Father Peter Kennedy ~versus~ Bishop Richard Williamson

Father Peter Kennedy

Last month, the Catholic Church sacked Father Peter Kennedy, the parish priest of St Mary’s Church in South Brisbane.

His crimes?

Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby accuses Father Kennedy of “presenting unapproved services including giving Holy Communion to gay and divorced people, baptising babies using unorthodox wording and not wearing traditional vestments”. As such, “Peter Kennedy is the first Catholic priest in Australia to lose his job for failing to conform to orthodox liturgy” according to Andrew Fraser (What would Jesus do?, The Australian, February 21, 2009).

Shame Peter, shame.

Apparently, some “CATHOLICS are questioning why the church hierarchy is determined to sack rebel parish leader Peter Kennedy, but is slow to act against pedophile priests” (Priest must resign or face axe, Kate Dennehy, Brisbane Times, February 27, 2009). And in his defence, Kennedy argues that Jesus too, was a rebel.

Jesus also unorthodox: rebel priest
The Australian
(Agence France-Presse)
February 15, 2009

REBEL Catholic priest Father Peter Kennedy has defended his church’s social activism, telling a packed St Mary’s church in South Brisbane that Jesus also was harshly criticised for unorthodox behaviour.

Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby has terminated Fr Kennedy’s appointment from next Saturday, February 21. Fr Kennedy is trying to appeal the sacking under the church’s canon law.

The Vatican is unhappy because the church conducts unorthodox masses, allows women to preach and blesses homosexual couples.

St Mary’s on Sunday once again was packed and the congregation of around 600 loudly applauded the turbulent priest after his sermon.

“People who are not part of our community will make judgments about us because of our so-called unorthodox behaviour,” Fr Kennedy said.

“But we can take heart from the words of Jesus himself, who was judged harshly for his unorthodox behaviour – ‘By their fruits you will know them’.”

Kennedy suffered a collapse following his ‘final’ sermon, has refused to resign, and has labelled his replacement, Dean Ken Howell, a ‘religious scab’.

It would be wrong, however, to suggest that the Catholic Church is an unforgiving institution. Thus, last year “convicted pedophile Ron McKiernan was still celebrating Mass in Brisbane despite having served time in jail” (Catholic Church continues support of sex-abuse priest, Michael Crutcher, The Courier-Mail, February 20, 2009). Which is as it should be: sexually-abusing children is one thing, but giving Holy Communion to gay and divorced people, baptising babies using unorthodox wording and not wearing traditional vestments is a crime of a much more serious nature.

It would also be incorrect to believe that there are those who don’t support Archbishop John Bathersby.

Miranda Devine

Posing as a privileged conservative airhead, Devine is in fact the nation’s foremost postmodern activist. She’s the Bruce Wayne of radical intellectuals in this country, a seeming lightweight who’s really a courageous champion of suppressed ideas and politically unfashionable causes. …Devine’s satire burns with contempt for the profoundly anti-intellectual character of Australian public life today. Dark and Swiftian, her satirical boldness is unprecedented in the history of Australian letters.

~ Niall Lucy and Steve Mickler, The War on Democracy: Conservative Opinion in the Australian Press (UWA Press, 2006)

Taking a break from excoriating murderous greens what killed all them people in the Victorian bushfires, yuppie scribbler Miranda Devine opines ‘If you don’t like the rules, start your own church’ (Sydney Morning Herald, February 26, 2009). According to the Devine Miss M — from her vantage point on Sydney’s desperately impoverished North Shore — Kennedy is a ‘dupe’, a useful idiot for the un-Holy Socialist Alliance, which is using him in their nefarious scheme “to destroy organised religion”. In summary:

While you can feel pity for [Brisbane Archbishop John] Bathersby, the mess is his own making. Having tolerated Kennedy’s antics for years, and having presided over the transformation of Brisbane into the most progressive and least disciplined archdiocese in the country, he can hardly be surprised by the result.

There are plenty of religions which have protested more effectively about Catholic authority than Kennedy – he should try them. Or he could establish his own religion. He has said if he is forced out he will take his flock with him: “The reality is that, if we are excluded from this church, the Trades and Labor Council have already offered us their place just down the road.”

Good luck to him. No one is forced to be a Catholic, and the church – as it has been for 2000 years [sic] – is thriving the world over, wherever it has remained true to its teachings. The thousands of young people who spontaneously went to Rome for the funeral of the very orthodox Pope John Paul II were not activists trying to dismantle the church. They are the future, not Kennedy’s outdated mumbo jumbo socialism.

Note that the Catholic church has a long history of forced conversions — of Jews throughout Europe, in Portuguese-controlled India, the Americas under Spanish rule and so on; the saintly Pope Pius IX (1846–1878), who confined Rome’s Jews to a ghetto and forcibly baptised their children as Christians, referred to Jews as ‘dogs’. See also : The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia’s Holocaust, Seán Mac Mathúna, Flame, No.6, Winter 2000 & Christian Persecution of Jews over the Centuries, Gerard S. Sloyan, ushmm.org, January 19, 2007 [PDF].

Christopher Pearson

Christopher Pearson is … different. How many middle-aged, gay Catholic journalists, after all, especially ones who devote a weekly press column to espousing the virtues of conservative values and hard-line Vatican morality, can there possibly be? …Pearson shows that he is nothing more than Howard’s political gimp. His job is to make it seem that ‘popular conservatism’ is real, and not simply a strategic assertion designed to make it look as though the Howard government is democratically representative.

In some ways Pearson is no different from the other members of the less than magnificent seven in wanting to return to a time before there were baby boomers. But at least the others could go back as they are today… without having to change themselves in the process. But Christopher Pearson is different. In public, in the 1950s, he could not be who he is today. That’s something he owes not to ‘popular conservatism’, but to those who answered [Isaiah] Berlin’s call for difference, a call made in the name of others whose ‘tastes and beliefs find (whether rightly or wrongly must not matter) little response among the majority.’ In his refusal to acknowledge this, Christopher Pearson is a hypocrite.

~ Niall Lucy and Steve Mickler, The War on Democracy: Conservative Opinion in the Australian Press (UWA Press, 2006)

Christopher Pearson, another neo-conservative hack, agrees with Devine, declaring that it’s time that the Church got rid of the apostates who endanger its future, undermining its foundations through their flagrant disregard for doctrinal and sacral requirements. Absent these integral and distinctive aspects of Catholic dogma, “[a]ll that remains is a commitment to social justice, feminism and deep green ideology. No wonder the Raelian movement, a UFO cult with a similar radical Left agenda, and the Socialist Alliance should have sent members to demonstrate their support for St Mary’s.”

Pearson elaborates:

To see why St Mary’s represents a pervasive threat to the survival of Australian Catholicism, it’s necessary to say something about the sacramental system. The sacraments are rites that relate to different stages in people’s lives, held to confer particular graces through the mediation of the church, and believed to have cumulative effect. If someone’s baptism is deemed invalid it is a grave matter, foundational rather than a mere technicality, and has to be rectified by going through the rite a second time. This is because baptism is axiomatically “the gateway to the other sacraments” and no subsequent sacrament — such as confirmation, marriage or ordination — can be validly conferred on the unbaptised.

Until recently all the mainstream churches took a very conservative attitude towards their formulas for administering the sacraments. Safety lay in strictly following Christ’s example in the New Testament as interpreted by apostolic custom. To authorise anything else was held to be ultra vires, simply beyond the scope of their authority. What’s more, in the universal church it is a given that the laity are entitled to certainty about the validity of the sacraments offered them. A decade’s worth of controversy over invalid baptisms at St Mary’s is profoundly subversive and leaves uncertainty or worse over hundreds of subsequent church marriages. To anyone with a delicate conscience, or on the other hand anyone who may be looking for convenient grounds for an annulment, uncertainty over baptismal efficacy is a big deal.

As it stands, Father Kennedy continues to take part in a Communist plot to destroy organised religion / threaten the survival of Australian Catholicism / hold religious services, and he and the Brisbane diocese have this week begun to take part in a mediation process (Rebel Catholic priest hopes for positive mediation, Cassie White, ABC, March 4, 2009): ‘Father Kennedy says he is hopeful of a positive outcome, but until it is finished, he is not going anywhere. “The realistic outcome would be for me to be reinstated by the Archbishop as the administrator, the vigilantes who reported me to Rome be disciplined and I particularly and the community should be found not to be guilty of denying Catholic doctrine,” he said.’

Bishop Richard Williamson

Can haz blog: Dinoscopus. In one of his first missives sent from London, he also expresses agreement with Chistopher Pearson: it’s time to get serious about securing the moral and doctrinal foundations of the Church, and to strike back at those undermining its vital role (although it should be noted that where Devine emphasises the treachery of dirty steenky Communists, Dick is angrier at the lies of the Judeo-Masonry conspiracy which produced the dirty steenky Communists in the first place).

March 7, 2009:

…As for the disaster in the Church and our situation in history, I replied that it means we must pray quietly, steadily and seriously, as though the Lord God is important. With the 313 AD victory of the Roman Emperor Constantine at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Catholics switched from fighting lions to fighting heresies, but with Vatican II rotting out both Faith and minds, the official Church gave up fighting heresy, so for Catholics it is back to fighting mindless beasts in the arena. Another Age of Martyrs is upon us. “Today’s Catholic Church”, I concluded, “desperately needs friends of God as serious as are his enemies”, because such seriousness is alone capable of conquering them for Our Lord. Moreover such seriousness “can no longer be proved with mere words, which are shot, but only with” – we come back to – “blood”.

Dear friend, pray the family Rosary, plant potatoes in the garden and teach your children about the martyrs of the Early Church, whose testimony reaches way beyond any reservations. Kyrie eleison.

“If anti-Semitism is bad, it’s against truth. If something is true, it’s not bad.”

Bishop Williamson row turns spotlight on Pope’s far-right links
Gerry Gable
Searchlight
March 2009

======

The Vatican’s decision to welcome a Holocaust-denying bishop back into the Catholic church was not an isolated instance of Pope Benedict XVI adopting a far-right reactionary position. Gerry Gable examines Benedict’s record in the nearly four years of his papacy.

Pope Benedict’s decree at the end of January lifted the ex-communication of Bishop Richard Williamson and three other breakaway bishops excommunicated by John Paul II in 1988. The bishops had been ordained without Vatican permission by the renegade French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who rejected the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Bishop Williamson, who has said that the Vatican is controlled by Satan and that the Jews are bent on world domination, reiterated in a broadcast on Swedish television in January that the historical evidence was “hugely against six million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler. I believe there were no gas chambers.” He added that no more than 300,000 Jews died in Nazi concentration camps.

Williamson and the three other bishops were leading lights in the ultra-conservative Society of St Pius X (SSPX), founded by Lefebvre. SSPX’s conservative traditionalist followers include several fascists and antisemites.

Williamson is not the only member of the SSPX to question the Holocaust. Father Floriano Abrahamowicz told the Tribuna di Treviso in Italy last month: “I know the gas chambers existed – at least for disinfecting – but not whether they caused deaths or not.”

A week after readmitting the four bishops, the 81-year-old Pope sparked turmoil among Austrian Catholics when he appointed an auxiliary bishop in Linz who had said Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was retribution for the activities of abortionists, prostitutes and homosexuals in New Orleans. Gerhard Maria Wagner was forced to withdraw from the position after senior deans in Linz passed a declaration of no confidence in him.

A recent report in the Italian weekly Panorama, headed “The Vatican, the Shoah, and the neo-crusaders to the right of the Pope”, listed about 20 different rightwing and far-right groups around the Vatican. They include Catholic traditionalists, followers of Lefebvre, creationists, negationists, believers in the “Judaic-Masonic Plot” and anti-Islam crusaders. One is Militia Christi, which put its name to huge antisemitic graffiti that have appeared in Rome the past few months in Rome.

These groups include individuals who stand out for their strong ties to the traditionalist and Lefebvrian world. Among them is Roberto Fiore, MEP, leader of Forza Nuova, who every Sunday attends a church that celebrates Mass according to the Tridentine rite.

    Roberto Fiore (born April 15, 1959 in Rome) has been a leading neo-fascist in the post-war era, both in Italy and across Europe. He has long been a disciple of Julius Evola and helped to develop the Third Position stance on the far right.

    As a leader of Terza Posizione, Fiore (along with other various neo-fascist activists, notably Gabriele Adinolfi and Massimo Morsello) became a wanted man in Italy after the 1980 bombing of Bologna train station which left 85 people dead and over 200 wounded. This status was increased in 1985 when a Rome court declared that TP was simply a cover movement for the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari, the terror group blamed on the attack and linked with the Propaganda Due organisation. He was condemned for association to an armed subversive gang (associazione sovversiva e banda armata).

    As a result Fiore spent much of the 1980s in hiding in the United Kingdom, where it was alleged by the magazine Searchlight that he avoided extradition by working for the Secret Intelligence Service. This has also been alleged by the Sunday Express, in 2000, citing a source within MI5. Fiore disclaimed he had connections to British intelligence. Valerio Fioravanti, leader of the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari later accused Fiore of having expatriated with the money of the movement.

    In England Fiore became a close friend of Nick Griffin and following Griffin’s departure from the British National Front he helped to organise the International Third Position, becoming a founder member.

    In 1986, thanks to their friendship with Nick Griffin and other far right activists, Roberto Fiore and Massimo Morsello managed to found “Meeting Point”, which was later renamed “Easy London”. Easy London is a society that helps young students and workers live and work in London by providing jobs, beds, and contracts. This rapidly made Morsello and Fiore wealthy (the profits being around 15 million euros), but the society was more of a fundraising tool to help various far-right organizations in Italy. “Easy London” is still active. Fiore’s association with London has remained as, in August 2007, he became sole director of CL English Language, a college for overseas students in the west of the city.

    Fiore has since returned to Italy and is active in politics as the leader of the extreme-right organization Forza Nuova (a group he founded with Morsello), one of the constituent parts of Alternativa Sociale, allied in the House of Freedoms for the 2006 political elections in Italy.

    In 2008 he joined as a speaker on the right wing festival Nordiska Festivalen (Nordic Festival) in Sweden to speak about European identity. He also took up the seat in the European Parliament vacated by Alessandra Mussolini.

The Latin language rite was replaced by the Second Vatican Council, which sat from 1962 to 1965, but Pope Benedict relaxed the restrictions in 2007. The papal decree damaged the Vatican’s relations with the Jewish community as the mass includes a Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews that asks God to end “the blindness of that people”.

Later in 2007 Benedict caused further controversy with the beatification of 498 people, mostly priests, who died fighting for Franco in the Spanish Civil War, describing them as martyrs of religious persecution. Priests who sided with the elected Republican government and murdered by Franco’s fascists were ignored.

Fiore is a one-time business partner and political mentor of Nick Griffin, now the leader of the British National Party. One of Griffin’s right-hand men in his days as leader of the Political Soldier wing of the National Front was Derek Holland, a fanatical supporter of the SSPX. Holland and the SSPX were part of a sinister network that sheltered James Kopp while he was on the run after murdering Barnett Slepian, a Jewish doctor who worked at an abortion clinic in New York, in 1998.

It brought to mind how the Vatican helped ship hundreds of Nazi war criminals out of Italy in the two or three years after 1945. In November 2008 Pope Benedict announced he wanted to beatify the wartime Pope Pius XII, who failed to speak out against the Holocaust.

When Benedict became Pope it was revealed he had joined the Hitler Youth in Bavaria 1941. However this had been compulsory for all 14-year-olds in Germany at the time and he had not been an enthusiastic member. But since his election as Pope in 2005 he has surrounded himself with extreme rightwing, racist and antisemitic advisers and opposed much of the progress in the church since the Second World War.

    Campaigning for Cologne’s Maligned Resistance, Deutsche Welle, November 11, 2004: “They wore their hair long, sang songs by banned Jewish composers and fought the Nazi regime. But history has so far remembered Cologne’s Edelweiss Pirates as criminals rather than resistance fighters…until now…”

Although he has tried to improve the Church’s relationships with other religions, he upset the Muslim world in 2006 when in a controversial papal speech, he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only “evil and inhuman” things.

Pope Benedict said he had not been aware of Bishop Williamson’s denial of the Holocaust. While it is true that he had already signed the decree lifting the excommunication before Williamson’s interview on Swedish television was broadcast, Williamson’s views on Jews, the Holocaust and the veracity of the fraudulent book The Protocols of the Elders of Zion were fairly common knowledge among rightwing Catholics and elsewhere.

    The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are available for your reading pleasure on Australian Protectionist Party member Martin Fletcher’s website ‘Australian Nationalist Resource’ (nee ‘Downunder Newslinks’).

The antisemitic views of the SSPX are well known, and last year Williamson attended a garden party at the home near Windsor of the convicted criminal and Hitler fan David Irving, one of the world’s leading Holocaust deniers. While the Pope himself might not have been aware of these things, his advisers are at fault for not informing him.

The Vatican has now ordered Williamson to recant but his response has been to prevaricate. He said he would review the evidence and if he finds evidence of the Holocaust he will change his views, but it would take time. It appears that he does not intended to visit Auschwitz to see the site first hand but will read a book by Jean-Claude Pressac, another Holocaust denier, who altered his views after visiting the camp. No doubt he will also get plenty of advice from people such as Irving and Robert Faurisson, the prominent French Holocaust denier.

Dragging things out is a common ploy among fascists, in the hope that the dust will settle and they can get on with their agenda.

Meanwhile the SSPX has sacked the British bishop from his position as head of an Argentinean seminary, a post he had held for five years, in a move to quell some of the anger at the Vatican, and the Argentinian government has given him notice to leave the country.

If Williamson returns to Britain he will be able to maintain his SSPX activity by attending the Church of Saints Joseph and Padam in Holloway, north London. He would be following a long line of extremists who have visited the church, including Holland and, two years ago, a bunch of Polish fascist supporters of the National Rebirth of Poland party, trying to organise in the Polish migrant community.

Pope Benedict has publicly proclaimed his warmth towards Jews and will visit Israel in May. He will need to do a lot to repair relations with Jewish organisations. As Malcolm Hoenlein, a US Jewish community leader, said last month: “It’s in our interest to have good relations with the Vatican, but not at any price”.

======

Still…

Countess Michèle Susan Mainwaring Griaznoff Peacock Sangster Renouf (a LADY of the New Right) got Bishop Williamson’s back! (Lady Renouf backs renegade bishop, Paola Totaro, Sydney Morning Herald, February 27, 2009.)

See also : Everybody Knows (February 5, 2009) | Suffer the Children (December 6, 2008) | Ratso is funny… Pell… less so (July 8, 2008) | Alas for you George! | egg benedict dot org (July 9, 2008) | Ecce Homo (July 17, 2008)

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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9 Responses to Father Peter Kennedy ~versus~ Bishop Richard Williamson

  1. Jessie says:

    Andy,

    Underpinning everything you have written is a very obvious anti-Catholic bigotry that evidently consumes you and clearly clouds your ability to see things calmly and objectively. Even if you live to old age, your life will pass very quickly – on your death bed it will seem as if it has passed in a moment. Then no one will care about what you have written or whether you have proved your point against the Pope and the Catholic Church. All that will matter is if you were right or wrong. Why? Because if you are wrong and they are indeed God’s representatives on Earth, you will be held accountable throughout eternity for every word you have uttered against them. If you have ever read any accounts written by the few saints who claim to have momentarily been shown Hell (e.g. Saint Faustina Kowalska in her diary Divine Mercy In My Soul) I suspect you might be more cautious. You might be wrong about it all, even about everything you believe. And you will face God alone – none of your friends, family or anyone else whose approval you seek through this website will be with you or be able to mount a defence for you.

    Perhaps you should consider that he writings of secular Roman and Jewish historians (e.g. Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Flavius Josephus) provide clear, reliable evidence that Jesus existed, claimed to be the Jewish Messiah whose death would atone for human sin, and that he was crucified under the Roman Procurator Pontius Pilate in the Reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. It also records that thousands of early Christians willingly underwent torture and death rather than recant their faith in Jesus – something that clearly suggests that they truly did see Him resurrected as they claimed. The Catholic Church is the only church on Earth that has unbroken apostolic succession back to Jesus’ first disciples and, importantly, back to Peter in whom Jesus clearly vests his supreme authority, giving him the “keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” saying that whatever he binds on Earth will be bound in Heaven and that whatever He looses on Earth will be loosed in Heaven. I will not visit your website again, but I thought I might just point out to you that you might have it all wrong and the consequences could be very serious for you. Just a friendly warning.

    God will never violate human freedom because this would eliminate the human capacity to freely love Him and each other – the purpose for which he created mankind – to reflect His image in His Creation. He will never force himself on you. As one great saint said: God gives just enough light to those who want to accept Him to be able to freely accept Him and just enough darkness to those who want to reject Him to be able to freely reject Him. To those who choose to believe no proof is necessary; to those who will not believe, no proof is possible. Good luck with your decision before you die.

    Jessie

  2. @ndy says:

    “I will not visit your website again, but I thought I might just point out to you that you might have it all wrong and the consequences could be very serious for you. Just a friendly warning.”

    Love ’em and leave ’em eh?

    Is it possible I am wrong? That is, that the theistic God exists?

    Yes.

    The Sumerians (late 6th millennium BC — early 2nd millennium BC) worshipped An, Enki, Enlil, Inanna, Utu and Nanna.

    The Iron Age Celts had many gods and goddesses.

    In polytheistic Ancient Rome, many Romans worshipped Mars. Every five years the Suovetaurilia was held. During these fertility and cleansing rites, a pig (sus), a sheep (ovis) and bull (taurus) were sacrificed.

    Aboriginal deities have many roles and no single description or term can describe all of these. Based on their primary role, they fall into three main categories, and any one deity may belong to one, two, or all three of these categories: Creation Beings, Ancestral Beings and Totemic Beings.

    The 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult who took their own lives in 1997 were professional Web page designers who used the Internet to attempt to win converts and spread their message.

    The cult members committed suicide over a few days in late March 1997. They died in shifts, with some members helping others take a lethal cocktail of phenobarbital and vodka before downing their own doses of the fatal mixture. Police found an eerily placid and orderly scene on March 26.

    Heaven’s Gate members believed that Hale-Bopp, an unusually bright comet, was the sign that they were supposed to shed their earthly bodies (or “containers”) and join a spacecraft traveling behind the comet that would take them to a higher plane of existence.

  3. Luke says:

    And I thought you were just writing about a priest that said gays were ok and a bishop that thought nutzis were the bomb. Turns out you were actually calling into question the historical existence of Christ. Well I never, Andy. You continue to surprise.

  4. dj says:

    So many gods to choose from, so little time.

  5. Paul Justo says:

    “Perhaps you should consider that he writings of secular Roman and Jewish historians (e.g. Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Flavius Josephus) provide clear, reliable evidence that Jesus existed…”

    Rubbish, there is no evidence that he existed as an historical person, much less a supernatural deity.

  6. @ndy says:

    See: Historicity Of Jesus FAQ (1994)…

    Tacitus and Jesus

    In his Annals, Cornelius Tacitus (55–120CE) writes that Christians “derived their name and origin from Christ, who, in the reign of Tiberius, had suffered death by the sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate” (Annals 15.44).

    Two questions arise concerning this passage:

    1. Did Tacitus really write this, or is this a later Christian interpolation?
    2. Is this really an independent confirmation of Jesus’s story, or is Tacitus just repeating what some Christians told him?

    Some scholars believe the passage may be a Christian interpolation into the text. However, this is not at all certain, and unlike Josephus’s Testimonium Flavianum, no clear evidence of textual tampering exists.

    The second objection is much more serious. Conceivably, Tacitus may just be repeating what he was told by Christians about Jesus. If so, then this passage merely confirms that there were Christians in Tacitus’ time, and that they believed that Pilate killed Jesus during the reign of Tiberius. This would not be independent confirmation of Jesus’s existence. If, on the other hand, Tacitus found this information in Roman imperial records (to which he had access) then that could constitute independent confirmation. There are good reasons to doubt that Tacitus is working from Roman records here, however. For one, he refers to Pilate by the wrong title (Pilate was a prefect, not a procurator). Secondly, he refers to Jesus by the religious title “Christos”. Roman records would not have referred to Jesus by a Christian title, but presumably by his given name. Thus, there is excellent reason to suppose that Tacitus is merely repeating what Christians said about Jesus, and so can tell us nothing new about Jesus’s historicity.

    Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews (93CE), Book XVIII, Chapter 3, ¶ 3:

    “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

    [See Historicity Of Jesus FAQ for more disco on Flavius.]

    Pliny the Younger and Jesus

    Pliny the Younger, writing near 100 CE, corresponded regularly with the emperor Trajan. In these writings, Pliny specifically mentions and describes the beliefs and practices of Christians in Asia Minor, and asks Trajan’s advice about what action to take against them, if any. However, Pliny’s writings provide no independent confirmation of the events of the New Testament, but merely show that there were indeed Christians living in Asia Minor.

  7. @ndy says:

    Jessie,

    Final reply to a non-existent commentator.

    “Underpinning everything you have written is a very obvious anti-Catholic bigotry that evidently consumes you and clearly clouds your ability to see things calmly and objectively.”

    Maybe. But you fail to provide any evidence to that effect, and dispute none of the facts as I’ve presented them.

    Which renders your argument specious.

    When I am knocking on death’s door “no one will care about what you have written or whether you have proved your point against the Pope and the Catholic Church. All that will matter is if you were right or wrong.”

    Very few people care what I write period. Why you think this should matter to me more if I for some reason have an opportunity to reflect on the impact my writing has had when I am dying is unknown.

    “Why? Because if you are wrong and they are indeed God’s representatives on Earth, you will be held accountable throughout eternity for every word you have uttered against them.”

    We all die, so I guess we’ll all know if there’s an Afterlife at some point in the distant or not-too-distant future.

    I may be greeted by Charon, and thank Christ I remembered to bring something to bribe him with.

    As for being held accountable for my words, you can hold me to account now.

    You’ve chosen not to.

    “And you will face God alone – none of your friends, family or anyone else whose approval you seek through this website will be with you or be able to mount a defence for you.”

    That’s OK. Being omniscient, there’s nothing I could add to God’s knowledge anyway, right?

    Ancient records “also record… that thousands of early Christians willingly underwent torture and death rather than recant their faith in Jesus – something that clearly suggests that they truly did see Him resurrected as they claimed.”

    No. What this suggests is religious fanaticism.

    “November 19, 1978: Alerted to the violence but unwilling to approach the compound under cover of darkness, Guyanese armed forces arrive a day after the massacre. More than 900 corpses are discovered, bloated in the heat. Jones is found dead of a gunshot wound. The survivors of the airstrip attack are airlifted to medical care.”

    “The Catholic Church is the only church on Earth that has unbroken apostolic succession back to Jesus’ first disciples…”

    In the Middle Ages many popes were elevated to office following the murder of their predecessors. During one particularly grim period from 882 to 1046, there were 37 popes, some of whom served only a few weeks.

    Leo V (903), for instance, had been pope for only a month before being imprisoned and tortured by one Christophorus, who then enthroned himself. Both men were killed in 904 on the orders of Pope Sergius III (904-911). Sergius later had a son by his teenaged mistress Marozia who became Pope John XI (931-935). In 914, according to one chronicler, Marozia’s mother Theodora installed her lover on the papal throne as John X (914-928). (Theodora and Marozia effectively controlled the papacy through their menfolk and may be the source of the Pope Joan legend.) John XII (955-963), who ascended to the papacy at 19, was accused, perhaps falsely, of sleeping with his father’s mistress, committing incest with his niece, and castrating a deacon.

    Murder gave way to bribery as a route to the papacy in later centuries; some 40 popes are believed to have bought their jobs. But the lax attitude toward celibacy remained unchanged. In large part this was because the Church was an important route to wealth and power. Sons of influential families were pushed into Church careers much as we might send a kid to MBA school, apparently with similar expectations regarding morals. Noblemen with mistresses saw no reason to adjust their life-styles just because they had taken vows.

    The spectacle of cardinals and popes putting their “nephews” into cushy jobs was a standing joke in Rome for centuries. Innocent VIII (1484-1492) had a son and daughter who lived with him in the Vatican. The notorious Alexander VI (1492-1503), born Rodrigo Borgia, had at least four illegitimate children while still a cardinal, among them the cutthroat Cesare Borgia and the reputed poisoner Lucrezia Borgia (actually, she probably never poisoned anybody). Clement VII (1523-1534), himself illegitimate, had a son whom he attempted to make duke of Florence. Paul III (1534-1539) had four kids; two teen grandsons he made cardinals. Pius IV (1559-1565) had three children, and the list goes on…

    “God will never violate human freedom because this would eliminate the human capacity to freely love Him and each other – the purpose for which he created mankind – to reflect His image in His Creation. He will never force himself on you. As one great saint said: God gives just enough light to those who want to accept Him to be able to freely accept Him and just enough darkness to those who want to reject Him to be able to freely reject Him. To those who choose to believe no proof is necessary; to those who will not believe, no proof is possible. Good luck with your decision before you die.”

    You speak on God’s behalf eh? And are in a position to determine what God may, or may not, do?

    Isn’t that a trifle sacrilegious?

    Let’s assume God created Man (and not the other way around). What kind of creature creates life simply in order to be worshipped?

    Is there life before death?

  8. ashleigh says:

    where is Fr Peter Kennedy now?
    does he still perform baptisms?
    and how can i get through to him?

  9. Tim Roberts says:

    To make Peter Kennedy and St Mary’s the centre of this debate has attracted many irrelevant ideas:- the only relevant idea I have after being part of both Peter and now Ken Howell’s church stretching over 4 decades is that the archbishop failed in the 1980s to find the right support for Peter given he was already at that stage filling a church with his sermons on liberation theology and contemplative spirituality. I cannot remember if Brisbane Jesuits or others at the time had the skills to help Peter frame his progressive ideas within the framework of orthodoxy – but I’ve seen it done in the new church by visiting priests under Ken Howell.

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