I fully understand why - which is why I refer to it as a book of fairy tales with each sector of the cult claiming their version is the one to follow. I go with the explanation of how all the various Bibles that are out there and floating around as expounded by United Church Rev. Robert Ripley (see below)
Yes, because sarcasm is easy to detect with the written word with no understanding of the speaker's personality. (Sarcasm btw).
You also seem to not understand why there are so many versions of the bible. You should study a little more. That's fairly basic knowledge.
You know the United Church of Canada? The largest Protestant Church in Canada with eminently sensible positions on such things as abortion (should be legal, paid by medicare and a matter of choice for the woman in consultation with her doctor), contraception (freely avaialble and educating young people about it), the death penalty ( should remain abolished). And the big one - same sex marriage... recognized civilly AND religiously.
When anomalies in Bible interpretation are pointed out the standard response is of the "No True Scotsman" variety.
So you get books written by the likes of Michael Coren -
And a response to Coren by Reverend Ripley:
No one likes to be told they're wrong but that didn't stop me from reading the book Why Catholics Are Right by Michael Coren.
Frustrated at his adopted Roman Catholic Church being kicked around by non-Catholics and atheists who don't know history or don't know Catholicism and need a swift kick back, the often belligerent broadcaster has assumed the role of apologist.
Kudos to Coren for attempting to tackle a litany of hot issues. Priestly abuse, purgatory, indulgences, the Inquisition. You name it.
I feel his indignation at caricatures of Catholicism. I too have been offended by caricatures of my quite imperfect United Church of Canada. The challenge of reading a book entitled Why Catholics Are Right is to respond without hearing the epithet "anti-Catholic."
I've been called worse.
Coren puts the horror of priestly sexual abuse of children in the context of abuse in every facet of society. We don't libel minor hockey, say, just because a coach behaves badly. True. I suspect, however, that the revulsion of some non-Catholics lacks nuance because Catholic priests, unlike teachers and coaches, act "in persona Christi" (in the person of Christ), which is also the explanation of why the Roman Catholic Church will not confer priestly ordination on women. If you bestow the priesthood with exclusive divine authority, then when a priest rapes a child the repulsion is magnified and yes, perhaps, distorted.
There have been bad Popes, Coren admits, but not as many and not as bad as you'd think. While reading his book, I was also watching the Bravo! series The Borgias, which chronicles how the ruthless Renaissance patriarch Rodrigo Borgia murdered and bribed his way to become Pope Alexander VI. The Borgias, dubbed the first crime family, are considered the epitome of papal corruption. Vice, it seems, is trumped by being able to trace a line of succession back to Peter, the first pope.
Some of Coren's defences are specious. For instance, if there was evil in the Catholic Church's past (Crusades and all that), then he argues it wasn't Christian or Catholic because Christ never taught evil. Yes the Church used torture, admits Coren, but no more than other authorities with judicial power back then and certainly no more than the Muslims.
Sure the Vatican is wealthy. It is the steward of great art, which is open for everyone to view in museums. As long as it is on display, affluence in the name of religion is OK.
Turning to the Bible, Coren is pleased to point out that the Church predated the Bible, edited it and gave it to us. Of course the path to creating the canon of Scripture was long and hard. A wide diversity of early Christians quarrelled over their interpretation of Jesus' teachings. The church rejected a Gospel of Peter (yes, the first pope) as unorthodox and kept 1 Timothy, which is widely considered a forgery. The contentious process took over three centuries.
The result, writes Coren, has no contradictions. I can only assume Coren hasn't actually read the Bible. Otherwise he'd know that inspiration notwithstanding, the Good Book is riddled with discrepancies from the two different creation stories in Genesis to the variations on the Easter narrative, as I pointed out last week.
Coren explains that the Church is the keeper and interpreter of the Bible. This is to keep it from falling into the hands of translators and commentators such as William Tyndale who had an agenda.
Coren fails to mention that following a malleable oral tradition, and in the absence of original writings, all we have are pieces of copies of copies of copies made over centuries by scribes who made intentional alterations to make the text say what either they wanted it to say, or thought it should say. So much for maintaining the correct word of God. But that is Catholicism's claim. As Coren puts it, how can we refuse to believe in the instrument that God used to write and select this Bible - the Catholic Church.
I found Coren's musings on the mass helpful. For years I never understood why I wasn't welcome at the Lord's Table. I once asked a Catholic friend why that was the case. He tried to explain that I was not in communion with Rome. Naively I said "But I don't want to commune with Rome, just Jesus."
Coren explains that Communion is communion with the Catholic Church and you can't be in communion with the Catholic Church unless you're a member of it. He writes, ". . . knowledge of Jesus is available to all people but to know Christ is available only to Christians in communion with the Church."
I still feel demeaned when I attend a Catholic funeral and am invited to come forward for a blessing instead of a wafer. Thanks but no thanks. I sit and stew in the pew. At least I now understand that it's not a lack of hospitality on the Church's part. It's my fault. As Coren writes, "The Roman Catholic Church allows people to exclude themselves if they want to do so."
Much of Coren's history is wishful and his generalizations broad. "While Catholicism has an abundance of intellectual underpinnings to support its arguments, anti-Catholicism and atheism have few if any." Take that Darwin, Einstein, Freud, Sagan et al.
Coren is welcome to boast that, "in a perfect world everyone would be Roman Catholic". But any religion that declares that it is the right and true one says so only with the authority of its own convictions. You have a right to claim it. And I have a right to disclaim it.
But the hubris is unbecoming of the follower of a homeless Jewish teacher.http://www.lfpress.com/comment/columnists/bob_ripley/2011/04/28/18079996.html