Thursday, April 30, 2020

Eastern Christian Books: Searching for Sacred Images

Eastern Christian Books: Searching for Sacred Images

Gracewing: In Search of the Sacred Image by Aidan Nichols, O.P.

Eastern Christian Books: OCA's 50th Anniversary of Autocephaly

Eastern Christian Books: OCA's 50th Anniversary of Autocephaly

SVS Press: The Time Has Come edited by Ionut-Alexandru Tudorie

Related: SVS Press publishes volume commemorating OCA autocephaly

Eastern Christian Books: Old Believers in the Tsarist Empire

Eastern Christian Books: Old Believers in the Tsarist Empire

Bloomsbury: The Old Believers in Imperial Russia: Oppression, Opportunism and Religious Identity in Tsarist Moscow by Peter T. De Simone - hardback and paperback

An Article About the Benedictines of Norcia

CNA/CWR: Monks of Norcia praying with ‘greater intensity’ during coronavirus

That Will Be an Unpopular Post

among Latin traditionalists.

One of the points made by James Chastek in his post on Latin liturgical reform:

4.) The main problem of the TLM is that through historical accidents it lost a large part of its ability to symbolize the pascal sacrifice, which is essentially a sacrificial community meal presenting the sacrifice as a culmination of God’s fidelity in salvation history according to the scriptures. I wholeheartedly endorse the most strident traditionalist who insists on “the holy sacrifice”, but the claim that we have to choose whether the Mass is a sacrifice or a supper completely misses its nature. Passover is a sacrificial meal. If this is Protestantism, then the Protestants were right about something. So what?

I think I would agree with his post for the most part; it's good to know that not all Thomists are committed to the prevailing theologoumena among Latin traditionalists about the Eucharist. (I will have to review Levering's work on these questions.) I am not sure if the more "traditional" Dominicans themselves hold to such views.

Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P.: "Friendship and the Common Good"

Here is the video:

Pinkoski's Response to James Patterson on Latin Integralism

Law and Liberty: How Not to Challenge the Integralists by Nathan Pinkoski

And one recommendation for the above by Michael Brendan Dougherty: Is Integralism Just Catholic Fascism?
The author gives a history of the development of Latin integralist thought, starting with the Roman Catholic anti-liberals (not all of whom were strict monarchists, by the way). 
Although its theological claims go back further, Catholic integralism owes its politics to post-revolutionary Europe. The basic presupposition of integralism is that theology is prior to politics and must order politics. As Émile Perreau-Saussine observed in Catholicism and Democracy, this requires a strong demarcation between the spiritual power of the Church and the temporal power of the state. That demarcation was not visible in the Ancien Régime, as the monarch anointed at Reims mixed temporal and spiritual power. The cruel exposure of that demarcation came as the French Revolution’s newly secular state violently attempted to assert its temporal power over the spiritual power of the Church. Since Catholics could no longer rely on their monarch—a Christian head of a Christian state—to protect the Church’s liberties, early 19th century Catholic political thinkers sought a deeper understanding of the principles of authority. They looked to the Papacy—to spiritual power—as the ultimate guarantor of Catholic liberties. Hence Perreau-Saussine argues that integralism is post-revolutionary. Ultramontanist thinkers, such as Joseph de Maistre, helped develop the demarcation between Church and State. In distinguishing temporal authority from spiritual authority, spurning Bonapartist Concordats to revive the Gallican Church, and granting that the Pope was the ultimate authority, these thinkers sought to free the Church from the grip of the post-Revolutionary secular state and campaigned for regimes that would get the Church-State relationship right.
And Latin bishops today act with this sort of mindset, that they have a "spiritual authority" that enables them to lecture the state, even if the state does not recognize their authority. Integralism is a logical consequence to certain Roman claims concerning the authority of the bishop of Rome, and here is its first major weakness. Latin integralists will call their political theory "Catholic" as Latins are apt to label everything part of their ecclesial tradition, but it is particular to them alone, at least so far. Byzantine theory of symphonia may be reconcilable with some looser form of Latin integralism, but it will differ with Latin integralism in all forms in so far as integralism is tied to ultramontanism or a maximalist conception of the papacy. While symphonia developed within the context of empire, on the face of it I cannot see why a version of it cannot be harmonized with republican forms of government.

The rest of the essay is worth reading as the author discusses the relation of integralism to political movements in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is not a thorough history nor does he mention all of the Latin counter-revolutionary/anti-liberal thinkers, but hopefully Patterson will read it.

Carron on Giussani

Julián Carrón presenta "Il senso religioso" di Luigi Giussani - Comunione e Liberazione

Intervento di Julián Carrón al corso su Il Senso Religioso (versione corretta)

Julián Carrón presenta "All'origine della pretesa cristiana" di Giussani - Comunione e Liberazione

Presentación de «El Sentido Religioso» de Luigi Giussani por el P. Julián Carrón

Julián Carrón e Luciano Violante - Incontro sull'educazione al Teatro Dal Verme

Another Recommendation for Fiedrowicz’s Book

Rorate Caeli: The supreme literary vindication of Summorum Pontificum: Fiedrowicz’s comprehensive guide to the Traditional Mass — now in English by Peter Kwasniewski

"There is No Gnosticism"

CLJ: Historiography and the Demands of Theory: Did Gnosticism Exist? by Cyril O'Regan

Prof Robin Jenson, "The Place of the Altar and the Shape of the Font"


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Reform of Palm Sunday in the Roman Rite

NLM: Bugnini on the Reform of Palm Sunday (Part 1) by Gregory DiPippo

Modern Latin Devotion to St. Joseph

in the guise of a Roman document to the Church Universal.

Pope Leo XIII, Quamquam pluries

NLM: The Solemnity of St Joseph 2020 by Gregory DiPippo

The special reasons for which St Joseph is held to be Patron of the Church, and for the sake of which the Church has such great confidence in his protection and patronage, are that he was the spouse of Mary, and was reputed the father of Jesus Christ....

Now playing Rachel Fulton Brown: Bury St. Edmunds

Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, O.P.: "Friendship and the Common Good"

Thomistic Institute:

To be live-streamed tomorrow at 5:00 PM EST>

Recent Synods of the Patriarch of Rome

The “Historic” Amazonian Synod, Revisited by George Weigl

Also published at CWR.

Weigel's purpose is to protect the true legacy of Vatican II and of the popes of Vatican II, and so he compares the Amazon Synod to previous synods called by the patriarch of Rome. We see the same pattern over and over ago, attempts at top-down reform using existing institutional practices, which are mostly bureaucratic in nature. I'll just comment upon a few of these synods that Weigel considers to be more "historic" than the Amazon Synod.

The 1974 Synod on evangelization was a donnybrook, reflecting the turbulence in the Church a decade after the Second Vatican Council. The synod fathers couldn’t agree on a final report, so they handed the synod’s materials to Pope Paul VI with the request that he do something. Pope Paul responded with the great apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (Announcing the Gospel). It was Paul VI’s last pastoral testament to the Church and the first summons to what John Paul II would call the “New Evangelization”: the grand strategy that animates the living parts of the world Church today.
This is the same pope that failed to give any sort of modicum of leadership at a time when papal authority still carried some weight with bishops. This is also the same pope who created the turbulence with a disastrous liturgical reform. A pope who was wrongly canonized for the sake of institutional reasons. How can there be a "evangelization" by Christian peoples who cannot give credible witness with respect to their private lives, non-existent parish lives, and liturgical worship? The bishops failed to focus on the basics; if they had done so, they wouldn't need a document from Paul VI about evangelization.

The 1990 Synod debated priestly formation and seminary reform. The propositions adopted by the synod fathers helped shape John Paul II’s 1992 apostolic exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis (I Shall Give You Shepherds). Where it was taken seriously (as in the United States), that exhortation helped apply the brakes to the silly season in seminaries and laid the foundation for the reformed seminaries of today.
Assuming that seminaries, during a time of contracting local churches and budgets, would remain a viable option for educating future deacons and bishops was a mistake. Weigel's assessment of the current state of American seminaries, like his judgment of many other aspects of the patriarchate of Rome, is excessively positive. How many of these seminaries have implemented a program of scripture study even close to something like Pius X wanted? (What is the typical Latin seminarian's knowledge of Greek and Hebrew like?) How could Latins come to a new appreciation of the fundamental Kerygma without returning to the language of scripture, away from the jargon of neo-scholasticism?
And then there was the special Synod of 1985, which met on the 20th anniversary of Vatican II’s fourth and final session to explore what had gone right, and what had gone not-so-right, in implementing the Council. Its final report’s description of the Church as a communion of disciples in mission provided the thread that wove the 16 documents of Vatican II into a coherent, compelling tapestry of Catholic faith. Like Evangelii Nuntiandi, the special Synod of 1985 was a crucial moment in the journey from Vatican II—the council Pope John XXIII called to give the Church new missionary energy—to the New Evangelization.

Second Extraordinary General Assembly - The Twentieth Anniversary of the Conclusion of the Second Vatican Council (24 November-8 December 1985)

Vatican II remains the paradigmatic example of the use of an ecumenical council Latin synod to try to reform the patriarchate of Rome with respect to its theological outlook. (Even if one were to assume that the Ressourcement approach to theology and liturgy was the correct one, and this Latin traditionalists will still dispute.) It was the wrong instrument to accomplish this task, and could only fail. A Latin could argue that Vatican II was merely following Trent as a council of reform, but the Tridentine fathers had certain reforms in mind, which could be readily ascertained as to whether they were implemented or not. There was no questioning of the Latin ecclesial tradition at that time, but just a clarification of dogma in response to the Protestants (but really a solidification of scholastic theology as dogma), and how to reform the institutions of the Latin churches so that this dogma could be promoted. With respect to Vatican II, in contrast, a renewal of Latin theology and spirituality (which would necessarily involve an integration of the two), by its paradoxical combination of simplicity and complexity, could not simply be legislated into existence. It requires a true paradosis, and churches not acting as institutions but on a humane scale. Knowing the Gospel or Kerygma, witness, and the Christian life -- all touched upon in the synods after Vatican II, which did nothing permanent to arrest the decline of the Latin churches, as the same institutional practices remain in place.

Glorifying the Institution

CNA/CWR: Pope Francis creates foundation to promote John Paul I’s teachings

A pope who reigned for only 33 days... according to those who knew him, a gentle man. How many writings are there from his pontificate? Take a look.
According to a note signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the foundation’s purpose “is to promote and disseminate awareness of the thought, works, and example of Pope John Paul I.”

Will the foundation also promote what he wrote and said as a bishop or as a theologian with private opinions? (Such writings must be evaluated according to their merits, and not elevated merely because the one who wrote them would later become pope, as if the Holy Spirit somehow guaranteed by his election that all of his previous writings were exemplary and free from error.) Why would it be necessary to promote the writings of an individual pope, except because of a maximalist view of the Roman papacy? All too often the private opinions of the man who was pope are confused with the "papal magisterium" and held to be on the same level.

There is one of his homilies as pope, in which he uses a proof-text from St. Ephrerm in support of Rome's claims about the scope of authority of the bishop of Rome: HOLY MASS FOR THE INAUGURATION OF THE PETRINE MINISTRY OF THE BISHOP OF ROME

Of course, the same sort of criticisms could be made about the establishment of a foundation for Benedict XVI/Joseph Ratzinger, even if Ratzinger's theological legacy is arguably greater than that of Albino Luciani.

Who was Albino Luciani, the 'smiling Pope'?
John Paul I: The September pope
The Unpublished Albino Luciani – Pope John Paul I, ‘the Smiling Pope’: Part I and Part II

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Proper Use of Icons

New Men Now Available

Byzantine Chant Education

Jesus, Icon of God

Démocratie : vers quelle finalité commune ?

Pierre Manent : Pourquoi recourir à la loi naturelle ?

Pierre Manent- La théologie politique et ses légendes : Carl Schmitt et Erik Peterson

Rachel Fulton Brown: Constantinople 1204

Kabarnos Nikodimos

Misunderstanding Secular Europe

The important consideration being that "plures hominum sequuntur passiones"; not that the plures will actually use this right to contradiction, but in that they will, through negligence and indifference for the common good, allow those who do contradict, to seize power. Ex.g.: several European countries today.

An Aristotelian would agree that "absolute democracy" is a bad regime; after all it was Aristotle, following Plato, who distinguished between good and bad regimes. But what of politeia, the "republic"? I cannot see that De Koninck would deny that the possibility of a good form of government by many exists. Aristotle would probably be inclined to there is no "absolute" politeia, whether with respect to the number (rule by all, regardless of qualification) or with respect to what they can legislate.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Rubrics for the Laity in the EF?

NLM: Should the Postures of the Laity at the Traditional Latin Mass Be Regulated, Legislated, or Revised? by Peter Kwasniewski

Kwasniewski takes a laissez-faire position on this question, and that is appropriate, though it may be counter to the mindset of many Latin traditionalists, who will insist upon kneeling as the appropriate posture for certain parts of the Mass, etc.

There is but one further angle to examine: the Problem of Pews. Since nearly every Catholic church in the West is now equipped with pews, usually bolted down for permanence, the topic is far more speculative than what we have discussed heretofore, and deserving of a separate treatment.
The two questions are intertwined so I await for the next part of his discussion. There is also the first ecumenical council's prohibition of kneeling on Sundays, but Latin traditionalists think the patriarchate of Rome is above that. And then there are sentiments like this expressed in comboxes and elsewhere:
I like the fact that the TLM has no rubrics for the laity at all -- including posture. It underscores the fact that the congregation (to be blunt) has absolutely nothing to do with the activity of the Mass. The priest offers the Mass. The server (clerical role) makes the responses. The schola (clerical role) sings the chant. None of this, at least in the missal or rubrics, is appointed for the congregation.

Michael Fiedrowicz, The Traditional Mass: History, Form, and Theology of the Classical Roman Rite

Angelico Press

From the publisher's description:
In contrast to conventional explanations of the Mass that offer practical or allegorical explanations of particular moments in the rite, the present work attends to the organic process by which the Roman rite was built up from its foundations into a magnificent structure, marked by the accumulated riches of each age through which it passed, and characterized by order, beauty, and piety in its texts, gestures, rubrics, chants, and calendar—ranging from the major elements to the most minute details. Treated as well are the reality of the sacred and how it is encountered, the irreducible role of ritual action, the eastward direction of prayer, the formation and value of a specialized sacred language, and liturgical participation correctly understood.

via Fr. Z, who includes this excerpt:

Only in the orations of the classical rite are contained and preserved numerous ideas that, although they belong irrevocably to the Catholic Faith, are understated or entirely lost in later modified versions: detachment from the temporal and desire for the eternal; the Kingship of Christ over the world and society; the battle against heresy and schism, the conversion of non-believers, the necessity of the return to the Catholic Church and genuine truth; merits, miracles, and apparitions of the saints; God’s wrath for sin and the possibility of eternal damnation.
"The necessity of the return to the Catholic Church and genuine truth" -- in reference to whom? Protestants? Non-Latin apostolic Christians?

Is a Latin traditionalist mindset necessarily tied to Latin triumphalism? Or is Latin triumphalism just the consequence of Roman Catholicism of the latter half of the second millenium taking precedence over charity?

Rachel Fulton Brown: The Lives of Charlemagne

Metropolitan Ephymios (Stilios) on Gerondism

OrthoChristian: The Phenomenon of “Gerondism”
Part 1: The components of “gerondism”
Part 2: Theological critique of the phenomenon. The ethics of the spiritual father and his child

Are the problems similar to the cult of personality that surrounds founders of young religious orders and communities in the West?

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Divine Liturgy and Prayer, True Light Podcast Episode 4

The Eucharist as a Sacrifice - Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and Bishop Irenei

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware on Prayer

Public Orthodoxy: What Is Prayer? by Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan of Diokleia

On the contrary, before bringing before Christ the suffering and pain of the world, and before looking downward at our own ugliness and failings, we should look upwards at the beauty and glory of God. All too often our prayer can take the form of grumbling before God, of complaining and expressing regret. But that, so Climacus assures us, is not true prayer.
It is significant that in the Divine Liturgy we do not commence with an act of penitence but with a proclamation of the kingly rule of the Holy Trinity: “Blessed is the Kingdom of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Only after receiving a glimpse of this heavenly Kingdom can we then begin to repent as we should. In prayer we should start not with our own neediness but with the divine plenitude. The same priority is to be found in the daily prayers that we say at home each morning and evening. After the opening invocation “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” it is customary to continue: “Glory to You, O God, glory to You.” Thanksgiving, doxology, are where we start. As St John of Kronsdtadt used to say, “Prayer is a state of continual gratitude.”

This pattern of prayer, with thanksgiving and doxology in the first place, is to be found also in the cycle of liturgical prayer throughout the twenty-four hours of the day. According to the ancient Hebrew understanding of time, which is still followed by the Church, the new day commences not at midnight and not at dawn but in the evening. That is why in the Genesis account of creation it is said, “There was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Gen. 1:5): the evening comes before the morning. In this way Vespers is not the concluding but the opening service of the day, not an epilogue but a prologue. How, then, does the daily cycle of liturgical prayer commence?

Throughout the year, except in the week after Pascha, it begins in precisely the same way, with the reading or singing of Psalm 103 [104]. This is a hymn of praise for the variety and wonder of the created order: “Blessed the Lord, O my soul! Blessed are You, O God …. O Lord, how marvellous are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all.” In the words of Fr Alexander Schmemann, Vespers “begins at the beginning, and this means in the ‘rediscovery,’ in adoration and thanksgiving, of the world as God’s creation. The Church takes us, as it were, to that first evening on which man, called to life by God, opened his eyes and saw what God in His love was giving to him, saw all the beauty, all the glory of the temple in which he was standing, and rendered thanks to God. And in this thanksgiving he became himself … And if the Church is in Christ, its initial act is always this act of thanksgiving, of returning the world to God.”

Latins who have been well-catechized may know these 4 types of prayer: Adoration, Contrition, Petition, Thanksgiving.

This list is repeated in the following essays:
What are the four types of prayer in Christian tradition? Sr. Maria Veritas Marks, OP
Adoration by Paul Grutsch, Ph.D.
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication by R.C. Sproul (not Catholic, but a Western Christian)

The last part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, written by Fr. Jean Corbon, O.P., lists five purposes of prayer: Blessing and Adoration, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving, and Praise. (Scott Richert gives a summary of the CCC.)

So with regards to these different lists, I'd ask some questions.

1. Is adoration an act of the intellect or of the will? If of the will, how is it distinct from agape?

Aquinas holds that adoration is an act of the virtue of religion, and it is twofold: the devotion of the mind (moved by the will)  and a devotion shown through bodily gestures. Aquinas notes that the bodily gestures are signs of humility which can prepare us for internal devotion. The link between adoration and the virtue of humility, which is of the will, should seem obvious, and a point with which the author of the part of the CCC on prayer agrees (2628). But whether "infused" humility is really distinct from the virtue of charity or only notionally so, I'll have to consider some other time.

I also note that for Aquinas adoration is a distinct act of religion from prayer. Is it possible under Aquinas' schema for adoration to motivate prayer? Or is it only possible for it to be simultaneous with prayer?

2. Praise and blessing don't really seem to me to be distinct. For that matter, it is not clear to me that thanksgiving is really that distinct from praise and blessing in traditional prayer formulae, whether of the pre-Christian Jews or of the early Christians. How do we know God? Through His wonderous deeds, which we acknowledge both to praise and bless Him but also for which we must render thanks for the good things He has done for us. In mental prayer it might be easy to miss one of these elements; I wouldn't assume that they are implicitly present. But in traditional vocal prayers meant for use by the individual and the community ?

Similarly, can one remember and acknowledge the deeds of God without humility, or being humbled as a result? It may be possible to pray mechanically but if one is striving for authentic prayer?

3. One could ask whether the element of thanksgiving is missing from the Lord's Prayer, or if it is implicit as it is in other blessings. (Is there a bountiful record of pre-Christian Jewish prayer formulae? I can only think of the blessings that Fr. Bouyer examined in his book Eucharist, and iirc, those prayers were not pre-Christian.)

The Jesus Prayer, whether in its simple form or one of the longer forms, doesn't seem to have the element of thanksgiving, but maybe thanksgiving can be an implicit part of the prayer.

4. I am not sure if I would say that these should be 4 types of prayer; rather I might make the claim that they are 4 elements of prayer, especially if the prayer is to be complete, and even if they are not verbally explicit, they should be manifest in how we order ourselves to God in prayer. Do we train ourselves first through spoken words, which shape our minds and souls? Isn't that one of the purposes of reciting the Psalter, so that we can assimilate the mind of Christ?

While it might seem that humility may be more linked to our being servants of God than sons of God, as we are both, I think that it is possible for humility to encompass both aspects of our relationship to God, just as our participation in the Divine Agape has both aspects as well.

Edit. 5 I was reminded later today that another way the 4 types of prayer are differentiated is according to motive, which is another way of saying that they differ according to the purpose or term of the act. So it's not really a different way of differentiating the 4 (or 5 types) of prayer as it is usually done, but a more "technical" way, that is, a more theologically developed way.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Corul Byzantion, Hristos a înviat!

Legyőzte halállal a halált!

Trolling Liberals

Having written about one challenge that integralists face, I find today that Adrian Vermeule posted the following over at MOJ: Abuses of Power. He gives a list of abuses of concern, and ends with "Worst of all, the very grave abuse of state power identified by a defender of true liberty," citing Pope Leo XIII's Libertas:

Those who are in authority owe it to the commonwealth not only to provide for its external well-being and the conveniences of life, but still more to consult the welfare of mens’ souls in the wisdom of their legislation. But, for the increase of such benefits, nothing more suitable can be conceived than the laws which have God for their author; and, therefore, they who in their government of the State take no account of these laws abuse political power by causing it to deviate from its proper end and from what nature itself prescribes.

Of course those who are secular or anti-Christian would not accept that this is an abuse, nor is it the case that the imposition of a Catholic integralist state by force alone will solve this last abuse or any of the others. Changing the law through raw power is not sufficient. Is Vermeule trolling classical liberals, or is this just an inside joke, if Vermeule knows that serious classical liberals aren't paying attention to what he writes at MOJ?

It is one thing to use rhetoric or even dialectic to discredit intellectuals who are threats to a good political or social order. But I doubt a post like Vermeule's is going to convince someone to convert to Christianity or make Latin integralism more appealing to non-Christians.

There is also the theological issue of using an individual text of a pope of Rome as sufficiently authoritative in itself, but I will write more about that in a different post.

As for this abuse:
* The abuse of power by state and local governments, especially when abusively resisting attempts by the federal government to prevent or remedy abuses;

Liberals who are nationalists with respect to the powers of the Federal Government may agree that this is an abuse. Are there any liberals, other than libertarians and paleolibertarians, who still believe in states rights? Given what I have read of Vermeule's writings on the Constitution, I don't think he accepts the Constitution as it was ratified.

Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae
Against the New Integralists by Raphael Fernandes
NOR: Dungeons and Dragons and Jurisprudence By Kevin D. Williamson

Rachel Fulton Brown: Medieval History 101 – The Unauthorized Version

Fr. Alexander Men on Pascha

Pravmir: The Essential Meaning of the Paschal Feast by Archpriest Alexander Men

LSN on That Survey


Coercive Authority

More on the Common Good

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Kallistos Ware – The Jesus Prayer

Bright Week

The 1955 Reform of Palm Sunday


First Mr. DiPippo begins with a claim about the 1955 Holy Week reform:

This divorce communicates the Protestant idea that the Last Supper, and the rite which Christ instituted thereby, were merely a commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross, rather than the anticipation of the Sacrifice and its perpetuation in time, as the Church believes and teaches. I then explained how the post-Conciliar reform undid this change in some respects.
As the Church teaches, or the patriarchate of Rome?

The rest is useful information, especially the comparison of the Roman rite with other rites with respect to Palm Sunday, and it is probably the case that the texts of the 1955 reform are deficient in comparison with what preceded them.

Collegiality for a Good Reason or Not?

Rorate Caeli: BREAKING - IMPORTANT - Summorum Under Threat? - Holy See sends survey to Bishops on Summorum Pontificum (Exclusive)

Renewed Attention to the CDK-Maritain Debate

First Things: False Notions of the Common Good by C. C. Pecknold

Thus De Koninck’s most powerful claim is that human dignity can only be truly defended by embracing the primacy of the common good “expressly ordered to God.” Without an “explicit and public ordination” to God, our debates about the common will devolve into mere debates between tyrants, and “society degenerates into a state which is frozen and closed in upon itself.” 

But what does an explicit ordination to God require? Not necessarily a version of the Catholic state as the integralists would advocate. Not necessarily the state at all.

What Checks Against Absolutism?

The integralist understanding of authority is anti-liberal, but it is also against modern state-absolutism and totalitarianism. This is true not only of contemporary integralists, but has been true throughout integralist history.

Integralists can say that they are opposed to modern state-absolutism and totalitarianism, but what safeguards would they advocate? What forms of resistance by the Church and citizens (or subjects) are possible, and how are they to be reconciled with integralist claims regarding authority? Where is their development of "just resistance theory"? And to which Latin theory of the origin of authority do they subscribe?

Fr. Panayiotis on Salvation & Redemption

Salvation (σωτηρία) and Redemption (λύτρωσις)

In Agreement with Robert Spaemann

Communio: A Keyhole for Unbelievers? The Public Character of Cultus and the Broadcasting of the Mass on TV by Robert Spaemann

Sandro Magister: The Pope Against Masses on TV: "This Is Not the Church" and For and Against Mass on TV. A Letter from the United Kingdom

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

James M. Patterson on Roman Catholic Integralism

After Republican Virtue

Too much reliance on Tocqueville for a description and explanation of republican virtues in early America in this essay? But typical of a certain kind of American conservative.

Or tldr?
In the end, this is all integralism really is. It is an internet aesthetic of mostly young men alienated from the public life and consumed with the libido dominandi. In the absence of those institutions that had once made America a place of deep faith and committed to liberty, these young men have had recourse to the Internet and attach themselves to the sublime historical experience of sacramental kingship, Iberian Falangism, or straight-up fascism supported by the general ideas purveyed by Vermeule and the like. The only alternative is for the Church to train and appoint new bishops committed to participating in public life with their congregations and raising them up in the republican virtue that so defined American Catholicism.
The author is wrong to identify some of friendship or social virtue as "republican virtue." Republican virtue will include friendship and the social virtues, but it is more than those two, and his example of parish life doesn't even come close to giving a full illustration of what republican virtue involves and requires. He is correct to criticze the Latin integralists but he is ignorant of his own precarious situation vis-a-vis the state.

Repeating a Latin Error

Which is based on ignoring the plain sense of scripture.

CWR Dispatch: Rediscovering baptism in plague time by George Weigel
As the Catholic Church has understood it for two millennia, baptism is far, far more than a welcoming ritual: baptism effects a fundamental change in who we are, what we can “see,” and what we must do.

(also published at First Things)

As the Catholic Church has understood it for two millennia, baptism is far, far more than a welcoming ritual: baptism effects a fundamental change in who we are, what we can “see,” and what we must do.

Being born again by water and the Holy Spirit in baptism, we become far more than [fill in the name] of a certain family, address, and nationality. We become living cells in the Mystical Body of Christ: members of the New Israel, the beloved community of the New Covenant, destined for eternal life at the Throne of Grace where the saints celebrate what the Book of Revelation calls the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 19:7, 21:2). We become the people in whom humanity’s greatest hopes, incapable of fulfillment by our own devices, will be realized.

Being reborn by water is not the same as being reborn by the Holy Spirit - there are two distinct actions required, the latter being the laying on of hands by the Apostles (or their successors), which act was subsequently replaced by the anointing of oil (though some rites still have the laying upon of hands).

This is just a poor attempt at a theological justification for the continued separation of Baptism and Confirmation, made necessary by the Latin practice of reserving Confirmation to the bishop. Latins should be afraid to ask the question of what is the effect of their infant neophytes not receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit later in life, if ever. Thus there is a psycholigical need to pretend that the Holy Spirit is given at Baptism, even if this is not warranted by Apostolic practice or the Apostolic understanding of our participation in the Mystery of Christ.

The Pascha Exapostilarion


2020 St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture at Villanova University

Mary Hirschfeld, PhD, an associate professor of economics and theology at Villanova, presents the Office for Mission and Ministry's annual St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture, titled St. Thomas’s Views on the Economy and Human Happiness.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Recipe for Medieval Blue Ink

Atlas Obscura: The Mystery of a Medieval Blue Ink Has Been Solved by Isaac Schultz
Turns out it was hiding in plain sight by the side of a Portuguese road.

The Centrality of the Resurrection

The Hymns of Easter (in the Roman Rite)


Thomistic Institute: Dr Andrew Willard Jones, "Before Church and State"


Monday, April 20, 2020

English Translation of the Vermeule Interview in Le Grand Continent

MOJ: Common-Good Constitutionalism Interview (English Translation)

This is what happens when Catholic intellectuals don't critically examine their own starting premises. They need to be called out on it, even if it doesn't lead to their opening their minds, because the rhetoric isn't for their benefit but for the benefit of the uneducated who know they are not educated.

"The Angel Cried"

Praying in the Name of the Lord

All in Christ

Persona (Non)Grata? Orthodox Readings of Augustine Revisited, Fr. Robert Dodaro, OSA

Paul Airiau , "Louis Bouyer, du centre à la marge?"

A chapter from Liturgie et société, edited by Bruno Dumons, Vincent Petit, Christian Sorrel

El abrazo. La presentazione del libro di Mikel Azurmendi - Comunione e Liberazione

ХРИСТОС ВОСКРЕС / Christus resurrexit / Χριστός Ανέστη

A Retractable Icon Screen


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Acoustical Considerations...


"Weep Not for Me, O Mother"

An Interview with Adrian Vermeule

Le Grand Continent: Adrian Vermeule : « L’échelle géographique d’un programme de bien commun devra être celle de l’État administratif » (via MOJ)

Unfortunately it is available only for subscribers.

It is clear from the title though that he is a proponent of a centralized national government and a statist.

Jesse Billett: An Anglican Liturgist Reflects on Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Reunion

His presentation reminded me of the sad events of Church history. In the past some Latin polemicists have faulted the heresy, or laxity, or even their rebelliousness with respect to Rome of Eastern Christians for their being conquered by Muslims. What if the chastisement was not for these reasons but for failures in charity, first in the relations between the Byzantine Christians and the non-Chalcedonian Christians (or Orthodox)? And later, there were failures in charity by those ruling the Eastern Roman, or "Byzantine," Empire and possibly even those holding authority in the Byzantine churches...

What is Christianity?

An Icon of the Divine Mercy

Silverstream Priory has it on this page -- I don't think is an icon belonging to the community as the photo has been used elsewhere.

Corul Vox Medicalis - Hristos A Înviat/Christos Anesti/Christ Is Risen

Russian Use...

A Brief Historical Look at the Liturgy by Archpriest Andrei Ukhtomsky

Saturday, April 18, 2020

STMARKCOC - MTL Divine Liturgy of the Feast of the Resurrection, Apr 18th, 2020

Midnight Office & Procession; Paschal Matins, Paschal Hour, & Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

St. Tikhon's Monastery

Holy Pascha - The Resurrection of Christ

I thought the Byzantine liturgy in English was very well done in this video... one of the few times I didn't think it sounded strange to my American ears.

Here's another:

David Cayley Interviews John Milbank

Radical Orthodoxy

Theology and Sanctity

NRT: "Théologie et sainteté dans l’œuvre de Louis Bouyer" par Marie-David Weill

Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil 4/18/20

A Latin Papacy

Sandro Magister: Francis, the Pope Who Does Politics Firsthand. The Analysis of a Church Historian

Sandro Magister publishes an essay by Roberto Pertici, "Primacy of the Spiritual or Primacy of the Political?"

Pertici probably is correct with making such a distinction, but is Pope Francis really exercising his office in a way with which his Renaissance predecessors would disagree?

Valeurs Actuelles Interview with Cardinal Sarah

Sandro Magister has the links: Celibacy, Amazon, Germany. Cardinal Sarah Returns To the Field

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hans Urs von Balthasar

Church Life Journal: Easter: We Walked Where There Was No Path by Hans Urs von Balthasar

The world’s ultimate destiny—as nature and as the history of mankind—is summed up both really and symbolically in the historical destiny of the man Jesus Christ. Ecce homo: behold man! Behold life destined for death! That is his destination; thither his destiny draws him, to a profound abyss of oblivion. And the shadow cast by this end covers everything with horror and chill, confusing all the threads of reason. But with the Resurrection from the dead, of whom the man Jesus Christ is the firstfruits, man comes forth from God, new, eternal. On the other side of death he begins his immortal life. And thanks to the death on the Cross on the part of the one man Jesus Christ, who was God’s Son, expiating sin and death’s doom on behalf of all, this eternal Resurrection life reflects a brilliant light onto the whole of our doomed existence. “Death, where is thy sting, where is thy victory?” Death is still there, and yet it has been superseded. The Cross is there but has turned into Easter. All the questions that guilty existence is bound to ask are still there, and yet “whenever our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything”.

Part of the Latin Resistance?

Archbishop Viganò's original revelations and criticisms may be valid; I suppose from a Latin theological point of view regarding the papacy, this concern may be justified as well. But at this point does he really have much else to say that would not cause his reputation to be diminished?

The Remnant: Viganò on 2020 Pontifical Yearbook: Did Pope Francis abandon the title 'Vicar of Christ'? by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

Imitating St. Mary of Egypt

The Fear of God

What Is Anamensis?

James Ceaser Responds to Vermeule

Law and Liberty: Adrian Vermeule’s Sixteenth-Century Constitutionalism by James Ceaser

Проповідь Блаженнішого Святослава у Великий четвер | Патріарший собор, 16.04.2020

Митрополия (Рязань). Выпуск от 15 апреля

Ad Multos Annos!

CNA/CWR: Benedict XVI celebrates his 93rd birthday during coronavirus lockdown

Vatican Foundation Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI

Fr. James Moore, O.P. : A Homily Reflecting on Pascha and the COVID-19 Crisis

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Fr. Gregory Pine on Studiositas


Fr. Andrew Summerson: "Exegesis of the Human Heart: Narrating the Emotional Life of Christians with Maximos the Confessor"

Thomistic Institute: A conversation with Abp. J. Augustine DiNoia

Fr. Michael O'Connor, O.P. - Living a Life of Divine Worship

Eastern Christian Books: Islamic Prophethood Understood Thomistically?

Eastern Christian Books: Islamic Prophethood Understood Thomistically?

UND Press: Muhammad Reconsidered: A Christian Perspective on Islamic Prophecy by Anna Bonta Moreland

How can one ask whether someone is a prophet without first asking whether his message is true? How else is a prophet to be judged?

From the publisher's description:
Anna Bonta Moreland calls for a retrieval of Thomistic thought on prophecy to view Muhammad within a Christian theology of revelation, without either appropriating the prophet as an unwitting Christian or reducing both Christianity and Islam to a common denominator. This historical recovery leads to a more sophisticated understanding of Islam, one that honors the integrity of the Catholic tradition and, through that integrity, argues for the possibility in principle of Muhammad as a religious prophet.

How does she do this without embracing some form of religious relativism, with indifference as a possible consequence?
Moreland sets the stage for this inquiry through an intertextual reading of the key Vatican II documents on Islam and on Christian revelation. She then uses Aquinas's treatment of prophecy to address the case of whether Muhammad is a prophet in Christian terms. The book examines the work of several Christian theologians, including W. Montgomery Watt, Hans Küng, Kenneth Cragg, David Kerr, and Jacques Jomier, O.P., and then draws upon the practice of analogical reasoning in the theology of religious pluralism to show that a term in one religion—in this case “prophecy”—can have purchase in another religious tradition. Muhammad Reconsidered not only is a constructive contribution to Catholic theology but also has enormous potential to help scholars reframe and comprehend Christian-Muslim relations.
Using Vatican II document on Islam (Nostra Aetate) when any positive claims about Islam are by their very nature not infallible as they do not have anything to do with Divine Revelation is typical of a Latin mindset, whether the purpose is to uphold the Latin tradition or to deviate from it. What sort of "Christian-Muslim relations" are possible if Christians do not recognize the message of Muhammad as being an authentic divine revelation?

And what could a "theology of religious pluralism" possibly mean, except some claims about how non-Christian traditions can nonetheless contain some elements of truth in them? Christians are not followers of a "Book" or a people of a "Book" or of a "Tradition." Christians are those who have been incorporated into Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Eastern Christian Books: St Thomas Christians in India

Eastern Christian Books: St Thomas Christians in India

Augsburg Press: St. Thomas and India: Recent Research by K. S. Mathew, Joseph Chacko Chennattuserry, and Antony Bungalowparambil

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Bergoglio Being Bergoglio

Sandro Magister: A Resurrection All About Politics. Francis’s Easter Message To the “Popular movements”

Will He Retire Soon?

CWR Dispatch: ‘The culture wars are real,’ Cardinal Pell says in new interview
“There is a systematic attempt to remove the Judeo-Christian legal foundations [on for example] marriage, life, gender, sex.”

Sandro Magister: The Easter of Cardinal Pell. With Comments From Ruini and Müller

Latins Should Return to the Ancient Practice


That it was the universal custom and observed by all Apostolic Churches is sufficient reason for its restoration in the patriarchate of Rome. (The rationale, I believe, was the same as well.)

That there is great confusion about the very essence of the Mass and the meaning of the ministerial priesthood may be gleaned from newspaper articles that interview priests who are now at loose ends because they have no congregation to engage. Having been led to define priesthood as a relation with the people when it is a relation with Christ first and foremost, on behalf of the people, they search in vain, or at least with great difficulty, for an intrinsic and transcendent meaning to the offering of due worship to the Most Holy Trinity, such as animated centuries of so-called “private Masses,” which the Magisterium of the Church encouraged right through Benedict XVI (see my article “The Church encourages priests to say Masses, even without the faithful”).

Has any Latin progressive admitted the force of the psychologically or "subjective" or "phenomenological"  arguments against versus populum? Or are they "pro-science" only when it agrees with their opinions?

If ever there was a reductio ad absurdum for the versus populum stance, this, the final outcome of the closed-circle mentality, would be it. If the church in which this priest is standing happened to have a tabernacle behind the altar, the inversion would be complete: a priest praying towards pieces of paper with faces, instead of praying towards the God who dwells with His people as their Head, their King, and their Shepherd, in Person—the Son of God whose bloody sacrifice on the Cross, sacramentally enacted upon the altar, is the reason Mass is said at all, for the profit of the living and the dead, wherever they may be.
This objectification of the reserved Eucharistic species in the tabernacle, that was not the rationale of the early Church but it is the dominant within second millennium Latin liturgical piety.
Seeing this photo brought home to me once again the wisdom of the tradition in having the Epistle chanted eastwards and the Gospel chanted northwards: in this way the position of the reader is dictated by theological and symbolic ideas that lead to no weirdness when implemented in an empty church, unlike the scenario depicted above.

Latin customs. For the readings, should the focus be on the reader? The direction in which the reader is facing? What image will help a "viewer" attend to the readings? An image of Christ? Or an image of the specific aspect of the Mystery being remembered?

Related: Eastern Christian Books: Orthodox Liturgy Phenomenologically Understood

Fordham UP: Welcoming Finitude: Toward a Phenomenology of Orthodox Liturgy by Christina M. Gschwandtner

Alice von Hildebrand on the Square Notes Podcast


Behold the Bridegroom Cometh


Сретенский муж. монастырь

Sretensky Monastery in Moscow Сретенский монастырь (Youtube)

True Light Podcast: Episode 08 More on Mission: A Visit to Richmond BC.

Richmond Eastern Catholic Church

The Eastern Tradition of Married Priesthood, True Light Podcast Episode 10

An interview with Adam DeVille

Shifting Definitions of Masculinity with Respect to the Presbyterate

Written by a feminist so it may not be agenda-free, but it is unlikely that the historical facts are in error.

UPenn: The Manly Priest: Clerical Celibacy, Masculinity, and Reform in England and Normandy, 1066-1300 by Jennifer D. Thibodeaux

(a review)

See also: Negotiating Clerical Identities: Priests, Monks and Masculinity in the Middle Ages (Palgrave).

Thomas Behr, Social Justice and Subsidiarity

Social Justice and Subsidiarity: Luigi Taparelli and the Origins of Modern Catholic Social Thought

CWR Dispatch: Recovering the historical roots, true meaning of “social justice” by Gerald J. Russello
A review of Thomas Behr’s Social Justice and Subsidiarity, which explores the work of Luigi Taparelli, a Catholic thinker who advocated an approach to politics based in Thomistic natural law argument.

The Catholic understanding of rights is different because it is based in a different understanding of the person. We do have rights from our nature as human beings, but Catholic thought sees rights as ordered to higher goods. Our entitlement to exercise our rights is bound not just by our historical circumstances and those of our particular society, but also by conscience and “the clarity and utility of a chosen action in relation to the pursuit of the highest good. … The more directly related it is to the highest good, the stronger the claim of right. That is why certain rights are ‘inalienable’ – they are ineluctable requirements of order, of the orientation of the intellect to truth, and of the striving of persons within society for the ultimate good.”

In other words, we have rights in order to do something, not simply to exercise those rights in whatever way we subjectively may wish and desire.

Related: Historian Explores Origins of Modern Catholic Social Thought

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Victory of the Cross

IVP: The Victory of the Cross: Salvation in Eastern Orthodoxy by James R. Payton Jr. (Google Books)

Università e lavoro - Video di don Julian Carron

Deification of Man in Christianity

Deification of Man in Christianity by Marcelle Bartolo-Abela (his website?)
Apostolate of the Divine Heart (12 Mar 2014)
ISBN: 978-0615809465

Review in Catholic Medical Quarterly.
Available from Amazon.

Written by a Latin

Rorate Caeli: The Realism of the Resurrection by Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla

But we must remember this: the purpose of his Real Presence in the Eucharist is not only for Holy Communion. We have forgotten that what Jesus did at the Last Supper and what he told his disciples to do—in “memory” of me (that word memory is too weak a word in English to convey what it deeply means)—is the same act as the Sacrifice of the Cross. Holy Thursday and Good Friday commemorate the same act—the saving act of God—in two different ways: one sacramental, one in time and space. It is the offering of the Son to the Father for the forgiveness of sins in the Mass that is the heart of the matter, which then allows us to approach the altar to receive his true Body and Blood. In the Traditional Roman Mass, the bell rings after the priest receives the Sacred Species, for this marks the completion of the Sacrifice. Then comes the invitation to the people to receive Holy Communion.
It makes me ask whether an Oriental Orthodox or Assyrian Christian would write something like this?

A Response to COVID-19?

First Things: A Time for Cornerstones

Architecture responds to human needs and aspirations. Throughout history, times of plague and catastrophe have called for serious responses in the form of churches and sacred art.

The "iconoclasm" that passes itself for "noble simplicity" would probably recoil at such suggestions.

It is possible for there to be variety of artistic expression even within the same liturgical rite, but might it be said that the issue for the patriarchate of Rome is that there are few universally agreed upon standards for the use of iconography, art, and space for church design or modification? Moreoever, the norms of urban and suburban temples in mass population centers probably needs to be questioned as well.

James Franklin on Mathematics

Ed Feser: Franklin on Aristotelian realism and mathematics

His website.

Palgrave Macmillan: An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics: Mathematics as the Science of Quantity and Structure

Dr. Michael Licona: "Proving the Ressurrection"