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The Pope sows more seeds of confusion

He is, in effect, relinquishing any claim to territory that the opposing forces have already occupied— and thus creating new obstacles for any Catholics who seek to regain that territory in the future.

Science always points to God

As Newman argued over a hundred years ago, no discipline can usurp the place of another without darkening the human mind. Science, philosophy, theology and every other branch of study ought not to quarrel, but work in harmony to see each aspect of reality more clearly, so that all can better grasp the whole.

Maintaining Christian Charity in Times of Upheaval

Without sentimentality, we must not forget the fundamental human dignity of our enemies, even as we reject their evil actions.

Little delights in Scripture, for the superior modern mind

All this comes from the account of Jewish life some 3,300 years ago. We tend to dismiss much of the Old Testament as coming from a very primitive time. And yet here we are: At list six highly significant insights from which all of us, including our whole culture, could benefit enormously today. And all are within the space of a thousand words in a single chapter of the second oldest book of the Bible.

St. Ignatius of Antioch—Letter to the Ephesians

“It is better to say nothing and be a Christian, than to speak and not to be one.”

The Life You Save—Dekalog: Three (1988)

Krzysztof Kieślowski's DEKALOG (1988) is a series of 10 short films inspired by the Ten Commandments. With this episode we discuss the third film in the series, which deals with the third commandment: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."

Quick Hits: Cardinal Farrell’s new post, a priest’s belated vindication

At a time when the Vatican is struggling to regain public confidence about its financial probity, cynics might wonder whether he was chosen for these sensitive posts because he is likely to crack down on any signs of financial impropriety, or because he can be relied upon not to notice them.

Bishop McElroy’s variation on the ‘seamless garment’ theme

So if a politician disagrees with pro-life lobbyists on the proper legislative path to ending abortion, he should not forfeit all Catholic support. Fair enough. But suppose a presidential candidate not only refuses to outlaw abortion, but promises to preserve free and unrestricted access to the procedure, pledges to guarantee government subsidies, welcomes support from the abortionists’ lobby...

Ep. 25—Eusebius: History from the Wrong Side of History

Every Christian historian or history buff is dependent upon the work of Eusebius of Caesarea. He didn’t invent Church history, but his writings made it a serious discipline. He was the first to attempt a comprehensive, universal history of Christianity. He wanted his account to be the official story. Yet in his own lifetime he showed the perils and ironies of living within history. He did this by aiding and abetting true villains and assisting in the persecution of saints and heroes.

Catholic mission: Properly shaped through our humanity

The idea of extending what we perceive as a Divine calling through the action of a number of persons operating in a well-ordered manner—that is, the idea of developing an organization—is often foreign to the lone apostle. But it is not at all foreign to human work, and when we look more closely, we will find that an assessment of the human components appropriate to any particular Catholic mission is of vital importance.

88—On Columbus—Robert Royal

Columbus was neither a genocidal maniac nor a saint; while he did not “discover” America, he did discover the world—as much for Native Americans as for Europeans.

Pro-Bomb? No, morality entails sacrifice and trust in God.

Morality is not simply a series of ends and means to which we adhere by virtue of our perception of the natural law when it seems reasonable and within our abilities. It is much more than that, but this “much more” is clearly visible only in the light of Revelation and Catholic teaching. Moral behavior is a participation in the life of God and, ultimately, a willingness to recognize that God is God, that we are not, and that God’s will is not only theoretically sovereign but always best.

St. John Henry Newman—Duties of Catholics Towards the Protestant View

“I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold, and what they do not, who know their creed so well, that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.”

Pope’s new encyclical ignores previous social teaching

In the current pontificate, I submit, it has become simply impossible to square the Pope’s statements with those of his predecessors.

87—The Jester Is Not The King—Jeremy McLellan

Jeremy McLellan is a Catholic stand-up comedian who, strangely, is huge is Pakistan. He joins the show to discuss the woke takeover of comedy, the nihilistic dogmas of many comedians, the relationship between comedy and suffering, and the ethics of the word “retarded”. Thomas describes his past experience doing open mics and Jeremy gives him some pointers.

Fratelli tutti: Pope Francis’ new social encyclical

Fratelli tutti is devoted to “solidarity”, especially as the bond of genuine solidarity reaches across lines of division, such as those of class, geography, and ethnicity. It is a fairly straightforward examination of the tendencies in our world that engender division and the attitudes and approaches we must adopt to build genuine community, both locally and globally, through an authentically human culture—a culture which takes its inspiration from the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Pope calls Catholics to read Scripture regularly

The Pope offers St. Jerome’s example of constant reading and study of Scripture, along with devoted acceptance of the authority of the See of Peter as the rule of Faith, to encourage a greater devotion to the Bible at every level of the Church.

Who Lost the Culture?

Our cultural decline may have begun as far back as 75 years ago, in the skies over Hiroshima when the Americans dropped history's first atomic bomb on that city.

You, the Church, God: Ratzinger’s sacramental homilies

This collection presents two homilies on each of the seven sacraments, book-ended by homilies which express more fully the essential sacramentality of the Church. These are not scholarly texts but real words spoken to real congregations on real sacramental occasions. They communicate their wisdom through specific moments in time, and at what we recognize as a genuinely human length. They are marked by a profound simplicity from which we can all benefit as participants in the sacred.

Columbus Day: should we celebrate or mourn?

The same ideological anger that prompts rioters to pull down statues of Christopher Columbus is also motivating the desecration of Catholic churches.

Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP—The Created Pure Spirit, and Its Limits

“Among this ever so numerous throng of pure spirits, the highest of hierarchies is that of the great contemplative angels… Next comes those who are ministers of the Most High… and finally there are the angels who simply execute the orders of God, as are the invisible guardians of men, communities, and nations.”

Are heist films moral? The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Alec Guinness stars in this 1951 heist-comedy that stands apart as perhaps the most purely entertaining film included on the Vatican Film List.

Our Church: How should the watchman of Israel act?

It ought to be extraordinarily easy to see that it is self-defeating for the Church to avoid taking any public stand which requires the use of heavy artillery with no guarantee of success, not to mention bad press. For there are two huge problems with this reluctance. The first is that it has ruled now almost exclusively for at least two generations and things have only gotten worse. The second is that it is difficult to find a strategy more at odds with the word of God.

86—Karl Marx, “Monster of Ten Thousand Devils”—Paul Kengor

There is the distinct sense of something demonic in Marx’s personal life. Those who knew him most intimately consistently described him in demonic terms: His son wrote to him as “my dear devil”, his father suggested that he was “governed by a demon”, and Engels referred to him as a “monster of ten thousand devils”.

Cardinal Becciu departs—only after ousting would-be reformers

In many respects the Becciu case mirrors the case of Theodore McCarrick, the last prelate to be stripped of his privileges as a cardinal. In both cases the Vatican’s disciplinary action leaves the Catholic world wondering: Who were his sponsors and protectors? And when will we know the full truth about his use and abuse of ecclesiastical power?

Understanding Providence in peace and joy

If God’s Providence includes everything, then it includes even everything that happens within the Church, where we are right to think that evil is particularly abhorrent. But we are just as right to recognize that God permits evils to beset the Church for one reason and one reason only: His thirst for souls. A smoothly running Church is no guarantee of the salvation of individual souls, and a Church in need or reform is no guarantee of their damnation. Either way, God calls us Providentially.

St. Augustine—De Doctrina Christiana | Book 2 (Ch.19-42)

“Whoever does not refer everything to the praise and love of the one God... may seem to be erudite, but he can by no means be considered wise.”

Two cheers for Archbishop Cordileone

The apostles didn’t stop celebrating the faith, despite threats of legal punishment. Insofar as they are our models, neither should we.

Avoiding political labels

As the old joke has it, do not allow 95% of lawyers (or doctors, politicians, or clergymen) to give the rest a bad name.

Ep. 24—Athanasius against the World

The world awoke to find itself heretic, but one man would not accept the situation. Athanasius stood fast against emperors, bishops, and even synods of bishops. He reigned as bishop for 45 years, but 17 he spent in exile. He was exiled five times at the orders of four different emperors. As the fortunes of Nicaea waxed and waned, he had many close calls and brushes with death. His life was a breathless adventure for orthodoxy’s sake. And he prevailed.

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