Sunday, August 30, 2020

Not of Immediate Practical Import

The universal destination of goods and the virtue of hope
Fourth catechesis of Pope Francis on the Covid-19 pandemic "To heal the world" in the light of the Gospel, the theological virtues and the principles of the Church's social doctrine

And the lacunae is not merely that of Pope Francis or his ghostwriter -- Roman Catholic Social Teaching has yet to grapple with the problem of the state and its legitimacy. There are a few steps that need to be reasoned through before such principles can be applied to ordering polities.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Not Vatican II's Fault

Just systemic issues that weren't and couldn't be solved just by a synod.


The Beheading of St. John the Baptist 2020


Integralism as Default

Timon Cline

My response: the problem is not that the state is just of the wrong confession at the moment; the problem is the state itself. Filling the state with believing Catholics or Christians will not eliminate this fundamental problem of scale.

Jeff Mirus on Latin Integralism

Recognizing that the Church is the arbiter not only of Divine Revelation but of what God reveals through creation in what we call the Natural Law, I am more inclined to want to get the natural law right, to study Catholic social teaching with great care, and to develop a political party that combines the best and most comprehensive recognition of the corresponding principles that ought to animate both the social order and government itself.

Latins claim this as a part of the authority of the Church (see CCC 2036 and Dignitatis Humane 14), but where is the warrant within Apostolic Tradition? Setting aside those secondary precepts which are not directly directly through reasoning but are determined by reason or are applications of reason in finding a convention to order some state of affairs (e.g. driving on which side of the road), there are several points to be made.

1. There are precepts of Natural Law that have nonetheless been revealed directly by God as well. These have been passed down as a part of Sacred Tradition. So bishops can be said to be arbiters of the Natural Law, in so far as they have received it as a part of God's revelation to Israel and in Christ. But does that revelation include all possible secondary precepts?
2. Knowing apart from Divine Revelation the "fullness" of the Natural Law requires not intellectual virtue but moral virtue. Do bishops have a special charism from the Holy Spirit that replaces the need for this and the habit of synderesis and the logical reasoning required as well? This is a more dubious claim.

That the Church possesses the authority to teach the precepts of the Natural Law is probably a long-standing Latin theological opinion. (Going back to Trent if not some time before, during the medieval period?) I'd like to read a treatise or manual that show some nuance in presenting this. Can the patriarchate of Rome cite one of its "ecumenical councils" as an authority espousing this opinon? I am doubtful, since the CCC makes no such reference.

See the old CE entry on the Natural Law.

Voluntarism? Nominalism?

OUP: Political Theology of International Order by William Bain

Theological Roots of the Secular World Order by Nathaniel Peters

Did people with power and influence really believe in legal voluntarism? Or were they just acting in accordance with their appetites? Is this sort of genealogy, putting the blame on late medieval theology/philosophy for "modernity" really still useful, in comparison with a proper study of history?

Friday, August 28, 2020

The Future of ROCOR

Orthodox Christianity

Thursday, August 27, 2020


But what future for academic theology in an age of collapse?

St. Phanourios, Pray for Us!

Orthodox Soteriology

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Who Needed Ressourcement to a Greater Degree than the Other Jurisdictions?

The patriarchate of Rome.

CWR : The Next Pope is an evangelical call to ressourcement by Eduardo Echeverria
George Weigel’s new book provides a balanced perspective on what the next pope should embrace in order to promote the radically Christocentric and evangelical imperative of the Church.

Church Life Journal

I'm not going to critique Taylor here, though what he says is worthy of critique, as his understanding of the problem of political life is flawed, and affects his understanding of the Church's mission as well.

I won't disagree that the patriarchate of Rome needed Ressourcement, not only to become familiar with the Fathers as models, but also as voices of the Tradition, and to be able to distinguish between what is directly pertaining to the Kerygma, theological propositions that have been found to have value in explaining the Kerygma and accepted by the Church Universal, theological opinion that is not yet accepted by all of the Church Universal, and so on. Was a Latin synod posturing as an ecumenical council the best or most effective means of bringing Ressourcement to Latin bishops? Or could this aspect of ecclesial reform have been done in a better and more cost-effective way? If the synod had just been an opportunity for bishops to gather, pray, study and have discussions, without feeling it necessary to issue documents to justify the calling of the synod, would the results have been better?

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Saint Gregory Palamas on Pure Prayer and Its Benefits

Agia Sophia Cathedral in Warsaw

Monday, August 24, 2020

A Useful Reference

Cappelli Online

Maybe Not Everything Jacob Did Was Praiseworthy

Indeed, especially in his life before receiving the name of Israel, which was not given in exchange for him overcoming God, but as a gift?

And our Lord is confirming this?

Saturday, August 22, 2020

What About the Old Believers?

Dr. Brian Butcher does say that the Ukrainian Catholic recension is closer to the Greek and the pre-Nikonian Russian recensions... I'd like to see a video comparing the pre-Nikonian recension with the reformed recension.

Conquerors Do What Conquerors Do

"Pumped Up Kicks" in Old English


Friday, August 21, 2020

Fr. Andriy Chirovsky on Ukraine

Latin Theology of the Presbyterate

The Lack of Learning among Latins...

A Spiritual Transformation of an Empire

Lord Have Mercy

Thursday, August 20, 2020

A Discussion on the Eucharist



victim (n.)

late 15c., "living creature killed and offered as a sacrifice to a deity or supernatural power, or in the performance of a religious rite;" from Latin victima "sacrificial animal; person or animal killed as a sacrifice," a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to vicis "turn, occasion" (as in vicarious), if the notion is an "exchange" with the gods. Perhaps distantly connected to Old English wig "idol," Gothic weihs "holy," German weihen "consecrate" (compare Weihnachten "Christmas") on notion of "a consecrated animal."
Sense of "person who is hurt, tortured, or killed by another" is recorded from 1650s; meaning "person oppressed by some power or situation, person ruined or greatly injured or made to suffer in the pursuit of an object, or for the gratification of a passion or infatuation, or from disease or disaster" is from 1718. Weaker sense of "person taken advantage of, one who is cheated or duped" is recorded from 1781.

U. Pitt Keywords Project:

Keyword: Victim

Victim is an important word because it links often traumatic personal or group experiences in contemporary societies to frameworks that understand such experiences and respond to them through public policy, political advocacy, and in wider public debate. The etymology of victim is straightforward: the word comes from Latin victima. Its first sense is that of a sacrificial offering, and this strong sense is made stronger by the identification of the sacrificial offering and thus the victim as Christ. By C17, however, it has developed the more general meaning “a person who is put to death or subjected to torture by another; one who suffers severely in body or property through cruel or oppressive treatment.” These strong meanings developed into a general sense of a passive recipient of misfortune. While in earlier uses such misfortune has been regarded as individual or random, there has been a concerted attempt in recent years to use the word as a route to political empowerment as the status of victim becomes structural. Governments have also chosen to endow victims with an active role in addressing their misfortune; this is most evident in some criminal justice systems, where the issue then arises of whether such victims have been given a power to override not only the rights of offenders but also the ability of the state itself to administer justice.

A New Book on Karl Barth

Klöpfer & Meyer Verlag: Zu dritt. Karl Barth, Nelly Barth, Charlotte von Kirschbaum

The Nominalist Bogeyman?

CWR: Negotiating grace, nature, freedom, autonomy: A conversation with Douglas Farrow
“The faith is handed down to us by the Church. We don’t get to invent it,” says the author of Theological Negotiations: Proposals in Soteriology and Anthropology. “But we do share in the task and responsibility of trying to understand it.”

Dr. Farrow: It takes me next to two very basic areas of dispute: the relation between justification and sanctification, in which Luther becomes my chief interlocutor, and the relation between “satisfaction” and punishment, a subsidiary but crucial topic that if anything is even more misunderstood today. Both of these have very significant implications for pastoral theology, as for systematic theology.

Those two chapters are followed by a pair on doxology. The first of these treats what I call “doxological Pelagianism”; that is, the tendency to rely on nature to perfect itself even in the act of worship, where the grace of God in Jesus Christ should be most evident. It will be among the most controversial chapters in the book, since it takes its cue from Protestant thinkers while contending that the problem is more exaggerated in Protestantism than in Catholicism, where it is also present.

The second is a detailed treatment of the problem of transubstantiation. Here I return to Aquinas, and to the task of rethinking some of his ideas by way of a more adequate eschatology. I expect this chapter to be controversial as well, even inside Catholicism. But both Catholics and Protestants, if they read it patiently, will perhaps find that the whole stubborn business—the very serious business—of transubstantiation appears in a fresh light.

I'd need more historical evidence before accepting his claims about nominalism:

CWR: In the Introduction, you write, “Nominalism is Western civilization’s wounded side, from which is flowing, not water and blood, but blood and fire.” Can you provide some background and context to that strong statement?

Dr. Farrow: That is said with respect to modernity’s doomed attempt to re-found Western civilization on the basis that “God” is merely a concept in the world, a way of speaking about emergent order in the world, rather than the living God, the God of the Bible who through the incarnation suffers and dies with man, who as man actually conquers death for the sake of life eternal. It was through nominalism that we learned to regard the latter as myth, as an empty vessel that could be filled with fresh content as required. But the fresh content we have poured into it has not brought progress towards perpetual peace, as the fathers of modernity hoped. It has brought moral confusion, incited hubris of every kind, and led to the sickness unto death; that is, despair. Western civilization is crumbling before our eyes, and being torn down by our own hands. We’ve decided that there’s little or nothing there worth salvaging, not even the statuary, as it turns out.

Weigel on Eucharistic Offering (or Sacrifice)

CWR Dispatch: Rediscovering Eucharistic Amazement by George Weigel
If Christ is not the principal actor in the celebration of the Eucharist, then the Mass is a social ritual, the community’s celebration of itself.

This caught my attention at first glance:
How many Catholics understand that we are called to the weekly celebration of the Eucharist so that, in union with Christ the Head of the Body, we might offer ourselves to the Father along with the eucharistic Christ who is offered?

But his reporting of the recent Vatican response on the proper form for Baptism in the Roman rite is of interest too:

The question the Congregation had to answer was whether Baptism is validly conferred by saying “In the name of the father and mother, the godfather and godmother, the family, the friends, and in the name of the community, we baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The answer was “No.” Why? Because the ancient formula, “I baptize you….” expresses the bedrock truth the Second Vatican Council inscribed in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: “When anyone baptizes, it is Christ himself who baptizes.” To speak of “we” baptizing is to suggest that the Church invents the sacraments rather than her being created by the sacraments. And that, to cite an image from Father Robert Imbelli, is to decapitate the Body of Christ.

Christ is the principal actor in the sacramental drama of Baptism. Christ acts through the baptizer, to be sure. But it really is Christ who acts. Otherwise, Baptism would be merely a welcoming rite rather than the radical reconfiguration of a person to Christ as a member of his Mystical Body, the Church.

Rome's Claim Put Into Canon Law

1983 Code of Canon Law

Can. 331 The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.

(cf Canon 218 in the 1917 Code.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Byzantine View of the Incarnation

Orthodox Christian Ethics, Morals, and Modernity

AFR: Fr. Demetrios Harper from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY joins Fr. Tom Soroka to talk about a challenging but important topic.

Aquinas Institute Offers Online Programs


Aquinas Institute

A Protestant Defense of the Common Good

The Public Discourse

Archbishop Elpidophoros to Speak on Orthodox-Catholic Relations in the US

Kenneth Pennington's Course on the History of Canon Law

Distributism Discussion at New Polity

The "Basil Option"

Monday, August 17, 2020

Eastern Christian Books: Roman and Papal Iconophilia

Eastern Christian Books: Roman and Papal Iconophilia

Routledge: Iconophilia: Politics, Religion, Preaching, and the Use of Images in Rome, c.680 - 880 by Francesca Dell'Acqua

Panagia Mouchliotissa

Vatican II on Eastern Catholics

Latins will quibble as to what the "as little as possible" part entails.

Brian Butcher on Christian Worship

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Eastern Christian Books: Preserving Coptic Heritage

Eastern Christian Books: Preserving Coptic Heritage

BAR Publishing: Egypt's Christian Heritage: Cultural Heritage Management and Egypt's Coptic Monuments by Dan Heale

Holy New Martyr Demetrius

Alan Fimister Responds to John O'Malley Regarding Vatican II

The Josias: ‘When Bishops Meet’ by Alan Fimister

St. Maximos the Confessor


The Intramural Debate Continues


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Matthew Levering on the Assumption


Friday, August 14, 2020

Interview with Spyridon Antonopoulos

Thursday, August 13, 2020

David Bonagura Reviews Pearl of Great Price

Arouca Press

Pius Parsch, Romano Guardini, and Petrus Tschninkel


St. Herman of Alaska Chapel Restored on Valaam

Memory Eternal

An Introduction to the Aritculus

CWR: Reading St. Thomas: A beginner’s guide to the articulus by Joseph G. Trabbic
Most of the things that Thomas deals with whether by way of the question or other methods are quite complicated. But Thomas sees no point in making complicated matters more complicated.

Pietro De Marco Proposes an Irenic Discussion of Vatican II

Sandro Magister: For or Against the Council, the Church in the Vortex. Guidelines for a Pacification

But the dialogue is really just for Latins and the patriarchate of Rome -- if Eastern Catholics are meant to be included at all, they are presumed to share the same beliefs as Latin ecclesiology. (Of course, Latins believe that the key points of Latin ecclesiology have already been established as dogma, because of those synods that they claim are ecumenical.) Latins need to realize that this debate is an intramural one and does not pertain to the Church Universal.

The note from Professor De Marco (in Italian).

Foundations Restored

Rorate Caeli: Foundations Restored, a DVD series from the Kolbe Center for Creation Studies -- A guest-review, by Fr. Thomas Crean OP

Kolbe Center: Foundations Restored

Salvation and Redemption

Gladden Pappin on Bridge Builder Podcast

BridgeBuilder Podcast: Gladden Pappin on Catholic Political Thought, Boundaries Between Church & State and Corporatism

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Active Participation

The Anniversary of the Papal Bull Transiturus


Paulist Press: Thomas Aquinas: A Historical, Theological, and Environmental Portrait

A Crisis Point for Latin Ecclesiology Yet?

CDK on the Family

More Ordinations for the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter

More on Péguy

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The 20th Ce Liturgical Movement

It had an impact too on the Byzantine rite, through Orthodox like Fr. Alexander Schmemann.


Hadley Arkes on Ralph McInerny

The Catholic Thing

May God Grant Him Many Years

Edward Slingerland on Chinese Philosophy

Monday, August 10, 2020

Jonathan Pageau on Designing an Image for Everything

Orthodox Arts Journal

Francis Beckwith on Aquinas

Mosaics of St. Lawrence in Ravenna


Aquinas on the Two Powers

The Josias

Sunday, August 09, 2020

The Tree of the Greek Wise Men

Hagia Sophia

Imaginative Conservative

English Translation of That Interview with Ulrich Lehner

Link to the German interview here.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Eastern Christian Books: Mystical Deification

Eastern Christian Books: Mystical Deification

Routledge: Mystical Doctrines of Deification: Case Studies in the Christian Tradition, eds., John Arblaster and Rob Faesen

Business as Usual for Rome

Vatican News

An Initiation Which Should Have Been Completed When They Were Much Younger

Friday, August 07, 2020

Charles Péguy


Recep Maraşlı on the Assyrians


St. Paisios on Devotion to the Theotokos

Hiroshima and the Transfiguration

Memory Eternal!

The State of German Theology

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Etymology as Philosophy

the whole thread

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Festal Vespers, Transfiguration

Vatican II Still Getting Defended


I suppose we won't see an end to these any time soon.

It Will Probably Do Well in a Niche Market


Monday, August 03, 2020

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

A Print of a Drawing by Jonathan Pageau

Eastern Christian Books: Original Sin? Guilt? Neither?

Eastern Christian Books: Original Sin? Guilt? Neither?

IVP Academic: Original Sin and the Fall: Five Views, eds. J. B. Stump and Chad Meister

A Moral Theologian Responds to the Vatican COVID-19 Document

Another Day, Another Product

Sunday, August 02, 2020

May God grant him many years!


Eastern Christian Books: Orthodox Revivalism in Russia

Eastern Christian Books: Orthodox Revivalism in Russia

Routledge: Orthodox Revivalism in Russia: Driving Forces and Moral Quests by Milena Benovska

Confessional Prayer in Old English