Sunday, October 7, 2007

Toledo Bishop Uses Pious Fraud Argument

Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo penned an instructive letter to 'the faithful' attempting to help explain the recent statement of Pope Benedict XVI which declared the Roman Catholic Church to be the one, true church. Naturally, it is a daunting task, but that did not stop the bishop from rattling off lots of ecclesiastical verbiage in its defense. One almost needs a translator to read his letter.

What is clear, however, is that Bishop Blair begins by a grand and false assumption about the Catholic Church. It comes in this sentence: "Mutual respect and understanding are essential first steps, but we are also obliged to dialogue about divisive theological issues in a common search for the truth as to what Christ willed for His church."

Did you catch it? If not, here is your second chance: "What Vatican II taught, and the recent document repeats, is that the church, as Jesus willed it, “subsists” in its fullness in the Roman Catholic Church."

Here is the third and last chance: "However, these churches and ecclesial communities do not always accept all the elements that we believe Christ meant the church to have. "

In using the spurious debate tactic, aptly named Pious Fraud, Bishop Blair has used it three times [like Peter's denial] in the first 10 paragraphs of the letter.

Pious Fraud, also known as a lie, occurs when an emotionally committed speaker makes an assertion that is shaded, distorted or even fabricated. I think that the bishop need not seek confession because he 'knows not what he has said,' to quote some famous person.

Here it is: "the truth as to what Christ willed for His church." For HIS church? No, bishop, Christ did not will anything for his church because, as a devout Jew, he was interested in helping purify the Synagogue from the Sadducees who had corrupted it.

Nowhere, except in that specious 'Peter and the rock' verse, does Jesus want to throw away his Jewish faith. Never does he condemn his faith and suggest that he wants to start a new one. Not one word. Reform is his cry, not destroy.

Odd how the 'church' became so disconnected with Jesus' faith, the Jewish faith. Rather, deliberate, not odd. After all, one could not have 'the Jews' responsible for killing Jesus the Jew. Note that all of the icons of Jesus in the early churches show a European Jesus. Not only was his purpose in preaching snatched away, so was his Jewish heritage.

Sorry, Bishop Blair, Jesus didn't spend his life working to build your church, your hierarchy, your set of assumptions. He came to bring love and honesty to the synagogues of Judea.

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