Is Secularism To Blame For Church Crisis?

Is Secularism To Blame For Church Crisis?

Is Secularism To Blame For Church Crisis?

The following conversation took place recently, between our blogger Petrus and a Glasgow priest. The identity of the priest really doesn’t matter. Since Petrus was not speaking to him on behalf of Catholic Truth we decided not to publish his name. In any case it could be any priest in Glasgow and, indeed, beyond. Given the confused mind of the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith evident in this interview, it’s no wonder that the clergy are mixed up.


PETRUS: I go to Mass at a chapel of the Society of Saint Pius X. Am I a Catholic in good standing?

FATHER: Well, it’s really an issue of Church law.

PETRUS: It’s not an issue of Church law. The Vatican have said that the laity fulfil their obligation by going to a Mass at the SSPX chapels. Canon Law says that any Catholic Rite fulfils our obligation. So, am I a Catholic in good standing?

(Father nods his head in agreement)

FATHER: Yes, I suppose you are.

PETRUS: Do you accept that there is a crisis in the Church?

FATHER: Yes, I do, but it wasn’t caused by the Second Vatican Council.

PETRUS: But didn’t Pope Paul VI say just after the Council that from some fissure the smoke of Satan had entered into the Church?

FATHER: The Council didn’t cause the crisis.

PETRUS: Well, Cardinal Ratzinger said it was only a pastoral Council but had come to be regarded as some sort of super dogma.

FATHER: Well, if he said that….it wasn’t just a pastoral Council.

PETRUS: It defined nothing.

FATHER: But the Deposit of Faith cannot change.

PETRUS: True. So why did certain Church teachings become obscure at the Council and why were things that were condemned previously suddenly allowed?

FATHER: I don’t accept that.

PETRUS: What about ecumenism?

FATHER: The teaching on Ecumenism didn’t change, it was updated for our times. Pope Francis said at the beginning of his pontificate that we had to be meek. Sitting in a room discussing things is much more productive.

PETRUS: But weren’t Catholics forbidden from worshipping with non-Catholics before the Council?

FATHER: Yes, but it’s faith in Christ and faithful to his prayer that the Church may be one.

PETRUS: Isn’t the only way that can happen is for those outside the Church to convert? Isn’t the Catholic Church the one, true Church?

FATHER: Of course.

PETRUS: So isn’t the most charitable thing to do is to explain that outside the Church there is no salvation?

FATHER: Well, perhaps we should be preparing for the Second coming.

PETRUS: But surely the only way to prepare is to be united to Christ’s bride, the Catholic Church?

FATHER: Of course.

PETRUS: The ecumenical movement leads to indifferentism. In fact it is completely orientated towards Protestantism.

FATHER: There could be some truth in that.

PETRUS: So what is the point? Surely we should be making the teaching of the Church explicit? For example, would you discuss the Real Presence or the Rosary in the company of Protestants?

FATHER: I do do that.

PETRUS: The ecumenical movement causes Catholics to lose their faith. The Church is in crisis, Father. The Second Vatican Council is a bog problem. What’s your solution?

FATHER: I don’t agree it’s a problem. I said earlier that it didn’t cause the crisis.

PETRUS: What did?

FATHER: Secularism. That’s why ecumenism can help. We can join together with other Christians to combat secularism and moral problems.

PETRUS: But haven’t the Protestant groups moved further away on moral issues? The Anglicans are ordaining homosexual bishops and the Church of Scotland are blessing civil partnerships.

FATHER: The leadership of these churches might have moved further away, that’s true.

PETRUS: So, ecumenism is utterly pointless?

FATHER: Well, other people will not sit in the same room as Catholics.

PETRUS: Let’s get back to the crisis. What’s the solution?

(Father points to a crucifix)

FATHER: He’s the solution. We should focus on the cross.

PETRUS: Well, (compare) the Traditional Mass (with) the New Mass. Doesn’t the Traditional Mass make the Sacrifice of Calvary more explicit?

FATHER: Absolutely not. I reject that.

PETRUS: Doesn’t the way of receiving Holy Communion in the Traditional Mass make the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence clearer than receiving Communion in the hand?

FATHER: Not at all. Anyway, many more sins are committed with the tongue.

PETRUS: But Father think of the particles being dropped.

FATHER: When I divide the Host particles go up into the air.

PETRUS: But the Church puts procedures in place to minimise this. Communion in the hand multiples it.

FATHER: I don’t agree.

PETRUS: Another sign that priests and people are utterly confused is that anyone and everyone can and does receive Communion, even public sinners.

FATHER: Now you are sounding Jansenist. We can’t say who is worthy and who is not.

PETRUS: Well, if you know someone is a public sinner – in a homosexual relationship or living with a partner outside marriage, would you still give them Holy Communion?

FATHER: What do you want me to do? Embarrass them publicly?

PETRUS: But you are charged with protecting the Sacrament from abuse. You permit that person to commit another mortal sin by making an unworthy Communion.

FATHER: I’m trying to encourage them and help them.

PETRUS: Well you can do that in private by explaining why they can’t receive Communion and how they can mend their ways.


PETRUS: Father, what are the fruits of the Second Vatican Council?

FATHER: A greater awareness of the church’s catholicity. Before the Council not many people knew the eastern Catholic Churches existed.

PETRUS: Is that all?

FATHER: No. A greater understanding of the universal call to holiness.

PETRUS: Was this lacking before the Council? Didn’t the Legion of Mary do this very well?

FATHER. Yes, of course they did.

PETRUS: Father, the Church was in a position of strength before the Council. Look at it now. Priests and religious have abandoned their vocations.


PETRUS: Seminaries are closing, Mass attendance is plummeting.


PETRUS: There’s terrible confusion. People are ignorant of the Church’s teaching. They aren’t being catechised.

FATHER: That’s not true of everywhere.

PETRUS: So, there has been a decline since the Council. I can only see bad fruits.

FATHER: I disagree. END

Comments (142)

  • Prionsais

    Many more sins are committed with the tongue. What a stupid reply. Does he not realise that the host eventually lands on the tongue, unless the recipient takes it home to bin it. If the person is in a state of grace, as the criteria for receiving used to be, it doesn’t matter how many previous sins have been committed by it.

    August 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm
    • editor


      That’s a great answer to the nonsense about more sins being committed by the tongue…

      I always think try telling that to the victims of strangulation. Oops, can’t – for obvious reasons…

      August 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm
  • McMuffin

    If the consecration of Russia takes place the Church will heal first, then after the world and the secular culture will take care of itself. Not the other way around. These conciliar folk forget the world revolves around the Church, and not vice versa. They want to restore the Church by changing the world.


    Miles Immaculatae

    August 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm
    • editor

      That’s spot on, McMuffin!

      I think it’s paragraph 760 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which reminds us that the first Christians believed that “God created the world for the sake of His Church – to give everyone a share in His divine life”.

      That’s a truth that is all too often forgotten in the modern world/Church.

      I felt more sad than anything reading that interview. The priest is some way off receiving a telegram from the Queen (or – more likely by that time – King) so he is partly a victim of the crisis.

      Having said that, I must recall the highly placed (young) priest who once told me not to feel sympathy for clergy no matter their age because they have the same access to the history books and authentic Church teaching (not least via the internet) as the rest of us.

      Still, you can’t help feeling a wee bit sorry for him – surely? In Glasgow, he’d find himself in a very small minority indeed at clergy meetings if he gave the right replies to the questions and observations posed by Petrus. To “Braveheart” add “Thick Skin”…

      August 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    Prionais and Editor,

    “More sins are committed by the tongue”, I agree that it was a stupid reply. I wonder though how may sins are committed when people handle the consecrated Host.

    If he had said something in the line of people using their tongues lying about another person’s character, well I’d agree.

    The Consecration of Russia has to be carried out by the Pope and Bishops on the same day, a five minute prayer that is all. Many Rosaries need to be said so that they will carry out the message from Our Lady.

    August 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm
    • Italian Spicy Chicken Pasta Sauce

      I always imagined they’d all have to be in one place, like Rome to do it.

      No, they could do it in their own Cathedrals!

      How easy it would be. How very easy.

      August 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    Secularism has always been the issue for the Church right from the start, as the cartoon illustrates.

    The Glasgow priest who spoke to Petrus is very typical of the modernists. He’s completely taken in by the Vatican II smokescreen. I don’t know what it will take to open the eyes of the modernists, I really don’t. They are completely lost to the traditional Catholic religion. They don’t even think of it as a religion any more, just one denomination among thousands.

    Italian Spicy Chicken Pasta Sauce,

    I agree – it would be so very easy for the Pope and Bishops to consecrate Russia. Why they don’t do so is a mystery.

    August 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm
  • spiritustempore


    If you see the priest again, he might appreciate learning what the Church has always taught in respect of communion in the hand and lay servers:-

    St. Sixtus I (circa 115)
    “The Sacred Vessels are not to be handled by others than those consecrated to the Lord.”

    Pope St. Eutychian (275-283)
    Forbade the faithful from taking the Sacred Host in their hand.

    St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church (330-379)
    “The right to receive Holy Communion in the hand is permitted only in times of persecution.”

    The Council of Saragossa (380)
    Excommunicated anyone who dared continue receiving Holy Communion by hand. This was confirmed by the Synod of Toledo.

    Pope St. Leo the Great (440-461)
    Energetically defended and required faithful obedience to the practice of administering Holy Communion on the tongue of the faithful.

    The Synod of Rouen (650)
    Condemned Communion in the hand to halt widespread abuses that occurred from this practice, and as a safeguard against sacrilege.

    The Sixth Ecumenical Council, at Constantinople (680-681)
    Forbade the faithful to take the Sacred Host in their hand, threatening transgressors with excommunication.

    St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
    “Out of reverence towards this sacrament [the Holy Eucharist], nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands, for touching this sacrament.” (Summa Theologica, Part III, Q. 82, Art. 3, Rep. Obj. 8)

    The Council of Trent (1545-1565)
    “The fact that only the priest gives Holy Communion with his consecrated hands is an Apostolic Tradition.”

    Pope Paul VI (1963-1978)
    “This method [on the tongue] must be retained.” (Memoriale Domini)

    Pope John Paul II
    To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained. (Dominicae Cenae, 11)

    “It is not permitted that the faithful should themselves pick up the consecrated bread and the sacred chalice, still less that they should hand them from one to another.” (Inaestimabile Donum, April 17, 1980, sec. 9)

    August 10, 2013 at 9:49 am
    • Petrus


      I’m pretty sure Father reads this blog.

      I had a nice, but sad, experience at my local parish this morning. A wee boy was waiting in the queue for Confession. He came running over to me and said, “Excuse me, what is it you say in Confession?” I was really touched by this, but felt sad. What chance does that boy have growing up in this crisis?

      August 10, 2013 at 10:02 am
  • Theresa Rose


    I share your sense of sadness, that a young boy felt it necessary to approach you at your local parish asking what you say in Confession. But at least, you for one would have been able to help this young lad.

    It is going to take the equivalent of an atomic bomb to wake up the modernists and make them open their eyes to the Traditional Catholic teaching. Our Lady did say that the Consecration of Russia will be late, but it will be done. It is what will happen in the interim period that terrifies me. How many souls will be lost to hell?

    August 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm
  • spiritustempore


    I understand your sadness too, but Our Lord will not leave us orphans.

    The little boy ran to exactly the right person.

    Somehow, we have to hold on until the consecration…surely it can’t be too much longer.

    August 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm
  • gabriel syme

    These are effective points made by Petrus, well done to him.

    Although we cannot tell through simple text, I bet the priests defences had a tinge of hysteria / denial to hear them.

    Those who refuse to even consider the idea that aspects of Vatican II may have been flawed or damaging amuse me. Has anyone seen the film “Downfall” about the fall of Berlin in WW2?

    The hollow denials about the fall-out from the council – in the face of much solid evidence – remind me of the levels of self-delusion and hysteria present in the Fuhrer-Bunker, as the Soviets close in. The German forces are shattered, yet Hitler will not accept this reality and instead indulges in fantasies about counter-attacks. Shells are falling all around them, the City is ruined, yet still the fanatics cannot admit that things have gone to pot and that this is the end.

    You wonder what it might take to awaken them to the reality of the situation – that is the similarity of their circumstances with the Vatican II zealots.

    I like the idea of a syllabus of errors being created regarding Vatican II, as proposed by (I think) Bishop Athanasius Schneider, (?), who was mentioned at the Catholic Truth Conference.

    August 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm
    • editor

      I couldn’t agree more – if ever we needed a new Syllabus of Errors, it’s right now – pronto!

      But I can’t see it for a while yet. Having just imbibed a fraction of the contents of the so-called Catholic press this week, containing attacks on the Faith both subtle and not-so-subtle, it’ll take a while for the reality of the devastation around us to become apparent to the “middle-of-the-road” Catholics – who are, sadly, now the majority.

      August 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm
    • Petrus


      I have to say that this priest was most charitable and let me make my points to him without any hysteria.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:10 pm
      • editor

        Yes, Petrus, but rumour has it he took a taxi to the Erskine Bridge, dead of night.

        August 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm
      • Petrus

        After spending an hour with me, you mean?

        August 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm
      • editor

        Got it in one. He was last seen telling the taxi driver that on reflection “seminaries closing and Mass attendance plummeting” was the last straw. He stopped listening after that and texted for a taxi. Pity he hadn’t read our Technology & Catholic Family Life thread. That might have helped. No good can come of Catholics using mobile phones. That’s for sure.

        August 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm
  • Josephine

    Gabriel Syme,

    “I like the idea of a syllabus of errors being created regarding Vatican II, as proposed by (I think) Bishop Athanasius Schneider, (?), who was mentioned at the Catholic Truth Conference.”

    I very much agree with you. A new syllabus of errors is long overdue, to show us exactly what is and what is not required of us regarding Vatican II. I also liked your analogy with the fall of Berlin. It’s amazing how people can just be in denial about something so obvious.

    The interview with Petrus and the Glasgow priest made me sad because that priest will be typical of so many others in the diocese. Well done Petrus for putting him on the spot.

    August 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm
  • editor

    I agree – the priest in conversation with Petrus is, indeed, typical of so many others in the archdiocese – again, like the middle-of-the road laity, the “Vatican II is the best thing since sliced bread” clerics appear to be in the majority, certainly here in Scotland. Pennies are not dropping at all in certain clergy circles.

    Indeed, it was painful to read the undiluted joy expressed by Mgr Loftus in his Catholic Times column today in the matter of the ban on the Traditional Latin Mass signed off by the Pope himself in the case of “those Franciscans”. I think it’s going to be quite some time – divine intervention excepted – before the Scottish priesthood is restored to anything faintly resembling its former glory.

    August 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm
  • spiritustempore

    I pray daily that Mgr Loftus might see the light. Preferably via a 24,000 volt lightning strike.

    A pox on their tambourines and their Kumbayas. 🙂

    August 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm
    • editor


      You ain’t seen nuthin’ till you’ve read Mgr Loftus’ letter in last week’s Tablet. Unbelievable. He is arguing against having a tabernacle in the “space” for the liturgy and speaks about “occupied tabernacles” – the Blessed Sacrament equated, thus, to an enemy in war. Your “preference”, therefore, seems a tad mild…

      August 11, 2013 at 11:17 pm
      • spiritustempore


        I’m beginning to wonder if The Bitter Pill isn’t perhaps a cunning traditionalist manoeuvre.

        In holding up to public ridicule bitter old men and their senile rantings, they’re doing an excellent job of bringing Catholics to tradition.

        In the interests of gender equality, I’d have Tina Beattie join Basil Fawlty at the stake.

        August 12, 2013 at 9:25 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I am much calmer, far less angry, and increasingly more mentally stable now that I no longer attend the Novus Ordo.

        Sunday Mass for me is an oasis of peace. For it is precisely the absence of guitar song and the cantation of narcissistic ‘music ministers’ that makes the screaming of little children at Mass a sweet and lovely pleasure to my ears.

        The nasty trad stereotype is such a chesnut.

        August 12, 2013 at 10:36 am
    • Marcantonio Colonna

      Your reply just oozes with Christian charity, congratulations!

      August 12, 2013 at 9:31 am
      • spiritustempore

        As does yours, Marcantonia. Did you have a constructive point to make, or could you simply not resist the temptation to engage your inner pharisee?

        August 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm
  • Athanasius


    I’m not sure Catholics even know the definition of Christian charity any more let alone practice it. Anyway, Miles Immaculatae, as you say, does have that charity of Our Lord, charity that seeks first to glorify God with true and proper worship as contained in the ancient Mass of the saints and martyrs. I also admire his truthfulness and wish there were many more like him. Sadly, too many now mistake the sin of human respect for charity to the great detriment of God and souls.

    August 12, 2013 at 10:51 am
    • spiritustempore

      I suspect that Marcantonia is confusing Charity with ‘chawity’, wherein we are commanded to ‘wuv’ the enemies of the faith and cherish their every attack upon it.

      Coming soon….’Wet’s all wuv Satan, the poor wickle misunderstood cweature’.

      August 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm
      • Marcantonio Colonna

        England is famous for frank and respectful debate, why not attack ideas you do not accept,or think to be wrong, but respect the adversary, no?

        August 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm
      • spiritustempore

        As Mgr Loftus does?

        In closing down the website of an elderly priest who, quite rightly (in my opinion) took him to task for heresy?

        In attacking anyone who dares to hold his ridiculous pronouncements up to the mirror of Catholic Truth?

        In attacking Our Lord and His place in the Mass…or the tabernacle for that matter?

        In using his media platforms to attack the faith at every opportunity?

        I respect Mgr Loftus as I respect his master, the Father of Lies.

        In times gone by, he would, quite correctly, have found himself tied to a stake and sent to his final judgment.

        In my opinion, that’s the level of respect he quite properly merits.

        August 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm
      • crofterlady

        But don’t forget, spiritustempore, Mgr. Loftus is a priest in good standing…………………

        August 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm
      • spiritustempore

        I know, Semper. Galling doesn’t begin to cover it…..

        August 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm
      • Marcantonio Colonna

        But you do not have to be like him, you can respect him and still condemn his ideas. With my own respect to you, I do not approve of the sentiments you express, such as “In times gone by, he would, QUITE CORRECTLY, have found himself tied to a stake and sent to his final judgment. IN MY OPINION, THAT’S THE LEVEL OF RESPECT HE QUITE PROPERLY MERITS”. Too violent, unacceptable! Perhaps we could learn from the above post by Athanasius, who expresses a firm and clear disagreement with me, with no trace of offense or violent sentiments.

        August 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm
  • spiritustempore


    I think you’re confusing the Catholic Church with the Church of Nice.

    Consider the words of Pope Pius X:-

    “Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists!

    In a duel you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can!

    War is not made with charity, it is a struggle a duel.

    If Our Lord were not terrible he would not have given an example in this too. See how he treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the traitors in the temple. He scourged them with whips!”

    I’m with Saint Pius X.

    Feel free to get over it.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm
    • Marcantonio Colonna

      And nothing has changed since the time of pius x?

      August 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm
      • editor

        Yes – things have gotten worse. Modernism is almost the norm in the Church.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm
  • spiritustempore

    St. John Chrysostom

    Only the person who becomes irate without reason, sins. Whoever becomes irate for a just reason is not guilty. Because, if ire were lacking, the science of God would not progress, judgments would not be sound, and crimes would not be repressed.

    Further, the person who does not become irate when he has cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices: it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong.

    (Homily XI super Matheum, 1c, nt.7)

    St. Thomas Aquinas

    Ire may be understood in two ways.

    In one way, as a simple movement of the will that inflicts punishment not through passion, but by virtue of a judgment of the reason: and in this case, without a doubt, lack of ire is a sin. This is how Chrysostom understands ire when he says: ‘Ire, when it has a cause, is not ire but judgment. For properly speaking, ire is a movement of passion. And when a man is irate with just cause, his ire does not derive from passion. Rather, it is an act of judgment, not of ire.”

    In another way, ire can be understood as a movement of the sensitive appetite agitated by passion with bodily excitation. This movement is a necessary sequel in man to the previous movement of his will, since the lower appetite naturally follows the movement of the higher appetite unless some obstacle prevents it. Hence the movement of ire in the sensitive appetite cannot be lacking altogether, unless the movement of the will is altogether lacking or weak. Consequently, the lack of the passion of ire is also a vice, as it is the lack of movement in the will to punish according to the judgment of reason.

    (Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 158, art. 8)

    August 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm
    • Marcantonio Colonna

      And nothing has changed since the time of this great man?

      August 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm
      • spiritustempore

        Absolutely nothing. Truth is not a relative concept.

        What was true of the human condition in St. Thomas’ time remained true in St Pius X’s time and still in ours today.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm
      • Marcantonio Colonna

        But did not jesus tell peter to put away his sword? Does not scripture say, he who lives by the sword, wvill die by the sword? Violence is NEVER acceptable…

        August 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm
  • spiritustempore

    During the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea (AD 325), Arius was called upon to defend his position on the inferiority of Christ. Saint Nicholas just couldn’t listen to all of Arius’ nonsense and so he stood up and laid in to Arius with his fists.

    The Emperor Constantine and the bishops present at the Council were alarmed by Nicholas’ act of violence against Arius. They immediately stripped Nicholas of his office as a bishop by confiscating the two items that marked out a man as a Christian bishop: Nicholas’ personal copy of the Gospels and his pallium (the vestment worn by all bishops in the East).

    Now if that were the end of the story, we probably wouldn’t know about Saint Nicholas, and our children wouldn’t be asking him for presents. However, after Nicholas was deposed, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary visited Nicholas who was being held in a prison cell for his fist-fight with the heretic.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ asked Saint Nicholas, “Why are you here?” Nicholas responded, “Because I love you, my Lord and my God.”

    Christ then presented Nicholas with his copy of the Gospels. Next, the Blessed Virgin vested Nicholas with his episcopal pallium, thus restoring him to his rank as a bishop.

    Traditional icons of Saint Nicholas depict this miracle as in the image below:

    When the Emperor Constantine heard of this miracle, he immediately ordered that Nicholas be reinstated as a bishop in good standing for the Council of Nicea.

    Today we recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday so we know how the controversy played out.

    The bishops at Nicea sided with Saint Nicholas and Saint Athanasius and they condemned Arius as a heretic.

    To this very day, we still recite in the Creed that Christ is “God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father.”

    August 12, 2013 at 5:35 pm
    • Marcantonio Colonna

      And so it goes on forever…?

      August 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm
      • spiritustempore

        From the very beginning of the Church until the end of time.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm
  • spiritustempore

    Now, the question is: Would God chastise mankind in this manner? Would He permit a “deceiving influence” to overcome the souls consecrated to God?

    The answer is yes.

    We know this from a number of sources.

    First of all, we have the testimony of Saint John Eudes, one of the foremost proponents of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to what he called the “Admirable” Heart of Mary.

    Saint John Eudes said that when God is angry with His people, He sends them bad priests as a chastisement.

    Here is what he wrote in his book, The Priest, His Dignity and Obligations:

    “The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than charity and affection of devoted shepherds …

    “When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, ‘Return O ye revolting children … and I will give you pastors according to My own heart’. (Jer. 3:14,15)

    Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge upon the people in consequence of sin.”

    Saint John Eudes warns us that as punishment for man’s sins, God will send us priests who are not according to His own heart, who have a different spirit from that of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, who have a different heart from that of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.

    Another example we have of how God chastises His people is for them to have their churches and sacred objects destroyed.

    In a beautiful booklet about the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Redemptorist Father Benedict D’Orazio explains:

    “When God wishes to make known His displeasure toward a disobedient people, He usually rejects the sacred gifts they have presented to Him and sometimes allows even altars and consecrated images to be taken away or destroyed.”

    The context in which Father D’Orazio says this is within the context of Eastern Orthodox’s rejection of the Divine Institution of the Papacy….

    So here, from the writings of Saint John Eudes and Father D’Orazio, we see that God will punish His people by allowing the sacred material things of Catholicism to be destroyed.

    God will sometimes allow “even altars and consecrated images to be taken away or destroyed”; and God will punish His people by sending them bad priests — priests who are not according to His heart, but of the spirit of the world or of anti-Christ.

    Now I don’t think it takes a tremendous amount of explanation to point out that the marks of this type of chastisement from God is the hallmark of our beleaguered Church since Vatican II.

    Practically every church has had its altar destroyed, or at least replaced in usage, by a Protestant styled altar-table. Practically every church has experienced, in some form or another, what is called the wreckovation of its interior — modern, ugly church furnishings and images that do not transmit the truths of the faith…

    This type of destruction happened in parish after parish; it occurred not even ten years after Sister Lucy said, “God will chastise the world, and this will be in a terrible manner. The punishment from Heaven is imminent.”

    Then there is the falling away of the consecrated souls. Here I am not talking about those who have left the priesthood or left the religious life and returned to the world in unprecedented numbers since the Council.

    No, I am talking about those who have stayed in and adopted a new modernized version of “Catholicism”, a kind of “un-Catholic Catholicism”, a “Liberal Catholicism” that would have been condemned by every Pope before 1958. These clergymen adopted and foisted on the people the very liberal Catholicism that Blessed Pope Pius IX warned would “destroy us,” would “be the ruin of religion,” and would “prevent us from meriting the blessings of God.”

    This worldwide destruction of the Faith, caused by liberal Catholicism, started just a few years after Sister Lucy said, “The punishment from Heaven is imminent.”

    We are in a great chastisement right now. We’ve been in it for the last forty years, and, humanly speaking, there is no end in sight.

    Fr Gruner

    August 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm
    • Marcantonio Colonn

      Perhaps i am too young to understand this, but your words give me fear, my church teaches me other things, for example, violence is never good, not even for God.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm
      • spiritustempore


        There is a place for righteous anger, and if there were no place for ‘violence for God’ then there would have been no Battle of Lepanto. That’s not to say that there is a place for undisciplined mob violence.

        Controlled and properly directed, there has always been a place in the Church for ‘violence’ although it would perhaps more properly be described as ‘disciplined defence’. Whether against heretics working to destroy the Church from within, or against external enemies

        There is no doubt that the enemies of the Church will eventually visit violence upon Her. Catholics should understand that there is a strong tradition within the Church of defending the faith in prayer and also in action.

        In 2010, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago outlined the degree to which he believed religious freedoms are endangered.

        After the passage of legislation that enabled Civil Unions in Illinois, His Eminence stated:

        “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square”.

        In 1980, Pope John Paul II stated:

        “We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ … With your and my prayer it is possible to mitigate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectively renewed.

        How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from blood! This time, too, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong and prepared, and trust in Christ and His Mother, and be very, very assiduous in praying the Rosary.”

        In 1909, Pope Saint Pius X stated:

        “I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the dead bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God’s memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world.”

        August 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm
      • Athanasius


        You will find an example of God’s righteous anger, and the use of violence, in the Gospel account of His driving the money-changers from the Temple.

        Another pertinent example of just violence from history is the allied defence of Europe against Hitler. The allied nations were right to rise up against this man because he had evil intent.

        Circumstances sometimes necessitates the use of violence for justice’ sake. Charity does not mean that we should become door mats for all and sundry to wipe their dirty boots on. First and foremost, charity wants to see souls avoid Hell at all costs, even at the cost of administering some measured violence.

        I am reminded here of the Old Testament quote that says: “The man who doesn’t beat his son, hates his son.” Of course the word “beat” is not to be read in the context of today’s understanding of the word. It simply meant administering measured corporal punishment.

        We should also remember the the Scriptural admonishment that “God chastises those whom He loves.” That is true charity.

        August 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm
  • Ignatius1970


    Then by your logic Jesus wasn’t God. Read what St Pius X said:

    ““Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists!

    In a duel you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can!

    War is not made with charity, it is a struggle a duel.

    If Our Lord were not terrible he would not have given an example in this too. See how he treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the traitors in the temple. He scourged them with whips!”

    Our Lord used violence.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:02 pm
    • editor


      Do you have a source for that quote from St Pius X?

      I’d love to use it next time I’m lectured about tone and style, but the kinda folk who lecture me about tone and style want sources, so spill…

      August 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm
  • Marcantonio Colonna

    But i learn different thoughts from my priest, all the things you say are snew and strange for me.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm
    • editor

      Marcantonio Colonna

      How does your priest explain the actions of Christ towards the moneychangers in the Temple, when He overturned the tables and drove the moneychangers out with a whipped cord?

      I jes would LOVE to know…

      August 12, 2013 at 9:43 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Do you honestly believe that a lone man, albeit quite enraged , would have been able to do what what the bible claims without anyone stopping him?
        Can you imagine what Jerusalem in general and the Temple in particular were like?
        Can you imagine how many people there were!
        Hundreds if not thousands!
        He would have been wrestled to the ground and chucked out on his ear.
        The story is a nice piece of narrative fiction to demonstrate a point; which it achieved.

        August 13, 2013 at 8:28 am
      • editor


        Your specialist knowledge is impressive. Amazing that nobody else in 2000 years thought of that. WOW !

        And I wonder why nobody else living at the time wrote up the correct account, where Jesus was wrestled to the ground by the hundreds if not thousands of onlookers? WOW !

        Wish I’d asked around last time I was in Jerusalem. I might have met somebody whose great-great-great-great-great granny was there (or knew one of the money-changers) and could give a first hand account – so to speak…

        August 13, 2013 at 11:31 pm
      • Arkenaten

        ”And I wonder why nobody else living at the time wrote up the correct account, …..”

        For the same reason there are no contemporary accounts of Yeshua.
        Not one. Not a whisper, not a note not a mark on a wall or scribble on a papyrus scroll.
        Now, you work it out…..

        August 14, 2013 at 7:00 am
      • editor


        I’ve not had the time to read all of your posts in detail but I see this persistent reference to “Yeshua” and your triumph as if you’d caught us all out. Not so – would you repeat, in summary, what your fixation is with “Yeshua” and I will respond later – I’m not going to be around for a few hours but I’ll get to this asap.

        What is your problem with “Yeshua”? Who do you think “Yeshua” is – let’s start there.


        August 14, 2013 at 10:04 am
      • Arkenaten

        She? …..(Ed: language please).cheek.

        You mean you don’t know who Yeshua is?

        Ed: I know who Yeshua is, but you don’t seem to know.

        The church changed his name in an attempt to make him as un-Jewish as possible. Didn’t you realize this?

        Ed: gerragrip! You are so fooled by the propaganda that it’s difficult to hold any level of intelligent conversation with you. Show is where – anywhere – that the Church denies the Jewishness of Jesus – go on. Start replacing the propaganda with hard facts.

        This is why John’s gospel so often sounds so anti-Semitic.

        Ed: The alleged “anti-Semitism” of St John’s Gospel is yet another piece of ridiculous propaganda. Honestly, gerranothergrip!

        Do I have to keep teaching you lot the history of your own religion? For goodness sake, why don’t you lot read sometimes instead of swallowing everything your church tells you?

        Ed: from a classic “useful idiot” that is er a classic. Arkenaten, Lenin called those people “useful idiots” who promote Communism without understanding that it militates against their own best interest. We see the same phenomenon all the time with those “atheists” who swallow the anti-Catholic propaganda hook, line and sinker, never doubting the baloney claims of those who hate the Church. Gerevenanothergrip!

        August 14, 2013 at 10:18 am
      • Arkenaten

        ”Not so – would you repeat, in summary, what your fixation is with “Yeshua” and I will respond later ”

        I am not sure I understand what you mean by fixation?

        Ed: a “fixation” is something you “fix” upon – you keep referring to “Yeshua” without providing any source to show us what you mean, to whom you refer. The rest of this post reveals that you refer to Our Lord. So we can leave that now. You found out that Yeshua is a Hebrew form “Jesus” (although it also referred to Joshua)

        I believe he is a narrative construct, possibly based upon a first century eschatological Rabbi.

        Ed: source please.

        There is no such person as ”Jesus of Nazareth” as Nazareth did not exist at the time he supposedly went about his ministry.

        Ed: evidence/source please

        Furthermore, the description in Luke is erroneous and the geography is all wrong.

        Ed: evidence/source please

        Even after the Catholic Church purchased the land and conducted the first decent archaeological survey – you can look up the name of the Priest who conducted the excavation, I’m not going to do everything for you (Ed: so far you’ve done nothing but throw out ridiculous undocumented assertions) – the verdict was far from conclusive, and certainly refuted the description on Luke.

        Ed: evidence/source please

        Eusebius was the Bishop of Caeseria and he lived less than a days ride for the current sire and yet never visited it once! And there is plenty more evidence to vouchsafe that this little town is make believe.

        Ed: well provide us with the evidence. Concrete, independent and verifiable. Please and thank you.

        Some things one has to admit are little more than fiction..

        Ed: such as? Evidence/source please. Ed:

        August 14, 2013 at 10:28 am
      • gabriel syme

        I cant believe the “Nazareth didnt exist” myth is still doing the rounds with atheists. It is ridiculous and pathetic in equal measure!

        Here is a link to a press release from the Israeli Antiquities Authority:

        “For the Very First Time: A Residential Building from the Time of Jesus was Exposed in the Heart of Nazareth (12/21/09)”

        (near bottom of page)

        Given any curious soul could have found the relevant info from even the Israeli Tourist Board, I do wonder about how rigorous the atheistic research has been.

        “Nazareth, which began as a small Jewish village about 2,000 years ago”

        I mean, the tourist board, eh?

        One can only presume that atheists know better than both the Israeli Antiquities Authority and the Israeli Tourist board. After all, what would they know about Israeli, eh?

        By the way, dont ever listen to Visit Scotland – those liars invented a place called Edinburgh. And dont get me started on that whole “River Clyde” mythology.

        August 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm
      • Arkenaten

        You really need to do a bit more research if you are going to offer up this piece of spurious nonsense.
        See if you can find a single peer review of that article outside of the team that conducted the dig. Just one.
        I wont even bother to expend anymore energy refuting your comment, other than to say if this is what you regard as evidence it really is no wonder there are 40,000 different Christian denominations and the fringe christians allow twits like Ken Ham to build a Creationist museum.
        No wonder Albright failed as an archaeologist.

        August 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm
      • Arkenaten

        I think it would be good manners if you actually wrote a separate comment rather than cannibalize my comments.
        If you do not know the name of the Catholic archaeologist who first excavated the Nazareth basin then I am not going to educate you.
        You have access to an Encyclopedia I presume.
        The geography issue likewise. Merely look at a topographical map.

        You have heard of the Priestly lists supposedly found at Caeseria?
        You can read Josephus as well.
        You can research the history of the Tenth Legion – the one that marched on Jerusalem and sacked the city and destroyed the Temple.

        You can access the online Nazareth Farm Report.

        To simply dismiss out of hand what I write is childish. If you are genuine in you desire to follow up then I will help with links and background information for you to read.

        Info on Eusebius is freely available , including his Church History and other relevant material.

        You can also research Constantine, and his somewhat enthusiastic mother Helena.

        Everything you could possible want to know about the church, how it was founded and its later history is available.
        The only problem is it is often all over the place. You have to dig a little. It depends how much you want to know the truth or how much you are willing to allow the church to dictate what you believe, I guess.

        August 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm
      • editor


        Please do not tell me how to run this blog. If I choose to inject comment in a particular post, as I do from time to time, then I will blankety blank do so.

        Indeed, the charitable way of interpreting my injections would be to acknowledge that I sought to make it easy for you to see precisely what needs to be evidenced in your post, which is full of ridiculous claims; claims which, if true, would have put our Catholic religion to bed many moons ago. Please do not treat us as if we are idiots.

        Predictably, you do not offer any concrete evidence at all (not surprising since there’s none available)

        So, please stop wasting your time trying to -as you say elsewhere – trying to “de-convert” us. Won’t happen. All you are doing is reminding us how nonsensical is the atheist view of the world.

        August 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Funny, every single deconvertee I have engaged said almost exactly the same thing before they deconverted.
        Every one was convinced of the infallibility of their religion and their own particular branch of that religion. Everyone was incredibly hostile toward atheists and even their fellow Christians from different churches or other religions.
        Almost every one thought evolution was for idiots.
        However, once they began examining their bibles properly and asking a few pertinent questions that could not be answered it all unraveled.
        Very much the same for deconverted clergy as well.
        I have never read of a deconverted Christian who became agnostic or atheist that returned to the church. Not a single one.

        Re: My comments.
        Of course you may do whatever you feel comfortable with.
        If you were trying to be nice or helpful I apologize, but I prefer to have them un-tampered as it makes it easier for me to formulate a response. But as you say, it is your blog.

        Oh, and if you don’t like swearing or supposed bad language, what exactly are the words you are substituting by including blankety blank?
        Surely Jesus knows what’s in you heart when you do this, yes?
        Just asking… 😉

        August 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm
      • editor


        I decided to remove you from the moderation box because otherwise I’d have to resign from housework and shopping and hire a maid to keep up!

        Seriously, I have put the B word into the moderation box instead – the only B word allowed here is “bless” or… you guessed, “blankety blank”.

        As for what is in the heart – listen: I’m no saint. The air around me can be black and blue, mainly blue, when I so much as stub my toe, so please do not think I’m being prudishly snobbish or anything like that. If you and I were having a verbal chat and you called me “b*****” madam, I’d smile and say ” aw, shucks Arky, don’t be mean to me…” I wouldn’t hang up and head for the Erskine Bridge.

        But this is a Catholic blog where words are there in black and white for all the world to see. What if the Pope happened by? What would he think if Saint Editor of Glasgow Central permitted “B” words to be published here, there and everywhere?

        Nay, Arkenaten, one must maintain one’s standards for public consumption, even if one is a two-faced hypocritical blankety blank sinner in the real world.

        I reciprocate your wee smiley face – if only I could learn to do that, I’d die a happy gal…

        August 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Smiley face.

        Colon then left facing bracket
        🙂 like so.

        Wink smiley face:

        Semi-Colon then left facing bracket

        And please don’t die just yet.
        We haven’t even had a row about blankety blank chuff chuff contraception….

        😉 like so.

        August 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm
      • editor

        Can’t answer at the post below where you kindly give me the steps to produce a smiley face. I will need to practise that in the dead of night when everybody else is asleep because when I tried it just now, I got this:

        :[ ;{

        Where’s the smiley face? How can I download one of those in the box? Am I a blankety blank computer illiterate or what?

        Strictly rhetorical question…

        August 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm
      • spiritustempore

        “Jewish Antiquities”, by Flavius Josephus. Book 18, Chapter 3, paragraph 3.

        Rebellion of the Jews against Pontius Pilate. Concerning Christ, and what befell Paulina and the Jews at Rome.

        1. (55) But now Pilate, the procurator of Judea, removed the army from Caesarea to Jerusalem, to take their winter quarters there, in order to abolish the Jewish laws. So he introduced Caesar’s effigies, which were upon the ensigns, and brought them into the city; whereas our law forbids us the very making of images; (56) on which account the former procurators were accustomed to make their entry into the city with such ensigns as had not those ornaments. Pilate was the first who brought those images to Jerusalem, and set them up there; which was done without the knowledge of the people, because it was done in the nighttime; (57) but as soon as they knew it, they came in multitudes to Caesarea, and interceded with Pilate many days that he would remove the images; and when he would not grant their requests, because it would tend to the injury of Caesar, while yet they persevered in their request, on the sixth day he ordered his soldiers to have their weapons privately, while he came and sat upon his judgment seat, which seat was so prepared in the open place of the city, that it concealed the army that lay ready to oppress them; (58) and when the Jews petitioned him again, he gave a signal to the soldiers to surround them, and threatened that their punishment should be no less than immediate death, unless they would leave off disturbing him, and go their ways home. (59) But they threw themselves upon the ground, and laid their necks bare, and said they would take their death very willingly, rather than the wisdom of their laws should be transgressed; upon which Pilate was deeply affected with their firm resolution to keep their laws inviolable, and presently commanded the images to be carried back from Jerusalem to Caesarea.

        2. (60) But Pilate undertook to bring a current of water to Jerusalem, and did it with the sacred money, and derived the origin of the stream from the distance of two hundred furlongs. However, the Jews [1] were not pleased with what had been done about this water; and many ten thousands of the people got together, and made a clamor against him, and insisted that he should leave off that design. Some of them also used reproaches, and abused the man, as crowds of such people usually do. (61) So he outfitted a great number of his soldiers in the clothing of the crowd, who carried daggers under their garments, and sent them to a place where they might surround them. So he directed the Jews himself to go away; but when they boldly cast reproaches upon him, he gave the soldiers that signal which had been beforehand agreed on; (62) who laid upon them much greater blows than Pilate had commanded them, and equally punished those that were disorderly, and those that were not; nor did they spare them in the least: and since the people were unarmed, and were caught by men prepared for what they were about, there were a great number of them killed by this means, and others of them ran away wounded. And thus an end was put to this rebellion.

        3. (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. (64) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross [2], those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day [3], as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.

        Now bore off, A-r-k-e-n-a-t-e-n.

        August 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm
      • Arkenaten

        What’s the matter, don’t you read?
        This is not a contemporary account. Do you understand what this word means?
        And for the love of Pete you have quoted Josephus and the TF.
        For goodness’ sake! .
        No decent scholar worth his or her salt affords this any credence whatsoever as ‘evidence’.
        And you cut and paste this nonsense and think I am going to
        buckle at the knees or something. Anyone besides the most fundamental Christian who chances upon this reply will be shaking their head in dismay.
        Even the Catholic Church considers this piece of literary garbage largely a Christian interpolation. Aren’t you aware of this?
        Which merely exacerbates your ignorance of your own Church.

        You really need to take a serious look at what you consider history. Why not refer to the official Catholic standpoint on Josephus in future.

        This is an appalling attempt, even by apologetic standards.
        And the ”bore off ” ….really?
        You should be ashamed.

        August 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm
    • Athanasius


      Don’t be alarmed by what we say here but understand that only in rare cases is physical violence justified, such as has been delineated above.

      Someone mentioned the Battle of Lepanto as one example, but there are others in the lives of the Catholic Knights, the Crusades and in the life of St. Joan of Arc.

      Today, the battle is being fought much more on the supernatural level “against the spirits of darkness in the high places,” as St. Paul Put it. We live in vastly different times to the great days of medieval Christendom when Catholicism was at its height in Europe and elsewhere. In those days, God was honoured by monarchs and nobles and eternal salvation was the common goal of all. Consequently, they took to the battlefield whenever the holy religion and the holy places were threatened with godless aggression.

      Now, God is largely despised by the world’s rulers and forgotten by the majority of men, who live more for materialism and this world.

      The tactics of war have altered accordingly, then. There is no meeting on the battlefield now, but rather a call to the arms of the Traditional Mass, the Rosary, the Sacraments and penance. These are principally the weapons of today’s Catholic.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        “The tactics of war have altered accordingly, then. There is no meeting on the battlefield now, but rather a call to the arms of the Traditional Mass, the Rosary, the Sacraments and penance. These are principally the weapons of today’s Catholic.”

        That is the perfect summary. Thank you for your very clear explanation. Just looking at that list, it is amazing to think that every one has been under attack as a result of Vatican II – new Mass, new mysteries of the rosary, different forms of the sacraments and penance being reduced to fun, things like Lentfest in Glasgow. The devil is having a field day.

        August 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm
      • Petrus

        The only thing I would add is the Brown Scapular! I think of mine is a shield.

        August 13, 2013 at 7:24 am
      • Athanasius


        Quite right, the Scapular is a shield and it goes with the Rosary. Good call!

        August 13, 2013 at 10:41 am
      • Athanasius

        Margaret Mary,

        Yes indeed, the Mass, the Rosary, the Sacraments and penance have all been tampered with since Vatican II, all watered down to please the world. But at what cost to souls?

        August 13, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • spiritustempore

    I’m sorry, Marcantonio. I hadn’t realised that you are a young, Novus Ordo Catholic.

    Much of what is written here must appear strange to you – it’s based on what the Church traditionally taught during the millennia prior to the second Vatican Council and which, to a degree, a new generation of priests is slowly returning.

    This is a confusing time for Catholics with many sources of information available – not all of them accurate or trustworthy.

    To understand what the Church has taught, always and everywhere, the histories, encyclicals and letters of the popes are worth reading.

    Popes Pius IX, X, XI and XII and Pope Leo XIII are good places to start. Utterly orthodox, truly holy popes who were well aware of the challenges facing the Church and the steps that should be taken to defend the faith.

    Fr John Hardon, Fr Jordann Aumann, Fr Chad Ripperger, and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre are good, reliable sources of information, if you want to explore further.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm
    • Marcantonio Colonna

      Thank you for kind reply. Do you know if any father has written about these topics in italian?

      August 14, 2013 at 9:44 am
      • editor

        Marcantonio Colonna,

        Why not check out these priests – they may be able to help you find sound reading over and above that listed by spiritustempore.

        August 14, 2013 at 9:49 am
      • Marcantonio Colonna

        Grazie di cuore, editor, for the answer and for the help yesterday. I will study well to learn. God bless you!!

        August 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm
  • Arkenaten

    Oh, dear, It seems as if I have been banned from another Christian blog?

    August 13, 2013 at 8:32 am
    • editor

      Really? Where’s that then?

      No, Arkenaten, I gave you plenty of warning that your posts would be moderated unless you behaved yourself. So, now your posts are going into moderation, Sugar Plum, and they will be released unedited if they are kosher and edited or removed if you are naughty. Simple. Be good.

      Luv & stuff…

      August 13, 2013 at 11:29 pm
      • Arkenaten

        You’re a catholic and you tell me to be good?
        All catholic girls are naughty…

        August 14, 2013 at 6:57 am
      • Crossraguel


        Ever stop to ponder why you are drawn to Christian blogs? That you feel such a need to gravitate to that which you apparently reject, may betray less assuredness than you’d rather believe.

        Deep down you know there’s more to life than the present; you have an opportunity here to follow the way, truth and life to heaven. I pray you seize the day, since tomorrow may not come.

        August 14, 2013 at 11:55 am
      • Arkenaten

        I am drawn to Christian blogs for the same reason I am drawn to other religious blogs for the same reason all atheists stand up in the face of religion and will keep on doing so.
        If such stuff were solely left to individual choice I would have no argument whatsoever. On this you have my word. But you proselytize.
        And if you ever care to visit any number of sites hosted by
        de-convertees you will understand why as well.

        I hold no truck whatsoever with the doctrine of the Afterlife or those that hold such views.
        There are Muslim extremists who also believe the ”Afterlife” is better and have no faith or desire to be in this one.
        In fact some are quite willing to blow themselves and any one else with them to get to the ”Other Side” quicker. Remember 9/11? Yeah, of course you do.
        Maybe this aspect of the Afterlife has never crossed your mind before?
        Perhaps you believe it is the sole preserve of Christians?
        Perhaps you wont be so sanctimonious if faced with a religious extremist who is not only very keen to get to the Afterlife and all those virgins but he is also willing to set off a low yield nuclear device in America’s back yard?
        Now there’s something to think about, right?

        How rosy is the Afterlife looking, now?

        August 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm
      • spiritustempore

        All comment is superfluous:-

        I started this post with the intention of listing fifty (at least ) reasons to be an atheist and got stumped after five, which was not only disappointing but very frustrating because I realised after the first reason every subsequent one was a reason NOT to be religious, which isn’t the same thing, is it?

        So there I sat, looking at my list of One and initially feeling a bit foolish for my hubris.

        I walked away and went and made myself a cup of tea, always a good idea when I am stuck for…. an idea, or in this case a reason.

        As I poured the water I realised the feeling of foolishness is unwarranted because we were all atheists at the beginning and became something else, largely because of parents, family, culture, etc.

        So one is not becoming something but rather returning to one’s original state.

        And here is the one…and ONLY reason.

        Atheism is natural

        While I applaud Editor’s charity in allowing you to post here, A-r-k-e-n-a-t-e-n, it’s hard to see any value added in so doing.

        August 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Ah…so you are now quote mining my blog. Well, I am flattered, truly, but why don’t you comment on the piece on my blog site rather than do it the cowardly way?
        And Editor has me on a tight rein, I am afraid,so now I am never sure if any of my comments will get past the censor.
        If they do then we can continue. If not….your comment stuck out like this is just going to look a bit silly. And make you look silly too, I a sorry to say.
        But thanks again for popping over to The Ark’s spot. Maybe you will learn something?
        That will be something to look forward to, right?
        A clued up religious person…a real first.
        Cor blimey!

        August 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm
      • editor


        So far, ALL of your comments got out of moderation and they will do so as long as they conform to the rules. I doubt very much if I went onto your blog and flouted your rules, that I’d be tolerated for long, if at all.

        I’ve had to delete a mild profanity – no “b” words here, please and thank you – and in a couple of posts I inserted comment to save me time here, but apart from that, you’ve been published here so stop complaining and say “thank you editor” nicely.

        August 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm
      • editor


        I am remarking on your final sentence only to stop a torrent of requests from others to ban Arkenaten or others.

        We don’t do that here. Nobody gets banned. Some have to be moderated but since Catholics have nothing to fear from vacuous atheism, and since nobody is compelled to enter into conversation with anyone else, I prefer to allow all and sundry to comment, subject to the basic rules of sticking to the topic and not making nasty personal remarks/using bad language.

        So, thanks to spiritustempore and others who have answered Arkenaten and to those who continue to do so, but I will see her posts in moderation now so if I possibly can spare the time, I will try to answer her there and if anyone else wishes to add anything, that’s great. Otherwise, ignore her blethering.

        Please and thank you!

        August 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm
      • spiritustempore

        Hi Editor

        A-r-k-e-n-a-t-e-n is male….allegedly. His infantile finger-pointing and question-dodging is pretty tedious.

        It seems clear that his mission in life is to vent his self-loathing at religious believers and his continued presence risks turning this excellent site into a kindergarten.

        Must we really wade past his repetitive stream of consciousness to get to posts of some interest?

        If so, I’ll offer it up….grudgingly.

        Interesting article in The Telegraph from an atheist this week:-

        When did atheists become so teeth-gratingly annoying?

        Surely non-believers in God weren’t always the colossal pains in the collective backside that they are today?

        Surely there was a time when you could say to someone “I am an atheist” without them instantly assuming you were a smug, self-righteous loather of dumb hicks given to making pseudo-clever statements like, “Well, Leviticus also frowns upon having unkempt hair, did you know that?”

        Things are now so bad that I tend to keep my atheism to myself, and instead mumble something about being a very lapsed Catholic if I’m put on the spot, for fear that uttering the A-word will make people think I’m a Dawkins drone with a mammoth superiority complex and a hives-like allergy to nurses wearing crucifixes.

        These days, barely a week passes without the emergence of yet more evidence that atheists are the most irritating people on Earth.

        Last week we had the spectacle of Dawkins and his slavish Twitter followers (whose adherence to Dawkins’ diktats makes those Kool-Aid-drinking Jonestown folk seem level-headed in comparison) boring on about how stupid Muslims are.

        This week we’ve been treated to new scientific research claiming to show that atheists are cleverer than religious people.

        I say scientific. I say research. It is of course neither; it’s just a pre-existing belief dolled up in rags snatched from various reports and stories. Not unlike the Bible. But that hasn’t stopped the atheistic blogosphere and Twitterati from effectively saying, “See? Told you we were brainier than you Bible-reading numbskulls.”

        Atheists online are forever sharing memes about how stupid religious people are. I know this because some of my best Facebook friends are atheists. There’s even a website called Atheist Meme Base, whose most popular tags tell you everything you need to know about it and about the kind of people who borrow its memes to proselytise about godlessness to the ignorant: “indoctrination”, “Christians”, “funny”, “hell”, “misogyny”, “scumbag God”, “logic”.

        Atheists in the public sphere spend their every tragic waking hour doing little more than mocking the faithful. In the words of Robin Wright, they seem determined “to make it not just uncool to believe, but cool to ridicule believers”.

        To that end if you ever have the misfortune, as I once did, to step foot into an atheistic get-together, which are now common occurrences in the Western world, patronised by people afflicted with repetitive strain injury from so furiously patting themselves on the back for being clever, you will witness unprecedented levels of intellectual smugness and hostility towards hoi polloi.

        So, what’s gone wrong with atheism? The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, which is just non-belief, a nothing, a lack of something.

        Rather it is the transformation of this nothing into an identity, into the basis of one’s outlook on life, which gives rise to today’s monumentally annoying atheism.

        The problem with today’s campaigning atheists is that they have turned their absence of belief in God into the be-all and end-all of their personality.

        Which is bizarre. Atheism merely signals what you don’t believe in, not what you do believe in. It’s a negative. And therefore, basing your entire worldview on it is bound to generate immense amounts of negativity.

        Where earlier generations of the Godless viewed their atheism as a pretty minor part of their personality, or at most as the starting point of their broader identity as socialists or humanists or whatever, today’s ostentatiously Godless folk constantly declare “I am an atheist!” as if that tells you everything you need to know about a person, when it doesn’t.

        The utter hollowness of this transformation of a nothing into an identity is summed up by the fact that some American atheists now refer to themselves as “Nones” – that is, their response to the question “What is your religious affiliation?” is “None”.

        Okay, big deal, you don’t believe in God, well done. But what do you believe in?

        Today’s atheism-as-identity is really about absolving oneself of the tough task of explaining what one is for, what one loves, what one has faith in, in favour of the far easier and fun pastime of saying what one is against and what one hates.

        An identity based on a nothing will inevitably be a quite hostile identity, sometimes viciously so, particularly towards opposite identities that are based on a something – in this case on a belief in God.

        There is a very thin line between being a None and a nihilist; after all, if your whole identity is based on not believing in something, then why give a damn about anything?

        August 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm
      • editor


        Arkenaten is a “she” (mother of two, poor wee souls…!)

        Fascinating article. Now, there’s an atheist I could live with, who acknowledges: …after all, if y our whole identity is based on not believing in something, then why give a damn about anything?

        Says what we’ve said all along – if there is no God, why waste time talking about Him?

        Game, set and match, spiritustempore – game set and blankety blank match!

        August 14, 2013 at 3:24 pm
      • spiritustempore


        Thanks for the correction, Editor.

        I noticed that A-r-k-e-n-a-t-e-n has more than one blog and assumed that she was male, having seen that one is seemingly devoted to the adoration of phallic symbols.

        Stupid of me, and poor little kids, right enough.

        August 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm
      • Arkenaten

        It is never a waste of time. Maybe one person will eventually read something that makes them think. And this is always the first step towards deconverting.

        If what you believed was truth and fact then there wold be no need for the 40,000 plus Christian denominations, let alone the other religions, who flat out deny the divinity of your man-god.
        You would well to ask why this is before slating me and my view.

        August 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm
      • editor


        If you are here to learn more about Catholicism and the nature of the current crisis in the Church, you are not wasting your time. If – as you state – you are trying to “de-convert” us, you are definitely wasting your time.

        As for the 40,000 plus “Christian denominations” to which you refer (probably many more than that – there are new ones springing up all over the place every day) that results from the schismatic priests who thought they knew better than the pontiff at the time of the Reformation. Once they decided that it was every man (and woman of course) for him/herself in the matter of interpreting sacred scripture and the moral law, it was inevitable that they’d eventually fall out among themselves over, er, the question of biblical interpretation and the moral law – and voila! We now have more pseudo-churches than they had synagogues in the first century. Hence we have Protestant “churches”, some of which think abortion is OK, same-sex marriage is OK, this part of Scripture is to be accepted and that verse rejected.

        Once those medieval priest-dissenters, such as Martin Luther, had dispensed with the divinely bequeathed authority to teach in His name which Christ gave primarily to Peter, then every man became, effectively, his own pope. That’s why there are so many “denominations” each one as man-made (and thus meaningless) as the atheist church opened in London a few months ago – did you read about that?

        In the same way, too, those who reject the very existence of God have to make it up as they go along, each man or woman his own god.

        Elsewhere, we were discussing evil and the mystery of God’s apparent non-intervention to prevent suffering and evil in the world. I meant to quote from a book I’ve been dipping into, where the author argues that we always know precisely the amount of evil in the world: the amount of evil in the word, he suggests, equates precisely to the number of people who reject God. Here’s the exact quote:

        …So also in exact accordance with man’s denial of the truths of God will evil triumph and happiness decline. Refuse His truths and you refuse God; refuse God and you refuse the truths of reason and all truth, and you refuse truth to your fellow-men and destroy it by every means in your power as the [ ] enemies of God and man are doing. Love darkness rather than the light, and you carry your own darkness with you, and leave blindness and despair in your wake. Do you see why there is darkness over the earth? Why the truths of God are so vital? Why our leaders are fumbling about in the dark?
        (You And Thousands Like You by Owen Francis Dudley)

        August 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm
      • Arkenaten

        My goodness, is this why you think Martin Luther turned against the church?
        You do have a somewhat warped idea of your own church, and I do not feel inclined to enlighten you at this point. Your replies are getting more aggressive as we go along.

        As for the quote. If you do just a bit of research you will find that the most stable, happiest, peaceful countries are those that are moving away from religion. or flat out reject it. Sweden comes to mind.
        Of the western countries the US features bottom out of 14 on all counts and is the MOST diverse religious country on the planet.
        Now that makes you think..or should do.

        Atheist church? No, I hadn’t heard. Just googled it.
        Did you research it thoroughly? LOL Organised by a comedian, and they sang songs such as Proud Mary by CCR.
        To be honest it sounds just a little like a Micky-take, I’m afraid. 🙂
        What were you expecting? Sacrificing babies and burning the bible? Smile…not quite.

        I am not here to de-convert anyone, merely attempt to correct gross misconceptions and challenge outright untruths.
        it is always interesting to see just how close-minded many folk are, sad, but interesting nonetheless
        The nonsense surrounding Nazareth is a perfect example. It is sad that people accept whatever they are force fed without checking for themselves.

        Oh, and the ”blankety blank” words you wrote? Have you figured out what you really meant yet? 🙂 lol…

        August 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Good heaven’s and you call me aggressive?
        Did you get out the wrong side of the bed the whole week?

        August 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Good heaven’s. You had fun with this little cut and paste job didn’t you?

        August 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm
      • Arkenaten

        I don’t have a moderator on either, and if you visit my About page you can read my comment policy.
        More lenient than ANY Christian site.
        I fail to see the point of a moderator to be honest. Why not let the comment stand then merely delete it if you don’t like it? Lot easier all round,surely?
        I might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I always try to challenge those that are religious, I never lie, and where my comments refer to News and ESPECIALLY religious history my comments are bang to right.
        You could do a lot worse.
        And if nothing else, at least you are getting more hits from people who love to ‘hate’ the nasty atheist, and for a change Chrispians get to think a little. So, all in all The Ark is your lucky charm.
        “Thank you editor nicely” How’s that?

        August 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm
      • editor

        I’ve already said elsewhere that I’ve removed you from moderation.

        And there’s nothing “aggressive” about any of my posts.

        You rubbish EVERYTHING any of us says, make ridiculous and unsubstantiated claims about everything (your decontextualized comment about Martin Luther being a case in point – his own biographer said that by the end of his life, Luther would brook no criticism, take no correction from anyone. If he wasn’t his own pope, who is?)

        Look Arkenaten,

        I simply do not have the time to respond to your every comment. I did answer in detail in one of your posts, asking for reliable evidence in order to allow me to answer your criticisms fully. Your response was to ridicule me and tell me to do my own research.

        This is a Catholic blog – we are not looking to be de-converted. We are trying to keep ourselves informed about the current crisis in the Church and to relate what is happening to the Fatima apparitions

        So, while an atheist (or ten!) is welcome to drop by and participate if they wish in our discussions, we cannot be diverted from our main purpose, which is to discuss our Faith, grow to love it more, despite the devastation caused by bad and negligent priests and bishops.

        In which respect, I make one more observation on the subject which brought you here in the first place, that is, the issue of the scandalous abuse of children at Fort Augustus Abbey – which we all, to a man and woman, condemn out of hand.

        But there is one thing I notice in the media reports; it came to my mind when you rightly expressed abhorrence at the terrorists attacks perpetrated in the name of Islam.

        When the media report these atrocities, they ALWAYS say immediately that they have to point out that they are not meaning to attack Islam here, they are aware that this group of terrorists is a minority within Islam.

        When was the last time you heard any TV or radio news reporter saying that when reporting a case(s) of child abuse by Catholic priests – who ARE, by any standard, a minority within the Church.

        Now, that’s a rhetorical question, simply to make the point, with which, I presume you will agree. The Catholic Church does not enjoy a level playing field out there at all.

        Anyway, Arkenaten, please do not take offence if we are not so quick to respond to you from now on – or think triumphantly that you, the first atheist in history to do so, have single-handedly destroyed the Church, our Faith and that we just cannot answer your criticisms. Not true. You are not discussing with us, you are flailing out in all directions, and we just don’t have the time to correct everything or set you straight on everything – not least because your mind is made up and you don’t want to know.

        And finally, we want to stick to our topics per thread, so please – if you choose to remain among us, and you are, of course, welcome to do so – please do not divert from the main topic. We don’t want every topic to focus on the question of the existence of God or the theory of evolution or even whether or not Nazareth is a fictional place.


        August 14, 2013 at 6:32 pm
      • Arkenaten


        August 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm
      • editor

        Shucks, thanks, Arkenaten.

        Top Secret: you’re my very favourite atheist on this blog.

        August 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm
      • Arkenaten

        lol, are there any others? Semi colon left bracket.

        August 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm
      • Arkenaten

        If you need to practice just open a Word Doc.
        It should work the same there as on WordPress.

        If you want more stuff. There are other sites too, just Google.
        Here’s a facebook one‎

        Ed: still no reply button so this is just to say thanks – I will practise and get the hang of those smiley faces! Many thanks.

        August 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm
      • spiritustempore

        …and 20 minutes later, Arkenaten posts in Italian that Giuseppe Flavio wrote that Christ did not exist. According to Wikipedia.

        Editor, this is a troll. It has no intention of abiding by the rules.

        August 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm
      • Arkenaten

        ”When the media report these atrocities, they ALWAYS say immediately that they have to point out that they are not meaning to attack Islam here, they are aware that this group of terrorists is a minority within Islam.”

        Which clearly demonstrates how poop-scared people are of Islamist headcase fundamentalists.
        This is not freedom of religion in any sense of the word.
        This is theocratic tyranny.It is mind numbing.

        A ten year old kid was shot to death yesterday/day before. by Muslim extremists on her way home from Bible class. A ten year old kid, for the gods’ sake!
        I get so enraged when I read stuff like that I nearly weep.

        And maybe now you can understand why I also challenge any and every Muslim who claims Islam is a religion of peace.
        Yeah right!

        August 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm
  • spiritustempore

    Blah, blah, blah.

    More hysterical ignorance from the atheist in the corner.

    I doubt anyone’s really listening.

    August 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm
    • editor

      I’m watching, if not listening, spiritustempore – I want to see that list of reliable, verifiable sources, requested from our resident atheist, somewhere on this blog…

      Since she claims that Jesus of Nazareth never existed – nay, that NAZARETH itself didn’t exist – can’t wait for her to supply that list (watch for a list of books written by er atheists!)

      Luv you really Arkenaten. When you finally give in and join us, I’ll pay for the celebration cake and coke (liquid kind!)

      August 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Your blatant sarcasm is indicative of the insecurity rife within religion all religion..
        Any evidence I linked you to you would dismiss, yet I am always open to Christians producing evidence to back any of their claims. So far not a single Christian has been able to.

        August 14, 2013 at 4:42 pm
  • spiritustempore


    Why don’t you stop your somewhat transparent diversionary tactics and post the evidence you claim to have?

    You do have evidence don’t you?

    Time to put up or shut up.

    August 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm
  • Marcantonio Colonna

    I am only a young student, but at school i learn that flavio giuseppe (sorry, i do not know it in english), a roman writer and man of politics, a pagan also, clearly writes about jesus who is called the christ…he did exist in this world!

    August 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm
    • Arkenaten

      @ Marcantonio.
      Che Giuseppe Flavio scrisse di Yeshua era una interpolazione cristiana

      August 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm
      • spiritustempore

        Don’t push your luck, A-r-k-e-n-a-t-e-n.

        We’re still waiting for your much-vaunted ‘proof’ that “neither Jesus nor Nazareth” existed.

        I’m sure that Editor’s Italian is good enough to recognise atheist proselytising when she reads it.

        August 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Listen, Smart Alec, I wrote it in Italian because Marcantonio is Italian and he stated he did not know it in English.
        I was being polite…

        This is the translation… per Chrome.

        ”That Josephus wrote that Yeshua was a Christian interpolation.”

        Basically, the TF was subject to Christian Interpolation.Happy now?

        As for my ”much vaunted proof’ regarding Jesus and Nazareth are you really really interested or are you merely going to be snide?

        I’m serious. I’ll post everything I have if you are keen for a history and archaeology lesson, but clear it with Editor first, okay?
        Your call….

        August 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Sheesh, that is hell to type, why do you bother?

        August 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm
      • spiritustempore

        To avoid my posts joining yours in moderation. As Editor has released you from moderation, there is no longer any need.

        Editor has reminded you to post proof of your assertions that neither Jesus nor Nazareth existed.

        I’ve now asked you to do so three times and still you try to deflect.

        While you’re about it, please also back up your claims that Flavius Josephus made up his reference to Christ’s existence.

        No atheist polemics: cold, hard historical fact please.

        As previously posted, put up or shut up time.

        And please try to make it concise and coherent.

        August 14, 2013 at 9:18 pm
      • Arkenaten

        The core of the TF…that which states that Jesus was a wise man etc is recognized as a christian interpolation.
        Even the Catholic Church believe so.
        You can find all the relevant info on Wiki. Just type Josephus.
        I can offer a link that shows it is all fake if you are interested, but i doubt you would believe this much, right?
        Fir more info on the TF and orher related topics try Professor Carrier’s site:
        Just trawl around. It is a very interesting site.


        Oh, and for the record. The Catholic Priest that first surveyed the area, was called Bagatti. And he found zip to suggest the village existed at the time of Jesus.

        Have fun.
        Any other questions or queries feel free to ask.
        All the best.
        The Ark

        August 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm
      • editor

        Er, could I remind you that the topic of this thread is, is Secularism to blame for the crisis in the Church?

        What on EARTH does that have to do with Josephus, Nazareth or the freethoughtsblog?

        I’m trying to be patient, Arkenaten. Trying very hard. Thing is, I don’t think I’m half as trying as you…

        Come on, co-operate.

        August 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Your mate just asked me to post links for crying in a bucket.!
        Read her comment. She also said put up or shut up!
        I don’t care a monkey’s uncle if she believes or not, it wont alter the facts one way or another.

        ”Editor has reminded you to post proof of your assertions that neither Jesus nor Nazareth existed.”

        PLEASE do me a favour and delete the comment with the links and the info on Josephus etc. Really, then she can go whistle for any info in future.

        August 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm
      • Athanasius


        I thought you might find this link helpful in proving the existence of God. I have other such links, as well as a few showing without doubt the existence of the devil. They are real life exorcisms, so quite disturbing. Let me know if you want to see them.

        By the way, this linked website is not a Catholic one, so that should add to credibility.

        August 14, 2013 at 10:15 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Are you extracting the Michael?
        You are, aren’t you? A real chain yank, yes?
        Only a complete moron would believe this.
        I am assuming you are sitting in front of your laptop having a good old chuckle…as am I.
        Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

        August 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm
      • editor


        I seem to have given mixed signals on the matter of sticking to the topic, more complicated than usual since this topic is “secularism.”

        I’m getting myself out of the muddle I’ve created by issuing the following royal command….

        Once you have provided the evidence requested on the points you’ve raised, end of. OK? (no need to waste a post replying “OK” – let’s take that as read.)

        And just for interest, I thought the following piece about the history of Nazareth might be of use in helping correct your notion that it didn’t exist at the time of Christ…

        Nazareth in Ancient Times

        The city of Nazareth was a small and insignificant agricultural village in the time of Jesus. It had no trade routes, was of little economic importance and was never mentioned in the Old Testament or other ancient texts. Archaeological excavations indicate Nazareth was settled continuously from 900 – 600 BCE, with a break in settlement until 200 BCE, from which time it has been continuously inhabited.

        Nazareth, the Home of Mary and Joseph

        During the lifetime of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, it is believed the population did not exceed 500. Nazareth was a small Jewish village where people knew one another, and like Jesus, lived, prayed and studied in the Jewish tradition. They gathered in the synagogue, meeting for prayer and holidays. To this day, visitors can see the Synagogue Church, dating from the Crusader period, which was built to commemorate the spot where it is believed Jesus prayed and preached (see Nazareth sites and attractions). The New Testament mentions Nazareth many times, referring to it as the home of Mary and Joseph, the town that inspired Jesus during his childhood and early manhood, the place of the Annunciation and his clash with fellow citizens who disapproved of his non-conventional way of thinking.
        Click here to read more

        August 15, 2013 at 12:30 am
  • spiritustempore

    Sorry Arkenaten. Not good enough.

    I asked you for solid, authoritative historical sources, and specifically not atheist polemics (or polemicists).

    You made the assertions. You provide the evidence. Not flaky opinion pieces from Wikipedia contributors or fellow atheists, with an airy ” find it yourself”.

    Now, provide first, credible sources please.

    August 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm
    • Arkenaten

      What! What is ”flakey” about Professor Richard Carrier?

      Have you checked his credentials?
      The Wiki article has plenty of other links if you’;re not happy and the consensus regarding the TF is that the reference to ”…if he was indeed a man etc” is a Christian interpolation.
      Your church even says so!
      Are the Catholic not a credible source? If you doubt them then maybe you should jump ship and become a Protestant. Oh..wait a moment, they ALSO think the TF is a fraud.
      What more do you want for crying out loud? A signed confession from Josephus?
      Ironically the TF never appeared on the theological radar until Eusebius made an appearance.
      How interesting is that , I wonder?

      Maybe you should start with Israel Finkelstein, then?. He is an archaeologist and he has shown conclusively that Moses was fictional, the Exodus never happened and neither did the invasion of Canaan. And the Israeli government accepts his finds and this has been known for over 25 years!
      Now as this is all fake and Jesus mentioned Moses and the likes of Abraham etc that makes Jesus either ill informed or he didn’t know anything about his own Jewish traditions.
      Or are you going to tell me that Finkelstein’s work is atheist polemics as well?

      Read , don’t read. You asked. I posted.

      August 14, 2013 at 9:56 pm
      • spiritustempore


        See if you can work it out.

        My request:

        No atheist polemics: cold, hard historical fact please.

        Your source

        Richard Cevantis Carrier (born December 1, 1969) is an American blogger and a writer on philosophical and historical topics.

        He is best known for his writings on Internet Infidels, otherwise known as the Secular Web, where he served as Editor-in-Chief for several years.

        As an advocate of atheism and metaphysical naturalism, he has published articles in books, journals and magazines, and also features on the documentary film The God Who Wasn’t There, where he is interviewed about his doubts on the historicity of Jesus.

        I’m not interested in atheist sources, and I’m less than impressed with your being permitted to proselytise atheism on this site.

        I’m not interested in your biased opinions, or those of atheism’s talking heads.

        I’m interested in objective fact. Something you are patently unable to provide.

        August 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Okay, you don’t like Professor Carrier.
        Did you investigate what the Catholic Church says about Josephus and the TF by the way?
        How about Crossan or Ehrman,? Will they do?
        Ignore them entirely and focus on Israel Finkelstein and Zeev Herzog,
        Their Jewish.
        Let’s rather do the whole Moses thing and then we can follow the inevitable thread to its ultimate conclusion if you like?
        No atheist ‘polemic’, no ‘flaky’ stuff. Just solid hard core facts.
        Well? You game for a heartbreak ride or are you going to pull tongues at me all night?

        August 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm
  • spiritustempore

    I don’t care a monkey’s uncle if she believes or not, it wont alter the facts one way or another.
    PLEASE do me a favour and delete the comment with the links and the info on Josephus etc. Really, then she can go whistle for any info in future”.


    In what? Your selection of atheist websites and Wikipedia ‘factoids’ that happen to coincide with your desired view of the world?

    You seem to struggle to differentiate between Arkenaten’s personal opinions and cold, hard objective fact.

    If you hold out your ignorant personal assertions as fact, you can expect to be challenged to back them up with credible evidence. Each and every time.

    As it appears you can’t put up, it would appear to be “shut up” time.

    I suggest that you do so.

    August 14, 2013 at 9:53 pm
    • Arkenaten

      And what do consider ”creditable” info regarding Josephus?
      Eusebius? As our dear host says. Gerragrip….

      If you can’t trust your own church then nothing will convince you. Best you simply believe what you wish.

      There is only ever going to be two views. The religious and the secular.
      In all honesty, considering what we are dealing with which do you truly believe is likely to suffer from lack of objectively?
      Who has more to lose, the church/religion or secularism?

      Be at peace with what you believe.

      August 14, 2013 at 10:01 pm
      • spiritustempore

        There are only ever two possible positions.

        One based on verifiable, objective fact from credible sources.

        The second based on individuals’ subjective prejudices and biases.

        You repeat confidently as fact matters that are simply conjecture and projection from vested interests. It cuts no ice whatsoever.

        I trust my Church. I certainly don’t trust your interpretations of what it does or does not say……always and conveniently without any credible source to back up your assertions.

        Now I think you’ve probably had enough attention for one night.

        August 14, 2013 at 10:09 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Sulking already?

        August 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Here you go. The Catholic Encyclopedia
        Try reading the piece as objectively as possible, okay?
        And don’t say I don’t so anything for you…

        August 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm
      • spiritustempore

        From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:-

        Attempts have been made to refute the objections brought against this passage both for internal and external reasons, but the difficulty has not been definitively settled. The passage seems to suffer from repeated interpolations.

        The fact that the “Antiquities” testifies to the truth of Divine Revelation among the Jews as among the Christians, and confirms the historical facts related in the Bible by the incontrovertible testimony of pagan authors, renders this work of Josephus of extreme value for the history of the chosen people.

        The accounts which he gives of the rise and mutual relations of the different Jewish sects, which are so important in the history and sufferings of the Saviour; his information regarding the corruption of the ancient Jewish customs and institutions; his statement concerning the internal conflicts of the Jews, and lastly his account of the last war with the Romans, which put an end to the national independence of the Jews, are of prime importance as historical sources.

        So the excerpt confirms that:-

        1. Attempts have been made to discredit Josephus’ references to the physical existence of Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, they have not been refuted.

        2. Josephus confirms historical facts related in the Bible.

        You assert that the Catholic Church supports your position that Jesus Christ did not exist.

        You seek to use the text above to buttress your position.

        Fail on both counts.

        August 15, 2013 at 12:14 am
      • editor


        I was about to post the Catholic Encylopaedia link earlier, for the reasons you highlight, but decided not to fearing that Arkenaten would dismiss it as a merely “Catholic” source. I couldn’t believe she then posted it herself to support her own argument.

        Truly, you couldn’t make it up.

        August 15, 2013 at 12:27 am
      • spiritustempore


        I’m not entirely sure that Arkenaten has done much research into the position she claims to hold, or that her position is anything other than an adolescent attempt to be ‘contravershul’.

        August 15, 2013 at 12:39 am
      • editor

        Well, I think, in charity, we have to presume that she means what she says, since we have no way of reading her mind and soul.

        August 15, 2013 at 12:49 am
      • spiritustempore

        No need to read her mind or soul….just read her posts. Or her blog.

        Ed: (no reply button so I’m responding here)

        That is precisely what I mean – we can tell that Arkenaten actually believes what she says and thus she will be viciously anti-Catholic. She is convinced by the atheist propaganda she’s imbibed and thinks the entire history of Christendom is a fabrication. That is her embedded mindset. Hence patience is required on our part to help, if possible, correct some of her errors. We ought not to presume bad will on her part – that’s what I meant.

        August 15, 2013 at 12:52 am
      • Arkenaten

        What are you blathering on about?

        ”You assert that the Catholic Church supports your position that Jesus Christ did not exist.”

        What nonsense is that? Why would I say the church supported an argument that denied Jesus’ existence? Are you smoking your socks?

        I stated that the Catholic Church agrees that the TF has suffered from Christian interpolation and this article states the same

        ”The passage seems to suffer from repeated interpolations.”

        . This is all I said about the Catholic Church and I also said try to read it objectively.
        Are you feeling all smug and self-important now that you believe you have trashed the argument of the ”nasty atheist?”

        Do you truly believe I just ‘found’ this five minutes before posting it for you?
        Do you HONESTLY think I haven’t read and studied this passage from the Catholic Encyclopedia?

        Which is a darn sight more than can be said from a supposed devout Catholic like yourself. Lol.
        Well, at least you can;t say I haven;t educated you a little, right?

        Really, you are so funny..

        August 15, 2013 at 8:50 am
      • spiritustempore

        You may have read it. You patently have difficulties with interpretation, as the passage you quote refutes your argument, rather than supporting it.

        I’m not terribly interested in your hysterical diatribes – if you had an argument at all, you wouldn’t find yourself continually falling back on bluster and childish ranting to fill the holes where reasoned argument should be.

        You appear to have some fairly deep-seated emotional issues – perhaps you would be better served by seeking medical or spiritual help, rather than desperate attention-seeking on the internet.

        August 15, 2013 at 9:05 am
      • Arkenaten

        We were talking about the Testimonium Flavium, and the Catholic Church’s standpoint.
        I cited them solely because they too recognise that is has been butchered by interpolation, and quite likely by Eusebius.

        ”You appear to have some fairly deep-seated emotional issues ”

        Lol…Thank you for your concern regarding my mental and emotional well being. Which reminds me…I must take all my pills with breakfast. 🙂

        Well at least I got you to read something historical and have enlightened you just a bit, Including some stuff on the Catholic Church you didn’t know before. Believe me, you now know more than most in this regard. How cool is that?
        Look up Louis Feldman. He is considered the number one expert on the TF.

        Now you are aware of the T.F., and know a bit more about Josephus. You may now even be encouraged to read a bit more? Who knows, right? It is all fascinating stuff.

        Whether you believe or not, you can’t ever dismiss it.
        That is at least a start.

        Baby steps.

        It’s been fun.
        Maybe it will continue to be so?


        August 15, 2013 at 9:23 am
  • spiritustempore

    And as for the non-existence of Nazareth:-

    In December of 2009, Nazareth made worldwide headlines. Archaeologist Yardena Alexandre and her colleagues uncovered a small structure that they dated to the time of Christ (Hadid, 2009). The Israel Antiquities Authority official press release hailed this discovery as the first of its kind in which a residential structure was uncovered. The announcement noted the importance of the discovery, and quoted Yardena:

    “The discovery is of utmost importance since it reveals for the very first time a house from the Jewish village of Nazareth and thereby sheds light on the way of life at the time of Jesus. The building that we found is small and modest and it is most likely typical of the dwellings in Nazareth in that period. From the few written sources that there are, we know that in the first century CE Nazareth was a small Jewish village, located inside a valley”.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:34 am
    • editor

      Very interesting, spiritustempore. I’ve just added the following to a post of mine above, but in case it gets missed, here it is again – on the subject of the “fictitious” Nazareth…

      Nazareth in Ancient Times

      The city of Nazareth was a small and insignificant agricultural village in the time of Jesus. It had no trade routes, was of little economic importance and was never mentioned in the Old Testament or other ancient texts. Archaeological excavations indicate Nazareth was settled continuously from 900 – 600 BCE, with a break in settlement until 200 BCE, from which time it has been continuously inhabited.

      Nazareth, the Home of Mary and Joseph

      During the lifetime of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, it is believed the population did not exceed 500. Nazareth was a small Jewish village where people knew one another, and like Jesus, lived, prayed and studied in the Jewish tradition. They gathered in the synagogue, meeting for prayer and holidays. To this day, visitors can see the Synagogue Church, dating from the Crusader period, which was built to commemorate the spot where it is believed Jesus prayed and preached (see Nazareth sites and attractions). The New Testament mentions Nazareth many times, referring to it as the home of Mary and Joseph, the town that inspired Jesus during his childhood and early manhood, the place of the Annunciation and his clash with fellow citizens who disapproved of his non-conventional way of thinking. Click here to read more

      August 15, 2013 at 12:50 am
      • Arkenaten

        A lie will be up and about before the truth has had chance to get its boot on.

        You really ought to read Josephus. Truly.

        Merely posting only those things that give you a feeling of “I told you so” without checking your sources only damages its credibility and ensures that you only regard a heavily slanted theological perspective.
        This is choice, I realise. But wouldn’t you really like to know the truth?
        I mean the proper truth.
        Aren’t you curious abut the geography and topography of the area? Where this cliff was that the multitude want to throw Jesus from?
        Aren’t you curious why Josephus mentions many many towns and villages but makes no mention of Nazareth and yet it was supposed to be less than 2 miles from the town he lived in, Yapha?

        August 15, 2013 at 9:08 am
    • Arkenaten

      Sigh….And now you can feel very clever that you have dug up this press release from how long ago?
      And if it wasn’t for the nasty atheist you wouldn’t know diddly about it anyway.
      The building is dated LATE FIRST CENTURY.

      NONE of the findings were offered up for peer review and still haven’t been.
      Are you even vaguely aware how much money the USA has invested with the Israeli government and tourist board to ensure this Nazareth Village gets developed?
      Do you know ANYTHING about the history of the area and previous archaeology?
      Are you aware that when Yardenna and Pfan issued their Nazareth Farm Report it underwent a 20 page review simply because someone pointed put that what they had claimed re certain findings was wrong?
      Don’t you care one iota for the truth or just what makes you feel comfortable
      By the way.
      This building has since been covered over and built upon.This is how IMPORTANT a find it was…they built on top of it!

      August 15, 2013 at 9:00 am
      • spiritustempore

        Poor Arkenaten, you remind me of a certain type of Catholic traditionalist.

        So determined that the world should conform to your personal expectations, and so hysterical when you find that it does not. You can stick your fingers in your ears and scream ‘la-la-la’ as much as you like, nothing changes.

        You seem to think that atheists and secularists pronounce holy writ and that anything and everything that factually disagrees with them just simply doesn’t exist and is to be dealt with just as dishonestly as you can muster.

        Your only sources are atheistic, your agenda childishly nihilistic. I doubt that you would know ‘truth’ if it kicked you up the backside and shouted ‘surprise’.

        YOU claimed that Nazareth did not exist. The archaeological record shows that it existed – and remained in occupation – from the Bronze Age until the present day. You can read the findings of the various authorities online….if you can manage to get past the atheist propaganda, that is.

        August 15, 2013 at 9:14 am
      • Arkenaten

        No, the archaeological does not show it existed at the time that Jesus was supposed to have lived.
        What “various authorities?”
        Offer at least a name or two.
        Someone besides Yardena and Pfan.
        I have read more about Nazareth than is probably good for me.
        The christian version is nonsense, I am afraid. It really is. You can try to shoehorn what evidence there is as much as you wish, but sadly, it just won’t fit.
        And when compared alongside Josephus and the account in Luke it just becomes even more silly.
        Even Bagatti was aware of this. And the Nazareth Farm Project tells nothing about what this supposed village was like at the beginning of the first century.
        Albright failed in his religious quest to uncover the archaeology of the bible and so have many others.
        I have no desire to waste any more time on close minded souls such as yourself. No matter how the ‘evidence’ is presented it won’t alter the truth.
        They made it up…
        Deal with it.

        August 15, 2013 at 9:30 am
      • spiritustempore

        No, Arkenaten.

        You and your dubious sources make it up as you go along and you just can’t get past it.

        You can bang on and on and on as much as you like – it makes no difference.

        Assertions are not fact: refusal to consider information that conflicts with your desired world-view, rubbishing anyone and anything that disagrees with your intellectually stunted ‘arguments’ convinces no-one of anything.

        Beyond the obvious fact that reasoned argument is not your strong-point and you patently have ‘issues’.

        You spend an inordinate amount of time online, desperately trying to start arguments with people you say you see as ‘evil’ so that you can pour out your bile and hatred of them on your own blog to an extremely small readership. If capable of self-examination, you might discover that your problem is self-loathing, rather than religion.

        It’s a major part of your life and yet it isn’t making you a particularly happy or well-adjusted individual.

        You’re happily creating your own personal hell on earth, and the best illustration of the fruits of atheism that I’ve yet encountered.

        Carry on.

        August 15, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • spiritustempore

    Thanks for the info Editor.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:53 am
  • editor

    Look Arkenaten,

    There is no use continuing a discussion where you do not accept anything we say. You go on about peripheral matters – e.g. you claim that Eusebius did not mention Nazareth although he lived nearby. I have my copy of Eusebius in front of me as I type, as it happens, but just don’t have the time to check that out partly because it is irrelevant and I have a birthday card for a soon-to-be 12 year old to go out and buy. But I live less than an hour from Edinburgh and even closer to Stirling and in all the email correspondence I’ve had with several American readers, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned either place. Who cares? There could be any number of reasons for that Eusebius omission (if it’s true – as I say I’d need to check it, but – in any case – he’s not infallible); however, since you dismiss any and every piece of evidence put before you, opting instead for the atheist propaganda, there is really no point in continuing this alleged discussion.

    I’m going to close this thread down before any real nastiness sets in. It’s disappointing but there it is. Thank you, Arkenaten, for commenting here and for the tips about smiley faces. I’ll master that in due course and always remember you for helping me with that key research! See, it’s not ALL propaganda, spiritustempore! Which reminds me…

    Sincere thanks to spiritustempore who, despite the frustration of the task, engaged with Arkenaten, and provided excellent sources, all of which have been rejected – no point in continuing, therefore, so over and out – amen!

    August 15, 2013 at 10:42 am

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