Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori’s three column mea culpa in Sunday’s Sun forces me to critically respond (“Baltimore archbishop outlines path toward reform and renewal in the Catholic Church,” Nov 9).
First, it is obvious that the “priests are representatives of God on Earth” no longer has any meaning. Two, the scandals have opened the doors to the historic and theological analyses of Christian teachings and dogmas. I started opening these doors some years ago after my wife and I, a 60 year-old, red-neck Catholic at the time, went to a bible study class at our parish. During our discussions, studies by contemporary New Testament scholars were noted. I purchased their books and found their conclusions were based on rigorous historic testing — number of attestations, time of publication, education and living conditions in the first to third centuries and archaeological evidence — of all the passages of the New Testament. My take on these studies is summarized below:
There was a first century CE, Jewish, simple, preacher-man named Jesus who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.) Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate. He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies a-moldering in the ground somewhere outside of Jerusalem.
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by many semi-fiction writers i.e. Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John and was promulgated to compete with the Caesar myths.
Said stories were so popular that they grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals called the Eucharist sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
To say the least, I am no longer a believer in any form of Christianity or for that matter any other religion as all religions fail rigorous historic testing.
B. H. Meyer, Elkridge