Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: Christianity

Thou shall not forgive

There are Christians who think they have to forgive whatever crimes may be committed against them because Jesus Christ said so. Jesus Christ spoke of mercy and forgiveness but not in all cases.
When Jesus Christ spoke about forgiveness it was not about murder, abetment to murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, false claim to have committed murder in order to mislead police and judiciary and/or to debunk and discredit death penalty, threat to murder, abduction, acid throwing, threat to throw acid, banditry, character assassination, highway robbery, hijacking, kidnapping, double rape, repeat rape, gang rape, revenge porn, transmission and/or uploading of nude pictures to cause damage to someone and such high crimes.
There were contexts for what Jesus Christ spoke.
When Peter asked Jesus “How many times shall I forgive my brother? Seven times?” Jesus replied “Seventy times seven.” Andrew was Peter’s brother and an Apostle of Jesus. He was not the one who caused great trouble to Peter.
Jesus said “All sins will be forgiven but sins against Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” Some sins like arson to churches, massacre in churches, murder of a priest, rape of a nun, qualify as sins against Holy Spirit.
When questioned about paying tax to Caesar Jesus said “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, give unto God what is God’s.” It is wrong for religious leaders to tread into the realm of government and oppose death penalty for murder and high crimes.
The prayer Our Father has a sentence “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” People who have not committed murder and other high crimes do not have to forgive criminals who have committed murder and other high crimes.
When Jesus was on the cross he said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” This was about the people who did not know him but had joined those who were making fun of Jesus.
There is no mention of Jesus forgiving Judas, Annas, Caiphas and Jewish leaders who were against him. He said to Pilate “The sin of one who has handed over me to you is great.”
Jesus talked of turning the other cheek when someone slapped but did not turn the other cheek when someone, a soldier or a guard, slapped him during the trial before Sanhedrin. He said “If I have said something wrong, prove it. If I have said something right why do you strike me?”
Jesus was not happy at the cities that rejected him. He said “Woe to you Chorazain and woe to you Bethsaida… And Capernaum, though highly honoured shall go down to hell…”
Jesus was harsh in his criticism of Scribes and Pharisees. He called them hypocrites, whitewashed tombs and so on.
Jesus overturned the tables of moneylenders and drove away merchants at the Temple. He wanted to maintain the holiness of the Temple. Massacre of people gathered in church by a racial terrorist is worse than trade at Temple. Jesus did not forgive the traders at the Temple.
It was foolish for persons who lost their family members in Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre by white racial terrorist Dylann Roof 17/6/2015. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was right in demanding death penalty to the terrorist. In case of murder only the dead person has the right to forgive and for that the murderer shall be executed and sent to the other world to seek forgiveness.
Whites are reluctant to admit some of them can be terrorists. They give excuses like mental sickness.
USA should ban National Rifle Association for opposing gun control and facilitating terrorism. If NRA members resist they should be put in jail. Blaming the victims for crimes is wrong. It was wrong for NRA member Charles Cotton to blame slain pastor and Democratic state Senator Clementa Pinckney for opposing concealed handguns in churches. Gifting guns and other firearms should be banned. Dylann Roof had got .45 calibre handgun as 21st birthday present from his father.
A new commandment for Christians is as below:
Thou shall not forgive racial, religious or any other terrorism, massacre in a church or school or other place, murder, abetment to murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, false claim to have committed murder in order to mislead police and judiciary and/or to debunk and discredit death penalty, threat to murder, abduction, acid throwing, threat to throw acid, banditry, character assassination, highway robbery, hijacking, kidnapping, double rape, repeat rape, gang rape, rape of a nun, arson of a church, revenge porn, transmission and/or uploading of nude pictures to cause damage to someone and such high crimes.

Benedict XVI resigns

The decision of Benedict XVI to resign as pope with effect from 8 p.m. Italian time on 28/2/2013 came as a surprise. Some put it as a bolt from the blue. Recently he had opened a twitter account. Some said it is not a job from which one usually retires. He is likely to spend some time in Castel Gandolfo and then in a monastery. Previous and only clear case of voluntary papal abdication or resignation during peace time was of Celestine V in 1294. Gregory XII resigned in 1415 to end Great Schism. It was not civil war as some said. At that time there were three popes and it was necessary that he resign to end the confusion. Other popes had to resign under pressure.
The announcement came during a consistory on 11 February 2013, feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of Sick and two days before Ash Wednesday. He had deeply examined his conscience. He felt he was unable to carry on as he lacked strength of mind and body due to advanced age. He was incapable to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to him. He had the right and duty to resign. He thanked the cardinals and asked pardon for his defects. Benedict XVI’s decision is in contrast to John Paul II who carried on till death in spite of his sicknesses like Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and so on. John Paul II considered papacy as a cross to be carried.
Benedict XVI, baptismal name Joseph Alois Ratzinger, was born on 16/4/1927 at Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany. He was professor of theology at Regensburg, Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal, and Prefect of Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, among other things.
Benedict XVI was elected pope on 19/4/2005. He allowed Tridentine Mass. He tried for Christian unity and lifted the ban on Society of St. Pius X and created personal ordinariates for Anglicans who wanted to join Catholic Church and retain Anglican liturgy. He visited many countries. He proclaimed Year of Faith which began on 11/10/2012 and ends on 24/11/2013. He started new evangelizaton for Catholics who had developed amnesia for God. His two acts disappointed me. One, he gave up the title Patriarch of the West. Two, he opposed death penalty.
Benedict XVI is blamed for the decisions he took as prefect on sex abuse scandals by priests. There were scandals in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Malta and USA. As pope he met some victims of child sex abuse.
How will be Benedict XVI known after his retirement? Will it be Benedict XVI (Emeritus) or Joseph Alois Ratzinger? Will he be a private citizen? If so, will he face prosecution in criminal cases? We will know in due course.
It is likely that the next pope will be a European because 62 out of 118 eligible cardinals are from Europe.

Rites and Churches

In Apostles’ Creed we say ““I believe in … the holy catholic Church…” In Nicene Creed we say “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.”

Roman Catholic Church has various rites – Latin, Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Alexadrian, Byzantine, Chaldean, Maronite, Melkite, Ruthenian, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Ukrainian and so on. Since some years rites are referred by some people as churches. This is contrary to the creeds and creates confusion. There are Orthodox and Protestant Churches. There is Anglican Communion. There are free churches. When one says Ukrainian Church one is not sure whether it is Catholic or Orthodox. When one says Syrians Christians it is not clear whether he refers to Catholics or Jacobites.

Roman Catholic Church claims it is the true church and others separated from it. Others claim they are divided Christians, not separated Christians. For Roman Catholic Church it is not proper to speak of churches within itself except for church buildings. Referring to dioceses as particular churches should be avoided.

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