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ASL 17 December 2018 02:53 PM


Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1993341)
I would say that even hinting or tip-toeing around the deceased being a sinner would be a bigger TYSSTTP. G-you may have sincerely held beliefs, but a funeral is not the time to preach them. ETA: (When they are unwanted by the family as they were in this case.)

FETA: If g-you feel that g-you cannot avoid preaching unwantedly at a funeral, then don't agree to preach at that funeral.

FFETA: It is the same thing as pharmacists who use religious objections to refuse to fill prescriptions. You have been hired to do a job. If your religion prevents you from doing legal parts of that job that your employer requires, find another job.

I wish I could be confident that this priest, or his hierarchy in the church, even considered his message to be out of bounds. They might, for instance, think they’re being very compassionate by “allowing” for the possibility that the departed “might” have repented in their final agonizing moments and therefore might not “necessarily” be in hell—even though they died committing a grave sin without going to a priest for confession and absolution.

That’s how Catholicism works!

Part of me wonders, given that the Church has a standard take on suicide, if the diocese’s “investigation” might conclude that the priest in question was actually just doing the standard Church-approved funeral for a suicide and the family never realized the Church might consider it a sin.

That is, it may be that this Priest went off the reservation, or—and I wouldn’t rule this out—the family didn’t realize what they were asking for when they asked for the parish priest to preside over their son’s funeral.

To be clear, that the priest sincerely believes it doesn’t make it okay—it’s still heartless and wrong—but I wish more people would understand what they’re really endorsing when they endorse, say, “good Christian values.” Maybe there’d be less of a push to pedal religion to school kids if people really understood what that would entail. Unfortunately, for the most common branches of Christianity, it goes well beyond “do unto others.”

dfresh 17 December 2018 03:02 PM

As a priest, his job is not to just comfort the afflicted, it is to preach the teachings of the Church, which in regards to suicide says: it is a mortal sin. However, the Church also says that they get that usually, suicide is a result of metal illness and so the person is not really responsible for their actions. That is a lot to get into in a funeral, but it sorta sounds like the priest tried, and the family just wanted "Oh, good kid is in heaven now!"

ASL 17 December 2018 03:15 PM

Exactly. The Church has softened it’s wording, but the fundamental “truth” is that it still views suicide as an act of self-murder. It acknowledges issues like mental illness and emotional distress and no longer refuses a burial to victims of suicide, but it’s at best a very nuanced view that tries very hard to couch what is otherwise a blatantly offensive position in softer terms than it otherwise might.

The Catholic Church knows it’s membership is squeamish, so the language gets softened just enough to make it palatable to someone who is looking for a fig leaf to hide behind even as the church’s leadership persists in antiquated and downright hateful views on a whole host of issues like suicide, consenting homosexual relationships, divorce, birth control, and pre-marital sex. And it is not alone among Christian denominations in espousing these views.

They can’t very well stand up in front of a congregation and say “Your son was a good kid, and I’m sure he’s in heaven now, full stop.” Because that isn’t what the catechism teaches.

GenYus234 17 December 2018 03:20 PM

The priest does also have the overall job of preaching the church's beliefs and has the self-appointed job of preaching what he sincerely believes.

But my point is that if those jobs were in conflict with what the family wanted at their funeral, that should have come up when he was discussing the funeral with the family, not simply overridden whatever the family wanted. This priest either lied to the family when he agreed to preach what they wanted while never planning on doing so, or broke an important promise when he later decided to ignore their agreement and do what he felt was best.

ETA: To ASL's last sentence. That is fine if that's what the church believes. In which case, tell the family that during the planning of the funeral, don't spring it on them during the funeral.

ASL 17 December 2018 03:29 PM

Sure, and I suspect that will be a part of this priest’s remedial “training” on how to “better support” his congregation. Maybe not so much “don’t say that” as “be careful how you say that” and “make sure they know that, as Catholics, that’s what they’re supposed to believe too (and if they refuse to accept that, then advise them they might as well not take communion until they do).”

Beachlife! 17 December 2018 03:33 PM

I agree, GenYus, the priest absolutely should have made it clear to the family before the funeral that he was planning to preach against suicide. Not doing so would be reprehensible.

I lost a brother to suicide and my mother is a devout Catholic. The church considers suicide to be a mortal sin only under certain circumstances. Most people who kill themselves would not fall under those circumstances.

erwins 17 December 2018 04:30 PM


Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker (Post 1993170)
That is, theoretically, the law here. I say theoretically because if you wait for the crosswalk to clear completely, you will never turn. Either there's always someone in the crosswalk, or the light is too short for both allowing people to cross and for cars to turn.


WA has a bigger buffer zone than Oregon (defined differently) but pedestrians don't have to be completely clear of the roadway there either.

RichardM 17 December 2018 04:37 PM

The Catholic Church says that the taking of a life is a mortal sin. FULL STOP.

This is why abortion is wrong (according to them.)

There are many arguments within the Church about the taking of life during a war or crime. It used to be that the death penalty was completely wrong but recently it seems that the Church was more accepting of the death penalty. However, Pope Francis recently came out and stated that the death penalty is wrong.

That said, the Church also teaches that God can forgive anything. Most evangelical christians will accept this with the proviso that by god, you mean Jesus. Of course evangelical christians will also say that Jesus will not forgive a Catholic priest for sex of any kind but especially for being a pedophile. A judge in Alabama on the other hand is forgiven.

ASL 17 December 2018 04:42 PM


Originally Posted by RichardM (Post 1993352)
There are many arguments within the Church about the taking of life during a war or crime. It used to be that the death penalty was completely wrong but recently it seems that the Church was more accepting of the death penalty. However, Pope Francis recently came out and stated that the death penalty is wrong.

That explains why war and the death penalty became virtually unheard of in Europe after the 4th century CE.

GenYus234 17 December 2018 04:50 PM

They were heathens.

ASL 17 December 2018 04:54 PM

The Holy Roman Emperors?

GenYus234 17 December 2018 05:08 PM

Them too, but I meant every single person who was killed. Otherwise they wouldn't have been killed.

NobleHunter 17 December 2018 05:12 PM


Originally Posted by ASL (Post 1993355)
The Holy Roman Emperors?

The guys who were neither Holy, nor Roman, nor Emperors?

RichardM 17 December 2018 11:22 PM


Originally Posted by ASL (Post 1993353)
That explains why war and the death penalty became virtually unheard of in Europe after the 4th century CE.

This assumes that all of Europe was governed by a theocracy which totally adhered to the policies of what eventually became the Catholic Church.

ASL 17 December 2018 11:42 PM

Are you really going to try and make the case that the Catholic Church has, up until relatively recent times (in historic terms) been opposed to war and the death penalty?

And letís not forget the Pope used to be sovereign over more than just a tiny enclave located within the city of Rome.

RichardM 18 December 2018 06:22 AM

No, I will make no arguments about the leadership of the Catholic church. The teachings within the church have always been pacific. The leadership not so much.

ganzfeld 19 December 2018 01:25 AM

What kind of teachings are you talking about that are within the church, not contradicted by other teachings, and yet are contradicted by the church leadership? The Gospels? Not trying to nitpick or anything; I thought and thought about it and I can't understand what you mean.

ASL 19 December 2018 02:56 AM

RM, Catholicism is as much a pacific religion as Islam is a religion of peace. That is, I am sure you can find some line from scripture, some catechism or other declaration by someone in the hierarchy that might support such a view when considered in isolation, but it just doesn’t stand up to the weight of historical evidence. Or even the rest of scripture.

And that’s not a dig at Catholicism or Islam—I’m not exactly a pacifist myself—rather at those making disingenuous arguments to the contrary.

Until the Church became largely irrelevant as a temporal power, it not only sanctioned wars and executions, it demanded them. And I’m not just talking about the Crusades or the Inquisition (easy targets) but centuries of warfare in Europe, the wars of religion that wrecked the countryside during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, even the Spanish Armada. In some cases, Papal forces even participated in these things.

Even today, Catholic chaplains serving in the US armed forces don’t seem to have much of a problem cheerleading the troops they minister to. Again, that’s not a dig at the Church (any more than it is at any other warring state at the time) but a few nice words from the Pope don’t amount to much in the face of history, much less present reality.

ETA: And to more directly address your leaders vs scripture point, do you think that the papacy has had any difficulty, historically speaking, of finding a basis in scripture for these wars to further the interest of the Catholic Church? Given that scripture is a muddled mess of "choose your own adventure" stories, what else is there to Catholicism than what it’s leaders (with a conveniently "infallible" Pope at their head) decide scripture (and god) "meant to say"?

ETA2: Just want to put a plug in for Roger Waters' "Perfect Sense - Parts I and II." Is it any wonder that the monkey's confused?

RichardM 19 December 2018 03:13 AM

ganzfeld, ASL, the actions of the leadership of any organization do not always reflect the basics of the teachings of that organization. Nor do the actions of the members of said organization. For a light hearted example, Baptists do not recognize the leadership of the Pope. Baptists are against the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store.

ASL 19 December 2018 03:29 AM

The trouble is, there are no discernible basics to the teachings of the organization if you ignore what the members and the leaders have to say about it. Scripture is a mess. It is not one coherent document, it is a hodge-podge of at times contradictory writings by mostly anonymous or pseudonymous authors, their true names lost to time, often writing their book as a critique of what came before, convinced that theirs was the inspired word of god.

Scripture only exists as something to be interpreted. You can’t speak to what a particular branch of Christianity "really" stands for without referring to the people who make it up. There is no Catholicism without the Pope. There is no Catholicism without Catholics. You take the people out of it and all you have is a pile of writing—very nearly identical to the piles of writing you get from any other branch of Christianity, absent the people.

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