Friday, December 29, 2017

Fr. John Behr - Discussing "On the Incarnation"

amateur stream
Pope Francis, “diaconal primacy”, and decentralization of the curia

Decentralization by no means guarantees better governance, but is much more theologically, historically, and practically defensible than the Roman centralization and personality cult of the pope we have been enduring for more than a century now.

December 28, 2017 Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Cappella Romana in San Francisco

in Sacramento:

The Laying on of Hands

In the ordination of priests, what is the significance of the laying on of hands on the ordinandi by other priests? (In the Roman rite -- but I think it is also the custom in the Byzantine rite?) What does it mean, if priests do not have the power to ordain priests, only bishops do? Is it merely symbolic? Or does it signify something that has been forgotten?

How far back does the custom go? Is the custom possibly a legacy of the ecclesial order that existed before the development of the monoepiscopate?

Strong Claims

Linking the Roman Curia to the Petrine ministry of the bishop of Rome to the Church Universal and beyond. But where is the foundation in Sacred Tradition for this?

Pope Francis exhorts Curia to avoid “unbalanced and debased mindset of plots and small cliques”

“The universal nature of the Curia’s service,” the Holy Father told Curia members in the annual pre-Christmas address, “… wells up and flows out from the catholicity of the Petrine ministry.”

(original: CNA)

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Roman Curia

Fr. Hunwicke: Pope and Curia, The Curia Romana (1), The Curia Romana (2), and The Curia Romana (3)

The Roman Curia exists primarily to assist a bishop with the local Church. Why should its role extend beyond this? Perhaps it can be a concession that it should play a role with respect to the patriarchate (instead of proper synodality/collegiality), but with respect to the Church Universal? Wouldn't it be better to have certain priests or bishops as recognized advisors or eminent clergy to the synod of Latin bishops?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Gregorian Chant

It Won't Be the Last

Why St. Gregory’s University Is Closing Its Doors by Anthony P. Stine

What have Latin Catholics done to uphold the state of Oklahoma and to evangelize and inculturate there?

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Adam DeVille on Reconciliation of the Chalcedonian Churches

CWR: Questioning the prospects of Catholic-Orthodox unity by Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille

The latest statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation (NAOCTC) begins and ends with questions, and these are both more valuable and certainly more interesting than what is found in many ecumenical statements.

Decentralization, the virtues of which the North American dialogue says we must continue to contemplate, is much more theologically, historically, and practically defensible than the Roman centralization and personality cult of the pope we have been enduring for decades. Perhaps all the novelties and peculiarities of this Franciscan papacy will finally bring us to reconsider papal centralization and begin to rid ourselves of it both for the good of the Catholic Church and also the cause of Christian unity.

The Sun of Justice

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Allegorical Reading

Remembering Fr. Alexander Schmemann

OCA: Remembering Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Eastern Christian Books: Greek Monasticism in Southern Italy

Eastern Christian Books: Greek Monasticism in Southern Italy

Pledge of Fidelity

Pro-life leaders pledge fidelity to Catholic faith, refuse to follow ‘erring pastors’


Catholics here = Roman Catholics. What would be another term that could be used, instead of "Catholics"? Latin Christians?

On Translating the Lord's Prayer

Should the sixth petition of the Our Father be translated as “Do not let us fall”? by Jason Bermender

And is the English rendering “do not lead us into temptation” bad theology? Here’s why the answer to both questions is “no”.

The complicated context of Pope Francis’ confusing remarks about the “Our Father”
by Christopher R. Altieri

The Holy Father’s remarks, made to the Italian bishops’ TV magazine program, invoked a drawn-out and at times acrimonious controversy under the tent of French […]

Fr. Hunwicke: 1 and 2

Dr. Fleming has some remarks:

The problem does not like in the perfectly correct translation of the Greek into Latin “inducas,” and English “lead into,” but with the word “temptation,” which no longer should be used to translate the Latin tentatio.

There are many temptations in the NT and a careful examination of a few passage would convince any serious reader that conventional interpretations of the sentence in the Lord's prayer are erroneous.

[In Luke 10] The nomikos (not a professional lawyer but a man learned in Jewish law) wants to put Jesus to the test—the verb ekpeirazein reminds us of the tests to which Satan subjected Him. This requires a bit of explanation. The verb—and its simpler uncompounded form (peirazein)—are typically translated by the English “tempt,” but the meaning of that word has changed so much since the early 17th century that it is quite misleading. To “tempt,” in this and other passages including the Lord’s Prayer, is not to entice or trap but to put something or someone to the test in order to find out what they are. A closer English word might be “assay,” as in “The chemist assayed the ore to determine whether it was gold or iron pyrite.”

I can only just summarize the argument of what I have written in the past on the Lord’s Prayer. As in all uses of the word peira (temptation) and the related verbs peirazein and ekpeirazein, the context is not to be sought in instances of temptation—the diabetic in the candy store, the married man in the single’s bar—but in the testing of Job and in Jesus’ own “temptations” in the wilderness, which are nothing but Satan’s attempt to find out who and what he is.......

By not recognizing the meaning of “temptation.” we then fail to connect the passages in which our Lord is “tried” by his adversaries both human and diabolical. We compound the error by thinking that the “evil” we pray to be delivered from is either misfortune or sin, when in fact the Evil One is the devil himself. The result is that we do not understand the final two clauses of the Lord’s prayer, which might be summed up as something like: “Do not expose us to the trials that Job and Jesus were put by the Adversary and deliver us from the Evil one that seeks out destruction.”

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saturday, December 09, 2017

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

Saturday, December 02, 2017

CWR: Moral theology should make saints—not excuses by Nicholas Senz

Moral theologians should pursue research and reflection in order to bring forth and multiply the Church’s rich tradition on spiritual growth and holiness. They should avoid rationalizations and sophistic excuses, lest they be caught in their own craftiness.

I suspected she had a connection with New Wine, New Wineskins and she did -- she was the invited scholar for their 15th Annual Symposium. Ludicrous.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Crisis: Carbon Monoxide Clericalism by Fr. Tim McCauley
Regarding this post on the purpose of the Incarnation, it is not a good sign if the patriarchate of Rome has been talking about preaching the kerygma for more than half a century and its bishops are unable to do so correctly.

Re: kerygma -- Can we ignore the fruits of the reflections of the Church Fathers upon the purpose of the Incarnation and the salvation of mankind? Is it enough to say that the Son of God became man so that we might be saved, without explained how we are saved or from what?