THE FEEL GOOD CHURCH: Augmented Commandments


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Bishop Latimer observed:

Hoogestraat for seven months. Brothers and sisters, please understand. I am not suggesting all technology is inherently bad; it is not. Nor am I saying we should not use its many capabilities in appropriate ways to learn, to communicate, to lift and brighten lives, and to build and strengthen the Church; of course we should. But I am raising a warning voice that we should not squander and damage authentic relationships by obsessing over contrived ones.

More than a quarter of gamers [who responded indicated that] the emotional highlight of the past week occurred in a computer world. He was speaking of light and good so discernible they can be tasted. My beloved brothers and sisters, beware! To the extent personal fidelity decreases in computer-mediated communications and the purposes of such communications are distorted, perverted, and wicked, the potential for spiritual disaster is dangerously high. Satan often offers an alluring illusion of anonymity. Lucifer always has sought to accomplish his work in secret see Moses Remember, however, that apostasy is not anonymous simply because it occurs in a blog or through a fabricated identity in a chat room or virtual world.

Immoral thoughts, words, and deeds always are immoral, even in cyberspace. Deceitful acts supposedly veiled in secrecy, such as illegally downloading music from the Internet or copying CDs or DVDs for distribution to friends and families, are nonetheless deceitful. We are all accountable to God, and ultimately we will be judged of Him according to our deeds and the desires of our hearts see Alma The Lord knows who we really are, what we really think, what we really do, and who we really are becoming.

I have raised a voice of warning about only a few of the spiritual hazards in our technologically oriented and rapidly changing world. Let me say again: neither technology nor rapid change in or of itself is good or evil; the real challenge is to understand both within the context of the eternal plan of happiness. Lucifer will encourage you to misuse and to minimize the importance of your physical body. I offer two questions for consideration in your personal pondering and prayerful studying:. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?

Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?

Catechism of St. Pius X

You will receive answers, inspiration, and instruction from the Holy Ghost suited to your individual circumstances and needs. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. These eternal truths about the importance of our physical bodies will fortify you against the deception and the attacks of the adversary. I would like to speak specifically to you as you really are. During the day he was on the campus, we talked together about a variety of gospel topics in general and about the youth of the Church in particular. I remember Elder Maxwell making a statement that greatly impressed me.

He has sent these spirits in this generation to lay the foundation of Zion never more to be overthrown, and to raise up a seed that will be righteous, and that will honor God, and honor Him supremely, and be obedient to Him under all circumstances. Indeed, such statements are true. And the teachings of President Cannon and Elder Maxwell help us to understand more fully what is required of us today. Given what we know about who we are and why we are here upon the earth, such inspired direction is welcomed and appreciated.

The Savior has warned us repeatedly to beware of deception by the adversary:. Obedience opens the door to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. You and I have been endowed with a greater capacity for obedience precisely for these reasons. Moroni declared:. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him. We can and will fulfill our foreordained responsibilities and contribute to the work of the Lord in all the world.

I testify that God lives and is our Heavenly Father. He is the author of the plan of salvation. A person is guilty of murder even when he does not commit the murder himself but promotes the murder or allows someone else to do it. For example: a judge condemning an accused to death when his innocence is known; anyone who does not save a neighbor from death when he is fully capable of doing it; anyone who helps another commit murder by his decree, advice, collaboration, or rationalization, or who condones and justifies a death and by that gives opportunity for more killing; anyone who by hard labor or cruel punishment exhausts victims into a weakened state and thus hastens their death.

Abortion is also a form of murder. Several Church laws impose severe penance on women who kill babies in their womb and on those who assist them in this. Check the 2nd and 8th rule of St. In accordance with Evangelical teaching, " Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him " 1 John Therefore, anyone who harbors feelings of hatred or anger, anyone who wishes evil to another person, slanders, quarrels, or by some other means displays his enmity towards others, violates the sixth commandment.

To prevent us from harming each other, the Lord Jesus Christ commands us to root out from our hearts all feelings of anger and vengeance which are the ultimate cause of all violent actions against others. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ said: " You have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.

But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother is in danger of the judgment But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also Besides physical, there exists a spiritual form of murder which is an even more horrible sin because of its eternal consequences: tempting someone.

Anyone who lures a person away from his faith in God or seduces to sin, kills him spiritually. The Savior thus said about the severity of the sin of tempting others, " Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to the man by whom the offense comes " Matthew ! Comments : How should a Christian regard such evils as war and the death penalty?

Neither the Savior nor His Apostles dictated to civilian authorities how they should resolve their governmental and community problems. As long as evil abides in people, wars and crimes are inevitable evils. The only true solution to these problems is that people should overcome the evil in themselves and reform their hearts. This is precisely what the Christian aims to do. But as we know, this is a long and difficult process, and because it is conditioned on the free choice of every single person, it will hardly ever be successful in this temporary life.

This is the reason there will be a Final Judgment where God will separate forever the sheep from the goats. Although any war is evil, one must differentiate between aggressive and defensive wars. This latter is a lesser evil in comparison with allowing a foe to invade one's country and oppress its people. The Church does not consider wartime killing as man's personal sin. It even blesses the soldiers who go to war to defend their country and who risk their lives for the sake of others.

There are several saints among warriors who were glorified with miracles, like the Great Martyr St. George, St. Alexander Nevsky the grand duke, the martyrs Sts. Theodore Tyron, Theodore Stratilatus and others. On the same footing, the death penalty of hard-core criminals should be considered as an inevitable evil. The government has the duty to protect well-meaning citizens from evildoers like murderers, rapists, sadists and the like.

Regarding the duties of civil authorities, the Apostles teach: " Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For he [the ruler] is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil " 1 Pet ; Rom.

While forbidding the forceful taking of the life of a person, the Christian faith teaches us to look calmly at an imminent death. When an incurable disease brings someone to the doorstep of death, it is wrong to use extreme and heroic measures to prolong his life for a while.

In this circumstance, it is better to assist the dying person to reconcile with God so that he may with faith and peace depart from this temporary world. With this commandment God enjoins husband and wife to preserve mutual fidelity, and the unmarried to be chaste in their deeds, words, thoughts and desires. In explaining this commandment, the Lord Jesus Christ added, " Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart " Matthew In other words, not only actions but all our thoughts and feelings must also be pure. In order to avoid sins related to sexual immorality, one must shun all that evokes unclean feelings, such as unbridled behavior, obscene conversations, music and dancing which arouses lustful desires, watching of indecent movies and magazines, and the like.

To avoid sexual sins, the best remedy is to suppress sinful thoughts and desires at their root, not giving them an opportunity to strengthen and take control over our will. Knowing how difficult it is for us to do battle with carnal temptations, the Lord instructs us to be resolute and unmerciful towards ourselves when confronted by temptations: " If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell " Mattew This figurative speech can be rephrased as follows: If someone is as dear to you as your own eye or hand, but tempts you to sin, quickly break off all relations with him or her.

For it is better for you to deprive yourself of his or her friendship than of everlasting life. Contemporary laws make it quite easy to divorce and remarry. However, Christian spouses should submit themselves to the Supreme Lawgiver, who instituted marriage and said: " What God has joined together, let not man separate " Matthew Despite all contemporary efforts to justify and even legalize homosexuality as something comparable to marriage, the Bible unambiguously declares it to be a grave sin.

The ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorra were destroyed precisely because their inhabitants were homosexuals See chapter 19 of the book of Genesis. The Apostle Paul, in the first chapter of his epistle to the Romans, speaks very harshly about homosexuals: " God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness Regarding carnal wantonness, the Scriptures warn: " Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body ," and " Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge " 1 Cor.

Besides being a sin, unconstrained life weakens one's health and spiritual capabilities, especially his imagination and memory. It is extremely important to preserve moral purity because " we are members of Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit. If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him " 1 Cor. This commandment orders us to respect the property of others. Sins against this commandment include theft, robbery, sacrilege to misuse that which belongs to the Church , extortion or bribery requesting money or gifts for services which are supposed to be rendered free of charge , usury overcharging interest on loans , fraud to appropriate someone's property by cunning.

In general, robbery is committed by him who gives false weight; by him who sells at exorbitant prices; by him who, for love of gain, adulterates provisions in the market; by him who deprives his servants of their wages; by him who pays his employees starvation wages; by him who misappropriates common funds; and by him who forfeits paying a debt, conceals a find, etc.

Thirst for pleasures and material goods makes people greedy. To counter-weight this passion, the Christian faith teaches us to be honest, unselfish, industrious and merciful: " Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands for what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need" Ephesians Total unselfishness and renunciation of personal possessions are great Christian virtues which are suggested to those who strive for perfection.

The Lord said to the young man, " If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me " Matthew Such evangelistic idealism was followed by many of the faithful such as St. Antony, St. Nicholas the miracle worker, Sts.

Herman of Alaska, St. Archbishop John of San Francisco, and many others. Monasticism places as its objective total renunciation of personal property and of the comforts of family life. By this commandment the Lord God forbids all forms of lying, as for instance: perjury in court, false complaints, slander, gossip, and swearing. In particular, slander should be considered an act of the devil, bacause the very name "devil" means "slanderer. It is a sign of a proud spirit and a cruel heart, which are so contrary to what Jesus Christ taught.

Any lie is not worthy of a Christian and is not in accord with respect toward our neighbors. The Apostle Paul directs us: " Wherefore putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another " Ephesians Regarding criticizing others, the Savior categorically stated: "Judge not and you shall not be judged! Before judging others, one should remember his own or her own weaknesses. Because it is so easy to sin with the tongue, it is important to learn how to curb it and refrain from idle talk. Speech is one of the greatest gifts which likens us to our Creator, whose word is all powerful.

Animals do not possess this gift. That is why every word must be used only for a good cause and to glorify God. Regarding idle talk, Jesus Christ taught: " For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified , and by your words you will be condemned" Matthew This last commandment orders us to refrain from envy and avoid all sinful desires. While the preceding commandments spoke preeminently regarding external behavior, this last one turns our attention to our inner world - to our thoughts, feelings and desires. It calls on us to strive towards spiritual cleanliness.

It is important to understand that every sinful act starts inside as a sinful disposition of our soul. When a person lingers on a bad thought, it becomes a desire, and as that desire strengthens, it draws the will toward accomplishing the sinful act. That is why, in order to successfully battle against temptations, it is important to learn how to overcome them at the very onset - in our mind. Envy is truly a poison for the soul. One who envies others always feels unhappy, even if he is the richest person in the world. The Scriptures say, " The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord," and, "By the envy of the devil, death entered the world " Proverbs and Book of Wisdom To help us to overcome any feelings of envy or discontent, the Apostle instructs: " Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare For love of money is the root of all evil " 1 Timothy It is very helpful to remind ourselves of the innumerable mercies which God bestows on us. He should have destroyed us for our many sins, but, instead, He keeps forgiving us and sends us His material and spiritual gifts. To save us from eternal damnation, the Son of God came to our world, took our sins and spilled His Precious Blood to wash them out. Shouldn't we every instant thank Him for His infinite love?

One of the main goals in our life is to purify our heart to make it a temple for the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ promises a great reward for those who have abstained from all unclean thoughts and feelings: " Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God " Matthew The Apostle Paul instructs, " Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. The Council of Florence in gave this definition, following earlier Church statements in , and declared that sexual union was a special participation in the union of Christ in the Church.

Further, marriage was said to be for the "relief of concupiscence " [] as well as any spiritual purpose. This unanimity was broken at the Lambeth Conference , the quadrennial meeting of the worldwide Anglican Communion—creating divisions in that denomination. Sex before marriage was not a taboo in the Anglican Church until the "Hardwicke Marriage Act of , which for the first time stipulated that everyone in England and Wales had to be married in their parish church" [] Prior to that time, "marriage began at the time of betrothal, when couples would live and sleep together The process begun at the time of the Hardwicke Act continued throughout the s, with stigma beginning to attach to illegitimacy.

Scriptures in the New Testament dealing with sexuality are extensive. Subjects include: the Apostolic Decree Acts 15 , sexual immorality, divine love 1 Corinthians 13 , mutual self-giving 1 Corinthians 7 , bodily membership between Christ and between husband and wife 1 Corinthians —20 and honor versus dishonor of adultery Hebrews Social structures before and at the dawn of Christianity in the Roman Empire held that women were inferior to men intellectually and physically and were "naturally dependent".

Female infanticide and abortion were practiced by all classes. It was not rare for pagan women to be married before the age of puberty and then forced to consummate the marriage with her often much older husband. Husbands could divorce their wives at any time simply by telling the wife to leave; wives did not have a similar ability to divorce their husbands. Early Church Fathers advocated against polygamy, abortion, infanticide, child abuse, homosexuality, transvestism, and incest.

For example, Church teaching heavily influenced the legal concept of marriage. According to historian Shulamith Shahar , "[s]ome historians hold that the Church played a considerable part in fostering the inferior status of women in medieval society in general" by providing a "moral justification" for male superiority and by accepting practices such as wife-beating. Although these teachings emboldened secular authorities to give women fewer rights than men, they also helped form the concept of chivalry.

The Church initially accepted slavery as part of the Greco-Roman social fabric of society, campaigning primarily for humane treatment of slaves but also admonishing slaves to behave appropriately towards their masters. Early Christians purchased slaves in the markets simply to set them free.

Later, in the seventh century, the Franks In the 's, Thomas Aquinas declared slavery a sin. When the African slave trade began in the 's, it was condemned numerous times by the papacy. During the early medieval period, Christians tolerated enslavement of non-Christians. By the end of the Medieval period, enslavement of Christians had been mitigated somewhat with the spread of serfdom within Europe, though outright slavery existed in European colonies in other parts of the world.

Several popes issued papal bulls condemning mistreatment of enslaved Native Americans; these were largely ignored. In his bull In supremo apostolatus , Pope Gregory XVI condemned all forms of slavery; nevertheless some American bishops continued to support slavery for several decades. Gregory continued to discuss the involvement of Christians for and against slavery through the ages: [].

It was women, primarily Amerindian Christian converts who became the primary supporters of the Latin American Church. This began within 20 years of the discovery of the New World by Europeans in — in December , Antonio de Montesinos , a Dominican friar, openly rebuked the Spanish rulers of Hispaniola for their "cruelty and tyranny" in dealing with the American natives.

The issue resulted in a crisis of conscience in 16th-century Spain. Slavery and human sacrifice were both part of Latin American culture before the Europeans arrived.

Indian slavery was first abolished by Pope Paul III in the bull Sublimis Deus which confirmed that "their souls were as immortal as those of Europeans" and they should neither be robbed nor turned into slaves. European colonies were mainly run by military and royally-appointed administrators, who seldom stopped to consider church teachings when forming policy or enforcing their rule. Even after independence , institutionalized prejudice and injustice toward indigenous people continued well into the twentieth century.

This has led to the formation of a number of movements to reassert indigenous peoples' civil rights and culture in modern nation-states. A catastrophe was wrought upon the Amerindians by contact with Europeans. Old World diseases like smallpox, measles, malaria and many others spread through Indian populations. Explorers and colonists did not enter an empty land but rather an emptied one". Slavery and the slave trade were part of African societies and states which supplied the Arab world with slaves before the arrival of the Europeans.

By the close of the 19th century, European powers had managed to gain control of most of the African interior. The influence of the Church on Western letters and learning has been formidable. The ancient texts of the Bible have deeply influenced Western art, literature and culture. For centuries following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, small monastic communities were practically the only outposts of literacy in Western Europe. In time, the Cathedral schools developed into Europe's earliest universities and the church has established thousands of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions throughout the world in the centuries since.

The Church and clergymen have also sought at different times to censor texts and scholars. Thus different schools of opinion exist as to the role and influence of the Church in relation to western letters and learning. One view, first propounded by Enlightenment philosophers , asserts that the Church's doctrines are entirely superstitious and have hindered the progress of civilization. Communist states have made similar arguments in their education in order to inculcate a negative view of Catholicism and religion in general in their citizens. The most famous incidents cited by such critics are the Church's condemnations of the teachings of Copernicus , Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler.

In opposition to this view, some historians of science, including non-Catholics such as J. Heilbron , [] A. Crombie , David Lindberg , [] Edward Grant , historian of science Thomas Goldstein, [] and Ted Davis, have argued that the Church had a significant, positive influence on the development of Western civilization. They hold that, not only did monks save and cultivate the remnants of ancient civilization during the barbarian invasions, but that the Church promoted learning and science through its sponsorship of many universities which, under its leadership, grew rapidly in Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Thomas Aquinas , the Church's "model theologian," argued that reason is in harmony with faith, and that reason can contribute to a deeper understanding of revelation, and so encouraged intellectual development. Even more numerous are Catholic laity involved in science: Henri Becquerel who discovered radioactivity ; Galvani , Volta , Ampere , Marconi , pioneers in electricity and telecommunications ; Lavoisier , "father of modern chemistry "; Vesalius , founder of modern human anatomy ; and Cauchy , one of the mathematicians who laid the rigorous foundations of calculus. Many well-known historical figures who influenced Western science considered themselves Christian such as Copernicus , [] Galileo , [] Kepler , [] Newton [] and Boyle.

According to Years of Nobel Prize , a review of Nobel prizes awarded between and , Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the 1st century AD, and from the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and his early followers. Jesus learned the texts of the Hebrew Bible and became an influential wandering preacher. Accounts of his life and teachings appear in the New Testament of the Bible, one of the bedrock texts of Western Civilisation. Many translations of the Bible exist, including the King James Bible , which is one of the most admired texts in English literature.


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The poetic Psalms and other passages of the Hebrew Bible have also been deeply influential in Western Literature and thought. Accounts of the actions of Jesus' early followers are contained within the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles written between the early Christian communities — in particular the Pauline epistles which are among the earliest extant Christian documents and foundational texts of Christian theology. After the death of Jesus, the new sect grew to be the dominant religion of the Roman Empire and the long tradition of Christian scholarship began.

His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity and he developed the concept of the Church as a spiritual City of God in a book of the same name , distinct from the material Earthly City. Augustine profoundly influenced the coming medieval worldview. The writings of Classical antiquity never ceased to be cultivated in Byzantium.

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Therefore, Byzantine science was in every period closely connected with ancient philosophy , and metaphysics. Though scholarship lagged during the dark years following the Arab conquests, during the so-called Byzantine Renaissance at the end of the first millennium Byzantine scholars re-asserted themselves becoming experts in the scientific developments of the Arabs and Persians, particularly in astronomy and mathematics. Greek fire. Although at various times the Byzantines made magnificent achievements in the application of the sciences notably in the construction of the Hagia Sophia , and although they preserved much of the ancient knowledge of science and geometry, after the 6th century Byzantine scholars made few novel contributions to science in terms of developing new theories or extending the ideas of classical authors.

In the final century of the Empire, Byzantine grammarians were those principally responsible for carrying, in person and in writing, ancient Greek grammatical and literary studies to early Renaissance Italy. In the field of law, Justinian I 's reforms had a clear effect on the evolution of jurisprudence , and Leo III's Ecloga influenced the formation of legal institutions in the Slavic world. During the period of European history often called the Dark Ages which followed the collapse of the Western Roman Empire , Church scholars and missionaries played a vital role in preserving knowledge of Classical Learning.

While the Roman Empire and Christian religion survived in an increasingly Hellenised form in the Byzantine Empire centred at Constantinople in the East, Western civilisation suffered a collapse of literacy and organisation following the fall of Rome in AD. Monks sought refuge at the far fringes of the known world: like Cornwall, Ireland, or the Hebrides. Disciplined Christian scholarship carried on in isolated outposts like Skellig Michael in Ireland, where literate monks became some of the last preservers in Western Europe of the poetic and philosophical works of Western antiquity.

These scribes then served as conduits through which the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian cultures were transmitted to the tribes of Europe, newly settled amid the rubble and ruined vineyards of the civilization they had overwhelmed. Without this Service of the Scribes, everything that happened subsequently would be unthinkable. Without the Mission of the Irish Monks , who single-handedly re-founded European civilization throughout the continent in the bays and valleys of their exile, the world that came after them would have been an entirely different one-a world without books.

And our own world would never have come to be. According to art historian Kenneth Clark , for some five centuries after the fall of Rome, virtually all men of intellect joined the Church and practically nobody in western Europe outside of monastic settlements had the ability to read or write. While church scholars at different times also destroyed classical texts they felt were contrary to the Christian message, it was they, virtually alone in Western Europe, who preserved texts from the old society. As Western Europe became more orderly again, the Church remained a driving force in education, setting up Cathedral schools beginning in the Early Middle Ages as centers of education, which became medieval universities , the springboard of many of Western Europe's later achievements.

The promulgation of the Index marked the " turning-point in the freedom of enquiry " in the Catholic world. The last edition of the Index appeared in and publication of the list ceased The avowed aim of the list was to protect the faith and morals of the faithful by preventing the reading of immoral books or works containing theological errors.

Books thought to contain such errors included some scientific works by leading astronomers such as Johannes Kepler 's Epitome astronomiae Copernicianae , which was on the Index from to The various editions of the Index also contained the rules of the Church relating to the reading, selling and pre-emptive censorship of books.

Canon law still recommends that works concerning sacred Scripture, theology, canon law, church history, and any writings which specially concern religion or good morals, be submitted to the judgement of the local Ordinary. Some of the scientific works that were on early editions of the Index e. Giordano Bruno , whose works were on the Index, now has a monument in Rome, erected over the Church's objections at the place where he was burned alive at the stake for heresy.

According to the Merton Thesis there was a positive correlation between the rise of puritanism and protestant pietism on the one hand and early experimental science on the other. Merton focused on English Puritanism and German Pietism as having been responsible for the development of the scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Merton explained that the connection between religious affiliation and interest in science was the result of a significant synergy between the ascetic Protestant values and those of modern science. Historically, the Catholic Church has been a major a sponsor of astronomy, not least due to the astronomical basis of the calendar by which holy days and Easter are determined. Nevertheless, the most famous case of a scientist being tried for heresy arose in this field of science: the trial of Galileo.

The Church's interest in astronomy began with purely practical concerns, when in the 16th century Pope Gregory XIII required astronomers to correct for the fact that the Julian calendar had fallen out of sync with the sky. Since the Spring equinox was tied to the celebration of Easter, the Church considered that this steady movement in the date of the equinox was undesirable. The resulting Gregorian calendar is the internationally accepted civil calendar used throughout the world today and is an important contribution of the Catholic Church to Western Civilisation. The famous astronomers Nicholas Copernicus , who put the sun at the centre of the heavens in , and Galileo Galilei , who experimented with the new technology of the telescope and, with its aid declared his belief that Copernicus was correct — were both practising Catholics — indeed Copernicus was a catholic clergyman.

Yet the church establishment at that time held to theories devised in pre-Christian Greece by Ptolemy and Aristotle , which said that the sky revolved around the earth. When Galileo began to assert that the earth in fact revolved around the sun, he therefore found himself challenging the Church establishment at a time where the Church hierarchy also held temporal power and was engaged in the ongoing political challenge of the rise of Protestantism. After discussions with Pope Urban VIII a man who had written admiringly of Galileo before taking papal office , Galileo believed he could avoid censure by presenting his arguments in dialogue form — but the Pope took offence when he discovered that some of his own words were being spoken by a character in the book who was a simpleton and Galileo was called for a trial before the Inquisition.

In this most famous example cited by critics of the Catholic Church's "posture towards science", Galileo Galilei was denounced in for his work on the heliocentric model of the solar system, previously proposed by the Polish clergyman and intellectual Nicolaus Copernicus. Copernicus's work had been suppressed de facto by the Church, but Catholic authorities were generally tolerant of discussion of the hypothesis as long as it was portrayed only as a useful mathematical fiction, and not descriptive of reality.

Galileo, by contrast, argued from his unprecedented observations of the solar system that the heliocentric system was not merely an abstract model for calculating planetary motions, but actually corresponded to physical reality — that is, he insisted the planets really do orbit the Sun. After years of telescopic observation, consultations with the Popes, and verbal and written discussions with astronomers and clerics, a trial was convened by the Tribunal of the Roman and Universal Inquisition. Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy" not "guilty of heresy," as is frequently misreported , placed under house arrest , and all of his works, including any future writings, were banned.

According to Polish-British historian of science Jacob Bronowski : []. Pope John Paul II , on 31 October , publicly expressed regret for the actions of those Catholics who badly treated Galileo in that trial. Since the publication of Charles Darwin 's On the Origin of Species in , the position of the Catholic Church on the theory of evolution has slowly been refined. For about years, there was no authoritative pronouncement on the subject, though many hostile comments were made by local church figures.

In contrast with many Protestant objections, Catholic issues with evolutionary theory have had little to do with maintaining the literalism of the account in the Book of Genesis , and have always been concerned with the question of how man came to have a soul. Modern Creationism has had little Catholic support. In the s, the Church's position was one of neutrality; by the late 20th century its position evolved to one of general acceptance in recent years.

However, the church insists that the human soul was immediately infused by God, and the reality of a single ancestor commonly called monogenism for the human race. Today [update] , the Church's official position is a fairly non-specific example of theistic evolution , [] [] stating that faith and scientific findings regarding human evolution are not in conflict, though humans are regarded as a special creation , and that the existence of God is required to explain both monogenism and the spiritual component of human origins.

No infallible declarations by the Pope or an Ecumenical Council have been made. The Catholic Church's official position is fairly non-specific, stating only that faith and the origin of man's material body "from pre-existing living matter" are not in conflict, and that the existence of God is required to explain the spiritual component of man's origin. Many fundamentalist Christians , however, retain the belief that the Biblical account of the creation of the world as opposed to evolution is literal.

Recently, the Church has been criticized for its teaching that embryonic stem cell research is a form of experimentation on human beings , and results in the killing of a human person. Much criticism of this position has been on the grounds that the doctrine hinders scientific research; even some conservatives, taking a utilitarian position, have pointed out that most embryos from which stem cells are harvested are "leftover" from in vitro fertilization , and would soon be discarded whether used for such research or not. The Church, by contrast, has consistently upheld its ideal of the dignity of each individual human life, and argues that it is as wrong to destroy an embryo as it would be to kill an adult human being; and that therefore advances in medicine can and must come without the destruction of human embryos, for example by using adult or umbilical stem cells in place of embryonic stem cells.

Many Eastern Orthodox states in Eastern Europe, as well as to some degree the Muslim states of the eastern Mediterranean , preserved many aspects of the empire's culture and art for centuries afterward. A number of states contemporary with the Byzantine Empire were culturally influenced by it, without actually being part of it the " Byzantine commonwealth ".

These included Bulgaria , Serbia , and the Rus , as well as some non-Orthodox states like the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Sicily , which had close ties to the Byzantine Empire despite being in other respects part of western European culture. Several historians credit the Catholic Church for what they consider to be the brilliance and magnificence of Western art.

Important contributions include its cultivation and patronage of individual artists, as well as development of the Romanesque , Gothic and Renaissance styles of art and architecture. Tolkien [] and William Shakespeare , [] and of course, the patronage of the Renaissance popes for the great works of Catholic artists such as Michelangelo , Raphael , Bernini , Borromini and Leonardo da Vinci.

British art historian Kenneth Clark wrote that Western Europe's first "great age of civilisation" was ready to begin around the year From , he wrote, monumental abbeys and cathedrals were constructed and decorated with sculptures, hangings, mosaics and works belonging one of the greatest epochs of art and providing stark contrast to the monotonous and cramped conditions of ordinary living during the period.

Did the Catholic Church change the Ten Commandments?

Abbot Suger of the Abbey of St. Denis is considered an influential early patron of Gothic architecture and believed that love of beauty brought people closer to God: "The dull mind rises to truth through that which is material". Clarke calls this "the intellectual background of all the sublime works of art of the next century and in fact has remained the basis of our belief of the value of art until today".

Referring to a "great outburst of creative energy such as took place in Rome between and ", Kenneth Clarke wrote: [74]. Guercino spent much of his mornings in prayer; Bernini frequently went into retreats and practised the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius ; Rubens attended Mass every morning before beginning work. The exception was Caravaggio , who was like the hero of a modern play, except that he happened to paint very well.

This conformism was not based on fear of the Inquisition, but on the perfectly simple belief that the faith which had inspired the great saints of the preceding generation was something by which a man should regulate his life. In music, Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern Western musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church, [] and an enormous body of religious music has been composed for it through the ages.

This led directly to the emergence and development of European classical music, and its many derivatives. The Baroque style, which encompassed music, art, and architecture, was particularly encouraged by the post-Reformation Catholic Church as such forms offered a means of religious expression that was stirring and emotional, intended to stimulate religious fervor.

Similarly, the list of Catholic authors and literary works is vast. With a literary tradition spanning two millennia, the Bible and Papal Encyclicals have been constants of the Catholic canon but countless other historical works may be listed as noteworthy in terms of their influence on Western society. From late Antiquity, St Augustine 's book Confessions , which outlines his sinful youth and conversion to Christianity, is widely considered to be the first autobiography ever written in the canon of Western Literature.

It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology in the West. The epic poetry of the Italian Dante and his Divine Comedy of the late Middle Ages is also considered immensely influential. The English statesman and philosopher, Thomas More , wrote the seminal work Utopia in St Ignatius Loyola , a key figure in the Catholic counter-reformation, is the author of an influential book of meditations known as the Spiritual Exercises.

In Catholicism , " Doctor of the Church " is a name is given to a saint from whose writings the whole Church is held to have derived great advantage and to whom "eminent learning" and "great sanctity" have been attributed by a proclamation of a pope or of an ecumenical council. This honour is given rarely, and only after canonization. The arts have been strongly inspired by Protestant beliefs. Francisco de Vitoria , a disciple of Thomas Aquinas and a Catholic thinker who studied the issue regarding the human rights of colonized natives, is recognized by the United Nations as a father of international law, and now also by historians of economics and democracy as a leading light for the West's democracy and rapid economic development.

Joseph Schumpeter , an economist of the twentieth century, referring to the Scholastics , wrote, "it is they who come nearer than does any other group to having been the 'founders' of scientific economics. Historian Paul Legutko of Stanford University said the Catholic Church is "at the center of the development of the values, ideas, science, laws, and institutions which constitute what we call Western civilization.

The Protestant concept of God and man allows believers to use all their God-given faculties, including the power of reason. That means that they are allowed to explore God's creation and, according to Genesis , make use of it in a responsible and sustainable way. Thus a cultural climate was created that greatly enhanced the development of the humanities and the sciences.

A case against the ‘Christian’ adjective

Industry, frugality, calling, discipline, and a strong sense of responsibility are at the heart of their moral code. Therefore, craftsmen, industrialists, and other businessmen were able to reinvest the greater part of their profits in the most efficient machinery and the most modern production methods that were based on progress in the sciences and technology.

As a result, productivity grew, which led to increased profits and enabled employers to pay higher wages. In this way, the economy, the sciences, and technology reinforced each other. The chance to participate in the economic success of technological inventions was a strong incentive to both inventors and investors. This idea is also known as the "Protestant ethic thesis. Episcopalians and Presbyterians tend to be considerably wealthier [] and better educated having more graduate and post-graduate degrees per capita than most other religious groups in America , [] and are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business, [] law and politics, especially the Republican Party.

The Catholic Church has contributed to society through its social doctrine which has guided leaders to promote social justice and providing care to the sick and poor. In orations such as his Sermon on the Mount and stories such as The Good Samaritan , Jesus called on followers to worship God, act without violence or prejudice and care for the sick, hungry and poor.

Such teachings are the foundation of Catholic Church involvement in social justice , hospitals and health care. Historians record that, prior to Christianity, the ancient world left little trace of any organized charitable effort. Basil was personally involved and invested in the projects and process giving all of his personal wealth to fund the ministries. Basil himself would put on an apron and work in the soup kitchen. These ministries were given freely regardless of religious affiliation. Charity has now become a universal practice.

The Catholic Church established a hospital system in Medieval Europe that was different from the merely reciprocal hospitality of the Greeks and family-based obligations of the Romans. These hospitals were established to cater to "particular social groups marginalized by poverty, sickness, and age," according to historian of hospitals, Guenter Risse.

The Fugger Family from Augsburg, Germany who were bankers, years ago founded one of the first social housing projects in the world, which exists till today. The Industrial Revolution brought many concerns about the deteriorating working and living conditions of urban workers.

Women Have Direct Access to God’s Power

Influenced by the German Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel Freiherr von Ketteler , in Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Rerum novarum , which set in context Catholic social teaching in terms that rejected socialism but advocated the regulation of working conditions. Rerum Novarum argued for the establishment of a living wage and the right of workers to form trade unions. Unlike Leo, who addressed mainly the condition of workers, Pius XI concentrated on the ethical implications of the social and economic order.

He called for the reconstruction of the social order based on the principle of solidarity and subsidiarity. The social teachings of Pope Pius XII repeat these teachings, and apply them in greater detail not only to workers and owners of capital, but also to other professions such as politicians, educators, house-wives, farmers bookkeepers , international organizations , and all aspects of life including the military.

Going beyond Pius XI, he also defined social teachings in the areas of medicine, psychology , sport, TV, science, law and education. Pius XII was called "the Pope of Technology for his willingness and ability to examine the social implications of technological advances. The dominant concern was the continued rights and dignity of the individual.

With the beginning of the space age at the end of his pontificate, Pius XII explored the social implications of space exploration and satellites on the social fabric of humanity asking for a new sense of community and solidarity in light of existing papal teachings on subsidiarity. The Methodist Church , among other Christian denominations, was responsible for the establishment of hospitals, universities, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Jesus's command to spread the Good News and serve all people.

In the West, these institutions are increasingly run by lay-people after centuries of being run by priests, nuns and brothers, In , Catholic hospitals in the USA received approximately one of every six patients, according to the Catholic Health Association. By , they presided over 8 of hospitals. As with schooling, women have played a vital role in running and staffing Christian care institutions — in Methodist hospitals, deaconesses who trained as nurses staffed the hospitals, [] and in Catholic hospitals, through religious institutes like the Sisters of Mercy , Little Sisters of the Poor and Sisters of St.

Mary — and teaching and nursing have been seen as "women's vocations". Seeking to define the role played by religious in hospitals through American history, the New York Times noted that nuns were trained to "see Jesus in the face of every patient" and that: []. Missionary activity for the Catholic Church has always incorporated education of evangelized peoples as part of its social ministry. History shows that in evangelized lands, the first people to operate schools were Roman Catholics.

In some countries, the Church is the main provider of education or significantly supplements government forms of education. Presently, the Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system. A Pew Center study about religion and education around the world in , found that Christians ranked as the second most educated religious group around in the world after Jews with an average of 9.

The Catholic Church founded the West's first universities, which were preceded by the schools attached to monasteries and cathedrals, and generally staffed by monks and friars. In , Saint Benedict wrote his monastic Rule , which became a blueprint for the organization of monasteries throughout Europe. As well as providing a focus for spiritual life, they functioned as agricultural, economic and production centers, particularly in remote regions, becoming major conduits of civilization.

The Cluniac reform of monasteries that had begun in sparked widespread monastic growth and renewal. Monasteries, convents and cathedrals still operated virtually all schools and libraries. Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Universities began springing up in Italian towns like Salerno , which became a leading medical school, translating the work of Greek and Arabic physicians into Latin.

Bologna University became the most influential of the early universities, which first specialised in canon law and civil law. Paris University , specialising in such topics as theology, came to rival Bologna under the supervision of Notre Dame Cathedral. According to the historian Geoffrey Blainey , the universities benefited from the use of Latin, the common language of the Church, and its internationalist reach, and their role was to "teach, argue and reason within a Christian framework".

The university reached central Europe by the 14th century, with the foundation of institutions like Prague University and Cracow University. According to the historian Geoffrey Blainey , the university became a hallmark of Christian Civilisation, though, he writes, "in the most recent century perhaps no institution has done more to promote an alternative or secular view of the world".

Education in Latin American began under the direction of missionaries who were sponsored by the Spanish crown. Royal policy stipulated that the Amerindians had to accept missionaries but they did not have to convert. Indians who agreed to listen to the missionaries were not subjected to work for encomenderos some of whom were notorious for brutal conditions. A number of Catholic universities, schools and colleges have been formed in the United States. The religious tolerance established by the American Revolution enabled the Catholic clergy of Maryland to found Georgetown University , America's oldest Catholic university, in and it became a Jesuit institution in From 19th century foundations, the Catholic education system in Australia has grown to be the second biggest sector after government schools with around 21 per cent of all secondary school enrolments.

St Mary MacKillop was a 19th-century Australian nun who founded an educational religious institute, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart , and in became the first Australian to be canonised as a saint. With a high number of adult baptisms, the Church is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else. In India, over 25, schools and colleges are operated by the Church.

As the Reformers wanted all members of the church to be able to read the Bible, education on all levels got a strong boost. Compulsory education for both boys and girls was introduced. For example, the Puritans who established Massachusetts Bay Colony in founded Harvard College only eight years later. Seven of the first nine of what are called colonial colleges were founded by Christians including Columbia University , Brown University , Rutgers University and Yale University ; a nineteenth century book on "Colleges in America" says, "Eighty three percent of the colleges in [the U.

A large number of mainline Protestants have played leadership roles in many aspects of American life, including politics, business, science, the arts, and education. They founded most of the country's leading institutes of higher education. Protestantism also initiated translations of the Bible into national languages and thereby supported the development of national literatures.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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