Talk:Catholic Church/Archive 15

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Archive 14 Archive 15 Archive 16

Child sex abuse and aboriginal abuse scandals

The child sex abuse scandal and the abuse of aboriginal people is very significant to the Roman Catholic Church. For example, it has membership problems because of it: see BBC News 'Poll finds Irish mistrust Church'. And the issue is NOT just in the U.S.:
  1. Australia 51 priests were sentenced from 1993 - 2002
  2. Canada, over 2,000 compensation claims filed by aboriginals (it is greater now.)
  3. To quote "church in Ireland faces, in the words of the Irish Times, "the greatest institutional crisis in its modern history", with the Irish taxpayer contributing about one fifth of $500m required to pay off claims of abuse by over 3,000 victims covering 30 years."
  4. To quote "the Associated Press has reported hundreds of resignations, firings or financial settlements in dozens of countries, most prominently Canada, United States, Ireland, Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland and Britain."
  5. England, 21 priests were convicted of sexual molestation from 1995 to 2002.
  • As it stands now, the Roman Catholic Church article is not neutral. These are very important scandals in the life of the Church. The article does not address them adequately; especially as an FA article. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 23:39, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, this article plainly needs more of that sort of thing. No mention of Thomas Aquinas or Thomas More but a paragraph devoted to Henry VIII. Trim all that persecution of Catholics, what Catholics consider as Sacraments, silly things like the seven deadly sins and corporal works of mercy, and of course the Church's impact on civilization so we can include that 21 homosexual priests were convicted of rape.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 03:28, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

(undent) Hi Wassup. Strongly suggest you write an article about the sex scandals, if one doesn't exist. Put two sentences plus a wikilink here in the main article. Ling.Nut (talk) 00:04, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Important 'current issues' are important to this article. The on-line Encarta article on the Catholic Church devotes 10% of its space to 'current issues'. Encarta devotes another 5% of space to issues of the Catholic Church in the U.S. and another 5% to issues in Canada. Worship, practices and doctrine take up 30% of the space. The Encarta article was reviewed by a Professor of History, University of Notre Dame. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 00:10, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the article needs more on the Church throughout the world, but in a much broader way than has been proposed here - mission work, for example. I think that the article should have only a few sentences on the sex scandals - that is very recent, whereas the Church's efforts to set up missions have been quite longstanding (think of the Jesuits). We have to avoid WP:RECENTISM in an article about a 2,000-year-old institution! :) Awadewit (talk) 03:21, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I understand. It is not the quantity of text that bothers me. It is that it is U.S.-centric. I would like to see this reduced in the number of words. Say, 50 words that says something to the effect that the child-sex scandal has seen "hundreds of resignations, firings or financial settlements in dozens of countries, most prominently Canada, United States, Ireland, Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, Poland and Britain." That it has seen hundreds of priests criminally convicted of sexual molestation around the world from the 1990s to the present. But it doesn't. I understand completely about the concept of recentism and Wikipedia articles. However, the child sex scandals have had a profound affect on the Catholic Church: see LA Times 'Catholicism Losing Ground in Ireland:Secularism, prosperity and sexual abuse scandals are weakening the church's influence.' 17 April 2005]. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 03:36, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, I misunderstood - trying to read all of this is a mess. Certainly my impression is that it is not limited to the US. The article states that "As of 2004, the vast majority of worldwide sex abuse cases have been in the United States" - would you agree to that? I haven't immersed myself in this, so I don't know for sure. Could we say something like "As of 2004, although the majority of worldwide sex abuse cases have been the United States, but the problem has spread to Canada, Ireland, Australia, etc."? (We're not supposed to say "vast majority", anyway - it's a "word to avoid". :) Awadewit (talk) 03:42, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
The difficulty with stating that the vast majority of cases have been in the U.S. is 'investigational bias'. The U.S. has a really good judicial system and a free press. There is under-reporting elsewhere. I don't think it is helpful in clobbering U.S. Catholics and say that all the deviant priests are American. Australia had already jailed 51 priest before the U.S. scandal even broke! Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 03:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia cannot compensate for the inequities of justice systems the world over. Too bad. Why don't you write out the full statement you would like to see in the article and then we can see what we are looking at. Always best to do that, I think. Awadewit (talk) 04:05, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the comment that the scandal is a drop in bucket of 2 000 years of Catholic history, there are plenty of good reputable sources that put the scandal in context of the church's history without the the fault of 'recentism'. For example, this book:

  • Wall, Patrick D.; Doyle, Thomas J. Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. Chicago: Bonus Books. ISBN 1566252652.  The author is a "Fr. Doyle, a canon lawyer, served at the Vatican’s U.S. embassy in the early ’80s".
  • Here is the review in the National Catholic Reporter:Sex, lies, secrecy and abuse.

I throw up my hands here. There are very good reputable sources that take the 'long view' of the child abuse scandal on the Church. The contributing editors are turning a blind eye. Seek and ye shall find. This article can not be FA quality without a better discussion of the scandal. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica devotes a thousand words to the topic. Cheers ! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 05:28, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

WP has a few thousand words on the topic already. Gimmetrow 06:31, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I would like to ask Wassupwestcoast to write what he thinks should be said, provide the references to back up the statements with page numbers and ISBN numbers to the reliable source used so we can insert the content. I have already scoured available information on the topic to come to the current paragraph. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive study quantifying the entire problem. I am currently awaiting arrival of the Annuario Pontificio to see if it contains a total number of priests accused of sex abuse so I can put the figure in the article. The book cost me $120 plus shipping and is only available in Italian and Latin - I called several churches and two Catholic Church diocesan headquarters to see if they even had the book and no one had it. I am doing my best to get reliable figures. I would appreciate the help of those interested in seeing an NPOV article and I invite Wassupwestcoast to help if he feels so strongly about the issue. NancyHeise (talk) 17:08, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Please also remember that the current paragraph is wikilinked to an extensive Wikipedia article devoted to the subject of preist sex abuse. The section has been treated no differently than any other paragraph that has contained criticism of the church. I would also like to point out that the good things the church does - its current missions, orphanages, schools, universities, Catholic Charities and Catholic Releif Services only get passing mention with no elaboration on the vast number - millions of people helped by the church currently each year. Catholic Charities is one of the largest charities in the United States, I think it is in the top ten - per a Forbes article referenced on its wikipedia page. I may add something about those if Wassupwestcoast insists on expanding on the bad - just so we have balance but I really think that such an approach will make the article too long. NancyHeise (talk) 17:23, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Quebec, Ireland and secularization of Catholics

No mention at all in the Roman Catholic Church article about the dramatic drop in weekly attendance in some of the - previously - most pious areas of the West. For example, no mention that Quebec which - seeQuebec Catholics - saw 88 per cent of Catholics attend church on a weekly basis in the 1950s compared to only 20 per cent today. A change so dramatic, that in Canada it is called the Quiet Revolution. Instead, in the article it just says "and continues to increase ..." Remember this is a neutral encyclopedia article. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 00:08, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

  1. I agree the Quebec info should be included.
  2. As for irelandCatholic v. Protestant is just a proxy for the real struggle: Irish v. English.
  3. Good granny, if you stick that in here, the page will need to be perpetually protected. Ling.Nut (talk) 00:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Note, the Irish story is very similar to the Quebec story. The most pious Catholic country in Europe has inverted itself. It isn't just a reflection of The Troubles. For a 10,000 word article, there is both evident omission and questionable emphasis. For example, LA Times 'Catholicism Losing Ground in Ireland:Secularism, prosperity and sexual abuse scandals are weakening the church's influence.' 17 April 2005 which says - in part:

Overwhelmed by a tide of secularism and economic prosperity, challenged by a new mood of independence in the population and devastated by a decade of scandals involving serial child abuse by clerics, the Catholic Church in Ireland finds itself demoralized, almost in shock [1]

The Roman Catholic Church article reflects none of this: why? Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 01:09, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

We can add this. We might also want to add that in places where the church has been corrupted by ultra - liberalism as in North America, particularly in the upper states and Canada, there is a serious decline in church attendance and seminary admissions - where the church has remained true to its teachings like in the more conservative areas of the countries - the church has seen increases in attendance and seminary admissions. There is a direct correlation between the growth of a liberalist agenda within church heirarchy (lax adherence to church rules or outright disobedience) and decrease in church attendance and seminary admissions. In short, the trend indicates that people dont want to go to a church where the priests are writing books and articles openly critical of basic church teachings. This is detailed in the book "Goodbye, Goodmen" by Michael Rose - I wanted this article to be about the Roman Catholic Church not a blog with mud slinging back and forth. The criticisms have to be helped to not turn into such a thing on an article like this. NancyHeise (talk) 17:35, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I do not think this article should go into such detail. The typical reader is seeking information about the Catholic church; s/he is not seeking an in-depth analysis on church attendance or lack of it in certain parts of the world. Conversely, the typical reader is not seeking an analysis of where the pews are full on a given Sunday. I do agree that this is appropriate fodder for a sub article, but not the main article where readers are looking for broad brush strokes of information.

As an aside, it appears we getting bogged down my minutiae. I tip my hat to Nancy's laborious work on this article. As a non-Catholic, this is the type of article that should be emulated. --Storm Rider (talk) 17:55, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Bias athiest/protestant/secular centric sentence in the lead

"Modern challenges and controversies faced by the church include the church-condemned liberation theology; its stance on issues such as abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexuality, and the ordination of women; and a sex abuse scandal."

It puts across a POV which reads as if the Church and its followers are "wrong" to be anti-death/pro-life. Also the term "modern" is entirely POV too in the "modern" day the Church has 1,130,000,000 followers, modern people, who by choice of their faith do not agree with killing unborn babies either. Thus that too is a "modern" culture thought. That is over 1 billion people challenging the controversy of an athiest pro-death stance (see how easy words can be twisted to suit a POV?).

As well as the sentence been recentist, it paints a bias athiest/protestant centric picture that in the modern day, the Catholic Church has no worth and its only standing is for the sensationalistic American media to whine about its followers and highlight some of the negatives (sex abuse scandal), while giving attention to none of the positives. - Yorkshirian (talk) 13:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I was OK with the sentence, I took it to mean issues that have just been brought up in the Modern era as opposed to issues like heresy in the Roman empire age. Would you like to propose some kind of rewording? I dont think we can eliminate all mention of criticism in the lead, we are trying to be NPOV and the charity work of the church is mentioned in the first paragraph. NancyHeise (talk) 13:58, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Also on the topic of homosexuality, this is the official, from the Catechism stance of the Church. It apposes the sexual act between somebody of the same sex but also says...
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
If the athiests who keep coming to rewrite the article with POV don't actually read things like the Catechism then we can never hope for a real NPOV. Of course they take their view of Catholicism from a sensationalistic press rather than going to the source which says a homosexual must be treated with respect, compassion and sensitivity, also unjust disrcimination against them is wrong. That is very much in line with modern thought and not a "controversy". - Yorkshirian (talk) 14:06, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Please assume good faith. Just because people disagree with you or what the article includes does not make them an atheist. Even if the editors are atheists, that has absolutely zero bearing on anything; ALL people are encouraged to edit ALL articles on wikipedia provided they comply with WP's core policies. Please note that AGF is one of them. Karanacs (talk) 15:08, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
The sentence at the top is close to the reworking that I gave the earlier sentence, and I agree that it can be improved. Presently, you have: "Antireligious challenges faced by the church include its pro-life stance on abortion, contraception and euthanasia. Also the sex abuse scandal, widely condemed by Catholic and secular thought." While that may fix some problems, it introduces many more: the grammar is unclear, there is a sentence fragment, and there's at least one misspelling. How about: "A number of church teachings, such as those labeling abortion, contraception, homosexual intercourse and euthanasia as evil, are a frequent source of controversy today. In recent years, abuse of minors by representatives of the Catholic church made headlines throughout the world, further tarnishing the church's image." The.helping.people.tick (talk) 14:21, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
That would fail to mention that the Church is pro-life in regards to abortion, contraception and euthanasia though, which I feel is important to point out if we're going to directly address those issues. It would also fail to mention that the sexual abuse scandal is condemd by Catholic thought just as much as secular thought. If the Pope "aproved" of them, then that would be a different situation. I honestly don't think for an institution spanning over 2000 years the "homosexual intercourse" thing is important/relevent enough to warrant a mention in the intro. Especially when the Church stance is clearly outlined to respect and accept them. I think full discussion of something like that would belong in Anticatholicism or Criticism of the Catholic Church of which we already have an article dedicated to. - Yorkshirian (talk) 14:30, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I think you have all hit on something with this one. I fixed the fragment, but if you want to word it better, go right ahead.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 14:29, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

(undent) "pro-life" is a U.S. political category, not a Catholic one. You won't find the term in the Catechism, while there is a good deal of overlap with the principles. This sentence/these sentences were originally to mention the controversies that the church finds herself embroiled in today. Does that still fit in the lead? Nancy suggested just omitting them altogether, but I think other editors might disagree. I could go either way; I just want it to be accurate and grammatical. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 14:40, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

<waving arms> No, you simply cannot delete them, as per the direct instruction of WP:LEAD. Controversies, if any, must be mentioned. Ling.Nut (talk) 14:51, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I've made some small changes to the lead wording for improvement of flow. I have also slightly changed the definition of sacraments, which just says they are "rituals", and removed reference to US sex abuse scandals, which certainly do not belong in the introduction. Xandar (talk) 14:56, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I know y'all will be unhappy, but these changes won't fly. The homosexuality issue cannot be removed. Homosexuals cannot be priests. The wod "controversies" cannot be removed; there are controversies. The bit about sex scandals cannot be removed; they are burned into the public consciousness, and were major news for a very long time. Ling.Nut (talk) 14:59, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

These issues are covered in the main text. They have no place in the introduction. Sex scandals may have been big news in the US for a period in the more sensationalist press, and are mentioned in the article, but placing them in the intro is not justified. Xandar (talk) 15:01, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm trying not to sound like a smart aleck. I really am. But, really... have you read WP:LEAD yet? Ling.Nut (talk) 15:03, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

It says In general, the relative emphasis given to material in the lead should reflect its relative importance to the subject according to reliable sources. I don't think you will find many books on the Catholic Church MENTIONING the US scandal coverage, let alone headlining it. Nor will you find it prominent in any encyclopedia article. The article is about the Roman Catholic Church as an institution, its history, structure and beliefs. It is not principally to reflect sectional press-led emphasis on a US scandal, which in fact shows that Catholic priests have been accused of abuse at about the same rate as those of any other denomination or secular profession. The matter is mentioned in the trext, which is more than any other encyclopedia. Xandar (talk) 15:10, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

(ec)If you don't place it in the intro now, someone will come along and add it again (and again and again) because that is one bit of knowledge that a great many people do know about the RCC. The lead needs to have one or two sentences dedicated to recent church issues, and, unfortunately, the RCC is in the news recently as a subject of controversery. We cannot whitewash the article to remove, hide, or overly dilute negatives; that is a violation of WP:NPOV. Karanacs (talk) 15:08, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Again. it is covered in the text. It is certainly not for the introduction sefction to the church. Xandar (talk) 15:10, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Ditto Xandar. Ling.Nut, WP:LEAD says "Well-publicized recent events affecting an article subject, whether controversial or not, should be kept in historical perspective. What is most recent is not necessarily what is most notable: new information should be carefully balanced against old, with due weight accorded to each." Given the 2,000 year history of the church, the sex abuse scandals hardly register when compared with the persecution by Roman emperors, Arian heresy, schism of 1054, Reformation, and French revolution. I say it doesn't belong in the lead, but I am willing to tolerate it there. Karnacs, many people may "know" about scandals in the Catholic church, but rather than distorting historical perspective, something like Summorum Pontificum is a much bigger current event as far as the Catholic church is concerned. It just is not going to sell newspapers, so it doesn't get press. Omitting the scandals is in keeping with the historical perspective encouraged by WP:LEAD. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 15:16, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Controversies go in, as per WP:LEAD. That's utterly non-negotiable. The fact that it is controversial totally, always and everywhere trumps concerns about recentism. Good Granny! I'm flabbergasted. Has none of us ever worked on a lead before? Ling.Nut (talk) 15:21, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I am sorry, you are NOT deciding what goes in the lead of the Catholic Church article. You may wish to make the Catholic Church all about abuse scandals, but that doesn't make it acceptable to skew the entire article. The "controversy" has the prominence it deserves. if people are that interested in it, they will find a link in the article. I suppose by your "rule" the intro to the Islam article will have to include the tein-towers and jihadi atrocities, or the US article, the my-lai massacre in the head??? Xandar (talk) 15:30, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Reasons why I think sex scandals should be mentioned in the lead: I think the article's section covering the sex abuse scandal is one of the most important ones because of the recent controversy and press coverage over it. The church response and reforms were not covered by the press hardly at all and I think the aricle serves the public interest by making that known. In my religious education class, I asked the students what percentage of priests they thought had been accused of sexual misconduct and I got answers ranging from 30-50%. In the Archdiocese of Miami the number was 1% of all priests who had worked here since 1950. The students were extremely surprised and relieved to know this fact. I think it is important for the article to state this percentage to put the scandal in perspective. It is very unfair to all of the faithful, hardworking and self-sacrificing priests out there who are suffering from this misconception and my heart really hurts for them. If we are to mention the sex scandals in the lead, my suggestion would be to also include a percentage of total priests accused. I think the worldwide figure is 2 tenths of 1% which I think looks like 0.02% but looks better spelled out. This figure I think is in Annuario Pontificio which I have ordered and have not yet recieved. I will put the figure in when I get it. NancyHeise (talk) 15:31, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I've fixed the wording a bit, however the fact that the figure is less than 0.02% just shows how irrelevent the sex scandal is in the entire overview of the Catholic Church, thats 99.98% who have absoutely nothing to do with sexual abuse scandals. Not really worthy of inclusion if the number is so low. Its probably far lower than such abuse cases in any other profession, whether it be a doctor, dentist, store worker, gym instructor, etc... we shouldn't make the article to pander to an American (especially the sensationalistic media) viewpoint only, since its supposed to represent the whole world view IMO. Don't get me wrong, I agree that its good we have an actual figure, to disprove anti-catholic propoganda, but I think it could just as easily fit in "Vatican II and beyond" as its not relevent to the world in a full overview, I think thats the point Xander was trying to get across too. - Yorkshirian (talk) 11:06, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
(ec) xandar, You are correct. I am not deciding what goes in the lead. In fact, I am not deciding anything. I am following Wikipedia guidelines.. very clear.. very simple.. very straightforward guidelines. Xandar, please trust me. if you keep your lead, you have not a chance of FA. You have a high chance of getting a POV template slapped on the article. Ling.Nut (talk) 15:34, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
There is no reason why a US sex scandal should be in the lead of this article. Unless similar things appear in the leads for all other religious organisations and secular ones too. Placing it in the lead gives it undue prominence in relevance to the church. This is the first time such a demand has been made, and it is utterly unreasonable. It would make the Us scandal one of the key incidents in Christian history! The RC article managed for five years without having your favourite scandal in the lead. It certainly doesn't need it now. The scandal is prominently enough mentioned in its due position Xandar (talk) 15:40, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Mmmmmm, you don't know me at all. :-) I have no favorite scandals. I have no axe to grind — not pro-life or pro-choice or pro-homosexual or pro-anything except pro-WP:V and pro-WP:NPOV. Ling.Nut (talk) 15:45, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Whether it deserves mention in the LEAD or not, if you're going to remove prose, at least have the decency to move the citations to where they belong. Neither the John Jay article, nor the Gospel of Shame mention abortion, euthanasia, etc.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 15:36, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I wan't sure what the citation covered so I didn't remove it. Xandar (talk) 15:41, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Ling.Nut, you say "I am following Wikipedia guidelines.. very clear.. very simple.. very straightforward guidelines." But you aren't citing specific passages, whereas I do and I give my argument for why WP guidelines say that the sex scandals don't belong in the lead of this article. Maybe you could be more specific? The.helping.people.tick (talk) 16:07, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
No problem. Wikipedia:Lead section says: It should establish blah blah blah... and briefly describe its notable controversies, if there are any. Ling.Nut (talk) 16:10, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

You guys need to respect Lingnuts advice, he has been very helpful to the article and spent a lot of time trying to help get it passed at FA. I personally dont think he is a POV person come to do our article any harm. I also dont think mention of teh sex scandal in the lead is overly POV and would like for it to include a percentage and mention of church reform - all could be done with one sentence I think.NancyHeise (talk) 16:18, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

I completely respect Ling.Nut, but I think he's wrong on this one and is not taking WP:LEAD seriously: "It should establish context, summarize the most important points, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describe its notable controversies, if there are any." The abuse scandals hardly rate when compared with the other controversies that have surrounded the church. So if you're not being 'recentist' (yech, neologism), how do you justify putting this in the lead and not the other really big controversies that I mentioned earlier? The other passage from WP:LEAD that applies here: "Well-publicized recent events affecting an article subject, whether controversial or not, should be kept in historical perspective. What is most recent is not necessarily what is most notable: new information should be carefully balanced against old, with due weight accorded to each." The position Ling.Nut advocates distorts historical perspective; compared with other controversies, the sex abuse scandals are barely notable, and including it in the lead gives them far more than their due weight. This then raises the question of NPOV, which seems to be violated by granting undue weight to the sex abuse scandals. Now, if the argument is that the article can't be FA unless the lead includes the sex abuse scandals, and we want FA rather than follow WP guidelines, well that's ok with me. But I will still say it is a clear violation of WP guidelines. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 17:46, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I can see your point and it makes complete sense to me. However, I think we will be hit over the head a few times if we dont have any controversies noted in the lead. We need to consider that the sentence that was deleted was one sentence that listed the modern controversies, sex abuse cases was among them. I really did not think that was being POV one way or the other, I considered it a statment of fact that would alert the reader to the fact that the issue was covered in the article - something I really would like for people to see simply for the fact that it actually mentions the real facts of the issue that were not discussed in great detail in the mainstream news. Our factual article will actually help disperse misperceptions bred by the popular media if we can just make it NPOV and stick to the actual facts. NancyHeise (talk) 18:49, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

(Gosh did I really use the word "fact" over five times just now - that is why I need Xandar here - I cant speak English!)

Good Granny again! You need to read WP:UNDUE. I'm still trying to be very patient and nice, but good granny, if you don't read the policies/essays/etc., don't quote 'em. "Well-publicized recent events affecting an article subject, whether controversial or not, should be kept in historical perspective. What is most recent is not necessarily what is most notable: new information should be carefully balanced against old, with due weight accorded to each." That's talking about undue weight. WP:UNDUE is about the proportion of total article space space dedicated to issues, particularly to minority views: " proportion to the prominence of each". Placing a brief mention (as directly quoted in WP:LEAD of a clearly notable (WP:LEAD again) controversy in the lead is not undue weight; dedicating 10% of the article (or 10% of the lead!) to the scandal (as one editor seemed to suggest) would be undue weight. Ling.Nut (talk) 00:06, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
You are being patient and nice, and I appreciate that. You also continue to be wrong and, as far as I can tell, are appealing to WP policies which do not support your position. Our argument is about what constitutes a notable controversy in a WP article on the Roman Catholic Church, and my position is that the sex abuse scandals don't make the cut because so many other controversies in the church are so much more notable. You directed me to a section of the NPOV policy dealing with undue weight, which exactly clarifies the point that I am making: "An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject. Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text, prominence of placement, and juxtaposition of statements" (emphasis added). Given the 2000 year history of the church, and all the things associated with the church, I'd say even a mention of the sex abuse scandals in the lead is undue weight, based on prominence of placement. Like I said before, if it's necessary for FA, I'm not going to stand in the way, but it looks to me like it violates several WP policies. If the lead needs to include a contemporary controversy (and it is not clear to me that it does), I understand mentioning the the sex abuse scandal, although I think that it is much more significant to the Roman Catholic Church, and much more encyclopedia-worthy, to include the debates around the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 02:30, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Summorum Pontificum is a controversy that is relatively confined to the Church faithful - few people outside of the RCC have heard of it or would really consider it a controversy. By all means mention it in the lead if you choose, but I believe the more recent controversies need a single line in the lead as well. The child abuse scandals, or the RCC's positions on homosexuality, abortions, and euthanasia, are controversies that are well known outside of the RCC. The child abuse scandals are also not strictly a US issue, although the article does not do a good job of pointing that out. I am very afraid that if it is not included in the lead, if this article ever reaches the main page there will be scads of people trying to put that into the lead for you. It would be much better to find a good, NPOV to portray the controversies (such as the single sentence that mentions all of the issues that I think Nancy quoted above) rather than wait for the masses to put in heaven-only-knows-what nonsense. Karanacs (talk) 02:54, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
While I fully agree with the concerns of recentism and historical balance (consider in 1000 years what this article would look like: this flap would barely get a footnote if that!), I also recognize the empirical reality Karanacs and others have mentioned, that if no mention is made in the lede, editors less informed about the editorial issues here will even in good faith bombard it with edits to mention it. So as to avoid making the perfect the enemy of the good, I would strongly suggest drafting a way to mention it in the lede, even if only a very minimal mention, so as to discourage such understandable but in the end not helpful edits. If nothing passes muster here on Talk, I am clearly OK with not mentioning it in the lede at all, but the effort is worth it, an ounce of prevention... Baccyak4H (Yak!) 03:33, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
So be it. I had a hand in writing the sentence at the top of this section, although I take no responsibility for the modifier "church-condemned." Clunky! How about: "Over the centuries, the church has engaged controversies of many kinds. Today, the church's public stances on contraception, abortion and euthanasia regularly make headlines, as has the scandal surrounding the sexual abuse of minors by representatives of the church." Have at it! :) The.helping.people.tick (talk) 03:25, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
On the "sex scandal" front I think the article should read as below to give a better WORLD VIEW and completely fair description...
"A sex abuse scandal involving around 0.02% of worldwide priests led to recent church reforms to protect against future abuse, though the figure is very low the sensationalistic United States media which is generally centered to a WASP audience in particular enjoy blowing it out of proportion to present a negative view of Catholicism. The relevence to the rest of the world and its media, including places where the religion is more present, is highly questionable". - Yorkshirian (talk) 11:18, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
The first part of the first sentence ("A sex abuse scandal involving around 0.02% of worldwide priests led to recent church reforms to protect against future abuse") sounds fine. The rest of it degenerates into blatant POV. The scandals have not been covered only in the US (nor have they occured only in the US). There are similar issues in Ireland and other parts of Europe, and somewhere earlier on this talk page someone brought up a book written about 2000 years of sex scandals in the RCC, so it's not necessarily a new thing either. Karanacs (talk) 13:35, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
(ec) I l do ike the idea of starting that sentence with "Today, ..." That does help frame the historical context well, implying current, but perhaps transient, notability. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 03:36, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

(undent) My good (new) friend The.helping.people.tick, I am jealous of your user name. While perhaps a bit too long for people whose typing skills suck (including me), it is far cooler than mine. ;-) But I digress. :-) Your argument hinges entirely on your definition of the word "notable". Ling.Nut (talk) 04:41, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

The "Modern challenges faced by the church" phrasing is good. I'm not so keen on:
  • As has been mentioned, "pro-life". "Pro-life" is a loaded term and, as has been said, not a particularly Catholic one. I think that terminology such as "against abortion" and the like is much more neutral than getting into the whole "pro-life"/"pro-choice" debate.
  • The prominent mention of the "0.02%" statistic; I think the choice of statistic here is a non-neutral attempt to minimise the significance of the events (it's also an order of magnitude smaller than the figure given in our Roman Catholic sex abuse cases article - a quick calculation of the John Jay report figure of 4,392 US priests against whom accusations have been made, over the worldwide figure of about 400,000 priests gives more like 1%). I think this is a perfectly fine statistic (if sourced) to include in context with other figures, but shouldn't be used as the only figure - I don't think that a figure is needed at this point, but if there is one it shouldn't be one deliberately chosen to make the issue seem as minor as possible. I don't really think that percentages are that useful in these cases - you wouldn't put in the New York article "99.9952% of people in New York were not murdered this year!"
Suggested re-wording:
Modern challenges faced by the church include the rise of secularism, and controversy over its prohibition of abortion, contraception and euthanasia. Highly-publicised cases of sexual abuse by clergy in the United States and Ireland led to recent church reforms to protect against future abuse. (same sources)
Thoughts? TSP (talk) 13:33, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
(Hmm, though we appear to have mislaid liberation theology, homosexuality and the ordination of women.) TSP (talk) 13:52, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree, what happened to mentioning those three topics? And why are we still using the non-Catholic word "pro-life" (consistent life ethic may work better). I'm also concerned that the reason the Church opposed some forms of contraception isn't because condoms kill babies, but because of their view on sex and marriage.-Andrew c [talk] 01:56, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
(I would suggest changing its pro-life stance on abortion, contraception and euthanasia. to it's negative views on abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexuality, and the ordination of women.).-Andrew c [talk] 01:59, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I have done something similar to the above suggestions, mostly becuase the term "pro-life" does not apply directly to contraception (regardless of what we think about it otherwise). Haplorrhine (talk) 02:28, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
"Pro-life" actually does apply directly to contraception, from a Catholic understanding, because of both "emergency contraception" (which many argue is abortion) and the belief that any artificial contraception denies the potential for life. 1 2. That being said, there's no real need to mention it in the introduction; your edit seems fine from my end. When we do mention pro-life, we just shouldn't separate contraception too far. -BaronGrackle (talk) 16:12, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

How exactly is the term "pro-life" not "Catholic"? As far as I know the term is a concise encapsulation of the Church's stance on these issues. Still, I can see how the article can be improved through something like your suggested edits. Nautical Mongoose (talk) 02:08, 21 March 2008 (UTC)


I am still strongly against the recent idea of introducing the US sex-scandal into the introduction to the article. Such an action is unprecedented, and Ling Nut's contention that this is required by policy just doesn't stand up. The introduction is a summary of the essence of the article and of the subject, and I think it is POV to introduce a local US scandal into the main introduction to an article on the universal church. I am against this in principle, and do not think we should give in to bullying and pressure to place this matter in the introduction. Karanacs has argued that the scandal is world wide, which is not the case. There may be an argument for placing it in the introduction to Catholic Church in the United States, but not here. Lets just look at the introduction to the Islam article:

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام; al-'islām (help·info)) is a monotheistic Abrahamic religion originating with the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. The word Islam means "submission", or the total surrender of oneself to God (Arabic: الله, Allāh).[1] An adherent of Islam is known as a Muslim, meaning "one who submits (to God)".[2][3] There are between 1.1 billion and 1.8 billion Muslims, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world, after Christianity.[4]
Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad, God's final prophet, and regard the Qur'an and the Sunnah (words and deeds of Muhammad) as the fundamental sources of Islam.[5] They do not regard Muhammad as the founder of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original monotheistic faith of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. Islamic tradition holds that Jews and Christians distorted the revelations God gave to these prophets by either altering the text, introducing a false interpretation, or both.[6]
Islam includes many religious practices. Adherents are generally required to observe the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five duties that unite Muslims into a community.[7] In addition to the Five Pillars, Islamic law (sharia) has developed a tradition of rulings that touch on virtually all aspects of life and society. This tradition encompasses everything from practical matters like dietary laws and banking to warfare.[8]
Almost all Muslims belong to one of two major denominations, the Sunni and Shi'a. The schism developed in the late 7th century following disagreements over the religious and political leadership of the Muslim community. Roughly 85 percent of Muslims are Sunni and 15 percent are Shi'a. Islam is the predominant religion throughout the Middle East, as well as in parts of Africa and Asia. Large communities are also found in China, the Balkan Peninsula in Eastern Europe and Russia. There are also large Muslim immigrant communities in other parts of the world such as Western Europe. About 20 percent of Muslims live in Arab countries.[9]

What isn't mentioned here, in this featured article?? Well there's 9/11, suicide bombers, stoning people to death, female seclusion, female circumcision, jihad, sharia law... - all topics of much greater world concern and news value than a US scandal. Are we going to see Ling Nut and allies going over there to demand their inclusion in the article and introduction? I am waiting. I am strongly against the Catholic article being treated differently to other articles. And catholics being seen as a suitable target for stone-throwing. The article is not a vehicle for people with a grudge against the church to air their grievances. Xandar (talk) 14:44, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

If you think Islam is in such poor shape, take it to WP:FAR. It probably needs it. Karanacs (talk) 15:00, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Please see this section above: Talk:Roman_Catholic_Church#Child_sex_abuse_and_aboriginal_abuse_scandals. It gives references that make it quite clear that the sex abuse scandal was not confined to the United States. Just because it got more press in the US than in other countries does not mean it was not occurring in those places. I think this deserves a very brief mention in the lead, and in the body of the article 1 sentence to describe the scandal and 1 sentence to describe the RCC's response. Anything more than that is overkill in an article this size. Karanacs (talk) 15:04, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid the post you link to above reflects exactly the sort of outright misleading information that certain people are circulating on this subject. "Mike"s BBC Irish link talks of 20 catholics convicted of abuse in the past ten years, many being very old cases. He then adds the preposterous (unsourced) claim that there have been 3,000 cases of abuse in Ireland! The Australian link was to one incident. The Polish report refers to one person. The Austrian report refers to ONE STUDENT! This does not a "worldwide" scandal make. The list is the result of a BBC search round the world for incidents in 2002! at the height of the US scandal. The BBc in particular has been anxious to find sex abuse cases and to spread the scandal to the UK. Despite relentless digging they have come up with nothing. They even sent a team to Brazil, convinced, as was "Mike" above, seems to be, that somehow Child abuse and Catholicism were intrinsically linked. The team found nothing. Of course in a church with over a thousand million members and millions of priests and religious, you are going to find incidents of all crimes if you go hunting for them. I could link up to lots and lots of abuse cases in protestant, muslim and secular spheres. So no. The abuse crisis is not worldwide. Xandar (talk) 16:58, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I never posted a BBC link nor made any comment that you are suggesting. If you're talking about my post above beneath those BBC links posted byUser:Wassupwestcoast, then I apologize that you cannot recognize sarcasm.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 20:27, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
There is a saying today "Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice", especially in relation to the United States. Personally I do not think those things should be mentioned in the lead of the Islam article, because its not a fair representation of their faith (especially extremist suicide bombers)... however, the Catholic article should be given the same fair treatment the Islam one has recieved. The antis wouldn't "get away" with anti-Islamic or anti-Jewish bias on Wikipedia articles at all, especially in the intro (as has been shown in the first instance with FA, Islam) and it shouldn't be tolerated at all here either.- Yorkshirian (talk) 19:13, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Comment. Xandar (talk · contribs), I do not understand your comments:

The Boston Globe in its Pulitzer Prize winning investigation - see Abuse in the Catholic church] - found that between 1990 and 2002, 'Sex scandals have resulted in the resignations of 19 Roman Catholic prelates worldwide." Yup, it is worldwide. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 03:19, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

The Boston Globe is not a useful source, and the wuote is pretty meaningless. If 21 US troops have been killed worldwide, and 20 of them were in Iraq, is this a worldwide issue or an iraq-connected one? No-one has yet shown the scandal to be worldwide. There isn't a scandal in the UK, much as certain folk at the BBC have tried to find one. And none of the major Wikipedia other language articles on the Catholic Church even mention it, let alone have it in the lead. (talk) 14:19, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

The previous Archbishop of Cardiff resigns over his handling of abuse cases, and there's no problem in the UK? Again though it is not unique to the Roman catholic church in teh UK, CofE has also handled the issue poorly at times. David Underdown (talk) 15:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Abuse redux

My brief research at the Vancouver Public Library has turned up 22 books. This is by no means an exhaustive search.

Chronological order of publication (oldest first)

  1. Thomas, Gordon. Desire and denial : sexuality and vocation, a church in crisis. London ; Toronto : Grafton Books, 1986.
  2. Harris, Michael. Unholy orders : tragedy at Mount Cashel. Markham, Ont. : Viking, 1990.
  3. Rossetti, Stephen J. Slayer of the soul : child sexual abuse and the Catholic church. Mystic, Conn. : Twenty-Third Publications, 1990.
  4. Berry, Jason. Lead us not into temptation : Catholic priests and the sexual abuse of children. New York : Doubleday, c1992.
  5. Burkett, Elinor. A gospel of shame : children, sexual abuse and the Catholic Church. New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Viking, 1993.
  6. CCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Child Sexual Abuse. From pain to hope : report from the CCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Child Sexual Abuse. Ottawa : Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1992.
  7. Lynch, Bernard, Father. A priest on trial. London : Bloomsbury, 1993.
  8. Sipe, A. W. Richard. Sex, priests, and power : anatomy of a crisis. New York : Brunner/Mazel, c1995.
  9. Rossetti, Stephen J. A tragic grace : the Catholic Church and child sexual abuse. Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, c1996.
  10. Cozzens, Donald B. Sacred silence : denial and the crisis in the church. Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, c2002.
  11. Van der Zee, John. Agony in the garden : sex, lies, and redemption from the troubled heart of the American Catholic Church. New York : Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2002.
  12. Sipe, A. W. Richard. Celibacy in crisis : a secret world revisited. New York : Brunner-Routledge, 2003.
  13. Phillips, Donald T. (Donald Thomas). Unto us a child : abuse and deception in the Catholic Church : the true story of an American family. Irving, Tex. : Tapestry Press, c2002.
  14. Fortune, Marie M. Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church : trusting the clergy? Binghamton, NY : Haworth Pastoral Press, c2003.
  15. Berry, Jason. Vows of silence : the abuse of power in the papacy of John Paul II. New York : Free Press, c2004.
  16. Breslin, Jimmy. The church that forgot Christ. New York : Free Press, c2004.
  17. France, David. Our fathers : the secret life of the Catholic Church in an age of scandal. New York : Broadway Books, 2004.
  18. Jackowski, Karol. The silence we keep : one nun's view of the Catholic priest scandal. New York : Harmony Books, c2004.
  19. Catholic Church. Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Special Taskforce for the Review of From pain to hope. Report of the Special Taskforce for the Review of From pain to hope. [Ottawa] : Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Special Taskforce for the Review of From pain to hope, [2005]
  20. Doyle, Thomas P. Sex, priests, and secret codes : the Catholic Church's 2000-year paper trail of sexual abuse. Los Angeles : Volt Press, c2006.
  21. Fleming, Patrick. Broken trust : stories of pain, hope, and healing from clerical abuse survivors and abusers. New York : Crossroad Pub., c2007.
  22. Frawley-O'Dea, Mary Gail. Perversion of power : sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Nashville : Vanderbilt University Press, 2007.

Nine of the books are from before 2002. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote a report in 1992. The earliest book is from 1986. The books are a variety of Catholic, religious, commercial publishers and university publishers. None of these have made it into Roman Catholic Church as a possible reference; especially Frawley-O'Dea. Seriously, down playing the child abuse scandal is POV especially when the topic is resource rich. The scandal has history and it has books. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:46, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Good research. I don't think many of us here are interested in downplaying sex abuse scandals qua scandals; but compared to the things that the Roman Catholic Church has been through, this is small. I maintain the it is WP:UNDUE weight to locate a mention of the scandals in the lead, and that a sentence (or two) in the article is plenty. I'm not going to complain too much about the current wording, but expanding the mention in the lead is unwarranted. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 04:06, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
A Gospel of Shame and A People Adrift are in the bibiliography and sourced as references. Both deal with the scandal.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 04:20, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, there are two books in the bibliography, BUT:
  • Steinfels, Peter (2003). A People Adrift : The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America. Simon & Schuster. p. 416. ISBN 0-68-483663-7. 
Steinfels is not cited in the text. I have removed it.
  • Bruni, Frank (2002). A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse, and the Catholic Church. Harper Perennial. p. 336. ISBN 9780060522322.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
Bruni was published in 2002. My brief research at my public libray came up with a Yale University Press book published in 2007: see (Mary Gail Frawley-ODea (2007). Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. p. 336. ISBN 0826515479. ) which has favourable reviews. In 2008, there is a book from Harvard University Press: see (Timothy D. Lytton (2008). Holding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse. Harvard University Press. p. 304. ISBN 0674028104. )
In short, there are better and more recent references. A variety of the best references must be used on Wikipedia. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 16:22, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Probably because some jackass removed it. Why not leave it in the bibiliography so someone can add a reference as they work on it. If you want to go on a massive book-buying spree to further your agenda, by all means do so...but don't remove legitimate sources for no reason. Recent is not always better, and those sources are better than the children's books cited by a another editor.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:36, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I replaced the deleted citations and text.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:47, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for replacing the title as an appropriate cite. Note though, the books above are all available from a public library. No need to go on a book-buying spree! And, are you really serious when you say that a recent university press book is not likely to be better than a commercially published book that is five years old? You can hardly find a more reputable scholarly press than either Yale University Press or Harvard University Press. Come on! No one at FA is going to buy that nonsense. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 16:51, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

No, just saying that recent is not always the best. Don't put words in my mouth. If you want to go to the library and research those books, all means go ahead.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 19:21, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Ongoing issue

Reading through this talk page, I notice something that remains unabated in spite of two failed FACs; as long as editors here persist in comparisons to the Islam article, the work needed on this article won't be properly addressed. Whatever did or didn't get by FAC in any other article has no relevance whatsoever to this article. If there's something not right about Islam, take it to FAR, but editors who hold this article to the standard of any other article are wasting their time. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:05, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

A few points:

  • 1 Sandy, we're talking about consistency here. A couple of people have suddenly and unilaterally decided that the US sex scandal has to go in the introduction to the article. I say this is unwarranted and will only lead to more trouble. When people are saying that Wiki policy is that there MUST be a mention in the lead, and that this is "non-negotiable", then the policy as it is applied to similar articles has to be raised. If it is a policy for Roman Catholic Church it is a policy for all other articles. I don't want a double-standard. It is not up to me to remedy other articles. It is up to those who claim to be enforcing Wikipedia policy to enforce it evenly across the board.
  • 2. The Islam article does not mention islamic terrorism or oppression of women in the lead. These are issues more central to Islam than abuse is to Catholicism. With regard to Southern Baptists, segregation in Baptist churches IS a church body issue. With regard to abuse, it occurs in similar percentages in all denominations and in people of all religions and none. The reason for highlighting it with regard to the Catholic Church is therefore all about past publicity - which largely grew from the size of the organisation.
  • 3. Nancy seems to approve of this new introduction to the article. However as I have said, I oppose it as a matter of PRINCIPLE. This is a largely regional issue, which is already heavily written-up in the text. It is not an essential of the Catholic Church. the article has existed for years and gone through three FA reviews without the idea of placing this issue in the introduction being seriously pursued. The wording at present is fairly innocuous, however I have no doubt that should this get embedded in the introduction, we will then face demands for extensions and alterations of the wording, and corresponding demands for even more material in the body of the article. This is unwarranted. The change to the spirit of the article has not received consensus, and should be removed. Xandar (talk) 10:56, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Xandar, I think if it is not in the aricle, it will be required based on Wikipedia policies that require us to cite notable controversies in the lead. It does not require expansion so someone requireing it at a future FA will not be able to force that issue if it is cited concisely already. My use of the FA Islam comparison was to structure this article in the same fashion - beliefs, community, history with criticism sprinkled throughout at appropriate points. I thought it was a superior method of organization and I wanted to follow it. We need to build our article in such a way that it conforms so much to Wikipedia policies and uses such high level sources that it will easily pass the next FA. I have just ordered new University press books to replace all sources that raised eyebrows in the last FA. I really need your help smoothing over the language and changes I will make to certain sections as a result of these new and better sources. Please dont spend your valuable energy arguing this anymore. We need mention of the scandal in the lead just as it is right now - with the percent of accused and mention of church reforms that came about as a result - to fend off the unbelievable misconceptions the scandal as created even among our own Catholic children. NancyHeise (talk) 13:27, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

A major change to the balance of the article like this should have been widely discussed and achieved consensus before any change was made. However this suddenly appeared, and certain people were saying it had to be there, and was "non-negotiable." That is not how things should be done here. My comparison with other Faith articles is perfectly valid because as far as I can see none has controversial negative matters like this in the lead. A "policy" that only applies to the Catholic article is not a genuine policy, and raises the issue of double-standards. I too am wanting to progress to more constructive work, including deciding what references are to be used; how the article is to be balanced; and what, if anything, can be trimmed; but things like this will flare up if done without discussion. I feel that placing this issue twice in this article is unwarranted, may be the thin end of a wedge, and will provide two focuses for disputes instead of one. I do not support the change. We'll see if it really has consensus. Xandar (talk) 14:44, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Xandar, when you say, My comparison with other Faith articles is perfectly valid because as far as I can see none has controversial negative matters like this in the lead. ...well, from my experience with the Anglican articles that is not true. Over there, we can't get past B-class because of exactly the same sort of pushme-pullyou debates. One side wants the ECUSA article to be nothing but a diatribe against the apostate church. It is difficult. However, as has been mentioned many times, WP:LEAD is an abstract or summary of the entire article. My advice is to ignore other articles on Wikipedia and look at the articles on the Roman Catholic Church at Encarta. No one, it seems, wants to do this. But, it is a very good model. Much better than what is on Wikipedia at the moment. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 15:55, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
The Encarta RC article is okay, but not brilliant. Again it doesn't treat scandals in the lead. Neither does the Anglicanism article at Wikipedia mention any sort of negative matter. (A CofE vicar was just sentenced for child abuse today.) I'm just arguing for consistency. Xandar (talk) 18:37, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Totally agree with you about the Anglicanism article! Note that it is B-class. Also, Encarta doesn't use the abstract-type lead that Wikipedia demands. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:41, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

My point remains that until I see evidence of other comparable articles following what some people insist is Wikipedia Policy, I do not accept their interpretation that mention of the Largely US scandal HAS to be in the lead of the article. A "policy" that only applies to one article is no policy. As far as I am concerned the present sentence is there as a temporary concession so long as it remains exactly as it is, and if it has a consensus of support. Any attempt to build on it, or demand extensions, and it should go. I know many people here are from the US, but this is not an article about the US church. The Catholic Church exists in around 200 countries around the world, many of them English-speaking, and in most of which this subject is virtually irrelevant. Xandar (talk) 12:51, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

redundant links

Most linked topics:
Canon law (17)
Nicene Creed (5)
Bishop (4)
Eastern Catholic Churches (4)
Eastern Orthodox Church (4)
Ecumenical council (4)
Holy Spirit (4)
Pope Benedict XVI (4)
Maybe some of these links are redundant. Randomblue (talk) 23:48, 20 March 2008 (UTC) Based on the overall length of the piece, I wasn't too concerned about overusing the wikilinks...although 17 to canon law seems excessive!--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 23:54, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree, the amount of links to seem to be redundant.--DavidD4scnrt (talk) 04:05, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Dubious points

A brief scan through parts of the article reveals some dubious points:

  • Ref 17, from its title, seems to be a very partial book, not really suitable
  • The Medieval and Renaissance section is a bit of a mess. Too wordy, and some dubious stuff. Especially this passage
In 1521, the first Catholics were baptized in what would become the first Christian nation in Southeast Asia, the Philippines.[171] The following year, Franciscan missionaries arrived in what is now Mexico, although they did not begin large-scale baptisms until 1537, when Pope Paul III determined that the indigenous peoples did have souls.[174] Over the next 150 years, the missions expanded into southwestern North America.[175] The native people were legally defined as children, and the priests took on a paternalistic role, often enforced with corporal punishment.[176] In India, Portuguese missionaries and the Spanish Jesuit Francis Xavier evangelized among a Christian community which had been established by Thomas the Apostle.[177]

I find a lot of this information very dubious. Huge numbers were converted in Mexico before 1537, and I don't think there was much serious debate over whether Indians had souls. WHO legally defined native people as children, Church, Governments? Where and when? "Corporal punishment" applied to everyone who wasn't a noble up until fairly recent times. Francis Xavier didn't only "evangelise" Thomas christians, but non-christians as well.

A good source for this section would be The World of Catholic Renewal 1540-1770, 2nd Edition (New Approaches to European History) Cambridge University Press by R. Po-chia Hsia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by The.helping.people.tick (talkcontribs) 15:42, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
  • This passage could do with removing from Origin and Mission
Calling "suspiciously tidy" the first historical document to list the Roman bishops back to Saint Peter which was supplied by Irenaeus in the second century

I really don't think we need popular historian, Duffy's unsupported opinion of Irenaeus's works - some of the best attributed early documents in Christianity. Using Duffy as a reference at all should be kept to a minimum. Xandar (talk) 13:19, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

In the Creed section I reverted the order to put the creed first. This is an article about the Catholic Church, not the beliefs of other groups. Where relevant, these come later. Xandar (talk) 13:21, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I added the information about the Mexican missions, and it comes directly from the source listed. The book said that large numbers of people were on the missions, but weren't officially baptized until after the pope's ruling. If other books dispute this, it can be removed, but I think it's accurate. Karanacs (talk) 13:57, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree to a point RE:Duffy; I don't think he needs to be named and the opinion of one historian should not carry undue weight.Nothing wrong with ref 17; shows a variety of can't write simply from the POV of the church as an institution is always in the right...they screwed the pooch on how they handled the abuse cases as well as the lies they put out whenever a Pope dies.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 14:03, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
"Lies"? What? (Not really talk page relevant, but now I'm curious) Nautical Mongoose (talk) 21:35, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Xandar, we have to show both viewpoints it is Wikipedia policy - you will end up with a useless B article if you don't have opposing viewpoints in your article. I dont want a propaganda page, I want a factual page that will let the reader know the whole story - personally Duffy's comments really make him appear to be stretching his opinions and I think it makes his opinion even more unreliable. Leave it - he offers no proof to support his viewpoint and his whole conclusion makes that clear. NancyHeise (talk) 23:40, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

This section from Mass, Sacraments, Liturgical Year looks like a POV commentary. I can't believe this sentence among others : "The exact words of Jesus from the Gospel were used during the consecration prayers until the 1969 English translation of the Roman Missal." Mike, the words of Jesus are still used in the consecration -what are you trying to do? Are you using Wikipedia to make some kind of point for Traditionalist Catholics? I am glad Vatican II changed the Tridentine Mass allowing the vernacular - I want to understand what is happening on the altar and be included in the actual celebration, not just in my bodily presence but in my heart - that is kind of hard to do when you dont understand the language. Can we have a section on Mass that is not an angry commentary? The Last Supper was not a Tridentine Mass and Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Latin. NancyHeise (talk) 23:31, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Nancy...Jesus said "for many"; the Bible states that, the Latin states that: "pro multis". The Pauline Mass in English says "for all" (it does not say this in the other languages such as Polish, Spanish, French. How is that POV?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 23:34, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Mike, you are making personal judgements that are not supported by a reliable source. If you want to put something in the section regarding Roman Catholic Beliefs, you need a source that says its so - My sources for this beliefs section all have approval from the Catholic Church as being declared free of doctrinal and moral error from a Catholic official (Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur). You can not put something in the Beliefs section and represent it as a CAtholic belief if it comes from some other source. YOu can present a criticism as a criticism but that is not what you are doing here. NancyHeise (talk) 23:40, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Gee, I guess you want to tie it all back to the Bible except the part that really matters. Let's see what the Vatican has to say: On 17 October 2006, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments sent a circular (No. 467/05/L) to Presidents of Episcopal Conferences on the question of the translation of "pro multis". The Congregation first recalled the 25 January 1974 declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that "there is no doubt whatsoever" regarding the validity of Masses celebrated using "for all" as a translation of "pro multis", since "for all" corresponds to a correct interpretation of Christ's intention expressed in the words of the consecration, and since it is a dogma of the Catholic faith that Christ died on the Cross for all (cf. John 11:52, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Titus 2:11, 1 John 2:2). However, the Congregation pointed out that "for all" is not a literal translation of the words that Matthew 26:28 and Mark 14:24 report that Jesus used at the Last Supper and of the words used in the Latin text of the Roman Mass; "for all" is rather "an explanation of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis." After making these and other observations, the Congregation told the Episcopal Conferences to make an effort, in line with the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, to translate the words pro multis "more faithfully" and to prepare the faithful for the introduction, when the next translation of the Roman Missal has been approved by the Conferences and examined by the Holy See, of a "precise" vernacular translation of the phrase. I don't know if there's a children's book printed on this yet.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 23:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Do you remember "Deposit of Faith"? If you are challenging a decision made by the whole group of those we call "the succesors of the apostles" then you are creating your own agenda using Wikipedia. IF you have a criticism over this decision, you need to frame it in words that properly label it as criticism or dispute. From what I know, there is no criticism or dispute over this decision - find a newpaper article or reliable third party reference - even a children's book. NancyHeise (talk) 00:08, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Funny, I remember showing you how to format references, now you just want to delete refernces I put in there because you don't like them for whatever reason. While I suspect the summa might be a bit cerebral for you, surely you cannot say the same of McBrien's book? (although at 1000+ pages it's not something you can get through in an afternoon) You do not own this article, Nancy. This is a community effort. I have no problem backing up everything I write with a reliable source that's not a children's book, coffee-table book, or coloring book. If you know of no dispute over "Pro multis", then I'm glad you don't teach Catechism to my children.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ
The article is not even factual anymore. The Tridentine Mass is the Roman rite as is the Pauline Mass said in the vulgar tongue. The Tridentine or Traditional Latin Mass is referred to as the Extraordinary Form, whereas the Novus Ordo is referred to as the Ordinary Form. These are not different Rites such as Byzantine, Coptic, Carmelite, or Dominican. Nancy's extreme POV and disdain for the Latin Mass is getting in the way of the facts, again.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 02:36, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Do the two different forms of mass need to be discussed in detail in this article? I think the whole paragraph about them should go, possibly replaced by something very simple along the lines of, "After Vatican II, Mass was permitted to be conducted in vernacular languages; the original Latin Mass can also still be performed." Details of differences between the two should probably go in the article about the Mass, since this is just a summary. (I really like the other paragraphs in this section now, though, just not this one.) Karanacs (talk) 03:05, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, because it's more than just a difference in language; this change was very destructive to the Church the way it was rolled out...Statues and stained glass windows were smashed...people were threatened with excommuniction for kneeling during the consecration as reently as 2 years ago and there was the lie that the Latin Mass was "outlawed" causing several breakaway groups in the Church. I made two brief changes as a previous editor seems very confused about the differences between a Rite and a Form. I just want the article to reflect that the Mass is not a recent innovation...not great detail mind you, just a representation of 500 years of Church history not to be trumped by the past 38.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 03:14, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Can we please stop the bickering? All this silly infighting is not constructive in our efforts to improve this article. Mike, you need to lay off Nancy; her comment next to the edit where she removed the ref makes it perfectly clear that she intended to improve the formatting. Nancy, you need to calm down and stop trying to look for hidden agendas. Everyone needs to assume good faith and not get into strange contentions about the possible POV-ness of other editors. It's Easter Triduum, for goodness sakes.Nautical Mongoose (talk) 04:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Well said, my friend. I just don't want to see a dumbed-down wishy-washy article thst neither informs, nor engages the reader. I apologize for my behavor, I also assumed good-faith until I was falsely accused again by another edtor from this article.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 04:46, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I second Nautical Mongoose. I think everyone is trying to build a good article in good faith. And, finding good reputable sources isn't that difficult; unless the Vancouver Public Library is unusually blessed with good material on the Catholic church. Also, everyone needs to remember that the readership for this article is not the pope but a high school kid, or a non-practicing Catholic, or a non-Catholic, a Protestant, or a non-Christian. People who know a subject and can parse minute details of a contentious debate rarely consult an encyclopedia to further their knowledge. Simplify everything and it will be a most informative article. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 04:53, 22 March 2008 (UTC) Well, I disagree with your percepion of the wiki audience; then again, you probably speak from a younger POV than myself. I don't think it needs further dumbing down, next thing you know we'll have wikilinks to Simpsons characters and a "Church in Popular Media" section!(that was a joke in case you lack the sarcasm gene) The Vancouver library sounds much better than most! Then again, I live in the West...where the public library sucks!(that is a joke) I think some sections need revamping and I think better sources are needed, again this is not a specialized topic...we have 2000 years worth of source material at our disposal here and can do better than Reader's Digest Condensed Books or Sunday school Coloring Books!--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 05:06, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Nancy, I am not after a propaganda article, I am after an accurate article, and I think that there is no serious argument that Irenaeus faked the list of popes in his writings as of 190 AD. Therefore I don't think the unsupported comment by Duffy has a place in what is already a quite lengthy section.

With regard to the Mexican points, these will have to be checked. The idea that before 1527 the church didn't agree that indians hads souls, yet converted them before this, doesn't stand up. Just because something has been printed somewhere doesn't mean that it is true. If the book is POV or the writer has only a slender grasp of relevant issues, material can be wrong. Similarly with the points relevant to indians position as "children", this is very vague and gives no law, date or time that can be pinpointed. The idea that Xavier only preached among Thomas christians is simply wrong. Xandar (talk) 13:47, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Xandar, Eamon Duffy is a most respected historian whose opinion can and will be brought up by those who will call our article a POV if we dont present his view in equal proportion to the Roman Catholic Church view supported by the historian Edward Norman. Obviously Duffy does not offer the reader any historical document to discredit Irenaeus, its just his opinion that its "suspiciously tidy". I dont think it detracts from the article to have this in here - it just shows the weakness of the opposing opinion and I prefer to have this exposed. NancyHeise (talk) 18:38, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you that we should check the source for the "children" comment. We just want facts and I never saw this in any of our history source books. I am still awaiting my new refs so I'll check them when they arrive and get back to you on this issue. Thanks. NancyHeise (talk) 18:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

There is about four times as much Duffy in this section as there is Norman. The sentence i isolated has little value, and can be deleted without much harm being done. It could be quoted in full in the note, if you like. Xandar (talk) 14:38, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

More Source problems

I reread some of the article sourced to "One Faith: One Lord". I looked it up and this is what I found from the publisher's website:

One Faith, One Lord is now available in very large type for the visually impaired and it is compatible with screen readers for the blind. This helps fill a need for ecclesiastically approved books which can be accessed by people who cannot read ordinary type.

The book, available in hard copy from William H. Sadlier, Inc., and now in its fourth edition, is authored by Rev. Msgr. John F. Barry. It presents the fundamental beliefs and practices of the Catholic faith. Designed for adolescents and young adults, it is an ideal resource for those who have minimal catechesis. The text is judged to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church by the U.S. Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism.

Is this really the best scholarly source material we can find on the Roman Catholic Church?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 02:50, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I guess you don't approve of a source that is geared to young adults like those who attend Universities? NancyHeise (talk) 09:33, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
You guessed right. Do you honestly think it is the best scholarly material published in the past 2000 years? I'll say the same about The Essential Catholic Catechism . Unless our goal is to produce a dumbed-down article so High School Students can do a copy paste job for their term papers. I thought it was to produce an encyclopedic article cited by reliable sources on the Catholic Church.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 15:21, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
My sources are Catholic Church approved third party published sources. "One Faith, One Lord" written for young adults and new converts, it is a summary of basic Catholic belief. The other source, "The Essential Catholic Catechism" is for anyone but written more for adults - it is a commentary on the Catechism written by a history professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville - a scholarly work. I think the idea is to have a broad representation of source material. There are no Wikipedia policies that would require elimination of either of these sources I have used to create the Beliefs section. NancyHeise (talk) 18:02, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Maybe not, but it may not be enough to help the article pass FAC. I am uncomfortable with using a "summary" as a primary source. I'm sure it is easy to read and easy to find information, within, but I don't think that makes for an appropriate source when you could get the original, which will always be superior. Does not the "The Essential Catholic Catechism" cite the Catechism? On matters of belief why not go to the direct source? I don't want the next FAC to become a travesty like the previous 2 were. The eleventh hour revelation of using children's books as source material really dealt the killing blow to this article's credibility.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:15, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
The childrens books were used for 8 citations of basic fact like Martin Luthers 95 theses and others. It was not original or cerebral material. I am sorry I used them. NancyHeise (talk) 18:25, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Noted. Let's move on from that. I hate beating a dead horse. --Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I checked your new source "Catholicism: New Study Edition--Completely Revised and Updated by Richard P. Mcbrien" This book is written by the famous controversial professor of Notre Dame and does not have a Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur like my sources do. Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur means that the book is declared to be free of doctrinal and moral error by the church. I would question the wisdom of using any book that does not have this designation while creating the Beliefs section unless you intend to use the book to present a criticism or opposing viewpoint that is clearly stated as such. NancyHeise (talk) 18:02, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Show me where it says in Wikipedia that all sources are required to have a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur. None of what is cited by McBrien contradicts Church teaching on Faith or morals as any real catholic would know. Please do not get combative, it was your sources that were time and again brought under scrutiny in both FACs. Show me where anything I have cited from the McBrien (who is a professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford) that contradicts Church teaching. I do not agree with his articles on gun control for example, but he is correct and accurate in this book(think about it, if I had a "Traditional Bias" like you constantly allege, why would I source a liberal priest?). Or do you now want to slander a priest the way you attempted to slander me in the personal attacks you attempted?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Reading my comments above, I do not think I have slandered you or this priest. He is a famous controversial priest which can be easily known by googling his name or reading his wikipedia page. I am just stating this fact as a possible problem in using his works to create an encyclopedic Beliefs section. I do think that a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are necessary to create the section as there are many liberal theologians out there who have been disciplined by the church and whose views are not necessarily in keeping with Roman Catholicism. I dont think I am being unreasonable in stating these facts. NancyHeise (talk) 18:43, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Then, let's cross that bridge, now. Explain to me how the following contradict Church teaching or detract from the article, this is everything I attributed to McBrien:
  • The word "Catholic" derives from the Greek adjective καθολικός / katholikos, meaning "universal".
  • The history of the Roman Catholic Church traces its founding to Jesus and the Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem not Rome, meaning that it is not Roman primacy, but Petrine primacy which gives the Church its identity.
  • "Roman" as an adjective speaks to the diocese of Rome which was first led by Saint Peter.
  • The Roman Catholic Church sees the Mass as the most perfect liturgical rite it has to offer adoration to God.
  • the Roman Catholic church teaches that Christ is fully present in the Eucharist,
  • The Communion of saints refers to the exchange of graces and blessings between the Church militant(on earth), the Church suffering (in purgatory), and the Church triumphant(in heaven). This doctrine is affirmed in the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution of the Church.

--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 19:26, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

No!No!NO!. Everybody, please. Do not use inflammatory language against another editor. We don't need Wikistress building. Avoid words such as slander, traditional, liberal orthodox conservative. Anything that detracts from the task at hand and causes blood to boil.Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:48, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

I am the editor who is being attacked constantly here by Mike Searson. He has accused me of slandering him - where? He has accused me of constantly alleging he has a "Traditional Bias" - where? He has constantly brought up the fact that I cited childrens books for 8 out of over 200 citations on the page. I apologized and have purchased new books to replace the citations - I just have not received them yet. Now he has called into question my two main sources used for creating the Beliefs section other than the Catechism and the Bible refs. My two sources are valid as defended above. I have pointed out a deficiency in his source that may cause future conflict in the next FAC and I am called a slanderer. This is a personal attack. NancyHeise (talk) 19:06, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Mike_Searson (talk · contribs), please no WP:Personal attacks such as using the word slander. NancyHeise (talk · contribs), please no WP:Personal attacks such as the use of the word liberal. No one call anyone traditional, orthodox, Calvinist or Stooge of the Vatican (I made the last one up...but you get the point). WP:Personal attacks and WP:Civil are policy (not suggestions or guidelines). Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:21, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, Nancy, I apologize. I ask your forgiveness, slander was probably too harsh of a word.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 19:26, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Mike apology accepted. I apologize for any way in which I may have offended you. I think it is our duty to point out to each other any deficiencies or potential problems we will face at FAC. My comments about using McBrien have only to do with his perception among the Catholic community as being somewhat of a rebel theologian and it is difficult to have his books listed in the beliefs section for that reason. Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur sources provide a higher level of quality in creating the Beliefs section and representing that content as being approved by the Catholic Church. I would like for my two sources to be respected because of this designation and because they adhere to Wikipedia policy. NancyHeise (talk) 20:46, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Glad everyone got back on track here. Just two cents: the lack of either decree does not in and of itself preclude the use of a source here. What it does preclude is simply attribution of its material to the institutional church itself, as that would be the posterchild of original research. It would not preclude attributing the material to the author of the work, but as such that should probably be made explicit for clarity. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 02:12, 23 March 2008 (UTC)


Deutsche Welle, the German International broadcaster, had this short documentary this morning. To quote the tag line from the program:

Quoted from Kiepuszewski, Rafal (2008-03-22). "Inside Europe: Will the Polish Catholic Church regret keeping quiet about paedophile priests?". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 

Not good news but the scandal is worldwide. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 15:19, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Could be a new source for the RC sex abuse article. Nautical Mongoose (talk) 15:52, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

The "scandal" is not "worldwide. It is primarily a US scandal, and, despite trawling the internet, no-one has produced evidence of any widespreaad world scandal. There is no scandal here in the UK despite many journalists looking for one. The radio programme quoted above is similar to other stuff produced on this page in that it contains no hard facts. I have alrready said that in an organisation with over a million priests and religious, examples of any crime can be found if you search hard enough. This does not a worldwide scandal make, however, however much some people might wish one. I've looked at the major Wikipedia RCC articles in other languages and none even discuss this so-called worldwide scandal, let alone have it in the lead. I have also noticed that the lead mention has expanded as i have predicted, and it will be cut. Xandar (talk) 14:33, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I didn't have to 'trawl' the internet to get the above story. I heard it on CBC radio early in the morning. The scandal has been and is continuing to be exacerbated by institutional denial and documented cover ups. The now classic U.S. example is, of course, Law: see Admission of awareness damning for Law. In Vancouver, some aboriginal people have disrupted both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday masses at Holy Rosary Cathedral over their anger at the residential school abuse this past week: seeB.C. protesters seek burial sites of residential school students. The group believes that it is being stonewalled. As for Poland, the stories in the Polish press as reported by Deutsche Welle sound remarkably like the U.S. circa 2001. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 17:23, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Sexual abuse, regardless of where it is found, is a travesty and serious. As Xandar has stated that were are a million priests (if not more) and surely if one looked hard enough you would find a plethora of sin amongst them. However, this does not mean that the Catholic church has a problem; rather it means that the religious are human and are no different than the rest of humanity, they have just chosen to devote their lives to God in spite of their weaknesses. As a non-Catholic I do not have a horse in this race, but as a fellow editor I would recommend not putting it in the lead. I belongs in the article, but not in the lead because it is a leading characteristic of the Catholic church. --Storm Rider (talk) 17:34, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
One does not need to look hard to find reliable recent articles detailing the trouble of the Catholic church worldwide as an organization rather than as a collection of a few sinful individuals.
Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:09, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Storm Rider for some sensible comments here. Westcoast, as far as I can tell Storm Rider's argument is not that the problem is that of "a collection of a few sinful individuals" but that the normal rates of human sexual deviance are going to be found in the Catholic Church. Since sexual deviancy is a characteristic of human beings, and not just Catholics, as a WP editor with the quality of the article in mind, I second Storm Rider's opinion that mention of sexual abuse by clergy does not belong in the lead. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 21:20, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I think what Wassupwestcoast is trying to say is that the scandal here is not really that a few priests did awful things, but that the church as an organization covered it up. The coverage in this article has focused more on the individual priests, when it really should instead talk about the bishops who moved priests around without informing the new dioceses of past problems. I haven't seen evidence that the level of cover-up that occurred in the RCC has also occurred in Protestant denominations; if that's just my ignorance, then info on Protestant coverups could be offered as a comparison. It's the cover-up, which the RCC as an organization is responsible for, that is the real issue and scandal, not that priests are men, and, like all men, some do evil things. Karanacs (talk) 21:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't understand that from Wassup's argument. Still, I would argue that it doesn't belong in the lead. If it is going in the lead, it should reflect the Catholic-specific nature of the scandal. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 22:09, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for my poor rhetoric, although when I said - as I did above - "The scandal has been and is continuing to be exacerbated by institutional denial and documented cover ups," I don't follow your misunderstanding. And, I'm not singling out the RCC: see my contribution below - Talk:Roman Catholic Church#Here is an article to balance the abuse scandal - for a Protestant comparison. Still, this article - the Roman Catholic Church article - must mention something about the worldwide problem of abuse that has affected it as an institution. The problem is not going away and is not recent. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 22:44, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Depends what you mean by 'recent.' For a 2000 year old institution, the Protestant Reformation is recent. I saw your note below ('to balance the abuse scandal') but that has even less to do with the RCC as far as I can tell. There are two issues we're discussing that affect this WP article, as I see it: 1) Do we mention it in the lead? I say no. Presently there is nothing in the lead. 2) Do we mention it in the body? I say yes, briefly (i.e., 1-2 sentences). Presently there are 9 sentences in "Vatican II and beyond." The.helping.people.tick (talk) 23:41, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

For Karanacs information. Here is a link to a Christian Science Monitor survey actually showing more abuse in Protestant churches than Catholic ones. [2] Detailed information on some protestant abuse scandals in the US is available here by denomination [3]

The canadian story above provided by wassupwestcoast is about a different issue entirely from sexual abuse scandals. Like the "aboriginal abuse" story raised earlier, it is about government policies of bringing up native-born children in institutions to "europeanise" them. Xandar (talk) 11:13, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to see Wassupwestcoast addressing the information contained within the sources provided by Xander above. Cheers. - Yorkshirian (talk) 09:00, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Back to Mexico

I have looked, but cannot find anyone backing up this story about Indians not being regarded as having souls until 1537. Sources just don't mention this. Typical is Mexico: The Colonial Era by Alan Knight, available on the internet here [4]. Most sources agree that mass conversions started with the arrival of the 12 Franciscans in 1524. I CAN find traces of an argument being made in the 1500s that Indians were not rational beings, but this view was never held by the whole church and was soon quashed. Xandar (talk) 15:44, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I replaced the Luther picture with one of a destroyed abbey. Luther is not a predominantly Catholic figure, and his image is quite well known. A picture of an abbey destroyed during the reformation tells more of a story and is more relevant to an article on Catholicism. Xandar (talk) 16:05, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Here's the exact quote from the Mexico source: The Franciscans arrived in 1522, the Dominicans in 1526. They worked hard, not only to convert the Indians, but also to teach them and to care for their health and well-being. They established schools and hospitals. And under their tutelage the Indians learned better farming methods, along with new and easier ways of weaving and making pottery. There was some question in the minds of the priests—indeed, in the minds of all Spaniards—as to whether or not the Indians were really men, deserving of baptism and, thus, salvation. A few were baptized, but the early priests held back from wholesale baptisms; they waited for some higher authority to decide whether or not the Indians had souls. Finally, in 1537, Pope Paul III declared that "the Indians are truly men." From that time on, the conversion effort gained momentum; the priests' main goal was to convert all the Indians of Spain's New World territories. Karanacs (talk) 16:08, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

This is probably referring to Sublimus Dei. Karanacs (talk) 16:14, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

That quote means that the church answered a question being posed to it by some preists in Mexico. It does not mean that the church as an institution thought the indians did not have souls for any period of time. I think it is misleading to have any sentence on that minute issue in the article. If such a thing is not easily found in the majority of history books, it is probably not a notable event that warrants inclusion in this brief summary. NancyHeise (talk) 16:54, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I reworded the section to reflect the quote more clearly. NancyHeise (talk) 17:12, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

The reason I hadn't put the positives of the missions here is that they are already listed in one of the later sections about the California missions. This information doesn't need to be duplicated, so it can be taken out of either section (your call). We should probably add a brief mention that conditions at the missions were not always healthful and they often served as epicenters of epidemics. If none of your sources mention this, I'll dig through what I have. I do not have access to the best sources on missions, though; that may necessitate a trip to a library. Karanacs (talk) 17:49, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

The information is not duplicate. One is about missions in the 1500's and the other is about the expansion of those missions in the 1700's. If you can find the info on the epidemics I would be grateful. Maybe its in the book you already used so we dont have to put any more new refs in there? NancyHeise (talk) 00:24, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Here is an article to balance the abuse scandal

Here is an article that might help balance the abuse scandal. It is from the Insurance Journal of June 2007.

To quote the article, "The three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members." Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:05, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I am just wondering what you have in mind to balance the abuse paragraph? All major facts are there already. The only thing we can still do would be to embellish the discussion of the abuse which would make the article appear POV. Please lets stick to just the major facts on this one or we will be in danger of undue weight issues and recentism issues. The whole paragraph contains all notable facts already. Thanks. NancyHeise (talk) 00:26, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Heres some more information to balance the abuse scandal. This is copied and pasted from

"Now, on the heels of the Catholic abuse scandal comes another of historic proportions—one that has the potential to be much greater and far-reaching. According to a draft report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, in compliance with the 2002 "No Child Left Behind" act signed into law by President Bush, between 6 percent and 10 percent of public school children across the country have been sexually abused or harassed by school employees and teachers. Charol Shakeshaft, the Hofstra University scholar who prepared the report, said the number of abuse cases—which range from unwanted sexual comments to rape—could be much higher. "So we think the Catholic Church has a problem?" she told industry newspaper Education Week in a March 10 interview. To support her contention, Shakeshaft compared the priest abuse data with data collected in a national survey for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation in 2000. Extrapolating data from the latter, she estimated roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a school employee from a single decade—1991-2000. That compares with about five decades of cases of abusive priests. Such figures led her to contend "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."

The US Dept of Education report also found that in order to avoid bad press, the principals of the schools where the abuse happened would often not report the abuse or prosecute the teacher but allowed them to be transferred to new schools. This does not exonerate the Catholic Church but I think it indicates more of a cultural problem that can not be discounted. NancyHeise (talk) 00:38, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

How about the last paragraph in Roman Catholic Church be replaced with this NPOV possibility at about 180 words in two paragraphs (the current version has 222 words in one paragraph):

The Church is not unique among institutions that educate and care for children. Child abuse by deviant employees and volunteers has caused scandals worldwide. The Protestant churches in the U.S. report 260 cases per year. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that teachers abuse up to 10 percent of school children. In 2001, a child abuse scandal erupted in the United State. Investigations revealed that 4 percent of all priests who served in the previous fifty year faced accusations. The scandal is mirrored in several other countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Poland and the United Kingdom. The result has been the spectacle of large financial settlements to the victims and the resignation, defrocking and jailing of the deviants.

Some bishops demonstrably knew about the allegations of misconduct but then reassigned the accused rather than report them to the police immediately. The church has since instituted reforms to prevent future abuse. These reforms set up a clear code of conduct for all dioceses to follow when faced with an allegation including alerting the authorities, conducting an investigation and removing the accused priest or employee from duty.

Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 01:33, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

As I stated to you on my talk page, I am not OK with deleting information about the prevailing psychology saying people could be cured of this behaviour, that many of the deviant priests received counseling before being reassigned, or the statement by John Paul II in response to this information. These are key facts about the scandal that are notable and provide a comprehensive understanding. NancyHeise (talk) 02:49, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

The Church is not unique among institutions that educate and care for children. Child abuse by deviant employees and volunteers has caused scandals worldwide. The Protestant churches in the U.S. report 260 cases per year.[1] The U.S. Department of Education estimates that teachers abuse up to 10 percent of school children.[2] In 2001, a child abuse scandal erupted in the United State.[3] Investigations revealed that 4 percent of all priests who served in the previous fifty year faced accusations.[4] Some priests resigned, others were defrocked and jailed[5] The scandal is mirrored in several other countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Poland and the United Kingdom. The result has been the spectacle of large financial settlements to the victims and the resignation, defrocking and jailing of the deviants.[4][3][6][7]

Some bishops demonstrably knew about the allegations of misconduct but then reassigned the accused rather than report them to the police immediately.[3][8] The church has since instituted reforms to prevent future abuse. These reforms set up a clear code of conduct for all dioceses to follow when faced with an allegation including alerting the authorities, conducting an investigation and removing the accused priest or employee from duty.[9][10][11][12]

In the aftermath of the U.S scandal, the U.S. Catholic bishops wrote in their report that for the older cases of child abuse, the prevailing psychology suggested that people could be cured of such behavior with counseling or going on spiritual retreats.[8][10][13] Many of the abusive priests had received counseling before being reassigned. [4][14] In light of the scandal, Pope John Paul II said that there is no place in the priesthood or religious life for those who abuse children.[15]

Cheers!Wassupwestcoast (talk) 03:08, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that Wassupwestcoast's rewrite of the abuse scandal section is an improvement. It is much longer and omits the steps taken by the church to prevent future abuse. NancyHeise (talk) 03:22, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't emphasize too much the " the steps taken by the church to prevent future abuse" because there are still new cases coming forward. And, a recent report that has audited some US dioceses has found non-compliance of their own prevention abuse guidelines. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 03:32, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
For example, USA Today - Church sex abuse costs skyrocket 07 March 2008, which says in part that, to quote: "...hadn't reported abuse claims to civil authorities until after the lapse was discovered in the audit." And, to quote further," The biggest compliance problem the auditors discovered was training children to protect themselves from abuse. Eleven dioceses had not fully completed the training." Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 03:42, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Wassupwestcoast, there are some serious flaws in your new rewrite, references numbers 225 and 226 do not support the sentence they reference and number 226 is not a news article, it is an opinion piece which are not OK refs in Wikipedia. Also, the recent audit found almost all of the diocese in compliance - there was one or two that did not meet some requirement so they failed - they were in fact doing most of the things required but not all. It is a serious omission of fact to not tell the reader about the reforms. These facts were referenced and need to be replaced. NancyHeise (talk) 03:44, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

As above, here is a link to a Christian Science Monitor survey actually showing more abuse in Protestant churches than Catholic ones. [5] Detailed information on some protestant abuse scandals in the US is available here by denomination [6]. Again you will note the common tendency not to publicise such allegations. Xandar (talk) 11:19, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

New citations added

I have replaced most citations to the Barry book with two other books by University professors. There are now only 15 citations in the Beliefs section out of a total of over 115 to the Barry book. There are no Wikipedia policies against using the Barry book, it is written for young adults and new converts and is a summary of Basic Catholic Belief but since two editors objected to it being used so much, I have replaced most of the citations. The Barry book and the two new sources one by Alan Schrek and the other by Peter Kreeft all have Roman Catholic Church Nihil obstat and Imprimatur declarations that the books are free from doctrinal and moral error. In addition, I have replaced many of the Church Throughout History citations with new references also. Someone at FAC objected to the overuse of that book in creating the history section. The new refs are University Presses and a couple of others by University professors - scholarly works. NancyHeise (talk) 02:47, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Size of the article is 63KB readable prose - we need to stop making any additions and trim what we can. NancyHeise (talk) 12:51, 25 March 2008 (UTC)


I feel that this part of the Introduction is a bit too long and detailed:

  • In the 11th century, the Eastern Church and the Roman Catholic Church split (see East-West Schism) over arguments between Rome and Constantinople regarding Papal claims of authority over the entire global Church, and theological arguments over the relationship between members of the Trinity (see Filioque). Eastern churches which either maintained communion with Rome or later reestablished communion form the Eastern Catholic Churches. In response to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the church underwent a substantial process of reform, known as the Counter-Reformation.

I would suggest this as a replacement:

  • In the 11th century, the Eastern Church and the Roman Catholic Church split, largely over disagreements regarding Papal primacy, (see East-West Schism.) Eastern churches which maintained or later re-established communion with Rome now form the Eastern Catholic Churches. In the 16th century, partly in response to the Protestant Reformation, the church engaged in a substantial process of reform and renewal, known as the Counter-Reformation. Xandar (talk) 11:38, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Size limitations issues - I like Xandars new suggestion regarding the lead. Please make this change. I dont like Wassupwestcoasts new abuse scandal paragraph and I dont think there is a consensus of editors to support the changes especially since it is longer, includes unreferenced and weakly references sentences, one sentence whose references do not support the content and omits some key reforms like the restriction on admission of homosexual priests to the seminary - a major result of the abuse scandal. I am going to replace the old content. If anyone has an objection to that please list your reasons here. NancyHeise (talk) 12:37, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

This is Wassupwestcoasts suggestion for the abuse section that I removed to see if there is a consensus to use this instead of what is already there. "The Church is not unique among institutions that educate and care for children. Child abuse by deviant employees and volunteers has caused scandals worldwide. The Protestant churches in the U.S. report 260 cases per year.[220] The U.S. Department of Education estimates that teachers abuse up to 10 percent of school children.[221] In 2001, a sex abuse scandal erupted in the United States.[222] Investigations revealed that 4 percent of all US priests who served in the previous fifty year faced accusations, mostly for abuse of teenage boys.[223] The scandal is mirrored in several other countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Poland and the United Kingdom.[224][225] The result has been the spectacle of large financial settlements to the victims and the resignation, defrocking and jailing of the deviants.[226][223][222]

Some bishops demonstrably knew about the allegations of misconduct but then reassigned the accused rather than report them to the police immediately.[222][227] The church has since instituted reforms to prevent future abuse. These reforms set up a clear code of conduct for all dioceses to follow when faced with an allegation including alerting the authorities, conducting an investigation and removing the accused priest or employee from duty.[110][228][229][230]

In the aftermath of the U.S scandal, the U.S. Catholic bishops wrote in their report that for the older cases of child abuse, the prevailing psychology suggested that people could be cured of such behavior with counseling.[227][228][231] Many of the abusive priests had received counseling before being reassigned. [223][232] In light of the scandal, Pope John Paul II said that there is no place in the priesthood or religious life for those who abuse children.[233]"

I did not like how it seems to make excuses for the behaviour by alluding to the problem in other institutions, I did not like the two unreferenced opening sentences or the sentence that says the scandal is mirrored in a huge list of other countries. The references at the end of that sentence do not support the content in the sentence. One of the refs is an opinion piece in an online news page, not a news article. The new content says nothing about the restrictions on homosexual ordinations as one of the reforms undertaken by the church to prevent future abuse which is a key fact that should not be omitted since most of the abuse was on teenage boys. NancyHeise (talk) 12:48, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I have to say, I prefer the original form. The notion of the scandal being "mirrored" in the United Kingdom is certainly not accurate. I live here and I know. And I doubt the phrase is accurate with respect to most of the other countries mentioned. I think what some people are doing is confusing places where some incidents of abuse have been recorded (virtually every faith or secular group in virtually every nation,) with places with an abuse scandal. The US issue was turned into a scandal by the high number of cases (emerging in a very short time,) the high levels of press coverage, and allegations that a systematic cover-up had taken place. The US church also had a particular problem with regard to the large number of active homosexuals and people who rejected church teachings on chastity who had gained unofficial tolerance within the priesthood. We must remember that opinion pieces from journalists are very risky sources, and hard, confirmable facts are needed. Xandar (talk) 17:15, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Changes overnight

I am going to do a copy-edit of the beliefs and history section of the article overnight. This will mean that if you do any edits between now and tomorrow, they may inadvertently get replaced when I put in the new text. So be alert. Xandar (talk) 17:18, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Xandar for tackling this big and necessary task. NancyHeise (talk)

I've put in the new text. Hopefully an improvement. Xandar (talk) 16:06, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Definitely. The article reads much smoother now, and you've increased concise without sacrificing clarity and depth. Kudos! :) Nautical Mongoose (talk) 18:09, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I think Xandar's efforts have really helped the article. The prose is excellent and smooth. Great job Xandar, many thanks! NancyHeise (talk) 19:54, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Sentence in lede?

Although the sentence is an accurate and worthy one, I would ask if it belongs in the lede (currently near the end): "Although the Catholic Church believes that it is the true church founded by Jesus Christ, the church acknowledges that the Holy Spirit is active in Christian churches and communities separated from itself, and that Catholics are called by the Holy Spirit to work for unity or ecumenism among all Christians." While such an analysis should clearly be included in the article, is the lede better for it being there? I ask as I have been doing some minor tidying up of the lede, hopefully to read better and to shorten slightly without losing any important content. As it is a more significant change I am considering, I wish for some feedback first. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 18:32, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

That sentence is also in the Beliefs section under subsection "church". I dont have an opinion on whether we keep it in the lead or not. I am OK either way. I think the lead is just supposed to be a brief summary of what is in the aritcle and can't possibly include everything so we can use our judgement on issues like this. NancyHeise (talk) 19:39, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I think the sentence is good the way it is; it shows that the church, while believing itself to be the "one true church", also wants to work with others on common goals/for unity. Of course, that's just me. Nautical Mongoose (talk) 01:25, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
OK, but as it is repeated, should the copy in the lede stay? I would suggest no, and to keep the copy in the Beliefs section. In the lede it sounds quite a bit more specific and indeed almost narrow in context, whereas the rest of the lede is very general, broad, and top-down sounding. However, given that I am hearing one "doesn't matter" and one (apparently) "no keep as is", I am glad I brought it up first, and any further input welcome and indeed desired. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 02:51, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd vote for removing it from the lead. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 05:36, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Should mention of Vatican II be in the lead? NancyHeise (talk) 17:55, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I would suggest not. Too specific (pertains to only 1/40th of its history). Baccyak4H (Yak!) 18:10, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes. We need to keep the lead as trim as possible. I was thinking myself that it wasn't really a lead matter, and since that sentence is duplicated virtually word for word at its proper place in the article, it should go. Xandar (talk) 12:59, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Lets all examine the lead and come to consensus because this is a very important part of the article. This is copied and pasted from WP:Lead "The lead section, lead, lede, or introduction of a Wikipedia article is the section before the first heading. The table of contents, if displayed, appears between the lead section and the first heading. The lead serves a dual role both as an introduction to the article below and as a short, independent summary of the important aspects of the article's topic. The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should establish context, summarize the most important points, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and briefly describe its notable controversies, if there are any. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic according to reliable, published sources. The lead should not "tease" the reader by hinting at but not explaining important facts that will appear later in the article. It should contain up to four paragraphs, should be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style so as to invite a reading of the full article". NancyHeise (talk) 17:07, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
After considering the sentence everyone is discussing about removing in the lead, I think it really fits and ties up well the sentences that precede it. Removing it will leave a hole in logic and prevent the reader from knowing a key detail about what the church thinks about itself. I vote to keep the sentence. NancyHeise (talk) 23:55, 29 March 2008 (UTC)


Our references are almost rock solid. There are only a few refs to old books and to an online catholic encyclopedia that I am going to try to eliminate with my new sources over the next few days as I have time. Once that is done, I think our article may be a solid FA. NancyHeise (talk) 17:36, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

I think we're generally okay with content and references, however I don't think it is quite ready to go back to FA yet. Some material is duplicated, and some sections are still a bit too wordy. Also, are we sure everything is in the best possible order? Xandar (talk) 13:10, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

I have a worry about the devotional life and personal prayer section, where it says that Benediction is a vocal method of prayer. This might raise confusion since Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is not vocal. Xandar (talk) 13:25, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

I also think that the Church organization and community section is too long as written, and could be shortened and tightened-up without losing useful content. I will have a go at it overnight, and post the result on the talk page. If people agree, we can then replace the existing text of this section. Xandar (talk) 13:25, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

If I had the skills necessary to tighten it all up, I would have done it already. Please do the tightening up if you can reword things better, as is your unique and much appreciated talent! NancyHeise (talk) 16:53, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Also, in regards to your comment about Benediction. I think this is the sentence in question: "Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a common form of contemplative prayer, whereas Benediction is a common vocal method of prayer." This sentence wikilinks Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. The Benediction part of the sentence refers to the liturgy of the Benediction which is vocal. Do you have something else to add to this? I think having the adoration part separated and wikilinked makes it OK to have the Benediction liturgy part explained as vocal prayer. Please expand on your thoughts on this so we can find a proper solution. NancyHeise (talk) 17:01, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

It's only a minor problem. Just a niggle really. Xandar (talk) 11:23, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Here is my suggested revision for the Church Organisation and Community section. I've tried to simplify it a bit which means I've left a few facts out. If anything important is missing it can go back in......

............................................................................................... ...............................................................................................

Church organization and community

The spiritual head and leader of the Catholic Church on earth is the Pope. He governs from the Vatican City in Rome, a sovereign state of which he is also the Head of State.[16] He is elected by the College of Cardinals. They may theoretically select any male member of the church, but that person must be ordained as a bishop before taking office. Cardinals are bishops or priests who have been granted special status by a pope to serve as his advisors.[17] The church community is governed according to the Code of Canon Law. The Roman Curia assists the pope in the administration of the church.

The basic administrative unit of the Roman Catholic Church is the diocese. There are more than 2,500 Catholic dioceses in the world, each of which is led by a bishop. Every diocese is further divided into individual communities called parishes, which are usually staffed by at least one priest.

The worldwide church community is made up of ordained members and the laity. Members of religious orders (such as nuns, friars and monks) are considered lay members unless individually ordained as priests.[18]

Ordained members and Holy Orders

Priestly Ordination, a popular depiction of Catholic ordination from the 1920s

Lay members become ordained through the sacrament of Holy Orders, and form a three-part hierarchy of bishops, priests and deacons. Because the Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus were all male, only men may be ordained in the Catholic Church..[19] The church teaches that women have different yet equally important roles in church ministry.[20] In Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter Christifidelis Laici, he states that women were equally called to be disciples of Christ who were given tasks connected to spreading the Gospel.[21] Throughout history women have held prominent roles within the Church as Abbesses, missionaries, and Doctors of the Church.

As a body the College of Bishops are considered to be the successors of the apostles.[22][23] Bishops are responsible for teaching, governing and sanctifying the faithful of their diocese. The College of Bishops includes the pope, along with all cardinals, patriarchs, primates, archbishops and metropolitans. Only bishops are allowed to perform the sacraments of Holy Orders and Confirmation.[24]

Priests and deacons are responsible for teaching, leading and sanctifying the faithful of an individual parish, subordinate to the ministry of the bishop. Priests and bishops are the exclusive ministers of the Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick. Permanent deacons preach and teach. They may also baptize, lead the faithful in prayer, witness marriages, and conduct wake and funeral services.[25]

While deacons may be married, only celibate men are ordained as priests in the Latin Rite.[26][27] Clergy who have converted from other denominations are sometimes excepted from this rule.[28] The Eastern Catholic Churches ordain both celibate and married men.[28] All rites of the Catholic Church maintain the ancient tradition that, after ordination, marriage is not allowed Men with transitory homosexual leanings may be ordained deacons following three years of prayer and chastity, but men with deeply rooted homosexual tendencies who are sexually active cannot be ordained.[9]

Preparation for ordination varies from place to place. In the United States, it requires a college degree plus another four years of full time theological study in a seminary or other approved institution. Candidates for the priesthood are also evaluated in terms of human, spiritual and pastoral formation.[29] The sacrament of Holy Orders is always conferred by a bishop through the laying-on of hands, following which the newly-ordained priest is formally clothed in his priestly vestments.[24]

Lay members, Marriage

The laity consist of all those Catholics who are not ordained clergy. Saint Paul compares the diversity of roles in the church to the different parts of a body - all being equally important to enable the body to function properly.[30] Lay members are equally called to live according to Christian principles, work to spread the message of Jesus, and effect change in the world for the good of others. The church calls these actions participation in Christ's priestly, prophetic and royal officess.[31]

Tertiaries are laypersons who live according to the third rule of orders such as the Franciscans or Carmelites, either within a religious community or outside.[32] Although all tertiaries make a public profession, participate in the good works of their order; and can wear the habit, they are not bound by public vows unless they live in community. Lay ecclesial movements consist of lay Catholics organized for purposes of teaching the faith, cultural work, mutual support or missionary work.[32] Such groups include: L'Arche Communities, Communion and Liberation, Neocatechumenal Way, Regnum Christi, Focolare Movement, Charismatic movement, Traditionalists, Opus Dei, Life Teen and many others.[32]

Some non-ordained Catholics now practice formal, public ministries within the church.[33] These are called lay ecclesial ministers, a broad category which may include pastoral life coordinators, pastoral assistants, youth ministers, and campus ministers.

Marriage, the single life, and the consecrated life are all lay vocations. The sacrament of Holy Matrimony is the only sacrament not actually conferred by a priest or bishop. The couple desiring marriage are themselves the ministers of the sacrament while the priest or deacon serve as witness.[24] Notably, Catholics may marry in the church only once. Church law makes no provision for divorce but annulments may be requested in strictly-defined circumstances. Since the church condemns all forms of artificial birth control, married persons are expected to be open to new life in their sexual relations.[34] Natural family planning is approved.

Members of religious orders

Teresa of Ávila, a Carmelite nun who is also honored as a doctor of the church

Both the ordained and the laity, may enter the religious or consecrated life - either as monks or nuns, if cloistered, or friars and sisters if not. A candidate takes vows confirming their desire to follow the three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience.[35]

The majority of those wishing to enter the consecrated life join a religious institute, (also referred to as a monastic or religious order.) They follow a common rule such as the Rule of St Benedict, and agree to live under the leadership of a superior.[36][37] They usually live in community, although occasionally an individual is given permission to live as a hermit, or to reside elsewhere, for example as a serving priest or chaplain.[38] Examples of religious institutes include the Sisters of Charity, Marist Brothers, Carmelites, Cistercians, and the Society of Jesus, but there are many others.[39] The Catholic Church recognizes several other forms of consecrated life, including secular institutes, societies of apostolic life, consecrated widows and widowers.[39] It also makes provision for the approval of new forms.[40]

................................................................................................ ................................................................................................

If this is okay, use the code from this page to replace the current text. Otherwise I can do it on Monday or afterwards. Xandar (talk) 11:32, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I inserted this into the article. I hope everyone is OK with it - It think it is such a great rewrite and is much more concise and easy to understand. Thanks Xandar. NancyHeise (talk) 19:33, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Strange description of the number of molestations in the church.

The point here should be that enormous numbers of children were molested by priests over the entirety of the Church's history. The author was very quick to point out that only 4% of priests are child molesters, which apparently is supposed to comfort Catholics, to know that their God would only allow 4% of his annoited servants to molest children. I suppose if God were allow more than 4% to mollest children then one would have to consider converting to the worship of a God who allowed an more acceptable percentage of his leaders to have sex with children. The inclusion of this imaginary number is absurd given the enormous suffering the church has caused. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:42, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

If you feel thatb the current wording is too slant, then please feel free to change it yourself. Just make sure that the new wording is in keeping with the references.

Also: the article's purpose is not to push one or the another point for the purpose of positively shaping the impressions of the reader, but to present the facts and let the reader decide for themselves. Just a general comment.. Nautical Mongoose (talk) 04:51, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

The scandal is mentioned in the article because it is recently notable and there are reliable references that give us facts we can print. None of our references attempt to quantify what you are asking us to do. While the church membership throughout the ages has consisted of a fair amount of sinners as well as saints, our article can not be expected to place a figure on the harm done to others by those Catholics who chose not to follow the teachings of the Church. NancyHeise (talk) 05:51, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Two points. 1) The above editor does not need to use the references provided. He/she can provide new references. 2) It is irrelevant whether the abusers followed the teachings of the Church - obviously they did not - but whether they were employees or agents of the Church. For example, the $600 million dollar payout by the LA diocese was done to compensate the harm done by agents of the Church. I think it is called vicarious liability, but I'm not a lawyer. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 06:10, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

It would seem thinks the United States is the centre of the universe. The figure 4% only applies to that specific country... the entire world's statistic is at 0.02%, even lower. At a point you have to question, to what extent have you been brainwashed by the media about the Catholic Church and its actual role in society? I'm curious what the obsession is with people bringing this subject up over and over again on the talk. - Yorkshirian (talk) 10:46, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

The only editor to persistently bring this up on the talk is Wassupwestcoast. NancyHeise (talk) 10:59, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I want to renominate this for FA

All reference issues have been dealt with by substantial improvement from last FA. The article has undergone another tightening by Xandar and we have all hashed out all issues on this talk page reaching consensus. Does anyone think the article should not be renominated? Please list your reasons why so we can address them. Thanks. NancyHeise (talk) 05:38, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I - for one - do not think this article is NPOV. I think it is tightly POV in reference to the Catholic Church and is not a 360 degree view of the Church. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 06:11, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
It would help if you were more precise in your stating your case. You should provide where it is too POV so that editors can correct the article. What you have done is stated a opinion that is worthless to the betterment of the article. Be precise and others can respond directly to what is wrong. Our objective is constructive criticism and not the sharing of negative opinions. Does that make sense? --Storm Rider (talk) 06:28, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I've been stating my case - and others have to - throughout this talk page and the talk page archives. The abuse scandal is not properly addressed for NPOV. This is a problem that one faction of editors does not understand. Both Britannica and the Encarta articles on the Church do a better job of addressing the abuse scandal in the life of the Church. The article as it is written states that the abuse is a recent U.S. anomaly while plenty of serious books written from both within the Church and without give another view. That other view must be in this article for it to be NPOV. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 06:36, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I must have missed it; where does the article currently state it is a US anomaly? I believe that langugage has been changed and it addresses the percentage worldwide. --Storm Rider (talk) 06:41, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Is your issue with stating "vast majority"? It would seem the reference is an excellent third party source. I have read the other comments, but they don't contradict this statement as I recall; they simply assert that sexual abuse is more of a world wide problem. That is a different statement from the vast majority of the abuse is in the U.S. --Storm Rider (talk) 06:46, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Where is the mention of the abuse scandal in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Poland and the United Kingdom? Where does it mention the large financial settlements in Ireland? The number of high ranking prelates who were involved. What about the affect on the Catholic faithful in Ireland and Poland? How about an actual number of the victims of the abusers? All of this is super easy to reference; and yet, some editors refuse to allow any mention of it in the article. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 06:53, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

If we were to include all the information that Wassupwestcoast wants us to include about the abuse scandal in the article, we would violate WP:Undue Weight and WP:recentism. The issue has been granted an entire paragraph in history even though it is only a small portion of the subjects history. The paragraph mentions that the scandal was worldwide and mentions the most core aspects of the scandal as well as providing the wikilinks to the pages where the reader can learn all of the facts Wassupwestcoast wants in great detail. All controversies like this one have been dealt with on a consistent basis throughout the article with all facts mentioned and wikilinks provided to lead the reader to pages that have greater detail. This page as the top article for Wikiproject Catholicism is required to be concise and the connecting page for all the other Roman Catholic pages even the ones on sexual abuse scandal for which there is no lack of coverage.NancyHeise (talk) 11:03, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

As a start, I've marked the parts of the sentence on statistics which don't seem to be adequately sourced. The source given only gives US statistics; worldwide statistics cannot be obtained simply by dividing the US statistics by the worldwide population of priests. I don't know if there are worldwide statistics on accusations - as the US investigations have shown, accusations do not always come into the public domain until an investigation is carried out. As has been pointed out, the investigation in the Diocese of Ferns, in Ireland, which investigated abuse allegations against 21 priests (in a diocese which currently has 94 active priests) was a significant case outside of the US.
It's certainly true that this article shouldn't contain full detail about the issue, as it has its own article. The summary that does appear in this article must not be written in such a way as to minimise the significance of the cases, though. TSP (talk) 13:06, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Wassap, I don't see NPOV violations so much as an attempt to keep it short. The three reasons for keeping the sex abuse section short are: it has its own article, and to make it longer violates WP:Undue Weight and WP:recentism. Am I an editor refusing to allow "any mention" of it in the article? No. But I do think it is disproportionate to mention the abuse scandal in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Poland and the United Kingdom, the large financial settlements in Ireland, the number of high ranking prelates who were involved, the affect on the Catholic faithful in Ireland and Poland and the actual number of the victims of the abusers including the methodology for determining the actual numbers. That level of detail simply does not belong in the RCC article. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 13:59, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
It's only been 2 weeks since the last FAC nom was closed; that's awfully quick for another nomination (especially since the seocnd nomination so quickly followed the first). I'd recommend that you take this to Peer Review before renominating for FAC (and advertise the peer review at all of the wikiprojects). You should also ask those who opposed the last time to take a quick look and see if their major objections have been fixed. If the previous reviewers don't feel their last objections were addressed then the nom will likely fail again. Karanacs (talk) 14:21, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Again there has been no evidence provided by wassupwestcoast of this "major" scandal in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. There has been no such scandal in the United kingdom or in more than 98% of countries of the world. Wassap himself seems extremely POV in not recognising this issue. Xandar (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 16:11, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

As I've pointed out before, it has been enough of an issue in the UK that a previous Archbishop of Cardiff had to resign over his handling of abuse cases, and Cormac Murphy-O'Connor also received pretty major coverage for his handling of a case when he was at Arundel (less justifiably in that case certainly). Things in the UK certainly haven't got to quite the level that they have in the States, with Dioceses going into bankruptcy, but I really don't think you can that there is no problem with how the issue has been dealt with. Ireland has also had a serious problem with many claims coming from those who were at catholic schools. David Underdown (talk) 16:22, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Re: Sex abuse scandal - I have added a new citation to back up our figures presented in the article. It is a fact that the vast majority of worldwide sex abuse cases are in the United States. We want real facts, not speculation and our wording in the article reflects the real facts. NancyHeise (talk) 17:01, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I still do not believe it is even close to being ready for FAC again. Another peer review might be a good idea. There are still unresolved POV issues, issues with the writing and non-encyclopedic tone, reference and sourcing issues, and notable controversies glossed over and/or ignored.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Islam now bigger than the RC Church

An important milestone has presently been announced in that the Vatican now concedes that Islam has overtaken it in size according to 2006 figures.[7][8]. This should be inserted prominently in the first paragraph, however, I suspect this may engender controversy, so I make the proposal here pending communal approval. __meco (talk) 13:54, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure how "prominent" it should be, but the lead should certainly reflect the new data. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 13:59, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
The two aren't really comparable, though, are they? Christianity, with around two billion members, is the largest faith. The Roman Catholic Church, with around a billion members, is the largest single religious body. Islam is a faith containing several religious bodies; it may be larger than the Roman Catholic Church, but it isn't larger than Christianity and isn't a single body (there is the well-known divide into Sunni and Shi'a for a start), so I don't actually think that this is an especially significant fact. Perhaps someone can correct me, as I'm far from an expert on Islam; but it doesn't seem consistent to me to regard Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism as separate "faiths", while regarding all branches of Islam as the same faith.
(It may, however, be the case that even Sunni Muslims, who make up about 85% of Muslims, outnumber Catholics; but that doesn't seem to be the story as presented). TSP (talk) 14:28, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
It seems like comparing apples to oranges to put any comment about Muslims outnumbering Roman Catholics. What you should do is make that kind of comparison on the Christianity article since you are comparing a whole faith to a whole faith - the number of Christians to the number of Muslims. Roman Catholic Church is part of Christianity and it would be inconsistent to make the comparison here, it would also be off topic for the subject matter of the page. NancyHeise (talk) 16:23, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

There are many subgroups w/in Islam -- a parallel word from Christianity might be "Protestantism." When I say the lead should "reflect" the new data, I mean that if there is anything that is contradicted by the new data it should be revised, not that any new sentence be added. The.helping.people.tick (talk) 16:48, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree that this new information, although interesting, should be left out of the article because comparing Roman Catholicism with Islam is comparing apple and oranges. I also came here to insert that info but, after reading the lead, I realized that the lead compares Roman Catholcism with Christianity and the lead of the article on Christianity asserts that Christianity is the largest religion in the world. Thus, there really is no particularly good place in Wikipedia to compare the number of Roman Catholic adherents against the number of Islamic adherents. --Richard (talk) 17:32, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
In the discussion at Wikipedia:In the news section on the Main Page/Candidates I made the comment that "I think what is important here is the fact that this news story is prompted by the Vatican itself. The Vatican traditionally has an ambition for world supremacy. Islam likewise. The Vatican sees itself in direct competition with Islam. Apples and oranges aside, this appears to be how the Vatican views the landscape, and as such, this event constitutes a tremendous psychological milestone from both the Muslim and the Roman Catholic point-of-view. This is how I read this story, and from that reading this certainly appears big enough for an In The News feature. We could simply present it from the angle it has already been presented: The Vatican concedes Islam now bigger than Roman Catholicism." That's what I wrote as a comment in that discussion. How do the people here view my perception. Am I misrepresenting the Holy See? __meco (talk) 07:04, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Interesting perspective; maybe I am just more jaded. I viewed it as purely political in motivation. The Holy See does not have very good relationship with the Muslim world based upon the pope's past comments and positions. I viewed as a diplomatic way of appearing to compliment the Muslim world without having to lose faith. Any intelligent Mulsim would see it as hallow; there is no equivalency between Catholics and Muslims as has been adequately explained above. In diplomacy one curries favor where and when one can. I find it a meaningless statement. --Storm Rider (talk) 08:44, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the sentiment of most of what Richard, Nancy, TSP, etc have said. A better and more accurate comparison could be made between the whole of Christianity and the whole of Islam. Since there are divisions in both, especially more recently(?) with the complex Sunni and Shi'ite situation. - Yorkshirian (talk) 18:37, 2 April 2008 (UTC)


I see that Wassup has unilaterally taken the semi-protection off the article. On such a large article, on which people have been working so hard to achieve stability, I am not sure this is the appropriate moment. There has been a long history of vandalism to the article. Similar articles like (dare I say) Islam, are semi-protected, and anyone who chooses to sign up and get a user name can edit a semi-protected article anyway. Semi-protection is a good protection against the malicious vandalism which key articles like this often face. Xandar (talk) 16:16, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

On the other hand, protection should definitely be the exception rather than the rule, and it's key articles like this where a new reader is most likely to see something they want to improve, and discover that, contrary to Wikipedia's ethos, they can't. WP:PROT says that indefinite semi-protection should only be for articles that are "subject to heavy and persistent vandalism." Let's give it a chance and see if it is. In particular, that policy notes that "Semi-protection should not be used as a pre-emptive measure against vandalism that has not yet occurred" and that "Today's featured article is very rarely semi-protected"; it's the most important articles where it's most important under Wikipedia's wiki ethos, that people be able to edit them. TSP (talk) 16:36, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
It has been more than 12 hours unprotected and the hordes have yet to arrive. Wikipedia's whole ethos is the 'encyclopedia anyone can edit.' Stability has nothing to do with vandalism. To borrow the definition from the Good Article Criteria,
"... not the subject of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. Vandalism reversion, proposals to split or merge content, good faith improvements to the page (such as copy editing) and changes based on reviewers' suggestions do not apply."
In other words, semi-protecting an article can not ensure 'stability'. Until there is actual persistent vandalism, then an article must be open to all editors. Restricting to registered editors only is not Wikipedia policy or practice. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 17:47, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you will reconsider replacing the security if we who have spent our time on this article are faced with anons who insert improperly sourced or unsourced material or poorly sourced material and leave without any discussion on the talk page or consensus. It is difficult to bring an article like this up to FA unless you can talk to people who are making edits. I disagree that removing the protection will help Wikipedia here. NancyHeise (talk) 18:24, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Of course, if IP vandalism from multiple IP accounts occurs persistently, then a period of semi-protection is called for but first we knock out the offenders by blocking the accounts. Only then, do we start restricting access to the article. This is standard admin policy. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 18:29, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Standard admin policy should be to reasonably help the people who are actually contributing real significant material to Wikipedia in an effort to make the encyclopedia valid. Admin policy should not be to make progress more difficult for true editors which I think eliminating protection on this page invites. NancyHeise (talk) 18:43, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Most pages get some level of vandalism (sometimes a dozen or so vandals a day). You should definitely revert anything that is put in the article that is blatantly false, too POV, unsourced, or vandalism. If the vandalism gets so bad that you're forced to revert vandalism all the time, then you can ask any admin to semi-protect the article again. The good thing about not being protected is that if you see an IP edit the page, you know to look more closely at the content that's been added. It's harder to detect vandalism by accounts sometimes. If you see that a particular IP address is vandalising, follow the steps here to get the account blocked. Karanacs (talk) 18:52, 31 March 2008 (UTC)


Nancy asked me to look over the article again, and I looked at the sources and the history section, especially the early to late medieval sections. My comments are listed below. It's improving, but it's still not there. Comments -

  • The Tobin book probably isn't the best source for the statement "According to Catholic doctrine, the mission of the church to proclaim the Gospel began at Pentecost, fifty days after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peter and the other apostles chosen by Jesus preached throughout Palestine, and within a few decades had ventured into the rest of the Mediterranean world." or for this statement "From the first century onward, the church of Rome became known as the seat of orthodoxy and authority because Rome was the city at the heart of the Empire and the Apostles Peter and Paul had led the church there ". The book is focused on how the pope is selected, not the historical past of the church. Try using the Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity book for this, although it's not as good as a true scholarly work (The Oxford Illustrated books are reputable, but more popular history than scholarly)
  • I see the Hitchcock book is still being used to source statements like "Over subsequent decades a series of ecumenical christological councils formally codified critical elements of the theology of the church. The Council of Rome in 382 set the Biblical canon, listing the accepted books of the Old and New Testament, and in 391 the Vulgate Latin translation of the Bible was made." I can (barely) see using it to reference "By the year 100 more than forty Christian communities existed across the Roman Empire, including the church at Rome" since it is after all about the geography of religion, but the first statement would be better sourced to another source. (I love National Geographic, but they aren't considered a scholarly academic source especially for history. Archaelogy or geography, yeah.) Try using the Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity book for this
  • I still have concerns over the Stahl work being used for the statement "In spite of these persecutions, the effective system of Roman roads and seaborne communications facilitated evangelization," I'm not terribly in touch with current Roman history research, but when I was still in college there was a section of Roman historians who were depreciating the old line that the roman roads were used by everyone as trading routes etc. Given that Amazon description says "Issues and Trends in Technology and Human Interaction consists of research in the areas of e-commerce through law and culture, intellectual capital in knowledge management, and the philosophy of technology, among other topics. This book also investigates the interaction of technology and humans from a variety of viewpoints, and presents technology assessment of software/hardware development, interaction and conversion between technologies and their impact on society, and phenomenology of e-government." I'm not persuaded this is a good source for the information.
  • A review of the Duffy book states : "With characteristic flair, the sour Latinist Tertullian called Rome "the happy church on which the Apostles poured forth all their teaching together with their blood." Such emotional extremes, axiomatic of Tertullian, apply equally to papal histories, often given to the heights and depths of spiritual excitement. Duffy (Magdalene Coll., Cambridge) offers this abundantly illustrated, amiably presented history to accompany a multinational television series for Britain, France, and Ireland. Such a pedigree often provokes disdain among bookish sorts, but Duffy's scholarship and enthusiasm overcome the book's populist roots. While not necessarily uncovering anything strikingly new and more akin to a handbook than a treatise, this work merits applause for providing a people's papal retrospective. Those wishing for heavier intellectual discourse should seek out Owen Chadwick's The Popes and European Revolution (1981) or practically anything by Peter Hebblethwaite" (from
  • The Hanawalt book is clearly labeled as a juvenile.
  • The Woods book might be a bit biased. Google's description is "Written to highlight the Catholic Church's central role in shaping Western Civilization, this book shows how the Church gave birth to modern science, international law, the free market economy, and much, much more"
  • At least the O'Connel book is written for High School (
  • This statement "Missionaries such as Augustine of Canterbury, Saint Boniface, Willibrord and Ansgar took Christianity into northern Europe, allowing Catholicism to spread among the Germanic peoples, the Celts and the Slavic peoples, reaching the Vikings and other Scandinavians in subsequent centuries." is uncited. (from Early Middle Ages section) I'll point out that some of the Celtic peoples were already Christian and considered themselves Catholic (see Celtic Christianity)
  • The statement that the Popes preserved the use of images outside areas of imperial control is quite the simplification of the issue, honestly. It was more like the areas outside imperial control didn't support iconoclasm.
  • High Middle Ages section, the Cluniacs only placed THEIR order under the control of the pope, not other monasteries. The implication that the placing of the Cluniacs under papal control led to the increase in the number of monasteries at this time is not bourne out by scholarship either. There were a number of factors involved, including the PEace of God movement, increasing lay piety, the spread of the Church into the east, etc.
  • As far as I know, universities started teaching theology, and didn't teach history as a subject during the Middle ages.
  • Catherine of Siena was not the only voice urging the popes to return to Rome, and the current wording is misleading
As a side note, this page REALLY needs to be archived! Ealdgyth - Talk 19:40, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

OK, thanks for your comments, Since there are only four citations for National Geographic (specifically allowed per Wikipedia guidelines) and five for the Hanawalt book (I purchased it because it is Oxford University press not knowing it was for juveniles until you just pointed this out) and another five or so for the OConnell book, I will replace these with my other sources that I am assuming you are OK with because you have not listed them here. Thanks again for you kind review. NancyHeise (talk) 21:14, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

We are allowed to keep the Nat Geo book per Wikipedia guidelines so I will not be replacing it per my discussion with Ealdgyth on my talk page. The Duffy book is one of the best sources per Wikipedia guidelines so we will keep that too per my discussion with Ealdgyth on my talk page. The Woods book is also allowed and is not overused. I will be eliminating the five citations to the Oconnell book and the five to the Hanawalt book. NancyHeise (talk) 01:59, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I have addressed all of Ealdgyths concerns listed above by replacing the Stahl, OConnell, Hanawalt and Tobin books with better sources that also required some rewording. I addressed all his issues with content also. I have agreed with him not to replace the National Geographic, Duffy, or Woods books which are all good sources.NancyHeise (talk) 08:35, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

On the Cluniacs, my personal source, the Dorian Kindersley History of Christianity, which IS for adults says (p 96) that monasteries allied with Cluny in confeeration shared the freedoms of Cluny, and that by 100AD 1,000 monasteries had joined the Cluniac fold. Xandar (talk) 15:47, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Information on the Missions in Europe again is sourced to the DK History p 84 -87. As far as celtic christianity is concerned, the celtic Britons and Gauls were Christian, the Irish and Scots were subject to missions - the scots via Ireland. I have a book on early missions in Britain and Ireland, but is it worth adding extra detail in this article? Xandar (talk) 15:51, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Peer review request

A peer review request has been made. Please watchlist Wikipedia:Peer review/Roman Catholic Church/archive2/ Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 21:46, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I left a notice about the Peer Review at the talk pages of the WikiProjects listed above. Any other wikiprojects or others that should be notified? Karanacs (talk) 21:42, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Addressing peer reviewer comments

A peer reviewer has made two suggestions for improvement to the article that would be significant changes. I am not sure there would be consensus for these changes if I were to make them so before doing so I would like to know what others think first. They are: 1) Move Origins paragraph to History section and move Mission paragraph to Church subsection under Beliefs 2)Eliminate Nicene Creed

My personal feelings on these two changes are that I dont think they make the article better or more informative. I think having the Origins and Mission paragraph at the top is the most logical place - it tells the reader where the church came from and why it is here. This is more than mere History, it has to do with the present day and the two issues of Origin and Mission go together, they are entertwined with each other and extend beyond the concept of History with regards to the church's activities in the world today. Also, eliminating the Nicene Creed will not help the reader who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes. It would relegate the most important part of Roman Catholic Belief to a mere wikilink which I think makes an improper statement and moves the wikilinked page of Nicene Creed out of control of the Roman Catholic page. Currently, I dont think the Nicene Creed page is a very good page and if our page eventually becomes FA, that would help the reader have confidence in what he or she is reading on the RCC page which should include the short Nicene Creed quote. Please add your comments and opinions to mine here on the talk page so we can come to consensus on these issues. Thanks everyone. NancyHeise (talk) 12:36, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm the dreaded peer reviewer. I've made my arguments here before too. In short, I think the Origins and mission section is redundant. I think that for someone who knows absolutely nothing or very little about the RCC, the most important question they will have is what core set of beliefs/traditions/etc defines this organization. This is now very well explained in the article, just not at the beginning. The paragraph on the church mission could fit very well into the beliefs section, or go lower in the article. As long as the lead touches on the origins of the church (and I think it does), then the origins section can go in History, where it fits. I don't think any other religion article breaks "origins" away from "history" and I don't think they should - the two terms are synonymous, and they should be discussing the same things. Karanacs (talk) 14:03, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Karanacs, surely the idea of peer review is to get input from people who haven't previously been involved in editing an article? David Underdown (talk) 14:13, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not one of the main editors even though I argue here a lot; my content contributions have been very very narrowly focused although I've done a lot of copyediting. I am an FA reviewer, and the review I left for the Peer Review was in that vein - if this article was back at FAC right now those are the comments I would have left. Karanacs (talk) 14:32, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Contributing here is surely part of the Wikipedia editing process? David Underdown (talk) 14:41, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Point taken. I had a lot of comments beyond the two that Nancy pulled out to ask for consensus about, and I thought it would be easier for those working to update the article to put those with any other PR comments than have them here on the talk page. Karanacs (talk) 14:44, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, but now if someone new does look at the peer review page they may decide taht since it appears to have already been reviewed, they may as well look at some other article. David Underdown (talk) 14:51, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Feel free to move my comments here if you think that more apprioriate. Karanacs (talk) 15:33, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I know I don't actually edit here much but I have been watching this process closely and regardless of where they came from I actually concur with both suggestions, with the caveat that the proposed reorganization may take some effort to dovetail well.
Re the creed, I have always believed that removing its explicit presentation would be a good thing if space demands suggested it (as it does here). It seems a simple solution to your concern would be to move or copy the relevant material to the other article; we are thus guaranteed of having access to the material currently here which is valued by those arguing for keeping it.
Re the moves, I understand that this really is an editorial decision, but one that does have other implications, as you allude to (although ones I did not understand; see below). While I think that much of the POV issues raised recently are overblown, there are subtle things which can be done to improve NPOV. By breaking out those sections as you encourage, it gives the article a slightly more assertive tone merely by this organization, which could be plausibly seen to be subtle POV. By keeping together content when it is intellectually coherent to do so (as Karanacs alludes to), the tone becomes more descriptive, what IMO such an article should strive to be.
I did not follow Nancy's argument of why Origins and Mission go together, and how Origins relates to its activities in the world today. Could she clarify those?; perhaps there is indeed more merit to those suggestions than I can currently see. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 14:21, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
The church operates its many churches, missions and social ministries around the world today in response to a Gospel event discussed in the Mission paragraph. It tells the reader the Why. Origins tells the reader Where did it come from which I think is an important question to answer up front since the Gospel passage in the origins section is the basis for the church existence. Answering the question of Where did it come from is one of the first questions readers will have about the church - see the FA on Islam which actually puts the answers to this question in the lead and expands on it there as well. These two items: Origins and Mission relate to the current activity of the church in the world today - not just history and thus they cant be considered history alone. Burying Mission in Church will really make that important paragraph obscure and placing origins in hisory will make that paragraph disconnect with Beliefs for which it is a logical precursor based on Jesus promise to St Peter "What you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven". The logic flows well since you have the church being founded and its mission defined which directly affects the formation of its Beliefs. Also, I want to add that I thought all of Karanacs comments on Peer Review were fine with a couple small exceptions and I plan to address all of them eventually. I put these two on the talk page to find out what other people think before making these significant changes that I personally dont agree with. Since I am just one editor and Karanacs is just one editor, I thought maybe we could both be helped to see what the rest of the Wikipedia community thinks about these proposed changes. NancyHeise (talk) 16:38, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarifications. I now can see what you're striving for. However, I am not convinced that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. In some general sense, the mission of any religious institution is a consequence of its beliefs, which are tied to its origins, through its history. It still appears to me that driving the organization of the article so as to make these connections explicit risks giving the article assertive connotations, something that I think we all agree should be avoided, whether or not we agree it will actually happen as I suggest. Given the existence of both the history and theology subarticles, there seems ample opportunity to flesh out these connections in places the context makes it clear we are being descriptive.
However, I admit this is editorial hairsplitting. I consider it a good thing the discussion is down to such levels. In any case, I will chime in when I read anything that makes me reconsider (or reaffirm) my position. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 17:06, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't really follow why, not just in this peer review, but a previous one, the Nicene Creed's place in the article has been put into question? IMO that part is fine as it is. Compact, direct to the point. Does its job of describing the Creed of the religion perfectly IMO. - Yorkshirian (talk) 19:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, it is not describing the Creed (it is the Creed). I think readers who are unfamiliar with the RCC or other Christian religions which use the Nicene Creed won't necessarily understand what it is saying. Those readers would be better served with a brief description of what the Creed says and a wikilink to the full text if they are interested in more information. Karanacs (talk) 20:50, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the full Nicene Creed should stay. Nothing better has been found to concisely define Catholic christian belief in 1500 years. Most people reading the article will not be familiar with the creed, and it is so important, it deserves being there in full. On the Origins/Mission section, I am not fanatical either way. The section is probably too long, as I have already said. My main objection to change would be the amount of work necessary to re-order the article and re-write. Is the section really a problem as is? One way of changing it would be to have a sentence ot two on origin and basic mission at the start of the article, with more detailed material placed under "History" and "beliefs". or we could trim the Origins and Mission section by more than half, turning it into an introductory paragraph to the main article, again with any important detail transferred to "history." Again, that is just a possible option for discussion. First we have to decide whether the Origin and Mission section is a problem. (talk) 21:52, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Descibe the creed in terms of its importance to the faith. If one were asked to write about a poem, one wouldn't just re-print the entire poem ...with the implication of 'read it for yourself, it is so obvious.' Almost all Christendom ascribes to the creed. I recite it once a week but it wasn't transparent to me what it meant until much much later when I actually read 'about it'. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 17:57, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

WWII sentence

"World War II presented new challenges for the Catholic Church. Even though no church teachings promote the killing of Jews, historians such as David Kertzer, blamed the church for fomenting the anti-Semitism that fueled the growth of the Nazi regime in Germany.[214]"

To me it seems shocking that an absolute nobody like David Kertzer somehow now has his name contained within a defining article about such an important organisation, such a large and historic subject. This guy is nothing, nobody in the world of literature, nor is he renowned at all in the field of WWII history, just look at his article. So on what basis is his defamatory opinion included here? - Yorkshirian (talk) 23:09, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I've never particularly liked that sentence. It is probably improved by adding a name to the previously anonymous "people" who made the allegation in earlier versions. This way we can see who is making the allegation. I never argued to take the sentence out, because I knew it might provoke a row. I don't think there is any solid justification for linking the Church with Nazism or the Jewish holocaust. Catholics tended to be the strongest anti-nazi voters in 1930s germany, the Lutheran churches kow-towed to hitler more, and many would argue that German anti-semitism owes more to Luther than anyone else. It's one of those problems - the accusation is there, do we ignore it or put it in? The problem is that to deal with the issue properly takes a lot more space than we have. Xandar (talk) 16:08, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure if blaming the Catholic Church is an opinion really held by parts of the Jewish community or not, but if a high key Rabbi has accused the Catholic Church of playing a role, then that claim could be put in this Kertzer guys place. But as it is, it just looks wrong. Kertzer seems to be an anti-Catholic, quasi-historian of dubious standing and his attacks seem be a secular attempt at stirring up tension in religious relations.
The only comments I've been able to find from prominent members of the Jewish community in regards to this subject, is a quote from former Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir, when Pope Pius XII died, she had this to say about him...
"During the 10 years of Nazi terror, when our people went through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and commiserate with the victims."[9] - Yorkshirian (talk) 03:13, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, after researching a bit I have put in a more NPOV. Including the fact that prominent Jews such as Golda Meir and Albert Einstein have said Pius did much to save Jews and that some historians on the subject have estimated that as many as 860,000 were saved because of the Catholic Church's efforts. - Yorkshirian (talk) 03:50, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Wow! I like the new NPOV in the WWII sentence - that really rounds out the whole story! Thanks for researching that and placing it in the article. I think we need to eliminate the word "sensationalist Historians" and replace with just "historians" because the word "sensationalist" will appear POV and is called a weasel word i think. Also, I had to eliminate two of the refs for the new content leaving only the book. The refs were to websites that will not be allowed per WP:RS. NancyHeise (talk) 21:31, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I reworded this to make it more encyclopedic and refed it with my scholarly source - I think it is great now. NancyHeise (talk) 23:40, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Crusades and other changes

We're getting a lot of changes to the text again - particularly in history. Apart from the fact that it's starting to destroy the flow of the wording, some of the changes are debatable:

  • The addition at the start of Age of Reason is good. Adds more information and flows well.
  • The veneration of images is NOT called iconoclasm. I've changed that back already.
  • I don't like the new first sentence of Roman Empire. Content is okay. It just reads ugly.
  • My biggest objection is to the rewording of the Crusades material. The former wording was a compromise achieved after some debate. It's now been replaced with misleading information. This section is where the problems lie:
These goals were not permanently realized because of many episodes of brutality committed by crusaders upon the Muslims, Jews, and Eastern Christians that created a legacy of mutual distrust.[166] The sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade by crusaders who resented the success of the Greeks left the Eastern Christians embittered toward the Western Christians.[165] It also left Constantinople weakened for its eventual conquest by the Turks.[165] This event horrified the popes.[167] Pope Pius II expressed this best when he wrote "... one of the two lights of Christendom has been extinguished ...".[167]

Contrary to modern legend Christians did not go on Crusade to massacre Muslims and Eastern Christians. The Crusades were a response to wide scale unprovoked muslim massacres of Christians in Armenia, Georgia and Anatolia. "Acts of brutality" were committed on all sides during the Crusades. It wasn't just Christians attacking "peaceful" locals. This needs to be reflected in the text. Similarly Constantinople was NOT attacked by "crusaders who resented the success of the Greeks". The attackers of Constantinople were renegades who got involved in internal Byzantine faction fighting on behalf of the Doge of Venice. They were excommunicated by the Pope at the time. Linking the sack of Constantinople in the 13th century with its fall to the turks in the 15th is also dubious. There is a strong argument that the Crusades propped up Constantinople by diverting Muslim energies to the south. Also Which fall of Constantinople is Pope Pius remark referring to? This section needs to be rewritten. Xandar (talk) 16:29, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Oops! I didn't realize that n.n I do, in fact, agree with your analysis of the events. I actually tried to tone down the language somewhat from the first edit (by restoring some of the original wording), but I hadn't noticed the obvious errors. I apologize. I'll try to fix this later (unless someone else can do it?) Nautical Mongoose (talk) 18:11, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I think you all are talking about my changes to the crusades paragraph yesterday. I made these changes in response to peer review comments left for me by Karanacs. The changes are referenced to some of our best scholarly sources. The wording flows and rightfully ends with Pope JPII's apology to the Eastern Christians for the sack of Constantinople. If you want to add something about Muslim atrocities upon Christians in the Holy land being a precursor to the Crusades,I can add that, I have the source that discusses those events too. NancyHeise (talk) 20:33, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Much of that stuff is just plain wrong though. The Pope at the time was Innocent III not Pius. The comments that the crusaders resented the success of the Greeks, and that Constantinople was weakened against the Turks come from Vidmar's book, which has only one half paragraph on the whole third crusade. That is not a good or reliable source when there are plenty of books that discuss the episode in detail. The passage as written also gives the false impression that the attack on Constantinople was sanctioned, when it was against the express orders of the pope. I have borrowed the book "God's War" by Christopher Tyerman - a new comprehensive history of the Crusades, which tells the full story. The "Acts of brutality" part also needs changing to make clear that such acts were on all sides, and not just on the part of Christians against Muslims and Jews. Xandar (talk) 01:05, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Here is a suggested replacement for the Crusades paragraph:
Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade in 1095 after receiving an appeal from Byzantine emperor Alexius I to help ward off a Turkish invasion. Urban also believed that a Crusade might help bring about a reconciliation with Eastern Christianity. Fueled by reports of Muslim atrocities against Christians, the series of military campaigns known as the Crusades began in 1096, lasting until 1270. They were intended to return the Holy Land to Christian control. These goals were not permanently realized, and episodes of brutality committed by the armies of both sides left a legacy of mutual distrust between Muslims, Jews, Western and Eastern Christians. The sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade left Eastern Christians embittered, despite the fact that Pope Innocent III had expressly forbidden any such attack. In 2001 Pope John Paul II apologized to Orthodox Christians for the sins of Catholics including the sacking of Constantinople in 1204. Xandar (talk) 01:52, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Xandar, I am Ok with your paragraph. I think it says it better than mine. I replaced a ref that you deleted and eliminated "Jews" from the sentence claiming brutality on all sides because Jews were not mentioned in my ref. I think it was the people's crusade that victimized the Jews and that was not on papal orders. NancyHeise (talk) 21:24, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I think this paragraph is going to be brought up at FAC as being too pro-Catholic POV. Karanacs (talk) 14:31, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


Why is McBrien, Richard P. the only one linked in the bibliography? Randomblue (talk) 23:23, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Should we link all of the authors or eliminate McBrien's link? NancyHeise (talk) 23:39, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I linked all the authors - some of them do not have wikipages. Any thoughts from admins on whether we should eliminate red links or all links in Bibli? Anybody got the MOS guideline on this handy? NancyHeise (talk) 03:25, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
I just eliminated the red links NancyHeise (talk) 05:02, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Married priests

The sentences on married priests in the Community section are not referenced to a book. The peer reviewer says these should be easily refd to a book. Does anyone know where the code is for this item. It should be in Code of Canon Law shouldn't it? If you can help me I would appreciate it here. Right now, I refd these sentences to newspapers. Im not sure if that will pass FA. Thanks in advance for the help. NancyHeise (talk) 02:15, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

reference 18

p. 37–38 can be changed to p. 37–8 Randomblue (talk) 03:28, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I took care of it just now per your alert here. NancyHeise (talk) 05:01, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Article Size

Just a note- article size is 64Kb - we max out at 65 so I think the only thing left to add for content is maybe a few smoothing over sentences in the history section to help with paragraph flow and then we have to stop adding anything else. When we are done with this smoothing over and the peer review, we need a once over by some editors Karanacs suggested before bringing it to FAC again. NancyHeise (talk) 05:01, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Article size indeed needs holding at the present limit or less. We have to see if the article is well balanced as to length, and if any parts have become over-extended. The guidelines state that we need a period of stability before FA submission, so we need to be sure that what is in the article covers all that is required. Once there is stability, the article can be polished a bit more, and will hopefully be in a state where abrupt changes and additions are not needed. We don't want to be going back to FA with a constantly changing article. When the article goes to FA it needs to be in a state where it can be defended and not subject to constant amendment, except in very small respects. Big changes at FA mean it will fail again because the article will lose stability, flow and cohesion. Xandar (talk) 00:25, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

We are almost there! NancyHeise (talk) 01:31, 6 April 2008 (UTC)


Randomblue (talk) 11:57, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Done. Nautical Mongoose (talk) 19:28, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Pope's US visit

This AP story on the Pope's visit has some US Catholic facts: Pope will find diverse church in US.

  • "...Catholics comprise nearly one-quarter of the population. Catholic America is the biggest donor to the Vatican. The U.S. also is home to more than 250 Catholic colleges and universities."[10]
  • "About one-third of the more than 64 million U.S. Catholics never attend Mass, and about one-quarter attend only a few times a year, according to a 2007 study by the Center for Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. A majority never go to confession or go less than once a year." [11]
  • "About half of Catholics born before the 1960s say they attend Mass at least once a week, compared to only 10 percent of those born since the 1980s."[12]
  • " More than 3,200 of the 18,600 U.S. parishes don't have resident priests"[13]
  • "While U.S. Catholics donate the most to the Vatican of any country, they donate to the local church at about half the rate of Protestants, according to Chuck Zech, a Villanova University professor who studies church finances. "[14]
  • "Abuse-related costs for the church since 1950 have surpassed $2 billion. "[15]

Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 03:40, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Not really that relevant here. Most of the material is US-specific, and declining regular attendance in rich western countries is a factor for all churches and probably all religious groups. Xandar (talk) 13:46, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

It is difficult to put such US specific statistics into this worldwide organization. Some studies show that the new generation of Catholics in the US are far more conservative and take their religion more seriously than the previous 60's and 70's generation. I think we would be asking for trouble to include any of this info since then we would have to keep updating it as new studies come out and reviewers would then be asking for similar info in other countries which would then bring the page off topic. Perhaps a page on US Catholicism would be more appropriate for such data? NancyHeise (talk) 20:39, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Also, I would like to add that the info about what Catholics donate to the local church is pretty screwed up because it doesnt take into account the persistent efforts of the church to get people to donate to charities other than Catholic. At my church the church envelopes have instructions for giving that say tithing can be done in such a way that you give 5% to the church related activities and charities and 5% to charities of our choice. Many people in my church are donors to a vast array of charities and social help organizations that are non-denominational and non-religious like the local soup kitchen, Food for the Poor, Children International, various university scholarship funds, etc. I think it would be very controversial to put any information into the article that suggests that American Catholics are not giving as much as any other Christian in the US - that is just not quantifiable. NancyHeise (talk) 20:45, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

US Catholic donation rate - note that this is sourced to "Chuck Zech, a Villanova University professor who studies church finances," so it is reliable. Anecdotally, I know of one person (a datum of one), a protestant, who practices 10% tithing as a baseline, then donates on top of that to church fundraisers, and then on top of that donates to non-denominational Christian charities like Worldvision. I don't know how widespread this behavior is but it is consistent with both Professors Zech's research and the observation of NancyHeise (talk · contribs). Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 15:01, 8 April 2008 (UTC)


Inconsistency of use bewteen para. and paragraph in the refs. (talk) 06:43, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

I am not sure what the above message means. I have just gone through the whole article and all refs are properly used per Wikipedia guidelines. NancyHeise (talk) 21:24, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

maybe look at references 105 and 117 (talk) 05:45, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The difference between these two refs is that one is citing the web and the other a book. They are fine and in no need of changing. All web cites are consistent and all book cites are consistent. Thanks. NancyHeise (talk) 20:23, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. There is no need for changing since they were properly used under the guidelines. --DavidD4scnrt (talk) 06:58, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

New infobox template

I have combined the two different sized infoboxes on the top of the article into one. The two infoboxes on Catholic Church and Christianity were different sizes and clashed with each other. I combined the information on the lines of what has been done on the Anglicanism article. Hopefully this will be better. Other information can be added, or the width altered. The present width is based on the vatican photo. Xandar (talk) 22:44, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Xandar, while I agree it looks prettier now with the boxes combined, I am not sure it is more informative. Does everyone else prefer the new infobox to the old? I dont but I am just one person. NancyHeise (talk) 20:25, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the new one looks better on the page than the two did individually. Karanacs (talk) 20:48, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
The only things that didn't fit into the more standard format of the new version were the breakaway churches and the baptismal membership figure, both of which don't really need to be mentioned in that position. The main loss are the founder and date of origin, which in any event, as the article stresses are disputed, and could form a sentence in the intro. The new box also has a lot more directly catholicism-relevant links than the old, and links can now be changed to suit this subject. Xandar (talk) 22:36, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Peer Review

This is copied and pasted from a link on the peer review page for this article: The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions for further ideas. Thanks, APR t 01:34, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I addressed the linking of the dates per the comment above but I disagree that the Table of Contents is too long and needs to be merged. I think it is a result of the fact that this article is a longer article and really is expected to be a longer article. The only sections that possibly could be merged would be some sections in history but we found in the past that it made the individual sections too long. It was better to have more sections and a longer Table of Contents. I have answered all peer review comments and, since there really are no more issues, I recommend that we request a review by the League of Copyeditors, the last step before resubmitting for Featured Article Candidate (FAC). NancyHeise (talk) 00:17, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I have made the request for League of Copyeditors to review the page specifically asking for help with wordy sentences as suggested by Karanacs at peer review. NancyHeise (talk) 21:23, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

NPOV problem

This Telegraph article highlights the NPOV problem with this article.

Voice of the Faithful does not buy the argument that "clamour created in the US around this scandal is really unbearable" as Cardinal Bertone said. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 21:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

That's not the only NPOV issue either. The history section still goes into a great deal of detail on persecutions of Catholics and barely mentions persecutions by Catholics. There are also little wording issues like The hostile criticisms of the Reformation which insert a subtle POV. (I also disagree with characterizing Erasmus as The most famous scholar of the age.) Karanacs (talk) 21:39, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with both of your perceptions. I was just thinking that the article is really more POV in the anti-Catholic direction because of the serious lack of commentary on the multitude of charities and good works accomplished around the world. There are millions of people helped by the church on a daily basis through all their many charities, ministries, hospitals, schools, universities etc. Yet we have a whole paragraph in the Vatican II section on the priest scandals as the only current mention of the church's work in the present day world. If the information was quantified somewhere I would have put the information into the article but it is not quantified on a world basis and we are prevented by Wikipedia policy from creating our own statistics by adding others. Wassupwestcoast is inordinately interested in putting more than just the facts into the sex scandal paragraph and it is clear from consensus of past discussions that his view is not shared by others on the page. Karanacs, I have worked to answer your comments yet each time I research to try to put more info showing the "bad " done by the church, I always turn up with information that does not fit your perception. I have to go with what the sources say and so the information in the article reflects the scholarly works we have cited. NancyHeise (talk) 23:16, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

If I didn't care about the article I wouldn't even bother watchlisting it. The phrase "inordinately interested" is borderline offensive. What do you mean by "putting more than just the facts" into the article? I have provided nothing but reputable sourced facts. Do you seriously not see within your own Church the people who are deeply troubled by the scandal and see it as a defining moment in the life of your Church? It isn't 'me' is literally thousands of faithful Catholics who wonder why the Church doesn't get it. This past week there has been another manifestation of the scandal in Washington State :

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima has apologized to parishioners for knowingly hiring a man under investigation for viewing child pornography in Oregon. see Yakima bishop apologizes for hiring man accused of viewing porn Seattle Post-Intelligencer 08 April 2008.

Take Care Wassupwestcoast (talk) 23:51, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
I just checked. I've been at this NPOV problem on this page since 17 Feb 2007: see diff. I'm certainly consistent in my position. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 00:38, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Consistent, but wrong. The scandal is already featured beyond its weight in this article. Facts show that all denominations and secular institutions have been subject to the same "scandal". The Catholic church just gets more highly publicised. Trawling up odd snippets about the Bishop of Yakima hiring a man "under investigation" for viewing pornography as a student (and who was then dismissed from the seminary) does not make it a world-shattering event - or show that the Catholic Church is uniquely evil - as seems to be an underlying theme here. Are you equally astute in following up cild abuse issues in the Anglican Church articles, or those about the Baptist Church, or UK Social Services? If not, why not? I think the POV of the article is quite appropriate to the issue Xandar (talk) 02:02, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Further to Karanacs - exactly which specific Catholic persecutions are troubling you that are unmentioned in the article and relevant? Xandar (talk) 02:02, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Within the U.S. Catholic Church there are Catholic Church goers who have formed the 'Voice of the Faithful' , and other groups. Catholics are challenging the Pope about the sex abuse denial and not Anglicans or Protestants. Catholics are taking out newspaper ads protesting the abuse within the Church and not Anglicans or Protestants. That is why this article has NPOV issues. This article does not even reflect the diverse opinions of Catholic churchgoers. Why is the Bishop of Yakima relevant? He follows a well-trodden path: that is why the story is newsworthy. According to the story: "The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima has apologized to parishioners for knowingly hiring a man under investigation for viewing child pornography in Oregon[16]" Do you not see a problem? Do you not ask yourself, if the bishop knew, why did he hire the man? What was he thinking? This is today's news. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 02:32, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know why the Japanese bishop hired a man for some unknown job when he had been accused of reading pornography as a student. Neither do you. We dont have the facts. But to me your whole crusading attitude on this subjects seems to me very POV. You argue that two Boston based groups, one of which claims to be Catholic are proof that even more of the world wide Catholic Church article needs to be centered on the US sex abuse scandal. There are hundreds of disaffected catholic and crypto-catholic groups with websites, ranging from pro-abortionists to groups that think the Pope is Protestant! Should they all share enormous chunks of the Catholic Church article. And if websites make it an important crisis then what about sites like Does that mean the Baptist wikipedia article must now centre on sexual abuse sscandals? You'd better get moving on that. Xandar (talk) 14:47, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
This has been brought up many times on this page and at FAC. We are not discussing other articles, we are discussing this article. Yes, other articles on WP are blatantly POV, non-comprehensive, poorly written, etc. Those articles most definitely need to be fixed, but that is out of scope of the people working on this article. Please keep the focus here. Karanacs (talk) 14:52, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Japaneses bishop!?!. It is Yakima, WA in the good old U.S.A. See the Diocese of Yakima. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 17:18, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

It's the level of detail/lack of balance that bothers me in the history section. Some of this was brought up by other FA reviewers too, and I think that in the article's current state this will get brought up at a subsequent FA nomination. Here's what I see in the article:

  • Persecution of Catholics:
    • There's an entire paragraph on the Roman Empire's persecution of Christians
    • Henry VIII persecutions - he was primarily angry that the people disputed his right to do whatever he wanted, not that they were Catholics; the article makes it sound like he just disliked Catholics
    • Three sentences about the laws under Elizabeth I. This no longer reflects that most of the rules were due to political reasons (Catholic Spain threatening to invade; British Catholics had tried several times to overthrow her, and then the Pope excommunicated her and called for her overthrow)
    • Two sentences on persecutions of Catholics in Japan
    • "Despite the changes, the European religious conflicts of the Reformation era provoked a backlash against Christianity" - backlash against Christianity or against the Pope?
    • Two sentences on monasteries destroyed in France
    • Two sentences on persecutions by Chinese
    • A whole paragraph on persecutions in Latin America
  • Persecution by Catholics
    • The Crusades -- this still seems pro-Catholic POV to me, although better than it had been; although the Crusaders may have intended to help the Byzantines ward off invaders, they ended up invading another empire
    • Lots of information about how the missions helped the native peoples (actually mentioned twice); very little about the negative aspects
    • Only half a sentence on the Marian persecutions to say that they existed
    • The Inquisition section, while better than its original form, still glosses over the effects and the sheer numbers of people it impacted in parts of Europe and Latin America.
    • A lot of the sections on the Reformation make it sound like the Protestants started all of the religious wars; while they may have fired the first shots in many cases, it was often to try to lift repression by the RCC. There is no mention of Protestant churches being banned or destroyed (although there is detail when RCC churches were destroyed).

Karanacs (talk) 14:07, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Lets have a quick look at your criticisms: A lot seem to based on a perception, that many people in certain countries with anti-catholic backgrounds have been brought up with, that the Catholic Church was basically an evil, grisly organisation, and that there must be more to back this up. So...

  • Persecution of Catholics:
    • There's an entire paragraph on the Roman Empire's persecution of Christians
Very important. Three centuries of a literally underground church.
    • Henry VIII persecutions - he was primarily angry that the people disputed his right to do whatever he wanted, not that they were Catholics; the article makes it sound like he just disliked Catholics
Whatever his reasoning, people who insisted on staying true to being catholic got brutally persecuted. It needs saying. many people don't know that Catholics were ever persecuted.
    • Three sentences about the laws under Elizabeth I. This no longer reflects that most of the rules were due to political reasons (Catholic Spain threatening to invade; British Catholics had tried several times to overthrow her, and then the Pope excommunicated her and called for her overthrow)
Laws banning Catholicism were there before the Pope's excommunication, in fact they were the reason for it. 300 priests alone were killed in England (excluding Ireland) in Elizabeth's reign just for saying mass. In an English-language article this is important
    • Two sentences on persecutions of Catholics in Japan
Again a significant persecution. needs to be there for balance. History isn't all about bad Catholics
    • "Despite the changes, the European religious conflicts of the Reformation era provoked a backlash against Christianity" - backlash against Christianity or against the Pope?
This was originally cited against The Story of Christianity. The enlightenment backlash was against Christianity in general, not just Catholicism. In fact disbelief in England was the highest in Europe.
    • Two sentences on monasteries destroyed in France
    • Two sentences on persecutions by Chinese
    • A whole paragraph on persecutions in Latin America
It happened.
  • Persecution by Catholics
    • The Crusades -- this still seems pro-Catholic POV to me, although better than it had been; although the Crusaders may have intended to help the Byzantines ward off invaders, they ended up invading another empire
Was the invasion done by the Catholic Church. No. The article reports the incident, but it was the result of a complex sidetracking of a crusading army and against express Church orders. Read the cited chapter of "Gods War" for details.
    • Lots of information about how the missions helped the native peoples (actually mentioned twice); very little about the negative aspects
Again what were the negative aspects of the MISSIONS?
    • Only half a sentence on the Marian persecutions to say that they existed
Very little is said about Henry's persecutions - or what happened in Ireland
    • The Inquisition section, while better than its original form, still glosses over the effects and the sheer numbers of people it impacted in parts of Europe and Latin America.
Vague criticism. The numbers of killed were actually not large.
    • A lot of the sections on the Reformation make it sound like the Protestants started all of the religious wars; while they may have fired the first shots in many cases, it was often to try to lift repression by the RCC. There is no mention of Protestant churches being banned or destroyed (although there is detail when RCC churches were destroyed).
Complex point. Will get back on this one.

Xandar (talk) 15:04, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Xandar, - As the person who has researched these events extensively using our scholarly works cited, our aritcle represents the view held by scholars. We have not introduced POV into this article, I intended in every way to show the bad things done by the church throughout the ages in history. However, I was surprised myself that what I thought had been the case in these events was actually not what historians thought. There were no criticisms of the Catholic Church in Latin America - every book spoke of the Church taking a stand in every age against the abuses brought upon the people by the Spanish conquistadores and others. The Crusades were another surprise for me. While massacres and atrocities were wrought by the crusaders, nowhere does it say that the Church called for or encouraged these massacres but just the opposite - they were appalled and the massacres worked against the goals of the church. Marian persecutions were not sanctioned by the church, they were the acts of a British monarch acting on her own authority. Inquisitions were another area of surprise. Two of our best scholarly works (including Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity) had whole paragraphs, one had half a page discussing how the evils of the Inquisitions have been overblown and they were not as bad as we have been led to believe. I could have put that information into the article but I didn't. The religious wars in Europe between Catholics and Protestants were for the most part not the result of a Pope calling for war with the exception of the first war in Germany. Catholic persecutions are represented well in the Inquisitions. All information in this article reflects what I found in the scholarly works cited.NancyHeise (talk) 15:12, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Further to Karanacs objections:

The article is necessarily broad-brush. It cannot deal with every incident and nuance over the past 2000 years, especially if populist pressure tends toward putting in only hegative issues and leaving out the positive. Many people's views of the Catholic Church have been formed by the "cold-war" propaganda of past eras, which sought to demonize Catholicism through spin and exagerration. A typical example of how this leads people to assume the worst was when some instruments of torture were found in a castle in Sussex 100 years ago. These were immediately labelled and put into the local museum as "Torture devices of the Spanish Inquisition." For decades people looked at them and tutted in horror at the evils of the Catholic Church. Then a historian who wondered how these Spanish torture devices had reached Sussex discovered not only that the Spanish Inquisition never used these type of devices, but that they were all local and British-made.

The point is that a balance has to be achieved between positive and negative. And to be fair that balance must be based on the weight of good incidents compared to the weight of bad. Some people have shown impatience with the listing of Catholic positives in the article. But detailing every negative and making room for that by cutting out all the positives will give a very false and biased picture. Imagine a history of the USA which detailed only the Indian massacres, slavery, segregation, the invasion of Mexico, Vietnam, organized crime and Iraq. Would that be a balanced picture - or POV? Would you not say, "Hang on - what about the good things America has done? - and give them their proper weight." Indeed, I could complain about some parts of the article as it is, The section on the Reformation contains some highly critical comments: The most famous scholar of the age, Erasmus, in 1509 wrote In Praise of Folly which captured a widely held opinion about corruption in the church.[189] Abuses of power, usury, clerical wealth and hypocrisy all contributed to a general feeling among educated people that reform of some sort was necessary.[189] In 1517, Martin Luther included his Ninety-Five Theses in a letter to several bishops, hoping to spark debate.[190] His theses protested key points of Catholic doctrine as well as the sale of indulgences.[190] Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, and others further criticized Catholic teachings. These challenges developed into the Protestant Reformation.

I could object to some of this, Martin Luther inttended to spark more than debate when he posted his theses. and there are none of the many negatives about him here (anti-semitism, allowing bigamy, coercion, sanctining slaying of the peasants). Martin gets off very lightly. And the whole passage strongly implies that corruption was throughly endemic within the Church, when research shows that most parishes operated normally, donations, pilgrimages and church-building continued at their former levels. Books like the Voices of Morebath show that popular involvement with the Church often decreased with the onset of the Reformation. Nor does the passage emphasize the fact that in most countries the Reformation was state-imposed, people were forced to accept the new religion, their churches, church properties and the fruits of their donations were seized and handed over to the princes, and their worship forbidden. With regard to the English reformation, things like the disembowelment of priests, the Pilgrimage of Grace, the Prayer Book rebellion, the Northern Rising and the massacres of catholics that followed haven't been mentioned. The Penal laws in Ireland are covered in six words, and there is no mention of the Massacres of Catholics in Drogheda and elsewhere. Massacres of Catholic priests and nuns in the Spanish civil war aren't in there either. For reasons of space not everything can be mentioned in detail on either side.

On the issue of repression of Protestants by Catholic rulers. This, as I said earlier, is a complex issue. You yourself partly justified Elizabeth's repressions by referring to the threat of invasion and internal rebellion. These considerations were powerful ones in the minds of rulers. It was received wisdom that no state could survive with two antagonistic faiths within it. Civil wars in germany, France and elsewhere seemed to bear this out. And so, on both sides, conformity was enforced by state power. It could be argued that Catholics suffered more from this, since in most cases their historic faith was suddenly banned and a new one imposed. Fearful of this happening to them, Catholics supported tough measures against protestants - who weren't fighting for religious toleration, but for their right to impose their religion on everyone else. The fact is that the only major state to attempt religious toleration was Catholic France. So just saying Catholics repressed Protestants does not tell the whole story.Xandar (talk) 18:47, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Xandar (talk · contribs) and NancyHeise (talk · contribs), POV issues are a lot like the lyrics to the song Let's Call the Whole Thing Off: " like tomayto and I like tomahto ...". It is often difficult to think that there is another point of view. However, I am alarmed when the other point of view is disparaged as being anti-Catholic or the opinion of disaffected Catholics. One cannot resolve POV problems simply by pointing to reliable texts. One must write the article as if looking from above ... or the other analogy of the that the article's position at any point is not discernable. If an article is 'neutral', a partisan reader will always detect undue balance but a disinterested reader will not be able to determine the 'position' of the author(s). The Wikipedia reader is a disinterested reader. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 17:57, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the Catholic Church did a lot more good than bad (and still does). I don't believe that the current mentions of persecution of Catholics needs to be removed from the article. My concern is that the article as written goes into increased detail about the sufferings of Catholics and barely mentions any suffering that Catholics inflicted, which gives the impression that the RCC has been victimized throughout history (when in fact it was one of the most powerful institutions for 1000 years). If the main concern is reasons of space, then let's just summarize the persecution of Catholics sufferings. The new English reformation paragraph could read
  • The Reformation followed a different course in England, where it began as another chapter in a long running dispute over the jurisdiction of the pope.[193] In a split from Rome, the English monarch became head of a new Church of England. Catholic churches were confiscated from 1536 until (reign of Mary I date), when Mary I ascended the throne. As part of her attempts to reunite England with the Catholic Church, she persecuted Protestants. The split became final when Elizabeth I became queen on Mary's death, and Catholic practices were eventually outlawed.
You still get the message that Catholics were persecuted and that some Protestants were persecuted, but without unnecessary details that swing it toward pro-Catholic POV. 19:16, 9 April 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Karanacs (talkcontribs) 19:17, 9 April 2008

I'm sorry Karanacs, I disagree with your proposal. I think the present wording of the article is more correct than what you are suggesting. We can't just eliminate important facts just to appear to be not - pro Catholic. I support the more correct wording even if it appears to others to be pro-Catholic (which I dont think it does - facts are facts and we just want to tell the truth) If we eliminate current wording in favor of Karanacs proposal, we lose several important wikilinks too. I suggest keeping the present form because it really is NPOV. Changing it will make it POV anti-Catholic and factually lacking. Wassupwestcoast's argument is difficult for me to comprehend when we have spent ourselves with many scholarly works that support the current content and Wassup has not offered any scholarly works to refute the present content.NancyHeise (talk) 20:21, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry, Nancy, I don't understand how this version is anti-Catholic. It contains the same information, but is summarized so it does not have the details of the persecution of Catholics. The details should go in the more detailed articles, where they can be balanced by other details (why Catholic practices were outlawed, etc). Can you please explain what you think is anti-Catholic about this passage? Karanacs (talk) 20:56, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

The problem with your version is it leaves out mention of persecution of Catholics, and many other factors. Henry just "became" head of the English Church. It sounds like a polite boardroom takeover rather than the violent ransacking it actually was. The current version doesn't go into the detail it could on this, but you have eliminated it altogether. We've already eliminated mention of Anne Boleyn, to avoid scandalizing. With your cuts this is not informative at all. Similarly Elizabeth "outlawed Catholicism," but no mention is made of persecution. It's not a reflection of what actually happened. You need balance, since, for example, you can't understand mary without realizing what she went through. She was in fear of her life. She'd seen her supporters and co-religionists tortured, disembowelled or burnt. She wanted payback on some of the people who did that. Xandar (talk) 21:08, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Along the same lines, you can't understand Elizabeth's laws without looking at what she was going through. Catholic Spain wanted to invade England to restore Catholicism and some of her own Catholic subjects launched plots to try to overthrow her. By including the information to justify Mary's actions but NOT the information to justify Elizabeth's, the article displays a pro-Catholic POV. Karanacs (talk) 21:20, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
No. All it does is present events in sequence. Your proposal, by glossing over what went on during the Reformation, (see for example Prayer Book Rebellion, dissolution of the monasteries), is actually more POV in showing only Catholics as persecutors. Xandar (talk) 21:43, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Responding to Karanacs: The present article wording does not mention justification of either Mary or Elizabeth's actions - it treats them equally - NPOV. Yet present wording does mention the major events and provides wikilinks that Karanacs version would eliminate. I think present wording is more valuable and factually accurate that what Karanacs has proposed. No offense, it is just my honest opinion. If I was a kid doing research, I am more helped by present wording with appropriate wikilinks. I am more interested in providing those facts and I dont think they make the article POV one way or the other. NancyHeise (talk) 21:48, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

I would like to elaborate further on how this article is NPOV. The facts regarding the persecutions of Catholics in England, Ireland and Wales are relevant facts that speak directly about the Catholic Church - how it was banned in those areas and people who resisted were dealt with in a particular way - persecutions. We can't eliminate those facts from the article without violating FA rules that require us to make mention of notable events. Just as the Inquisitions are mentioned and the facts relating to the persecution of heretics is provided, so we have given equal treatment to all other persecutions relevant to the Catholic Church. We cant say that an article is POV just because many instances of persecutions of Catholics are mentioned in greater number than persecutions by Catholics. The facts of history bear out the fact that is how it is. Catholics have been persecuted more often than they have persecuted - all of these events are notable and relevent to the history of the Church and have been mentioned and wikilinked in the article as such. This is not POV, this is following Wikipedia guidelines. If the article was not referenced to the top sources required by Wikipedia we could argue this but no one has offered a view of Catholic history different than what we have provided on the current page - even though I have searched for one in my diligent efforts to satisfy Karanacs.NancyHeise (talk) 22:09, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

A section on the English reformation has been summarised from a GA article and inserted here. It is NPOV and cited. Hopefully this will remove this tulmutous chapter of Church history from the POV dispute. Some of the cites are broken but a fix is in process. -- Secisek (talk) 22:32, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

While I prefer your edit, Secisek, because it was me who originally made that paragraph, I had to undo your edit because it was cited to books I had to eliminate per the second FA attempt. The books are were deemed inappropriate for FA because they were for juveniles - sorry:( NancyHeise (talk) 22:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Improved with legit citations. Feel free to contact me with any further citation or POV request in this FA attempt. Best of luck, you have all done a great job here. -- Secisek (talk) 00:14, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I like the new English reformation paragraph by Secisek. I think it provides key information and is NPOV. At least two of the citations are to scholarly works, Im not sure about the others but I'll check. NancyHeise (talk) 01:29, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I added my scholarly source to the citations in this section and expanded a bit to eliminate anti-Catholic POV that was introduced by elimination of key facts, particularly that the Marian persecutions were performed against the advice of the Church. I also added mention of the Six Articles, Henry VIII's efforts to reverse the English Reformation at the end of his life which is also notable.NancyHeise (talk) 14:39, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I am going to make mention of the fact that the Inquistions were not as bad as people have been led to believe via Protestant propaganda because this fact is mentioned in three of my best scholarly works and I think it is anti-Catholic POV to not mention this important fact.NancyHeise (talk) 14:39, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

If you do that, could you also include further statistics on exactly how bad it was (XX number of people accused, etc - whatever you can find)? Just saying "it's not as bad as you think" without giving more details on what happened is misleading, because some people might already think it wasn't that bad. Karanacs (talk) 15:05, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Done. NancyHeise (talk) 17:44, 10 April 2008 (UTC)


Because the page sees several instances of vandalism every day by anons, I would like to ask Wassupwestcoast, our local admin on the page, to please reconsider his removal of the semi-security protection of this page. We are only a couple of weeks away from resubmitting this article for FA and the vandalism is really an obstacle here. Thanks NancyHeise (talk) 22:20, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

There is nothing like a vandalism problem here. When you see vandalism, you know it. It is the sort where you do nothing but revert. The general background vandalism is about 1 in every 5 edits. I count 6 in 50 edits! Please respect the Wikipedia ethos. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 23:12, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
It does seem though that comparable major articles on Wikipedia are often semi-protected for the same reasons - that they are favoured targets for vandals. And sometimes embarrassing changes creep in unnoticed. Only a two minute look round Wikipedia shows that comparable major articles that continue Semi-protected include: Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, United States, Canada, Australia ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xandar (talkcontribs) 23:59, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I think this Roman Catholic Church article is every bit as important as the other semi-protected articles and I think it would be in Wikipedia's best interest to help us all bring this article to FA by providing the semi-protection provided to these other articles.NancyHeise (talk) 01:27, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Protection has nothing to do with 'importance'. Page protection is not a prophyletic. It is a response to persistent vandalism. There is no vandalism. Maybe Roman Catholic Church isn't a magnet for vandalism. Isn't that a good thing? Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 03:10, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Im not sure what you mean when you say there is no vandalism, it is happening several times every day ever since you removed the protection. Sometimes the vandalism has not been reversed each time and we have found it as we are going through doing legitimate edits. NancyHeise (talk) 13:53, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Lots of articles get a few instances of vandalism a day. Pages are usually not protected until it gets to the point that most of the edits to the page are vandalism, and the regular editors can't keep up. Five instances of vandalism a day is really low, especially for an article this high-profile. Karanacs (talk) 15:03, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

In the last 24 hours, out of 54 edits, three IP editors have edited. Two IP editors vandalized the page. One IP editor reverted the vandalism!!!! So we have an IP vandalism of less than 4%. This isn't too exciting. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 16:13, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I would agree it's unnecessary for now. I would however remind all the watchers of this page, especially admins with semiprotect capabilities, that the Pope will be visiting the United States next week and will likely receive extensive wall-to-wall media coverage. One may expect a spike in the activity here, for better or for worse. It may be necessary to revisit a semiprotect then. But time will tell. Just a heads up. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 16:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I've just thought of something. Perhaps some of the regular contributors on this page don't realize that there are multiple bots scouring for vandalism on Wikipedia. There is no way obscene words, nonsense or page blanking would get passed the vandal fighting bots: for example this example by User:ClueBot. Also, quite a few editors act as vandal fighters and step in when needed. You'll notice unfamiliar users on the history page who have reverted vandalism. Real vandalism won't get by. However, legit content disputes can never be considered vandalism. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:12, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate the bots and I did notice they were working - great invention. I also have appreciated the efforts of numerous editors who have been watching the page and reverting vandalism, these have been a great help. I just thought that an article like this would qualify for the kind of protection given other high profile articles, especially when we are on track towards FAC. I hope consideration of future security will be considered if the vandalism increases, especially when we are at FAC. Thanks. NancyHeise (talk) 20:43, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Ordinary Form of the Mass

The Ordinary Form of the Mass is not always said in the vulgar tongue; it may also be performed in Latin. I would advise anyone copyediting the Mass section to consult the GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) before adding misleading information. And , "No", the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, may not be performed in the vernacular. :> --Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:06, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I dont know of any church that celebrates the ordinary Mass in Latin. Can you find an example of one? If it is celebrated somewhere in Latin, perhaps it is so rare amongst the entire worldwide church that it is not notable to mention.NancyHeise (talk) 19:09, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if these are 'ordinary' masses are not but the Archdiocese of Vancouver has masses in Latin: see Masses by Language. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:17, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Those are the Extraordinary Forms. St Martin De Porres in Boulder Colorado is one that offers a Novus Ordo in Latin, There are at least 5 in the State of Michigan, several in Illinois, 4 in Washington DC, etc. I've also attended such masses in California; New York; and in Rome. The Missal itself is written in Latin. The preamble to the GIRM also states the Novus Ordo Missae may be said in Latin. I'm sure it is rare in certain dioceses, but the article as written is not accurate.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 19:52, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

The wikilink to Mass of Paul VI states that use of Latin for the ordinary form is rare. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that the ordinary form is usually celebrated in the vernacular? NancyHeise (talk) 20:26, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Much better, Nancy. However, adverbs almost never survive a copyedit before FAC. How about "Most often celebrated"?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 20:37, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
OK, I will change to "most often celebrated". Thanks. NancyHeise (talk) 20:44, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Awesome! That might be a good check to do before you submit again (eliminate all adverbs ending in "-ly")--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 21:27, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Concerns re article "creep"

I'm a little concerned at the recent article "creep", particularly in the History section. The problem with addressing concerns of people who want more detail on subjects like the Inquisition and the Reformation, is that to deal with such issues properly requires a lot more content. Some of what gets added is problematic, and needs additional material to balance or qualify it. Apart from giving undue weight to these topics, the article has now swollen from 129k to over 140k. The paragraph on Catharism and the Inquisitions was worked out and the wording balanced and negotiated over quite a long period. I'm not too happy with the much longer paragraph that has replaced it. For one thing, bringing up Philip and the Templars with regard to the Inquisition is misleading. The action against the Templars was entirely managed by Philip, who refused to permit proper church procedures in the "trials", and threatened the pope when it looked like he might pardon the survivors. While there may be an interest in countering the blatant falsehoods of the Da Vinci Code, the episode is probably wrong here. Xandar (talk) 01:22, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I think the article is clear on the fact that Philip used the inquisition brutally and that it was a secular inquisition. This was part of the Protestant propaganda, an important fact, that used both Philips inquisition and the secular Spanish inquisition to demonize the Catholic Church for centuries. Do you think we need to clarify more that these inquisitions were not Catholic Church ones?NancyHeise (talk) 14:30, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I initially did not include more detail but it is clear that there are grave misunderstandings about what the facts really are. Since these events are so serious in the history of the Catholic Church and are often misunderstood, I support the increased detail. Readable text - the real size of the article is only 66KB. Readable text is what the FAC people will look at and SandyGeorgia said that 65KB was acceptable. I dont think we should add more content but I dont think we should eliminate either. There are some particulary wordy sentences throughout the article that could use a bit of condensing. I have condensed a couple already. Also, we mention the Communion of Saints twice in beliefs - once in the section Church and again in Personal prayer and devotion. Im not sure how to address that but we could eliminate that redundancy and save a bit of space too. NancyHeise (talk) 14:25, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I addressed the double reference to communion of saints and trimmed the new content added yesterday a bit. The readable text of the article is now an acceptable 65KB.NancyHeise (talk) 15:42, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Inquisition change

I noticed this change to the article "In fact recent research has calculated that only one per cent of those convicted by Inquisition tribunals eventually received death penalties" A previous source used said that 3-4% of those convicted in the Spanish Inquision were executed. 1% may be accurate over all of the Inquisitions, but I think this will need to be made more clear, since the previous sentences detail the Spanish Inquisition. Karanacs (talk) 16:52, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with the change also, I left a note on Xandars page. The Spanish Inquisition was the worst of them all and executed many people 3-4000 per my source. I do not agree that the paragraph should have been changed to eliminate this fact. The part about Protestant propaganda per my source was that the two brutal non-church initiated or controlled inquisitions of Philip IV of France and Spanish Inquisition was used by Protestants to demonize the Catholic Church for centuries. The rewrite makes the sentence incorrect. NancyHeise (talk) 17:57, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

The original sources, one of which was Kamen, actually said that the Spanish Inquisition sentenced 3-4% of convicted people to death over its existence, (technically, released to the civil authority,) but that only half of these executions were actually carried out. I didn't quibble about the original quotation, since more qualification would only have made the article longer. The problem with setting down a figure like 3-4000 in isolation is that it has no context. Just like the headline figure of 4,00o clerics accused of sex abuse in the US, it has no context unless you add that in the 40 year period covered there were hundreds of thousands of priests and religious serving in the US. The same applies to the Inquisition figure. If you say 3-4,000 were probaby executed - when? Where? Out of how many charged or arrested? Over what period? The way it was set down, the figure is misleading. It could imply thst everyone tsken in by the inquisition was killed. In fact the 3-4,000 figure is across the Spanish Empire, and over a period of 400 years. As Kamen said, most local district courts in Europe executed far more people than the entire Spanish Inquisition over the period 1520 - 1820.
Far better to do as the sources do and say what percentage of convicted or tried people were actually killed. And we need to make this specific to the inquisition we're talking about. The Roman inquisition was far milder than the Spanish, for example. And if we're talking about the Spanish Inquisition, and giving figures, then it is important to note that most of the Inquisition killings occurred in a twenty year period when the Inquisition was run by Torquemada and it was involved in the campaign against supposed false Moorish conversos under Ferdinand and Isabella. Pope SIxtus condemned the Spanish Inquisitions procedures at this time, but was brow-beaten by Ferdinand into saying nothing more. However, once again, the problem with going into this much detail would probably further unbalance the article. So the best thing to do is to just give a percentage. If you start quoting raw figures they need to be put in context. Xandar (talk) 19:43, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

OK but the paragraph is still misleading. Based on my research and your research, we need to include certain specific facts if we want to tell an accurate story in the article. I think your recent changes have improved the paragraph but I think it is still misleading. Can we experiment with some different wordings to try to include more of the most important facts and do so in a non-wordy way? I am going to change the propaganda sentence because I still think it is misleading. I invite you to consider changes that will reflect what your research reveals in the preceeding two paragraphs. Maybe there is an easy way to provide that context you desire regarding the 3-4000 people. Karanacs specifically asked for that figure and I think it lends NPOV to include the info, I would like to make her happy here. NancyHeise (talk) 02:11, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I made a couple changes to the paragraph to try to make myself, Karanacs and Xandar happy at the same time. I am hoping that I have successfully done so - let me know if you guys have problems with the new paragraph and we'll hash out a new one! NancyHeise (talk) 02:31, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

This version is better, but I'm still not 100% with it. There's still important background missing.I will have another look at Kamen today, and possibly make a few tweaks. Xandar (talk) 10:34, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Someone has made a big addition to the Jesus section, mostly long quotes from Fulton Sheen. Deleting it all is not nice, but it does make the section too long, and most of the quotes are very "preachy". Perhaps if they were kept, but consigned to the notes section that would help. Xandar (talk) 10:34, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I got rid of it. Not only was it very POV, but it wasn't even formatted properly. Nautical Mongoose (talk) 15:52, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay. I see you've left a message on his talk page. Xandar (talk) 21:55, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I've done my revision of the Inquisition section now, with citations to Kamen's book, The Spanish Inquisition. Xandar (talk) 21:55, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I really really like the new Inquisition paragraph. This is such an important paragraph to have in this article because it is something that has been used as anti-Catholic propaganda for centuries and historians are in agreement that it has been a tool of misinformation even to the present day. If we have so many top historians in agreement on this subject, wow, wont Wikipedia be a nice tool of information now! I also agree with Nautical Mongoose's deletion of the additions made to the Jesus section that I too, thought were inappropriate. Thanks Nautical! Nice job Xandar! NancyHeise (talk) 00:04, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

More issues

Because I thought the sexual abuse paragraph needed a little more context in order to not be so anti-Catholic POV per Xandars comments above, I added info relating to the sexual abuse by teachers in public schools. The AP news article specifically compares the US public school scandals to the Roman Catholic Church. NancyHeise (talk) 03:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Also, the last paragraph on the section in community regarding Holy Orders says this:

"Preparation for ordination varies from place to place. In the United States, it requires a college degree plus another four years of full time theological study in a seminary or other approved institution. Candidates for the priesthood are also evaluated in terms of human, spiritual and pastoral formation.[119] The sacrament of Holy Orders is always conferred by a bishop through the laying-on of hands, following which the newly-ordained priest is formally clothed in his priestly vestments.[111]"

I was wondering if anyone has any more information here. Karanacs suggested we maybe expand a bit on what other countries require for priest education. I also dont know what "other approved institution" means. I thought all priests had to go to the seminary. Does anyone have a better paragraph they can put here to be a little more comprehensive (but without using too many words!). I thought the priests education was spelled out in Canon Law and was uniform throughout the world but someone edited the paragraph to make it say what it now says and it is unreferenced. We need a better paragraph with references to support content. Help! NancyHeise (talk) 03:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I know things have changed. When I was in was 4 years of college seminary and 2-3 years post-graduate. At one time the point was to put priests on par with doctors, lawyers, etc. I've been told that it has been loosened up in various dioceses, states, countries, etc. Some seminaries in the midwest are even non-accredited. It may be more of the local Ordinary than Canon Law.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 05:53, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the helpful info. I am wondering if there is some book that can give us that info that we can use as a ref. I am going to ask the local seminary if they can help me and I'll do a bit of searching for resources beyond that if needed so we can wrap up that section. Thanks. NancyHeise (talk) 17:49, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Popular lore would have the SJ as equivlent to a PhD; that is Jesuits are educated to the same level. True? I don't know. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 19:55, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

The problem is that we cant put anything in the article and list it as a fact unless we have a reliable source. I havnt gone to the seminary yet but there must be some reliable sources that will help us put the proper information into this article. It may take me a few days. Maybe some other nice editor, maybe a seminarian can help us out here if they see our perusings on the page - it would be appreciated! NancyHeise (talk) 20:49, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't know that it is necessary to go into this kind of detail here. The article could just say that there are standards for becoming a priest that vary by region and then stop. My issue was that it discussed the US standards without discussing anything else. If we remove the US stuff that would solve the problem. The article on priests could then go into further detail. Karanacs (talk) 20:57, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

While I may resort to that if I can not find information in an acceptable source, I would like the article to be informative to a degree on that issue and be able to make a statement on the requirements for priests education if we can. One of the reforms of the Council of Trent was regarding education for priests so we should have something - I think - in the article that establishes the Catholic Church requirements - even if it is to the bishops discretion up to a point which I think it is. Let me try to find more info. NancyHeise (talk) 21:32, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

The McBrien reference contains information regarding seminary requirements made during the Council of Trent and V2. Despite his personal views which I do not agree with, his book is accurate.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 05:20, 17 April 2008 (UTC)


From ref 205 to ref 211, there are page problems (spacing, p. that should be pp., and abbreviations). Randomblue (talk) 05:44, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I took care of the p - pp part and maybe some spacing but Im not sure what needs to be abbreviated.NancyHeise (talk) 17:53, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

For example, pp. 225–226 -> pp. 225-6 Randomblue (talk) 04:58, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I missed those completely. I have made the corrections now. Good eye! NancyHeise (talk) 22:35, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

3 disambig

death on the cross
death and resurrection
Randomblue (talk) 00:06, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Recent edits... Community and Catholic Church

An anonymous editor has made some big changes, reorganising the Community section an adding new material. It isn't vandalism, and I can't argue with the validity of the changes, but they do lengthen the article and some of the material is a little too detailed IMO. Rarranging the article without consultation is also problematic in that it is being groomed for FA submission. Both matters again raise the issue of semi-protection for the article, which would have the benefit of making editors contactable for the purpose of discussion. Xandar (talk) 21:34, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

A second point is the first sentence of the article. Multiple editors have altered it, mainly because the current format is considered misleading by many Catholics. This is always going to be a bone of contention, and it will produce constant "edit wars" for as long as the present construction is stuck to. The phrase as it has been preserved in recent edits reads: "The Roman Catholic Church, often referred to as the Catholic Church..." The most recent edit has put: "The Catholic Church, often referred to by protestants as the Roman Catholic Church..." The problem here is that what has become the current construction implies (wrongly) that the official name of the Church is the Roman Catholic Church, and Catholic Church is an unofficial term. Assuming that the article title remains Roman Catholic Church, the first sentence still needs changing in order to be less misleading, and even offensive to some Catholics. I would suggest something like: "The Roman Catholic Church, more officially termed the Catholic Church..." Xandar (talk) 21:34, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

How about "The Roman Catholic Church, officially known as the Catholic Church.... Since the Catholic Church calls itself the Catholic Church and I dont know of any other church that calls itself the Catholic Church or is recognized internationally as THE Catholic Church? NancyHeise (talk) 00:19, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

While well intentioned, I think that would raise yet another bone of contention, as there is in fact another church that calls itself Catholic (the Old Catholic Church) and another that claims to have never really seperated (the Church of England), and then there's the case of the Eastern Orthodox. Also, I don't recall if the church's official documents actually refer to itself specifically as "The Catholic Church". Nautical Mongoose (talk) 01:35, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
The point is that the Anglican Church does not officially term itself the Catholic Church and neither does the Orthodox Church, while the (roman) Catholic Church does do just that, and has done so from earliest times. The term Roman Catholic Church is largely a construct of the reformation period, when other groups wanted to claim "catholicism". The "Old Catholic Church" is known as just that - although it is not very old. While "Roman Catholic Church" may be acceptable for an article title to avoid confusion. It also needs to be stated at the beginning that the Church terms itself the "Catholic Church"

See for example: Xandar (talk) 22:50, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Xandar is correct. The Roman Catholic Church is the only one that officially calls itself the Catholic Church. I think this is evident from the title of the book "The Catechism of the Catholic Church" which is conspicuously not entitled "The Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church". I think that the page should have been renamed Catholic Church and the first sentence gone the other way around saying "The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church...". That would be more correct really and is not POV since there are no other churches that call itself the Catholic Church. NancyHeise (talk) 23:59, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

The Orthodox claims to be the Catholic Church: "The Orthodox Church is the Catholic Church." [17] Elijah1979 (talk) 06:48, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Look back through the archives, the current wording was arrived at after long discussions, to try and reflect all points of view. Apart from anything else, there are many official documents where the church does use the term Roman Catholic Church of itself, eg ARCIC, several dioceses in England and Wales use the term on their websites and so on. David Underdown (talk) 15:25, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Just because there was some long discussion a long time ago does not resolve this violation. Perhaps the former parties in the discussion were tired of debating, or gave in to easily. Fact of the matter if, having "Catholic Church" redirect to the "Roman Catholic Church" does indeed represent a point of view. If someone types in "America" what country do you think they are looking for? The USA probably. But there are other countries in the Americas, thus it points to a page structured similar to the "Catholic Church (disambiguation)" page showing everything someone might be looking for. I can find you dozens of precedents like this on Wikipedia. For some reason, though, some people on here feel sooo strongly that "Catholic Church" should point to "Roman Catholic Church." Is that not clear bias and "undue weight" given towards one opinion?? Elijah1979 (talk) 16:41, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I had meant to say the current "imperfect" solution. I'm an Anglican, so I have views of my own on how appropriate it is for one group to appropriate the label catholic, but please do look through the archives to see if you can actually bring anything new to the table, rather than rehashing arguments that have been had before. David Underdown (talk) 16:47, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Just as America points to a broader page, rather then the USA, and just like Orthodox Church points to something broader than the Eastern Orthodox Church, so too Catholic Church should follow this precedent. Until you all back up your personal interpretation with Wikipedia precedence as I have, your argument has no weight. Elijah1979 (talk) 03:37, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Stop making controversial changes. The redirect from CC to here is part of a compromise worked out over two extensive discussions spanning *months*. If you remove this part of it, then the rest will be upset. As for your example of America, that's irrelevant. "Catholic Church" is a name actually used by an organisation; when people type "Catholic Church" into the search box, it's more likely than not they are looking for information on that organisation. A redirect is an aid for searching, not a theological claim. The situation here is more parallel to that at Apostolic Church and United States. Or are you going to claim that the article on a church using the name "Apostolic Church" should only be accessible through a disambiguation page, since other churches claim to be "apostolic"? Please read extensive discussions on this point. Gimmetrow 04:23, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Rediret Change

Reasons for Redirecting Catholic Church to the Catholic Church (disambiguation) page:

1) The very fact that there is a Catholic Church (disambiguation) page

2) The Eastern Orthodox make the exact same claim to be exclusively the Catholic Church in the same way the Roman Catholics do. Hence we must abide by WP:NPOV which states, "The policy requires that, where multiple or conflicting perspectives exist within a topic, these should each be presented fairly. None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being judged as ‘the truth’, in order that the various significant published viewpoints are made accessible to the reader, not just the most popular one."a

For the resons stated above, "Catholic Church" is the official name of this organisation, not of any other body, although many may claim to hold the nature of "catholicity". The redirect is valid for that reason. More than 99% of people typing in "Catholic Church" will be looking for this page not any other. Xandar (talk) 22:53, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

The Orthodox also claims to be the "Catholic Church": "The Orthodox Church is the Catholic Church." [18] Elijah1979 (talk) 06:50, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia works on consensus and I think it is clear from a broad swath of editors both Catholic and not that it is appropriate to have the redirect for Catholic Church go to this page. We are not making a theological statement but trying to make Wikipedia useful to users - which means we are being reasonable in making these kinds of decisions. It is unreasonable to think that most users typing in Catholic Church are seeking some other church since English speaking people commonly refer to the Catholic Church as the Catholic Church and no other English speaking church calls itself the Catholic Church - officially. They may claim to be catholic but they are not calling themselves the Catholic Church. NancyHeise (talk) 20:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


This section has had some anonymous additions and reorganization. The reorganization separates the individual parts of the laity which are technically correct. It is inconsistent with the treatment we have given to the Holy Orders section which lumps all the different levels of holy orders together. Does anyone have an opinion on which type of organization they prefer? We need to be consistent so if we want to separate the laity we should do the same to Holy orders. I liked it better lumped since this article is supposed to be more of a summary with wikilinks to direct the reader to more detailed pages. I think the new separation of the Laity section violates this plan but thats just me. I would like to know what you all think. NancyHeise (talk) 00:09, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

The two styles do jar. I'm not sure which i prefer. The subheadings are clearer, but they make the index longer Xandar (talk) 16:53, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

FAC will require us to have a more concise system so I think we may end up going with the previous style but lets see what others think first. NancyHeise (talk) 20:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

ref + comma problems

ref 128 has a problem

"on abortion, contraception and euthanasia." but "the poor, families, the elderly, and the sick." Randomblue (talk) 09:31, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

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