Talk:Catholic Church

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Marian devotions and expansion?[edit]

Do the two paragraphs on Marian devotions really belong in a section on doctrine? Seems more like a practice than a doctrine. (I'm not referring to the summary of Mariology that immediately precedes these; that is unambiguously appropriate.) On the other hand, I don't see any other sections that might be more appropriate for it. Should we expand to include a general section on "Other practices" (i.e. those not included in "Sacraments" or "Liturgy")? Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 04:37, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

The content about Mary and her devotions has been in the article since time immortal. About a year ago, I expanded it to include a third paragraph about devotions in general (hence "Virgin Mary and devotions"). The sacraments were still part of the doctrine section at this time. Devotions are not quite doctrine, and I considered splitting it, but left it to the judgement of another because I wasn't sure where to put it instead. I do not quite like the idea of splitting the Marian devotions from the Marian Doctrines, but I share your concern about devotions and pious practices not necessarily being "doctrine". This is definitely a good topic to discuss to see if a better way of presenting the information can be presented! --Zfish118talk 05:19, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
@Crusadestudent and Zfish118: veneration of Mary is important but that popular piety is not doctrine – a popular piety section or even better a short article would be nice. See Directory on popular piety and the liturgy for ideas. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 04:00, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
@BoBoMisiu and Zfish118: That's what I was thinking. But I think Marian veneration rises at least slightly above mere "popular piety"—it's been encouraged over and over by popes, bishops, and saints. That's why I suggested "Other practices" as a section name. What are your thoughts on that? A popular piety short article sounds like a very good idea, though. Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 04:08, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

MOS dispute[edit]

The MOS very clearly states both here and here that "Spiritual or religious events are capitalized only when referring to specific incidents or periods".

A certain someone seems to think that this doesn't apply to the Assumption of Mary—clearly an incident, clearly a specific one, and clearly [s]piritual or religious. Yet he/she (?) keeps reverting this and other analogous edits.

My edits to capitalize this and other analogous instances have always been "with reference to the Manual of Style instead of merely personal preference", per this user's personal page.

Please discuss.

Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 06:07, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

And now the Immaculate Conception isn't a specific spiritual or religious event, either. Go figure. Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 06:08, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
That "certain someone" is myself. There is a legitimate question as to whether "Immaculate Conception", "Assumption" and other terms such as "incarnation" and "resurrection" should be capitalised or not in some contexts. Despite what the MoS might appear to suggest to some minds, it does not clearly apply to "events" such as these but, as it makes clear, to such things as "the Great Flood" and "the Exodus". Afterwriting (talk) 06:16, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
@Afterwriting: How are those events any more event-y than the Assumption or the IC??? Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 06:21, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
Mentioned in the Bible or not, they're recorded in the "sacred tradition" of the Church. They're things that happened (i.e. incidents or events), and they're religious/spiritual things that happened, and they're VERY specific. Not sure how much clearer it could be. Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 06:22, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
If you think the MOS made a bad call, initiate the process to review that provision. But in the meantime, follow it. Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 06:23, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
Before you try to argue that they're "doctrines" and not "real events":
  • The Great Flood is no more verifiable than they.
  • There are doctrines about the events, and they may share identical names, but they're still events.
  • It would be unreasonable to argue that only the events mentioned in the examples given qualify.
Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 06:26, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
Erroneous comments. If you think that "Spiritual or religious events are capitalized only when referring to specific incidents or periods" applies to all such spiritual and religious things then we would have to start using capitalisations such as "The Ordination of John Smith took place after the bishop's Prayers" because the ordination and prayers were "religious/spiritual things that happened". Afterwriting (talk) 06:37, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
Those aren't specific in the same way. Straw man. Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 06:41, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
If the vast majority of RS capitalized "The Ordination of John Smith" then we would too. But they wouldn't. Johnbod (talk) 03:42, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
When referred to in passively indirectly (including her Immaculate Conception without original sin), capitalization does not seem appropriate; when the main topic (proclaimed the Immaculate Conception as dogma), capitalization seems appropriate. --Zfish118talk 14:24, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
The appropriate venue for this discussion is WT:MOS. Please move it there instead of cluttering this talk page. Thanks. Sundayclose (talk) 14:38, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
No, it's here. Johnbod (talk) 03:42, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
This is not an error in the Manual of Style. In this article, the Immaculate Conception is referred to three times: once in the lead, once in the Mary section, and once in the history section. In the history section, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is discussed, hence it is proper to capitalize the phrase. In the lead, the conception of Mary is discussed; "immaculate" is only descriptive in this context. If it is omitted, the sentence is still coherent, ie "teachings include the conception of Mary without original sin." It is not a well phrased sentence, and if some were to propose a direct reference to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception rather the current indirect phrasing, that would be a productive edit. --Zfish118talk 15:36, 29 May 2016 (UTC)
What nonsense! You cannot pretend that "immaculate" is being used as a normal "descriptive" term in any of these. Uncapitalized, "immaculate conception" has literally no meaning in English, and is certainly not "coherent". The event is the dogma, and vice versa. It is completely absurd to try and distinguish between them. Ary there ANY RS that DON'T capitalize Immaculate Conception? No. Amazingly, Crusadestudent is for once right. Johnbod (talk) 03:42, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
It is not "nonsense" at all. Zfish118's comments reflect common sense and correct contemporary English style. Capitalisation when referring to the name of the dogma or used as a title for Mary and no capitalisation when only being used descriptively. Afterwriting (talk) 08:23, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
Examples from good RS? Johnbod (talk) 13:38, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
I have to agree with Johnbod here. The specific phrase "Immaculate Conception" is, to the best of my knowledge, used exclusively in terms of Mary. On its own, the word "immaculate" in English is at least all but incoherent in terms of conception of children, and it certainly is not one that I can imagine being used as a descriptive adjective under these circumstances in any other capacity. It is also, at times, used as a alternate name for Mary, such as her reportedly saying of herself "I am the Immaculate Conception" at Lourdes. Considering that the dogmatic belief is also an alternative name for the single person that dogmatic belief applies to, I have to assume that like any other "alternative" name it should be capitalized. Having said that, I agree with Zfish118, that the existing phrasing is at best awkward. This may well be one of the probably numerous cases where we in wikipedia might best try to use such a uniquely descriptive term in only certain contexts and in stylistically well-constructed sentences, to take into account the rather unusual nature of the phrase in question. John Carter (talk) 14:50, 1 June 20y16 (UTC)
Yes, the issue is the particular usage here, not whether "Immaculate Conception" is a proper noun in most cases. --Zfish118talk 21:21, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
If that's the case, the best thing to do would probably be to adjust the phrasing in such a way as (1) the term isn't used at all, or (2) the term is used in the sentence as a form of proper noun. John Carter (talk) 21:26, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
I had already rephrased things to do just this, referring to "the Immaculate Conception" (instead of "her immaculate conception") as the proper name of the dogma. This should resolve things. Afterwriting (talk) 23:17, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
My two cents is that the "the"/"her" dichotomy is no difference at all, since the specificity of the event necessitates it being hers. Jujutsuan (talk | contribs) 23:20, 1 June 2016 (UTC)
There is a very clear grammatical difference which you have failed to understand. Your comments reflect an interpretation of the MoS on "spiritual events". I do not believe that the MoS on this matter is as clear as you think. I have a different interpretation. We can bang on about this forever if you want to but as far as I'm concerned my rephrasing should have now resolved things. Afterwriting (talk) 01:03, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Like I said, that's just my 2¢. I'm still remaining neutral for a while on this article. Jujutsuan (talk | contribs) 01:26, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
The term Immaculate Conception has more than one dictionary sense: the event (capitalized) and the commemoration of the event (capitalized) – it is capitalized in dictionaries.[1][2][3] The term assumption of Mary does not have separate dictionary entries because it is a sum of its parts; but two senses are found under assumption: the event (often capitalized) and the commemoration of the event (capitalized).[4][5][6] I think after the first instance of Immaculate Conception using plain "conception" is least confusing. John Carter brought up a different case of "I am the Immaculate Conception", I think that is more mystical akin to the language used by Catholic evangelists in this youtube video.[7] I think "incarnation" and "resurrection" should not be capitalized. The USCCB glossary is clear on this: "Terms are capitalized only if they are always capitalized."[8] Catholic Univeristy School of Canon Law style sheet: "Preference is for less capitalization rather than more."p. 4BoBoMisiu (talk) 00:55, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Usage in two primary sources would seem to suggest that "immaculate conception" is not necessarily a proper noun phrase in all contexts. Examples from a translation of Ineffabilis Deus:
  • ...as continued to teach this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin....
  • ...God's own Mother, under the title of "The Immaculate Conception."...
  • ...including the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary...
  • ...and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot....
  • ...Speaking of the conception of the Virgin...
  • ...in the first instance of her conception...
It would seem that Ineffabilis never describes the event as "her immaculate conception" or "her Immaculate Conception; it is either "the Immaculate Conception" or "The Immaculate Conception" when discussing the event or the doctrine. The phrase is only treated in the document as a proper noun phrase when referred to with the definite article, and never a possessive adjective. When the words are used apart, they are treated regular adjectives and nouns, rather than proper nouns, even when accompanied by the possessive adjectives. The phrase that had previously been used in this article "her immaculate conception without original sin", would seem to be an irregular use, given how the phrase is used in the originating document. Largely similar usage is found in the Old Catholic Encyclopedia article, with a few notable variations:
  • "...in the first instance of her conception..."
  • ...which includes particularly the implicit belief in the immaculateness of her conception,...
  • ...This form of the thesis excluded an immaculate conception....
  • ...that at her Immaculate Conception she came into the world all radiant like the dawn...*
The OCE does include an examples where an unqualified reference to "her Immaculate Conception" is accepted. It also shows that the phrase can be generic if not specifically referring to a particular individual's conception. It also shows that at least some adjective forms of "immaculate" (such as "immaculateness") can be purely descriptive of "conception", rather than by automatically forming a proper noun phrase. --Zfish118talk 02:05, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
@Zfish118: I agree, e.g. Jesus was also immaculately conceived yet Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 18:55, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Taking some time away[edit]

If this is not the appropriate place to post this, feel free to take it down. I'm putting it here so the relevant editors see it.

As a gesture of good will, I'm going to take the advice of @Zfish118: and take some time away from this article for a couple of weeks. In the meantime I'll only come back if I notice blatant typos or blatant vandalism. Please take this as a sign that despite my habit of getting myself into arguments with other editors, I really do want this article and others to be the best they can be. Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 20:01, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

(I do not intend this to include uncontroversial, productive talk page discussions.) Deus vult (aliquid)! Crusadestudent (talk) 04:06, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
Okay, it's been about a month. I'll be back to editing here when I see something constructive I can do. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} | talk | contribs) 15:32, 24 June 2016 (UTC) (formerly Crusadestudent)

Criticism in lead[edit]

An editor is introducing a modifier to the lead ("by some"). "From the late 20th century, the Catholic Church has been criticised [by some] for its doctrines on sexuality, its refusal to ordain women and its handling of sexual abuse cases." I believe this modifier adds no clarity and should be removed, per WP:Weasel. --Zfish118talk 02:12, 16 June 2016 (UTC)

I agree that "by some" is vague and weasel words. However, it does raise a question about how specific that part of the lead needs to be. I'm not suggesting specific changes, but I think it's worthy of discussion. Criticism "by some" from outside the Church is not as noteworthy as criticism from within the Church, at least in my opinion. There is substantial criticism within the Church about each of those issues, especially contraception and sexual abuse cases. I'm not sure how the wording could be tweaked in the lead to make mention of that, but I'd like to hear what others think. Sundayclose (talk) 18:34, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
I agree that "by some" is too vague, but I also agree that the sentence needs to say "by who" it "has been criticised". Amqui (talk) 19:29, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
There are critics at nearly every level of society: local, national, supranational; both internal and external. The criticism is notable enough to be mentioned in the lead, but getting into too much detail becomes problematic: mentioning only a few sources of the criticism is not neutral; mentioning them all is not balanced. --Zfish118talk 23:37, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
The phrasing "by some" however is particularly problematic. Any individual or group in the public eye tends to be criticized for their positions by those who have taken positions on the "other side" of those issues. That, really, isn't particularly important. Now, if it has other churches which disagree with its positions (and it does) that might be worth mentioning. It also might be worth mentioning that most of these issues raised relate to recent social changes, and it might, maybe, be best to just say that the church has received criticism for not necessarily acting in accord with what (might, in some cases) just be a matter of the current social zeitgeist. Maybe a better approach might be to say that the church's refusal to change its positions on what it might see as moral or administrative matters despite those positions being out of line with many of the views on those subjects in the broader society. John Carter (talk) 23:49, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
One possible solution might be to introduce a wiki-link to the Sexual revolution article, possibly piping from "From the late 20th century..." or something to the effect of "In in light of changing cultural norm regarding sexuality in the 20th century, especially in the western hemisphere, ...". The last clause would need to be reworked, as criticism regarding sexual abuse has only tangential relevance to changing cultural norms. --Zfish118talk 04:45, 17 June 2016 (UTC)
Just a stylistic comment: I wouldn't pipelink "late 20th century" to "sexual revolution". See WP:EASTEREGG. Sundayclose (talk) 14:28, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Help at Christian perfection article[edit]

To any interested and knowledgeable editors, help is needed at Christian perfection. As of now, the section on Catholic teaching is not very informative. Thanks. Ltwin (talk) 07:07, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

Latin name[edit]

I never really got a straight answer before... does anyone oppose the addition of the Latin name (i.e. Ecclesia catholica) to the first sentence? Latin is the official language of the Church, and the articles on Church documents generally list both their Latin and English names. It would look like this:

"The Catholic Church (Latin: Ecclesia catholica), also known as..."

Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 16:30, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Seems kind of clunky up there, but I have no strong opinion on the matter. If it included in the sidebar, I don't see the need to merely repeat in the lead. --Zfish118talk 22:40, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Zfish118. Prefer not to include. Sundayclose (talk) 22:52, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I oppose it. It's not needed in the opening sentence. It belongs in the info box where it already appears. The opening sentence is already long and adding more information to it which already appears in a more appropriate place is not helpful. Afterwriting (talk) 00:24, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Okay, those seem like reasonable rationales against inclusion. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 00:32, 15 July 2016 (UTC)