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 Policy enforcement 
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Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Policy enforcement
Dear friends,

I am severely limited in the time I can devote to this, so I need the rules understood and complied with by all. We don't have a list of numbered rules prescribing all manner of things, as most forums do. Instead we expect certain minimum standards which we have explained in general in the sticky threads above.

But since some newer members don't appear to understand these general guidelines, here are some specific ideas to assist.

We don't mention in any detail sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments. Just ask yourself whether the thing you want to say would have appeared in a Catholic periodical in the 1950s. If not, it won't be permitted here.

We don't bother with "scandals" and other worthless news.

This is not a publishing platform for your ideas. It's a place where you can assist others by explaining the teaching of the Church or pointing people towards good sources, or ask questions of those you think might be able to assist you. For those who think Bellarmine Forums is a neat opportunity and a new audience for the dissemination of those queer theories that you developed last time you forgot how much whiskey you really could handle, then you'd be wrong. And yes, we know, you can find those opportunities all over the 'Net, and that means not only that we are a bit eccentric by modern standards, it also means that you don't need this forum.

We don't interpret primary documents ourselves. That is, we don't find old papal bulls from the fourteenth century and try and work out what the Church teaches about investitures, or baptism of desire, or infallibility, from them. We don't need to, because the Church has appointed phenomenally learned men to study them and teach her seminarians her doctrine. The best of them she names Doctors of the Universal Church, so as to ensure we give them the greatest weight. That's where the priests get their sacred doctrine, under the guidance of the Church, so that's where we should obtain ours also.

We don't accuse people of ill-will, especially the clergy, without irrefutable evidence, because that is unjust. We obey the strict injunction to think well of all men unless it is impossible.

We don't expect you to cite an authority for every statement you write, but we do demand that you give one if anybody suggests that what you have written is inaccurate. Don't sook about this, don't complain about it. Just withdraw the assertion or back it up with an authoritative source. And when you are shown to be right, you will gain credibility, or if you find that you were mistaken and you gracefully concede, you will gain credibility. Further, you will learn something and clarify your thinking. So you have nothing to lose if you behave rationally and honourably. But if you won't prove what you say, you will not last here.

I apologise to anybody who is offended by these points, they are not personal.

I'll also take the opportunity to thank you for the benefits I have personally gleaned from the reopened forums recently. I had not ever read Ward and now I have read one of his books and it was very valuable. I had not previously seen that explanation of the nature of theological conclusions and how they enter into the fabric of the deposit of faith before, which Alan posted, and it is really helpful. I had never heard of the Fr. Knox (not Ronald) whose book on infallibility was linked here by Lance and that too was truly excellent. These are the kinds of benefits we can all share with each other and I am grateful to you all.

In Christ our King.

Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:50 am
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