Friday, December 08, 2017

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

With an icon of the Conception of St. Anna.

Sandro Magister on Massimo Borghesi's Jorge Mario Bergoglio: Una biografia intellettuale

All Bergoglio's Teachers, Even Though He Goes His Own Way

Teaching the Nicomachean Ethics

The text is still used by some philosophy departments of the "new, small, Catholic liberal arts colleges" -- however the ethics course is usually co-ed. Is this use of the Nicomachean Ethics, or the teaching of ethics in general, in a "gender-neutral" way appropriate, if we admit the existence of sex differences? It should be clear from the text itself that it is addressed to young men (of a certain educational background), and not to young women. Is the text useful for women who have a similar background? Perhaps some parts, like the discussion of happiness and friendship. But the discussion of the virtues may not be, as those virtues would be different for men and women in so far as their general virtue is also different.

As the teaching of ethics is part of moral education, and not just a component of a "liberal education" (which in turn must be judged in accordance with moral standards and requirements), ethics above all should not be taught to a mixed-sex class. What would be required for a proper ethics course for women, besides acknowledging the existence of sex differences? More on that another time.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Legend of St. Nicholas in Liturgy and Art

What is the problem?

Sandro Magister: Orthodox Churches in Decline, Except in Ethiopia. A Survey

Too much clericalism, along with not enough Christians understanding the "universal call to holiness"? Instead, they believe erroneously that the pursuit of holiness belongs to the religious elites, the monks? Despite having what may be an aesthetically pleasing liturgy, has an authentic liturgical spirituality been lost? And has asceticism been identified too much with keeping the fast and external observances, rather than the correction of disordered self-love? And then there is the broader crisis of the laity, which is not limited to the crisis of men, but this last issue nonetheless must be addressed posthaste for any possibility of a long-lasting "solution."

It is the 21st century after the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, and His Church, primarily the Apostolic churches, does not seem to be faring well, thanks to external enemies but also internal weaknesses.

What will address this problem? Not a modern pan-Orthodox synod that just releases documents, in imitation of Latin councils. Not a liturgical reform that aims to make liturgy relevant and relatable to modern sensibilities (as some like Nicholas Denysenko would suggest). But a renewal at all levels, with real leadership being exercised by bishops and their brother priests, and this renewal requires that the clergy repudiate all modern errors including liberalism and egalitarianism. (And the clergy also need to realize the limits of their authority.)

The Holy Mysteries provide us with the divine life, but to assimilate it through proper living we need the true doctrine of Christ. The bishops have been entrusted with teaching the primary precepts, but what is at stake and needs to be continually defended are the secondary precepts which have not been explicitly revealed but only known through reflection on the natural law and the life in and of the Church.

Sun of Justice

St Nicholas Icon

Monday, December 04, 2017

Canon 915

Pope Francis’ letter to the Argentine bishops is in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Now what? by Edward N. Peters

Canon 915 and the fundamental sacramental and moral values behind it might be forgotten, ignored, or ridiculed, but unless and until that law is revoked or modified by papal legislative action or is effectively neutered by pontifically approved “authentic interpretation” (1983 CIC 16), it binds ministers of holy Communion.


Sunday, December 03, 2017


CWR: Divinely Planned Obsolescence by Thomas J. Nash

Why the Temple in Jerusalem will never be rebuilt and how the Sacrifice of the Mass is “the source and summit of evangelization”.

St. John the Forerunner

The first guide for Advent: St. John the Baptist by Peter M.J. Stravinskas

Silence bespeaks expediency, complicity, and cowardice, and John the Baptist never kept silent, for even in the womb he announced the truth of Christ (cf. Lk 1:44).

Two from Rorate Caeli

Pope Francis Promulgates Buenos Aires Guidelines Allowing Communion for Some Adulterers in AAS as his "Authentic Magisterium"

De Mattei: Cardinals Burke, Brandmüller and Müller and The Dictator Pope