RU corrupt?

Corruption everywhere! But what does corruption mean? Its root is in ‘rupt’ meaning a breakdown as in ‘rupture’. So I take it to mean the breakdown of something that ought to be different. We use it appropriately when a person or an organisation which has power and privilege abuses the very purpose for which they have these advantages. There are many examples, some of which I list.

A government which makes legislation with the intention of gaining electoral advantage at the expense of the common good. MPs who do not respect their expense allowances and use them as an indirect source of income. Police who get their way by threats which their victims cannot evaluate.

The alleged corruption of international sports authorities, leading to the wealth of officials and the placing of events as a result of bribes. In many countries, not only in the Third World, general corruption runs through the whole system – and, being difficult to eradicate, becomes taken for granted. Samuel Pepys, as Secretary to the Admiralty, admitted to taking bribes – indeed it was seen as part of his emolument. He claimed that he never allowed this to affect his judgment – and no doubt believed himself.

Nearer to home we might think of supermarkets. They work hard to gain our trust, yet they are capable of raising prices through reducing the contents of familiar packages, and hoping that we won’t notice. Newspapers, often holier than thou, are not above distorting news stories in various ways in order to attract readers. And if you think they are not concerned about offending their big advertisers by selection and treatment of stories, you are an innocent abroad. Many newspapers pay their journalists lower salaries, but unofficially expect them to use their expense accounts freely. (These may be the same papers who accuse companies of paying insufficient corporation tax.) A friend of mine who was a senior executive in the newspaper business tried to stop the practice, Six months later he was out of a job. You would be surprised if I told you the name of the newspaper,

In the Catholic community we are only too well aware of clerical sexual corruption – from cardinals down to the lowest ranks. Here we have double corruption: first because the clergy are assumed to be virtuous by their rôle, and second because they use their power over the weak and defenceless. We remember the Latin tag corruptio optimi pessima – “the corruption of the best is the worst.”

But we cannot afford to deplore this widespread corruption without examining whether we may sometimes slide into corruption ourselves. Have we never smiled at someone in order to get a favour in return? Have we never bribed a child to change his or her behaviour? Have we never used our authority at work to gain our own advantage? Imagine a case where our nephew is applying for a popular job, and we find that the interviewer happens to be a friend. Might we just mention our nephew to him – in the hope that he will have corrupt advantage over the other applicants?

It seems to be a feature of corruption that it is very much easier to spot it in others than it is to spot it in ourselves.

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About Quentin

Science Editor, Catholic Herald. Portrait © Jacqueline Alma
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117 Responses to RU corrupt?

  1. Iona says:

    I’m not sure about your examples, Quentin, – examples of “corruption” in everyday life, I mean. To smile at someone while seeking a favour: smiling is part of face-to-face human interaction, and it might seem odd to ask a favour unsmilingly. Besides, seeking a favour is not necessarily and in itself corrupt. As for bribing a child to get him/her to change his/her behaviour, – when is it a bribe and when is it a reward? The behaviour change you seek may be of positive benefit to the child concerned, and not in any sense exploitative.
    But there must be a large grey area in which some people can easily obtain advantages which other people can’t, so in a sense these are unfair advantages, and yet what parent who is able and willing to help his/her child with his/her homework is going to refrain from doing so just because other children have to struggle with their homework on their own?

    • tim says:

      Iona, absolutely right.

      On bribes for children, this is a legitimate weapon in a parent’s armory. We bribed only one of our children on one occasion – with the promise of a computer game – not to give up Latin at O level. She didn’t – got to like it – subsequently took it at A level and read Greats at University.

      My parents, who both smoked like chimneys, promised me at the age of 13 £100 (say £2,000 in today’s money) if I hadn’t started smoking by my 21st birthday. I hadn’t – but in fact we all forgot all about this promise and it was never implemented. By the time I remembered it (health benefits aside) I’d saved thousands of pounds.

  2. Peter D. Wilson says:

    Would you count my recent arranging for the daughter of a friend, thinking of university entrance, to have a tour of my old college?

    • Brendan says:

      Come on,you’ll have to enlarge on that. Don’t keep us guessing , please !

      • Peter D. Wilson says:

        All right, Brendan. The girl (the most brilliant I have known) was in any case being taken by her father to Oxford for a look around, and I suggested that as a matter of friendly interest they should take a look at the college. I then looked at its web site where open days were mentioned and asked if any were scheduled for that time. None was, but a private conducted tour was spontaneously offered and accepted. Almost certainly it would be noted and count in her favour should she decide in due course to apply for admission or a scholarship; unfairness to other potential candidates?

    • tim says:

      Not unless your college is paying you to steer good candidates towards them, and you haven’t declared this to your friend.

  3. Martha says:

    Corruption, unfair advantage, natural advantage, where is the dividing line?  Life is not fair.  Some people are highly intelligent, some are naturally attractive and have charisma, they are articulate and have pleasant looks and voices.  Society should aim for reasonable opportunities for all but there will never be a completely level playing field in this world.

  4. Brendan says:

    Peter D. Wilson – You haven’t stated whether you were an alumnus of this college in question. However, To accommodate your request , I would imagine that the college authorities were only too pleased to hear an enthusiastic request from a prospective student or her proxy. The fact that this might be good opportunity to raise a group outside of the usual ‘ scheduled ‘ tours to see as many potential undergraduates as possible , who may not be able to attend otherwise ; then the onus for the selection procedure and ‘ alternative ‘ if any ,for offering your friend an early tour , could only be known by the college itself- assuming that ON the actual day of selection the process remained scrupulously impartial. From what you say I see no collusion in corrupt practices on your part , unless you have further knowledge that might suggest otherwise.
    I will say that I have ‘ found out ‘ certain ‘ad hoc’ facts in my life situations hat have threatened to engulf me ( without clear evidence ) in possible corrupt practices ; but that I have managed ( with Gods grace I am certain ) to extricate myself from possible taint. That danger may often loom when ‘ doing business ‘ either with an individual or with l an organisation in my experience.

    • Peter D. Wilson says:

      Brendan – yes, I was at the college, but in 1957 – 61 so I can be pretty sure that no one now there would remember me. I have the impression – no more than that – that the college likes to favour its alumni, and unless someone has looked up a past (not particularly generous) response to an appeal for funds that is the full extent of my influence.

  5. John Candido says:

    Corruption is an unfortunate part of life that the most valiant attempts to eradicate it will never fully succeed. That is not an excuse for society to do nothing about it. Lots of corruption will either fall by the wayside or suddenly become tamer, once cash is removed from our economy. Tax evasion, cash robberies, illegal drugs, counterfeiting notes, consumer rip-offs, burglaries, scams of one sort or another conducted online or in our communities and the black market in general, will either be eliminated or heavily reduced through easier management by governments or more effective policing.

    The corrupting effects of illegal drugs in our society needs that rarely used insight gained through thinking outside the square. How American society moved from the early 20th century prohibition of alcohol to its legalisation and ongoing management by governments, is the metaphor that I am referring to in regards to solving this intractable international problem that corrupts every sort of official, in order to reap huge financial rewards through this sordid and dangerous trade.

    Being open to a radical personal integrity that can subjectively assess examples of corruption in us, is a different kettle of fish requiring the absence of self-deception. You can get caught up in scrupulosity where inordinate self-examination becomes a problem to the other extreme where you know you are corrupt but you do not give two hoots. Most of us fall in the middle.

    It pays to know that God shines the sun on both the venal and the virtuous. This is a general plea for mercy and understanding for our more ‘colourful’ identities. The corrupt come in all shapes and sizes. The corrupt and the virtuous have different ‘roles’ to play in society. If we were all virtuous then whole swathes of society would immediately face unemployment. The police, customs, defence forces, intelligence organisations and the justice system will cease to exist and the need for their skills and experience would no longer apply.

    Most criminals come from a poor socio-economic background, have fewer opportunities than the rest of us and have been brought up in homes that you would not allow your pet cat or dog into. Child abuse can have its denouement in a court of law. I am not referring to the legal liability of child abusers but the role that child abuse can and does play in the future criminality of the abused. If this is true then a future society may want to charge a convicted criminal’s parents as being partly or indirectly responsible for their children’s crimes.

  6. Brendan says:

    True to form John Candido you have given this blog a lot to think about. I’ll pick up on just one aspect. …” Being open to a personal radical integrity that can objectively asses examples of corruption in us, is a different kettle of fish requiring the absence of self-deception. ”
    Yes , in our flawed ( but not fatally lost ) world two elements are needed to effect the ‘ co- ruption ‘ ; by Quentins definition something that should be different . For the Christian this means a falling short of that difference ( The Kingdom of God ) by rupture. Subjectively, How many times do we achieve that in a day ? Your implication , as I see it , is that this is chiefly brought into effect with the help of at least one person.
    To that end , as a Christian I awake every morning and lay bare this ” self-deception ” to ‘ burn-off ‘ in the ” radical integrity ” of the heat of Gods Grace – our definitive defence against corruption.
    Those outside the ‘ Kingdom ‘ – the a-gnostic / a-theist can only respond with the lazy,fatuous term …’ guilty boy ‘. To our world Poe Francis put its thus ( of Christ ):-
    ” You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. ”

  7. Brendan says:

    Everyone . I don’t see we are using the word ‘ bribe ‘ in its correct meaning. The essence of bribery is to ‘ dishonestly persuade ‘. It is not bribery to offer an inducement to someone to accept something that one would feel is in the best interests of that person , and to offer a reward in accordance with them complying with that acceptance. Hardly a corrupt practice !

    • Vincent says:

      You must be right, Brendan. My Concise Oxford is clear about the special meaning of bribery. It doesn’t mean reward. Bribery simply teaches the child to look for more bribes rather than to look for good behaviour. The child, perhaps in a rather mild way, is being corrupted.

      • Brendan says:

        Indeed Vincent , that suggests the corollary. What irony !

      • John Candido says:

        I agree with Vincent about inducements or rewards being paid out to children as a form of bribery to alter their behaviour. A far better way to parent would be to do a course in ‘Parent Effectiveness Training’ (PET) or to buy the book, which has the same title as the course and was written by a psychologist called Dr. Thomas Gordon PhD. He passed away in 2002.

        Parents on the whole are not born with outstanding parenting insights and skills. Instead of learning by trial and error why not invest the time to learn about a new and much better way to parent children? You will get you your money’s worth once you start using it at home. PET will not solve all of your parenting problems but trust me it is extremely valuable to know about and use as an aid to all of your family relationships. I hasten to add that I have no financial connection with these books and courses.

        This link is a very brief outline of the skills in PET:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parent_Effectiveness_Training

        More about Dr. Thomas Gordon PhD who started it all:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gordon_%28psychologist%29

        The business behind PET:
        http://www.gordontraining.com/

  8. Geordie says:

    I know that corruption exists in all areas of life but I find corruption in the Catholic Church particularly depressing. When a Cardinal takes €200,000 from the Holy Gesu hospital charity to redo his apartment and then repays it, when it is publicised, causes great concern. How does a Cardinal accumulate such a large amount in order to repay the funds within months? At the other end of the scale I am unhappy with a parish priest who ensures his curate’s cousin becomes a headteacher at 28 years of age.
    The Catholic community should have systems in place to ensure these types of action can’t happen but it would take an incorrupt authority to set such systems up and we don’t have that.

  9. Nektarios says:

    Where does corruption come from? what is it actually, what does it do? are we corrupt or corrupted too?
    Corruption comes from our corrupted Fallen nature. What does it do? We in Adam were deceived by the devil.The Wisdom, judgement and understanding man had was corrupted by this corruption of our nature.
    The unfolding history of mankind demonstrates this in a myriad of ways. Take the Jews, fellow humanity, when the prophets of God came and told them what God was saying to them and to repent, they did not believe them and killed them. Lot in the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah warned the people what God was about to do, but they did not believe him. they fled the city and what was told them came to pass.

    When John the Baptist told the people about Christ, many did not believe him, and they killed him too.
    Christ came, in his Father’s name, healed their sick, relieved them of their distresses, forgave their sin, raised the dead, preached the Gospel concerning Himself, but they did not believe Him, and said let Barrabas go, and away with the spotless lamb of God, Crucify Him, and the killed Him too, the Lord of Glory. Sin with its corrupting influence blinds man and women to who He was, and it is the same today.

    I came in my Father’s name, and ye believe me not, but one that comes in his own name you will believe.

    Mohammed came in his own name and they followed after him.

    The corruption of sin in our fallen nature, we have the tendency to believe a lie, a deceit, a falsehood.

    The Caesars of the Roman Empire set themselves up as gods and the people went after them and worshipped them. How true, one who comes in their own name, we will believe, rather than God or the Truth or the facts, rather believing a lie?
    Are we therefore corrupt too?
    If we believe not the Gospel, then because of sin, we are blind to ourselves and the truth about ourselves.
    We are so willing to listen and often accept those that come in their own name, the false prophets of long ago, and the modern day ones too.
    They say, of course, the people of long ago, were ignorant,, but the modern man has more knowledge and understanding and so these old bible myths cane go in the trash can and believe what we are telling you. Millions are following after them who come in their own name, they will believe. But will they believe someone sent by God?
    Corruption of Human nature has affected all our highest faculties of our wisdom, judgement and understanding.

    I will stop for now

  10. Nektarios says:

    to continue.

    Corruption of Human nature has affected all our highest faculties of our wisdom, judgement and understanding.Can such a claim be substantiated? Corruption in us has blinded us to seeing practically anything truly. The trouble is we simple just don’t believe it is as bad as that.

    Along come your modern day prophets and the will tell you, yes things are bad, but not so bad that we cannot remedy them all. They then proceed to tell you things you want to hear, then gaining ones trust, they get you to follow them. This is not just the so-called ignorant of centuries ago, but right up to this our day.
    Do we believe what we read in the newspapers or see on the media? We say we don’t but then we agree with so much of it.
    Do we believe the many secularists, humanist, and liberalist? We say we don’t but then we go with the crowd to what every degree.
    We see what we want to see, believe what we want to believe, from those who come in their own name, but being blinded by our own corruption our fallen nature, we don’t see the corruption all around us.
    We say, we find it hard to believe our politicians, then find ourselves siding with this Party or that.

    The along come the ones we trust supposedly, our medical professions, our psychologists, psych-therapists and the like but we don’t see, we are blind to their corruption, let alone our own.
    The same applies in the religious world, many coming in their own name, them you will believe.
    Our Lord says, you will believe all such, but you won’t come to or believe Me.

    The sorrow of man is this corruption of his nature, now fallen, is it is total. It leads him/her into mistakes and errors, believing untruths. Worse there does not seem on the face of it anything
    that can be done. man is is a hopeless case.

    Along comes one with the Gospel. One does not believe it, does not want to hear it even, won’t listen. Convinced their understanding is not corrupted but a true understanding.
    What we don’t realise so often, just how biased and prejudiced we are.

    What is man to do?

    I’ll stop there for now.

  11. Nektarios says:

    John Candido

    You have just confirmed what I said in my postings above.
    Those who come in their own name you will believe, but as Our Lord said, you won’t come or believe in me.

    Let me ask you something, do you think that a few tweeks by however a eminent a psychologist
    can deal with the problems of man rising from his fallen nature? If your answer would be in the affirmative, then it would not have been necessary for the Lord of Glory to come and die for us on the cross, would it?

    • John Candido says:

      I am sorry Nektarios but I don’t answer questions that have a certain tone about them. I make a point of ignoring most ad hominem questions that are based on implicit assumptions about me. Do you ever have a look at yourself and wonder if you are a little immoderate about those you don’t agree with religiously?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

      • Nektarios says:

        John Candido

        I am not making any assumptions about you per se, but reply to your posting only.
        So, John, to suggest my questions to you were ‘ad hominem’ against you personally
        is ridiculous, but your reply does also suggest a weakness in your position?

      • John Candido says:

        Nektarios, what I mean by an ad hominem attack is that some of your questions implicitly assume that I do not have any faith and that the last five or so years on SecondSight I have fraudulently misrepresented myself to everyone. I am a believer Nektarios so I don’t like it when someone turns around and implicitly suggests that I do not believe. Writing quickly or thoughtlessly or inattentively can inadvertently produce these effects. I will give you the benefit of the doubt because you may have overlooked these assumptions in your questions; at least I hope you have.

        I am specifically replying to this absurd statement,

        ‘You (meaning me – my comment) have just confirmed what I said in my postings above. Those who come in their own name (experts of one sort or another – my comment) you will believe, but as Our Lord said, you won’t come or believe in me. (Nektarios)

        Although not an ad hominem attack the truth of the following statement would depend on the individual concerned and is a sweeping generalisation without adequate qualifications.

        ‘Corruption in us has blinded us to seeing practically anything truly.’ (Nektarios)

        People can be blinded by money, comfort and luxuries but as contradictory and as ironical as it is, some corrupt individuals have more insight, wisdom and vision in life than most other people.

        ‘Then along come the ones we trust supposedly, our medical professions, our psychologists, psych-therapists and the like but we don’t see, we are blind to their corruption, let alone our own. The same applies in the religious world, many coming in their own name, then you will believe. Our Lord says you will believe all such, but you won’t come to or believe Me.’ (Nektarios)

        This is not an attack on me but standard fundamentalist tripe. It is simply too general to be of practical use. There is a tiny minority of corrupt members of the medical or psychological professions or the clergy for that matter, but you are not telling us anything new Nektarios.

        All that I am asking you Nektarios is to please be more careful in your posts in future. You can believe whatever you like; the point is to be moderate, fair and ethical in your rhetoric and especially when you are addressing anyone on SecondSight. Thank you for your understanding. Sincerely and respectfully yours, John Candido.

  12. St.Joseph says:

    To Almighty God.
    This shrine of the arts, music and literature is dedicated by the first Governors in the year of Our Lord 1931. John Reith being Director General. it is their prayer that good seed sown will produce a good harvest. that everything offensive to decency and hostile to peace will be expelled. and that the nation will incline its ear to those things which are lovely. and pure of good report and thus pursue the path of wisdom and virtue.
    INSCRIPTION IN ENTRANCE HALL AT BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE.PORTLAND SQUARE
    LONDON.
    Will anyone know if it is still there?

    TV Watchdog.
    ”Finally .brethren. whatsoever things are true.whatsoever things are honest.
    whatsoever things are just. whatsoever things are pure. whatsoever things are lovely.
    whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue. and if there be any praise. think on these things.”
    Philippians 4.8

  13. ignatius says:

    We seem to be making very heavy weather of this.

  14. John Candido says:

    Fair enough Nektarios, I believe that your position is weak not mine, but that is my opinion. You can differ from my opinion if you want to and no doubt you will.

    ‘Do you think that a few tweaks by however an eminent a psychologist can deal with the problems of man rising from his fallen nature? (Nektarios)

    If you are talking about a non-spiritual problem; it mostly depends on the problem, the person with the problem and the context that he or she is in. The skill and experience of the psychologist is also an undeniable factor as well. If you are talking about spiritual matters then people should go to a spiritual advisor.

    ‘If your answer would be in the affirmative, then it would not have been necessary for the Lord of Glory to come and die for us on the cross, would it?’ (Nektarios)

    The thinking fallacy that you are employing here is sometimes called the ‘either/or’ fallacy. Your example of the crucifixion doesn’t apply, you are exaggerating the case and you have not sufficiently thought this through.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

    Former President George Bush once said that ‘either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists’ referring to the 9/11 attacks in New York. He was employing the ‘either/or’ fallacy in order to drum up international support for his illegal attack on Iraq, linking the justification for this plan to what was mistaken intelligence or a slanderous and scurrilous accusation that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and threatening ‘bystander’ nation-states with future economic consequences should they remain neutral by implication, using the fear of implied threats to persuade and reason his case.

    We all now know where his place in history is likely to be and the illegal activities that his administration and that of Obama’s has in relation to privacy, whistle-blowers, drones, torture, and the treatment of prisoners.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse

    In balance, there is little room for manoeuvre if you were to change Osama bin Laden for Adolf Hitler. So cases and contexts are vital.

    My eye fell on this item in the Wikipedia link below and is quite interesting. Under the heading of ‘Historical Quotations’,

    ‘The Synoptic Gospels attribute the following quote to Jesus of Nazareth: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30), as well as its contrapositive, “Whoever is not against us is for us” (Luke 9:50; Mark 9:40).’

    It leads one to ask, is religion inadvertently guilty of manufacturing fundamentalist mentalities? Are they not guilty of this inadvertent offence because fundamentalists will always be among us in our communities? Are both possibilities at play? And finally, can the church and society at large have a role in mitigating its prevalence through education, biblical scholarship and contemporary theology? That is a post on its own if Quentin wants to re-examine fundamentalism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You're_either_with_us,_or_against_us

    This sort of ‘black and white’ thinking placed on top of whatever context or problems people face can point to flawed thinking, an irrelevant or false consequence through the use of the ‘either/or’ fallacy, and the oversimplification of complex matters through a reduction or a ‘funnelling’ of alternatives. The consequence of doing this is to both paralyse people’s thinking and to invalidate alternative and more moderate proposals.

  15. ignatius says:

    May I echo John Candido of 17.1.16 7.22am

    especially this:
    “This is not an attack on me but standard fundamentalist tripe. It is simply too general to be of practical use. There is a tiny minority of corrupt members of the medical or psychological professions or the clergy for that matter, but you are not telling us anything new Nektarios…”

    In my local prison I quite often hear gratitude expressed by inmates attending chapel for the help that psychological services have given them…… by all means, save some.

    • Quentin says:

      Ignatius, in the light of your irenic contribution, a thought occurs to me. Perhaps our problem, which arises from time to time on this Blog, comes from us accepting the doctrine of Incarnation, but not really grasping its consequences. The world analyses our motivations or our behaviour in material terms. So we look at it through psychology, sociology, biology etc. And it is correct so to do — as far as our always-developing knowledge goes. But, by definition, it cannot deal with the spiritual element, which is our free choice between the good or evil which is presented to us.

      The religious approach is inclined to focus on the spiritual, and allows the material to be, if relevant at all, simply marginal. We are apparently spirits who happen for a time to be trapped in the material — indeed imprisoned there through Adam’s inheritance. Grace is the active power which we use.

      The theological approach teaches that we are created as a single entity: body and soul (or material and spiritual). And it is this entity which is redeemed, and will rise again in its intrinsic harmony. Thus it is quite correct to describe our behavior in material terms, providing we are aware that this is only the picture seen in one aspect. Similarly our understanding of spirit and the action of grace is only the picture seen in one aspect. How these two relate is ultimately a mystery. Thus when we say that a loving action is powered directly by grace and also that it is powered directly by our free choice, we do not understand, in human terms, how this can be.

      • ignatius says:

        Quentin,

        Yes I guess thats it. I’ve recently been whacking my way a Phd thesis on through the history, evolution and effectiveness of the Sex Offender Training Programme in British prisons, looking for ways in which our preaching and teaching can focus on elements of the gospel which mesh in with the aim of the programme which is to build self esteem, self knowledge and self discipline.
        It is good to remember that ‘fallenness’ produces its effects on’nature’ largely through habit and inclination so if we believe anything in the bible it must be that the human heart and mind can be changed…changing it is a process over time involving blood, sweat and tears.

  16. Nektarios says:

    Ignatius & John Candido

    I am not saying clinical psychology has no uses, it certainly has. All that I am saying is really quite simple to understand. All the problems that man has now or ever had since the fall arise out of his fallen nature.
    In this all disciplines, learning hit the limitation of human nature including their own.
    All they have done is thought something up, got a glimpse of something and put it across as a panacea for umpteen ills.

    But there is but one cure for man in his fallen nature. I am sorry to say, but I do say it quite emphatically, psychology does not have the cure. never did, and never will.
    Anything but Christ, is that it?

    • ignatius says:

      Nektarios,

      “Anything but Christ, is that it?”

      Its comments like these, addressed to individuals, which do you no good service, try and remember you are a guest addressing fellow guests not a colossus striding bellowing across a vacuum. Also that many psychologists are Christians too. Probably they do not confuse themselves with Christ but are just trying to do a bit of good where they can. Perhaps you might try also to get hold of a book entitled:
      Why do Christians Shoot their Wounded Dwight Carlson

      • Nektarios says:

        Ignatius

        You are missing the point I was suggesting by saying, ‘anything but Christ’.
        What I was suggesting was what it was concerning man that brought the Lord of Glory down to earth to die for us. More, Christ’s total understanding of man and where the problems lie. How he taught us what it is, why it is, why things are the case with man down through the centuries.
        If there is objection on my part at all, it would lie in the some assertions made by some psychologists as a total answer. Dealing with the peripherals of human experience and living in the natural man goes nowhere near the problem of the problem on sin and all that that produces in his natural nature. The psychologists are not separate from the rest of us and they too suffer the same problems.

        I am not a colossus striding anyone, or bellowing across the vacuum.
        All I am doing is laying before you somethings Scriptures teaches us about ourselves and what to do about it concerning corruption in us which produces the corruption we see all around us -that is all.

      • John Candido says:

        ‘If there is objection on my part at all, it would lie in the some assertions made by some psychologists as a total answer.’ (Nektarios)

        Total answers rarely come from ethical psychologists and are more likely the work of frauds and their shoddiness. Again Nektarios you are not telling us anything new or anything remotely revelatory.

        ‘I am not a colossus striding anyone, or bellowing across the vacuum.’ (Nektarios)

        Sorry there is no escape and welcome to your nightmare Nektarios. You are not a colossus and we know that you’re not. It is just that the ‘voice’ behind your writing or the manner of your ‘speech’ clearly betrays your attitude to all of us as believers of categorical error. This is quite arrogant and holds a different account to your plea for innocence. A quiet humility for an excitable demon can be a dissonance invoking an outbreak of hives.

      • John Candido says:

        I have been guilty of what I have accused Nektarios of doing. We are all fallible after all. In my post above I wrote,

        ‘It is just that the ‘voice’ behind your writing or the manner of your ‘speech’ clearly betrays your attitude to all of us as believers of categorical error.’

        This should have read,

        It is just that the ‘voice’ behind your writing or the manner of your ‘speech’ clearly betrays your attitude to some of us, as believers of varying degrees of categorical error.

        Sweeping absolutism should be eschewed in all polemical writing and where possible corrected to be consistent with how entities can be more accurately represented.

    • John Candido says:

      ‘All they (the professions – my comment) have done is thought something up, got a glimpse of something and put it across as a panacea for umpteen ills.’ (Nektarios)

      This is another sweeping generalisation that attacks the integrity of any professionally qualified person and is patently false Nektarios. No professional with integrity would make a claim for treatments that are a ‘panacea for umpteen ills’ and it is why all professionals have to submit their experimental data or paper to a proper journal for review and hope that it will be published.

      The usual reasons that a paper cannot be published is that the ‘evidence’ presented does not support the conclusion that a scientist or other professional is offering, or that the chain of reasoning within the paper has some inconsistency, inaccuracy or illogicality and is therefore deemed unsupportable by the editor of the journal in question and is rejected for publication. Plagiarism or theft of someone else’s work through its un-acknowledgment is also an issue from time to time.

      Any professional that bypasses the scrutiny of their colleagues through journal publication, and goes public with unpublished data, is usually not a professional in good standing and has probably indulged in quackery for money or has done this for other valueless reasons. There are contemporary examples of this in the media. The vast majority of professional people are not quacks or without ethics Nektarios and you rarely hear from them.

      ‘But there is but one cure for man in his fallen nature. I am sorry to say, but I do say it quite emphatically, psychology does not have the cure. Never did, and never will.’ (Nektarios)

      You say that ‘there is but one cure for man in his fallen nature’ and you are either consciously or unconsciously suggesting that the ‘panacea’ or ‘cure’ authored by any professionally qualified person applies to spiritual matters. To use your phrasing Nektarios, it never did and it never will, although there is a dichotomy or mystery about this point having a spiritual dimension that probably cannot be measured or quantified for scientific purposes. Despite this unquantifiable dichotomy, you are wrong again Nektarios.

      To talk about ‘one cure’ that applies to every condition or a subclass of diseases, i.e. a ‘panacea’, is for a scientist to indulge in the mentality of most fundamentalists, who obsessively invoke their singularity repeatedly, in fervent devotion to it. A multitude of contemporary discourses is a troublesome reminder to fundamentalists of the hopelessness of their position and this fact is usually struck from their minds in order to maintain their preferred Weltanschauung.

      They will never acknowledge a plural world because the day that they do is the day that they stop being fundamentalists. In the end identity trumps reality and no amount of reasoning, beguilement or contradistinctive evidence will shift the genetic obstinacy of their idiosyncratic worldview.

      Nektarios, you should read Quentin’s reply to Ignatius above to help clarify your thinking and writing a little because it needs clarifying.

  17. Nektarios says:

    John Candido

    You say that ‘there is but one cure for man in his fallen nature’ and you are either consciously or unconsciously suggesting that the ‘panacea’ or ‘cure’ authored by any professionally qualified person applies to spiritual matters. To use your phrasing Nektarios, it never did and it never will, although there is a dichotomy or mystery about this point having a spiritual dimension that probably cannot be measured or quantified for scientific purposes. Despite this unquantifiable dichotomy, you are wrong again Nektarios.

    You say I am wrong, JC. well,lets us see if your right or not.

    I would first refer you to Roman 8:18-23 please read.I suggest Ignatius do the same.

    Let us remind ourselves what we are discussing, namely, ‘corruption.’
    Quentin gave several examples of corruption in his preamble. These are the effects of corruption in us, but as we read in the passage in Romans 8, it is not only spiritual, but effects the animate, inaminate, the animals, the sky and the cosmos.

    Nature tries season after season but returns to winter, the leave and fruits are gone, the trees stand stark against the sky. Man too because of corruption on account of sin and the Fall, we too have inherited this corruption. We try to improve things day after day, with all the effects of this corruption
    in us and will lead to our physical death. During our lives we will have sorrows and trials and difficulties, illnesses physical, mental, emotional and psychological. But like nature itself, no matter how we try to improve ourselves, like weeds these problems will arise again and again.

    We can look out on a field on a nice summers day see the flowers blooming and trees full of leaves and fruit. We can say, isn’t it lovely. But what is hidden from us is just how different and lovely this earth was prior to the Fall. The same applies to the cosmos, and man is not the same as he was prior to the Fall either. But at the heart of all this is corruption. Read about it in Genesis 3.
    The spiritually minded person knows the corruption in inherent transient beauty of the world and people, but also sees deeper and knows the corruption.

    Lastly, Romans 8: 18-22 This is the hope of the Christian, the Sons of God, that one day, when the Lord returns, not only us, but the whole of creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
    Yes, of course we too like our fellow human beings have this corruption on account of a fallen sinful nature, with all the sufferings that implies – that is the nature of corruption, but we look forward to His appearing and be delivered from corruption.

    • Quentin says:

      ‘Anything but Christ.’ Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. All our loving actions draw their virtue from Christ. And that applies to everyone whether they recognise Christ or not. That means that many people who would be the first to call themselves atheists or agnostics do good things through the power of Christ. His action is universal. Thus, for example, a psychologist who works to find cures for mental illness is doing that for and to Christ. I have no doubt that when we reach Heaven and look at our neighbours we will be surprised to find who they are.

      Christ, from the right hand of the Father, will only ask one question: did you love? He has no other criterion.

      • Nektarios says:

        Quentin
        Well you said it, inferring mistakenly and deliberately what was meant by ‘Anything but Christ.’
        You have your view or opinions in what you have said above, but Quentin you are not the Lord, your are not a prophet, you are not an Apostle so this is your view and what a mistaken view it is when one considers what you say in the light of Holy Writ.
        ‘ there is none righteous, no not one.’ or ‘All our righteousness is as filthy rags’.
        But if you want to depend on good works or ones own righteousness before Almighty God in the fulness of His glory, that is up to you, but I would not recommend it or depend on that day.

      • Quentin says:

        Nektarios, thank you for your reply. It gives me the opportunity to remind contributors that I have no authority on this Blog – other than its management. Anyone is entitled to disagree with me – and I am grateful to them since it leads me to re-examine what I have thought or said. I have learnt a great deal from contributors over the years, as I hope we all have.

        First, I deal with a misunderstanding. My agreement with your challenge to those who claim ‘Anything but Christ’ is intended. No good that we humans can do is possible without Christ, even if we have never heard of him.

        I do not know to what school of theology you belong. But I belong to the Catholic school. The Reformation Churches held that Christians remained corrupt in themselves, but the grace of Christ, to those who believed, was applied to them through God’s good will. The Catholic Church however taught that through God’s grace we become truly holy. If I do a good action, it is I who do it — having become a holier person through the power of grace which God has infused in me. We see this scripturally through Paul’s phrase: ‘I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me.’ and the incident of the woman of bad repute of whom Jesus said ‘Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much.’ It is in that woman that my hope of salvation lies.

    • John Candido says:

      ‘Let us remind ourselves what we are discussing, namely, ‘corruption.’ Quentin gave several examples of corruption in his preamble. These are the effects of corruption in us, but as we read in the passage in Romans 8, it is not only spiritual, but effects the animate, inanimate, the animals, the sky and the cosmos.’ (Nektarios)

      I have read your post in full including Romans. You are saying that the passage in Romans refers to the Fall and its effect on both humans and nature to the full extent that we and they are not as we were before the Fall and can never return to it, i.e. we are corrupted both humans, animals and pants. They are corrupted by the Fall and only redeemable by Christ’s atonement but they have lost their innocence or some sort of perfection that will never be regained as a result of the Fall.

      By necessity you cannot take scripture out of its historical milieu that includes its cultural and linguistic context. You also cannot ignore the research of scripture scholars starting in Germany during the late 19th century who began a hermeneutical or exegetical approach to scripture and all of the scholars who have continued this work to the present day.

      Without claiming any expertise in exegesis I can suspect that your understanding of this passage is likely to be simplistic, shallow, and that what you end up saying as a result of your ‘interpretation’ adds nothing to the church’s knowledge of scriptural matters as adumbrated by scholars since the 19th century.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics

      All that you need to know Nektarios is that we are on different planets theologically. I don’t believe in Adam and Eve, the Fall or in original sin as presented by older conceptualisations of these matters by the Roman Catholic Church and St. Augustin. Let’s not forget the seminal work of Charles Darwin on evolutionary theory and how this has had an enormous cultural impact throughout the world, including our exegetical understanding and on the church’s theology.

      I have expressed these views several times on this blog in relation to the theology of Fr. Jack Mahoney SJ in his book, ‘Christianity in Evolution: An Exploration’. I accept evolution as the most likely story of our historical origin and that this natural process was commenced by God by some process that we will never know about. Should Mahoney’s theology ever be accepted by the Catholic Church in future, it will have an enormous consequence in its relationship to other doctrines, Mariology, papal infallibility and the meaning of the mass and its sacred liturgy.

      I am afraid that you haven’t demonstrated anything of any real significance to me and all that I am left with is your refusal to make the slightest attempt at any sort of apology to me as a result of your ad hominem attack that I clearly outlined earlier. I will not hold my breath on this matter; you are free to reply as you desire.

      Try to be more humble Nektarios because you are out of your depth. Of course that would almost be impossible because most fundamentalists have a dogged certainty that usually comes with having the final word on matters that interests them. I am afraid that I will concede a defeat of sorts as I am completely bored by your assumed superiority and find that it simply grates against me. People happily have other fish to fry.

      • Nektarios says:

        John Candido

        You have stated your position above, which is not a biblical position.
        You have heaped insult after insult at me, accuse me, not on the substance of what I said,
        but on how it seemed to sound to you. Well I am sorry you feel like that, but your feelings
        important though they are to you, are not the arbiters of truth.

        My certainty does not come from ignorance, with a fundamentalist approach, but out of the life of Christ in me that Scriptures together and in context and exegetically worked out
        and attested by the Saints down through the centuries in which I have had training in.

        I do not claim for myself any superiority or authority over you or anyone, but like all contributors on the blog, I was trying to answer Quentin’s question on corruption from a biblical standpoint.
        Obviously something has struck a raw nerve with you. Better not agitate it any further.

      • St.Joseph says:

        John Candido.
        You you ‘Should Mahoney.s theology ever be accepted by the Catholic Church in future, it will have an enormous consequences in relationships to other doctrines’.
        How come?

      • St.Joseph says:

        My comment to John Candido, should begin with ‘You say’

    • John Candido says:

      That was a wantonly childish reply to Quentin Nektarios.

  18. John Candido says:

    Your recent reply to me was absolute baloney Nektarios full of distortions and self-serving untruths. There is no doubt in my mind that a sincere apology from you for your original ad hominem attack on me that wantonly and falsely declared me to have no faith, will never happen this side of heaven. So be it I couldn’t care less.

    • Nektarios says:

      John Candido
      I did no such thing.
      You on the other hand have attacked me. No matter, one expects that when putting forward the truth.
      From my standpoint, John you are or seem to be a firm believer in higher criticism from what you have said in some of your postings.
      Higher criticism has long been shown up they were on the wrong track as modern day archeology has found and backed up so much of the historical details as put forward in the Holy Bible.

      The same mind set was shown in Act 5 21-31. The Sanhedrin brought the Apostles before them. They did not like them or what they said. The were biased and prejudiced, and the refused so see or understand the facts. It is the same today.
      It is the same with those who think they are so advanced that they no longer need to know the facts or understand them.
      Christianity is built upon historical facts about Jesus and holiness.

  19. John Thomas says:

    A big problem is line-drawing. I might well do a personal copy on the office photocopier; a politician may claim £40,000 – or whatever – in “expenses”. I fancy the traditional Christian view is that both are equally wrong, but it’s very hard to see it that way …

    • Brendan says:

      The first and biggest casualty of corruption is ‘ truth.’ With a nod to Edmund Burke – for corruption to succeed it just needs one lie.
      It’s not just a ” Christian view ”; we will all fall into corruption …. but for the grace of God who died to save us from sin and total corruption.

    • St.Joseph says:

      John Thomas/
      I believe that the correct option would to ask.

      • Martha says:

        Yes, St. Joseph, but otherwise, John T., how could they both be equally wrong, one costs a negligible amount and a few moments of time, it would hardly be a sin at all, the other is a very large amount and is very serious faud.

      • St.Joseph says:

        John Thomas.
        Another thought would be ‘Would God ask us about the photo copying when we meet Him on Judgement Day. Maybe He would pass it off as being equal to the few minutes you worked over time without pay.
        I think would it come under the heading of dishonesty? One way or another, and how guilty one would feel, Or the need to confess it.

      • St.Joseph says:

        Martha .
        Perhaps you maybe right
        However my mothers motto was to always ask first, when we were inclined to raid the pantry.
        My son who is 51, when he visits used to ask ‘can he make a cup of tea or have a biscuit ; even though I say he need not to.
        He changes it to now I noticed ;Shall I make you a cup of tea Mum!

  20. Martha says:

    John C.’s list, 15th Jan. 4 am, of employments and services which would become redundant if all financial corruption was eliminated, is very striking, and could be enlarged further with the removal of other areas of greed and power hunger, to include especially, military personnel and manufacture of associated equipment, buildings, weapons and transport, and a huge reduction in areas of law and policing. We would indeed become a transformed society. Swords could be turned into spaceships perhaps? The prospect leads my imagination to thoughts of what awaits God’s friends in Paradise where health problems and accidents will not exist either.

  21. John Nolan says:

    During the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) the Royal Navy attained a peak of efficiency which has arguably never been surpassed. Yet it was officered via a network of patronage and influence which nowadays we would castigate as corrupt. It did not appear so to contemporaries. The Service would be getting a young man recommended by someone whose judgement was trusted, and no patron was going to risk his reputation by advancing a relative who turned out to be a dud.

    At the turn of the last century Lord Salisbury was accused of nepotism – his Cabinet was dubbed the ‘Hotel Cecil’ – his riposte was that it was unfair that a man of talent should be passed over simply because he had the misfortune to be related to the Prime Minister.

    One form of corruption which is widespread these days in large organizations (particularly in the public sector) and which the Georgian navy would not have tolerated is the culture of reward for failure. Quangocrats and others on six-figure salaries can display incompetence on the grandest scale and instead of being dismissed are moved sideways or upwards. When they eventually retire, to everyone’s relief, they are given large hand-outs and over-generous pensions.

    Corruption in the Church? If bishops’ conferences have an undue influence over episcopal appointments they can become self-perpetuating oligarchies (a classic symptom of corruption). If one of their number is sexually immoral but they pretend not to notice because he has the required ‘liberal’ credentials, that is corruption.

    As for the office photocopier, I am reminded of the clerk who approached Dr Johnson with a scruple of conscience in that he took paper and packthread from his employer for his own use. The Great Moralist, somewhat exasperated, replied: ‘I would advise you, Sir, to study algebra … your head would get less muddy, and you will leave off tormenting your neighbours about paper and packthread, while we all live together in a world that is bursting with sin and sorrow.’

  22. St.Joseph says:

    John Nolan.
    Just a thought. ‘Does stealing come under the heading of how much one steals or the value of what was stolen.?
    A priest I knew said that if he was given too much change he would not go back as it may get the cashier the sack.
    Would he go back if he was short changed!
    Dishonesty is also a sin.
    People can manipulate their conscience to suit themselves.
    It would have been better if the man you mention above went to confession ,if a catholic. And not do it again..

    • Brendan says:

      That settles it for me St. Joseph as far as conscience is concerned.
      ” You have heard how it was said , ‘ you shall not commit adultery .’ But I say this to you, if a man looks at a woman lustfully , he has already committed adultery with her in his heart . ” Matt. 5: 26-27. ( NJB )

  23. John Nolan says:

    St.Joseph,

    De minimis non curat lex (the law is not concerned with trifles).

    Don’t rely on this defence if caught leaving Tesco with a bagful of ready-made desserts.

    • St.Joseph says:

      John Nolan.
      That made me smile.
      A couple of years ago When I got to my car I found some unpaid batteries in my trolley.
      A young man next to me in his car said’ don’t worry, they wont miss them’ they can afford it., their fault for not noticing it. It also happened a few years ago with a lump of cheese.
      I did return them, however would I have been able to convince them if someone had followed me out.

      • Brendan says:

        I’ve done that on a number of occasions eg. driven off with petrol and forgotten to pay. Needless to say, I’ve gone back ! I’m surprised I’ve not been up before the ‘ beak ‘ before now !

  24. Brendan says:

    Corruption within an ‘ establishment culture ‘ can rarely go unnoticed either by ‘ establishment ‘ figures or perhaps to a much lesser extent , ‘ the man in the street .’ eg. National Socialism ( Nazism ). From ‘egg’ to ‘larva’ ( growing stage ) it emerges as a fully grown spider whose embrace is quick , subversive and deadly.
    In the book ” Science says NO – The Gay ‘ Marriage ‘ Deception ” , Dutch psychologist and psycho-analyst Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg debunks convincingly the theory – through the large mass of serious evidence collected by the psychiatric and social science professions etc. up to the mid-1970’s – that homosexuality …. ” is a normal, natural form of human sexuality, biologically and psychologically … He concludes ,..” nature says no , science says no ..” and for the Christian ..” God says no .”
    How then has the opposite belief succeeded in the minds of Western Culture ? Van den Aardweg places the blame firmly at the door of the Western ( particularly in America ) academic community for their ” cowardice ” in not following up this avalanche of evidence opposing the claims of the homosexual community lobby . It is no coincidence that after about 1975 , research into this area has practically come to an abrupt halt. Taking advantage of this he claims the ‘ LGBT agenda ‘ lobby has taken to heart the ” butterfly-evidence ” in support of their position to silence any opposition to their accepted belief in the West – which he forthrightly says are a mixture of… …” gay-ideological fairy-tales and lies .” He quotes lesbian activist Camille Paglia ( American academic and cultural critic ) in 1997 to a gay activist symposium , as saying … ” We should be aware of the potentially pernicious intermingling of gay activism with science , which produces more propaganda than truth. Gay scientists must be scientists first, gays second. ”
    Government decisions are being corrupted ( either deliberately or unknowingly by ) ‘ the established order ‘ of things by the lack of ‘ truth ‘ in this area ; and like the deadly reach of a malevolent spider, is having and will continue to have serious consequences for all sections of society until this situation is redressed and balance is brought back into our minds of the pubic.

    • Nektarios says:

      Brendan

      Thank you for your posting, very informative and what some of us have argued over the years.
      This manifestation of mans corruption, his old nature is the root of it all. Though homosexuality does not affect all, we all have our own corruptions in our nature to deal with.
      Tragically we can’t do anything about it, until we have the life of Christ in us, to put off such activity. This is why the message of the Gospel is so important, and should be clear, but sadly there are too many voices giving their own beliefs as a Gospel and people follow.

      How to tackle this issue and other corruptions within us all, is to clearly and faithfully preach the Gospel with Apostolic clarity and then we may see God’s blessing. Till then,
      it will carry on as it is in its weak and powerless state in many cases.

      • Brendan says:

        Relating to the previous blog ‘ Inoculate the young ‘; it follows that without confronting society with the true extent of what Dr.Gerard van den Aardweg calls the ” homosexual tyranny” – of the homosexual agendas grip on society’s imagination ; future generations thus dispossessed of the truth will grow used to the ‘ status quo.’ without question. That’s what happened in a similar scenario in time to the children and youth of Nazi Germany.
        All would do well to remember that although His wrath can be tempered by His infinite mercy .” Anyone who welcomes one little child like this in my name welcomes me. But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depths of the sea with a great millstone around his neck ……alas for anyone who provides them [ downfalls ].” Matt.18:6-7.

      • John Candido says:

        Dr.Gerard van den Aardweg is quite a job! I think he is a fraud on psychology itself and will be exposed as one fairly soon.

  25. Brendan says:

    Let’s have it John Candido .

    • John Candido says:

      I cannot give you much Brendan as I am out of my depth. I am not a psychologist so it is just a feeling that I have when I read what others are saying about him together with what I have read from his own pen or mouth. There is a danger that I have jumped to conclusions and maligned someone unworthy of such an assessment. I haven’t read much of his work or what others are saying about him so it is very much an impression. Then again he is so out there if you know what I mean that one can come to a fairly rapid assessment about him. I will readily admit that there are limitations in how I have gone about this.

      However I am reasonably confident that he has used papers that are far older than what he could refer to about homosexuality and he seems to be a Catholic psychologist who very much sees the world through those eyes and his science and his ideology completely trumps any contemporary understanding of homosexuality as evidenced by the science itself. If I am wrong I will have to apologise and make a complete retraction of my comments. I am very confident that I am not wrong unfortunately.

      The other thing about him is that he comes across as a very forthright and somewhat nasty individual with an angry outlook. Again this is an impression of mine and other people can of course see him very differently. Our judgements are always coloured by our values.

      • Brendan says:

        O.K. John. I’m not schooled in psychology either – just a passing patient in my past.
        I’ve found an interview online through CatholicCulture .org; conducted through Q&A’S by Mercator.net with Dr. ‘ van ‘ called ‘Freud or Fraud?’ It may give a insight into the man ( van den Aardweg ) and his work – and maybe something on Freud !
        There are of course other ‘ things ‘ online which to me are just ‘ rubbish ‘ sights with little or no factual evidence/information – just a mixture of bluff, bluster and venom. I’m sure like me you would give them a wide berth.

  26. ignatius says:

    The view that homosexuality can be ‘cured’ has received a bit of a bashing lately. A friend of mine who was an evangelical Christian of homosexual orientation worked for the Courage Trust which was all about behaviour change through prayer, therapy and accountablility in living. My friend was a married man with children when I last met him. He told me the Courage trust had closed and repudiated its own mission on account of having found no evidence that change was possible.
    Chaplaincy in a prison given over to the rehabilitation of sex offenders leads me to the sense that behaviour may be changed but this is dependent on circumstance and the formation of the will. As to what is going on at root level we simply do not know. One thing that is abundantly clear to me however is that sex offenders are not , in the main, helped by having the evangelical gospel preached at them over and again. The normal criteria of service for the kingdom of God apply in these corners of the earth too and this rules out blanket condemnation completely.

    • Brendan says:

      The view that there is a ‘ cure ‘ is certainly contentious , although I believe some claim success in this area ; I’ll have to research details to be convinced. It would seems that the solid research that was carried out needs to resume in a relaxed atmosphere to give some creedence to work already available to the scientific community and raise the possibility of a ‘ cure ‘ . There is a prayer conference / meeting in London at the end of this month encouraging non-heterosexuals to talk/pray / socialise among’st fellow Catholics in England and Wales. Unfortunately , I can’t remember the organisations name, but it is fully accepted as being in accord with Church Teaching. I have to say that I advertised it on my own Parish notice-board and found it was promptly removed…. at bit too much for someone to accept I think !

  27. St.Joseph says:

    John Candido.
    You failed to answer my question on the 19th January at 11.38.
    Did you miss it, in that case I am reminding you.

    • John Candido says:

      St.Joseph, have you heard of the word courtesy? I don’t report to you and I have not ‘failed’ to answer your question. Even if I read it I can and often do ignore questions that I don’t want to answer.

      I have just seen it St.Joseph. If I were to answer that question it would probably require a book. Very briefly, if the church were to accept Mahoney’s explanation of the need to re-examine original sin, this would change the meaning of the mass because our understanding of salvation would undergo theological development. There would be a significant change in emphasis from Christ dying for our personal sins by crushing the effects of original sin on humanity through his crucifixion, which is the sacrifice of the mass as we understand it, to one where we celebrate Christ’s loving acceptance of grossly unjust suffering, as an example to the entire world on how to live with it or endure it.

      Therefore the traditional understanding of salvation as the Father sending us Jesus in order to sacrifice himself for our sins would undergo theological development. In this scenario God is not destroying the effects of original sin through the suffering and death of Jesus but giving us a practical way of living with suffering through his supreme example. When any person sits down and tries to examine original sin without any prejudice, the doctrine comes with significant pastoral and intellectual shortcomings.

      To me St.Joseph original sin is complete nonsense in the light of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and how his theory has led to changes of emphasis in how the church examines scripture. The rise of a more hermeneutical or more rational and scholarly approach to biblical interpretation by the German scholars of the 19th century is in fact partly explainable as an intellectual reaction to Darwin’s contribution to the science of evolution.

      Evolutionary theory has had an enormous cultural impact throughout the world. Darwin’s theory of evolution has supplanted the Genesis account of Adam and Eve to contemporary men and women. In the light of this and many other serious factors there needs to be a proper re-examination of original sin by the church and its many scholars.

  28. Nektarios says:

    I am sorry to tell you JC that, Darwin’s theory of evolution has not supplanted the Genesis account
    of Adam and Eve and the Fall. what that Fall has meant for mankind from then till now. Evolution for all the hype, is still only a theory, but the story of the Fall of our first parents and so us by generation
    is not a theory but a fact. But you refuse to see or believe the facts, blinded by prejudice and bias.

    It seems to me some think they can interpret Holy Scripture as the like, and they do especially with in Academia.

    Are you saying that Christ’s coming into the world, living, and then dying for us on a cross at Calvary was just a gesture to show us simply how to live with suffering? That His rising from the dead is not literal and his ascension into the glory to sit at the right hand of God till the appointed time when He shall come again is meaningless and myth?
    Are you inferring that Jesus was no more than an extraordinary human being, but nothing else? That only these higher criticism proponents can so tweak theology to bring a full and eternal salvation to all? – ah I thought not! In all that you wrote in your posting reference this, you are not only wrong, but totally wrong.

    I can say without any reservation at all, if as you have stated represents your full understanding then you truly are deceived by devil and have no hope for humanity, of Salvation and no eternal life. For I read: that there is no other Name given under heaven whereby we must be saved.
    If you don’t believe that, then you must indeed put a question mark about calling ones self a Christian.

    • John Candido says:

      If there ever was an archetypical reply from fundamentalism’s rule book, Nektarios’s reply is it. A denial of the integrity of academia, barefaced untruths and distortions such as ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution has not supplanted the Genesis account of Adam and Eve and the Fall’, and ‘the story of the Fall of our first parents and so us by generation is not a theory but a fact’, and the accusation that I ‘refuse to see or believe the facts, blinded by prejudice and bias’. Of course we all have our biases and prejudices but Nektarios is the only person on ‘SecondSight’ without any of them. That’s quite an achievement.

      ‘It seems to me some think they can interpret Holy Scripture as they like, and they do especially with in Academia.’ Very strange comment; all scripture scholars take note and remove yourselves from your calling. We cannot overlook his final judgement that I am not a Christian and his fear filled condemnation to eternity for the likes of me.

      ‘I can say without any reservation at all, if as you have stated represents your full understanding then you truly are deceived by (the) devil and have no hope for humanity, of Salvation and no eternal life. For I read: that there is no other Name given under heaven whereby we must be saved. If you don’t believe that, then you must indeed put a question mark about calling one’s self a Christian.’

      I suppose I must sup with the devil from now on Nektarios. I mean really Nektarios, you are making me laugh.

      • Nektarios says:

        John Candido
        Do not twist my words, John.
        You will note concerning yourself I prefixed with the word ‘if’. I am not your judge, I am more concerned for your soul’s eternal welfare than anything else.

        Of course there have been some astounding great biblical scholars down through the centuries, but I don’t find them in the higher criticism persuasion camp at all. There is nothing new in their approach at all, they are contained in a myriad of heresies many of which the our Lord Himself and Apostles dealt with.

        Lastly, your Salvation in Christ for time and eternity is one of the most vital and serious matters to attend to.It is no laughing matter.

  29. John Candido says:

    I do laugh because just about everything you say and do on SecondSight is so predictable. There is no need to worry about your prefix of ‘if’ because you can dispense with it and safely supplant it with ‘you are’. Everything that I wrote I completely believe in so it’s straight to Hades for me.

    I am such a poor, ignorant soul destined to forever suffer in the Fires of Eternal Damnation together with my evil band of liars and co-conspirator theologians and exegetes, or scripture scholars for those who don’t know what an exegete is. These people are those malevolent set of fellow modernists, intellectuals and cosmopolitans whom God justly reviles, who go out of their way to make the path to Salvation as tortuous and as difficult as possible. Salvation is only for all the pure, lowly, and faithful flock of bible-thumping fundamentalists amongst us, while the rest of humanity is going to be damned, forever regretting that they didn’t listen to better, holier and truer Christians such as you.

    The favoured souls who are going to Heaven such as you are very fortunate, while the rest of us are going to Burn in Hell and Brimstone. Please pray for me Nektarios because I obviously need other peoples’ prayers to save my pitiably lost soul.

    • St.Joseph says:

      John Candido.
      As I feel responsible for asking you the question I would like to make the comment that my mother used to say to us as children that is ‘God will not be mocked!’

      • John Candido says:

        I mock fundamentalism not God. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you have dropped your recent courtesy towards me for this stupid & offensive comment St.Joseph. There is a similarity between you and Nektarios; it’s called ‘birds of a feather flock together’.

      • John Candido says:

        Thinking of Nektarios, I suppose a sincere apology is out of the question from you as well?

    • Nektarios says:

      John Candido
      Your reply, John, reminds me so much of the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin’s questions and comments to Jesus.
      Your comments show the blindness to ourselves that this corruption works in us and also
      how deep it goes into ones very nature, that aspect that is fallen.

      If you truly believed what you wrote above, you would not say it, it would horrify you and cause you to weep and howl at your helpless situation. But, you don’t believe it. Do you believe you are in some strong unassailable position? Nothing could be further from the truth. He that thinks he stands, take heed lest he should fall.

      For myself, John, I am a sinner saved by Grace. I am a Christian. Now a Christian is one who however ignorant,(like me) receives such grace to believe what the Lord says, what the Apostles teach and that the doctrines are. can do with your old nature at all, it is corrupt through and through, that is why our Lord said to Nicodemus, ‘ marvel not that I said unto you, ye must be born again. That which is born of the flesh is flesh ( that includes ones mind and emotions) and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

      It is hardly surprising therefore, one who is not born of the Spirit will because it is of the flesh will get it wrong.
      As to your view of me as a bible-thumping self-righteous kind of believer. I am reminded of our Lord’s words, ‘the saved are saved as brands from the burning’, then how careful should be our walk with the Lord.
      But then two must be agreed, or how else can they walk together?

  30. Nektarios says:

    J C
    Correction: can do with your old nature at all….

    Should have read: We can do nothing with our old nature at all……

  31. John Candido says:

    What do fundamentalists believe in relation to people who differ from them religiously?

    Answer: That they are all damned and are going to Hell unless by some miracle they come to a sincere belief in a fundamentalist religious position mirroring theirs.

    What gravitas do fundamentalists give to the inviolacy and freedom of the human conscience?
    Answer: zero to not much at all.

    Lastly, why don’t fundamentalists like to apologise after insulting others for their beliefs?
    Answer: an absolute, unshakable conviction that God is on their side, that they have an entirely correct and unique insight of the truth about the world, and therefore that they do not owe anybody an apology.

  32. St.Joseph says:

    John Candido.
    Yes you are right by saying that a ‘sincere apology from me is out of the question!!’
    I asked you the question of ‘How come’ I assumed you had missed my post,

    John you say ‘If the church were to accept Mahoney’s explanation of the need to re-examine original sin, this would change the meaning of the mass because our understanding of salvation would undergo theological development etc etc etc. See the rest of your comment on 20th Jan at 11.11pm.
    You took my question of ‘How come’ as discourteous!! Since when has that been a question of bad manners?
    Your agreement with Fr Mahoney’s beliefs made it clear to me by your comment that Our Blessed Mother’s part. chosen by God at Her birth and born Immaculate as incorrect. Disregarding all your other remarks you made.
    Now as far as your sarcastic comment ‘Birds of a feather stick together’ let me remind you that
    we as Christians pray together at Holy Mass The Creed, being the ‘foundation of our faith’! As Christians!
    That is something we do not mock even if you think it is incorrect,
    Remember we were in the beginning made in the image of our first parents, whether they were called Adam and Eve or not, and obviously they were to be the first to sin, so that is who we inherit’.
    We are now called the children of God, from our Baptism ,made now in His Image and Likeness.
    Seems common sense to me. That is not only faith but history!

  33. St.Joseph says:

    John Candido.
    What would you like me to say .
    Agree with you.?

  34. Quentin says:

    I would be very happy if this recent exchange came to an end.

  35. ignatius says:

    Me too.

  36. St.Joseph says:

    John Candido.
    Please show me where I have shown rudeness and callous disregard for the belief of others?
    We are what we believe! I could return the ‘compliment to you’ ! You introduced it in the first place, by condemning yourself’ by ‘sheer mockery’ to Our Maker with your comment with no name to who it applied to, on the 21st June 7.34 am .
    Now better you stop these childish remarks now and get on with the discussion in hand.as it was your comment that started it in the first place. Lest you forget!!
    This isn’t what Jesus meant when He said ‘Unless you become like little children’!

  37. St.Joseph says:

    Quentin.
    I will not stay quiet when John Candido accuses me of insulting others .And youexpects an apology
    And if that how you and others feel I will discontinue my postings on Second Sight Blog.

    • Quentin says:

      Many years ago I wrote a booklet which was titled “My wife and I don’t agree”. In it, I suggested a method which we had found useful in arguments which went on and on. The one of us who made it up first, irrespective of fault, was deemed to have won the argument. Worked like a charm! Still does.

      • Vincent says:

        I think St Joseph has the best advice in her previous comment: Let’s “get on with the discussion in hand.”

      • St.Joseph says:

        Quentin.
        It is not about ‘who is at fault’ or disagreements it is about insults.and John Candido” twisting of words.
        You are right. I can do without this!
        Thank you Vincent.

  38. John Nolan says:

    John Candido

    Mahoney is a maverick even by modern-day Jesuit standards. His views on the Eucharist alone probably render his Masses invalid. Also he doesn’t care whether he is inside or outside the Church; he has said he would laugh if he were excommunicated.

    • John Candido says:

      There is a need to remember that theologians who were under suspicion or were excommunicated at one point in history were accepted several generations after such judgements were pronounced. The theology behind the Second Vatican Council is a case in point. There is far too much legalism in our church. Peer review should have a greater role in settling theological matters. The good news is that Francis is trying to change the culture of our church to make it more like the ‘Bride’ that it should be.

      • John Nolan says:

        There is no example of a theologian who denied a fundamental doctrinal principle having his views retrospectively endorsed. Although the so-called ‘nouvelle theologie’ affected V2 for better or worse, that council did not promulgate any new doctrine. The idea that theology, like the physical sciences, is validated by ‘peer review’ and becomes Church teaching is dubious. Most of Mahoney’s peers think he’s a nutter.

        But John Candido agrees with him, so all is well.

    • John Candido says:

      It is rumoured that Francis supports opening up the priesthood to married men and that he is keen to present this to the next Synod in Rome. I am confident that the entire world will welcome this long overdue reform. Look no further than his encyclical ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ or ‘Joy of the Gospel’ as some indirect support of abolishing celibacy. Paragraph 43 states,

      “In her ongoing discernment, the Church can also come to see that certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some which have deep historical roots, are no longer properly understood and appreciated. Some of these customs may be beautiful, but they no longer serve as means of communicating the Gospel. We should not be afraid to re-examine them.”

      That is cold comfort for some conservatives who are not comfortable with any changes to their idea of the church.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelii_gaudium

      http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html

      • John Nolan says:

        Nobody has been able to give an adequate explanation of that particular paragraph in EG. A lot of the rest is also diffuse and it is hardly surprising that there is still no official Latin text.

        It is ‘liberals’ who want a Church that conforms to their ideas. ‘Conservatives’ tend to conform their ideas to what the Church teaches.

    • John Candido says:

      What your post signifies is that any development of doctrine is not possible over time and you will never agree to it in any case. It is a fact that the church has changed its teaching throughout history. It is called the development of doctrine. Whether you agree to this or not is your affair.

      • John Nolan says:

        JC, I said nothing of the sort and you know me well enough (since I have had occasion to call you out in the past) to know that I don’t fit your stereotype. We all know that the doctrine concerning the Eucharist developed over the first millennium of the Christian era, but the Thomist idea of transubstantiation and the Real Presence is in perfect accord with Scripture, sacred Tradition and the practice of the Church, both East and West.

        The Church does not develop doctrine to the extent that it contradicts what was believed before. The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium sets forth what was held ‘semper, ubique et ab omnibus’. This is immutable, and if you think Pope Francis or anyone else is competent to change it, then you are truly living in cloud-cuckoo land.

      • John Candido says:

        ‘We all know that the doctrine concerning the Eucharist developed over the first millennium of the Christian era, but the Thomist idea of transubstantiation and the Real Presence is in perfect accord with Scripture, sacred Tradition and the practice of the Church, both East and West.’ (John Nolan)

        What we are talking about is our understanding of ‘change and evolution’ through the history of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore the definition of ‘the development of doctrine’ is of paramount concern to everybody in the church. To be clear we are not talking about matters of discipline such as celibacy, or the distinct liturgical rite of the mass, but essential matters of doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church.

        To say that ‘the Eucharist developed over the first millennium of the Christian era…’ would indicate that you do acknowledge that ‘movement’ of a defined sort can occur on doctrine. Not any sort of movement of course but a responsible and defined ‘movement’ of the development of doctrine through theological effort, has occurred in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. The change of teaching is usually a subtle one of emphasis or the reinterpretation of whatever constitutes the church’s contemporaneous understanding of doctrine.

        Before going into them I want to make it clear that when I use the word ‘change’ it is always to be conceptualised as one of a change of emphasis or interpretation of our existing doctrine. And secondly, that with the timely re-establishment of a listening Synodal church, anyone’s fantasy of how the church should be constituted will always be calibrated by what other bishops think. This is absolutely essential. Even Francis himself will not be able to proffer a new emphasis on one teaching or another without the approval of a Synod that operates independently of both him and the redoubtable members of the Curia. That is, Synods that operate with complete integrity, not how they have operated in the last fifty years, i.e. corrupted by the Curia or Popes, who had their own interests to push onto the church.

        A ‘change’ in the doctrine of the church may have their antecedents or justification from several broadly based factors. From the considerations of society generally, which can include sociologists, psychologists, lawyers, etc., from the work of scientists, from pastoral considerations, especially those communicated by the reinvigorated & unleashed Roman Catholic bishops at any future Synod, together with their periti, the hermeneutical research of exegetes, the research of theologians, the research of philosophers, the research of canon lawyers and the research of ecclesiastical historians. To summarise; ‘changes’ to doctrine can come from society and/or academia.

        My predilection to ‘bag’ the Augustinian doctrine of original sin, which is complete nonsense that no one with any intellect will give a second of their time, is based on the contemporary scientific understanding of our origins, and the work of many theologians including Fr. Jack Mahoney SJ. The pre-Darwinian doctrine of original sin needs to be comfortably left in the church’s history, as an example of doctrine that was suited to the world that existed back before the appearance and seminal work of that towering scientific giant, Charles Darwin.

        Darwin is a perfect example of one man, a scientist none other, who has deeply influenced theology and the exegetical sciences, without being a theologian or an exegete. Without Darwin’s scientific work all of us would be stuck with fairy tales such as Adam & Eve and the intellectual trailer-trash of original sin. Of course original sin was respected by the church as orthodox doctrine throughout history. This can no longer be the case for the reasons I have briefly outlined.

      • Peter D. Wilson says:

        John C – “Of course original sin was respected by the church as orthodox doctrine throughout history. This can no longer be the case for the reasons I have briefly outlined.”
        Granted that the traditional account of original sin is difficult if not impossible to maintain, we still have to recognise an inherent attraction to gratuitous evil (I see it all too clearly in myself) and “original sin” seems as good a name for it as any.

      • John Candido says:

        Thank you for your reply Peter D. Wilson. Why can’t we have a clear understanding of humankind’s potential for gratuitous evil without recourse to a doctrine that makes absolutely no rational sense at all? I completely accept humankind’s potential for violence, calumny, theft, slander, lies, exploitation, child abuse, threats, war, mass murder, etc. that are clearly within every man or woman, that have ever lived or have yet to be born. Believing in original sin is not a prerequisite or co-requisite qualification for this acknowledgement our ‘lesser’ nature. It is simply irrelevant to our purposes. If you want to continue to believe in original sin it is entirely up to you of course. Freedom of religion is paramount.

      • John Candido says:

        I just want to add my sincere and absolute respect and appreciation for the posts of John Nolan. While I may violently disagree with them, I usually find them extremely well written, authoritative, and extremely interesting to read and think about. John Nolan’s posts are always ones that I look forward to and are inspirational material to base any of my rebuttals. If John Nolan were to have an accident and briefly find himself in hospital, the blog would need to bring him back quickly and/or find his replacement as soon as possible.

  39. tim says:

    In this Year of Mercy, let us remember the Spiritual Works of Mercy
    To instruct the ignorant.
    To counsel the doubtful.
    To admonish sinners.
    To bear wrongs patiently.
    To forgive offences willingly.
    To comfort the afflicted.
    To pray for the living and the dead.

    The first three are very suited to us bloggers (and much the most fun). But let’s not forget the last four!

  40. Nektarios says:

    Quentin
    God forbid, that my identity as a child of God remains a copy of the old boat – it isn’t!
    With the wrong idea of individuality, we think we are or have different identities. We form part of the whole of humanity. The problem of sin affects the whole of humanity. The fall as I explained earlier affects the whole of humanity at the very roots of our being.

    There are two main identities of humanity, those in Christ, God’s children, the other are those of humanity that are not nor indeed want to be.

    If you are speaking about different identities, their name, nationality colour, creed, talents language
    and so on, these are superficialities and peripheral to our actual being from whence our identity shows itself, that is whose we are, what we are and whom we serve.

  41. John Nolan says:

    John Candido,

    If a doctrine is ‘essential’, i.e. so rooted in Scripture and Sacred Tradition as to be ‘of the essence’ then it cannot be changed or discarded. If you deny original sin, how do you explain regeneration through baptism?

    Also you are no doubt aware that your views on Church government, particularly regarding the role of the college of bishops, run counter to what is set out very clearly in Lumen Gentium , Chapter 3. Synods cannot operate ‘independently’ of the Roman pontiff and are not competent to rule on either discipline or doctrine.

    You might wish it were otherwise; you might hanker after a Church ‘parliament’ on the lines of the General Synod of the Church of England; you might want doctrine to be decided by all and sundry, with your revered ‘scientists’ given pride of place – but you and I know it isn’t going to happen.

    You are at liberty to ‘violently disagree’ with anyone’s opinion (mine included) but you can’t ignore the facts.

  42. G.D. says:

    John N,
    Original sin? Would that be the first sin, or sin prior to anything else?
    Are there two (hidden) assumptions missing the point of each other i wonder?
    (As for church government – let God do it. Lol).
    …………………………………………………………
    John C,
    There must be a first ‘sinning’ of some kind. An original ‘wrong’ doing. (That contains all wrong doings?).
    What was before it? Original creation as God ‘saw it was good’? And as God created everything – it was all good?
    An Original Blessing (prior to anything else) of creation, doesn’t do away with the doctrine of an Original (first ) Sin.
    If we assume our nature is not perfect ( is ‘fallen into sin’ ) it must have ‘fell’ from ‘somewhere outside’ of sin.
    (Darwin’s work, intelligent and factual as it may be(?), was biased i feel, not enough credence given to the spiritual!? Lol).
    ………………………………………………………

    Necktarios,
    ” There are two main identities of humanity ….” you say. There is only one identity of humanity as a whole species. Two extremes of it maybe; and many degrees in-between the extrems.

    As you say ” The fall as I explained earlier affects the whole of humanity at the very roots of our being. ” that is ALL of humanities identity. With the original creation in Christ still present and correct for all who accept. ( To varying degrees? Named as such or not? ).
    …………………………………………………………..

    Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden the Angel with a flaming sword , ‘original sin’ and ‘ original blessing’ – may be seen as mere symbols of reality by some, others as literal truth. Both are acceptable. Both can be true! When that PARADOX is ACCEPTED by ALL, and TRANSCENDED ….. then there is ‘freedom of religion’. (I use capitals for emphasis, can’t get italics to work, not ‘shouts’)

    None of US are perfect. …. (in my Catholic terminology) …. Only Christ and the salvation accomplished by Christ in our human identity is perfection. We ‘grow into’ it, both collectively and individually, as we accept it the more ………. for ever & ever!
    (Collectively as the Christ Eternal, personal as Jesus the Christ in History?).

    As always I only conjecture, do not assert.

    • John Nolan says:

      Indeed, G.D., but even conjecture benefits from being stated coherently. Nektarios can be difficult to follow and is frequently irritating, but your Joycean stream of consciousness leaves me at a complete loss. Sorry.

  43. G.D. says:

    I blame original sin!

    • G.D. says:

      Rephrase my last post …………. I hold original sin responsible for both.
      Both my lack of clarity in logic, and your lack of intuitive insight.

      And your complete loss ( i feel likewise ) is a better response than irritation.

      Would ask though ….. Isn’t ‘conjecture stated coherently’ a bit of an oxymoron, and Joycean in it’s own right?
      Can incompletely formed opinion be stated in logical and consistent expression?

      I realise starting from ‘A’ and going to ‘Z’ has antecedent steps, but i’m of the opinion such steps ALWAYS followed rigorously (and i have in the past) lead one to the same logical assumptions. Which is all well and good the next step is seen … and ‘A1’ to ‘Z1’ follows.
      However, I have now come ( through that logical process ) to intuitively and naturally ( Joycean flow ) take all the steps, previously processed, and let myself express them without thinking ( too much) logically about the formal expression. Which is all well and good too.
      ( I still think obviously, but it’s not a priority for me to be logical in ‘argument’. I just discuss. I’m trying to get to a mode of expressing akin to St. Joseph’s believe it or not!! )

      I used to assert coherently now i only conjecture Joycean(ly).
      I only conjecture do not assert.

      Just for the sake of my lack of clarity … my literal use of the words i use …

      Conjecture – an opinion formed on the basis of incomplete information.

      Assert- state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully. Cause others to recognize (one’s authority or a right) by confident and forceful behaviour.

      Coherent – (of an argument, theory, or policy) logical and consistent.

      Argument – In logic and philosophy, an argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, by giving reasons for accepting a particular conclusion as evident.

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