Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/23/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

That leads me to the second part of my title for this article, Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ. Phil Robertson was quoting the same Bible which Bill O'Reilly hears at Mass - and is supposed to be very familiar with. It appears that Bill O'Reilly was simply ignorant of scripture

As the debate continues over the A&E networks' punitive decision to suspend Phil Robertson indefinitely, because he openly professed his evangelical protestant faith in a magazine interview, I want to focus for a moment on a problem in my own Church - and among some of my fellow Catholics. I will use an example from a recent interview which Fox News mega personality Bill O'Reilly had with radio personality Laura Ingraham on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

Fox News mega personality Bill O'Reilly interviewing radio personality Laura Ingraham

Fox News mega personality Bill O'Reilly interviewing radio personality Laura Ingraham

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/23/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty, Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Duck Dynasty, GLAAD, St Paul Corinthians, Arts and Entertainment network, A%E Network, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Lest I be accused of being 'judgmental' or 'intolerant' by the words I used in the last part of my title of this article, I will begin with proper attribution. "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ" was a phrase written by a fifth century monk and bible scholar, a man acknowledged as a Saint in the Catholic Church, St. Jerome.

In fact, the phrase has become one of the favorite quotes used by the Catholic Church in her continual efforts to encourage the Catholic faithful to not only listen to the Bible at Sunday Mass - but to read, pray with it and come to know the written Word of God, in order to be changed in the encounter with the Living Word to whom it points, Jesus Christ .

For example, in Article III of the Catholic Catechism, entitled "Sacred Scripture" the famous saying of St Jerome is quoted: The Church forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.(CCC#133) " The footnote in the text references St Jerome, as well as the beautiful document of the Second Vatican Council on the Scripture as the Word of God (Dei Verbum).

I think the United States could benefit from the kind of debate which the Duck Dynasty controversy has prompted, if it leads us all to a serious soul searching. The issues raised by the incident have deep importance for our future as a free people. I weighed in on it the day the news broke. You can read my thoughts here. Duck Dynasty and the GQ Interview of Phil Robertson: Rejecting Political Correctness.

However, as the debate continues over the A&E networks' punitive decision to suspend Phil Robertson indefinitely, because he openly professed his evangelical protestant faith in a magazine interview, I want to focus for a moment on a problem in my own Church - and among some of my fellow Catholics. I will use an example from a recent interview which Fox News mega personality Bill O'Reilly had with radio personality Laura Ingraham on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

Both of them are Catholics. In discussing the most quoted portion of the GQ interview, the part which caused offense to some homosexual activists, Phil Robertson used these words: Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won't inherit the kingdom of God.

In his comments, Bill O'Reilly paraphrased the words of Jesus, taken from the Gospel of Luke judge not lest you be judged. (Luke 6:37) He then "opined" - as he says - and offered his thoughts on the controversy. He made that facial expression which he often demonstrates when, to use an old expression, he feels "sure of himself".

He insisted that when Phil Robertson made the comment concerning the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers... he was violating the Bibles admonition against judgment. You could tell by the expression on his face that he thought he was being profound.

Laura Ingraham seemed a bit taken aback. Obviously she knows the Bible better than Bill O'Reilly does. She tried to steer the interview toward a critique of the intolerance which so often masquerades as tolerance these days. Her comments were truly insightful. However, Bill O'Reilly kept coming back, apparently thinking his own insight was much more important than hers.

It was an awkward moment. Laura Ingraham attempted to spare Bill embarrassment by saying something like, I think Phil was quoting Corinthians Bill. In other words, she tried to give Bill a clue, that Phil Robertson was quoting the Bible! However, Bill O'Reilly did not hear her. He was so enamored with his own take on the matter that he seemed to pay no attention.

Watching the awkward interplay between the two, I came to the conclusion that Bill O'Reilly simply did not realize that the words quoted by Phil Robertson were actually in the Bible - and not made up by Phil Robertson. So, in effect, Bill O'Reilly and A&E Network simply do not like St. Paul's words to the Christians in Corinth. They do not like what the Bible says.

That leads me to the second part of my title for this article, Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ. Phil Robertson was quoting the same Bible which Bill O'Reilly hears at Mass - and is supposed to be very familiar with. It appears that Bill O'Reilly was simply ignorant of scripture.

In the GQ interview which O'Reilly was purporting to discuss with Laura Ingraham, Phil Robertson continued his conversation with the interviewer: If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead-yours and mine and everybody else's problems will be solved. And the next time we see you, we will say: 'You are now a brother. Our brother.' So then we look at you totally different then."

The interviewer made this observation: Despite his beliefs, the 67-year-old says he doesn't judge others. "We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job," Robertson told GQ. "We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus - whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort 'em out later." Thus, O'Reilly was not only misguided in his analysis of the words which Robertson used, he was wrong in his claim that Phil Robertson was deciding anyone's eternal destiny.

I love being a Catholic Christian. I am what is often called a revert - a person who came back to the Catholic Church. I can relate to some of what Phil Robertson so freely shares about his own Christian conversion. I followed a wayward path, wandering away from that the faith as a younger man. My journey back to placing my faith in Jesus Christ led me home to the Catholic Church into which I had been baptized as a child.

That journey home came, in part, by my falling in love with the Bible. My hunger to understand it more fully led me to a discovery of the early Fathers of the Church. Over time, I questioned my way back into the Church of my childhood. I have since spent years in theological study but I embrace what the Catechism also affirms in the same passage I quoted above:

Such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life." Hence "access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful." Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. The ministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture." (CCC#131,132)

In the whole Catholic Church we are now committed to what Blessed John Paul II called the New Evangelization. The phrase refers to the need to work with Catholics in the pews, helping them to grow in their faith. To fall in love with the Lord Jesus Christ by encountering Him in prayer, receive  His grace in the Sacraments and, yes, hear His word as it comes to us in the Bible.

That requires noting something of real importance, too many Catholics are unfamiliar with the Bible. The Catholic Church is dedicated, as a vital part of helping them become well informed in their faith, to helping them develop a familiarity with the Bible, the kind of knowledge which comes by more than simply hearing it at Mass on Sunday.

I conclude with a quote from that Bible, the Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version. They are words written by the Apostle Paul. I offer them to my fellow Catholic Bill O'Reilly, just in case he reads this article:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. (1 Cor. 6: 9-11, 18)

Phil Robertson should not have been suspended by the A&E Network for being a Christian who knows the Bible, believes in it - and is willing and able to actually quote it in a freewheeling magazine interview. He should be affirmed for doing so by all who share the name Christian along with him, no matter which Christian tradition or Church within which they live out that relationship with the Lord. That includes Catholics, like me - and yes, Bill O'Reilly. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

A political warning against high taxes: Northest losses 40% of its House seats Watch

Image of High taxes have dropped the population of 11 Northeastern states dramatically, cutting their number of seats in the House of Representatives by 40% since 1950.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Census Bureau has reported that the Northeast is losing power in the U.S. as many citizens leave the high-tax region, heading south or west to states with lesser tax burdens. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Population growth has shifted, primarily to the ... continue reading


Is Ebola here to stay? Second patient being monitored for Ebola in Dallas Watch

Image of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed earlier this week that a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas was the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S. with the Ebola virus.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A second person who had been in close contact with a person infected with Ebola is now being closely monitored in Dallas. Health officials here are treating the situation here with great seriousness, as this is the first example of an Ebola-infected person ... continue reading


How Can We Overcome Fear? Watch

Image of Perhaps we are no longer as crippled by our fears as we were when we were younger, but they still lurk in the background, robbing our freedom and preventing our human flourishing. They harm our relationships and can impede our growth.We can be set free!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Unable to overcome fear by our own effort, we are often overcome by it. Though we may develop coping mechanisms over time, or learn to hide the interior reactions caused by fear, inside, it can paralyze us and impede us from living our lives to the full. The ... continue reading


'Political correctness' could have cost lives in White House Security breach Watch

Image of It was later revealed that the fence-jumper made it all the way to the East Room of the White House, on the second floor.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Political correctness" is a hot-button term that has come to mean irrelevance as applied to any given situation. According to Representative Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, "political correctness" ... continue reading


Watch out Saudi Arabia! U.S. oil production expected to rapidly increase Watch

Image of A Saudi Arabian oil refinery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The International Energy Agency says that U.S. production of petroleum is set to exceed that of Saudi Arabia's for the first time since 1991. A growing sign of the future of the American energy sector. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The production of oil and ... continue reading


Latinos run from Obama en mass after president punts immigration reform Watch

Image of Latino activists have turned their back on President Obama after he dropped immigration reform until the midterm election.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama has bowed to worried Senate Democrats, delaying executive actions on immigration until after the midterm elections, fearing that using executive actions would make immigration reform a partisan issue which would hurt Democrats. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


As thousands of illegals enter U.S., who's stuck with the education bill? Watch

Image of Tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have flooded into the U.S. during 2014 alone, mostly from South America. While they await immigration trials, schools are responsible for teaching them.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The large numbers of unaccompanied minors who have been illegally crossing into the U.S. from Mexico in ever greater numbers have caused American schools to scramble in an attempt to provide services. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The children and teens who ... continue reading


St. Michael the Archangel, Defend Us in Battle: Pope Francis Takes on the Devil Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Now the new People of God is the Church. That is the reason she considers him her protector and support in all her struggles for the defense and expansion of the kingdom of God on earth. It is true that "the powers of death shall not prevail", as the Lord assured ... continue reading


Need milk? Eggs or flower? The Post Office may have you covered Watch

Image of Amazon partnered with the USPS to provide daily grocery deliveries to people in the San Francisco Bay area, a program the USPS wants to extend to the rest of the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Postal Service has revealed a new plan to reverse its six-year streak of billion-dollar losses, which is as ingenious as it is simple. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The USPS wants to deliver your groceries to you, and the agency sent this proposal to ... continue reading


Where the buffalo roam... Native Americans plan return of free range Bison on the American Great Plains Watch

Image of Bison calves are playful and eager to roam free.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Buffalo are part of the American west. Across the vast prairies of the Great Plains, herds grazed and migrated, crisscrossing the open grasslands in great, thundering tides. Each year, some of these buffalo were hunted by Native Americans who used everything, from ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 1st, 2014 Image

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter