I have reached the positions which are summarized below after years of theological studies and reflection. However, the summaries do not contain supporting references or discussions. They are dictums (dicta) since I do not have to justify them to anybody. (return)
Salim locutus est, causa finita est.
(Salim spoke; case is closed.)
Reject Literal Interpretation of the Bible: (return)
As mentioned elsewhere in this site, I believe that many of the mythological stories of the Old Testament, specifically the Books of Moses, are NOT to be taken literally. I do not believe in a six-day creation story but believe in Theistic Evolution, (a must read linked site for every Christian or atheist) though the fine details of evolution continue to be fluid. Many misguided Christians are confused to think that Theistic Evolution (a must read linked site for every Christian or atheist) and faith are incompatible. I radically disagree and further insist that the over simplified story of the six-day creation was written for simple people and was not intended to be taken literally. In my view, God did not need six days to create the universe; it happened in less than a second -- He spoke and it came into being. Besides, God's supposed resting on the seventh day would have meant that He left the universe unattended and beyond His control -- making Him less of an omnipotent God. In addition to that, the concept of the seven day week is not as ancient as Fundamentalists believe. It originally meant the interval between Market Days. The seven day week came very late. In Egypt, the week was ten days which the Children of Israel followed; however, the Babylonians liked the multiple of seven because of the lunations of the moon, while in central Asia five days was used. In Rome the eight day cycle was used for market. It was not before the first century BC that the Jewish seven-day week seems to have been put into place throughout Rome. Further, the stories of Noah, the Flood, Lott, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and other mythological Biblical stories should be taken as important lesson-teaching parable-like tools and not history. Finally, those who are afraid to let go of the literal interpretation of the Bible, indirectly manifest weak faith because they believe only verbatim interpretation of the Word of God affirms His power while the opposite is true. The value of the Bible lies in the lessons behind the words and the not the details of the stories themselves. Further, the real value of the Old Testament is its prophetic materials about Jesus Christ. The rest is of no use to me.
Approve of Women Priests: (return)
I believe that biology and spirituality are not, and should not, be tied together because they are unrelated. All sacraments, including the priesthood, are spiritual. Regardless of the incarnation of Christ in the form of a man, a person's sex is a biological matter that relates to human reproduction and not spiritual conversion. Therefore biological differences are mere human states of being that are meaningless vis-à-vis spirituality. Hence, when it comes to the priesthood, a woman's spirit or a man's spirit is the "entity" that is called upon to serve God in the sublime office of the priesthood not the biological entity. Therefore, women should accept their calling and be allowed to serve God in the priesthood without any consideration to or hindrance of their sex. The calling is in the spirit not in the biology to serve God and His people. As an affirmation of my position of the validity of Women Priests in the Roman Catholic Church, I recognize Bishop Christine Mayr Lumetsberger (Austria),
and Bishop Gisela Forster, Ph.D. (Germany), as well as the women priests: Eileen McCafferty DiFranco,
Joan Clark Houk, Kathleen Strack,
Bridget Mary Meehan, Kathy Sullivan Vandenberg,
Jane Via & others, as well as many women deacons, all ordained by valid Roman Catholic Woman Bishops with valid Apostolic Succession. (see Roman Catholic Women Priests.)
Consider Fundamentalist "Christians" Heretics: (return)
I believe that those who are known as Fundamentalist Chrishshins (Christians) & take the Bible literally are heretics and not Christian at all. They believe in a God who is more man like and less than "the fullness of love." Their God is petty, vengeful, vindictive, grudging, hateful and, in many cases, outright violent. Such misguided so-called Christians unknowingly believe in a God who is mostly human in behavior and minimally divine. They are unconsciously misguided to believe in a God who is like the gods of the ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Greeks and Romans in many ways. Simply put, the god of the Fundamentalist is a very small man in almost every way and is very different from the God I came to know and believe in though Christ. Their God is not the Good Shepherd but the mighty warrior god who rides the clouds and thunders down his anger with fire and brimstone. Hence, Fundamentalists, who wrongly add Christian to their name, are heretics -- they are not Christian at all and have no clue what Christianity is. They include exclusionary radicals and monopoly claimants of the "truth" among the Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Latter Day Saint Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and other similar cults ...etc. Finally, I believe that the Protestant Bible is incomplete. A number of books are missing from the Protestant Old Testament.
Approve of Intercommunion or Communion Between Denominations: (return)
I believe that the body and blood of Christ should be open to be received by all who believe that it is that, regardless of their sectarian affiliation. All who believe that the bread and wine in the Eucharist are the body and blood of Christ must be welcomed at the "table" to receive it regardless of their denominational affiliation. The body and blood of Christ do not belong to the denomination(s) that breaks the bread and pours the wine, they belong to the faithful who accept them as such whether materially (as in transubstantiation) or spiritually. This should allow Catholics, Orthodox, Anglican/ Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans ...etc. to each other's "tables." Communion is not a sign of denominational unity but the manifestation of uniting with Christ.
Approve of Married Priests: (return)
I believe that all priests must be allowed to marry, if they choose to, without marriage being an obstacle to serving in the priesthood. The sacrament of marriage should not bar a believer from the sacrament of the priesthood. While Eastern Catholics, such as the Maronites are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and allow married men to become priests, it is absurd to bar Western Catholic men from the same. The Roman Catholic Church in the West is loosing too many good men (and women) who would make excellent priests by making their marriages a stumbling block to their ordination. What makes the situation even ridiculous is the fact that married Anglican/ Episcopalian priests who convert to Catholicism are accepted in the Roman Catholic priesthood while still married; however, their counterpart Catholics are denied the priesthood, if they marry. At the same time, priests who prefer to live a celibate or monastic life, must be allowed so to do as well. The same applies to bishops, archbishops, patriarchs and popes where marriage should be open to them as well, just as it is in the Anglican Commune.
Consider Blessed Virgin Mary Coredemptrix: (return)
I believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary participated actively in Christ's redemption of humanity. Though the Blessed Virgin was herself saved through her son, Jesus, she was an active and willing participant in that redemption. In that, I believe her Immaculate Conception, pronounced by Pope Pius IX in 1854, had spiritual and physical components. She was not only protected from sin when she was naturally conceived but she was physically unique to have been able to bear a son without the Y chromosome of a man. This scientific side of the discussion requires a lot of space and does not belong in this summary. Just as symbolic Eve was held partially responsible for the fall of symbolic Adam, the Blessed Virgin Mary is held partially magnified for being the corner stone in the salvation of humanity through the New Adam, Christ Jesus. She was the first person to believe in Christ and the only human to be lifted above all humans. God told Moses that no eye can see His face and live while the Blessed Virgin carried Him in her womb and lived. This in itself puts her above all prophets, apostles, angels and saints. This makes her Coredemptrix with her son Jesus Christ, the Redeemer.
Approve of Homosexuality, Gay Marriage & Adoption : (return)
I believe that being homosexual and living such a life and/or marriage between gays should be both fully accepted and sanctioned by all real Christians. Regardless of what many think is written in the Old or New Testament, gay orientation is not a personal choice but is caused by genetic with impact of environmental factors. I cannot believe that anyone reaches a point when one "chooses" to be gay. Sexual orientation comes naturally and in various degrees between exclusive homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality. It is neither a disorder nor is it a sin to be gay or to live such life in what is a God-given nature. Celibacy should not be demanded or expected of any one, as a condition for acceptance in the faith community. With that in mind, the Christlike attitude of real Christians should be full acceptance without conditions. Further, since marriage is a human need to most people, gay men and women must be allowed to live a fulfilled happy life and to have their loving unions sanctified and sanctioned by the Church, if they choose. Parenting is another human need, and as I fully approve of gay marriage, I also approve of gay parenting or adoption. Finally, gay men or women whether single or married (i.e. in gay marriage) should not be barred from serving in the priesthood, if they are so called to do. Homosexuality is not "objectively disordered," as Cardinal Ratzinger erred in describing it but a natural condition to be honored and respected -- not that the late Protestant Falwell, Robertson or their cohorts know the first thing about inerrancy. In fact, so-called Christians who condemn homosexuality and homosexuals are themselves spiritually objectively disordered and medicine/ science and Christian benevolence puts them all to shame. Attempts at constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage is un-Christian and despicable. For example, the moron Mormons of California or meddlesome Catholic bishops (like bishop Burbidge of Raleigh) mind faith matters rather than interfere is purely civic matters such as civil gay marriage.
Approve of Contraception: (return)
I believe contraception is morally sound to plan for, raise healthy children and educate them while giving the parents better life and health. Nature itself has built in mechanisms that clearly demonstrates the need for contraception whether by the rhythm method or Lactational Amenorrhea method. Man made methods are morally valid and should be used to plan child birth, especially those that produce the least harm to the health of the mother. There is nothing immoral about the use of contraception, in all its forms, whether they be barrier methods or hormonal methods. Further, it is pure hypocrisy to teach couples that using natural family planning methods is moral while artificial family planning is immoral. Moral Theology that teaches that sexual intercourse should be open to reproduction but at the same time teaches couples to practice natural family planning, invalidates the teaching. Further, it contradicts itself because it does not teach that it is immoral for sterile couples (because of accidents, diseases or age) to have sexual intercourse where reproduction is impossible.
Position on Abortion, Capital Punishment, Stem Cell & Conscientious Objectors: (return)
I believe that all termination of life in the womb, on death row or on the field of battle is immoral. The only exception is when there is a living will to disallow extension of unnatural life on machines. The following points do not provide solutions but are mentioned to present positions.
For the record, I approve and salute Rachel Cohen, mother of dead Israeli soldier Keivin Cohen, killed in the Gaza Strip in 2002, for successfully obtaining court order to extract sperm after his death, and use it to impregnated a volunteer and raise his child.
Abortion terminates life and I would not want to have it, if I were a woman. At the same time, I do not believe in forcing my opinion on others. Women must be allowed to have the choice according to their conviction for or against it. I would prefer that such choices be made jointly with their spouses, if they want to hold them financially responsible.
Despite the savagery of murder, I am against capital punishment. Civilized society must learn to punish perpetrators of evil by means other than descending to their levels in murder. At the same time, I believe that justice to the victim should not be overwhelmed with the rights of the criminal.
Conscientious Objection to Killing in Wars
Killing on the field of battle is morally wrong, including what is termed as "just war." Though I have high esteem for those who give their life in defense of their country, such persons are morally mislead to believe it is justifiable to kill. The only exception is self defense in extremely rare conditions. Going to war is unjustifiable; however, I am well aware that the abolition of armed forces does not solve world conflicts.
Stem Cell Research
Research on embryonic stem cell harvested from embryos deemed to be destroyed is not morally wrong. The condition for keeping this research morally acceptable is barring the willful creation and discarding of "humans" for experimentation or body parts. (return)