You need to know what you believe

Quote of the Day for Monday, June 6th, 2011: Pope Benedict XVI, from the forward to Youcat, the new Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church published last year, and released recently in English by Ignatius Press: You need to know what you believe… Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination. You need God’s help if your faith is not going to dry up like a dewdrop in the sun, if you want to resist the blandish...

The unique depravity of willfully murdering your own flesh and blood for the sake of a hassle-free orgasm

Quote of the Day for Friday, April 15th, 2011: Edward Feser, blogging recently on the perceived phenomenon of what he calls the “temporizing bishop,” operating in an ecclesial milieu afraid to be seen as “reactionary” in the eyes of the modern, liberal establishment: Homosexuality and abortion he cannot keep silent about, because they are matters of current political controversy.  Regarding homosexuality, then, he will issue a vague statement to the effect that the Church believes that we are all called to honor the Creator’s plan for sex and marri...

The only treasure that the Church really has to offer

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, January 4th. 2011: Rev. Thomas G. Guarino, of Seton Hall University, in an article at FirstThings.com entitled The Priesthood and Justice, reflecting on the U.S. bishops’ handling of priests accused of sexual misconduct, in the wake of the dismissal from the priesthood of a 73 year-old monsignor in the Archdiocese of New York at the end of last year: Various actions taken against accused priests suggest that current policies are straining the theology of the priesthood. This may have the short-term advantage of preventing l...

Reconciling the World

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, Nov. 30: Hans Urs von Balthasar, from “The Sacrament of the Brother,” in The God Question & Modern Man, 1958: The opposition between what is profane and what is sacred is indeed fully justified in its place, else there could be no movement. Yet in this openness and this reciprocally flowing movement the opposition is transcended by the unity of him in whom and for whom all things have been created, and who has therefore been charged by the Father to bring them home. Nevertheless, a man will find God in all worldly thing...

American Religion’s Dismissal of Apostolicity

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, November 24th, 2010: Henri de Lubac, from The Splendor of the Church, translated from the 2nd French edition (1953) in 1956, and re-published by Ignatius in 1999 (p.86f): When we recite the Credo we profess our belief in the Church; and if we believe that the Church is both a universal and a visible community, then we cannot – without betrayal of our faith – be content to grant that the universal Church is made visible and concrete to the individual by that particular community which is his, regardless of the separation o...

One Complex Reality

Quote of the Day, from Lumen Gentium, #8 (The Second Vatican Council: Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, promulgated Nov. 21, 1964) [T]he [ecclesial] society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities, nor are the visible assembly and the spiritual community, nor the earthly Church and the Church enriched with heavenly things; rather they form one complex reality which coalesces from a divine and a human element. For this reason, by no weak analogy, [the Church] is compared to the mys...

The Kennedy Funeral & the Faces of Scandal

There’s sure been a lot of chatter over the past week or so about the Ted Kennedy funeral, and Cardinal O’Malley’s participation in it. This is hardly surprising, given how divisive a character Kennedy was. Cardinal O’Malley, in what strikes me as a surprising move in several respects, has gone public with an explanation of his decision, in response to extensive criticism that undoubtedly ranged in impetus from befuddlement to anger. I appreciate his attempt at explaining himself – as I appreciate the difficulty of this whole problematic affair – but the...

Catholic Education & Sotomayor

I don’t agree very often with what Michael Paulson says over at the Articles of Faith blog at Boston.com – he doesn’t even ask the right questions, as a rule – but I had to concur with something he said the other day about President Obama’s address introducing Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee for Justice Souter’s Supreme Court seat: he said he was struck by “the language he used to describe the role of Catholic schools in offering children a path out of poverty.” Here is the quote from the President’s remarks: “But Sonia’s mom bought the only set of...

Part of the Difference Between Mission and Agenda

While Pope Benedict XVI is busy bracing the winds of ill-will to find a way to heal rifts of schism within the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion continues to rush breathlessly toward implosion. Harvard’s Episcopal Divinity School announced today the appointment of the Reverend Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale as the new president and dean of the seminary, a woman with apparently no academic credentials whatsoever, but who luckily happens to be an ordained lesbian Episcopalian priestess. Not only that, but she is a stalwart supporter of the leg...

More on Richard John Neuhaus

I don’t often post just to provide links to content elsewhere on the web, but I’ll make an exception for this. The good folks over at First Things yesterday reposted a remarkable personal essay Fr. Richard John Neuhaus had published in the April 2002 edition of the magazine, on the matter of his conversion to Catholicism. It’s a powerful piece made all the more poignant by his recent passing – in fact, the hovering presence of his death really hammers home just how sound his thinking was. I had all I could do yesterday to resist spamming all my friends w...

RJN: R.I.P.

The Catholic Church in America lost another of her intellectual giants today. The Rev. Fr. Richard John Neuhaus died this morning, at age 72. Of course, I never met the man, and I’m not sure I would have known what to say to him had I met him, but I feel as if I have lost a friend. An old acquaintance from my adolescence was buried this morning, and perhaps that makes me think a bit about mortality, yet this priest and writer whom I never met dies, and I feel a piece of me torn away. Surely, it is vain of me to cultivate these feelings – who...

Funerals and Community

Today was the Feast of All Saints. I slept a little late this morning, and went to Mass across town at St Linus (as I not infrequently do on Saturdays). I was surprised to see a Hearse in front of the church when I pulled up. It’s not unusual for the Saturday morning Mass at St Linus to be a funeral Mass, but with today being a Solemnity, I thought it was peculiar. But this funeral turned out to be quite different from the other Saturday morning funerals I’ve attended at St Linus. The difference? In this case, Msgr Giggi knew the deceased, ...