January 2005 - QA

Q & A January 2005

Question 57 - Eve, Submission and Authority

Question 56 - Book on Learning Logic

Question 55 - Mary Magdalen

Question 54 - Time in Genesis 1, Day 1 and 2

Question 53 - Validity of SSPX Confession

Question 52 - In regards to Q & A question #11 "kneeling to receive Our Lord"

Question 51 - Likoudis and Vatican II as a Doctrinal Council

Question 50 - Geocentrism Challenge Part II

Question 49 - Flat Earth

Question 48 - Geocentrism Challenge

Question 47 - Answer to Alec on Geocentrism

Question 46 - James White and Romans 4:8

Question 45 - Question Regarding the Validity of I John 5:7

Question 44 - The Coriolis Effect

Question 43 - Soul Sleep II

Question 42 - Satan Bound & Soul Sleep

Question 41 - Thou shalt not tempt thy Catholic apologist...

Question 40 - Commercial Recreation on Sunday

Question 39 - How do we know the Millennium of Apoc. 20 begins at the Cross?

Question 38 - CAI apologetics

Question 37 - Can we judge Vatican II in an a posteriori way?

Question 36 - Consecration of Russia

Question 35 - Question about Time in Eternity

Question 34 - ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR

Question 33 - Logically, the Pope did consecrate Russia

Question 32 - Fr. Feeney and No Salvation Outside the Church

Question 31 - What about Charismatics?

Question 30 - JPII's Teachings

Question 29 - Does Father Gruner really harm Our Lady of Fatima?

Question 28 - Cohabitation, Part II

Question 27 - "Missing link" fossils

Question 26 - Earth and star rotation

Question 25 - The nature of the Church

Question 24 - Question on Jesus' divinity

Question 23 - Bishop John Micheal Botean and the Iraq War

Question 22 - Does the Catholic Church Hold to the "Dictation" of Scripture?

Question 21 - Logical problems with God? Atheistic arguments...

Question 20 - Textual Criticism, the Vulgate and Modern Scholarship

Question 19 - Question on Jesus' divinity

Question 18 - Interracial dating

Question 17 - Is there an Orthodox church?

Question 16 - What do you think of Opus Dei and Feeneyism?

Question 15 - Evangelization amidst Liberalism

Question 14 - Martin Luther, the Movie

Question 13 - Cohabitation

Question 12 - Validity of confession from the SSPX

Question 11 - Kneeling to receive our Eucharistic Lord

Question 10 - Malachi and the Eucharist

Question 9 - Douay Bible

Question 8 - Consecration of Russia

Question 7 - What Comparisons are there between Athanasius and Lefebvre?

Question 6 - Mary as spouse of the Holy Ghost, Part II

Question 5 - Mary as spouse of the Holy Ghost

Question 4 - The hidden face of God

Question 3 - Response to Dave Armstrong on Catholic Apologetics

Question 2 - Fr. Paul Trinchard

Question 1 - What about Genesis chapter 4? Part II

Question 57 - Eve, Submission and Authority

If Eve hadnt sinned would (if the fall hadnt taken place) would women not be required to submit to men, ie is the fall the cause for St.Paul and St.Peter saying that women should submit and obey their husbands?
What does it mean practically for women to submit to their husbands in a nutshell? _

R. Sungenis: If Eve hadn't sinned, she would still be under the authority of Adam. This is precisely St. Paul's argument in 1 Timothy 2:13 when he says that woman are to be under the authority of men because "Adam was formed first." In other words, the priority in the creation order established who among human kind would be the authority.

St. Paul more or less gives the same argumentation in 1 Cor 11:7-10:

7 The man indeed ought not to cover his head: because he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 For the man was not created for the woman: but the woman for the man. 10 Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.

After Eve sinned, the punishment stipulated in Genesis 3:16 is that she would "desire" her husband but he would rule over her. This is unique Hebrew phrasing that only appears again in Genesis 4:7 in regards to sin crouching at the door and having its "desire" for Cain, but Cain must rule over it.

Correlating the two passages (Gen. 3:16 and 4:7) the meaning of Genesis 3:16 is that, in Eve's punishment of concupiscence, she would desire to have authority over Adam, but Adam will continue to rule over her. It is the "desire" to rule over him, then, that she must continully suppress.

"Submission" is the act of placing oneself under the authority of someone else in all things lawful. As the head, the husband has the right to make the ultimate decisions for the family, and in turn, he is responsible to God for those decisions, and will be judged accordingly.

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Question 56 - Book on Learning Logic

Robert: thanks for the background on TR and on textual criticism. I'll pursue the work of Harry Sturz and see where that leads.

BTW: I ordered your Not By Scripture Alone several days ago. I'm very interested in Sola Scriptura because it was the issue which coaxed my rite of passage from Methodism to Catholicism three years ago.

May I ask you a follow-up question? In many of the apologetics
arguments I read on the internet, I sense there are varying distances in the length of leaps of logic in some of the arguments and conclusions being made. Instinctively, I trust the smaller leaps.

Is there a guide to reasoning, written in the context of theology or, more specifically, of biblical analysis? I regret that I've come into my faith and into my intellectual pursuit later in life, with a very rusty intellect.

I would like to know when arguments have stretched their
premise-conclusion chain too far--and I'm guessing that somewhere in classical education there are rules or guidelines for evaluating reasoning.

Can you suggest a primer that would help the layman develop his reasoning skills?

I appreciate your time, especially at this busy time of year.

Steven G

R. Sungenis: Steven, I would suggest that you start with a book on logic. A good book on the subject is "The Elements of Logic" by Stephen Barker. Concise and informative. Let me know how you make out with it. God be with you.

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Question 55 - Mary Magdalen

Robert,
I'm so angry right now I can hardly see straight, and I didn't want to feel this way during Advent. First, while flipping through TV tonight, I watched a brief piece on a supposedly "conservative" newschannel that featured an Episcopalian editor of Time magazine citing Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger as suppport for his claim that the Bible is not to be interpreted as historically true, especially when dealing with "mythological" accounts such as the the parting of the Red Sea, the Virgin Birth and Nativity, etc. What's even worse is that there doesn't seem to be a traditionally-minded Catholic that is ever present in the media that is able to defend the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church. It makes me feel so frustrated to see Holy Mother Church defenseless in the public square where she is stripped and whipped, especially when Her stewards provide the weapons!

The second piece I watched on another news channel is the reason I write. This piece of trash used the DaVinci Code lies and blasphemies to completely discredit the Gospels and the Virgin Birth and Nativity. Can you provide any information about Mary Magdalen that supports the belief that she was a sinful woman who became a devout follower of Jesus? I know that the current popular theories are false, but I'd like to be able to provide people with evidence that supports the traditional view. By the way, with a movie based on the DaVinci Code slated to be released in the near future, do you have any plans to address the venom it plans to spew? God bless you and your work--you are a beacon of light in the darkness.
Andrew

R. Sungenis: Andrew, I know how you feel. It is getting worse each day. Hang in there. I hope we can be of help to you, now and in the future.

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Question 54 - Time in Genesis 1, Day 1 and 2

Robert, In a previous answer to me on 1/22/04, I had asked you why the Ozernoy article ("Global Rotation of the Universe") had a much slower rotational velocity than could be accounted for with a 24 hour global rotation of the cosmos. You stated: "Ozernoy was giving the formula for the mechanical equilibrium of rotating bodies, which is the equilibrium between their rotational and gravitational energy. He did not believe in a 'firmament' as we do (Genesis 1:6-9), and thus his formula does not take into account any substance in the universe besides its galaxies. Since we believe that the firmament consists of the smallest particles known (Planck particles), only then would we apply Ozernoy's formula. As it stands, a universe of Planck particles with the universe placed in it would rotate with a velocity of 3.6 x 10^ -5 radians/second (coinciding with rotation in 24 hours), which also means that the firmament of Planck particles is rotating at 3.6 x 10^ -5. Even with modern estimates of the size of the universe, the maximum rotational velocity would be 7.2 x 10^ -5 radians/second, so the 3.6 x 10^ -5 is well within the ballpark." I think you have made a very good point here. Here is a question for you. Could the universe have rotated around the earth at an extremely slow rate for the entire period between Genesis 1:1 and the creation of the firmament on day 2? That is, day 1 would have been very, very long given that the universe's mass would have been essentially 0. Days 2 and 3, which included the mass of the firmament, would have been much quicker, but still slower than 24 hours as measured by some other clock. That is, the universe would have had the mass of the firmament, but not the mass of the sun, moon, stars, etc. Then on day 4 and following, the universe would rotate around the earth at its current rate. This could be why Genesis 1:14 seems to indicate that when we talk of days, seasons and years, we should do so with an understanding that one day should be measered by one complete revolution of the stars, sun and moon around the earth. Prior to the creation of these bodies, time ran at a different rate. How far out in orbit (pun intended) am I on this, Robert? Mark Stevens

R. Sungenis: Mark, interesting hypothesis, but I would discount it for the fact that the language of Genesis 1 is very precise about time. Each day has the "evening and morning" phrase attached to it, and if this is defined in Day 4 as "the times and the seasons" which we know to be 24 hours, then I don't see any way we can alter the "evening and morning" of Day 1 or 2, at least on an historico/grammatical basis. Moreover, "evening and morning" is only used 8 times in the OT, and the other references specify a day of 24 hours. Also, we must understand that time is time and it does not change. The only ones bent on changing it are the Relativists, but then they want to change mass, length and just about everything that doesn't fit into their theory. An Earth in the center of the universe, motionless in space, thoroughly destroy Relativity, and that includes the so-called relativity of time.

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Question 53 - Validity of SSPX Confession

Robert,
In your previous Q&A regarding the validity of SSPX confessions, you failed to mention the important matter of jurisdiction. For a valid confession or marriage, a priest must also have proper jurisdiction. While no one doubts the validity of SSPX masses, there is much dispute about the validity of confessions and marriages performed by SSPX priests based on jurisdiction.
Regards,
Kevin

R. Sungenis: Yes, I am aware of that issue, but unless there is an official statement from the Vatican that SSPX confession are NEVER valid, I can't very well tell someone that his confession to an SSPX priest is not valid. If the Vatican has recognized their orders, I find it hard to believe that they would dismiss their confessions. Do you have any official statement?

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Question 52 - In regards to Q & A question #11 "kneeling to receive Our Lord"

Dear Sir,

In your Q & A section, #11, you stated the following: "In my old
diocese (Arlington, VA) run by the infamous Bishop Loverde, he tried to get Christendom College to stop the students from kneeling at communion. Although the president complied, after a while, he wrote to Rome for relief. Rome wrote a letter back to the school and Bishop Loverde stating that Loverde had no right to prohibit kneeling. Do you know what Loverde did after that? He demanded that the kneelers be taken out of the Chapel at Christendom College!"

I am a student, a senior to be exact, at Christendom and I must inform your that some of your information here is fallacious. First, he not only mandated that the faithful at Christendom Masses refrain from kneeling for Holy Communion but also that the faithful in the entire diocese do so. He personally announced this at the College when, distributing Holy Communion at the Opening Mass in 2002, he told everyone they must stand. Now, there is a communion rail in Christendom's Chapel of Christ the King, and after he gave Communion to the first line of communicants at the rail he stopped and would only give Communion to those who stood in a single-file line. After the Postcommunion collect His Excellency made an announcement that soon the entire diocese would stand for Communion. Among other such nonsense he made the comment, "I'm not a liberal or anything." After the Mass, in a outdoor procession to the chapel crypt, His Excellency made a remark to the new college chaplain, Fr. Robert Ruskamp, in words very similar to his infamous comment, "You don't know what I'm capable of doing." I have first-hand knowledge of this and can attest to all this because I was serving in the sanctuary at Mass that day as the bishop's mitre bearer.

Also, while it is true that the school has officially stopped using
the communion rail, nearly 3/4 of students and faculty have continued to kneel for Holy Communion since day one. Fr. Ruskamp was fired from the College at the beginning of the '04-'05 year, and our other chaplains, Fr. James O'Kielty and Fr. Anthony Mastroeni, openly encourage kneeling for Holy Communion. Your comment that the bishop demanded that the kneelers be removed from the chapel is false. Christendom students continue to kneel and this year we have established a way that communicants may receive Our Lord kneeling at the middle of the rail so as to still keep the single-file procession
line.

In caritate Christi et Mariae,
Name Removed
Christendom College, '05

R. Sungenis: Thank you for the added information. It looks like the situation with Loverde is worse than I thought. As for the issue about him demanding the kneelers be removed, I got that information directly (verbally) from one of the founders of the college who knows the situation quite well, so I would be interested to find out what the exact truth of this matter is. Until then, keep kneeling, and send Bishop Loverde my love next time you see him.

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Question 51 - Likoudis and Vatican II as a Doctrinal Council

Hi Robert. I just read your article regarding Mr. Likoudis' interpretation of Vatican II as a "doctrinal" Council. In your next dialogue with Mr. Likoudis, you should ask him exactly what the Council doctrinally defined? If Vatican II was a doctrinal Council, as Mr. Likoudis claims, that means it defined doctrines, just like all the previous Councils did. Yet, when you read through the 16 documents of Vatican II, you discover that no doctrines were actually defined by the Council.

When Mr. Likoudis claims that the Council took "doctrinal positions…on Ecumenism, religious liberty and non-Christian religions," ask him to explain the doctrinal positions the Council took. After all, a "doctrinal position" must be based on a "doctrine." What is the doctrine of ecumenism? What is the doctrine of religious liberty?

The fact is, the Second Vatican Council never defined these terms, so it could not have taken any "doctrinal positions" with respect to them. The Council issued no such doctrinal definitions. This has led many in the Church to interpret these and other teachings of the Council in ways that are incompatible with the Tradition of the Church.

If the Council did not define the doctrines of ecumenism and religious liberty, then Traditional Catholics cannot be accused of going against the Magisterium when it challenges the Church's pastoral initiatives concerning these non-defined teachings. This means the Church's implementation of these initiatives is still subject to debate and reform.
John S

R. Sungenis: John, your logic is impeccable, as usual. God be with you.

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Question 50 - Geocentrism Challenge Part II

Hey thanks for your reply Mr. Sungenis,
I haven't actually heard of Mr Hoge, and I dont think you have answered my question completely yet. I am aware of the "Lense'Thirring" effect, the problem I have in appealing to it to explain the Chandra orbit ground trace, Foucault's pendulum, sun and moon orbits and a host of other natural phenomenon, is that its' effect is miniscule and also hard to observe. Needless to say, to account for the everything which moves according to the Heliocentric model using this "Lense-Thirring" effect is absurd. If the "Lense-Thirring" effect were so strong as to have an exact equal force on bodies in an orbiting system as the centrifugal force does, then there would be an easy, easy experiment which could demonstrate this. I don't believe you can show me an experiment that proves the "Lense-Thirring" effect would cause all the natural phenomena that is so consistent with the heliocentric model. Can you? I don't think you can even demonstrate this "Lense-Thirring" effect exists! At least not in any way that could even challenge the forces present in an orbiting system such as the heliocentric model.
Thanks very much once again for taking the time to reply,
Daniel.

R. Sungenis: Daniel, you didn't understand what I wrote. I didn't say the "Lense-Thirring effect," I said the paper Thirring wrote on how the universe in rotation causes the radial centrifugal force, the axial centrifugal force and the Coriolis force. The only one of these three that has anything to do with the so-called "Lense-Thirring effect" is the axial centrifugal force, which is quite small. The remaining radial centrifugal force and Coriolis force are major forces also accounted for by Thirring and Lense, just as they were by Newton's spinning bucket experiment.
By the way, the website you mentioned from which you were obtaining your information (catholicoutlook) is the website run by Gary Hoge.

Daniel: ps - I am curious how you explain the movement of the stars at night as well, (long exposure photo on the North star or southern cross) - I think I heard some of my friends (geocentrists also) claim there is this "shell" which holds all the stars in place?

R.Sungenis: Yes, if there is a shell, it's called a stellatum. Science can't disprove that a stellatum exists because parallax is the only empirical way to measure distance in the universe, and parallax, because it is limited in measuring distance, could be measuring a stellatum. The width of the stellatum could be as wide as 90 parsecs, which is the limit of parallax measurement.

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Question 49 - Flat Earth

Hello again Robert, I have heard on the news that the recent earth quake and tsunami changed the rotation and or wobble of the earth's rotation. Are you aware of these allegations, and can you verify the veracity of the claim? If true, what effect does it have for geocentrism? That is, if such a phenomenon is true, how can we claim that a purely local event like a tsunami would effect the apparent rotation of the universe? Such effect, "IF true" would seem to indicate that it is earth that moves rather than the universe.
Mark S

R. Sungenis: Mark, it is only in theory that someone has speculated that the earth's rotation would decrease by 3 mircroseconds, not fact. Evolutionists have been telling us that the rotation of the earth has been slowing down continually since 4 billion years ago when they say it rotated in 10 hours (Fred Hoyle, Frontiers in Astronomy, pp. 15-16). But the fact is that the rotational differential between the earth and the universe it has always been 23 hours 56 minutes, sidereal time, and it will not change. Not only because Scripture says so, but because physics says so. The universe is situated in such a way that the center of mass has a gyroscopic force exerted upon it that will not allow it to move, so says Misner, Thorne and Wheeler in their book Gravitation.

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Question 48 - Geocentrism Challenge

Dear Sir/Madam,

I'm writing in response to your challenge to "prove" the earth rotates (and revolves around the sun), with the $1,000 prize. I emailed you the other day and I was told that it would be ok for me to simply prove the earth rotates, without proving it revolves around the sun. I have a number of evidences for the alleged rotation of the earth, one of the strongest cases you can find here http://catholicoutlook.com/chandra2.php the only explanation for the peculiar ground traces is the effect of the earths rotation. I am aware that even though this is a computer generated image, many amateur astronomers around the world rely on information such as this to locate such satellites in the sky. If the system didn't work then thousands if not millions of people around the world would have to be in on the heliocentric "hoax". Meaning they would be prepared to point their telescopes at a "satellite" and be prepared to pretend to see one when in fact they don't. Another phenomena which is observable by anyone is the Foucault's pendulum, which conforms with the heliocentric theory. Why else would it move in a circle, returning to its original plane (relative to the earth) in 24 hours? We have one at my university and I have seen it working.

R. Sungenis: Daniel, neither the Chandra images nor the Foucault pendulum prove that the Earth is rotating, and Mr. Hoge who states so on CatholicOutlook should know better than to make such conclusions, since he knows the alternate answer. The fact is that a rotating universe around a fixed-Earth will create the same centrifugal and Coriolis forces that you claim to have in a rotating earth in a fixed universe. This was shown to be the case by Mach, Einstein, Thirring, Lense and many other physicists. In other words, a rotating universe would create the same mappings you see in the Chandra images as a rotating Earth. Here is a quote from physicist Max Born to corroborate what I am saying: "...Thus we may return to Ptolemy's point of view of a "motionless earth"...One has to show that the transformed metric can be regarded as produced according to Einstein's field equations, by distant rotating masses. This has been done by Thirring. He calculated a field due to a rotating, hollow, thick-walled sphere and proved that inside the cavity it behaved as though there were centrifugal and other inertial forces usually attributed to absolute space. Thus from Einstein's point of view, Ptolemy and Corpenicus are equally right." END

Daniel: However, one argument that is observable by all people, without any technology whatsoever except your eyes is also one which I have never come across on the net, in books or heard people talking about. I'm referring to the sun and the moon appearing to revolve around the earth once about every twenty-four hours. If the earth is still, then the sun and moon must revolve around the earth, using the earths gravity to keep them in their respective orbits. First of all we need to realize that as a body revolves around another body, the time taken to complete one revolution increases as the radius of orbit increases, the mass of the orbiting body does not weigh into the equation, but the mass of the orbited body does (we are assuming a fixed earth as you believe; but in reality in an orbital system, the bodies move in such a way so that the center of mass does not move. Thus the larger mass moves less than the smaller mass, it is not simply exclusive "orbiting" of one body by another.). Anyway! If the earth is fixed, this means that the sun and the moon revolve around the earth in an east to west fashion. It also means that the moon is revolving marginally slower than the sun, seeing as the moon gets lower and lower in the sky at sunrise every day – or more and more "behind" the sun. All this is observable by the human eye. We also know for a fact that the suns' radius of "orbit" is greater than that of the moon, as is demonstrated in a solar eclipse. The moon moves in front of the sun, therefore the moon is closer.

Now, the laws of physics, which govern the universe, state that a mass with a larger radius of orbit has a greater period of rotation. Stated simply, if the sun is further away from the earth than the moon, and both are orbiting the earth, then the sun will take longer to complete one revolution than the moon, however this is not the case! If the earth is still, then the moons' radial velocity is obviously less than the suns' because the moon increasingly lags the sun day by day as they both "orbit" the earth. This is clearly seen after a new moon, the moon drops lower and lower in the sky each day at sunrise, I have seen it! You can see it.

Conclusion: if the earth is still, the sun completes one revolution of the earth in less time than the moon completes one revolution of the earth. If the sun completes one revolution about a motionless earth in less time than it takes for the moon to do the same, the laws of physics demand that the sun has the smaller radius of orbit. Yet if the moon can pass in front of the sun we know for a fact that at that point in their respective orbits, the moon is closer to the "orbited" earth than the sun. The heliocentric model explains this perfectly, the geocentric model cannot. The only hope at this point for the geocentric model is the integration of elliptical orbits of the sun and moon in such a way that the average distance of the sun from the earth is less than the average distance of the moon from the earth (the sun "orbits" faster), and every solar eclipse has coincided with the sun being at a greater distance from the earth than the moon. (which could be possible but unlikely). However this only available argument is refuted by the fact that relative to the earth, the sun and the moon neither speed up nor slow down in the orbits. Making elliptical orbits out of the question. Try it yourself! Use a bit of imagination to calculate the speed of the sun and the moon, at different intervals as they cross over our sky. You will find their orbits are not elliptical!

 It is also impossible for some massive invisible bodies out there, which could move in such a way as to cancel the net force exerted on the earth by the sun (and moon) thus keeping the earth "stationary", because the sun and the moon can be close together in the sky, or 180 degrees away from each other and be unaffected in their "orbits". Proving no such invisible masses exist.

Can you tell me something I have missed? Thanks.

Sincerely,

Daniel M

R. Sungenis: Daniel, again, you've been unduly influenced by Mr. Hoge who simply refuses to see the other side of the story. We have recently shown him from quotes of physicists Misner, Thorne and Wheeler that a universe in rotation will create gyroscopic forces on the center of mass and will thus, even as a gyroscope does, keep the center of mass stable without movement. In the geocentric system, the Earth is the center of mass. The problem with Mr. Hoge's analysis is that he refuses to expand his analysis beyond our sun-earth system, and chooses only to see Newtonian forces at work between the sun and earth and moon. That is simply not the case, since there is a whole universe out there that Mr. Hoge is missing in his calculations. Claiming that there could be no forces out there that would counterbalance the forces in our system is just an argument from silence. Other scientists have already admitted that such forces exist, and Relativity theory demands that they be there. Mr. Hoge refuses to acknowledge them because he simply will not admit to the possibility of geocentrism. If you follow in his footsteps you will be likewise deceived.
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Question 47 - Answer to Alec on Geocentrism

Alec writes: "The observable/measurable data does not support the theory that the Earth is stationary and the stars revolve around the Earth." Indeed it does not. I am a scientist and I do have the tools to assess Sungenis's claims. The plain fact is that Sungenis is a crank, rightly ignored by real scientists. He could be the archetype for whom St Augustine wrote his famous admonition.

You don't need to have done anything more than an undergraduate course in classical mechanics to realize just how mixed up and wrong Sungenis is about this. You have mentioned the fact that rocket launch sites are better placed near the equator where you get that 1,036 mph speed boost due to the earth's rotation (only the European Space Agency site in French Guiana comes very close to this - think about why the ESA would put its launch site in this out-of-the-way place rather than in continental Europe). The USA site at Cape Canaveral is about as far south on the contiguous USA as NASA could get. They get a 915 mph boost there. Most satellites are launched to the east to get the boost of the earth's rotational speed.

Here are some other things:
Everyone on this thread (and on every other thread on this subject on this site) seems to ignore the fact that there is difference between inertial (ie non-accelerating) and non-inertial (ie accelerating) frames of reference. The fact is that any frame of reference located on the earth's surface (a non-inertial frame) experiences unresolved forces unlike an inertial frame. All forces in an inertial frame are resolved, but in a non-inertial frame residual forces exist; in the case of the earth, coriolis and centrifugal forces arising from diurnal and annual rotation, amongst many others. These forces can be easily measured. Here are three obvious examples: Foucault's pendulum demonstrates plainly and without ambiguity the coriolis force arising from earth's diurnal rotation. So is the fact that winds always rotate counter-clockwise about depressions in the northern atmosphere and clockwise about depressions in the southern hemisphere.The oblate shape of the earth is a consequence of the centrifugal force of diurnal rotation.

R. Sungenis: Pardon me for the intrusion but it seems that Alec is either ignorant of the whole picture presented by the present laws of physics, or he does indeed know them but is deliberately hiding them from the public. (Incidentally, the following information was also forwarded to Mr. Gary Hoge over a similar discussion we were having concerning the origin of centrifugal and Coriolis forces. Mr. Hoge has yet to respond to me concerning it). Here are the facts: It has been plainly shown, both in theory (Mach, Einstein) and in tensor calculus, that the radial centrifugal force, the axial centrifugal force and the Coriolis force can have one of two causes: a rotating earth in a fixed-star frame, or, a rotating star-frame around a fixed earth. That work was completed first by Hans Thirring in 1918, and affirmed by Einstein himself, and then again by Hans Thirring and Joseph Lense in late 1918 and 1920. I suggest Alec avail himself of the original papers. In the meantime, allow me to supply you with a synopsis of their work written by a well-respected physicist named Max Born: "...Thus we may return to Ptolemy's point of view of a "motionless earth"...One has to show that the transformed metric can be regarded as produced according to Einstein's field equations, by distant rotating masses [stars]. This has been done by Thirring. He calculated a field due to a rotating, hollow, thick-walled sphere and proved that inside the cavity it behaved as though there were centrifugal and other inertial forces usually attributed to absolute space. Thus from Einstein's point of view, Ptolemy and Copernicus are equally right" (Max Born, Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Dover Publications, 1962, pp. 344-345). So much for me trying to pull the wool over the public's eye.

Alec: So much for diurnal rotation - what about annual rotation? Well, first of all, there is no classical scenario in which a light object like the earth can remain still in absolute terms and have an object many times more massive than it is rotate around it, unless we are to reject Newtonian mechanics altogether - and then what would we replace it with?

R. Sungenis: Apparently Alec hasn't heard of the calculations produced by physicists Misner, Thorne and Wheeler who, also attributing their work to the foundation laid by Hans Thirring and Joseph Lense, have shown that the same "distant rotating masses" [stars] act to form a gyroscopic effect on the center of mass [all within the realm of Newtonian physics]. With an isotropically dispersed universe (which we know is the case to within 1 to 100,000 based on the cosmic microwave background radiation), this would make the center object the center of mass, namely, Earth in the geocentric model. That being the case, the Earth is held in place, based on Newtonian physics, by the stars in rotation.

If Alec needs to brush up on this principle, I suggest he first read Max Born's book cited above; the book "Gravitation" by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler, pages 547ff and 1117-1119; as well as the two papers written by Lense and Thirring (Thirring, Hans. Über die Wirkung rotierender ferner Massen in der Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie. Physikalische Zeitschrift 19, 33 (1918), trans. "On the effect of Rotating Distant Masses in Einstein's Theory of Gravitation." Three years later Thirring made a correction and wrote: Thirring, Hans. Berichtigung zu meiner Arbeit: "Über die Wirkung rotierender ferner Massen in der Einsteinschen Gravitationstheorie." Physikalische Zeitschrift 22, 29 (1921), trans. "Correction to my paper ‘On the effect of Rotating Distant Masses in Einstein's Theory of Gravitation.')

Alec: In looking at the star field we see parallax shifts and doppler shifts as the earth orbits the sun. If the earth were to be still, we would have to have the entire star field, 14 billion light years across, not only orbiting the earth once per day, but doing so with an annual wobble with exactly the same diameter as the diameter of the earth's orbit around the sun (or the sun's orbit around the earth as Sungenis would have it), where the plane of the wobble is angled to the plane of rotation by 23.5 degrees. That's simply bizarre.

R. Sungenis: Bizarre? Not according to Mach, Einstein, Lense and Thirring and all honest physicists who know the true meaning of Relativity. And it certainly wasn't "bizarre" to the Church Fathers and the Medievals, many of whom were astute cosmologists just like the Greeks they opposed. And it certainly wasn't "bizarre" to Robert Bellarmine and the three popes who approved his condemnation of Copernicanism. The only thing "bizarre," as I see it, is that in the face of all this evidence, the terms "crank" and "buffoonery" and other derogatory names are levied against people who point it out.

Alec: Oh - and then there's the proper motion of the sun and planets within the galaxy - the rotation of the solar system about galactic centre - or should we believe that the earth is still and that all these proper motions are superimposed on the star field and the planets. What on earth is the origin of all the bizarre forces we would need if we claim the earth's surface is an inertial frame? Retrograde planetary motion is explained with overwhelming power by the Copernican system and is quite intractable to a cosmology with a stationary earth. Sungenis is monumentally wrong.

R. Sungenis: Already answered above. Alec simply hasn't availed himself of the literature on this very subject, or he simply doesn't understand the implications of what he is reading.

Alec: But wait - it doesn't get better when we turn from classical mechanics to general relativity. There is, for example, an anomaly in the precession of Mercury's perihelion that cannot be explained by Newtonian mechanics - 532 arc seconds of precession per century is explained by Newtonian mechanics but 43 arcseconds per century can only explained (and is predicted) by GR. GR will not predict this observation if we take earth as the fixed frame and have Mercury behaving lke a classical Greek planetai - a wanderer about the sky.

R. Sungenis: Again, it appears that Alec hasn't availed himself of all the literature on this subject. He is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Galileo Was Wrong, that gives a more accurate picture than what Alec is providing:
In Einstein's attempt to account for the residual perihelion, there has been some suspicion that, knowing the accepted value in advance (43 arc seconds), he juggled his figures to meet those expectations. That Einstein was already aware of the needed figure was made plain in his book on Relativity.

The original Einstein-Grossmann theory accounted for only 18'' of the residual 43'' of Mercury's perihelion, which is documented in the original Einstein-Besso manuscripts made public in 1914 by Dutch physicist Johannes Droste. Einstein subsequently retracted the paper, changed his Relativistic field equations no less than three times, and resubmitted them three times, respectively, to the Berlin Academy before the final result of 43'' was achieved. Still, Charles Lane Poor adds that in arriving at the 43'' Einstein did not use the unit of time from his Relativity theory, but used the commonly accepted Newtonian unit of time.

Physicist Tom Van Flandern studied Einstein's calculations and found there were "three separate contributions to the perihelion; two of which add, and one of which cancels part of the other two; and you wind up with the right multiplier." The same article reports that Van Flanders approached a University of Maryland colleague who had known Einstein in their respective work at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study regarding how, in his opinion, Einstein had arrived at the accepted figure of 43 arc seconds. The colleague replied that it was his impression that "knowing the answer, he jiggered the arguments until they came out with the right value." The caveat for Einstein is that, once 43'' is chosen as the final figure, it cannot be changed in the future, due to the equations he formulated based upon the General Relativity theory. Thus, if the figure turns out to be anything more or less than 43'', Relativity is automatically disqualified. As Relativist Clifford Will admits: "…the prediction of general relativity is fixed at 43 arc seconds; it can't be fiddled with." Being caught in such a corner, Relativists will cause quite a fuss over anyone who has claims to an alternate figure, as we shall see below.

Subsequent calculations of Mercury's perihelion were made after Einstein supported the 43'' figure. In 1930, the figure was raised to 50.9. Just prior to the 1960s, it was set back at 32.0. These wide-ranging values are due to the procedural difficulties stemming from having to account for all the mass and movements in the solar system. In reality, depending on how one views or juggles the figures, one can make the residual perihelion vary quite extensively.

In the face of these difficulties, some have suggested using the perihelia of Venus, Earth or Mars to help prove Relativity theory. But this presents an even worse dilemma for Relativity considering the anomalous results of Einstein's predictions for the perihelia of the other planets. Indeed, it is puzzling why Relativists would want to open this Pandora's Box at all. Perhaps they are hoping that no one will investigate the original records of Relativity's predictions, but the investigation has already been done. A person close to the scene and one who obtained General Relativity's original perihelia predictions was astronomer Charles Lane Poor of Columbia University. He indicates in his book Gravity versus Relativity that Relativity predicted a –7.3'' precession for Venus, but the actual precession is +8.6''. In other words, Relativity predicted a perihelion for Venus that was going in the opposite direction. As Poor describes it:

The perihelion of this planet is rotating more slowly than the computations indicate it should, the difference being –7.3'' per century. The Einstein formulas would increase the theoretical speed of rotation by an additional 8.6'', thus making the total discrepancy between observation and theory 15.9 or 37% of the entire observed motion. The Einstein formulas, in this case, make a bad matter worse; they give the orbit a rotation in the direction opposite to that which is required to fit the observations. Thus the Relativity theory is not sufficient to explain the discordances in the planetary motions. It accounts approximately for only one among the numerous discrepancies that of the perihelion of Mercury. It fails completely to explain any position of several well-tested irregularities and it doubles the observed discrepancy in the motion of Venus.

Some advocates of Relativity attempt to cover up these inconsistencies, as seen, for example, in Hugh Ross' assertion that General Relativity found a precession for Venus of "8.6," a figure, according to his endnotes, that he obtained from Steven Weinberg's Gravitation and Cosmology. Neither of the two authors mention the –7.3 figure. Poor also reports that Einstein's Relativity predicted a precession for Mars of +8.1'', but the actual precession is +1.3'', a difference of 623%. Not surprisingly, Weinberg and Ross leave out General Relativity's anomalous prediction, replacing it with the precession of the asteroid Icarus. Last but not least, Einstein also made an erroneous prediction of earth's perihelion, assigning a figure of 3.8'' when, according to heliocentric mechanics, it is actually 5.9''.
Alec: But GR makes yet another prediction - that rotating masses distort space-time in their vicinity (this is called frame-dragging). So we should be able to detect the distortion of the curvature of space-time by the rotation of the earth. The practical problem is that it is a tiny effect. Nevertheless two months ago the frame dragging effect of the earth's rotation was detected:

Ciufolini & Pavlis 'A confirmation of the general relativistic prediction of the Lense–Thirring effect' Nature 431, 958–960 (2004), with this abstract:

'An important early prediction of Einstein's general relativity was the advance of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit, whose measurement provided one of the classical tests of Einstein's theory. The advance of the orbital point-of-closest-approach also applies to a binary pulsar system and to an Earth-orbiting satellite. General relativity also predicts that the rotation of a body like Earth will drag the local inertial frames of reference around it, which will affect the orbit of a satellite. This Lense–Thirring effect has hitherto not been detected with high accuracy, but its detection with an error of about 1 per cent is the main goal of Gravity Probe B—an ongoing space mission using orbiting gyroscopes. Here we report a measurement of the Lense–Thirring effect on two Earth satellites: it is 99+/-5 per cent of the value predicted by general relativity'

In conclusion, Sungenis is ignored by the scientific establishment, not because there is a conspiracy to silence him, but because his claims are laughable - they are simply silly, unsupported by theoretical or empirical science. Anyone who cares for the Church should distance themselves from his buffoonery.

R. Sungenis: I'm happy I've gotten to the point in my Christian life where I can let epithets such as "crank" "baffoon" "laughable" and "silly" roll off my back, and I'm especially grateful to the Lord that I have learned not to return any of those insults against my opponent. Be that as it may, again, either Alec is either purposely deceiving this forum, or Alec simply can't see the implications of what he is reading.

Notice that Alec makes reference to the very names I spoke about earlier, Lense and Thirring. Yet what Alec fails to tell the public is that the Lense-Thirring effect was produced when Lense and Thirring originally hypothesized a rotating universe around a fixed Earth! What Alec and our friendly Relativists have done with the Ciufolini & Pavlis evidence is make it look as if it can only support a rotating Earth in a fixed universe, the exact opposite of what Lense and Thirring said! Frame-dragging is no big deal. They known about it for years. The question is: what is doing the dragging? Rotation always causes frame-dragging. But is it the universe in rotation or is it the Earth in rotation that is causing the dragging? The plain fact is that Relativity can't tell us the answer, because to them everything is relative! This is precisely why Max Born, whom I quoted above, said that, according to Einstein's Relativity, Ptolemy and Copernicus are both right. The least Alec should do, if indeed he really knows the science, is tell you both sides of the story, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be his agenda.

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Question 46 - James White and Romans 4:8

Robert,

James White has done a blog entry about something I said at Dave Armstrong's blog. I said that the "blessed man" of Romans 7-8 is the justified believer who God reckons (logizomai) as righteous because He has made him righteous in justification. Here is his response:

"Great: so, if this person commits a mortal sin, to whom is it imputed? Him, or someone else? If this person commits a venial sin, to whom is it imputed? Him, or someone else? If either sin is imputed to him, how is he the blessed man to whom the Lord WILL NOT IMPUTE SIN?"

I'm preparing a response. It shouldn't take too long, since I already had a lexical analysis of logizomai well under way. But I have a few questions. White translates the middle voice, subjunctive mood aorist logisetai in Romans 4:8 with the English future, i.e. will not impute. I'm wondering if this is a proper translation. The Douay uses the present perfect i.e. hath not imputed, and explains it as referring to people who have never committed a mortal sin, or sinners who in addition to having done penance have taken the necessary steps to avoid a relapse, and thus are no longer imputed with sin. The NAB and a few Spanish translations use the present tense i.e. does not record, no inculpa. The majority of English translations use the future, like White does. Some even add emphasis by saying "will NEVER count against him" (NIV) or some such, probably to reinforce their contention that once a man is justified God will never impute him with sin again. Which is the proper translation? Also, if the future tense is the proper translation, how does one refute White's argument above? Rom 4:8 seems easy to reconcile with Catholic teaching in the past and present tenses, but the only interpretation I can think of if the future tense is the correct translation is that it refers to people who will never fall from grace again, and not justified believers as a whole. As always, your help is greatly appreciated.

Ben

R. Sungenis: Ben,
Normally the aorist subjunctive is translated as "may." Here, of course, it would be "may reckon." But Romans 4:8 is a special case when the aorist subjunctive is used in the case of a strong negative assertion. The negative assertion usually contains the Greek "ou me" in the principle clause. In such cases it would take on the sense of an emphatic future indicative.
However, it is a future not in the sense of time, but of firm resolve, as when we might say "I will never stoop to such tactics" or "I would never be so unkind."

Hence, any attempt to base an exegesis of the passage on the time element (that is, the future as opposed to the present) is off the mark. If the Greek had intended an emphasis on time itself, it would have used the future indicative tense itself, not the aorist subjunctive.

Again, the aorist subjunctive is used only to show the strong resolve of the subject never to engage in something that would obviously be bad or against his character. Other instances of the aorist subjunctive in a negative assertion are Heb 13:5; Mt 5:18; Mk 13:30; Lk 9:27.

The way to answer White is to show the cause/effect relationship that St. Paul has set up in the context. God is not reckoning sin against David because David has first asked for forgiveness, as the context of Romans 4, Psalms 32 and 51 clearly show.

If God were not being faithful, it would be the case such that David would ask for forgiveness but God would refuse to give it to him, and some interlocutor might propose that this refusal is because of the heinous nature of the sins (murder and adultery). But God will always be faithful to forgive if we sincerely repent.

If in the future David commits a mortal sin, David has the same promise from God that God will not reckon the sin against him, provided that David repents of the sin. Conversely, if David does not repent of any sin he commits in the future, God will certainly reckon the sin against him.

The aspect of "forgiveness" is the key to the context, and it was already stipulated in Romans 4:7 wherein David says "Blessed are they whose sins are forgiven." Thus we know that the "not reckoning" of Romans 4:8 is not something that is independent of, or precedes, the "forgiveness" of sin, but is God's resolve only after David repents of his sin.

In other words, in each case, now or in the future, wherein God firmly revolves that He will not reckon sin against David, it will first be the case that David has confessed his sin and God has forgiven him, and if He has forgiven him then He certainly will not reckon the sin against him.

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Question 45 - Question Regarding the Validity of I John 5:7

question: look at the ff. 4 verses taken from King
James Version, New King James Version, Douay-Rheims
and lastly the Revised Standard Version, Catholic
Edition.

Note esp. verse 7..............

King James, New King James, and Douay-Rheims ALL
state:

5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these
three are one.

but in the RSV, Cath. ed we find this for v. 7

5:7 And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit
is the truth.

I had ordered a beautiful family edition of the
Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, and found
the following ?rationale? for the 'change'. It
states:

" It is admitted today that the decree of Trent
declaring that Catholics must accept the books
contained in the Latin Vulgate with all their parts
does not oblige us to accept passages which have been
judged, according to the best critical principles, not
to be part of the original text. Thus the passage
known as the "Three Heavenly Witnesses" or the "Commoa
Johanneum" [I John 5:7-8] which is in the Latin
Vulgate and in versions based on it, does not appear
in recent Catholic editions of the New Testament.
This procedure is in accordance with the directives
give in Divino Afflante Spiritu."
(Introduction: The Revised Standard Version, Catholic
Edition...p. iii by the Catholic Biblical Association
of Great Britain)

1. Yes, I checked, and the changing of v. 7 is also
found in the Ignatian version of RSV, Catholic
edition.

2. Would y ou have any guess as to 'the best critical
principles' they may be referring to?

3. Divino Afflante Spiritu is an encyclical of Pope
Pius XII........has it been hijacked to give substance
to the change. In the above quote from the
Introduction, they also state that Divino Afflante
Spiritu encouraged the faithful to read scripture. If
I could I would scan the whole 3 pages of this
Introduction so you could have the context but the
book is so heavy, I don't know if my scanner could
support it.

4. The change appears dubious and especially since it
negates what is said in the Douay-Rheims.

5. Can you explain this change better than the
paragraph above?

6. And considering how the RSV, Catholic Edition, has
altered the Douay Rheims, will you still state that
the former is the study Bible of choice?

Frankly, it appears that the Douay Rheims is THE most
authentic Catholic version of the Latin Vulgate and
the King James [accepted by the Orthodox] certainly
comes in second.

If anyone asked what version to use for study, it
certainly could no longer be the RSV, Catholic
edition, unless you can justify the change in verse 7
of I John chapter 5.

The following are from the various versions of I John
5: 7-9

KING JAMES VERSION:

The King James Version (Authorized)
1 John 5

5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these
three are one.

5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth,
the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these
three agree in one.

5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of
God is greater: for this is the witness of God which
he hath testified of his Son.
-------------------------

THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION

The New King James Version
1 John 5

5:7For there are three that bear witness in heaven:
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these
three are one.

5:8And there are three that bear witness on earth: F15
the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three
agree as one.

5:9If we receive the witness of men, the witness of
God is greater; for this is the witness of God which
F16 He has testified of His Son.

DOUAY RHEIMS

The Douay-Rheims Bible
1 John 5

5:7 And there are Three who give testimony in heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these
three are one.

5:8 And there are three that give testimony on earth:
the spirit and the water and the blood. And these
three are one.

5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony
of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God,
which is greater, because he hath testified of his
Son.

------------------But we now come to the Revised
Standard Version, Catholic Edition:

1 John 5

5:7 And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit
is the truth.

5:8 There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water,
and the blood; and these three agree.

5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony
of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God
that he has borne witness to his Son.

Robert:
I hope you can make some sense for me regarding this
change.

peace
anne

R. Sungenis: This is a tough issue because there is merit on both sides. Just to shed some quick light on it for you, there is one edition of the Vulgate (the Wordsworth edition, 1899) that does not have the Johannine Comma. The Clementine Vulgate is the one that contains the Comma. Still, the Clementine edition is the earlier one, by at least two centuries.
Here is the problem. In the 1800s archeologists found a number of new Greek manuscripts of the NT. Two of the major finds are Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. These codices disagreed in some minor places with the Received Greek text from the Middle Ages.

Since Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were judged to be from the 4-5th centuries, they were often given more authoritative weight than some of the Middle Age manuscripts (although the Middle Age manuscripts were copies of copies of copies, etc, and thus they had authority too, but not as much authority. So for a while, everyone was revising their Bibles in the late 1800s and early-mid 1900s based on the supposed authority of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. So you will see a lot of the Bibles which were translated at this time (1880-1980) be somewhat free-wheeling with their changes in the Greek text, the RSV included. This is the "science" of Textual Criticism.
But then a few chinks were found in the armour. Papyri fragments that were discovered in the 1900s, and which are dated earlier than Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, showed discrepancies not only between the papyri and the two codices, but they also began to discover discrepancies between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus themselves. So the brakes were begriming to be put on the revision of Bibles, and more weight was given to the Vulgate and Received Greek Texts.

Also, they were also finding that the papyri evidence agreed more with the Received Greek text (from the Middle Ages) than Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.
With 1 John 5:7, however, the problem is a little more difficult, since many of the Middle Age Greek manuscripts agree with Sinaiticus and Vaticanus in excising the Johannine Comma from the text. Moreover, there are over a dozen Early Fathers who, as we know from their quotes of 1 John 5:7, did not contain the Comma in their letters or manuscripts (e.g., Ireneaus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Jerome, Augustine and many more), and there are very few Fathers (John Cassian and Fulgentius) who have the Comma. Many of the Fathers who didn't have the Comma were very early in the Church's history.

Interestingly enough, three Middle Age manuscripts do not have the Comma in the biblical text but they include it in the margin, so we know that everyone was having a problem with this verse. Also, the Byzantine Lectionary, one Syriac version and one Coptic version of 1 John 5:7 do not contain the Comma.

So with all due respect, the probability that the Comma is an authentic part of the original Greek text is slim. Still, the translator should always make a footnote giving the alternative text in the margin, since no one can be absolutely sure. In our CASB of 1 John, we will have the Clementine Vulgate's rendering, but we will make a footnote that some versions and Greek manuscripts do not have the Comma.

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Question 44 - The Coriolis Effect

Dear Robert,
Is the so-called Coriolis Effect fact or fiction? And if fact, does it prove that the Earth is spinning on its axis?
Timothy
UK

R. Sungenis: The Coriolis force is real. There is a drift to the left or right, respectively, depending on what hemisphere one is located. It doesn't prove that the Earth is spinning on an axis. It only proves that there is a force created by circular motion. Thirring and Lense, in fact, used the presence of the Coriolis force to show the forces inherent in a rotating shell and disc (e.g., the universe) around the Earth. They found three forces: centrifugal, axial centrifugal, and Coriolis. Newtonian physics has no answer to these forces, other than mathematical equations based on "absolute space." But geocentric mechanics can attribute them to the forces created by a rotating universe.

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Question 43 - Soul Sleep II

How would you answer the following objections regarding Apocalypse 6:9-10?

1) The phrase "under the altar" refers to the grave. Why? Because if you were under an OT altar, you would, in fact, be in the earth.
R. Sungenis: The word "altar" never refers to the grave, especially in the Apocalypse where the word is used seven times. Moreover, the individuals of Apoc 6:9-10 are disembodied "souls," not bodies. And they are talking to the one on the throne. How many dead bodies have you seen talking to God on the throne?

2) The souls crying out for vengeance is analogous to Genesis 4:10, where Abel's blood cries out to God from the earth. This interpretation fits nicely with the idea that "under the altar" means "in the earth."

R. Sungenis: They would have to prove from Scripture that "altar" refers to the grave, which they can't. Further, Abel's body went into the grave, and so did his blood, and that is why we have the metaphorical language that his "blood cries out." But Abel's soul went to heaven, and it is included with those who are "under the altar" in Apoc 6:9-10.

Apocalypse 6:9-10 is not to be taken literally, in the sense that the souls of the saints are in heaven asking for vengeance. The passage is simply trying to convey the idea that (as with Abel's murder), God is aware of the crimes committed against His saints, and will inflict divine retribution upon the perpetrators in due time.

R. Sungenis: Yes, the vision is symbolic, and we wouldn't use it as the first line of proof for that very reason. But in being symbolic, the vision is representing a certain reality. Taking the route that the reality is merely the fact that "God is aware of the crimes" is not enough, since it goes without saying that God already knows. What the rest of Scripture tells us is that there are holy people who are in the presence of God in their disembodied souls (2 Cor 5:8-9; 1 Thess 3:13; 4:14; Mk 12:26; Ps 115:18), and with few exceptions, with their bodies and souls (Jesus, Mary, Elijah, Enoch, Mt 27:53). Scripture is also clear that these souls will be reunited with their bodies on the last day (John 5:28-29; 6:39, 40, 44, 65; 12:48). Thus, we use this information to understand the symbolic vision of Apoc 6:9-10.

3) Lastly, what about OT passages which seem to suggest the dead are indeed in some sort of soul sleep-like stasis (cf., Ecclesiastes 9:5).

Thanks

R. Sungenis: Eccl 9:5 is speaking from the perspective of what they know, or could know, on earth. Since they are dead, they don't know anything on earth. The context of the passage shows this distinction.

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Question 42 - Satan Bound & Soul Sleep

R. Sungenis: Satan is bound because he can't stop the Gospel from going forth, which is why Jesus said that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. But since the dragon, Satan, gives his power to the Beasts, it is as if, John says, "his deadly wound was healed" (Apoc 13:3 and 13:12). So great is the Beasts power that the "whole world followed after him." But those that don't follow after the Beasts reside in the Church, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. If Satan was not bound at the Cross, then he would be victorious even over the Church itself. In fact, there would be no Church.

Sean: Thanks again for your answers. They have been most helpful. I do have a few more questions with respect to the highlighted section of your response: Since Satan was not bound until the Cross, how is it that he was unable to destroy the true faith in the OT? There was, after all, always an OT remnant that did not abandon the worship of the true God. So, even unbound, Lucifer was incapable of eradicating the true faith altogether (which is all the more remarkable considering he had yet to lose his power over the heavenly realm). Should we attribute this failure on his part to his own inadequacies, or to God preventing him? And if it was God preventing him - did not this divine impediment afford essentially the same protection to the faith in the OT, as the binding of Satan at the Cross does to the Church today? If not, what's the difference between the two?

Sean: Regarding the highlighted section of your answer: What precisely did Satan lose by his power over the heavenly realm being brought to an end? In other words, what was his power over the heavenly realm?

R. Sungenis: The difference is that prior to the Cross, Satan had legal right to the souls of the human race. He won that right in the Garden of Eden. The only reason man still had a chance to be saved was that God forestalled final punishment (which punishment would have been eternal damnation). But man was still in a lost condition, born in sin and death (Romans 5:12). THAT was the grip of the devil, since, unless those souls could be saved, the devil would own them forever in hell. The Cross is what broke that curse, and that is the main effect of the binding of Satan, and the main reason Jesus says "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out" in John 16:11 and that he "saw him fall as lightening from heaven" in Luke 10:18. This is also the same reason why the souls of the OT saints could not go to heaven until Jesus rose from the dead (cf., Eph 4:8-9; 1 Peter 3:19, et al). Prior to the Cross, the gates of hell were indeed prevailing, since none of those saints could go to heaven. Now that Christ has come, we have free access to heaven, and the devil has no hold on us. But since we have free access to heaven, the devil is going to do everything in his present limited power to thwart us from taking advantage of it, by deceiving us into rejecting it, just as he did with Adam and Eve (cf., 2 Cor 11:3-15; 2 Cor 4:4).
The physical sign that Satan has been bound is not only that we have free access to heaven, but as compared to the OT when the nations did not formally have the Gospel preached to them, as of the Cross and Pentecost, they do indeed have the Gospel.
Sean: Now, if I may change subjects - I'd like to deal with the idea of "soul sleep." This belief (held by groups like the SDA) prevents any discussion of praying to saints, purgatory, etc., from even getting started. How can we refute the concept of soul sleep from Scripture?

Thanks.

R. Sungenis: 2 Corinthians 5:8-9; Apocalypse 6:9-10; Mark 12:26-27

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Question 41 - Thou shalt not tempt thy Catholic apologist...

If you were to decide to write a book on the Blessed Virgin in same veins as the "Not by....alone" series, I would send you $1,000 right now.

R. Sungenis: Thou shalt not tempt thy Catholic apologist...

PS -- I never realized how great an exegete St John of the Cross really was. He is as great as any other Doctor of the Church. Somehow I equated his reputation as a mystic as not necessarily being learned of the scriptures. But don't worry...St John of the Cross knows less than you do!

R. Sungenis: Thou shalt not tempt thy Catholic apologist... :)

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Question 40 - Commercial Recreation on Sunday

Dear Robert,
Perhaps, you can help me out on this. I am a traditional Catholic (i.e., I am a Catholic!), but am somewhat perplexed on the question of unnecessary commercial activities on Sunday. All the time I see traditional Catholics going out to restaurants on Sunday and purchasing forms of recreation on this day. I have raised this subject with some traditional priests and more often than not I am told that there is nothing wrong with going out to a restaurant on Sunday and usually I am told that paid recreation (movie theaters, commercial hockey rinks, miniature golf, attendance at professional sports events, etc.) is perfectly legitimate. One traditional priest even went so far as to tell me that since it was OK to play basketball on Sunday--which of course it is--then it was perfectly legitimate to go to a store on Sunday to buy a basketball if one was lacking!
It would seem to me that going to restaurants on Sunday when it is not necessary and purchasing various forms of entertainment on Sunday is at serious odds with promoting the Social Reign of Christ the King. If we were to posit a strong Catholic Society I would find it hard to imagine that faithful Catholics would be given to such things. Nevertheless, I have found a good number of traditional Catholic priests who seem to have no problem with the issues I raise here. If I am out of sync with Catholic moral theology in this area please tell me if you can. Thank you.
James

R. Sungenis: James, no, you're not out of synch. Unless there is a necessity or emergency, we should not be making purchases or anything that would make another person work on Sunday. Our time on Sunday should be wholly devoted to the Lord, either in doing good works, resting, reading devotional books or Scripture, godly conversation, etc. I think the 1992 Catechism gives us good guidlines here:
"On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health."

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Question 39 - How do we know the Millennium of Apoc. 20 begins at the Cross?

Dear Mr. Sungenis:

I have two related questions for you:

1) How can we refute (from Scripture) the notion that Christ will establish a thousand-year-long Kingdom on earth?

2) How can we defend (from Scripture) the belief that the millennium (Apoc. 20:1-10) refers to the current Church age?

Thanks,

Sean

R. Sungenis: Sean, the most important piece of Scriptural evidence is that, according to the Gospels and the Epistles, the binding of Satan occurred at the Cross (cf., John 12:31; 16:11; Mt 12:29f; Hebrews 2:14; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6, and many more). Since Apocalypse 20:1-3 refers to the binding of Satan, then it must start at the Cross. This is why the Dragon of Apocalypse 12 gives his power to the Beasts of Apocalypse 13, since the Dragon has been defeated and chained in the bottomless pit.

Also, the Council of Ephesus stated that the view of the binding of Satan taking place at the Cross was the correct view.

Council of Ephesus (431 AD): "Chapter 2. We have always held Augustine a man of holy memory because of his life and also of his services in our communion, nor has even report ever sullied him with unfavorable suspicion. We recall him as having once been a man of such great knowledge that even by my predecessors in the past he was always accounted among the best teachers." (Denzinger, 128). The Council of Ephesus then quoted and applied the same New Testament passages to the binding of Satan at the Cross as St. Augustine did.

Council of Ephesus: "Chapter 8: That also, which the holy Church uniformly does in the whole world with regard to those to be baptized, we do not observe with indifferent respect. Since whether children or youths come to the sacrament of regeneration, they do not approach the fountain of life, before the unclean spirit is driven away from them by the exorcisms and the breathings upon them of the priests; so that then it is truly manifest how the prince of this world is sent forth [John 12:31], and how the strong [man] is first bound [Matt. 12:29], and thereafter his vessels are plundered [Mark 3:27], having been transferred to the possession of the victor, who leads captivity captive [Eph. 4:8] and gives gifts to man [Ps. 67:19]." (Denzinger, 140; ST. SIXTUS III 432-440;"Creed of the union" of the year 433, by which peace was restored between St. Cyril of Alexandria and the Antiochenes [St. Cyril, Ep. 39: MG 77, 176 D f. 7; see R n. 2060; approved by St. Sixtus III, App. n. 5002 ff.].

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Question 38 - CAI apologetics

Dear Dr. Sungenis:
A very Blessed Christmas to you and yours. I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading the apologetics questions on your site that you answer almost daily. I've been following the Hahn commentary closely, and appreciate your insight into the difficulties with what he's saying re the Holy Ghost Whom I never thought of as feminine for the very simple reason of the theological problems with the Mother of God being conceived by the Holy Ghost. The bottom line for me is that we're talking about ONE God, regardless of the three Divine Persons in God.

God is Order, not confusion. And there is nothing more confusing than talking of God as feminine. How can the ONE God be parsed into the masculinity of the Father and the Son and a conjectured "femininity" of the Holy Ghost?

I'm reminded of the ridiculous assertions of those promoting sodomy as virtue instead of vice by saying that"Jesus Christ had nothing to say against homosexuality in the Bible." Jesus Christ as Second Person of the ONE Triune God, existing eternally, most certainly had a lot to say against homosexual acts as recorded throughout the Old and New Testaments, to include talking about the consequences of Mortal Sin more than any other New Testament figure.

When we talk of Creation we're talking about the Triune God. This is reinforced in New Testament Jude, I recall.

We're forgetting that just Jesus wasn't God by the fact of the His Incarnation alone, but for all time as Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Who, along with the Father and the Holy Ghost, always was, is, and always will be.

Bottom line, of all the Catholic apologetics out there, I recognize in yours the Faith of my youth growing up in the pre-conciliar Church. That is meant as a compliment to you.
God bless,
JMJ
Gary

R. Sungenis: Gary, all I can say is thank you so very much for your commendation. Not only do we appreciate you taking the time to send your thoughts, but we are also uplifted because they come from a devoted and high caliber individual such as yourself. In other words, you have been just as much of an encouragement to us as we apparently are to you. God keep you and bless you till He returns.

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Question 37 - Can we judge Vatican II in an a posteriori way?

Dear Sir:
After reading some of your material and that of Fr. Harrison, I am now almost completely sure that sedevacantism is based on a misunderstanding of canonical terms. However, there are a few issues which still bother me and which I need to resolve before I enter into a debate with my sedevacantist priest.
Let us suppose John Paul wants to introduce his new theology into the ordinary magisterium, what prevents him from doing that? The assistance of the Holy Spirit or the mere fact that it breaks with tradition? In other words, a pope can never deceive, even if he wanted to, because his novelties will always differ from tradition? But then, where is Gods assistance?

R. Sungenis: Theoretically, the pope could introduce a heresy, but he can't do so dogmatically. Pope Honorius introduced a heresy (that Christ one one will), but it wasn't from the chair of Peter, ex cathedra.

In your website I read that any interpretation of Vatican II conflicting with tradition is wrong. But, haven’t you made a priori judgment that the Council is o.k. in everything? Couldn’t there ever be an a posteriori judgment?

R. Sungenis: The only way we could make an a posteriori judgment against Vatican II is if Vatican II said something like: "Whoever says...........let him be anathema," and the ellipse contained a statement that was diametrically opposed to a previous dogmatic statement. (That, of course, would never happen). Otherwise, we are compelled to interpret Vatican II in light of all previous tradition, a priori. Since Vatican II left itself open to interpretation by its chosen format of communication, then interpretation of its documents becomes the crux of the issue. Since interpretation is THE issue, then Church dogmatics requires us to interpret Vatican II in light of tradition, and not deviating from tradition.

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Question 36 - Consecration of Russia

Since the Holy See has the authority to legitimately suppress any activities or public veneration of Our Lady of Fatima for any reason whatsoever, the idea that they would go through all the trouble to concoct this massive cover-up, which, if true, would be, in object, mortally sinful is clearly untenable.
In Christ,
Greg M

R. Sungenis: Greg, you can believe what you would like, of course. I will continue to oppose that belief, because I've seen the evidence. If you're banking on the idea that "it just couldn't happen," I would say your argument is quite weak. We didn't think there would be a worldwide homosexual and pedophile scandal, but there was. We never thought that priests and nuns would leave the Church in droves, but they did. We never thought that Catholic universities would be so liberal that our kids would lose their faith in them, but they did. We never thought that Catholic scholars would say the Bible has mistakes, but they do. We never thought we would have a pope who encourages pagans to pray to their false gods, but he does. We never thought a lot of things before the they started happening in the 1970-1990s.
The bottom line is that the word "Russia" has never been said in the consecration. That is where I rest my case.

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Question 35 - Question about Time in Eternity

When we die and go over to the "other side", do we move outside of time? If so, it seems logical to conclude that we will instantly be with all of our family, both alive and dead, since time no longer exists. If I die and a family member dies ten years later, it is all the same in eternity. Just something I am curious about.....
Jerry

R. Sungenis: Jerry, time is merely the way we calibrate the difference between one moment and the next. We will still have one moment and the next in eternity, but the sequence of moments will go on forever. That is the only difference.

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Question 34 - ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR

Dear Mr. Sungenis:

Both the New and Tridentine Mass use the words "QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS" meaning, "for you and for many," in latin during the consecration of cup of wine made blood. However, when the new mass is said in English, the words change to "for you and for all men." Since all the Gospels recounting the last supper, say, "for you and for many," Does this make the new mass invalid when said in English?Thank you in advance for your answer,
JB Sanctafamilia

R. Sungenis: No, the New Mass is valid, regardless of the change of "many" to "all." We have covered this in previous QA. Perhaps you may want to search for them and see the detailed answers I give there.

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Question 33 - Logically, the Pope did consecrate Russia

Dear Mr. Sungenis:

It seems to me that Russia has been consecrated, since the grater category that includes Russia (the world) has been consecrated by the Pope. Furthermore,it seems prudent to consecrate Russia this way since the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church might persecute Catholics--both groups seem very openly hostile toward Catholics.

I must say, my wife differs here. She says that the Pope has to say that he is consecrating Russia specifically, since Our Lady of Fatima says that the Pope must consecrate Russia. Otherwise, the Pope is changing Our Lady's directions.

To me, if, when I was a child, my mom said to eat pees for dinner, and I went on and ate pees and meat loaf, then I have followed her directions.Thank you in advance for your answer,
JB Sanctafamilia

R. Sungenis: JB, I wish it were that easy. If God told Adam and Eve they could eat of every tree of the Garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, do you think that He meant they could also eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Obviously not. They had to pay careful attention to what God was telling them. The same in the case of Fatima. Look at it this way. Since Pius XII already consecrated the world in 1942, with the bishops; and he then even consecrated Russia, but without the bishops in 1952, using your reasoning, wouldn't Pius' consecrations been good enough? But apparently they were not good enough, otherwise another consecration would not have been attempted in 1984. But now the Vatican has trapped itself, since, if in the 1984 consecration the name Russia is not mentioned and neither are the bishops of the world united with the pope, then how can it suffice as a valid consecration when they already said Pius XII's consecrations were not valid?

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Question 32 - Fr. Feeney and No Salvation Outside the Church

Hello again Mr. Sungenis!
I was just wondering your opinion on a couple of matters. First of all, in this age of apostasy, would you find it worthwhile for someone to pursue an advanced degree in theological studies? Of course we need future orthodox university professors, but would one be able to hold down a job and actually teach truth under these conditions? If yes, can you recommend any institutions? Also, what is your opinion of the late Father Feeney? Is his interpretation of "Outside the Church there is no salvation" actually heresy or erroneous? Is it true that the diocese of Worcester gave reconciled Feeneyites permission to hold their rigorist view? I apologize for so many questions. Thank you and God bless!

R. Sungenis: Unless you can take the heat, I wouldn't go into the kitchen, although it is true that we still do need good cooks. In other words, if you know it is a bad institution, don't go. Unless you are very strong, they will corrupt you. As for Fr. Feeney, until if and when the Church herself clarifies this issue, then there is room for Fr. Feeney and his followers, and, in fact, they are very close to the traditional view of extra ecclesium nulla salus. Fr. Feeney, however, did have some problems with parts of his interpretation (eg., insisting that there is a difference between Justification and Salvation so that he could deny salvation to those who received only the baptism of desire). In that sense, his interpretation was too rigorous, going beyond what the Church has stated.

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Question 31 - What about Charismatics?

Dear Robert,
I was watching "The Journey Home" on
EWTN a couple of months ago and they had the conversion story of Fr. Ed Fride. Fr. Fride's conversion story was inspirational and moving. However, at the end, Fr. Fride
mentioned he was the pastor of a "charismatic Catholic parish". My question to you Robert,

1) What is a charismatic church and how does it differ from a traditional parish?

2) Is there or should there be room in the Catholic Church for such a parish ?

During my life I have read both positive and negative things about the charismatic movement. I myself am suspect of the movement---however when I hear about a conversion story like Fr. Frides I begin to think that maybe I'm missing something.
I enjoy your web site and have benefited from your books and tapes. It is obvious you do your homework.
May God Bless You and Your Apostolate
Kevin

R. Sungenis: Kevin, although it is still possible for God to give miraculous gifts, such as tongues, to people today, it is very rare. After the first century, the Fathers testify that miraculous gifts (all those which today's Charismatics claim to have) were practically non-existent, and they testify, in consensus, that tongues-speaking had ceased. Throughout the rest of Church history, there were only very sporadic accounts of tongues-speaking, and it always came upon single individuals and almost always they were very holy. This is not what we see today. We see masses of people claiming to have the ability to speak in tongues and do miracles, beginning with the Notre Dame phenomenon in the early 1970s. This is not the way the charismatic gifts have ever been manifested. Since the NT warns us that Satan will come as an angel of light doing pseudo-miracles, we must suspect that what we are seeing today is not of God, and in only rare cases would God be giving such powers today. In fact, St. Paul's testimony in 1 Cor 14:20-22 is that tongues are for a sign of unbelief, and that meant that there were some people at Corinth who were faking their tongues experience, the same as today.
I suggest you get our two 90-minute tapes on this issue. It is packed with information you shouldn't be without. The title is "Tongues Speaking and the Charismatic Movement: A Historical, Pschological and Scriptural Analysis."

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Question 30 - JPII's Teachings

Mr. Sungenis,

Laudetur Iesus Christus!

You have said in prior posts, articles etc. that John Paul II has only made 1 authoritative teaching in his career, the confirmation of the priesthood being a male only sacrament.

However, would one consider this authoritative:
"I hereby condemn as heretical the notion that when anyone finds a doctrine clearly established in St. Augustine, he may absolutely hold and teach it, disregarding any Bull of the Pope."

Pope John Paul II
Dominicae Cenae, Feb. 24, 1980

This appears to have all the authoritative language. Likewise, what about John Paul II's confirmation of the intrinsically evil nature of Abortion and Contraception in Evangelium Vitae?

I agree that not all the Pope says is authoritative, and we should avoid the JPII fan club groupies who seem to believe if JPII said it the Holy Spirit has spoken. However, I believe he has done more than one authoritative in his tenure as Pope.

God bless,

Johnathon Stone

R. Sungenis: Jonathan, first of all, let me clear up one matter. I didn't say that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was the only "authoritative" teaching of John Paul II, but the only infallible one. As for the citation of Augustine, I don't find that in Dominicae Cenae, unless I'm missing something. In fact, John Paul has rarely used the word "heretical" in his pontificate. I can't find one place where he has used it.
In any case, the conclusion regarding Augustine would be in line with the teaching of Pius V that Augustine is not to be revered above a pope's decree, which is only logical, since Augustine is not the magisterium of the Church.

As for the declaration of the intrinsically evil nature of abortion, I don't think that would qualify as singularly infallible (in an of itself), since in that case John Paul would only be reiterating in an encyclical what the Church has always taught about abortion. In order for a papal statement to be infallible, Canon Law requires that the pope inform the Church that he is making an infallible statement (749.3)

The distinction with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is that it was an answer to a controversy, and it included the normal solemn language a pope would use for a definitively infallible statement. Moreover, when questioned as to its "infallible" status, Cardinal Ratzinger, speaking for the pope, affirmed that it was infallible.

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Question 29 - Does Father Gruner really harm Our Lady of Fatima?

Dear Mr. Sungenis,
What do you think of Unity Publishing's article on Father Nicholas Gruner entitled "Father Nicholas Gruner: The Man Who Harms Our Lady of Fatima" (www.unitypublishing.com)?
I visit Unity Publishing Website for its articles on false apparitions and Charismania, but I disapprove its attacks on a truly Catholic priest like Father Gruner.
Respectfully yours in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
John

R. Sungenis: John, the people who wrote that are either liars, very confused people, or extremely gullible, and perhaps a combination of all three. Here is what they claim for the 1984 consecration of the world by John Paul II:

"On March 25, 1984 Pope John Paul and the bishops throughout the world consecrated Russia and the world to the IHM. Even Russian Orthodox Bishops entered in. (Lucia said it was finally done correctly)"
The facts are these: The word "RUSSIA" (note the spelling of that word, since it is different than the word "WORLD") was never said. In fact, the pope was told NOT to say it by some of his high-placed Cardinals. If RUSSIA was not said, then the consecration was not completed, and that is probably why John Paul II said, at the March 25, 1984 consecration, no less, that he was "still awaiting the consecration" that Our Lady requested in 1929.

As for Sister Lucy's endorsement, it would mean something only if Sister Lucia wasn't being made to contradict her own testimony. Five times before 1989 she said the 1984 consecration DID NOT fulfill Our Lady's request. Now all of a sudden it DOES fulfill it? What kind of fools do these hierarchs take us for? It wouldn't be so bad except they were caught forging a letter purported to be from Sister Lucy to back up their case. And then they hire Carlos Evaristo to have an interview with Sister Lucia, and he has been proven to be a fraud.

If you want more information, consult our website for the half dozen articles on Fatima we have posted. Articles

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Question 28 - Cohabitation, Part II

Thank you for your advice Robert. Please let me add some information about the situation. Kindly advise whether it makes a difference and how it does. My friend said he is planning on marrying her as soon as he can (which seems to be at least 6 months from now). Although, he did openly admit that they were not planning on getting married before the pregnancy.
So, in the time between now and the time he gets married (at least 6 months), is it okay for him to get married? What about his leadership roles?
Thank you so much for your wisdom and prayers.
God bless,
Tony

R. Sungenis: Tony, if he respects her, he won't live with her until he actually gets married to her. He's already deceived her and God by getting her pregnant. Now he needs to prove himself by staying out of sin and then marrying her. Words are cheap. Action is what counts.

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Question 27 - "Missing link" fossils

Dear Robert,
You must be getting sick of all the questions you're getting from me!  :-) I am aware of the embarrassing lack of "link" fossils to prove Darwinistic evolution.  I just wondered if you could give me a little information on the extinct species Archaeopteryx.  Many evolutionists claim it is an intermediary species between reptiles and birds.  They argue it has characteristics of both birds (e.g. feathers) and reptiles (e.g. a mouth with teeth instead of a beak).  How correct are they? God bless,
Andrew

R. Sungenis: Andrew, the consensus is that Archaeopteryx was a bird. The Institute of Creation Research has done a lot of work on this. You can find them on the Internet.

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Question 27 - "Missing link" fossils

Dear Robert,
You must be getting sick of all the questions you're getting from me!  :-) I am aware of the embarrassing lack of "link" fossils to prove Darwinistic evolution.  I just wondered if you could give me a little information on the extinct species Archaeopteryx.  Many evolutionists claim it is an intermediary species between reptiles and birds.  They argue it has characteristics of both birds (e.g. feathers) and reptiles (e.g. a mouth with teeth instead of a beak).  How correct are they? God bless,
Andrew

R. Sungenis: Andrew, the consensus is that Archaeopteryx was a bird. The Institute of Creation Research has done a lot of work on this. You can find them on the Internet.

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Question 26- Earth and star rotation

hello i had a quick question and to me it would solve this issue about the everything revolving around the earth. here is my question. Does the little dipper star cluster stay facing the same side of the Earth in the day and at night? If so it would move around the earth very slow from our perception.  and would prove everything rotates around the earth.  If not then from that distance that cluster would have to travel around the earth in a 24 hour period for us to see it again the next night.  than the cluster of stars would be flat out hauling at outlandish speed it would cover an amazing amount of miles every 24 hours.  It would seem if things move around the earth then they would either have to do it in 24 hours or stay on the same side of the earth moving slowly which seems more likely.  Is this true or false what are your thoughts?
thanks Dusty

R. Sungenis: Dusty, the stars revolve around the earth once every 24 hours, but they do so inside the firmament. The firmament is the body that is rotating, and it carries the stars with it. The firmament is all of outer space, from our atmosphere to the waters above the firmament.

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Question 25- The nature of the Church

Dear Mr Sungenis,
    I recently told someone that either the Catholic Church is the
Church established by Christ to be the dispenser of all graces for our salvation and entrusted by Him with all the teachings which we must believe in order to be saved as the Church claims or the Church is the whore of Babylon as others claim.  I think he may be on the verge of accepting that the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon when I was trying to point out that the nature of the Church and dogmas of the faith were not merely something that Christians could politely disagree about.  He views the church as some kind of support group with all the
members growing together in holiness and understanding of the Gospel, but no authoritative interpreter of  the Gospel.  We are all the lawful successors of the apostles.  Whenever I try  to give Scriptural support for the Catholic view of the Church, he tells me the Catholic Church took Scripture out of context to give it a meaning totally different from what was originally intended. 

    He also claims he is not a protestant because he's not protesting against anything.  He is just trying to live the Gospel message. How can I respond?

Thank you and God Bless,
Diane

R. Sungenis:

Diane, every time he makes an assertion, tell him to prove it. Tell him that, in order to deny everything the Church is teaching about itself, and which is verified in its own records (the patristics, the tradition, the councils, etc), then the burden of proof is upon him. Tell him that if he can't prove his case, then all his assertions are from his own mind. Remind him that he has a fallible mind. You want to get him to a point where he realizes that all his objections are creations of his own mind and products of his own doubt.

As for the issue of true Church or whore, you can tell him the story of Israel. They were the true people of God, but God also called them a whore for forsaking him. Likewise, we have a lot of little whores running around the Catholic Church today, but that doesn't mean the Church herself is a whore. If not, then Jesus lied to us in Matthew 16:18-19 when he said the gates of hell will not prevail. God never made such a promise to Israel.

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Question 24- Did Christ Really Exist?

Dear Mr. Sungenis,

Several atheists have told me that there is no historical evidence to suggest that the person of Jesus Christ ever existed; therefore, they argue, Christianity is a fraud.

For some time I have been aware of the writings of Flavius Josephus (c. AD97) which mention Christ, despite Josephus being a Jewish historian.  Since I always thought that Josephus wouldn't be doing himself or Judaism any favours by mentioning the Passion, miracles and Resurrection of Christ, this
satisfied my intellect, until recently.

On several atheist web sites there are articles claiming that the section about Jesus in Josephus' writings is a forgery because, they argue, it is inserted at a seemingly random moment and it disrupts the flow of the text.  So far, I have been unable to answer these charges.  Are you aware of how to answer them, and can you point me in the right direction of any other historical evidence for Our Lord's existence?

God bless,
Andrew Johnstone

P.S. Please don't think I'm saying that I doubt Christ's existence or the truth of Catholicism.  I'm simply saying that this is a subject I don't have much expertise in and therefore at the moment I am unable to answer the charges I have met.  :-)

R. Sungenis: Andrew, as the Psalmist once told us "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Psalm 14:1). Romans 1:18-20 says that God has made is sufficiently clear in the Creation and the heart of man that He exists. Those they deny His existence do so, St. Paul says, because they desire to "suppress" that knowledge instilled in them. THAT is what is driving them to see "randomness" in Josephus' writing. The mere fact that there are literally a dozen or so historians that write of Christ means that the atheist is simply barking up the wrong tree. It is one thing if an atheist denies the divinity of Christ (since that is a matter of belief), but to deny that Christ ever existed is beyond the pale of credulity. The burden of proof is upon them, and they simply have no proof. 

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Question 23- Bishop John Micheal Botean and the Iraq War

Dear Robert,

 
I recently came across a series of articles making reference to an Eastern rite Byzantine Bishop in Canton, OH named Bishop John Michael Botean who wrote a letter back in early 2003, to the flock of his diocese of around 5000 that any of them participating in the war in Iraq were under the penalty of mortal sin.  The CWN News service quotes him as saying:

Bishop John Michael Botean, the head of the Romanian Catholic eparchy (diocese) of St. George in Canton, Ohio-- which has jurisdiction over all Byzantine-rite Romanian Catholics living in the US-- invoked the full measure of his authority in a Lenten Letter to his people. The bishop declared with "moral certainty" that the proposed attack on Iraq "does not meet even the minimal standards of the Catholic just-war theory."
The bishop announced that he "must declare to you, my people, for the sake of your salvation as well as my own, that any direct participation and support of this war against the people of Iraq is objectively grave evil, a matter of mortal sin." 

Have you heard of this?  If you have, my question is does a Bishop have the authority to "bind" the consciences of his diocese simply on the just war theory? Or is he stepping beyond his authority.  I'm also curious and suspicious as to his fervor against abortion which is latae sententiae and doesn't need to be publicly announced (well come to think about it, it does need to be publicly announced more often)!

CCC 2272: "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,’ [CIC, can. 1398.]

Anyway, I wanted to get your "take" on it. God bless and thanks for all that you do.

Christi simus non nostri

Rick

R. Sungenis: Rick, the bishop does have the authority to bind the consciences of his flock. That is precisely what bishops should be doing. He has the mandate to do so, since John Paul II has already stated his condemnation of the Iraq war, and the bishop has a whole precedent of Church teaching behind him. As such, it is interesting to see neo-con George Weigel, the supposed "biographer" of the pope and one of his strongest supporters, countermand the pontiff on this important issue. It shows that Weigel's allegiance (as is the case of Deal Hudson, Michael Novak, et al) is directed by the neo-con agenda, not the Vatican.

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Question 22- Does the Catholic Church Hold to the "Dictation" of Scripture?

Hi Robert,

Here is a quick question that I hope you can help me to clarify: I have read in two Protestant books on theology that the Council of Trent states a "dictation theory" of biblical authorship. Is this true? References: 1. Conyers. A basic Christian theology, 1995. 2. Hannah. Our legacy: the history of Christian doctrine, 2001. p. 51-52. The second book cited this sentence "dictated either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Ghost, and perserved in the Catholic Church by continuous succession" (4.2). Looking forward to your response. Thanks

Albert Psychology professor

R. Sungenis: Albert, the answer is yes. Not only did Trent teach a dictation theory, but so did Leo XII and Vatican I, so it is a dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church. Here are the references:


Leo XIII: "For the sacred Scripture is not like other books. Dictated by the Holy Spirit, it contains things of the deepest importance, which, in many instances, are most difficult and obscure" (Prov. Deus, I, B, 2, b). He also says: "For all the books in their entirety...with all their parts, have been written under the dictation of the Holy Spirit" (DS 3292).

Vatican Council 1 says: "Further, this supernatural revelation....is contained in the written books...from the apostles themselves by the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and have been transmitted as it were from hand to hand" (DS 3006).

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Question 22- Does the Catholic Church Hold to the "Dictation" of Scripture?

Hi Robert,

Here is a quick question that I hope you can help me to clarify: I have read in two Protestant books on theology that the Council of Trent states a "dictation theory" of biblical authorship. Is this true? References: 1. Conyers. A basic Christian theology, 1995. 2. Hannah. Our legacy: the history of Christian doctrine, 2001. p. 51-52. The second book cited this sentence "dictated either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Ghost, and perserved in the Catholic Church by continuous succession" (4.2). Looking forward to your response. Thanks

Albert Psychology professor

R. Sungenis: Albert, the answer is yes. Not only did Trent teach a dictation theory, but so did Leo XII and Vatican I, so it is a dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church. Here are the references:


Leo XIII: "For the sacred Scripture is not like other books. Dictated by the Holy Spirit, it contains things of the deepest importance, which, in many instances, are most difficult and obscure" (Prov. Deus, I, B, 2, b). He also says: "For all the books in their entirety...with all their parts, have been written under the dictation of the Holy Spirit" (DS 3292).

Vatican Council 1 says: "Further, this supernatural revelation....is contained in the written books...from the apostles themselves by the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and have been transmitted as it were from hand to hand" (DS 3006).

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Question 21- Logical problems with God? Atheistic arguments...

Dear Mr. Sungenis!

Thank you for your answer on question about Anaphora. If you are so kind, I have other question. Very different from that previous. I was asked by my friend to answer (or to find the answer) about this atheistic arguments, which I send below (taken from physicists' forum). I'm sure your can help. My friend is on the road to atheism. He is very intelligent but has many questions... Sorry for my bad English. May God bless you and your Apostolate

Konrad P, Poland

R. Sungenis: Konrad, admit to him that he is right -- we can't answer these questions. Is God free or is God determined, or is he neither or both? We don't know. But there is a reason we can't understand or explain these things: because if God exists, then by definition he is infinite since anything less than infinite would not be God. Consequently, we, the finite, since we cannot understand infinity, can never completely understand God. Hence, the logic the atheist uses to make it difficult to believe in God, we use the same logic to show that the atheist can't deny God's existence simply because he can't explain his existence.

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Question 20- Textual Criticism, the Vulgate and Modern Scholarship

Dear CAI, Could you explain the difference between New Testament versions on the basis of their sources and the ways in which those sources were compiled? I am interested in determining the benefits and drawbacks of using the Latin Vulgate-based Douay-Rheims version versus modern versions based on a Greek text constructed by historical criticism such as the text published by the United Bible Society (the Nestle-Aland text). Can you suggest any books or articles about Jerome and his methodology for creating the Vulgate compared with the methods used by modern biblical scholars? Thank you.

Steven G

R. Sungenis: Steve, the basic asset to the Vulgate is that when there is a discrepancy among the Greek texts we know which one the Church has more or less accepted or even authorized. The controversy came about when Tishendorf discovered the major codices (Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus) in the 1800s. These three codices differed in various places from the Textus Receptus from the early and late middle ages, so there was a rush to do "textual criticism." Since the three codices were dated from the 4-5th centuries, they were considered more authoritative by the critical scholars. But when push came to shove, it was found that the three codices had many discrepancies between themselves, whereas the codices and minuscules of the Textus Receptus were in great agreement among themselves. One of the best reviews of this controvesy is a dissertation I read in the late 70s by Harry Sturz titled "The Byzantine Text Type and New Testament Textual Criticism."  I would highly recommend it.

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Question 19- Question on Jesus' divinity

Hello Robert
I found the text below at
http://www3.sympatico.ca/shabir.ally/new_page_41.htm which is a muslim web site. The author thinks he has found some biblical texts to demonstrate that Jesus was not God. In particular he focuses on Mark 11:12-14. A copy of the text is below. My question is what is a good response to counter this argument?
thanks
Phil W

Some will say that Jesus had two natures, that he was both man and God at the same time.  They will say that the limitations we pointed out are limitations in the human nature of Jesus, but his God nature is still unlimited.  Notice that the Bible never confirms that Jesus had these two natures.  This is a desperate solution offered by those who do not wish to
believe what the Bible plainly says.  The plain teaching of the Bible, as we have shown, is that Jesus was not God.


This dual-nature solution complicates matters further still.  Take for illustration the fig-tree episode in the Gospels (see Mark ch. 11, vv 12-25).  Mark tells us as follows:

   "Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit.  When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs" (Mark 11:12-14).

Jesus then put a curse on the tree, so that no one could eat fruit from it again.  The tree withered from the roots by next morning.

Now, it is clear from this passage that Jesus had a lot of power to curse the tree and make it wither from its roots.  It is also clear that Jesus' knowledge was limited on two counts.  First, he did not know that the tree had no fruit until he came to it.  Second, he did not know that it was not the right season to expect figs on trees.


Proponents of the dual-nature theory will have to admit that the power to curse was in Jesus' God nature.  They will have to also admit that his lack of knowledge was due to his human nature.  They will have to then conclude that the God nature acted at the behest of the limited knowledge stemming from the human nature.  But God does not act on ignorance.  Surely He would
know, as Mark knew, that it was not the season for figs, and that when fig season arrives that tree will provide fruit for God's creatures.  Why would God curse a good tree which he created?  Some would like to believe that the tree was barren and therefore deserved to be destroyed.  But, if Mark was right, the reason the tree had no fruit is "because it was not the
season for figs" (Mark 12, v. 13).

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R. Sungenis: Philip, the only thing our Muslim friend has found is the difficulty in understanding the divine and human natures of Christ, not that Christ was not divine. The mere fact that the Muslim admits that Christ cursed the fig tree by a miraculous act shows that he was divine, for only God can do such miracles (as Jesus did when he raised Lazurus or put limbs back on people's bodies, etc). But the fact remains that Jesus did these miracles in a human body, and with a human body comes a human nature. Thus we have both a divine nature and a human nature. Just because the Muslim can't explain how the omniscience of the divine can combine with the limited knowledge of the human is no reason to deny the divine. We have the same problem with God Himself, that is, is God determined or free? Either answer will make a contradiction. Instead, the Christian faith puts it all in the category of "mystery." It is those who think that because they can't solve those mysteries that the mysteries are untrue, and they are usually false religions.

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Question 18 - Interracial dating

What is the Catholic viewpoint on interracial dating as teen-agers?       Kathy

R. Sungenis: The Catholic Church neither forbids it or encourages it. My opinion is that teenagers are not mature enough to be dating until they reach at least the age of 18. Until then, they should only be going out together in groups, and with chaperones.


The situation of their immaturity is complicated by the fact that there are two different races. People who chose to date or marry interracially have to understand that, although there is nothing morally wrong with interracial mixture, still, they and their children will experience the difficulties of the residual social stigma. The question is: are they strong enough to whether that stigma? If they are not, then it is advisable to avoid such relationships. As St. Paul says: "All things are lawful to me: but all things are not expedient."

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Question 17- Is there an Orthodox church?

Mr. Sungenis,

Do you believe that it is correct to refer to the schismatic Orthodox Christians as members of an Orthodox church? I've always understood the truth to be that there is only One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Why would the Vatican refer to the Orthodox Christians as members of a true church, as I believe was done by Cardinal Ratzinger in a fairly recent Vatican publication? I'm truly confused by this; am I making a mistake by not differentiating between a strict and loose meaning of the term "church," or is there something else at work here? I hope you can help clear this up for me. God bless your ministry.

Andrew

R. Sungenis: Andrew, in the days of unbridled "ecumenism" everything has become confused, and thus you will see Church hierarchs use ambiguous and misleading language on various occasions. It is clear that Ratzinger himself simply does not have a definitive answer to these questions. That is why one day you will hear him sound very conservative, and the very next day he will say something very liberal. That is because he is a confused man who has tried to play both sides of the fence.

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Question 16- What do you think of Opus Dei and Feeneyism?

Dear Mr. Sungenis,
What do you think of Opus Dei? Is it Ecclesiastical Masonry? And is John Paul II's beatification and canonization of Josemaria Escriva infallible?

Is Father Feeney a heretic for rejecting the Doctrine of Baptism of Desire?

Respectfully yours in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
John

R. Sungenis: John, Opus Dei has many good people in the organization. I was once a member. However, there is a tendency in some of these groups to become cult-like, wherein allegiance to a man (Escriva) seems to take the forefront. This is especially troublesome when the man at the top is under suspicion for doctrinal problems or immorality, as is the case with Marcel Maciel of the Legionnaires of Christ. As a result I would advise extreme caution to anyone contemplating joining these groups, especially the Legionnaires, who seem to breed much more of a cult-following than Opus Dei. As for Escriva's canonization, we had a QA on this back in October or November you might want to consult. Canonizations have normally been understood as infallible, but there has never been a dogmatic statement made by the Church on the issue. Regarding Fr. Feeney, no, he was never declared a heretic for his views on Baptism of Desire. He merely had a different interpretation of the phrase. The case is partly the Church's fault for not making the parameters of the Baptism of Desire crystal clear on a dogmatical level. Until they do, there will be a controversy about the issue.

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Question 15- Evangelization amidst Liberalism

Mr. Sungenis, how do we do evangelization, locally, when we are stuck in a very liberal parish? I mean, I try to evangelize but I would do more harm (and that's a sad fact) by bringing them to my parish. It seems that what I teach (as a witness of Christ) and what my parish teaches are totally different. Should I not evangelize locally until I find a decent parish for them to attend, or what? I don't think it would be very productive to win liberal converts, especially non-Catholics, in general, don't find the current shell of Catholicism as that attractive, and neither do I. God bless you and your apostolate.

Adam

R. Sungenis: Adam, when you evangelize you must also enlighten the converts to the condition of the Church in these days. But tell them not to be discouraged, because this kind of deterioration has happened in the Church many times over the centuries. We need good people like them to help clean it up. In other words, don't make them think that now that they have come to the Catholic Church it is going to be a bed of roses. No, they will have a much harder time in the Catholic Church. But that is because it is the true Church and thus it is where the devil will be attacking the greatest, and he is doing a good job right now. In short, today's evangelization must be two-sided: tell them the good and the bad of the Church.

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Question 14- Martin Luther, the Movie

Robert,
A lot is being made in Protestant circles about the movie "Luther", which nobody saw in the theaters (less than $6 million in ticket sales). Apparently, Martin Luther is portrayed as some kind of revolutionary hero. Would you please enlighten us a bit about the true character of this former priest. From what I have read about him, Luther was not even a good man, much less heroic. I also know that he had major problems with many of the books of the Bible, some of which he threw out (such as 1 and 2 Maccabees), and some of which he wish he could have (James). Finally, could you direct me to a good biography of Martin Luther that portrays him in an honest light?
God bless you and CAI, and Merry Christmas!
Dan

R. Sungenis: Dan, the man objection Luther had to the Catholic Church was not the abuse of indulgences (as is popularly thought) but the theology of the Middle Ages. Luther came to the conviction that man had no free will and the everything was programmed by God. In this respect, he was just like John Calvin and Huldrich Zwingli. This thesis was outlined in his 1525 book, The Bondage of the Will. It was for this theology that he was condemned in 41 censures by Pope Leo X in 1520. By this action, Leo saved the Church from a most perverse theology. But Luther was also a man of questionable morals. He would drink to excess and do many things that you and I would consider appalling. I write about these things in my book Not By Faith Alone, Chapter 9. Also, in Appendix 1 there is a whole list of books I cite regarding Luther's life. I hope that helps.

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Question 13- Cohabitation

Dear Robert,
I need your wisdom and advice with a problem I am having with a friend. I will try to summarize the situation briefly:

1) My good friend recently got his girlfriend pregnant and is now living with her.

2) Up until he got her pregnant, he was an active leader in our youth ministry who gave talks to the youth.

3) He also just got a job as a religious teacher at a Catholic high school.

4) We have asked him to step down as a leader and speaker, which he as agreed to.

5) Myself and several other leaders have asked him to stop living with his girlfriend (now fiance') but he says he can't. From my conversations with him it appears the major reason is that his fiance's parents will be very mad and she doesn't want to stop living together too.

6) I refuse to go to his house and I did not go to the baby shower because I don't want him to think I am okay with his situation and I worry that the parents of the kids in our ministry might think that too.

7) There is division amongst the youth ministry about how to handle the situation. Half think the position I am taking is "judging him," and the other half agrees with me.

Am I wrong for not going to his house? Am I wrong for not going to the baby shower? Please note that I have invited him to spend time together outside of his house and I bought a gift for his baby even though I did not attend the baby shower.
Also, we have given alternatives to living with his fiance' such as money to move out and another friend offered her house so his girlfriend could live there. If they are not having relations, is it okay for them to live together?

I really appreciate your help. God bless your fine ministry.
Yours in Christ,
Tony

R. Sungenis:Tony, under no circumstances should they be "living together." The only thing they should do now is to get married and focus their energies upon raising the child. Until if and when they make a commitment to get married, they are living in sin. Anyone who knowingly and in full view of everyone sins and does not rectify the sin should be shunned (1 Cor 5:1-7). In not committing themselves to marriage, then now put the child at risk. But if he chooses not to marry the girl, then he should move out but continue to support the child until the child is at least 18 years old, if not longer. Anything less and he will be under God's severest judgment.

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Question 12- Validity of confession from the SSPX

Dear Mr. Sungenis

I have a question concerning validity of confession. In Unam Sanctam Pope states: [outside the Catholic Church] "there is no salvation nor remission of sin…" Does it mean, that every confession to a schismatic priest (SSPX for example) is invalid? Sorry for my bad English

May God bless you!

Konrad P, Poland

R. Sungenis: No, the SSPX still have the orders. That is the same reason why we can attend their masses and fulfill our obligation. The only caveat is that we not imbibe the spirit of schism in the SSPX.

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Question 11- Kneeling to receive our Eucharistic Lord

Hi Robert:

I attend the Novus Ordo daily Mass during the week. While others stand to receive our Lord, I kneel on the ground. The other day, someone asked why I kneel. I said because we are receiving the God of the universe. If God humbles Himself so much to come to me under the appearance of bread, then I should humble myself when I receive him. Kneeling is the principal way of expressing adoration for the divine.

But, without thinking too much about it, I immediately offered two other reasons, which just came out of me at the moment. First, I said kneeling to receive our Lord is an immemorial custom of the Church. We can trace this practice back to at least the 5th and 6th centuries at the time of St. Gregory, and has been the constant custom of the Tridentine Mass. If receiving our Lord in the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith, then the manner in which we receive Him is vitally important as well. What could be more essential than fostering the proper disposition and devotion to our Lord when receiving Him in Holy Communion?

As you know, immemorial customs have the force of law; in fact, canon law cannot even abrogate them; only a papal/magisterial document could revoke the custom. This shows the wisdom of the Church. We cannot set aside immemorial customs just because the culture wishes to. Thus, one can reasonably conclude that kneeling to receive our Lord is an immemorial custom of the Church, which has never been rescinded (even the USCCB has stated that Catholics cannot be denied Holy Communion because they kneel).

Secondly, kneeling to receive our Lord is arguably a divine mandate as well. Paul says "every knee should bend" (Phil. 2:10). Paul is not talking about the reception of Holy Communion; he is talking about bending the knee at the name of Jesus. How much more should we bend the knee when we receive Jesus' body, blood, soul and divinity. I would add a footnote here to say that kneeling is even more "important" than head covering (which is also an immemorial custom of the Church backed by divine mandate).

We will only get the post-conciliar Church back on track by adhering to the apostolic Traditions and customs handed down to us, not watering them down or eliminating them altogether.

I appreciate your thoughts.

R. Sungenis: John, you are so correct. Lex Orinidi, Lex Credendi (As the Church prays, the Church believes). In my old diocese (Arlington, VA) run by the infamous Bishop Loverde, he tried to get Christendom College to stop the students from kneeling at communion. Although the president complied, after a while, he wrote to Rome for relief. Rome wrote a letter back to the school and Bishop Loverde stating that Loverde had no right to prohibit kneeling. Do you know what Loverde did after that? He demanded that the kneelers be taken out of the Chapel at Christendom College! This is a man who has virtually nothing to do with the college, except that he is the ordinary of the diocese in which Christendom resides. He also tried to force his way onto the board of Christendom, so that he could run the show. In short, John, the move to prohibit kneeling is satanic. It is just another sign of the almost totally corrupt Catholic Church in America.

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Question 10- Malachi and the Eucharist

Hi Robert!

I'm presently involved in digging up more information on the background of the dispensationalist view and how it is connected with the Talmud (alternative to the New Testament in Rabbinic-Judaism). Influences through the Cabbala and Freemasonry appear to be obvious. Dispensationalism is definitely NOT a teaching derived from Holy Scripture or Christian Tradition.

Okay, but at the moment I'm excited about something else. This might all be old hat to you, so I ask you to bear with my exuberance. (I haven't read your "Not By Bread Alone" yet.)

Today I was reminded of a diagram I had seen in "My Catholic Faith" showing how that through the fact that the Roman Church is spread over the whole world the Mass is actually offered every hour of every day (24 hours – constantly) and thus fulfils Malachi 1:11:

For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.

I thought I'd look into this a bit more – the results surprised me and got me quite excited.

When was this or will be fulfilled? The section in Malachi is clearly
dealing with the putting aside of the Levite system and bringing in
something new. A dispensationalist would say that this will take place after the Tribu-lation and in the Millennium.

Wrong!

In the dispensationalist view of things Jerusalem with its Temple and Jewish priests will be the centre. Only there can legitimate sacrifices be brought. But the verse in Malachi is speaking of Gentiles and "in every place"! (Something quite impossible in Old Testament times – people got in trouble for that then.)

The Hebrew word used in Malachi is "minchah" and I found it used in:

Leviticus 5:13 The priest shall make atonement for him, for his sin that he has committed in any of these matters; and it shall be forgiven him. The rest shall be the priest's as a grain offering.

Leviticus 14:20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

Grain or meat offering, this definitely suggests eating and is brought into connection with atonement.

I checked the Septuagint for the Greek equivalent for "minchah" - which is "thusia - and then where it is used in the New Testament. It is used in some very important passages such as:

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the
knowledge of the truth, there re-maineth no more sacrifice for sins,

There is a definite connection here. Where else or when else can Malachi 1:11 be fulfilled? The only expla-nation is: in the Church of Rome. It is a PURE sacrifice or offering brought day and night and in every place. It is a sacrifice which believers eat and it is connected with the atonement.

This is great! (I love it when things fall into place like this!)

Like I said, this probably not new to you, but I thought I'd just let you know of the "progress" I'm making.

In our Lord,

Simeon

R. Sungenis: Simeon, yes indeed. Malachi is speaking about the Eucharist. Jeremiah also does the same thing in speaking of the Levites of the future. All of this is in my book, Not By Bread Alone, in great detail. God be with you.

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Question 9- Douay Bible

I have just received your new translation of the Gospel of Matthew and have been delighted with it.

It is especially gratifying to see you are using the venerable Douay Bible as the basis for your work, and I am looking forward to upcoming volumes.

I am the Treasurer of the International Society of Bible Collectors and have asked our editor to include a brief mention of your new translation in the upcoming (Jan 2005) edition of our quarterly: Bible Editions & Versions.

I invite your attention to a new website I have just launched on the Douay Bible. It includes a professional slide show presentation on the History of the Douay Bible. I invite you to view the site and if you find it of interest to add a link from your website.

The address is:

http://www.douaybible.com/

Thanks again for your new translation and keep up the good work!

Sidney O

R. Sungenis: Sidney, thank you so much for the commendation! I'm so glad you can appreciate the work that went into it. We have 12 more volumes to go, and they will be in the same style. Keep in touch. Thanks for the web address. I will pass it along to our patrons.

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Question 8- Mary as spouse of the Holy Ghost

Mr Sungenis:

In the documentary produced by The Fatima Network "Fatima: Heaven's Key to Peace," which featured yourself as one of the commentators, the claim that the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as per Our Lady of Fatima's instructions was not carried out was again made despite Vatican statements to the contrary.

One specific, and I think very important, claim made by the Holy See was not even brought up, much less interacted with by the documentary, and that is the following from the November 17, 2001 interview Sr. Lucia gave to Archbishop Tarcisco Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation of the Faith:

Abp. Bertone:

"What have you to say about the stubborn assertions of Fr Gruner, who has been collecting signatures, asking the Pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at last, as if this has never been done?".

Sr. Lucia:

"The Carmelite community has rejected the forms for the collection of signatures. I have already said that the consecration desired by Our Lady was made in 1984, and has been accepted in Heaven". The full text of the interview can be found at: http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFLUCIA.HTM

My question is why wasn't this particular claim discussed?

In Christ,
Greg

R. Sungenis: Greg, I wasn't in on the editing of the documentary, but I assume it wasn't discussed since the accounts of Sr. Lucia now claiming to approve of the 1984 consecration as fulfilling the 1929 request of Our Lady simply aren't credible, especially since people like Carlos Evarista (who has been exposed as a fraud) are behind many of these claims. The facts are these: 5 times before 1989 Sr. Lucia explicitly stated (and all the statements are documented), that the 1984 consecration DID NOT fulfill the 1929 request. Suddenly, after a visit from some Vatican hierarchs in late 1989, Sr. Lucia is suddenly found to be changing her mind. The Vatican hierarchs even went to the lengths of forging a statement from Sr. Lucia in 1989, and Bertone and Sodano were involved in it. I just wrote a paper last year on Dr. Zugibe's visit with Sr. Lucia in which she supposedly makes such concessions. (Will the Real Sr. Lucia Stand Up). Other articles on Fatima we carry are at The Controversy of the Third Secret of Fatima
and March 25, 2004: John Paul II Continues the Cover Up of Fatima

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Question 7- What Comparisons are there between Athanasius and Lefebvre?

JMJ
Hi Robert,
Was Saint Athanasius excommunicated once, and was his excommunication valid? If not, why not?
God Bless,
Gerald D

R. Sungenis: Liberus was under duress from the Emperor, and thus whatever Liberius signed is of questionable authenticity, and the scholars can debate back and forth regarding it. This is not the case with JP2 and Lefebvre. There is no emperor threatening the life of John Paul II to force him to excommunicate Lefebvre. He did it of his own free will and for reasons that were clearly stipulated to Lefebvre, and which were clearly stipulated in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and thus it was a disciplinary mandate that comes directly under the definition of Vatican I. All the ducks were in order, which is hardly the case with Liberius and Athanasius. Besides, there were popes before and after Athanasius that exhonerated him. Until if and when such a pope comes after John Paul II to exhonerate Archbishop Lefebvre, we must place our allegiance with the present pope in this matter, no matter how hard it is for us to understand or accept. God never promised that these things would be easy.

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Question 6- Mary as spouse of the Holy Ghost, Part II

Well there's more, ironically, at http://www.biblelight.net/spouse.htm. I know that I've personally heard or seen Mary called the spouse of the Holy Ghost (and not vice versa) on many occasions and never thought anything unusual about it. I take it to be mainly metaphorical. Nuns call themselves brides of Christ so why not Mary the spouse of the Holy Ghost?

--Thom

R. Sungenis: Thom, I wouldn't call those sources listed a biblelight authoritative. Also, although you may take it metaphorically, others have tried to see it legally or ontological, and that's where the problem begins. The questioner to our QA board was seeing it more in the legal or ontological sense. On the other hand, nuns can refer to themselves as the bride of Christ, since Scripture, the Fathers, the Councils and Popes are replete with evidence that the Church is the bride of Christ, and those that remain celibate in particular. So far, the only qualified source that suggested the Holy Spirit is the spouse of Mary is Leo XIII, but I don't think he was making it a doctrine of the Church.

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Question 5- Mary as spouse of the Holy Ghost

Pope Leo XIII said:
14. ... Unite, then, Venerable Brethren, your prayers with Ours, and at your exhortation let all Christian peoples add their prayers also, invoking the powerful and ever-acceptable intercession of the Blessed Virgin. You know well the intimate and wonderful relations existing between her and the Holy Ghost, so that she is justly called His Spouse. The intercession of the Blessed Virgin was of great avail both in the mystery of the Incarnation and in the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles. ...

Source: DIVINUM ILLUD MUNUS, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE HOLY SPIRIT, MAY 9, 1897.
--Thom Falter

R. Sungenis: Then this is the only exception, since there is nothing in the Fathers, Councils or any other Pope, Saint, or Doctor that I can find. If you have any other source other than this encyclical, please forward it to me. As for now, I don't think this one statement from Leo in an encyclical is going to make this Catholic doctrine.

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Question 4- The hidden face of God

Robert

Are you familiar with Gerald Schroeder's web site "The hidden face of God"? He offers an explaination of Genesis 1:1as follows;
"Genesis 1:1 is usually read in the English, is "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Unfortunately, that rendition, which the entire English speaking world has heard repeatedly from youth (both biological and cultural youth), misses the meaning of the Hebrew. The miss is not very surprising. The English version stems from the King James Bible, first published in 1611. But the King James Bible is a translation preceded by the Latin Vulgate attributed to St. Jerome in the 4th century and that Latin version is taken from the Greek Septuagint that dates back some 2200 years. The Septuagint is taken from the Hebrew. "In the beginning" is three translations downstream from the original.

The opening word, usually translated as "In the beginning," is the Hebrew Be'reasheet. Be'reasheet can mean "In the beginning of" but not "In the beginning." The difficulty with the preposition "of" is that its object is absent from the sentence and so the usual English translation merely drops it. Rather than changing the meaning of the Hebrew and ignoring the "of," the 2,100 year old Jerusalem translation of Genesis into Aramaic realizes that Be'reacheet is a compound word: the prefix Be' – with; and raesheet – a first wisdom. The meaning becomes: "With wisdom God created the heavens and the earth." That wisdom is the first part of creation finds its parallel repeatedly in the Bible. For example, "With the word of God the heavens were formed" (Ps. 33:6). And, "How manifold are Your works, Eternal, You made them all with wisdom" (Ps 104:24). And, "Raesheet hohmah - Beginning of wisdom," (Ps. 111:10). Wisdom is the fundamental building block of the universe, and as such it is an inherent characteristic. In the processes of life that wisdom finds its most complex revelation. Wisdom, information, an idea, is the link between the metaphysical creating Force and the physical creation. It is the hidden face of God."

Would you please comment on his translation and offer any insights you have on his work. Thanks

Walt

R. Sungenis: Walt, I'm afraid Mr. Schroeder is a little too imaginative. Be'reasheet is simply a combination of the Hebrew noun ROSH, which means "head, chief, beginning, leader, etc" and the prefix BETH, which is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet. When BETH is placed before a word, it simply means "in" or "when." Further, the translation would not be "In the beginning" since there is no article before ROSH. The translation is more correctly rendered "In beginning." Moreover, the preposition BETH does not require an object other than ROSH. In other words, the text could be translated: "Of beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," or "In beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," which in both cases emphasizes and draws attention to the "beginning." In colloquial speech we might say, "Concerning the beginning, here is the story: God created the heavens and the earth."

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Question 3- Response to Dave Armstrong on Catholic Apologetics

Hi Bob,

Hope you are well and enjoying a blessed Advent Season.

I posted a response (about ten minutes ago) to a passing remark that you made about me on your website, which I found quite odd:

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/

You are welcome (indeed, encouraged) to clarify on my blog (BlogBack comments section) or by e-mail. I have stated in the post itself that I would post whatever you wrote me about this (for reasons given there), so if you wish it to be strictly private, either don't write back, or make a clear indication that "THESE remarks are private," etc. Anything about the topic itself should, I think, be public, as it was brought up publicly (i.e., your statement about me was public and so was my response). I don't see why anything about this need be strictly private, anyway. You can cite this letter, too, if you like, as it is not about "private" matters, but already public ones.

May God bless you and yours abundantly,

Dave Armstrong

R. Sungenis: Dave,

I've responded to your concerns. May God give you wisdom.

You can post my response on your site, but if you do so, I ask that you post the whole response.

Regarding the references on your site to Kristol, Coulter, et al:

If you have no political affiliation with these neo-cons, then I suggest you put a disclaimer on your site, otherwise people are going to get the wrong impression, and you can't blame them if they do. Any person with common sense who sees their names on your website would assume that you support the political views of the aforementioned unless you say otherwise.

Regarding the other issues:

First of all, Dave, I didn't include you in the quote about the "darker side," because to my knowledge you haven't posted anything which makes slanderous accusations against geocentrists, least of all anything that makes someone who holds the view look like a derelict who walks around with an aluminum hat.

Conversely, Mirus, Shea and a few other have done so to varying degrees, and Shea with his usual sardonic venom. The fact is that most of these "critics" haven't studied the issue, and won't even open up their mind to discuss it, yet elicit their pompous remarks as if an angel from heaven just came down and whispered the truth in their ear. When I see this kind of calculated, slanderous and deliberate obstinance, then I can only assume it is not of angels but of devils. If you want to believe there is some in-between realm of influence, that is your prerogative, but I tend not to.

On the other hand, Hoge has been a gentlemen, and I respect him for it. He and I have had several intelligent and cordial exchanges on this topic, and at least he is open to discussing a view opposed to his.

As for Scott Hahn, although I have critiqued him (as many other people have done), our QA board shows that I place him far above people like Mark Shea and Shawn McElhinney. Here's what I said about Hahn: "I think he is a good Catholic and I admire him for his pursuit of holiness. I like his wife, I like his kids, and I think that they are good models for Christian behavior. I think he has done many good things for the Church, and I think he has taught many good things. I do, however, question some of his theological positions and interpretations of Scripture. "

The same for Steve Ray. We've had our disagreements, but he has always been a gentlemen.

("This sentence [of these sentences] have been removed by request of R. Sungenis")

Let me close by saying this: My main disagreement with you and the aforementioned apologists is not the opposition to geocentrism. I understand why someone would have honest disagreements with it, since they simply don't have all the facts at their disposal. What I am against is the slander that issues forth from such opposition.

("This sentence [of these sentences] have been removed by request of R. Sungenis")

The irony is that all the aforementioned apologists had the intellectual wherewithal to uncover them the sometimes very subtle errors of Protestantism, but somehow when it comes to the blatant errors bring propagated by a majority of Catholic prelates today, suddenly these apologists grow very silent.

("This sentence [of these sentences] have been removed by request of R. Sungenis")

Thanks to that mentality, another president of the USCCB has been elected who was involved with shuffling pedophiles from parish to parish, ("This sentence [or these sentences] have been removed by request of R. Sungenis")

In this country, the Catholic Church has never been in such absolute deterioration. Since the end of Vatican II, the number of priests has declined by 30%, and nearly half of the priests today are over 65 years of age. In 1965, the Church in the U.S. ordained 1,575 new priests. In 2002, a pitiful 450 were ordained. The number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 in 1965 to an astounding 4,700 in 2002. Nearly 400 of the 600 seminaries open in 1965 have closed. In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns, 104,000 of them as teaching nuns. Today there are 75,000 nuns, and only 8,200 of them teach, but most of the 75,000 are over 70 years of age. In 1965, there were 912 Christian Brother seminarians. In 2000, there were 7 left. The Franciscans decreased from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000. The Jesuits from over 3,500 in 1965 to 389 in 2000. Half of all Catholic schools have closed since 1965, and the student population has fallen from 700,000 to 386,000. For parochial schools, it has fallen from 4.5 million to below 2 million. In 1958, 75% of Catholics attended Mass on Sunday. In 2002, only 25% attended. Marriage annulments in 1965 were 338. In 2002 they were over 50,000. Only 10% of lay religious teachers accept the Church's teaching on contraception, and most openly teach against it. 53% of Catholics believe that a Catholic can have an abortion. 65% believe Catholics can divorce and remarry. 77% believe one does not have to attend Mass to be a good Catholic. A New York Times poll revealed that 70% of Catholics between 18-44 believe the Eucharist is merely a "symbolic reminder" of Jesus.

These are the things that today's Catholic apologists need to work against. While you're out there preaching about the joys of Catholicism and its "Biblical Defense," meanwhile there are precious few churches, seminaries, and universities left in the US and abroad that you and I would feel comfortable telling a convert to attend, let alone our own children. The saying of Bishop Fulton Sheen still goes: "If you want your kids to lose their Catholic faith, send them to a Catholic university or seminary." You and I know it is a lot worse today.

My old diocese has a Bishop (Loverde) who has had a boyfriend for 19 years; has a diocese that is upwards of 60% homosexual priests; had signed two civil rights bills for homosexuals when he was bishop in Connecticut; who has relentlessly tried to defrock the only priest in his diocese who has tried to expose this filth, and yet none of your "apologists" (including Scott Hahn) will raise a whisper against him or any of the dozens of other bishops and cardinals like him.

You and your colleagues need to become prophets (like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc) not just apologists. You need to put undue pressure on these bishops to do the job they were called to do so that we can turn this Church around. As it stands now, 90% of the Church is doctrinally heterodox and morally bankrupt. Turn your guns against them, Dave, not me. You know as well as I do, if we don't fight the "darker side" then we become part of it.

Robert Sungenis

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Question 2- Fr. Paul Trinchard

Dear Mr. Sungenis, would you comment on the work of Fr Paul Trinchard (if you are familiar with him) and particularly his latest book on the invalidity of the new mass. Thankyou, Steven Manwiller.

R. Sungenis: What I know of Fr. Trinchard is that he wrote a good book on the Fatima crisis. That is about all. If he is now saying that the Novus Ordo is invalid, then he is way out of his league, and he is wrong. He simply has no authority to make such a conclusion. Unfortunately, this is what happens to some traditionalists when they over-react to the crisis before us.

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Question 1- What about Genesis chapter 4? Part II

Robert Sungenis: I find it interesting how Mr. Morton can make arguments based on the literal chronology presented in Genesis 4-7 (that is, that there was a Flood in Genesis 7 and it came after Genesis 4), but then totally ignores the literal chronology presented in Genesis 5 and 11, and thus allows himself to speak about man existing 4-5 million years ago. At most the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 can bring us back to about 10,000 BC. Is there an explanation for this discrepancy in your view of biblical chronology, Mr. Morton?

[Glenn Morton]: I don't see a discrepancy in either chonology if the chronologies are true but incomplete. And I would absolutely disagree with you that if you took the Gen 5 and 11 chonologies as literal, there is no way you can get back to 10,000 BC without doing exactly as I do--place gaps in the chronology. So, why are your gaps so much better than my gaps?
R. Sungenis: If you believe Adam was the first man, then there is no way you can put millions of years into the gaps of the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11.

The first two genealogical relationships of Genesis 5 state that the relationship were father-son, which we can prove by the fact that the text says each father "named" his son. They are: Adam to Seth (Gen 5:3); Seth to Enosh (Gen 4:26; 5:6).

The length of years between the first three progenitors is just a little more than a thousand years (since Adam was 130 when he had Seth, and Seth was 105 when he had Enosh, and Enosh died after 905 years of age, thus 130 + 105 + 905 = 1,140 years from Adam to Enosh's death).

The first possibility we have of a gap is Genesis 5:10-12, since it doesn't say that Enosh "named" him Kenan.

Other gaps are possible also between: Kenan and Mahalalel; Mahalalel and Jared; Jared and Enoch; Enoch to Methuselah; Methuselah to Lamech, since none of them are said to be "named" by their progenitor.

When we come to Lamech and Noah, the original formula comes into play again, as we see Lamech "naming" Noah, which Lamech does when Lamech is 182 years old (Genesis 5:28-29).

The length of Noah's life is 950 years (Genesis 9:29), and so the total of years from Lamech to Noah's death is 1,132 years (which is almost the same amount of time, 1,140 years, between Adam and the death of Enosh, noted above).

So now we have 1,140 years + 1,132 years, or 2,272 years based on the lives of five of the patriarchs of Genesis 5-9.

So with these two genealogical bookends (that is, 1,140 years and 1,132 years), how could someone like yourself comes along and suggests that the remaining genealogy of Genesis 5 between the death of Enosh and the birth of Lamech is millions of years? Based on what, Dr. Morton?

It certainly can't be the biblical evidence, since the bookends don't come anywhere near what you are suggesting. You know as well as I that it would be highly unusual for Genesis to begin with a span of three lives amounting to no more than 1,140 years, and give the same kind of figure (1,132 years) for the two lives right before the Flood, and then fill the middle of the remaining genealogy with millions of years. If you think differently, then the burden is certainly on you to prove your case.

May I suggest something to you? There is a reason that Genesis 5 records the births and deaths of its patriarchs, whereas Genesis 4:17-24 of the line of Cain does not. That is because Genesis 5 is a calendar so that the patriarchs could keep track of time.

In the instances when the progenitor did not "name" his progeny, we have a case in which the progenitor (e.g., Enosh in Genesis 5:10) fathers the ancestor or ancestors of the next calendar patriarch, which would be Kenan. But Kenan is born in the year that Enosh dies, and thus the calendar can be continued without interruption.

So, in the case of Enosh and Kenan:

1) Enosh lives 90 years and has a son who will be the ancestor of Kenan (Genesis 5:9)
2) Enosh lives 815 years after that ancestor is born (Genesis 5:10)
3) Enosh dies at 905 years old, at which year Kenan is born (Genesis 5:11)

If we follow the same pattern with Kenan and Mahalalel; Mahalalel and Jared; Jared and Enoch; Enoch to Methuselah; Methuselah to Lamech, we can have no more than 7000 years between Adam and Noah's death.

If we subtract the 2,272 years that Adam, Seth, Enosh, Lamech and Noah occupy, that leaves less then 5000 years for Kenan and Mahalalel; Mahalalel and Jared; Jared and Enoch; Enoch to Methuselah; Methuselah to Lamech.

This assumes there are gaps between Kenan and Mahalalel; Mahalalel and Jared; Jared and Enoch; Enoch to Methuselah; Methuselah to Lamech. If there are no gaps, then the time period is much less than 5000 years.

Morton: As to men existing millions of years ago, do you know when the worlds first mobile piece of art was recognized? Do you know when the first piece of art was made by man? 3 million and 1.6 million years respectively. If you would actually look at the anthropological record you would realize that there are very human things being done long long ago which conventional apologetics totally ignores.
R. Sungenis: I'm sorry, Dr. Morton, you have absolutely no way of verifying that proposition because written records only go back as far as 3500-5000 BC. The only thing you could even possibly base your dating system upon is either the geologic column or radiometrics, both of which have been found to be highly dubious, and certainly not any kind of scientific proof.

Morton: "As it so happened, my first book The Biology of Art, published many years earlier, had been an attempt to trace the origins of the most ancient of all forms of adult play and to see how, from biological roots, the great tree of human art could blossom. The earliest evidence we have of this activity is a staggering three million years old.
R. Sungenis: 3 million years old? Based on what specific dating system, Dr. Morton? If you are basing your theory on this author's opinion of when "adult play" occurred, it better be a solid and irrefutable dating system, otherwise your reference amounts to nothing but speculation.

Morton: In 1925 a strange object was found in a rock shelter at a site known as the Limeworks Quarry in the Transvaal in southern Africa. It was a water-worn, reddish pebble that seemed curiously out of place. Investigations revealed that it could not have come from the cave where it was found and must have been carried from a location about three miles away. What made it special was that it had the shape of a human skull, on one side of which were small cavities that looked like a pair of sunken eye-sockets above a simple mouth. There is no suggestion that this 'face' had been artificially manufactured but its accidental resemblance is so striking that it seems certain the object was collected and brought back to a favoured dwelling place as a 'treasured possession'. Known as the Makapansgat Pebble, after the site where it was found, it is thought to be the most ancient art object in the world. What makes it so extraordinary is that the cave where it was discovered was not occupied by prehistoric man but by the early man-apes known as the Australopithecines. they may not have been capable of fashioning a model head themselves but they were at least able to see one in the natural surface-weathering on a pebble and to be so impressed by the image that they were moved to carry it home with them, over a long distance. In performing this seemingly simple action of collecting an unusual pebble, those primeval man-apes were in reality taking a giant step. They were seeing a face that was not a face. They were reacting to something that stood for something else. By responding to the image on the pebble they were indulging in a primitive form of symbolism. They were struck by a resemblance, by an accidental echo, and were so fascinated by it that they carried it for three miles. This long journey, carefully transporting the pebble, reveals that their interest in the pebble-face was not a fleeting reaction but a serious preoccupation.
"Fashioning an image, as distinct from collecting one, appears to have been beyond these man-apes, and was still a long way off in the future. Until recently, it was thought to be a creative act that occurred only in the last fifty thousand years of the human story. A recent discovery in the Middle East has now pushed that date back to three hundred thousand years, but even this is still quite young compared with the Makapansgat Pebble.
R. Sungenis: Again, on what basis is the dating made to 50,000 - 300,000 years? It certainly can't be carbon dating, since it doesn't go back that far. You are left with the geologic column or radiometrics. Upon which one of these unproven dating systems are you relying?

Morton: "The newly found sculptural object - the most ancient man-made image in the world - is a small stone figurine of a woman, unearthed at an archaeological site on the Golan Heights. It is extremely crude, but the head is clearly separated from the body by an incised neck, and the arms are indicated by two vertical grooves, apparently cut by a sharp flint tool. It is a find that establishes the even greater antiquity of the human fascination with symbolic images." ~ Desmond Morris, The Human Animal, (New York: Crown Publishing, 1994), p. 186-188.
And for the 1.6 million year old piece of art, this comes from Mary Leakey's reports on the Olduvai excavation:
R. Sungenis: Mary Leakey? My guess is that you haven't read any books that critique the Leakey's accumulation of data, or have you just accepted whatever the Leakey's say as the gospel truth? On what irrefutable scientific basis are these specimens dated at 1.6 million years?

Morton: "In concluding this review of the lithic material from Oldowan and Developed Oldowan Sites the grooved and pecked phonolite cobble found in Upper Bed I at FLK North must be mentioned. This stone has unquestionably been artificially shaped. But it seems unlikely that it could have served as a tool or for any practical purpose. It is conceivable that a parallel exists in the quartzite cobble found at Makapansgat in which natural weathering has simulated the carving of two sets of hominid-or mre strictly primate- features on parts of the surface. The resemblance to primate faces is immediately obvious in this specimen, although it is entirely natural, whereas in the case of the Olduvai stone a great deal of imagination is required in order to see any pattern or significance in the form. With oblique lighting, however, there is a suggestion of an elongate, baboon-like muzzle with faint indications of a mouth and nostrils. By what is probably no more than a coincidence, the pecked groove on the Olduvai stone is reproduced on the Makapansgat specimen by a similar but natural groove and in both specimens the positions of the grooves correspond to what would be the base of the hair line if an anthropomorphic interpretation is considered. This is open to question, but nevertheless the occurrence of such stones at hominid sites in such remote periods is of considerable interest." ~ M.D. Leakey, Olduvai Gorge 3 Excavations in Beds I and II, 1960-1693, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), p. 269.
Beings who could recognize natural art, make art, control fire, manufacture stone tools, and who possessed an enlarged Broca's area on their brain and which is indicative of speech in modern men, is not one who is easily kicked out of humanity. These people were also using their stone tools to do woodworking. We know that because of the wear patterns on the cutting edges.
If you believe that mankind is less than 60 kyr old, would you kindly explain the discrepancy between the data and your viewpoint?
R. Sungenis: What data, Dr. Morton? The only thing you've given me is conjecture from two sources who assume dates they can't prove. Prove your dating system and then you have something to talk about.

Morton: To my friend Denis: I am still eisegetically impure, and proudly so.
The issue is what happens to technology if you do have a flood which wipes out all but 8 people. Society would have to start over and it would be millions of years before they achieved our level of sophistication again. This is what those who believe in an anthropologically universal flood miss.
R. Sungenis: Says who? What proof do you have that it would take society millions of years before they achieved our level of sophistication? It only took us 150 years to go from candles to the industrial revolution to cloning.

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