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A book (available on Amazon.com) written by Gary Cattell which captures the essence of his lifelong preaching ministry: tackling contemporary cultural issues directly and without compromise.

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Thoughts presented by Gary Cattell on a variety of controversial topics.

Notes from the Underground
A short story written by Gary Cattell in 2003 depicting a pessimistic, but very possible vision of America’s future where freedom of speech has been abolished and Christianity is illegal.

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The Catholic Church and Infallibility

One of the claims of the Roman Catholic Church is that the Pope was seen by the entire ancient church both east and west as the infallible head of the Church. They say that when he makes official pronouncements about the faith and morals he is kept from erring by the Holy Spirit.

We Orthodox counter that claim in part by saying that Pope Honorius was found by the sixth council of the Church (Third Council of Constantinople 680-681) to be a heretic for saying that Jesus only had one will instead of two. Roman Catholics counter this by saying that the East put that in the council, but they never agreed with it. They say either that Honorius’ writings were misunderstood by the East, or that they were personal musings, and were never meant to be an official pronouncement.

The following shows that every Roman Catholic Pope from the 8th to 11th centuries had to denounce Pope Honorius as a heretic before they could ascend the throne of St. Peter. Since no pope would be officially denounced as a heretic unless he had made an official declaration on the faith, it would be impossible for these popes to denounce Honorius and still believe that the Roman Catholic Church had always taught that their bishops were infallible.

Liber Diurnus

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia the Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum is:

A miscellaneous collection of ecclesiastical formularies used in the papal chancery until the eleventh century. It contains models of the important official documents usually prepared by the chancery; particularly of letters and official documents in connexion with the death, the election, and the consecration of the pope; the installation of newly elected bishops, especially of the suburbicarian bishops; also models for the profession of faith, the conferring of the pallium on archbishops, for the granting of privileges and dispensations, the founding of monasteries, the confirmation of acts by which the Church acquired property, the establishment of private chapels, and in general for all the many decrees called for by the extensive papal administration.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says this about Formula 84 of the Liber Diurnus:

Lucas Holstenius was the first who undertook to edit the Liber Diurnus. He had found one manuscript of it in the monastery of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme at Rome, and obtained another from the Jesuit Collège de Clermont at Paris; but as Holstenius died in the meantime and his notes could not be found, this edition printed at Rome in 1650 was withheld from publication, by advice of the ecclesiastical censors, and the copies put away in a room at the Vatican. The reason for so doing was apparently formula lxxxiv, which contained the profession of faith of the newly elected pope, in which the latter recognized the Sixth General Council and its anathemas against Pope Honorius for his (alleged) Monothelism.

The relevant paragraph of Formula 84, as translated by a friend of mine, says the following:

The authors were in actuality defending the new heretical doctrines of Sergius, Phyrrhus, Paulus, and Petrus of Constantinople, and were in agreement with Honorius, who expanded his perverse fix for the problem.

In listing Pope Honorius with other heretics that newly elected Popes had to denounce upon their elevation to the throne of St. Peter, the Liber Diurnus shows that the Roman Catholic Church, at least until the 11th century, did not see its Popes as infallible.

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The Filioque

The Catholic Church claims to be the true Church. She claims, as do the Orthodox, to have not changed the doctrine of the Church since Jesus first gave her the deposit of faith. The initial conflict between her and the Orthodox east came when she changed the Nicene Creed, which the entire church had agreed upon, from “The Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father” to ” The Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son”. The Roman Church admits to changing the Creed, but maintains that the change did not alter the faith.

To begin with, a change in the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be considered to be an insignificant change. In fact, the nature of the God you are worshiping is the first and most important thing to get right. That being said, it is either true that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally solely from the Father, or that he proceeds eternally from both the Father and the Son. Either the entire church was wrong when she wrote the Creed, and therefore left the faith for approximately 700 years, or the Roman Church has been in error for approximately 1,000 years. Both cannot be right as the Catholic Church now claims. One must be right and one must be wrong.

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River of Fire

Excellent article as to how western theology distorted the character of God, made him to be the cause of all evil and spawned atheism. Below is a sample from the article.

http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/river_of_fire.htm

The “God” of the West is an offended and angry God, full of wrath for the disobedience of men, who desires in His destructive passion to torment all humanity unto eternity for their sins, unless He receives an infinite satisfaction for His offended pride.

What is the Western dogma of salvation? Did not God kill God in order to satisfy His pride, which the Westerners euphemistically call justice? And is it not by this infinite satisfaction that He deigns to accept the salvation of some of us?

What is salvation for Western theology? Is it not salvation from the wrath of God? 2

Do you see, then, that Western theology teaches that our real danger and our real enemy is our Creator and God? Salvation, for Westerners, is to be saved from the hands of God!

How can one love such a God? How can we have faith in someone we detest? Faith in its deeper essence is a product of love, therefore, it would be our desire that one who threatens us not even exist, especially when this threat is eternal.

Even if there exists a means of escaping the eternal wrath of this omnipotent but wicked Being (the death of His Son in our stead), it would be much better if this Being did not exist. This was the most logical conclusion of the mind and of the heart of the Western peoples, because even eternal Paradise would be abhorrent with such a cruel God. Thus was atheism born, and this is why the West was its birthplace. Atheism was unknown in Eastern Christianity until Western theology was introduced there, too. Atheism is the consequence of Western theology. 3 Atheism is the denial, the negation of an evil God. Men became atheists in order to be saved from God, hiding their head and closing their eyes like an ostrich. Atheism, my brothers, is the negation of the Roman Catholic and Protestant God. Atheism is not our real enemy. The real enemy is that falsified and distorted “Christianity”.

River of Fire
www.orthodoxpress.org

 

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Book

By the grace of God, and the hard work of Deacon Alex, the manuscript that was on my website for many years is now in book form. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you can get one at the link below.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-christian-vs-the-university/18940160

www.lulu.com

The Christian vs. The University by Garrison McKeen Cattell: Known to hundreds of thousands of students and alumni of the Pennsylvania State University as “The Willard Preacher,” Garrison (Gary) Cattell has been open-air evangelizing there daily since 1982. Through a series of poignant and heartfelt…
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Sola Scriptura

2Tim 3:10-17 – But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

Many Protestants use verses 16 and 17 of the above passage to justify sola scriptura. They claim that these two verses show that we need nothing other than the Bible for our doctrine. What they miss is that Timothy, to whom Paul is writing this letter, did not get his doctrine from the scriptures but from Paul. Verse 10 shows us that Timothy has carefully followed Paul’s doctrine, and verse 14 shows us that Timothy can be assured that he has the correct beliefs because he got them from Paul.

Even though verses 15 -17 say that Timothy has known the Holy Scriptures (in this case the Old Testament), which make us wise for salvation, since childhood, and those very scriptures are given by inspiration from God, and are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness that we may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work, Paul never told Timothy that he could be assured of his doctrine because of the scriptures alone, but because of Paul who taught him the faith and opened the scriptures for him.

The problem for Protestants is not whether or not the scriptures are true – they definitely are – the problem is finding the correct understanding of them. It doesn’t do us any good to have a true book if we cannot agree as to the meaning of the truths found in the book.

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Objective Morals as an Evidence for the Existence of God

As humans we have always believed in both subjective and objective morality. Subjective morality is when morals are left up to the individual. This is what we would label as pro-choice in today’s society. Objective morality are those actions which we believe are wrong for everyone despite what any particular individual, or group of individuals, might think.

In an atheistic world subjective morals would be possible, but objective morals would not. The reason for this is that morals are a concept of the mind. They don’t exist in nature apart from a mind that can think on that level. Therefore, in an atheistic world, there would have been no morality at the moment of the Big Bang, or the first cell, the first amphibian, fish, reptile, mammal etc. There would have been no morals at all until a human being came on the scene and thought up the concept. After the concept was conceived, then the particular morals could be filled in. Since morals didn’t exist until we very fallible human beings came up with the concept, and we have simply made up what we want right and wrong to be, then inherent, objective morals cannot exist.

If the above is true, then in a godless world, there would be nothing that would be wrong for all people everywhere. This would include the raping of two year old children. Therefore, an atheist, if he is to remain consistent with his atheism, can say that raping a two year old would be wrong for him, but he cannot say that it would be wrong for everyone. Of course, the same would be true for the gassing of 6 million Jews, or the starving to death 30 million peasants, or any other horrible thing one could imagine.

When an atheist is first confronted with this idea, he will usually claim that the raping of a two year old would be just as wrong for everyone in a godless world as it would be in a world in which God exists. When asked why, he will usually answer by saying that it is wrong to do harm to another human being. When asked why, in a godless world, it would be wrong to harm someone else, he will usually say that if  humans do harm to each other with impunity, then eventually the human race could go extinct. He must then answer why, in a godless evolutionary procession of events, it is necessarily a bad thing for the human race to go extinct. Once the first living cell comes into existence, and the godless evolutionary procession of events begins, there is no assurance that something like the human race will come into existence. If it does, it is neither good nor bad. It just is. If the human race goes out of existence, there is nothing in a godless evolutionary procession of events that says that this is either good or bad. It just is. Once he realizes this, the next step for the atheist is usually to make an argument from authority. He will make the claim that society says that raping a two year old is bad, but when asked if societies are always right, he will rightly answer no, and at that moment his argument falls apart. He will then normally proceed to making philosophical arguments, maybe even quoting noted philosophers, but when he comes to understand that these amount merely to personal opinion, he realizes that personal philosophy cannot produce objective morality.

Eventually the atheist will see that objective morals are not possible in a godless world. At that point he has a choice. He can either admit that raping a two year old is always wrong, and this can only be if there is a God, and so he must disavow his atheism, or in order to maintain his atheism, he must say that raping a two year old is not necessarily wrong for everyone.

Every atheist that I have ever spoken to about this (with the possible exception of one who is still sitting on the fence) has taken the position that raping a two year old is not necessarily wrong for everyone. Once someone has to go to that length to maintain their belief system one can be assured that it is bankrupt.

On the other hand, if there is a God, then objective morality is possible, but only if he has certain qualities that a God, such as, the Christian God would have. First of all he would have to be the creator. This gives him standing/authority. If a godlike being came to us who wasn’t our creator, and tried to impose his idea of morality upon us, we would be justified in asking, “Who are you? What authority do you have to tell us what to do? You didn’t make us, or the world in which we live.” This is similar to the argument a younger brother would give to an older brother who was bossing him around. “You can’t tell me what to do. Your aren’t my father.”

Secondly, this God would have to be omniscient. This is so he couldn’t be wrong based upon a lack of knowledge. He would have all of the facts, and he would know how those facts fit together.

Thirdly, he would have to be perfectly good so that he wouldn’t be led astray by a less then perfectly good motive, and finally he would have to be perfect love so whatever he declared would always be to our highest good. Any other good quality this God would have would reside in his perfect love and goodness.

If a God has these qualities, he could never be wrong when he dictated morals to us. They would always be to our highest good, and he would have the authority to give them. Since we humans do not have these qualities, we are not qualified to dictate objective morals, and therefore without God they could not exist.

Since we all know that raping a two year old is wrong no matter who does it, or what they think about it, and this sort of objective morality can only exist if there is a God, then God must exist, and he must possess the qualities of the Christian God, though he does not necessarily have to be the Christian God.

Any atheist who takes the position that raping a two year old is not necessarily wrong is either a psycho/sociopath and therefore should not be listened to, or he doesn’t really believe what he is saying, and is saying it just to maintain his atheism, and so he should not be listened to.

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Why I find the Paterno Accusations Hard to Believe

One of the reasons why I find it hard to believe that Paterno was apathetic about a possible child molester in his locker room is that it seems so out of character for him. By all reports Paterno ran a very tight ship, and didn’t put up with much. I remember when he benched his star senior running back and star senior receiver just before a bowl game, and lost the game because of it. The running back took gifts from an agent, and the receiver wasn’t going to class. This is just one example of many. It doesn’t make sense to me that he would be so strict with things like this, and be so apathetic about possible child rape going on in his facility.

The thing that angers me is that the media has destroyed a man’s integrity, honor, reputation, etc. based on a lack of knowledge. Nobody really knows what he did or didn’t do, or what his attitude was about the situation. It seems unconscionable to me to do that to a man without any facts.

If it turns out that he is guilty, then the media can go after him if they want, but in the mean time they have destroyed a man based upon their own presuppositions and prejudices as to what they think the Penn State football culture was like.

It just isn’t right.

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Answers to Allegations Against Paterno

The answers provided below are accurate as far as I know to this point. If anyone has any additional evidence either pro or con please pass them on to me.

 

1. Accusation – Paterno knew that Sandusky had anal sex with a 10 year old boy in the locker room.

Answer – Paterno was not an eyewitness to the incident. He took the information he was told and relayed it to the authorities. He had no first hand knowledge of the incident, therefore did not know for sure what had transpired.

2. Accusation – Joe Paterno covered up the Sandusky scandal.

Answer – Paterno turned Sandusky in. How can the person who turned him in be covering for him?

3. Accusation – Paterno never called the police.

Answer – The day after being informed of the allegations Paterno called into his home, Tim Curley, who was the Athletic Director, and Gary Schultz who oversaw the University Police.  The University Police are the only ones who have legal jurisdiction over Penn State. By calling in Schultz Paterno was calling in the police. In addition, Pa. law states that if a staff member is told of sexual misconduct he has the legal obligation to tell his superiors. They then have the legal obligation to call the police. So by turning the allegation over to the administration he was by extension turning Sandusky in to the police.

4. Accusation – Paterno should have done more. He should have followed up.

Answer – To this point no-one knows what Paterno did after he turned in Sandusky. Allegations that he did nothing are baseless.

5. Accusation – Joe Paterno knew of the 1998 allegation against Sandusky.

Answer – To this point there is no evidence to back up that charge. As far as I know, investigations such as this are kept confidential, and are not relayed to people not directly involved in them.

6. Accusation – Paterno should have gone public with the allegation.

Answer – Accusing someone of child abuse is a very serious charge which if untrue can ruin a person’s life. With no first hand knowledge of the incident it would not have been right to go public with the allegation.

7. Accusation – Paterno knew of Sandusky’s alleged criminal activities all along.

Answer – To this point no evidence has come forth to back up that accusation; not even from the Grand Jury. In fact, no evidence has come forth that Sandusky’s wife or children knew of his alleged crimes. If his own wife did not know, how is everyone so sure that Paterno knew?

8. Accusation – Paterno continued to allow Sandusky unfettered access to all athletic facilities after gaining knowledge of the incident.

Answer – Sandusky had emeritus status at the unversity. It was this status that allowed him access to the facilities. Paterno did not give him the status nor could he take it away.

9. Accusation – Paterno should have stopped all contact with Sandusky after the incident.

Answer – I personally do not know if he had any contact with Sandusky or not, but without being an eyewitness, once he was told no criminal charges were being filed, (and I assume he was told that McQueary was mistaken) he could have had no true knowledge that Sandusky was guilty of that which McQueary had accused him.

Accusing a man of covering for a child rapist is a very serious charge. It should not be done without overwhelming evidence. As far as I can tell there is not one shred of evidence that Paterno did such a thing. Why then is his life being destroyed?

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Did Paterno go to the Police?

Below is a link to an excellent article about Paterno’s involvement with the Sandusky scandal. The big question is why Paterno didn’t go to the police. The writer brings out the point that Gary Schultz, who was at the meeting with Curley and Paterno, oversaw/headed the University Police. By telling Schultz Paterno was telling the police.

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/carpenter/mc-paul-carpenter-paterno-20111108,0,4710614.column

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