bill is $148,800. That is a 1% or so decrease in value – probably average in Pittsfield. But in most other Central Berkshire communities (Dalton, Lenox, Richmond) – values have increased on the order of 5%. And sales bear that out.

My last tax bill was $2815 and my current tax bill is $2921. So while my taxes went up by 3.7% vs. 4.63% for the tax rate – I should be happy using your logic.

In fact, my tax bill should have gone down by 1% given that my house is worth less. Given the amount of spending in this community, and how we cannot hold the line like Lenox or Dalton – we are doing worse, and my situation proves it.

If the City leaders were doing their jobs correctly, my home value would increase along with my neighbors’. But my home value has declined, while neighboring communities’ values have increased. Why is that Shakes? In part, it may because people moving away from Pittsfield are not moving too far – just far enough to escape the spreading of the ghetto and failed schools.

Job one of our elected leaders is to do things which increase our property values. In fact, the average Lenox, Dalton or Richmond pays way more in taxes than I do. They get fewer services – but they get greater safety, better schools, and the knowledge that if they choose to sell and ask a fair price – their house will sell, and for a good price. If you feel secure – you don’t mind paying more. Pittsfield’s bloat isn’t in the DPW guys pay, it’s in the assistant to the assistant to the assistant superintendent’s pay. It’s in the Dean of Students at an ELEMENTARY school’s pay. It’s in the thinking that said we still need two high schools vs. one. It’s in the thinking that says lets keep burdening the business community with high taxes and see if they’ll move. And when they move – we get another social service program to take their place, and are told that non-profits are an “economic engine” to use the dumbest term I have ever heard.

You see, if elected officials manage the budget properly, manage relations with the business community and create opportunities for real growth and not a Wal Mart on land that should produce real jobs – then values do rise, and if the economy is doing well, sometimes you don’t mind paying more taxes.

But when you pay more and you still watch a sinking ship, kids refusing to attend the local schools that despite their poor performance, cost us a fortune – then maybe, you get pissed.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  southeast
4 years ago

This is why I rent.

Spagirlfrommass
Spagirlfrommass
Reply to  southeast
4 years ago

Southeast

You have hit my anger button squarely. I wish your comment which is absolutely correct in every aspect was in the editorial of the Berkshire Eagle. You hit it right between the eyes!! Thank you!

H
H
4 years ago

You must have told that to yourself shakes.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Just wait and see. I know a lot of really smart people. And they are going to give information that not everyone has.

mi
mi
4 years ago

Shakes could you let us in on it when the info is confirmed. Would actually like to believe this,but……

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Another Big misnomer is we get of our garbage picked up for free……HellO, we pay taxes for it.