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  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by suep1963 View Post
    [sarcasm on] Yep--sure sounds like the church is out chasing down people for permission to ordain their spouses. [sarcasm off]
    Not sure why you are getting so worked up over the topic of married ministers (yes, we all know your sister is a married minister, but many people have clergy relatives).

    If you reread my post which you quoted, you'll see I said the spouse needs to be fully supportive in order for ordination to proceed. That means if ministerial candidates indicate their spouses aren't behind them, the board of ordained ministries will defer on their ordination. Why? Because ministry makes significant lifelong demands on its clergy, and that has direct material impact on someone's spouse. If spousal support isn't there, then that has to be addressed before a candidate will be approved.

    Nowhere did I say spouses are tracked down and required to sign on dotted lines, etc, so no sarcasm required
    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    That there are downsides to having families when you are a pastor is true. But then that is true for doctors, CEOs, counselors, military personnel - just about anyone who interacts with people.
    Yes and no. In any job where a spouse will spend a lot of time working and not with their families, it's an issue. But the ministry isn't just another job--it's a calling. As you say:
    It's true their lives are generally an open book, their actions are judged by people to be within a certain standard
    This is rather a central feature of life in the ministry.

    If people recall when Petreaus stepped down, the issue was the post he occupied required a higher level of personal scrutiny than a regular job. So his affair had larger repercussions. Well, with the ministry it's like that, but even moreso. One's private life is part of one's ministerial testimony, and having significant family problems can absolutely hinder one's ability to fulfill one's calling.

    There is no perfect person celibate or not.
    Small quibble, but in Methodist theology, there is the possibility of perfect persons--rather a central feature of that belief system in fact.

    But that's for another discussion
    My objection to the comments made by some is that one must/should/needs to be celibate to dedicate themselves to God, not distracted by sex, spouses, families, and to be able to adequately serve a congregation.
    Again, having families can be a hindrance--no question. But celibacy also has its hindrances. So I would argue one is trading one set of hindrances for another. They both have their upsides and downsides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieann View Post
    If you aren't of a particular religion (or no religion at all) why would want to have your wedding in that particular venue i.e. a church if you are not a member of and have no intention of becoming a member of that religion? Because it's pretty, mom won't give me money unless I do it or it's a part of what my family believes but not me?
    Are you being your usual insufferable self or are you truly not aware that some countries (like Colombia or Ecuador) were officially "Catholic countries" and had agreements with the Vatican about Catholicism being the official state religion until the 1990s? It is not just "my family believes it but not me" kind of thing. In many places, Catholicism and national culture are interrelated. In some Latin American countries (speaking of those, because it's what I know), 90%+ of the population is Catholic, with different levels of personal belief.

    Personally, I'm baptized and confirmed. Do I believe in God? No. I hesitate getting married in a Catholic Church because I don't agree with their policies; don't plan on raising my kids Catholic, but....it's a huge part of my culture, and I've already given up a lot of it, living in a new country and all. Shrug.

  3. #143

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    Bek - it's really interesting to me that you don't seem to know that there are many Catholics who don't believe 100% the same as you. I know many Catholics who use contraception, believe gay marraige should be legal, don't follow the Pope's every word etc. They can recite the Nicene and Apolostle's Creed and mean it, they take communion if they go to church. They are Catholic. Religion, and person beliefs, aren't black and white issues. Not only can individual beliefs change over time, but faith means different things to different people. It's not for you or me to define what "Catholics" or any other faith believe, it's up to individuals. If someone says they're Catholic, they're Catholic regardless of whether they pass your checklist. We can define ourselves (if we wish), rather than needing others to define us. I'm not Catholic, but I was. I grew up in a Catholic family. I went to huge effort to leave the church (it's not that easy to not be considered Catholic, the church seems to like to keep the official numbers high) because it was important to me to make a statement.

    My mother considers herself Catholic, though she hasn't been to church for years (her last was midnight Mass in an Anglican Church with me two years ago at Christmas), and doesn't practice at all to my knowledge - she also divorced my father (Catholic marriage) and remarried (my stepdad) in a civil service. My sister is "nothing" (though the Catholic church claims her, and she has used that for her son, she was married by a lady justice of the peace, though her son - born our of wedlock - is officially Catholic), my stepfather and father are atheist, my other sister is conservative Christian and I am a non-church going Christian, most Christians I know no longer consider me Christian, but instead consider me "lost". Non practicing Catholics have a variety of reasons for wanting to marry in the church, culture, family history, liking the building...they may also be practicing, but not in an obvious, outward way. My sister really wanted her son baptised (and he had his something else I can't remember what, last year with his grade 4 Catholic school classmates). My sister, who doesn't consider herself Catholic, still finds our family tradition important for her son. And she was allowed to have him go through it, too, despite not being a practicing Catholic, because the church still considers her Catholic. Aside from the things with school, my nephew doesn't practice at all, but he considers himself Catholic at the moment. He's just moved from Catholic to state school, so this may change. Catholicism is quite a conservation, "strict", denomination, but there are also many ways and reasons to practice fully or partially, and they're not wrong, just different.
    Last edited by Angelskates; 02-14-2013 at 02:58 AM.

  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    That means if ministerial candidates indicate their spouses aren't behind them, the board of ordained ministries will defer on their ordination. Why? Because ministry makes significant lifelong demands on its clergy, and that has direct material impact on someone's spouse. If spousal support isn't there, then that has to be addressed before a candidate will be approved.
    I see nothing to that effect on the pages that suep1963 linked to.
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  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I see nothing to that effect on the pages that suep1963 linked to.
    That's a FAQ brochure. The actual ordination criteria aren't detailed there (nor in the Book of Discipline as it varies by conference and part of practices not officially delineated). They'll also turn you down if you have a lot of debt or bad credit. They didn't mention that either. Nor did they mention they require an extensive psychological examination that you may have to pay for (several hundreds of dollars) that will test several things including your IQ, temperament, and the nature and quality of your current and previous past romantic/sexual relationships.

    It's the ministry--the screening is going to be invasive, and spousal support is part of that scrutiny.

  6. #146
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    Any reports of a short list for the new Pope?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    (and he had his something else I can't remember what, last year with his grade 4 Catholic school classmates).
    The order is generally Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation over here (US) but First Holy Communion is normally 2nd grade. So it probably wasn't that. It might have been Confirmation but that's harder to know because Confirmation is all over the place. Some places do it at the same time as Communion and some wait until the kids are in their teens with everything in between. I think my diocese did it around age 10, which would be Fourth grade. But that was a donkey's age ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    That's a FAQ brochure. The actual ordination criteria aren't detailed there (nor in the Book of Discipline as it varies by conference and part of practices not officially delineated). They'll also turn you down if you have a lot of debt or bad credit. They didn't mention that either. Nor did they mention they require an extensive psychological examination that you may have to pay for (several hundreds of dollars) that will test several things including your IQ, temperament, and the nature and quality of your current and previous past romantic/sexual relationships.

    It's the ministry--the screening is going to be invasive, and spousal support is part of that scrutiny.
    Ummmm--no.
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    Small quibble, but in Methodist theology, there is the possibility of perfect persons--rather a central feature of that belief system in fact.
    I am truly curious about this statement - can you give me a reference this statement. I have been a Methodist all my adult life, took confirmation classes with my sons, been part of affirming candidates at the local church level for continued studies and this is the first that I have heard this central feature of the Methodist belief system.
    That's a FAQ brochure. The actual ordination criteria aren't detailed there (nor in the Book of Discipline as it varies by conference and part of practices not officially delineated). They'll also turn you down if you have a lot of debt or bad credit. They didn't mention that either. Nor did they mention they require an extensive psychological examination that you may have to pay for (several hundreds of dollars) that will test several things including your IQ, temperament, and the nature and quality of your current and previous past romantic/sexual relationships.

    It's the ministry--the screening is going to be invasive, and spousal support is part of that scrutiny.
    Of course those things are true - they are true in many professions. It seems to me that this website makes it pretty clear as to the criteria for ordination into minstry. http://www.gbhem.org/site/c.lsKSL3PO...y_Handbook.htm . I've seen those exact forms used for all levels of sponsorship or affirmation regardless of what level the person is entering the ministry.

    If you are referring to the Board of Ordained Ministry Committees being different across the different conferences as related in this statement: Although the responsibilities and functions of BOMs are common throughout the church, BOM structure varies from conference to conference. The following suggestions concerning the executive committee, conference relations committee, interview teams, and program committees may be adapted to the role, responsibilities, context, and resources of each annual conference.
    It is consistent with other structures outlined by the Book of Discipline. The BOM structure must include....but the executive committees, conference relations committees among others are mandated to be part of the conference. That is similar to what is designated by the conference to each church - we are required to have at a at least an administrative council, a staff/parish relations committee. a finance committee, a board of trustees committee and beyond that the other committees we deem as needed are those we add.

    As a religion we are not without our pomp and circumstances - one of the most moving things that I experienced as an elected annual conference lay attendee was the entrance of the clergy to do the ordination/affirmation of ministers at all levels. I think all religions love their staffs, robes and whatever.

  10. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    That's a FAQ brochure. The actual ordination criteria aren't detailed there (nor in the Book of Discipline as it varies by conference and part of practices not officially delineated). They'll also turn you down if you have a lot of debt or bad credit. They didn't mention that either. Nor did they mention they require an extensive psychological examination that you may have to pay for (several hundreds of dollars) that will test several things including your IQ, temperament, and the nature and quality of your current and previous past romantic/sexual relationships.
    It would seem to me that a FAQ would at least briefly reference these things, so as to discourage candidates who might not qualify on any of those grounds. And if it's "practices not officially delineated", then how can they be part of standard Methodist practice?

    It's the ministry--the screening is going to be invasive, and spousal support is part of that scrutiny.
    As is true, I would imagine, for all denominations that allow ministers to be married. No one is saying that an unsupportive spouse is a good thing for a minister. But I am not sure that would be the deal-breaker in every case, especially if there is a shortage of prospective ministers.
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  11. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    Bek - it's really interesting to me that you don't seem to know that there are many Catholics who don't believe 100% the same as you. I know many Catholics who use contraception, believe gay marraige should be legal, don't follow the Pope's every word etc. They can recite the Nicene and Apolostle's Creed and mean it, they take communion if they go to church. They are Catholic. Religion, and person beliefs, aren't black and white issues. Not only can individual beliefs change over time, but faith means different things to different people. It's not for you or me to define what "Catholics" or any other faith believe, it's up to individuals. If someone says they're Catholic, they're Catholic regardless of whether they pass your checklist. We can define ourselves (if we wish), rather than needing others to define us. I'm not Catholic, but I was. I grew up in a Catholic family. I went to huge effort to leave the church (it's not that easy to not be considered Catholic, the church seems to like to keep the official numbers high) because it was important to me to make a statement.

    My mother considers herself Catholic, though she hasn't been to church for years (her last was midnight Mass in an Anglican Church with me two years ago at Christmas), and doesn't practice at all to my knowledge - she also divorced my father (Catholic marriage) and remarried (my stepdad) in a civil service. My sister is "nothing" (though the Catholic church claims her, and she has used that for her son, she was married by a lady justice of the peace, though her son - born our of wedlock - is officially Catholic), my stepfather and father are atheist, my other sister is conservative Christian and I am a non-church going Christian, most Christians I know no longer consider me Christian, but instead consider me "lost". Non practicing Catholics have a variety of reasons for wanting to marry in the church, culture, family history, liking the building...they may also be practicing, but not in an obvious, outward way. My sister really wanted her son baptised (and he had his something else I can't remember what, last year with his grade 4 Catholic school classmates). My sister, who doesn't consider herself Catholic, still finds our family tradition important for her son. And she was allowed to have him go through it, too, despite not being a practicing Catholic, because the church still considers her Catholic. Aside from the things with school, my nephew doesn't practice at all, but he considers himself Catholic at the moment. He's just moved from Catholic to state school, so this may change. Catholicism is quite a conservation, "strict", denomination, but there are also many ways and reasons to practice fully or partially, and they're not wrong, just different.
    First of all I never said that all Catholics agree with the Church 100%. Nor did I say your not Catholic if you don't follow the rules perfectly? What the heck makes you think I don't know a ton of nominal/partial Catholics? Of course I do. You think I don't have lapsed Catholic family members? Or friends who go to church and have maybe issues with gay marriage? Of course I do. And I never said these folks weren't Catholic.

    But Catholicism does have official teachings. We also have canon law. And its not the average person in the pew whether someone like me or the nominal Catholic over there who defines Catholic teaching. Its rather the Pope in union with the Bishops. And they define the teachings on the basis of Scripture and Tradition. Catholicism is not a democracy.

    Plenty of Catholics dissent/disagree. And of course I see the way the wind is going and that there isn't another eventual Church split on the rise. Of course I can see and feel it coming. But I know where I stand on it...And in the end I stand on it because of the path my own relationship with the Lord....
    Last edited by bek; 02-14-2013 at 06:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleada View Post
    Are you being your usual insufferable self or are you truly not aware that some countries (like Colombia or Ecuador) were officially "Catholic countries" and had agreements with the Vatican about Catholicism being the official state religion until the 1990s? It is not just "my family believes it but not me" kind of thing. In many places, Catholicism and national culture are interrelated. In some Latin American countries (speaking of those, because it's what I know), 90%+ of the population is Catholic, with different levels of personal belief.

    Personally, I'm baptized and confirmed. Do I believe in God? No. I hesitate getting married in a Catholic Church because I don't agree with their policies; don't plan on raising my kids Catholic, but....it's a huge part of my culture, and I've already given up a lot of it, living in a new country and all. Shrug.
    Well said, oleada. Catholicism and national/regional cultures are in some cases inextricably linked. Thus, many people still see value in and identify with certain Catholic practices even though they do not believe in God and/or the Vatican.

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    I've read on this thead that the last time a pope resigned was in the 1400s. I assume this was during the period of competing papal successions in Avignon and Rome. Which pope resigned and under what circumstances? Was it voluntary or under duress?

    I am not Roman Catholic so I'm not knowledgeable on the subject. How can Papal infallibility on the subject of faith be transferred from one living pope to another? From the perspective of church tradition, how can two simultaneous heirs to St Peter be explained?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    First of all I never said that all Catholics agree with the Church 100%. Nor did I say your not Catholic if you don't follow the rules perfectly? What the heck makes you think I don't know a ton of nominal/partial Catholics? Of course I do. You think I don't have lapsed Catholic family members? Or friends who go to church and have maybe issues with gay marriage? Of course I do. And I never said these folks weren't Catholic.

    But Catholicism does have official teachings. We also have canon law. And its not the average person in the pew whether someone like me or the nominal Catholic over there who defines Catholic teaching. Its rather the Pope in union with the Bishops. And they define the teachings on the basis of Scripture and Tradition. Catholicism is not a democracy.

    Plenty of Catholics dissent/disagree. And of course I see the way the wind is going and that there isn't another eventual Church split on the rise. Of course I can see and feel it coming. But I know where I stand on it...And in the end I stand on it because of the path my own relationship with the Lord....
    What makes me think the way I do? Because you act/talk as if you're talking about all Catholics whenever you talk about anything to do with religion, when really, you're speak for yourself. My mother wouldn't consider herself a "nominal/partial Catholic", even though you would likely consider her to be. She wouldn't consider herself lapsed or non-practicing either. Official teachings or not, she's a Catholic because she says she is. You may be able to define the teaching - though I find it sad that when you did ("the Pope in union with the Bishops") there's no mention of God - but you don't get to say whether someone is Catholic or not based on your understanding of the teaching, or anything else. And also, many Catholic churches choose to teach things differently and are more liberal and considered Catholic. Someone can call themselves a nominal/partial/lapsed Catholic, but I don't think it's good practice to label another person that way. If they say they're Catholic, they're Catholic, just like you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    What makes me think the way I do? Because you act/talk as if you're talking about all Catholics whenever you talk about anything to do with religion, when really, you're speak for yourself. My mother wouldn't consider herself a "nominal/partial Catholic", even though you would likely consider her to be. She wouldn't consider herself lapsed or non-practicing either. Official teachings or not, she's a Catholic because she says she is. You may be able to define the teaching - though I find it sad that when you did ("the Pope in union with the Bishops") there's no mention of God - but you don't get to say whether someone is Catholic or not based on your understanding of the teaching, or anything else. And also, many Catholic churches choose to teach things differently and are more liberal and considered Catholic. Someone can call themselves a nominal/partial/lapsed Catholic, but I don't think it's good practice to label another person that way. If they say they're Catholic, they're Catholic, just like you.
    First of all I didn't label any single person a nominal Catholic. I was talking about a group, not a single person. I have never gone to a single person and said your nominal. Nor did I say that on this board....But yes if your not attending mass without good reason your not practicing. One point I was making earlier is that you have many who bring up numbers of Catholic who disagree with Church teachings. And while yes absolutely there are those who still go to mass and still practice the faith. I'm still willing to bet that the biggest proportion of that group doesn't attend mass. And I don't think its going to change no matter what the Church does in that area. There may be some who don't attend Mass because they don't like some Church teachings... But there are others who I'm sure don't attend for other reasons. At the end of the days those who come to mass come because they sense God's presence there... I'm not thinking about gay marriage when I'm at mass.

    And as for me not bringing up God. I actually was going to bring up God and why I feel very strongly that the system of Scripture/Tradition and the bishops/popes deciding is something God wants.

    I grew up Protestant, and when I choose to become Catholic it wasn't because I was unhappy with my personal relationship with God. That was fine, but I became Catholic because of an experience I had with God. I.e I feel God showed me why the Catholic system is the system He wants. Why because the Protestant way of Sola Scriptura leads to all kinds of multiple denominations and it also obscures truth. I had a Professor in seminary who use to say all the time well Scripture isn't clear, so you just choose for yourself. Now there are some areas we are never going to have a clear understanding. But there are other areas that are pretty serious. Areas that are leading to Christians dividing. Scripture talks about Christians coming into agreement, and so no I don't think the Holy Spirit is leading folks to all kinds of multiple conclusions. So in my own relationship with the Lord, He convinced me that if your not sure about a meaning in Scripture, than yes you should look at what the early church said, what the Holy Spirit has said to the Church throughout time. Because we received the faith from them. He also showed me is if there's still disputes, why the bishops plus the pope decide. What it came down was my decision it was not just about me, or what I thought.... Its about the Church speaking with one message.

    Now there are other Catholics who didn't have that experience with God, and I get that. But thats why I take the position I do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    The order is generally Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation over here (US) but First Holy Communion is normally 2nd grade. So it probably wasn't that. It might have been Confirmation but that's harder to know because Confirmation is all over the place. Some places do it at the same time as Communion and some wait until the kids are in their teens with everything in between. I think my diocese did it around age 10, which would be Fourth grade. But that was a donkey's age ago.
    It's Baptism, First Communion, First Confession/Penance, then Confirmation in my Diocese. Comunion is 2nd grade, Confession is 4th grade and Confirmation is High school, generally grades 10 or 11. When I was a child Communion and Confession were done together but somewhere along the line since they've split them up. The reason I heard was that 4th graders are better able to understand the concept of Confession and Penance than 2nd graders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaphyre14 View Post
    It's Baptism, First Communion, First Confession/Penance, then Confirmation in my Diocese. Comunion is 2nd grade, Confession is 4th grade and Confirmation is High school, generally grades 10 or 11. When I was a child Communion and Confession were done together but somewhere along the line since they've split them up. The reason I heard was that 4th graders are better able to understand the concept of Confession and Penance than 2nd graders.
    How does one take Communion if they have not been to Confession? I suppose that since 2nd graders haven't committed mortal sins, they can receive communion without confession, but we were always told you had to be a blank slate for the first one, and then confession was required only if you committed a grave sin. (Though by second grade I think some kids have intentionally broken the Honor your Father and Mother commandment.) I remember we mostly confessed tiny stuff...

    I'm a bit baffled by the idea that Confession/Reconcilliation is difficult for 2nd graders to understand, but transubstantation (which I probably spelled wrong) is on their level! The idea of confession is much easier- they've been made to say they are sorry for years by this point.

    Since the Canon Law says confession must proceed communion, how do the parishes that do it later justify that?
    Last edited by Skittl1321; 02-14-2013 at 03:03 PM.

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    I went to Catholic school for seven years. In second grade, a large part of our religious studies was preparation for making our first confession and our first communion, in that order. We didn't wait until fourth grade for our first confession, nor did we wait until high school for confirmation. I think I was 12 when I was confirmed. We lived in a small town and the Bishop came only every few years for confirmation so the ages varied. My older sister, younger sister, and I were all confirmed at the same time along with the others in our grade level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bek View Post
    I grew up Protestant, and when I choose to become Catholic it wasn't because I was unhappy with my personal relationship with God. That was fine, but I became Catholic because of an experience I had with God. I.e I feel God showed me why the Catholic system is the system He wants.
    But there are plenty of other people who feel they have a personal relationship with God (or whatever they choose to call the divine) who are not Catholic. And some who are Catholic but whose experience is not identical to yours.

    So what makes your experience more authoritative than anyone else's, e.g., someone whose experience was that God showed them why the Catholic church was NOT what he/she/it wanted?

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