Friday, December 28, 2012

"St. Stephen is a Model for All Those Who Want to Serve the New Evangelization"

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rome Reports - Review of January 2012

Rome Reports: January 2012: Pope approves several liturgies of the Neocatechumenal Way
Rome Reports: Urbi et Orbi: Benedict XVI issues Christmas greeting in over 65 languages and includes message to China

Zenit: On the Visitation
"Let us Strive Again to Make Room in our Hearts to Welcome the Christ Dhild with Love and Humility"
Pope Benedict XVI's Urbi et Orbi Message
"Truth has Sprung Up, Bringing Kindness, Justice and Peace"
Benedict XVI's Christmas Eve Homily
"What would happen if Mary and Joseph were to knock at my door"

Chant Cafe: The Musical Portions of the Christmas Vigil

Friend Honors Author Who Criticized Abuse of Vatican II
Michael Davies Was a 'Man of the Church'
Should be leaving today for AZ. Be back next week.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Today the Virgin Gives Birth... (Kontakion of the Nativity, Znamenny chant)
A wish list for books published by University of Notre Dame Press:

Thomas Aquinas as Reader of the Psalms by Thomas F. Ryan
Does God Suffer? by Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M.
John Buridan: Portrait of a Fourteenth-Century Arts Master by Jack Zupko
Logic and Philosophy: An Integrated Introduction by William H. Brenner
A Dialogue on Natural Philosophy (Dragmaticon Philosophiae) by William of Conches
Translated by Matthew Curr and Italo Ronca
Treatise on Divine Predestination by John Scottus Eriugena
Translated by Mary Brennan
Augustine and the Cure of Souls: Revising a Classical Ideal by Paul R. Kolbet
Loving the Fine: Virtue and Happiness in Aristotle's Ethics by Anna Lännström
Happiness and Benevolence by Robert Spaemann
Friendship and Politics: Essays in Political Thought Edited by John von Heyking and Richard Avramenko
God's Grace and Human Action: 'Merit' in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas by Joseph P. Wawrykow
The Case of Galileo: A Closed Question? by Annibale Fantoli
Translated by George V. Coyne, S.J.
Demonstration and Scientific Knowledge in William of Ockham: A Translation of Summa Logicae III-II: De Syllogismo Demonstrativo, and Selections from the Prologue to the Ordinatio by John Lee Longeway

Integral Humanism, Freedom in the Modern World, and A Letter on Independence, Revised Edition
Jacques Maritain
Edited by Otto Bird
Translated by Otto Bird, Joseph Evans, and Richard O’Sullivan, K.C.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Now Available for Pre-Ordering

From University of Notre Dame Press:
What Happened in and to Moral Philosophy in the Twentieth Century?
Philosophical Essays in Honor of Alasdair MacIntyre
Edited by Fran O'Rourke

I am considering getting a copy of this - Virtue and Politics: Alasdair MacIntyre’s Revolutionary Aristotelianism, edited by Paul Blackledge and Kelvin Knight

But will the contributors to the volume give too much of a "leftist spin" on MacIntyre? Is investigating if this is this the case and reading MacIntyre's response worth the price of the book, even with 40% off (until the end of the month)? I think I will see if it is available at a local university library first. Here's a review of the book at NDPR.

Another book I will delay purchasing: Reason, Tradition, and the Good: MacIntyre's Tradition-Constituted Reason and Frankfurt School Critical Theory by Jeffery L. Nicholas
A review at NDPR.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Aeon Magazine: End of Byzantium by Helena Drysdale
Besieged by a majority Turkish culture, Istanbul's Ecumenical Patriarch Barthomelew I attempts a cosmopolitan revival

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
“Bartholomew is Seeking to Reinvigorate Dialogue With Roman Catholics”

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Debate on Logic

The Difference between Traditional and Modern Logic and the Difference it Makes (via First Thoughts, which refers on a recent Peter Kreeft article - William Randolph Brafford's first post responding to Kreeft - see the comments posted there)

Henry Babcock Veatch's Two Logics
Byzantine, TX: Accolades continue to roll in for film "Archimandrite" - Pravoslavie

Monday, December 17, 2012

Making a Mountain...

Aristotle and Aquinas: The Vital Difference by Don DeMarco, Ph. D.

As far as I'm concerned, personalism is not a significant difference between the ethics of Aquinas and that of Aristotle. (We might even ask the question of whether contenmporary personalism is even important to the moral theology of Aquinas, or if we are just trading one word, e.g. human, for another, person.)

"The difference between the ethics of Aristotle and Aquinas has to do with how virtue comes about. It is reasonable to be virtuous. Surely “honesty is the best policy.” That is simply a reasonable statement that does not require love. And virtue, for Aristotle, lies between two extremes. Thus, the virtue of courage, for example, is the midpoint between the vices of timidity and foolishness. This is all very sensible, though something is missing.

Perhaps Aristotle overestimated our capacity to be reasonable and under-estimated the importance of love. Whereas Aristotle links virtue to reason, Aquinas links it more properly to love. Therefore, as the Angelic doctor states, “Love is the form of all virtues.” This means that every virtue derives its degree of virtuousness by its association with love."

The important difference is that Aristotle writes from a non-Christian perspective, one which is unaided by Divine Revelation. Aristotle does not talk about "love" but he does talk about friendship in all of its forms, as it exists between human beings. But not, friendship between man and God. Should we be surprised then that he has no understanding of the beatitude to which we are called, or the grace that is necessary? No account of the "supernatural organism" which is so central to the moral theology of Aquinas (and of good Christian moral theology in general)?

The differences in their ethics is not due to competing accounts of human nature (with respect to the material or formal causes) - but with respect to human nature as it relates to its Creator, God.
James Chastek, Rights and Justice
St. Thomas makes rights the object of justice, and they are recognizable as rights in our own sense (e.g. they are divided into natural and legal rights, and slaves as slaves do not have any). One important difference is that, by locating them in the context of justice, rights are properly had by others. It is certainly true that I have rights, but when I say this I am considering them so far as they can make someone else just. To consider rights as my own leaves them recognizable as rights, but it prescinds from the context that could make me a good, virtuous, happy person.

1. Ius (pl. iura) is the object of justice that is true; to translate it as right is potentially misleading since what is meant as ius by St. Thomas is not the same as what we mean by right in the sense of a moral faculty or freedom to do a certain action. It is proper to the Bill of Rights to list these moral faculties in order to safeguard them from being infringed by the Federal Government. The Bill of Rights sets to make explicit the limits to the authority of the Federal Government. [subjective active rights]

2. The other subjective "right," a title or claim to something, may be bound up with St. Thomas's notion of ius. Ius, as explained by St. Thomas, is proper to ethics is moral theology - determining what is owed to another, what must be done/rendered to another (an action, first of all) by a moral agent. Determining what is owed to me is proper to a judge or someone else mediating a dispute, though it is not without the flip side - if I have a legitimate claim to something, then it must be given to me. [subjective passive rights]

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Zenit: On The Fruits of Conversion
"It Is There, in Our Conduct, That We Must Show That We Are Following His Will"

Friday, December 14, 2012

Znamenny Chant by Fr. Simon Pimen

(via Byzantine, TX)

Another Interview with Fr. Gabriel

Pravmir: One Cannot Be Anything More Than a Christian: A Conversation with Fr. Gabriel (Bunge)

Father Peter Galadza on Light of the East

Light of the East: #427: Father Peter Galadza (mp3)

I think Fr. Galadza touches upon the question of married priests in the Eastern churches.

Related: #426: The Maronite Church (mp3)
The Light Of The East #424: An Eastern Monk (mp3)

Beatitudes, Mode 1

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crisis Magazine: “Go Read Your Thomas” by Brian Jones

"Following and expanding upon the tradition handed down to him, St. Thomas taught that reality had an intelligible order to it which aligned with our internal knowledge-based development."

??? I will have to think about what the author is trying to say here...

"Modern man is frequently provided with more education than ever before, but seems to understand himself less and less. There is no metaphysical framework that allows us to understand ourselves, the world we are in, how we ought to act, and ultimately, God. College has become the summum bonum for the youth, but it has not proven to be a community that truly helps young people to ask the deepest questions concerning life that make it more authentically human."

Metaphysics is important and the highest of the naturally knowable sciences, but it is unlikely to be attained by more than a few. There is no "metaphysical framework" because our society at large has rejected Christianity and continues to do so, while lacking the intellectual "elites" lack the requisite skills and moral character to recognize their ignorance.
Byzantine, TX: Chrysostom Seminar in Rome discusses clerical celibacy

Alexander Schmemann on the Ordained Priesthood

Synaxis: Remembering Father Alexander Schmemann: Ministry and Vocation
Father Schmemann strongly argues that there is no special or unique vocation of the priesthood other than to reveal to others the common vocation of the entire people of God: to always offer thanksgiving to God. He was adamant that any theological or doctrinal separation between the vocations of the clergy and the laity is a false one, which reduces the priesthood to a separate caste of people, much like the Levites in the Old Testament, and thereby encourages clericalism. According to Schmemann, “If there are priests in the Church, if there is the priestly vocation in it, it is precisely in order to make the whole life of all the liturgy of the Kingdom, to reveal the Church as the royal priesthood of the redeemed world.” Thus the priest fulfills the calling of everyone who is a member of the royal priesthood, to offer prayer and praise to God and become fully a priest over creation, always giving thanks for everything.

Continue reading.

Elder Paisios On Those Called To Be Clergymen
Today's Need for Bright and Transparent Cassocks
Elder Ephraim Katounakiotis: On the Priesthood (1)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Is a notion of ritual impurity sustainable in Christianity?

Via Byzantine, Texas: Purify Her Uncleanness by Carrie Frederick Frost
December 11, 2012

"Gregory" attempts to explain certain practices not through "ritual impurity" but concerns about physical integrity and safeguarding the mysteries, or something. Do the prayers and practices admit of this interpretation? This topic is somewhat new to me.

Sister Vassa Larin's opinion. And a response to Sister Vassa Larin by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov. (He also has a follow-up article.)

Also from Byzantine, TX: Confession and the contrite heart

Will we return to this practice?

Infant Communion: The Ancient Western Tradition by Fr. John A. Peck

He cites the work of Archimandrite Robert Taft, S.J.

Some Catholics similarly advocate that Confirmation be restored to its place right after Baptism.

Natural Law Liberalism

Is this how we should understand the American founding fathers?

Sustainable Liberalism by Nathan Schlueter (via First Thoughts)

Better than Our Philosophy: A Response to Muñoz by Patrick J. Deneen

Why Social Conservatives Should Be Patriotic Americans: A Critique of Patrick Deneen by Vincent Phillip Muñoz

Monday, December 10, 2012

Rome Reports: Benedict XVI and Cardinal Marc Ouellet open Americas conference at the Vatican

Zenit: Pope Benedict Addresses International Congress on "Ecclesia in America"
Calls on Participants to Focus on Problems Due to Secularism
Pope's Address to Participants of "Ecclesia In America" International Congress [2012-12-10]
Cardinal Ouellet Presides Over Opening Mass of International Congress on "Ecclesia in America"
Three Day Congress Will Focus on Evangelization in North and South America
Cardinal Ouellet's Homily at Opening Mass of the International Congress on "Ecclesia in America" [2012-12-10]

Rome Reports: Pope honors Our Lady on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception

Zenit: Pope Venerates Image of Virgin Mary on Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Traditional Tribute Takes Place in Rome
Pope's Immaculate Conception Address at the Spanish Steps
"Mary Immaculate Teaches Us to Listen to the Voice of God that Speaks in Silence" [2012-12-09]
The Christian Origins of Islam by Peter J. Leithart

Dr. Leithart refers to Christoph Luxenberg's The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran and to a collection of essays, The Hidden Origins of Islam.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Dr. Kevin White on the Consequences of Introducing the Microphone to Liturgy

Citing Marshall McLuhan... Drop the Mic (via First Thoughts)
"Let us Prepare to See, with the Eyes of Faith, Gods Salvation in the Humble Grotto of Bethlehem"

Friday, December 07, 2012

Benedict XVI on Rights

Zenit: Benedict XVI's Address to Plenary Assembly of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
"The Rights and Duties Do Not Have as their Sole and Exclusive Foundation the Social Conscience of Peoples, but Depend Primarily on the Natural Moral Law"

The ITC Document on Theology

Rome Reports: Pope welcomes document published by the International Theological Commission


Zenit: Pope Benedict's Address to the International Theological Commission
"Without Openness to the Transcendent [...], Mankind becomes Unable to Act in Accordance with Justice and Work for Peace" [2012-12-07]

Pope Benedict XVI: 'Christianity and Monotheism is of Vibrant Relevance'
Pontiff Addresses International Theological Commission
Rome Reports: Georg Gaenswein, named Prefect of the Papal Household and Archbishop
Fr. Z: Promoter of women “deacons” can’t speak in Archdiocese of Philadelphia

What if certain Orthodox Christians (and Eastern Catholics) began advocating the "restoration" of deaconesses? I think Fr. Z is too dismissive of the historical data, which needs to be addressed properly.

John Haldane interview

3:AM Magazine: aquinas amongst the analytics (via Edward Feser)

A lecture he gave for the Iona Institute - Love, sex and marriage in liberal societies.


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Insight Scoop: New: "Enchiridion Symbolorum" (a new edition of "Denzinger")

"The New Testament in Byzantium"

Dumbarton Oaks: 2013 Byzantine Studies Symposium, April 26-28, 2013, Symposiarchs: Robert S. Nelson, Yale University and Derek Krueger, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

tentative program (pdf)
poster (pdf)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

Does God Want Us to Be Happy? by Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko

How does he define happiness or happy? A definition is not offered at the beginning of the interview, but we do find a hint later:
Helen: So, the main confusion is that people look at their problems from a secular attitude, saying to themselves, “My life should be happy here on earth” rather than looking toward the life after this one. Is that so? 
Fr. Thomas: Yes. I would also say that not only do people look at life secularly – which I guess would mean with no relationship whatsoever to God – but I think it’s also true to say, especially nowadays, that many people look at the world in a falsely religious way. Not necessarily just secularly. People think that God exists to make our earthly life “happy,” to take away all suffering and pain, to do whatever we want Him to do, that all we have to do is “name it and claim it” and God will give it to us, no matter what it is — health, a good job, a good sex life or, for example, how the human genome project is described. I read it recently on the front page of the New York Times. The director of the project said: “Our purpose is very clear: it is to live a longer, happier, more pain-free, healthier human life before we inevitably die.” Well, many people think that’s a good program. Many religious people think that’s what God is trying to do, too — to make us live a longer, happier, healthier, better, and easier life…

The accumulation of various goods, but not the eudaimonia of Aristotle or Aquinas.

The full interview.

Something on those happiness studies. [Subjective] satisfaction vs. fulfillment based on objective meaning?

Saturday, December 01, 2012

This morning at a sale at a local Catholic bookstore, I looked through a copy of Married Priests? I don't think any new arguments are advanced regarding clerical celibacy as an ideal, and it relies on much work already done by Cochini and Heid and the like. It is unlikely, then, that this new book would successfully persuade Orthodox (and Eastern Catholics).

Priestly celibacy in patristics and in the history of the Church by Roman Cholij (who has since then repudiated his original position, iirc)

He has also written Theodore the Stoudite: The Ordering of Holiness.

From earlier this year: Rome to US Eastern Catholics: New Priests Should “Embrace Celibacy”

Biopic of Joseph Ratzinger to be Made

Vatican Insider: Ratzinger’s life becomes a film
An international production on the life and works of the Pope has been announced in Munich. The film is due out in 2014 and will be based on the written biography by Peter Seewald

Some Events at the DSPT Next Year

From the Events Calendar:

Natural Law - an Evening with Russell Hittinger, Jean Porter and Lloyd Weinreb
Thursday, January 31, 7 pm
Save the date to learn more about natural law from leading scholars: Russell Hittinger , William K. Warren Professor of Catholic Studies and Research Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa; Jean Porter , John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame; and Lloyd Weinreb , Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University. More details to come.

According to his brother, Dr.  Hittinger's book on Catholic social teaching (long-awaited by me) is finished and will be published soon. I haven't seen any information on it yet.
And the 2013 Aquinas Lecture:
The 23rd Annual Aquinas Lecture - Baptismal Theology and Practice in the Age of St. Thomas Aquinas
Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP
Wednesday, February 27, 7.30 pm
Fr. Augustine will examine new discoveries about the liturgical and social significance of baptism in the cities of thirteenth-century Italy and compare them with the development of the theology of baptism from the 12th century to Thomas Aquinas in the late 13th.

Metropolitan Tikhon Visits St. Vladimir's Seminary
Metropolitan Tikhon’s Inaugural Visit to Seminary Includes Guest Cardinal Dolan

FB album

SVOTS Dean Lectures in Toronto, and Serves in London at Anniversary Liturgy