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Bloodlines: The Legacy of CharlemagneA Crusader Kings II After-Action Report
The House of Karling
In the year 768, a man named Charles (or Karl) became King of the Franks and though he did not know it at the time, he would be remembered for centuries to come as the father of Europe. Charles would go on to conquer an Empire spanning all of France, western Germany, and most of Italy. Charles would go down as Charles the Great or Charlemagne and his descendants would rule Europe for centuries. Though over time the realms of Charlemagne were taken over by other cadet branches and dynasties such as the Capets and the Ottovian Emperors. By the year 1066, the House of Karling was nearly extinct. The only direct male heir of Charlemagne left was Count Herbert of Vermandois along with his unlanded brothers and son. The last remaining son of the Father of Europe.
The 11th Century: The End of an Age
Europe c. 26th of December, 1066
Europe by the later half of the 11th century was seeing large shifts that would go on to define its history. The Age of the Vikings had come to an end when King Harold Godwinson of England defeated the Norwegian invaders in the Battle of Stamford Bridge earlier this year. William the Conqueror and his Norman armies successfully invaded England and established their rule which would mark the start of the transition from the germanic Anglo-Saxon language and culture to a more Norman French English culture. Iberia is in the midst of the reconquista which can decide the religious fate of the peninsula. The Eastern Roman Empire is facing an invasion by the Seljuk Turks who rule over Persia which can possibly mark the beginning of their long decline should the Turks succeed. Europe is about to find itself in the midst of the investiture crisis where rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor will challenge how much power the Papacy actually has as many rulers will decide that secular rulers should be able to appoint bishops instead of the Pope. Meanwhile as the Muslims advance on the Christian Byzantines, and Eastern Orthodoxy expands into the western Eurasian Steppe with Kievan Rus, the Papacy will begin to feel especially threatened. This feeling could culminate by the end of the century into drastic matters to expand Catholicism's reach and influence by force even. Lastly France is finding itself in a rough position. King Philippe and his younger brother Hughes are the last of the Capet rulers, both being children. France is a powerful kingdom indeed but the Holy Roman Emperor to their east is vastly superior in strength and numbers. France could very well see its territory begin to shrink away over the course of the next several years from German invasions. And in the midst of all of this is a 34 year old Count looking to carve out his own place in what is becoming an increasingly chaotic time.
Count Herbert of Vermandois
1st of January, 1067
A big day for my family indeed. My brother Eudes married today in Florence. Duchess Matilda of Tuscany, 20 year old Italian woman, incredibly patient and hard working woman. She certainly takes her role as a ruler of one of the largest holdings in the Holy Roman Empire very seriously. Honestly, she is an ill fit for my brother. Always jealous of my privilege of being the first born, preferring to hide away from his duties and stuff his face with expensive roasts on my coin. Honestly to be rid of him all the way here is a blessing. Adele and I attended the wedding of course and gave the honorable Duchess a gift. Considering my family's lands are limited to a simple county in northern France, having a Karling rule over most of Italy will hopefully bring back some honor to our family name.
11th of January, 1067
Apparently there has been a request delivered to me. A nun who has earned the name Melisende the Holy from Laon has earned quite the reputation as a healer caring for Lepers. Apparently the Leper Colony where she works as well as her convent has run into financial issues. The letter was asking for me to offer some coin in donation to the convent in exchange she had offered her services as a healer and practitioner of medicine to my court. Truly a remarkable woman based on the recommendation. I speak with my steward to make the arrangements. It’d be nice to have a court physician to look after me and my family.
23rd of January, 1067
There was an emergency meeting of the Regency Council called in Paris. It seems a declaration of war was sent to us by Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich IV as he planned to invade France to seize the county of Zeeland. Of course the council knew that this was more of a show of force against the Kingdom, an attempt to seize some glory. The council began making decisions on how to move the French armies in preparation for the war. The Emperor has access to a much larger army, though they are more spread out. If we raise our levies and mass them to attack then perhaps France can edge out a victory.
2nd of December, 1067
It seems the war is going ever poorly in the south. The French armies have been crushed and defeated by the Germans at every turn. As the chaos consumes the south it becomes apparent that King Philippe will turn 16 in a month, thus ending the regency. Most suspect my father-in-law Count Raoul of Amiens will be named Duke of Picardie for his efforts leading and commanding the armies during the war. If that is the case I will be made his vassal and lose my place on the Royal Council. Before I can let this happen I need to make a strike to carve out my own base of power. I’ve raised my levies and sent out letters to my allies the Dukes of Aquitaine and Burgundy to join me in a war against Duke Thibault of Champagne. Hopefully by right of conquest I can take a large section of his lands for myself. Of course waging such a war will certainly hurt my image across the Kingdom but it is necessary.
The Lords of France c.1067
Duke Herbert of Picardie
30th of January, 1068
In a move that surprised even me, King Philippe, now an adult and legally king by all rights, decided to name me Duke of Picarde. Though my Father-in-Law does own more land he was recently captured after another failed battle in Provence. Philippe seemed furious with him and blamed him for the disastrous war based on the letter I received. Adele seemed hurt by the scornful words the King had for her father. But I was not one to turn down such an honor. Of course my prestigious lineage certainly helped with the decision. Either way I now have to hope my allies will pull through for me and help secure this war. I suspect there will be a serious issue with Adeles brother once he becomes count. Likely he will try and take the Duchy for himself in a sort of rebellion in the future. But for now I can’t worry about potential future enemies.
2nd of June, 1068
I watched from a nearby hill in Guise as my army returned with almost 4000 more men lent from my allies. The banners of Burgundy and Aquitaine flew with mine as they braved the ford of the river and made their way across to attack the armies of Champagne. We pushed hard though I watched as our right flank completely fell apart and collapsed yet our men rushed through. Bodies and blood filled the riverbank. We outnumbered them two to one, and though we may have lost more men they were routed. Unfortunately as the battle cleared I saw what was a monsterous cloud up ahead. The German armies marched across and abushing us. There was nowhere to run.
17th of July, 1068
I tried to flee with my family and my army however the Germans were everywhere. They ravaged my army and my allies. They crushed our forces, burned several homes and buildings until finally they cornered me with my guards. I surrendered myself as long as they allowed my family to go. It seems I’ve now fallen victim to this war with the Germans.
4th of August, 1068
Seems the war is over, King Philippe has lost and Zeeland was handed over. Of course I am still rotting in a prison awaiting for my ransom to be paid. I’m sure Adele is scurrying to get her hands on the money. What’s more with me in here, it is up to my commanders to win the war against Champagne. At least I needn’t fear any more German intervention.
27th of December, 1068
Spending Christmas in a damp freezing cold German dungeon. I shivered against the bed before rolling over and vomiting on the floor. My throat burned and ached as I felt sweat dripping off of me despite the cold. I knew I’d fallen ill, of course the guards refused to listen to me as I begged for a bucket. How undignified.
7th of June, 1069
Nice, lovely, I find myself curling with the flu feeling miserable as I’m constantly entering coughing fits barely able to stomach what little slop they offer me. A young man entered as I could barely make out his voice. He was meek and thin “E-excuse me. Erm. Darf ich mit dem Herzog sprechen? Ich habe wichtige erm da neuigkeiten von seiner familie.” he began speaking in what even I could tell was broken german. The guards allowed him to pass. “What did you say?” I asked in a nasally voice “I heard something about family?” “Uh yes sire. Your wife Duchess Adele and your brother Regent Pierre sent me to inform you that the ransom should be paid in about 8 to 9 months.” I instantly turned to him as I strained my voice as best I could muster “8 to 9 months? What the hell is wrong with you!” “Now now my liege. Please I can tell you need to reserve your strength. I also come bearing good news. It seems your army's erm defeated the Duke of Champagne. You are now the Count of Brie and Baron of Provins. So there is that at least.” I tossed my head back against the wall “I suppose that is good news. Thank you messenger. Please allow my family to properly compensate you.” “Ah thank you my liege.” he said, giving a bow as he backed out of the prison cell.
27th of June, 1069
Seems my family came through for me after all. Not long after that messenger left I was given another message that my ransom had been paid. Thank the lord almighty. I mounted a carriage to wheel me back home to Vermandois so I can see my wife and son again. It’ll be nice to be back home after spending half a year locked away.
1st of July, 1069
Having only just returned I’m already being thrusted with news of what has happened since my absence. It seems the King just recently called to raise levies for another war. This time he is launching a war against the infidel rulers of Mallorca. I’ve heard the Iberians to the south have been waging thier wars defending their lands against the infidel muhammadens. By taking Mallorca we will break their hold on Mediterranean trade and be able to aid our fellow Christians in their holy war. I recall the tales my father would tell of our ancestor who led the Battle of Tours stopping the infidels from invading the Kingdom of the Franks. I certainly gave my approval for the war, may God bless King Philippe and France. It seems he is shaping up to be a great King after all.
16th of July, 1069
A messenger arrived in the court today bursting into the room to give me some announcement just as the physician was placing the organs of a still twitching frog corpse over my chest. She promised me that it would help cure me of the flu which I contracted in that German prison. I looked over to the door as they swung open “Duke Herberrrrt, erm.” “By the Lord's name boy, do you not know how to knock? What is it?” I asked despite my throat being still raw and sore from dry heaving earlier. “Yes, well,I come bearing a message from his majesty King Philippe, it seems he wishes to appoint you onto his advisory council as the Royal Marshal.” “during a time of war? Joyous me. Well I’m a tad busy at the moment.” “So should I tell his majesty that you have declined his offer?” “No no, I accept. Just that he'll have to accept that I won’t be at my best.” “As you wish” he gave a bow as he left the room. “Now on with the treatment Melisende”
30th of July, 1069
Today was a momentous occasion. The journey to Paris in my sickly disposition has not been enjoyable though I managed to arrive at his majesty's castle where his coronation ceremony took place. It was a small celebration as I met with the other advisors, and the ceremony was brief. The Bishop crowned him King of France as all joined in a polite applause.
28th of February, 1070
I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Full strength, able to actively partake in governance and more importantly be able to uphold my family. Adele has been working to create a more secure spy network here to protect against any intrigue. I’ve made plenty of enemies after all. What’s more is Adele announced that she is pregnant with our child. It’s been 8 years since our daughter was born and honestly I’d forgotten the nerves of pregnancy. After all it is such a dangerous and vulnerable time for her.
20th of March, 1070
Seems that Englands been dragged into another war. Duke William of Normandy, who became King of England a little over 3 years ago, decided to declare a war against his rightful liege, King Philippe. Apparently William and Philippe disagreed over the management of the County of Vexin. My Father-in-Law, Raoul, was the rightful count but he is my vassal. Philippe agreed with me, yet William wants to bring his armies down to France anyways. Just because he was King of England he believes he can do as he pleases like a spoiled child.
6th of September, 1070
Today was the day. I rushed down as soon as I heard through the halls until I heard the screams. As I approached the door I stood outside impatiently for what felt like eternity before finally one of the midwives came out of the room after I had heard some crying from inside “Master, the Duchess is ready to let you in” as I came into the room there Adele laid holding our baby. As I approached I looked over running a finger along its cheek. “It is a girl.” I smiled “How does Marguerite sound?” “It sounds beautiful,” Adele replied “Marguerite.”
23rd of April, 1072
“I take back every kind word I’d given about that boy, he is a coward!” I shouted “Sire…” the messenger meekly spoke up “We are talking about our King.” “Yes yes, a cowardly King too incapable of fending off a few dozen infidels on some islands, and a King who thinks his glory beyond our borders is worth more than his own people!” “Yes sire…” he agreed quietly “I mean, those English bastards just ravaged my countryside, attacked my people! He is supposed to protect me and my lands, yet he prances about never putting up a fight and surrenders MY land to that Norman barbarian?!” “I have no idea why he’d do such a thing, sire…” “Paris is burning as Mahomedans ravage the land, pillaging and raping French subjects. Coward! Coward I say!” “Well sire why didn’t you raise your levies to..” I turned to him and my glare must have made him fear the face of god as I’d never seen a grown man gulp and shiver like that. I approached slowly holding out my finger as I explained the simplicity of this premise to him “At best I can muster maybe what? Two thousand men? More likely less. The English have five! It’d be a slaughter! No. William is his subject, England is a foreign crown. It is the Kings job to protect his lands and his people from foreign enemies. But clearly he cannot even do that.” I shook my head trembling in anger. “Anyways, I’m sorry. What did you come in here for?” The servant was still trembling though he was more afraid, maybe thought I was to order his hanging at any moment. “Er would you like pressed duck or roasted pork tonight sire…” “Oh I’ll have roasted pork if you would.” “Right away sire..” he said as he scrambled out of the room.
28th of June, 1072
After weeks of fever and general fatigue my court physician has diagnosed me with having the Great Pox. Wherever I contracted such a filth I’ve no idea though these lesions that have formed strike fear right into my soul. She’s recommended a treatment of bloodletting to help my humors balance. “This disease will plague you for the rest of your life. Though by balancing your humors we can perhaps make the symptoms more tolerable.” “Do as you must”.
11th of May, 1073
I swear I saw them, the shadows speaking to me. I am starting to hear voices. I think that my castle is haunted. I remember hearing a tale about an old lord in this castle who fell down the stairs running after his grandchildren. I remember now, it was a raspy voice, hollow inside. No what am I saying, there is no such thing as spirits. It must be the whispers of my enemies, plotting to blow me into the sky with manure or conjuring a comet to strike my bed in my sleep. I’ll show them. I’ll see their plots a league ahead of time. Leagues are a measure of distance not time. Silly me.
6th of August, 1073
I was hiding in the bedroom, I didn’t want to be seen. That's when I saw her sleeping there, oh my sweet Adele. As I approached though I saw it. The shadows had gotten to her. She was in the bed blood pooled in her pillow and around her lips. She was so pale, so cold. I wanted to be closer with her. I kissed her blood soaked lips, they were so cold. “I’m sorry my sweet Adele. I didn’t protect you. The shadows caught you. My dear, my love.” I could barely make it all out as my tears dripped onto her flesh. To be taken so young.
15th of April, 1074
Some Occitan named Gui has gathered up an army down south. Has quite a bit of support from the local populations. Wants to ‘liberate’ the Kingdom of Aquitaine. Such chaos, I bet King Philippe will fail in defeating this uprising. If France loses Aquitaine, the Kingdom will fall apart. I miss Adele. I wish I lived in brighter days. King Philippe has brought his armies back from Mallorca but the war isn’t over. France is so weak and divided. Truly this is the end of a great people.
10th of February, 1075
I was told by my brother that I should remarry. I can’t ‘be upset and hung up on it forever’. Apparently producing more children is of the utmost importance to the realm. He found this Iberian woman, a daughter of a count I think he said. Her name was Dordia and her family was wealthy enough they offered a dowry to help pay for several new buildings and guild halls in Guise. I couldn’t refuse, and I mean it. Today she arrived and we had our wedding. She was beautiful, a bit promiscuous throughout our meeting. I don’t dislike her, though I can’t help but miss my Adele.
9th of January, 1076
My boy Eudes is really growing up. Today is the day of his wedding to Aines de Poitou, the daughter of the Duke of Aquitaine. An important alliance to be sure, her father is probably the single most powerful man in France aside from the King. The ceremony was beautiful as I sat next to my wife Dordia, who was showing her belly from pregnancy. I wish Adele could have been here to see our son wed his wife. But alas, this is how it is. I feel more alone now than ever.
22nd of May, 1076
It’s been easier to throw myself into my work. King Philippe appointed me as his new Chancellor. After Adele's death I resigned as his Royal Marshal but now I am ready for court work and politics. Though it seems Philippe has earned the ire of many others. His failures with Mallorca and the growing rebellion in Aquitaine has left most French nobility dissatisfied with the King. He’s even managed to offend his holiness, Pope Alexander II who excommunicated King Philippe a few years ago. I returned today to Vermandois as Dordia should be giving birth any time now. Though when I arrived I found a letter had arrived a few days prior bearing the Papal Seal. As I sat in my study opening the letter reading it over I realized it was directly signed by Pope Alexander II himself. In it he spoke of the sinfulness of King Philippe and his failures in fighting the Muslims and defending his lands. He specifically recounted my lineage “You are the sole male heir of Charlemagne, as such you are the rightful King of France.” he gave me his blessing and promised to back my ‘divine right’ to rule this Kingdom. I collapsed into my seat, this was an important decision. Do I betray Philippe? Conspire with the French nobility to overthrow him? If I have the Popes backing my right is just. Of course should I fail, then this will horribly backfire. I will accept the Popes offer though I will keep this secret. I will draft him a letter accepting his offer and go from there. Perhaps I should resign as his chancellor?
24th of June, 1076
I’ve officially resigned as Chancellor and begun gathering support among the French nobility for my claim to the throne. I need some major funds if I want to be able to support a war but luckily these failed wars of Philippes have worn his army down. Today though, no more plots, no more politics, only joy as I entered the room to see Dordia holding my second son. We named him Louis as I held my son. Eudes would now have a younger brother. Seeing this son only cemented my resolve. I want to give him a good inheritance, this throne is not just for me but for my sons, my heirs.
2nd of August, 1076
My resolve has been steeled, I have arranged marriages and alliances with both the Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich IV and King Sancho II of Castille. With the Pope granting me divine right, their political support, plus the support of what nobility are willing to back me I am ready to draft my ultimatum. Unfortunately, multiple other members of the French nobility have decided to put their own candidates for the throne. Philippe has become universally despised, his being deposed is only a matter of when not if. I sat at my desk and wrote the ultimatum. “My Liege, King Philippe Capet of France, With the blessings of Pope Alexander II, the support of the most powerful lords of Europe, and even your own nobility I humbly request your abdication. King Philippe, I have been your most loyal and obedient servant for many years. When all others lost their faith or had their doubts I had been a staunch defender. I know you think highly of me, not just for my lineage but for the care I have for this Kingdom and your subjects. This is not of ill will towards you but for the future of the French Kingdom. If you remain, others will violently depose you or worse make attempts on your life. You have many enemies, and I wish to remain your ally and friend. Abdicate, resign the throne to me by the grace of God. And should you do so honorably, allow a peaceful transfer of power then perhaps this Kingdom can return to a track of progress and prosperity. Your Obedient Servant, Herbert Karling” And with that I hand the scroll with my seal to the messenger and send him to Paris. At the same time I raise my levies, ready for war. Even if he surrenders which I doubt, I will need to be ready to fight these wars Philippe has begun.
8th of August, 1076
When the messenger arrived I was overseeing a military camp as my levies gathered. I already knew the response before I undid the seal. “Dear Duke Herbert Karling of Picarde, I am insulted and betrayed. When I was surrounded by enemies you were the one I relied on. I made you what you are. You cling to your lineage so much yet you’ve never earned a thing for yourself. I made you Duke, I made you Marshal and I allowed you to resign when your wife had passed, God rest her soul. When you asked to return I made you Chancellor because I trusted you. You were the only one I could trust. Clearly I am a failure as a King as you said. For I had sourly misjudged your character. I will not make that error again. You will never be King. The Rightful King of France, Philippe Capet.” War it is. I will send word to King Sancho II to join me.
The Karling Rebellion c.1076
7th of December, 1076
My armies have gathered and we march southwest to hopefully meet with the Castillians. I am aware that King Philippe and the majority of his forces were located int he same direction, I wouldn’t be surprised if they enter battle before we even get there. Hopefully the greater Castillian army can overwhelm Philippe and force him into a retreat. The boy is a capable warrior and commander, he is just a terrible strategist. Once he is on his back heel he won’t know what to do, then I will be able to play with him like a cat with a mouse just before devouring him.
26th of January, 1077
We encountered the French army in Bassac with their allies of Barcelona. Seems Philippe abandoned what was left of his forces. A messenger from Sancho informed me that they had killed somewhere over a thousand of his men, another 100 died as we crashed down on them. They are battered and weak. We will leave them and march north to Paris. Once the capital is mine, it won’t take much more to assert my right as King.
3rd of August, 1077
I was sitting in my tent receiving treatment for my Great Pox. Melisende was applying leeches when one of my commanders, Jaufre, entered “My liege, the city of Paris has fallen.” I smiled as another leech attached to my forearm. “Excellent. Get the men ready to pack up and move on. Leave a small garrison. We will have the entire county in our grip by the end of the year. Once the County is ours, France will fall. Pope Alexander was right, I truly do have Gods blessing.” I smiled laying back down as the leeches were now applied to my cheeks and forehead.
The Siege of Paris c. 1077
12th of December, 1078
Philippe is stubborn, that is what I have learned. All of Paris and Senlis have fallen, I march to Orleans and yet he refuses to surrender. What's more it seems my rebellion has finally convinced him to end his foolish war with Mallorca and he even managed to put down the revolt in Aquitaine. Who knew all it took was a civil war for Philippe to become a competent King. Either way I am grateful to him, whether I win this war or not, Aquitaine will remain firmly within France. Duke Ramon-Bereguer of Barcelona has raised an army of 2000 men to try and help his ally remain in power. My scouts have come to me saying that he is taking his army to Sens. We can get to him first, and crush his forces. Any shred of hope Philippe has must be sliced apart.
18th of January, 1079
We’ve chased the Catalans to Cosne where we’ve engaged with them. My scouts underestimated their size, they easily reached somewhere around 3000 men. Nonetheless, my commanders are skilled men of great renown. I have full faith in their abilities and in the Castilian forces alongside us.
9th of December, 1079
The siege of Orleans was over, as we traveled north to Paris we met the last of the French forces as we crushed them in Sens Philippe was brought to the camp hands bound. It was now that he knew the war was over. His ally has abandoned him, God has chosen his victor. “You are a filthy traitor.” Philippe cursed to me as I sighed “When you were still a boy, I had so much hope in you. You were like a second son to me Philippe. But you’ve failed time and time again. It’s time son.” “Don’t call me son” “It’s time for you to abdicate, it’s what is best for you and for this Kingdom.” He looked disgusted with me “You shouldn’t pretend like this is for the Kingdom, or for me. You’re a traitor, hungry for power and you only care about yourself. Usurper, that’s how they will remember you.” I took off Philippes crown and nodded “Well let’s see what the people in Paris have to say.”
|What do you think of /atheism? I'm just curious. I've always wanted to ask a Redditor priest that...||I cannot repeat the simplest term for it in polite company, but in general I think it's annoying. Too much of it is out of ignorance and not enough of it is genuine discussion.|
|I don't go there often because it's bad for my blood pressure (see: SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET!).|
|Haha, you're right on the hook. I feel like a lot of it is just the regurgitation of bumper sticker ideas that aren't very conducive to thoughtful discussion. Some of it isn't even related to atheism at all and is just bashing the conservative right (just because you're atheist doesn't mean you're pro-choice!). Have you been on /debatereligion though? What do you think of it?||I have lurked there before. I didn't care for people answering for Catholic who didn't know Catholicism, and it looked like a lot of the same questions, but there was some good debating going on.|
|Are there non-Catholics in heaven? Protestants? Buddhists? Folks that were around before Jesus/The Bible? People never exposed to Catholicism? Can I be a very good person and non-Catholic all my life and still be saved?||Sure. The New Testament talks about the prophets in Heaven and they're not Catholic. Others can get there, but it's easiest through the Church.|
|Opinion on Gay Marriage? Personal, not just a copy o the official church standpoint.||I believe with the Church. Too many people think secular laws = morality, too, which complicates things.|
|I think it should be civil unions for everyone and let us (and any other group) do marriages on our own.|
|If god forgives all, why is there hell?||He forgives us when we ask. If we choose to go against Him our whole lives, then He will not force us to be with Him in eternal life. He won't violate our free will.|
|Do you view Hell as the depiction Dante provided or do you have your own personal view of what Hell consists of?||No. I don't know where Dante got all that, nor how he decided who should burn.|
|If you were elected to be the next Pope, what would be the first thing you devote serious effort to doing?||Enacting the New Evangelization.|
|Personally, I would focus a lot of attention on Catholic high schools and colleges and catechesis worldwide.|
|If I had the money, though, I would make a skating rink in St. Peter's square every winter and throw snowballs from the papal apartments (at the skaters, for all those dumb 'skating is not a crime' posters).|
|Personally, I would focus a lot of attention on Catholic high schools and colleges and catechesis worldwide. What do you think is broken about the Catholic education system, and what would you do to fix it?||It's broken when people can go through the school and come out knowing very little about the Church, as opposed to the old folks now who know Church teaching inside and out. It's broken when the educators themselves don't know about the Church and/or actively teach against the Church (especially in the colleges and universities). I do not think we should only allow 1 viewpoint in education, but I do think Catholic education should be Catholic. There are so many schools that are Catholic in name only and they could be doing so much better.|
|Can Catholic priests drink booze besides wine?||Can and do. I have Johnny Walker Red (high class!) in my cabinet. It might happen tonight.|
|And, BTW, it's not wine at Mass. What's in the chalice after Consecration is Jesus.|
|And, BTW, it's not wine at Mass. What's in the chalice after Consecration is Jesus. Only if you care about the substance. Me, I'm all about the accidents.||Don't get in a car, then. I bet your insurance is sky high.|
|Come to Texas and well bump it up to JW Black - along with a good cigar - and talk about rapprochement between Rome and historic Anglicanism. (Anglican clergyman here).||Sign me up! Although I am a philistine- I put my whiskey in coca cola.|
|Cheers!||I like booze, and so do most priests, but some of us like it too much. Here's to keeping it in moderation!|
|And, BTW, it's not wine at Mass. What's in the chalice after Consecration is Jesus. I dunno, man, in the Orthodox Church, we usually wash our Jesus down with a bit of wine.||Nope, all Jesus. Body, blood, soul, divinity. You guys have the same Eucharist we do, you guys just use intinction more.|
|I've never meant a clergyman who liked puns so much.||Thanks? We're usually dour, right? I guess I'll go into the scenery of the rest of us and fade to black.|
|That's sacrilegious right there!||YOU'RE SACRILEGIOUS.|
|What're your thoughts on evolution? Should schools be required to teach creationism and forbidden to teach evolution or vise versa? What about some verses that may be slightly more immoral in today's society such as Timothy 2:12? Lastly, you said you stand with the Church on marriage. Do you believe a woman who is raped by a man must marry him, as stated in Deuteronomy 22:28? If not, then why only choose to believe certain aspects of what the Bible stands for on marriage and ignore others?||I believe with the Church. The Church says it's (evolution is) the best looking theory for how God (ultimately) did it. It doesn't explain the soul, but it does a good job of everything else.|
|I went to the St. Peter's in the Vatican once, and I have to say I don't think Jesus would preach there. He would probably tear it down or use it to house the poor.||That's a great example of the Church being for the poor. Anyone can go and visit and see great works of art. The Vatican museums have at least one day a month free and it's not that expensive outside of those times. Anyone can experience that and be drawn closer to God, similar to the many beautiful (and free to enter) churches worldwide. There are some you have to pay for and I think that's poorly done, but that's just me.|
|Almost all of what you see there has been paid for for centuries. Almost all of it, as far as I know, is gifts in memory or in honor of others. I don't think it's proper to auction off memorials, and there may well be a canon law issue (go see the guys in that new subreddit /canonlaw).|
|Finally, at no point does Jesus decry wealth. He doesn't want attachment to wealth and He lived in poverty Himself, but He didn't demand that every person give everything away.|
|Personally, I do charity and I know other churches do, too, so I try to focus on what is local and let the Vatican be the Vatican.|
|Not to offend, but 'easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.' I'm sure this is a passage that many modern Christians struggle with, I'd like to hear your interpretation of it.||Yes, it's difficult if you're rich, and almost impossible if you're attached to money over God.|
|Have you ever doubt your beliefs?||Yes, especially before seminary. Since then, the thing that causes more doubts for me is the human side of the Church, but that's true of any vocation.|
|Thank you for this. I'm entering major seminary in the fall (2 months!) and the last few weeks since I have been accepted have been somewhat droll as far as spirituality goes. I've really been focusing on praying the liturgy of the hours and that has helped console me.||You're welcome. Good luck! Stick with it and be yourself.|
|What do you make of the child abuse allegations towards the Catholic Church? In all honesty, is there any truth to them?||I think it's terrible. Of course there is truth to them. Some people are scumbags who abuse kids and some of them become priests.|
|Agreed. I hate that innocent priests are prejudiced because of terrible men. The Vatican however, should do something about it with the porper authorities.||The Church is run on a local level (the individual dioceses). The Vatican can encourage people to do what is right, but the running of the Church is left to the bishops.|
|Uh, you know it's not that kind of "father"s day, right?||Why not? We're meant to be spiritual fathers. And, if you're Byzantine, you can be a literal father, too, and be a Catholic priest.|
|Just teasing you father.||HEY! THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. NO TEASING ALLOWED. I'M TELLING MOM.|
|Does this mean you watch Archer? And if so, what are some of your other favourite TV shows?||It's a guilty pleasure, especially when I wear my slightly darker black clerics.|
|Hoping that was a subtle Archer reference.||LANAAA.|
|If you had to choose a favorite solemnity, which one would it be and why?||Excellent question. I'm going to go with Most Sacred Heart, because that's pretty awesome.|
|Tell us the life of your favorite saint.||It differs from priest to priest and from day to day. Some days we're running around like a chicken with its head cut off and some days are slow, especially if you're in a smaller church. I live in a house right next to the church. I visit with people, I do administrative work, and relax, all sorts of things.|
|It's almost similar to the Orthodox's use of icons, except it's praying directly to Jesus. When the priest genuflects after consecration, he is meant to "kneel in adoration", if I remember correctly. Outside of that, it's largely found around Benediction and First Friday. Our rosary might be closer to one of your Akathists (which I really like, BTW).|
|Whatever brings them closer to God. We priests do the liturgy of hours every day and so do many lay people. Lay people also do rosaries, but many also do not used canned prayers and instead use Christian meditation (think: St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross).|
|St. Peter the Apostle. Hard headed, made dumb choices sometimes, still chosen by Jesus and still able to be faithful, despite his faults. And it's hilarious that that is in a reply to an Orthodox guy.|
|though we do keep a bit of the Sacrament in reserve at all times (I'm pretty sure y'all do, too).||Yes, in our tabernacles.|
|I don't think there is 1 set interpretation. It's not defined, so people believe as they wish, if I remember correctly.|
|How do priests deal with lust? How do they avoid masturbation?||Depends on the individual.|
|Are they aware of /nofap ?||I've seen it linked before. It's an anti-pornography thing, right?|
|Did your family support your decision to be a priest?||Some of them did!|
|Also, did you consider celibacy while deciding?||Yes. You had to consider celibacy. It's part of the package.|
|How do you respond when someone tells you that they disagree with your beliefs?||It depends on the disagreement. Usually I sit and listen, unless it's Universalists. Then I jump on the table and strangle them.|
|Are you by any chance a Universalist?|
|Whats a universalist? Edit: thanks guys, I know what a universalist is now.||They're the ones that killed Elvis and they run the military industrial complex.|
|Nope, atheist. Unless you strangle them as well. If that's the case, I'm a Roman Catholic.||Good to hear, my child! Now give me 50 rosaries or I'll put Msgr. Pain on your case.|
|I'm an Unitarian Universalist. Why do you want to strangle us?||You know what you did.|
|(I'm joking, in case I didn't make it completely obvious)|
|Well that escalated quickly!||They started it!|
|It's hard to believe you're a priest! You don't seem very serious. You're extremely witty and funny and you're a little weird. I find this fascinating. Thank you for doing the AMA. (I grew up Roman Catholic)||Thanks? I'm just myself, which is definitely weird.|
|How do you feel about weed?||I have never used it. Many people say it should be legal, but, thankfully, I'm not the police nor the government, so I don't have anything to do with it or a strong opinion about it.|
|How difficult was the decision to forgo the possibility of marriage/having a family when you became a priest?||If you don't want to be a natural father, that's a huge red flag for men wanting to be priests.|
|I would have loved to have kids, so it was a sacrifice. Thankfully, I'm still a spiritual father and I can still be involved in people's lives and still form good relationships.|
|But as a priest, you can adopt children! One of the priests I had growing up adopted two daughters.||Not for me. I couldn't do justice to a family and I think kids need a mom and a dad.|
|Why is it a red flag? Selfishness? Why would it make them a bad priest?||We should want to be fathers and we should want to be spiritual fathers for those we're ministering to.|
|Atheists don't have anything that is true and holy, since they reject all that is holy.||That depends on the individual atheist. They may revere truth (Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life), they may revere love (God is Love), they may do all sorts of things.|
|Thus, separation from God makes perfect sense, since why would someone who rejected Him all their life want to spend eternity with Him?||They may be rejecting what they think God is and yet be close to Him elsewhere through a pursuit of doing what is right.|
|I hope that helps.|
|What console do you use? or PC?||PC! I also have an Xbox. I don't know if I'll buy a new one any time soon.|
|Fallout fan?||Never played it, sorry.|
|Why can't women be priests?||We only choose men for the priesthood because Jesus only chose men, despite the candidates He had available. Here is the official link about it.|
|I love how people downvote you for posting the answer to the question asked, even if they don't like it.||After all, reddiquette says "downvote means you're a big meany".|
|Are you interested in other faiths and beliefs? Simply out of curiosity?||I have some interest, but much of that was satiated in college and in seminary.|
|Do you know anything about Gnosticism? Any interest in the subject?||I think Gnosticism is all kinds of complicated. There's no one belief and much of what they believed was kept secret, so we won't know what they think. Apparently a lot of people are interested, based on what I've seen on reddit.|
|I see you answered the celibacy question in the thread, but do you wish for a celibate intimate companion sometimes, to confide in and share confidences in a way you can't with a friend?||I have priest friends. We're celibate and we talk and it's good to have someone to share with, especially someone who understands the life.|
|Do you eat fast food? Are you a vegetarian?||I eat fast food sometimes. Too much, honestly. It's too easy to get into as a priest. Not a vegetarian.|
|Oh, can I ask one other tiny question? Are you an opera lover like the new Pope? If not, what music do you like?||I think I've only been to one opera. I have no attention span, so I don't love it like he does.|
|I listen to country currently.|
|Thanks! Have a lovely night, even if that means Johnnie Walker Red with cola. :)||It's looking increasingly likely.|
|I'm afraid you might have a rough time around here today. I don't really agree with the Catholic Church a lot of the time, but I'm really excited about the minor steps Pope Francis might be able to make.||Ha, thanks. I have done a few AMAs before and they went fine.|
|How are you today? How was mass?||I am doing well. Both of the Masses I did today went well. Father's Day is a great holiday and the brunch after Mass was excellent.|
|Do you feel Pope Francis will make any secular advancements in church doctrine during his tenure?||I don't know what that means, but church doctrine is unchanging.|
|Perhaps issues related to contraception, homosexuality, or maybe even just being more transparent||No, I don't think he will change these. See his record in Argentina for more information. I don't think transparency is a doctrine.|
|Do you believe in life on other planets?||It could exist. There are many, many planets out there.|
|Would you consider those alien beings to be creatures of God as well ?||God made the universe, so Yes. The Vatican actually has a fairly official opinion about this if you care to google it.|
|that do you think (feel?) there is a specific culture that can be ascribed to Catholics?||This depends on the country. Sometimes there is and sometimes it's basically the culture of the country.|
|If you take the dogma and religion out of it, can / is there still such a thing as a Catholic?||Not as far as I know. I haven't ever really thought about it. Very interesting question!|
|What would you say some of the qualities of a Catholic might be, other than believing in / being a member of the church?||We tend to like to have a drink and we tend to like to eat. See: Catholic countries' food and booze.|
|What taxes do you not pay?||The Church doesn't pay the tax at the grocery store, but I pay taxes on my income.|
|You don't get the parsonage exemptions?||I don't know what that is.|
|What do you think of the new pope? Would he have been your choice or would you have voted for someone else? Not sure how much you know/knew about the other canidates?||I like him. I hope he does well. I wanted Dolan, but hopefully Pope Francis is God's choice.|
|This may be a touchy subject and as I am not yet a Catholic I don't know but I have been extremely curious. Do you feel that mortification of the flesh still has a place in the Catholic Church?||I think past abuses mean it will remain a stigma for the time being. I do know of groups that still use it (well within moderation), but I would encourage people to instead do penance and practice mortification of the spirit (denial of self, like in Lent) rather than beating themselves up.|
|Not a religious question since you've gotten plenty of them already. Do you like Game of Thrones?||I liked the books, but, because I'm a fairly typical guy and much more visual, I couldn't handle the TV shows. I tried one and it was too much for me.|
|I'm still reading the latest book, so we'll see how things go.|
|How can the Church, with all of the suffering and strife in the world, maintain that a loving God would allow these things to happen to good people?||That's the problem of evil. There's no magical answer. Much of the world's evil is by humans against humans. For God to interfere, He would have to infringe upon our free will, the same free will that allows us to do great good, too. In allowing those good things, God allows us to make real choices, some of which lead to terrible evils.|
|It seems to me only too obvious that a loving person does not want their creation to suffer.||I agree. This is also obvious in Genesis until the Fall, when sin entered the world and warped Creation.|
|There's no magical answer. Can i quote you on that? Happy fathers day father.||Yes. There is also no sparkly answer.|
|Mormon-esque vampires don't solve the problem of evil either. Ooookay there, Padre.||TEAM PETER!|
|Do you ever wonder if your belief in god and religion is really just a lie you tell yourself in order to feel better about the meaninglessness of life?||No. I don't see a meaninglessness in life. I see purpose, but I will freely admit I'm biased towards seeing God.|
|I'm not trying to be offensive here, I really want to know.||There's a possibility of it all being wrong, but that's only because I also have a degree in philosophy (we tend to couch absolutes). I'm confident in what I believe, or else I would not be a priest.|
|Only a Sith deals in absolutes.||And that one guy who gave that absolute statement. He gets a pass for some reason.|
|Perhaps he was secretly a sith.||I knew it!|
|What is you favorite thing about being a priest?||I like being involved in people's lives the best. There is something so great about having that positive impact at every point: baptism, 1st communion, confirmation, wedding, funeral, everything.|
|I've found that a lot of catholic doctrine is socially conservative (gay marriage, birth control etc) but a lot of it seems to be liberal as well (charity, non-violence, anti-death penalty and such). Where do you see yourself, politically speaking?||I'm an independent. I don't like either party totally and I like some elements from each major party in the US.|
|How much have you studied Eastern Orthodoxy?||I have had a few classes that went into some depth on Orthodoxy. I wouldn't call myself an expert at all and my knowledge is rusty.|
|What if you found out in confession?||I cannot say anything about what a person says in confession. I assumed he meant found out some other way.|
|That seal of confession is meant to protect everyone else (even those guilty of other crimes) so that every person who goes to confession feels secure.|
|Hypothetically, If a person confessed to you that they knew where you kept your money, and had been stealing from you, would you be allowed to use that knowledge and change where you hide it? Or would that break the seal of confession?||As long as I don't reveal the sins of a person, I think I would be okay to do so. I don't think your example applies, so I think I would be in the clear. Interesting question, thanks.|
|Regardless, I subscribe to the "if you don't have anything to steal, it's hard to get robbed" mentality.|
|Is there any reason you would go against that? If I were in your position I feel like there would be a limit to what I wouldn't report.||No. Confession is sacrosanct. It's similar to doctor patient confidentiality.|
|Not quite though - I think that D-P confidentiality can be broken if you think people are endangered by not telling the police.||That's why I said similar.|
|Non denomination christian here! I want to start going to a catholic church, got any tips or things I need to know?||Nope. Just show up. Participate as much as you like, but please don't go up for communion. That's a sacred sign of unity for us, so we ask that only those in union with the Church ("Catholics in good standing") receive the Eucharist.|
|There should be books in the pews to help you follow along and watch out for all the standing and sitting- it will catch you by surprise.|
|I've been a baptist all my life, would you try and convince me to become Catholic? Do you think talking to Christians that aren't Catholic about becoming Catholic is a worthwhile endeavor? And how would you do so, if yes?||I would talk with you, but I wouldn't force you. It can be worthwhile, it depends on the person.|
|I would talk about the church fathers and the apostles and Matthew 16 to start.|
|Hi Fr. Josh! Hope your day is going well. :) What do you think about Stephen Colbert, and the fact that he is one of America's more popular Catholic laypeople?||I think he can be funny, but I wonder how he can be an active Catholic and be so raunchy.|
|Hello Fr. Josh!||Hello!|
|This is kind of a big deal, get it right!||XBox1! That's the one that's most expensive, so it must be the best, right? Plus it hates freedom, and so do I. I like country music right now.|
|French onion soup is the best way to judge the quality of a resurant IMO.||That's good to know. I just know I like it, even when it's mediocre.|
|What kind of films/television do you like? :)||I like to be entertained. I don't mind thinking, but I like explosions and gun fights, too. I'm not sold on Michael Bay, but I also don't want to read subtitles the whole time.|
|Video Games? Have you played Bioshock Infinite? What's your opinion? It has some heavy religious aspects to it, more than any other game of late, and I heard some people got offended by it.||No, sorry. I tend to dislike religious tones in games, movies, TV, and such because they usually get so many things wrong about Catholicism and it annoys me.|
|Catholic Christian supporting Xbox One. You're hitting all of Reddit's favorite positions.||I'm going for the hat trick. Wait until they hear about my position on police brutality!|
|(spoiler, I teach Baton Brain Bashing 101 to the state police)|
|Birds of a feather here.||Let's flock together.|
|I know what you mean. Most shows, mives, games, etc use religion as either a backdrop, a plot point, a mechanic(in the case of games), or an aesthetic. This one is... a bit more involved, which is why I was curious.||Interesting.|
|Very punny priest, you are.||Thanks. I'm out of priest puns. I'll have to father some more soon.|
|One of your previous answers alluded to the humans and freewill being why God would not intervene and solve the worlds problems such as hunger and starvation - what do you say to someone who argues that having the ability for crops to grow well where you live and clean water to be available where you live has nothing to do with free will and everything to do with "poor design"?||I would say it is poorly designed that people in the US with an excess of food cannot get it to people who are starving; and, when they try, the warlords take it for themselves.|
|I do not see a fundamental flaw. I did go into more depth in the other replies if you'd like to know more about what I'm saying.|
|Did you always want to be a priest when you grew up? Did you grow up in the church?||I thought about it from middle school until high school. Later in high school I decided to go for it and it has been my desire since then.|
|I grew up in the Catholic Church, yes.|
|What do you think of the recent meeting between Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury John Welby?||1) No idea. I hope it's fruitful.|
|Can you explain intercession of the saints? I recently had someone ask me why Catholics practice it when Jesus is our intercessor?||2) We ask the saints for our help, much like asking a friend to pray for you. Jesus is The Intercessor, but we ask those closest to Him to help us.|
|I spent five years in Catholic education and I can honestly say learning Catholic theology really helped me in my faith (even as a protestant). What is one Catholic practice that you think the average Protestant would greatly benefit from?||3) Great! I think they would benefit from the sacraments and something beyond just preaching and singing on Sunday (for those of that ilk).|
Popes and papal candidates are mincing their words carefully in 2019…and Cardinals with extreme views are culled out of the running. Modern-day popes cannot be too liberal – they cannot hold views that strongly contradict centuries of Catholic dogma and tradition. Manila church hits betting on papal candidates. ABS-CBN News. Follow. 9 months ago | 2 views. See more about. Manila. Report. Browse more videos. Playing next. 2:36. Tagle: Candidates can learn from papal conclave. ABS-CBN News. 2:56. Papal biographer praises Cardinal Tagle. ABS-CBN News. 1:38. Tagle, may paalala sa mga Pinoy para sa Papal visit. A few betting markets have cropped up around the internet, with the British book Paddy Power and the state-side bookie service MyBookie taking up the niche. Pope Francis is 81 years old, so while a Papal transition could happen at any time, it’s also unclear whether wagers made now will pay off any time soon. Other leading candidates are Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, given a 14.5 percent chance on Intrade and 20 percent on Ladbrokes and Paddy Power, and Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet Like any betting market, there are many factors to consider when betting on who will be the next pope. Understanding the voting methodology for the Papal Conclave is vital in placing an informed bet. The College of Cardinals - the Church' s most senior officials as appointed by previous popes - elects the new pope.
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