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All Catholic commentary from June 2022
St. Paul implies that if he HAD shrunk from his mission to proclaim the Gospel message in its fulness, he would NOT be innocent of Ephesian blood.
In recent years, we have seen authorities at the highest levels of the Church proposing changes to Catholic doctrine that would pit the Holy Spirit against the Father and the Son.
I was tempted a few times to stop the flow of my analysis in order to emphasize that most of us are not going to come to an initial position of Faith either by a general interpretation of God’s Providence or by a comparison of the Jewish and Christian understanding of morality. The shortest distance between God and ourselves is through the Person of Jesus Christ Himself. That is, we are unlikely to respond to anything with faith until the unique person of Jesus Christ becomes our focal point.
The solution to the problem is approximately the same as the solution to all our problems: Christian families and communities which nurture and take care of their own, far better than any State or regime can possibly do. If we do not keep praying and working toward that, we deceive ourselves. This does not mean that we should not work on other specific, ad hoc solutions as well. It just means that we should not be fooled into thinking they will ever be enough.
A mere eight years after the 1920 canonization of Joan of Arc, and in the midst of her great popularity as a French national hero, Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer made The Passion of Joan of Arc. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, because of the lead actress's transcendent performance and the film's radical visual style.
"Be sure that wherever our lot is cast we may and must aim at the perfect life."
D. C. Schindler's book The Politics of the Real: The Church between Liberalism and Integralism is one of the richest entries in the ongoing Catholic debate over liberalism, political authority, the common good, and the relation between Church and State. Schindler offers subtle, convincing arguments as to why liberalism is "the political form of evil", specifically consisting of a rejection of the Christian form - specifically, the Jewish-Greek-Roman synthesis embodied in the Catholic Church.
Where do we discover the building blocks of dependable self-knowledge and identity? What is the seed of every authentic human community?
Once our children are old enough to reason about their behavior, almost the first thing to which we must alert them is the problem of rationalization. This is important not only for their own moral understanding but so that they do not lose a contest which has extraordinarily high stakes. When the intellect proposes some good to the will, if the will is prone to reject that good, the will immediately asks the intellect to provide reasons why this undesired good is actually bad: Rationalization.
In Acts, chapter 15, the Twelve met with elders and chosen experts to exercise an authority that was different from the authority that any of them possessed individually. This established a practice for the ages to follow. The general councils in the time of the Fathers — the first seven ecumenical councils — are considered authoritative by the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches. In this episode, we look at the pre-history of those councils and consider their definitions and authority.
"Meanwhile, the genuinely “restorationist” Catholics are dwarfed – in numbers and influence – by millions of other Catholics (many in positions of influence both in and outside of the Church) who reject the actual texts of the Council...
In taking this dramatic action, Bishop McManus has fulfilled his duty to protect the integrity of the faith... To the best of my knowledge— and I have been watching carefully— no American bishop has ever taken this step before.
With each cultural shift, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the illusion that the Catholic Church can enjoy a favored worldly status by living within the ever-diminishing space afforded by an increasingly corrupt culture. Sadly, a church that begins by speaking platitudes to power ends by giving few coherent reasons why anyone—Catholic, Christian or otherwise—should rally to her standard, or (more to the point) see in her the distinctive Presence of Jesus Christ.
"The Lord’s memorial is the central mystery of our Christian life. It has taken the form of a meal at which He offers Himself as the food. We were taught this in the Communion instruction of our childhood; we hear it repeated again and again in sermons and retreats; we read it in religious books. Yet are we really aware of the stupendousness of the thought?"
When the philosopher Descartes declared, “I think therefore I am,” he concluded that our awareness of our existence – perhaps existence itself -- depends upon our capacity to think. He had it backward.
József Cardinal Mindszenty was not only the face of Hungarian resistance to fascism and communism, but ultimately a symbol Catholic resistance to communism worldwide. From 1948 to 1956 he was in a communist prison, from 1956 to 1971 he was isolated from the world as a refuge in the U.S. Legation in Hungary. He then spent the last 4 years of his life in exile from his country and in increasing tension with the Vatican's more conciliatory approach to diplomacy with Soviet nations.
It is chilling to note our religious indifference today, as reflected not only in the celebration of “Christian” marriages (which often proceed without any real Christian commitment) but also in the celebration of “Christian” funerals (which often consist of vague but rosy Christian reflections relative to deceased persons who consistently refused to have anything significant to do with Jesus Christ during the course of their lives).
James and Thomas discuss George Cukor's 1933 adaptation of Little Women, with Katharine Hepburn playing Jo March. The film was included on the Vatican's 1995 list of important films, in the category of Art.
Now the “progressive” wing of the Catholic Church suggests that the magisterium became inerrant in the 1960s. The Council and its proclamations were merely a launching pad, from which the new “tradition” took off.
The only answer is that we must discern the moral structure of our being either through careful reasoning on the magnificent panorama of reality we did not create; or by learning what, if anything, the Creator has explicitly revealed about this moral structure. The first thing that we can say about those who are unwilling to do this is that they are not serious about discerning the difference between right and wrong, but only about fulfilling their own desires.
A Supreme Court reversal of Roe does not hand the pro-life movement a victory; it only allows pro-lifers a fighting chance in what will be a bruising political battle.
"It may be, my child, that you do not know how to practice mental prayer, for unfortunately it is a thing much neglected nowadays. I will therefore give you a short and easy method for using it..."
There never was a Constitutional right to abortion. The false flag of the presumed right took the lives of at least 63 million unborn babies over the last 49 years. A disproportionate number of the killings were of Blacks and Hispanics – by racist design.
More than 2 million people have left the German Catholic Church in the past decade... Would you take business advice from consultants who had lost two clients for every one they retained?
Another way of putting this is to observe that our culture now tends to insist that reality is determined by the human will rather than perceived as a given by the human intellect. Inescapably, this has led to the destruction of a human moral consensus, which leaves us to arrange our affairs as a people based on political and legal formulations which are very often divorced from the very realities from which they had once been abstracted.
Nicaea (325 A.D.) is the first of the ecumenical councils, not only in chronology, but also in importance. It occupies a certain primacy. The phrase "Nicene Faith" is sometimes used as an equivalent term for classic Christian doctrine. That's how we see it after centuries of development. But what did it mean to those who attended?
Here Pope Francis unambiguously embraces the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” that Pope Benedict XVI diagnosed as the main reason for misunderstanding the directives of the Council.
“I fear that decisions depend very much upon who are the friends of the accused bishop and how much they have the ear of the Pope.”
Joshua Hren returns to discuss his debut novel, Infinite Regress. The book is particularly timely in its philosophical themes, as it treats the subject of metaphysical deconstruction used as cover for sexual grooming in the world of education.
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