Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rosa Rubicondior - All In The Name Of Jesus

At first, I thought Rubicondior's blog post would be about Jesus and the actions of His followers; however, she instead goes on a tangent writing about demons and people's interpretation of them in light of the understanding of the time. 

She cites St. Augustine, Michael Psellus, Richalmus, Richard Baxter, Athanasius and others in an attempt to appeal to authority. She grossly misinterprets their words and again shows that she is ignorant on the subject matter.

Futhermore, Rosa attempts to equate pagan ideas of demons with that of Christianity.  She goes on writing on incubi and succubi as if Christianity interprets demons in the manner the aforementioned are described.  

What is disturbing is not only Rosa's misunderstanding, but that she has plagiarized the information here:  It seems that Rosa splices up articles she finds on Google and makes minor adjustments before presenting it as her work.  This is academic fraud and dishonesty!

Rosa then makes the same mistake others do in claiming that the Papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus somehow instigated the ideas she writes about.

The Catholic encyclopedia counters her claims:  

"It will be readily understood from the foregoing that the importance attached by many older writers to the Bull, "Summis desiderantes affectibus", of Pope Innocent VIII (1484), as though this papaldocument were responsible for the witch mania of the two succeeding centuries, is altogether illusory. Not only had an active campaign against most forms of sorcery already been going on for a long period, but in the matter of procedure, of punishments, of judges, etc., Innocent's Bull enacted nothing new. Its direct purport was simply to ratify the powers already conferred upon Henry Institorisand James Sprenger, inquisitors, to deal with persons of every class and with every form of crime (for example, with witchcraft as well as heresy), and it called upon the Bishop of Strasburg to lend theinquisitors all possible support.
Indirectly, however, by specifying the evil practices charged against the witches — for example their intercourse with incubi and succubi, their interference with the parturition of women and animals, the damage they did to cattle and the fruits of the earth, their power and malice in the infliction of pain and disease, the hindrance caused to men in their conjugal relations, and the witches' repudiation of the faith of their baptism — the pope must no doubt be considered to affirm the reality of these alleged phenomena. But, as even Hansen points out (Zauberwahn, 468, n. 3) "it is perfectly obvious that the Bull pronounces no dogmatic decision"; neither does the form suggest that the pope wishes to bind anyone to believe more about the reality of witchcraft than is involved in the utterances ofHoly Scripture. Probably the most disastrous episode was the publication a year or two later, by the same inquisitors, of the book "Malleus Maleficarum" (the hammer of witches).
 This work is divided into three parts, the first two of which deal with the reality of witchcraft as established by the Bible, etc., as well as its nature and horrors and the manner of dealing with it, while the third lays down practical rules for procedure whether the trial be conducted in an ecclesiastical or a secular court. There can be no doubt that the book, owing to its reproduction by the printing press, exercised great influence. It contained, indeed, nothing that was new. The "Formicaris" of John Nider, which had been written nearly fifty years earlier, exhibits just as intimate a knowledge of the supposed phenomena of sorcery. But the "Malleus" professed (in part fraudulently) to have been approved by the University of Cologne, and it was sensational in the stigma it attached to witchcraft as a worse crime than heresy and in its notable animus against the female sex. The subject at once began to attract attention even in the world of letters. Ulrich Molitoris a year or two later published a work, "De Lamiis", which, though disagreeing with the more extravagant of the representations made in the "Malleus", did not question the existence of witches. Other divines and popular preachers joined in the discussion, and, though many voices were raised on the side of common sense, the publicity thus given to these matters inflamed the popular imagination. Certainly the immediate effects of Innocent VIII's Bull have been greatly exaggerated.
Institoris started a witch campaign at Innsbruck in 1485, but here his procedure was severely criticised and resisted by the Bishop of Brixen (see Janssen, "Hist. of Germ. People", Eng. tr., XVI, 249-251). So far as the papal inquisitors were concerned, the Bull, especially in Germany, heralded the close rather than the commencement of their activity. The witch-trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were for the most part in secular hands."


Rubicondior is obviously confused on what a demon really is.  Her copying and pasting of random views on the matter adds to her confusion.

The Cathecism of the Catholic Church has this to say on the matter:

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil".267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."268
392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocablyrejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".271
393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."272
394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."275
Source: Cathecism of the Catholic Church,

The sources Rosa cites from must be taken into context.  The people at the time thought differently than we today.  Similarly, the words used back then do not have the same meanings as they do today.

As Catholicism was spreading throughout Europe it faced Paganism with its superstitions and ideas regarding witches and spirits.  The Church had to find a way to challenge these ideas.  The language in Church documents and documents of writers reflects the understanding and the attempts to communicate the Gospel to a particular people - most who were illiterate.

Not everything a saint wrote is part of doctrine.  This is what Rosa seems to imply indirectly by appealing to them.  Some wrote strange things - things incompatible with doctrine.  Aquinas was against the idea that Mary was Immaculately Conceived.  Even the Pope's writings are not dogma.  A book, essay, or even a homily is not official teaching just because it comes from a Pontiff.  The Pope can write, "There are aliens on Jupiter," this is not doctrine just because he wrote it.  Rosa and others must understand this.

Unfortunately, some Christians took their view of justice into their own hands and executed those suspected of witchcraft and other anti-Christian spirituality.  This is not the fault of the Church.  The Catholic Church never endorsed these acts.  These were committed by overzealous Christians who in the spirit of a pre-version of Jansenism took it upon themselves to punish in the name of God.  

Demons do exist.  The Catholic Church has been conducting exorcisms since its infancy.  In recent years, the number of these cases have increased.  However, this does not mean that the Church jumps to conclusions at every report of supposed demonic possession.  The Church heavily relies on Science to weed out mental illness or natural explanations prior to stepping in.



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