The Bishop of Rome, Pope and Leader of the Catholic Church

Over the past few years, I have heard a lot of bad mouthing the Pope of the Catholic Church, from outside the Church and unfortunately from the inside of the Church, even from Bishops and Cardinals of the Church.

While I don’t always agree with the Pope’s comments, I do FIRMLY believe that the Cardinals that sat in Conclave to vote in, at the Will of God, our new leader, go through a process that in the end, all of the Cardinals MUST accept as the Will of God, and must accept this new Pope as the Leader of the Church as we are supposed to.

This means that the Cardinals, Bishops, Priest, Deacons, Religious Brothers and Sisters, and Layette MUST accept him as our leader, and accept those things that he says when he speaks from the Seat.  Not ALL he says comes from “The Seat”.

Those within the Church should NOT be bad mouthing our Pope, should not be speaking out against what he says or does, unless it is COMPLETELY against God and TRULY not of God.

To date, I have not seen him do such a thing in his sayings and doings, and especially in anything he has done from the Seat of Christ as the Vicar of Christ.

While I agree with his thought that a one world, with one government would be great, I do not think that any of our current governments meet that need yet, and definitely do not think that the UN should be that leadership.  But that said, over all his comments here are solid in that it would be ideal.  And it is God centered which is good.  Those that are bashing him for this comment on the world needing one government are wrong in doing so.

Our Pope was duly voted in by his peers though a God centered process, which we must all accept.  Remember, and I say this from the “right” side of the pews not the “left” side, the Catholic Church, based on the Bible and the Words of Christ, is a “liberal” (or “left”) leaning religion.  We SHOULD expose the core beliefs of the “liberal left” of love, caring and sharing with our neighbors.  That IS the Church.

But at the same time, it is a love and sharing by ALL, not just the rich. and not just the ones that have what you want, and not by just the ones that believe different that you.  It MUST be bidirectional and enacted by all, going both ways.

The Bible allows for self defense, and in today’s society that includes the right to the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms, etc.  Theft and the taking of a life to gain what the other has is NOT supported in the Bible or the Church.

Come back to God folks, and if you are Catholic, come back to supporting OUR Pope and leader.  He was placed there by God.  You don’t have to agree with him, but you MUST support him and accept what he says from the Seat of Peter, and do as he says if you wish to remain fully Catholic.

 

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Catholic Indulgences

The Indulgences that are “given out” by the Catholic Church are greatly misunderstood by non-Catholics and Catholics alike.

As the Church handles indulgences today, they are defined by “The Handbook of Indulgences – Norms and Grants” as:

“An indulgence is the remission in the eyes of God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose culpable element has already been taken away.  The Christian faithful who are rightly disposed and observe the definite, prescribed conditions gain this remission through the effective assistance of the Church, which, as the minister of redemption, authoritatively distributes and applies the treasure of the expiatory works of Christ and the saints.”

The question is asked by many Protestant Christians as to where the Catholic Church thinks it has such power to do this.  The answer is in the Bible.  Let us look at this in some detail.

First we will go to Matthew 6:17-19:

17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 l will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

At this time Jesus gave Simon a new name Peter (the Rock), and then gave him the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to open or close the gates as needed, as well as the power to bind our sins or release us of our sins.

At this point the contention is that Jesus died for our sins so we do not need to be bound or released by man, as Jesus already has.  Yes, Jesus died for our sins.  But this means that even though we are still sinners, if we follow His Commandments, have faith in Him, become Baptized by water in the Trinity and “eat His Body and drink His Blood” (John 6:53), our sins are forgiven and we MAY make it to Heaven.

At all times through the Bible, sins had to be “paid for”, often in suffering and hardship.  We are told that only the holy in spirit and body may go to Heaven, and that the gates are narrow.  So we must atone for our sins, and the Catholic Church teaches, through tradition and the Old Testament, that this is done through a cleansing process we call Purgatory for lack of another name.  This is a time of temporal punishment to remove the stain of sins we commit so as to allow us to go into Heaven and behold our Lord and Savior, as impure things  and beings may not enter into Heaven.

After Jesus is Crucified and came back to the Apostles and Disciples we hear Him tell all of His Apostles (John 20:21-23) “21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. 23  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” ” Thus giving the Apostles the ability to bind and unbind us from our sins.  We are told that we are released from our sins with the Death of Jesus, and that is true, but we are not released from the effects of those sins, and that requires further pardoning by God or His Disciples, whom He has granted permission to do so.

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Orans Posture

Since my entrance into the Catholic Church I have spent my days and evenings reading the Canon (laws of the Church), the Rubrics, and documents of the Church.  I have many more to read and understand, but one thing has been pretty clear, what should be done in Mass and what should not be done.

There is a posture taken by Priest called the Orans Posture in which they place their hands out and up when praying singularly for the Congregation.

Orans Posture

Orans Posture

In reading the rubrics prior to 1950, this was a position that only Priest were to take that were celebrating or con-celebrating when they were praying on behalf of the Congregation, and while the Congregation was silent.  The rubrics stated that the hands of a Priest, when praying WITH the Congregation were to be together “in a prayerful manner”.

If you read the rubrics now, it still has the Priest in this position when praying on behalf of the the congregation and people of the world, but continues to have the Priest take this posture when praying the “Our Father”, which now shows the Congregation praying, where before they did not pray with the Priest during Mass.  The Deacon, if present is still to be in the “prayerful manner”, which was described in the past as hands together, fingers extended and thumbs cross or fingers interlaced and crossed.  (The Deacon or non-concelibrating but present Priest were not to take the Orans Posture…)

In the late 60s to early 70s the Charismatic groups and Nuns in the United States started holding hands with the advent of the text from Vatican II.  There was never a proclamation to do so, and there was no rubrics changes published by the Church to do so, they just started to do it to show togetherness.

However if you go back in history, the only time we see this posture being taken was when a LEADER/ELDER/PRIEST was praying for the people, it was never a posture taken by the lay or religious people unless they were the ones leading the prayer and praying on behalf of the people present.

It was a practice to hold hands at the dinner table when praying, but never was it so while in Church or at a Religious service!

We need to go away from the attempt to become like the Ordained and return to our roots in this case.  Don’t get me wrong!

I am all for change when change needs to happen, but this is not a change that makes since or needs to happen.  It is taking our actions to us and away from God and our love and need to be with Him and returning our focus on ourselves and not Him!

In Christ

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