Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Given that our Lord and His Apostles and Evangelists transmitted very little about political life and political arrangements (beyond the importance of obedience), would it be erroneous to conclude that political life is not important? Yes. It would also be erroneous to think that Catholic Social Teaching is not subject to change or correction, as its moral theology is only as good as the one doing it.

How useful for a discussion with the Orthodox?

Subdiaconal Ordination at St. Peter

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Psychological Impediments to Marriage

What would be considered as such in the Byzantine canons?

In the west there is a consideration of factors that would eliminate consent or voluntariness. But what of broader psychological impediments to contracting marriage, i.e. moral or spiritual impediments?

And deception is not the same as the lack of good judgment on the part of the person who doesn't really know the other person.

Is lack of moral maturity (which is different from emotional maturity but may include it?) sufficient to nullify the marriage? If one of the parties is selfish or narcissistic and cannot make a real commitment despite a verbal willingness to state that intent, can that party truly marry? Or can the law only limit itself to cases in which one deliberately lies about making a permanent and stable commitment to be with the other person?

What of other personality disorders?

How would one prove that a party never had the properly intentionality with respect to marriage? The mere fact that the party left the marriage? But someone could just change his mind and break his vow. It seems to me that it is psychologically possible for someone to merely mouth the vow without intending it; saying the words in order to attain some goal other than a true marriage. Would that be a conscious lie? Perhaps.

And what if the parties are psychologically or morally unable to fulfill the roles in marriage; i.e. the male is unable to lead and care for the other, or the female is unable to follow/obey and care for the other?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Latin Sacramental Theology

Were there any alternative explanations by the schoolmen for the Real Presence in the Sacred Species, other than that offered by St. Thomas? Or was his the "standard" explanation?

Is it possible to formulate an explanation of the Real Presence without relying on Aristotle's metaphysics, and at the same time acknowledging that the Sacred Species is a sign (sacramentum) and a symbol, but not a symbol that refers to something else completely apart from itself? The Sacred Species conveys or signifies the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, localizes and realizes this Presence. Can the Real Presence be explained through participation? It is more than the causal presence of Christ in the natural matter or artifact of bread, nor is it the accidental conjunction of two different things.

Can the Real Presence be explained by other than an analogue to the Hypostatic Union?

It does not seem that if bread is not a substantial unity but an accidental unity that this would pose a problem for a "Aristotelian" explanation -- we would hold that the Real Presence is in all of the parts of bread which are substances.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

St. Agnes

Carrie Gress

CWR Dispatch: The East, the West, and Simon Leys by Gerald J. Russello

A new biography and a new collection of essays provide details into the fascinating life and wide-ranging thought of author Simon Leys, who may have been the last great Catholic man of letters.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What does the pope mean by casuistry?

CWR: The Pope’s misuse of “calumny” distracts from deeper, more troubling questions by Christopher R. Altieri

The problem with Pope Francis’ defense of Bishop Juan Barros is not just that Francis has a poor grasp of technical legal terminology or that he misuses certain words, but that he thinks he knows better and refuses to listen to the people who do.

This would not be the first time Pope Francis’ lexical idiosyncrasies were cause for confusion. I still have not met anyone trained in the sacred sciences who can tell me what Francis means when he speaks of “casuistry” – or “abstract casuistry” – though it is clear he does not mean what is generally meant by the term, i.e. the resolution of moral problems by investigation into the specifics of the case and careful application of the general principles of moral science to the specific case, from within the specifics of the case, themselves.
CWR Dispatch: An evening with William Lane Craig by Bishop Robert Barron

Monday, January 22, 2018

CWR: Cardinal Burke: It is a “source of anguish” to hear suggestions “that I would lead a schism”

“The truth of the matter is marriage is not an ideal. It is a reality,” says Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke in a lengthy new interview with Chris Altieri. “What frightens me a great deal about the present situation of the Church,” he adds, “is what I would call a politicization of Church life and of Church doctrine.”


What is going on at the OSC at Fordham?

British Council Awards Grant to Orthodox Christian Studies Center for LGBTQ Research

Both faculty members in question are Greek Orthodox, I believe, solidifying the impression that their jurisdiction is the laxist in the U.S. Even if they weren't sincere believers in their project, this would still be scandalous to the faithful.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cardinal Müller on Papal Authority

First Things: By What Authority
The pope's words are at the service of the whole Tradition of the Church, and not the other way around.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Some Reactionary Orthodox May Agree

Patriarch Athenagoras was a modernist or a heretic? Just because he didn't think there were significant (i.e. Church -dividing) theological differences between Roman Catholics and Byzantine Orthodox. I would guess that his understanding of the theological differences would be greater than that of Pope Francis.

Sandro Magister: Athenagoras, Orthodoxy's Bergoglio

Sun of Justice Preview

Friday, January 19, 2018


Ed Peters on what seems to be the latest publicity stunt for the "populist, pastoral" pope: Thoughts on a Mid-Air Marriage (original)

In his update, Peters reports that this may have been a planned event. If that is the case, did the same person who got this to happen also have the conscience necessary to make sure the necessary vetting of the couple was done? Even if that were the case, the fact that this was publicized as a spontaneous event and to maintain a certain image of the pope speaks volumes about the papacy.

Hagiographical Skepticism

Where are the Bollandists now?

RTE Program on the Dominicans

Byzantine Blessing of the Great Waters for Theophany

Rorate Caeli: Mariawald Trappist Abbey Closed Down -- Summorum Undone by Current Vatican Regime

Eastern Christian Books: Nicholas Denysenko on Theophany and Chrismation

Eastern Christian Books: Nicholas Denysenko on Theophany and Chrismation

Eastern Christian Books: Syriac and Ethiopian Christianity

Eastern Christian Books: Syriac and Ethiopian Christianity

Alexander Lingas Interviews Marcel Pérès

Concept: Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann on the Common and the Personal in the Divine Liturgy by V.V. Pechatnov


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Except the Patriarchate of Rome is not the Church Universal

In other news, Latins still infected with latinocentrism.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Eastern Christian Books: Holy Rus'?

Eastern Christian Books: Holy Rus'?

Communion and Liberation

Cyril O'Regan on Ratzinger

But Very Little Overt Resistance in the Form of Affirming Traditional Discipline

CWR: “Ecclesial reception” in the Era of Francis by Peter M.J. Stravinskas

Out of more than 5,000 bishops in the universal Church, I don’t think we can consider supporters of the problematic practice of permitting divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion as constituting “reception”.

Understanding the Diaconate

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nicholas Denysenko on the Theophany

Theophany, Blessing Waters, and Conversion by Nicholas Denysenko

μωραίνει Κύριος ον βούλεται απολέσαι

German bishop wants to make 16 years the minimum age for the reception of Confirmation: German Bishop Suspends Confirmation For Four Years

Lectoring in the Roman rite in the US

The Byzantine rite does have instituted lectors but it also does allow for non-instituted lectors, who should chant the reading as well. And, there is also a question here of whether the artchitectural feature of the "sanctuary" reflects a good and proper understanding of the temple as a place for the Eucharistic assembly.

The Past of the Patriarchate of Rome

CWR: The Jesuit Pope and the problematic reform of the Roman Curia by Christopher R. Altieri

2017 was a year in which the micro-fissures in the structure began to be visible to the naked eye. 2018 is likely to be the year in which it becomes clear that major structural reform cannot be postponed.

Monday, January 15, 2018

CWR: Pope Francis and Ideology by Eduardo Echeverria

It is unfortunate that the Holy Father’s overall emphasis on legalism is such that he never addresses the antithesis of legalism, namely, antinomianism, leaving us with a lopsided picture of contemporary culture.

Francesco Arzillo Defends Ratzinger

Sandro Magister: Why Ratzinger Is Not a Heretic. The Defense Speaks. See also Antonio Caragliu.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Bishop Barron Has a New Book

CWR Dispatch: “Fundamentally a missionary”: New book captures Bishop Barron’s evangelistic vision by Gregory J. Sullivan

A review of To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age, by Bishop Robert Barron, with John L. Allen, Jr.

Are Latin bishops able to give a proper presentation of the kerygma? And do they realize their missionary field is not one country, but many within the borders of the United States?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tollefsen and Pakaluk on Capital Punishment

Here and here.

A "Catholic" Cult Busted

Everyone To School With Fr. Milani. But If These Are His Students...

New Men


What if...
the exaltation of the monastic life led to the imposition of a quasi-monastic rule on lay people (for example, fasting regulations)? And the denigration of lay vocation? And it had an adverse psychological or emotional impact, with lay people believing that they were too "normal," not good enough to be holy? And thus they identified asceticism too much with certain external practices regarding goods of the body, and not enough with the mortification of the will with the divine agape?

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Means to End, End to Means

Time to reconsider God as end in respect of the relationship of the common good to the ultimate end?

From The End of Modernity by Thaddeus Kozinski:

According to St. Thomas, men cannot adequately understand in theory, let alone fulfill in practice, the detailed precepts of the natural law without the help of its author, God, and its divinely appointed interpreter, the Roman Catholic Church. With regard to a non-sacral foundation for political order, the Thomist Joseph May in the 1950s stated: “The only true doctrine is that civil society cannot prescind from the ultimate end [emphasis mine] both because the temporal welfare implies an ordering to the spiritual and supernatural, and because the individual citizens are directly and positively bound to tend to it.”[8] And even Dignitatis Humanae insists that it “leaves untouched the traditional Catholic doctrine about the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ” (Sec. 1). As Pope John Paul II often reiterated, the face of Jesus Christ is the only true mirror in which man can fully and accurately contemplate and comprehend his own nature and destiny; thus, only therein can he discern the moral values and goods most perfective of himself and the political order.

A Conservatism That Is Not Critical Enough

Or a conservatism that is just underdeveloped liberalism.

The Imaginative Conservative: Cosmopolitanism: Citizens Without States? by Lee Trepanier
Crisis Magazine: The Triumph of the People’s Church by Anne Hendershott
NCReg: US Bishops Set Course on Liturgical Translations by Joan Frawley Desmond
In the wake of Magnum Principium’s changes to the process for approving liturgical translations, the U.S. bishops are charting a careful path forward.

Show Me the Local Cult That Exists

And proof of miracles attributed to the brothers...

Pray for the iconographer. Lunacy is not the word to describe this.

Fr. Z

Monday, January 08, 2018

A 2007 Interview with William Cavanaugh

From The Nation State Project, Schizophrenic Globalization, and the Eucharist: An Interview with William T. Cavanaugh by Ben Suriano & William T. Cavanaugh :

TOJ: You mentioned that the state acts as if it does not have an overriding metanarrative of its own, yet it does. You’ve commented on how it does take itself as peace-loving and the greatest promoter of world peace, yet through the use of violence as well. Can you, however, comment more specifically about the myths at the very origin of the state—in the early stages of its formative history—that have especially led to these currently accepted ideas?

BC: Well, when I say “the state” I am thinking in particular of the Western liberal democratic state. What is at the origin of this form is the idea of liberalism—which is, to reiterate, the idea of openness and universality overcoming particularity. This is one of the most basic ideas at bottom of the nuts and bolts formation of the Western state. It is basically an overcoming of the local through a centralization of power in the allegedly universal. So the particular loyalties of the people in the medieval period—loyalties to church and clan and guild and town and lord and so on—all of those particular loyalties are fragmented and absorbed into one centralized, universalized loyalty to the state. This transferring of loyalties in the process of state building is then a basic project that we find at the beginning of the rise of the Western state.

TOJ: You have mentioned in your work Charles Tilley’s idea that this process of state building is a process of war-making, almost like organized crime, in trying to centralize this power and these loyalties. And the centralized ordering of social space now seems to be more de-ritualized and secularized without the older particular loyalties of the past. Yet you have claimed in your work that in order for the state to develop this seemingly open, secular order it nevertheless uses quasi-religious liturgical practices that are somewhat of a religious parody in order to discipline and instrumentalize the devotion and imagination of the people. Can you comment on this movement of de-ritualizing and yet using quasi-liturgies by the state in order to gain allegiance and order? And what are ways it is still apparent in the U.S.?

BC: This process of state building and secularization is a very ambivalent movement because it certainly is the case that the liturgical rhythms of previous societies have been truly washed away. This is evident in the ways that the rhythms of time have been changed. Sundays used to be days of rest and now everything is open all the time on Sunday and everything is available 24-7 on the internet and so on, which really does de-liturgize society in a way.

But there are exceptions to this. I think the primary exception is the way that rituals of national patriotism are highly symbolic and highly ritualized and liturgized, especially as they revolve around the flag as the central totem symbol.

Susan Brinkmann on Mindfulness

CWR: Catholicism and Mindfulness: Compatible practices or contrary spiritualities? by Carl E. Olson
“The Church’s mystical tradition is rarely, if ever, addressed from the pulpit,” says Susan Brinkmann, author of a new book on the practice of mindfulness, “which leaves many vulnerable to being drawn into eastern forms of prayer that are not compatible with Christian prayer.”

Brad Gregory on Luther

Law and Liberty: Luther’s Rebellion: A Conversation with Brad Gregory by Brad S. Gregory

Rebel in the Ranks

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Saturday, January 06, 2018

CWR: From what, precisely, are Amoris Laetitia “dissenters” dissenting? by Christopher R. Altieri
If even Pope Francis could be unsure about the orthodoxy of his controversial post-Synodal Exhortation, surely the faithful will be allowed to have perplexities of various kinds regarding it?

Related: Canon 17 does not let us undercut Canon 915 and what it protects: A response to Stephen Walford by
Edward N. Peters (original)

Is Humanae Vitae Next?

More rumors and guessing...

Catholic Herald: There’s a movement to undermine Catholic morality – Communion is just the start by Ed Condon

Philip Lawler, Lost Shepherd

Google Books

Remnant Newspaper: The Importance of Not Being Us by Christopher A. Ferrara
Sandro Magister: The Bergoglio Mystery. Why the General of the Jesuits Didn't Want Him Made Bishop

Who would dare?

Enrico Maria Radaelli

Sandro Magister: Ratzinger Rehabilitates Müller. But the Pope Emeritus Himself Is Being Hit with Accusations of Heresy

Μεθ' ημών ο Θεός - Κύριε των Δυνάμεων

Friday, January 05, 2018

Canticum Salomonis


Capital Punishment as Deterrent

CWR: How and why the death penalty deters murder in contemporary America by Joseph M. Bessette

Too many churchmen simply ignore the evidence that the death penalty saves lives and promotes public order. Catholic public officials charged with the care of the common good deserve better from their religious leaders.

Let's Draw!

The Mosaic Apse of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

CWR Interview with Cardinal Brandmüller

CWR: Cardinal Brandmüller reflects on Luther, “Amoris laetitia”, the Dubia, and current situation
An interview with the Church historian and theologian Walter Cardinal Brandmüller conducted by Armin Schwibach of

Latin Teachings on Authority

A product of papal centralization -- so do they reflect a second millenium claim about episcopal (or papal) authority and the attendant obligations of the Christian faithful?

What is included in the deposit of Faith for a bishop? Only that which has been explicitly determined to be a part of the deposit of Faith? Or do theological conclusions count as well? Or are such conclusions to be taken to be opinion until agreed upon by the Church Universal? What about laws or precepts? Which laws are to be made by a bishop for the good of the local Church? Which precepts are not laws that are binding but only recommendations or suggestions? (Does a bishop really have the authority to set laws pertaining to diet, for example)

On non-infallible teachings of the Magisterium and the meaning of “obsequium religiosum” by Dr. Jeremy Holmes
Sometimes “religious obsequium” is translated “religious assent,” at other times “religious submission,” and at other times “religious respect”. What exactly are we being asked to do?