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THE BEGINNING OF MY MARRIAGE MINISTRY – 1986 – 1989.

When I began my marriage ministry, especially to divorced Catholics and other Christian’s, things were very bleak.

The Republic of Ireland had no divorce at all. Divorcedcandcseperated people were forced to live a lifetime of being regarded as second class citizens – forced to never remarry, living in sin and denied the Sacraments.

In the North it was a bit better as there was civil divorce and remarriage.

But many good  Christian people, want God’s blessing on their second union.

This was denied by all the churches.

Such people and couples were modern day lepers.

I believe that IDEALLY every marriage should be for life.

But we do not live in an ideal world and people make mistakes and have tragedies happen to them.

Jesus came into the world to be the BRIDGE between the IDEAL and the REAL.

Jesus was the God man of second chances.the early Christian church people like St Masil of Caesarea allowed second marriages on the grounds of COMPASSION.

Basil said that second marriages were not as “sacramental’ as first marriages, but they should be allowed.

Some of the soundest marriages I’ve seen as second marriages.

In a lot of first marriages people get married too young or for the wrong reason.

110 replies on “THE BEGINNING OF MY MARRIAGE MINISTRY – 1986 – 1989.”

If we didn’t have such screwed up deviance within the clergy, we could focus ministry toward training Catholic Teens and young adults about the values of marriage and what to strive for to become a good adult husband and wife. How to do that while surviving in a Hedonistic, win at any cost world. Reduce the reasons for a
First Divorce. The high school and college aged faithfull are not and haven’t been served very well in this area at all because the Church had gotten itself lost.

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Brad, I agree that it would be good if the Church was doing as you suggest. But with the best will, and training, there will always be human failure. That’s why Jesus is the compassionate bridge between the ideal and the real.

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I haven’t seen the new Catechetical Directory but will it improve things? It is to be hoped so even if it bears the brand name “Rome”!

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Wiki

Dr John McAreavey was ordained as Bishop of Dromore on 19 September 1999. The Principal Consecrator was Archbishop Seán Brady; his Principal Co-Consecrators were Bishop John Magee, SPS and his predecessor Francis Brooks.[2][citation needed]

In November 2012 it was announced he was to take a break or sabbatical from administering the diocese.[3] After a six-month break which included study and foreign travel he resumed full duties in 2013. He was among the first bishops to develop the permanent diaconate in his diocese and in June 2014 ordained two men for service in the Diocese of Dromore.[4]

In February 2018, John McAreavey was the subject of intense media scrutiny over his handling of the allegations of child sex scandal by a priest of his diocese, Fr Malachy Finnegan. Although not accused of sexual misconduct himself, he denied knowing about paedophile priest, Finnegan, despite media disclosure to the contrary. The then Bishop McAreavey had already concelebrated Mass in 2000 with Finnegan, in Hilltown, Co. Down and was celebrant officiating at the Funeral Mass of the known abuser in 2002.[5] He sent his resignation from his role as Bishop of Dromore on 1 March 2018 to Pope Francis who accepted it on the 26th of the same month.[6]

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Joe Lollard, you claim that you read the Bible. Have your ever read John 6, and if you have, how can you stay a Protestant?

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Anonymous — 12:59 pm — Joe Lollard, you claim that you read the Bible. Have your ever read John 6, and if you have, how can you stay a Protestant?
———————————————————————————–
You plainly haven’t studied it yourself.
You’ve probably been too engrossed in Karl Rahmer and Raymond Brown.

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‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ That wonderful first line from L.P. Hartley’s ‘The Go-Between’ came to mind as I listened to poor John McAreavey’s faltering, poorly articulated (for a university prof.) defence of the Church’s intransigent, canonical position on marriage and divorce. And boy! Things were very different indeed. then. Not least McAreavey’s saying, with straight face and with obvious allusion to Pat Buckley’s more compassionate marriage ministry: ‘I don’t think it’s possible for any of us to consider ourselves more merciful than the Church.’
And didn’t we all, just a decade or two down the line, find out just how merciful the Church actually wasn’t? 😕

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9.42: I’m presuming you are speaking of the institutional church, Pat, not the church of our parish communities? Yes, indeed, the institution is in dire straits on many levels but the truths of the gospel of Christ must be treasured, lived and shared, among which are mercy, compassion, justice and kindness to all whose lives are hurt and wounded, particularly by dogmatic church teachings. We need ideals to strive towards: the Church teachings give us those ideals but very often we forget the compassion, love, mercy and justice of God when we encounter broken and failed marriages and relationships that are supposedly against the “ideal”. My 44 years of ministry has taught me much about “grace building on nature…”. We strive for what is perfect but it’s a journey of many failures and imperfections. God is with us. I hope tomorrow’s gospel will inspire us when Jesus says- “Come to me all who labour and are overburdened….”. As we return to open Churches again, we can have no better words of HOPE, PEACE, WELCOME and LOVE.

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Of course I was talking about the institutional church.
The Gospel must be treasured and lived by as best we can.
I salute your efforts over your 44 years.

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11.18, and yet you are formally bound to that institution?
You cannot have it both ways: seek to dissociate yourself from its malfeasance, while continuing to serve it. In doing so, you are complicit in its wrongdoing.

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The Hierarchy usurp “communion” and they usurp marriages. If I marry I’ll want to skip any “communion” ceremonies (simply because of the contradictions) but a lot of people justifiably don’t want to take that route.

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12.08: That argument is a non-argument. I bong by baptism to the Catholic Church, of which I am proud but also very saddened and disappointed with much of its moral failings. I chose to stay as a priest because It’s my gut feeling since I committed myself to the ideal of Jesus Christ. Being a priest has never prevented me from expressing my opinions and outrage at all abuse and wrongdoing. Alonso can do in my life is embrace the essential truths of the gospel, live and practice them as faithfully as I can. Difficult but it us my preference and T. God I find Gid’s peace in this approach. I sometimes believe that I am complicit but I make a conscious effort each day to serve Christ only…I do not accept your suggestion but I appreciate why you feel that way.

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No proper answer from old Joe on John 6. It must be that “intolerable teaching” mentioned in the chapter.
Perhaps one day Joe will explain where in the Bible I’ll find “sola scriptura” 😂

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Anonymous — 12:59 pm — Joe Lollard, you claim that you read the Bible.
Have your ever read John 6, and if you have, how can you stay a Protestant?
———
Anonymous–  2:29 pm No proper answer from old Joe on John 6.
It must be that “intolerable teaching” mentioned in the chapter.
Perhaps one day Joe will explain where in the Bible I’ll find “sola scriptura”
———–
Before  I can set out my stall I’ll need you to set out yours.
You seem to be think that John’s gospel, chapter 6, is a problem for protestants.
If that is so then will you explain, please, citing the chapter and verse for any Bible texts.
Many Thanks
Joe

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Match & set to Lollard. The real answer of course is that Jn 6 means to identify with the oppressed in Holy Spirit power (and not counter-machinations like Judas), not to limit ourselves to mystique around the officially designated idol. This belief is indeed open to Catholics and Protestants alike. It also includes “Spiritual Communions”,

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Ah Pat, she’s a lovely woman when you get to know her. Behind that stern veneer she’s just a great big loveable earth momma. She will let you play with her jumper puppies too if you’re good.

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@ 1.58, if you are insinuating that I am “Magna Carta”, then you need to repent and do penance by retracting your comment.
I am not “Magna Carta”, but I am cognisant of the paranoia of some posters here on that subject.
It is a mistake to believe that “Magna Carta” was the only contributor to this blog to note the utter hypocrisy of men who denounce the malfeasance of the institutional Church while continuing to serve it as priests. Presumably, you are one of these men.

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Mc Areavey like anything from the early 1970s was well skilled in duplicity ……there is a great line in Bernsteins “Mass”……” Ill do anything to get me blessed”…..and Bernstein….there was a duplicitous figure…..he had a lot in common with the dirty tricks brigade of the RCC. His daughter would know…..Bernstein that is…..

Mc Areavey belongs to the Ratzinger school of thinking…..

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10.18: And I kerp trying to decipher which School of Thought you represent?? Would it be the School of Cynicism or the School of How to Break your Promises? Did you not say recently you were retreating to the great silence? Go, go, go…Graduate from the School of Confusion – quickly!

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Great news for Jim S! There’s a new nuncio!

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I don’t know why democratic countries, like the UK, give territorial space to the ambassadors of anti-democratic, monarchical states, like Vatican City. I suppose it’s a historical legacy, from a time when the Vatican actually had real influence over a deferential, subservient, global Catholic population, of whom many were British subjects. Keep the Vatican happy, and it will ensure the good citizenry of Catholics across the world. Was this the rationale?

But those days are gone, for good. Vatican City State, and its representatives, are held in deep contempt, even by Catholics. And if it tried to order them about for political or other advantage, most of them would laugh in its face.

It is high time that democratic countries showed this disgraced rogue state the door by refusing diplomatic status to any and all of its representatives.

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12.04 as a civil servant on duty on a Saturday, or a politician, can you explain why we would be urged (for example) to “write to the nuncio” when there is a lace problem. This is a conflict of interest, which furthermore wasn’t necessary in my youth.

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Most countries in the world aren’t democracies.
Even the UK and Ireland, which call themselves democracies are not, really.
The UK Governments values its diplomatic links with the Holy See. Note that it’s the Holy See, not the Vatican which has missions, and it has been in the diplomacy game for longer than most nation states have existed.

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I think that in the days when the Vatican rep was simply a pro-nuncio and not many countries had the full-blown diplomatic relationship with it, religion was far less politicised which is why things were less bad some years back. “Influence” has become an obsession. Church and state were more likely to take us – and each other – as we came – didn’t always work out but quite often. Principle is far more pragmatic, essentially, than this rigid lack of principle.

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Anon@10:41: You make an excellent point, on which I’d advocate further.
I’d like to see a thorough dissection of the organisation of religious institutions to separate off functions which are very clearly charitable relief works, (most certainly non proselytising), which should continue to attract tax relief/exemptions. As for the remainder of religious organisations activities, I’d like to see them taxed just like any other business, for that’s indeed what they are, and invariably wealthy ones at that, especially the RCC.
Yes all sorts of practical problems will arise, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I think the “will of the people” is moving rapidly towards seeing the RCC for what it really is.
MMM

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12.04, your post is totally irrelevant to my comment at 10.41.
What is, or isn’t, a democracy is a moot point, sometimes.
There is no such thing as pure democracy; your stating the fact was unnecessary. But I think we can agree that Vatican City State isn’t a democracy, not even in the loosest sense of the word.
Whether it is the ‘Holy See’ or Vatican City State that has international missions is a purely nominal quibble: a nitpicking irrelevancy and transparent attempt to add the illusion of intellectual gravitas to your lightweight post.
The fact of the matter is that the bureaucracy of Vatican City State is ultimately responsible for these missions, and it is Vatican City State with which countries with Vatican ambassadors deal.
No other religion has diplomatic status, along with its myriad privileges, including access to the levers of power in democratic countries. This is an unjust and anachronistic advantage accorded the ‘Holy See/Vatican City State. It is time it was ended, not least because this See/State has been proven, again and again, to protect criminals , or those suspected of crimes, under its own archaic laws, and even to provide them with refuge from international jurisdictions.

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2.17, of course there are political advantages for the British Government from such a relationship. But morally, this isn’t the fundamental issue, which is whether there ought to be such a relationship in the first place.
And isn’t ‘relationship’ here such a fine word? Because it astutely conceals the real nature of the link: the morally unscrupulous jockeying for position and power, not just by a macheavellian ‘Holy See’/Vatican City State, but also by ‘Perfidious Albion’.
When you sup with the devil… Well, you know the rest.

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Looks like he could do with a shave, a decent haircut, and a good wash. I hope he sources himself up before presenting his credentials to HMQ.

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@1:46 the Sovereign Order of Malta has diplomatic missions, lots of countries call themselves Islamic republics and are confessional states, and if the UK dealt only with countries more or less democratic it would cut off ties with eg China. All in all you don’t seem to know much about this subject.

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2.22, the ‘Holy See’/Vatican City State is not a country, but an anti-democratic religious enclave allowed, internationally, and from historical precedent, to punch well above its former weight; this was its ability to control, politically as well as morally, global swathes of subservient Catholics, which any democratic politician seeking election, or re-election, would have been foolish to ignore. But in the lyrics of Eric Carmen’s All By Myself, ‘those days are gone’. Hence the need, especially in light of the ‘Holy See’s’/Vatican City State’s ever-emerging sexual malfeasance, to revise the association. One is known by the company one keeps.

On the contrary, I know a great deal about the subject. Your Achille’s heel is the total ignorance of historical background here.

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Anonymous  —  10:21 am  —  Gugerotti is a patristics scholar.
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RC theologians describe Patristics or patrology as the study of the early Christian writers who are designated Church Fathers. The names derive from the combined forms of Latin pater and Greek patḗr (father). (wiki)
However, when it suits them they  rather elastic in their definition of who exactly is an ‘early Christian writer’,

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A big issue nowadays is life longevity. People getting married have the likely prospect of being with someone for a very long time.

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My brother got married at 17, despite strong objections from the PP, who said that it would surely end in divorce. They separated three years later and divorced after six years.

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How do people who have gone up the aisle several times, after a cycle of marriage and divorce, say “till death do us part” with a straight face, when they obviously mean “till divorce do us part”?

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I loved it when Irish PM, Leo Varadkar, told a near-stony-faced Pope Francis last year, after the World Meeting of Families flop, that marriages sometimes failed. This was in defence of Ireland’s modern democracy and social pluralism, especially its statutory provision of divorce. This was a language Francis, and his Vatican cohorts, were not used to hearing, especially from an Irish political leader. It was wonderful to hear a progressive democratic state tell a medieval absolute monarch, with gentle but firm tact, that Ireland would no longer bend a submissive knee to the Vatican and its priests. Wonderful.

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I recommend to men that they don’t get married or live tgether. When the divorce or separation happens they lose the house they paid for, and even their pensions, which are spit decades after the divorce, and 97% of child custody cases are won by mothers, who often obstruct children from meeting their fathers.

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Statistically, pro-rata, is the family and parents more dangerous for children than priests, when it comes to abuse? Yes, no, or maybe?

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12.51, no you can take it as a statement that your earlier comment was an obvious attempt to turn down the heat on an abusive priesthood.

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Yes and no. The statistics repeatedly suggest we are all most likely to be murdered, abused, assaulted by someone we know. What that category of person is remains unclear for the simple reason that the vast majority of child abuse goes unreported.
What makes clergy more dangerous is they have a religious element to influencing trust in parents, which is a great advantage for a paedophile.
Would I leave my children with a priest? No. Possibly with a neighbour. However we are all least likely to be abused by a stranger so statistically you’re best leaving them with a random stranger!

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RUBBISHING RELIGION
Browsing on YouTube last night I came across Sam Harris of the Agatan Foundation. There was a series of speech excerpts and panel discussions in which he completely ridicules the tenets and nature of religion and its practices. I enjoyed it for its validity, and how he showed just how bizarre is much of religious belief. I’d suggest a watch of it to get things in perspective as opposed to all the tittle tattle.
A quote: “If you bless a pancake before claiming that you are eating the body of Elvis Presley then you demonstrably mad. But if you bless a cracker and claim you are eating the body of Christ who died 2000 years ago, …..well you’re just a Catholic!”
MMM

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There’s an easy way round that, by ceasing to make “communion ceremonies” central, but not many people have thought of it!

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A @ 1:30: Well the RCC wouldn’t think of that, nor indeed hear tell of it.. For the most significant “power” of their priestly caste is this exclusive mysterious transubstantiation function!
But stand back and think this through. We’re told by the RCC to eat the “body and blood” of the God, Jesus, the Creator of the universe, who died then arose again, over 2000 years ago! What an utterly bizzare and crazy proposition!
This whole farrago of Christian belief is derived from and replicates earlier pre christian era practices of human sacrifice purported to placate and intercede with wrathful gods who had sent, or would send disasters like earthquakes, flood or famine.
Most people move on to set aside belief in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, but far too many still believe this crazy stuff trotted out by the RCC. Well

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To continue my 10:33 comment which “vanished” before completion: probably my inadvertent pressing tablet. I thought it lost in the internet ether!

I repeat that I find most of the claims of religion utterly bizarre. And replying to A@ 3:31, I particularly refer to what I am most familiar with, the RCC.
I acknowledge, as +Pat says, that religious believers rely very much on faith as opposed to reason. Each to their own, but as for me, “faith” is something I long ago set aside, just like belief in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.
In fact I have an element of disdain for that class of faith believers who underpin a smug self satisfied exclusivity of being chosen sheep lovingly cared for by the Almighty Shepherd. The ubiquitous N. Ireland “Ye must repent to be saved” signs seem of that ilk.

It’s interesting to note a shepherd’s role: Fatten the sheep; fleece them; then kill them.
MMM

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12.35, your post reminds me of what one of my university lecturers, on the arbitrariness of social constructs of mental ill-health, said of claims of Marian apparitions: seeing the Virgin Mary is acceptable; seeing white mice is not.

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12.53: MMM : Is your repeating of this gratuitous insult meant to express your ignorance and unashamed ridicule of Catholic beliefs too? Get on with your atheistic life. I don’t approve of your nihilism but I won’t insult you…Are you drunk?

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Indeed +Pat, there’s no “answer”, but only the customary ad hominem diversionary retorts. It is very apparent that when anyone makes a criticism of any aspect of religious belief, the cathbot and holy water hen types typically retort in indignation with ad hominem diversions such as @ 2:51. 55 & 3:31. Fact is they have no sensible argument to put, so I don’t get in the least bothered by the paucity of their responses, for it simply confirms their limitations.
MMM

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You’re mixing up your realms Mournful Mick – the realm of the flesh and the realm of the Spirit. You don’t believe in the hidden world of the Spirit but it exists nevertheless. You will discover that sooner rather than later. Your post(s) only demonstrate your prejudices and ignorance of and towards people of faith. “Eating” Elvis would indeed be a sign of madness but not so the Flesh of Christ as He commands – for “it is the spirit that gives life. The flesh is of no avail”. We hear you and others here going on about “Cathbots”. I wonder sort of a “bot” are you?

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I think it is quite rational for an atheist to equate the Elvis pancake with the Eucharist.
We have no rational answer to that.
Our answer is based on faith.

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Yes I agree with you, Pat, that our answer is based on faith; but our faith is not irrational. The likes of MMM view reality from one dimension only and he tends to look down his nose at and disparage people of faith, as if he is in some way “superior” to them. Indeed, there are some of his persuasion – like the professor he approvingly quotes and over whose smart alec remark he chortles – who view people of faith as “mad”. This betrays ignorance, prejudice and bigotry.

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Anon @ 7:11: I quote you: “The hidden world of the spirit, but it exists nevertheless “.
And your evidence is ???
I await your lucid revelations.
MMM

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8.18 without any disrespect to the possibly subtle level of the atheists’ thinking (and this is good from Harris), meditate on my 1.30. Are there not “ways round”? I can show you how to be middle-of-the road without being flimsy!

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Pat, it’s likely that there will soon be “no-fault” divorce in Britain, with the parties no longer required to give reasons why it should happen, eg on grounds of adultery, unreasonable behaviour etc. Effectively it will be divorce on demand. You probably support the proposal. Once again we see what happens with the thin edge of the wedge.

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I do not particularly support that. I think a marriage should end only if absolutely nothing can be done to save it. But there are cases where one party deny a divorce out of hatred and bitterness.

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Why, 12.57, do you want to place obstacles in the way of married couples who clearly do not get on and do not want to remain together?
Why would you make it more difficult, for them and for any children they might have, to extricate themselves from marriages that are clearly loveless, corrosive, compassionless, arid, and bad for the mental and spiritual health of all those involved, not just the spouses, but their children, too.
Why would you do that?
Are you a sadist?

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2.35, shall I tell you what’s bad for society? It’s…Silly me: I already told you this at 1.57.

You just weren’t paying attention.

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Divorce and broken homes are bad for society, and especially bad for children. Marriage and divorce are public acts; they should not be done in haste or without consideration of all the consequences.

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Hi + Pat – I’ve tried to post this a couple of times, but it doesn’t seem to appear. Why not ? Anyhow, I’ll try again ! – ‘ve long since realised that there is nothing divinely inspired to say that the Church should have control over how people live together in relationships. Unless you believe in the literal words of the scriptures, which we know come from a particular time, place and culture and have long been manipulated to give a message that a particular constituency – the Church – wants them to give. I think we have moved on from saying that something written over 2,000 years ago necessarily and has to inform how we view things these days. There is nothing as far as I am concerned that gives the Church the right to say that marriage has to be in this particular way. I’ve thrown off that authoritarian imposition, along with many other Church impositions, a long time ago. I will listen courteously to what the Church has to say, as I do to many other influences, but then I will make up my own mind. Why would I let a bunch of men (yes, all men) who themselves say that they abstain from intimate relationships, and have no experience of living in the real world of relationships and family, tell me how to live ? Why did we allow them to gain such authority, power and influence and subject us to their interpretation of what is right and what is wrong, and what is allowed ? I think so many people these days take a much more personal, individual, decision about how they and their loved ones live their lives, and will not be shoehorned in to a particular way of being or living. And, they are so much happier and settled as a result. In most families, there is warm acceptance of a variety of ways of being and living in relationships, with many models and arrangements. People don’t bring moral judgement to these ways of living and being anymore. If it is the fruit of goodness and love, then that is good enough. As it should be.

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A@ 4:32: Really: is that the best you can do? FYI, I have not been in any bar since early March. Normally I ignore personal ad hominem rants, but make an exception for you. I’m sure you are exceptional: one who stands out from the crowd, etc etc.
MMM

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Well, sometimes it’s necessary to use a lot of words to put an argument / case. I enjoy the pithy, witty posts you get on here sometimes, but if we are to talk about things seriously, then sometimes it takes a bit of time and those 10,000 words !

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Which came first the chicken or th egg, the loaf or the sliced pan, the action or the law. The law servers the people not tho ther way round hi. The law does not own the lawmaker The 10 commandments does not own God. Collars back to the front boys

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8.18: Pat, what an utterly stupid, unintlugent and spiritually dead opinion for you to express. Sacrilegious and totally irreverent but then, you make up your beliefs as you so desire. Empty.

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No I dont. But I am capable of seeing things from other peoples perspectives. You dont seem to have that intellectual ability? That means you are intellectually challenged 😃

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8.34: An even more stupid comment. The EUCHARIST is not to be the butt of cynical, atheistic disrespect or sacrilegious joking. As for intellectual ability??? Look at your makey up outfit and your blow with the wind theology. You choose what is convenient. MMM never misses a moment to trot out his nihilistic darkness. You seem to share his vision. You must be grieving over losing Missie Carta!!!

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Yes +Pat, the intellectual ability. A lot of them just don’t have it, so I suppose we need to make allowances. I’ve said it here before: the very nature of intellectual limitation prevents stupid people even recognising how that very fact diminishes their functioning ability.
MMM

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+Pat wrote, “We have no rational answer to that. Our answer is based on faith.”
And you commented, 8.31pm, ‘ Pat, what an utterly stupid, unintelligent and spiritually dead opinion for you to express. Sacrilegious and totally irreverent ‘.
But the bishop is saying what the bible says; for example Ephesians 2,8– for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

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If we should get rid of Vatican embassy, then what about vile states such as North Korea and China police state? They ok?

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Of course diplomacy was not hindered when the system was manned by pro-nuncios. From the point of view of Church – and that meant you and me – there wasn’t the interference with our belief that there is now (other than through Councils, bishops and the radio of course). Promotion in “status” has been simply mission creep, hegemonism and violating of consciences by the Secreteriat of State.

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I see Barb-Barb Bar-Ann is making up the number of “wounded healers” since one McCarrick unintentionally got demoted too low down.
French cardinal reveals future plans after ‘ordeal’ of abuse trial
FRANCE
Catholic News Service via Crux
July 1, 2020
By Jonathan Luxmoore
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who retired from the Archdiocese of Lyon, has left his see to serve as a convent chaplain and envoy for the pope.
https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2020/07/french-cardinal-reveals-future-plans-after-ordeal-of-abuse-trial/

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Anonymous – 5th Jul 2020 – 12:06 am – John 6 … means to identify with the oppressed in Holy Spirit 
————————–
I have to be very brief here, probably too brief.  I’m under the weather, and my laptop keeps locking up.
No   –   my reading of those discourses at Caperneum is that when Jesus says, ‘I am the Bread of Life — with its echo of Deuteronomy – He’s declaring that He is the Word of God; that what His teachings are every bit as as authoritative as the  Torah.
He’s saying that He is the voice of God.
You’ll recall chapter 1 of John’s gospel, ‘In the beginning was the Word  … ‘, which sets out the key to the entire book.

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