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Written Word > Articles & Commentaries > June 2012 > Why It's Okay to be Against Heresy and for Imposing One's Will on Others
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John Pater
Excellent! Your words match my thoughts. Now I know how to speak to others on this and related topics. Thank you for all that you do to support our church.
6/8/2012 10:34:47 AM
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Kevin
Father Chris has led me to your well. I shall drink deeply. I love to find places that address things I get so easily confused about.
6/8/2012 2:59:28 PM
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John Melton
Thank you Father Barron for the wisdom you bring to continued attack by the media on the Catholic Church. I would love to see a public debate between you and Maureen Dowd on the subject of the proper role of the Catholic Church in American society. I have no doubt that the result of that debate would be to expose her thin thinking about the depth of Catholic theology. God bless you Father Barron and the apostolate of the Word of Fire.
6/8/2012 10:06:36 PM
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Ben
Father Barron, your article effectively refutes the positions held by Dowd and Sibelius. However, I think you could have chosen a better title for the article that would make your argument more effective amongst the non-Catholic and agnostic sections of our society. What men like Lincoln and M.L. King were doing was using religious and moral arguments to impose the will of the Declaration of Independence upon a nation with significant portions of society going against the God-given rights in the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln and King sought to hold the entire nation to the standards established by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In deed that is what you are doing with this article, merely pointing out where Sibelius and the Obama Administration have violated the sacred trust first described in the Declaration of Independence. Your explanation for why organizations and nations sometimes have people in them that must impose their will on the society if only to keep the organization and nation true to its moral standards, standards that are the basis for the nation's existence, is right on. But you may influence more Americans if you titled your article "Why It Is Okay to be Against Heresy That Attacks the Basic Principles of Our Government". You also protect yourself from the inevitable attack in Dowd's next OP-Ed piece where she will misrepresent what you say by describing it as how the Catholic Church wants to impose its foreign will and foreign ideas on us Americans.
6/10/2012 10:22:01 AM
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Chesire11
To belief in an idea, necessarily is to also to reject those ideas that are logically incompatible with that belief. To simultaneously embrace mutually exclusive propositions is to deny that there is any such thing as an objective truth - everything is merely subjective.

For example, if you believe that a molecule of water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and a single oxygen atom, you must therefore, reject the notion that water is an element, or that it includes carbon, etc... If you simultaneously claim that water exists as H2O, and as an element in its own right, you are speaking gibberish; if you insist that left and right, up and down are interchangeable, you are saying that none of those terms have any objective meaning.

Similarly with ideas. If you say that you believe a thing, without rejecting that which contradicts your beliefs, you are, in effect denying that either idea has any meaning whatsoever; you are denying the definitions and proclaiming that left and right are the same.
6/10/2012 3:32:53 PM
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John
I agree with you Father that their message is confused. However their intentions are more cynical and calculating. What they have done is manipulate the message of Christian love and the desire to will the good of the other and say that you have to accept all that the other believes as though it were your own. That way if we disagree with the principles that go against the teachings of Jesus Christ, we're seen as intolerant. It seems that we all need to become like Chesterton and be charitable and charming but also state that we reject beliefs that we don't share. Already they come across as petulant children but with charm their message will be rejected.
6/10/2012 6:19:06 PM
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Megan
It's hard to read an article that mis-spells the name of one of its subjects. It's Sebelius.

Also it's hard to read that catholics cannot disagree with the church (heresy) but the church can impose its will on society.
6/11/2012 8:15:36 PM
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James Rowe
Are we expecting too much for the media and our government to understand us? Understanding is a gift and those who do not want to accept or understand, cannot be convinced. What's left to is fight against their position as we would in any battle.
6/16/2012 10:13:27 AM
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Dan Whitaker
I agree 100%. Sebilius and Dowd do not even come close to the understanding of what "Catholic" means. Deacon Dan Whitaker
6/27/2012 5:21:46 PM
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Carla
John, I agree with you that if we disagree with those that take issue with church teachings, that we are portrayed as intolerant.

This certainly has been the case of the dismissed priest, Bernard Lynch. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/father-bernard-lynch-gay-catholic-priest-talks_n_1661887.html
I was actually shocked by his interview. The interview was about his dismissal, and what he has to say about the priesthood as a whole. His portrayal sounded as if church is full of homosexual priests. This is a case of a man being gay, entering the priesthood, and being shocked that the church does not accept the lifestyle (shocking? NOT!) If you listen to the interview, Bernard Lynch says that if you can't be open, honest and direct, you will experience pain and oppression which will result in a minstry being severely hampered and hurt. Yes, he did have a ministry that was severely hampered and hurt--behavior that was not only hurting himself, but others were hurt, because he wasn't honest with church authorities or himself from the beginning. While practicing and living through deception, Bernard was a wreckless minister.

The Catholic church is founded upon Christianity, which follows Jesus with a spirituality, practice, and lifestyle of celibacy. Any less than that, is failure to live according to church teaching, which clearly Bernard Lynch wasn't living up to. To act as a Catholic clergy and marry homosexuals is heretical, and worthy of canonical penalties. I'm sure he was/is aware of this. The church did the right thing by dismissing him. It sounds like this is a case of an individual trying to get the Catholic Church to follow his lifestyle. He was living two lives which clearly wasn't healthy for him and definitely not for the church. Bernard can criticize the church all he wants, but the church has 2000 years to back it up, and he was aware of the requirements of celibacy before becoming a priest.

Bernard Lynch's shocking interview revealed how spiritually sick he is. He needs prayer.
7/10/2012 6:03:50 PM
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Joseph
Fr. Barron, thank you for your important and valuable ministry.

You are completely correct in asserting that any law or policy is the imposition of the ideas of some against those who disagree with the law or policy. To dispute that is, as you say, "so much nonsense". However, I think Pres. Kennedy's speech is unfairly characterized if the impression is given that that is what his speech is about.

Pres. Kennedy was dealing with a situation where, merely because he was Catholic, many believed he was disqualified for the office of the president. So, he was emphasizing several important points.

First of all he was speaking against religious bigotry and intolerance. He was saying that there is freedom of religion for all people and that there is no religious test for public office.

Additionally, he was emphasizing that no prelate, bishop, or pope would be running the United States if he were elected. He rightly needed to emphasize that he was taking an oath to obey the Constitution of the United States and not the Pope in terms of governing the country. The Pope or a Bishop would not be able to command him to do their bidding (and many people did think this would be the case).

Pres. Kennedy was not saying that one had to abandon their conscience or religious beliefs. Indeed, he emphasized that he would resign from office if he had to act against his conscience or what he felt was for the good of the nation. His conscience was most certainly formed by his Catholic faith - as most certainly his commitment to the poor and suffering.

So, Pres. Kennedy's speech was not in any way suggesting that, in order to be president (or in any government office) one must abandon their conscience and religious beliefs - in no way. Instead he was emphasizing that no one church or religion will be given a privilege of place no matter what the religion of the current president might be. Secondly, he was emphasizing that his oath was to the Constitution and that the Pope or any bishop would not be running the country. It would be inaccurate and unfair if one were to have the impression that Pres. Kennedy was arguing that one had to abandon one's faith (particularly as it has shaped one's conscience) in order to be president.

The audio and transcript of Pres. Kennedy's speech can be found here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16920600

May God continue to bless and guide you in your ministry.
8/19/2012 11:39:51 AM
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