It is only human to be exhilarated if one thinks one is riding on the crest of the future.

Quote of the Day for Saturday, January 22nd, 2011: Sociologist Peter L. Berger, concluding his 1970 book, A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural: I would like to emphasize once more that anyone who approaches religion with an interest in its possible truth, rather than in this or that aspect of its social manifestations, would do well to cultivate a measure of indifference in the matter of empirical prognoses. History brings out certain questions of truth, makes certain answers more or less accessible, constructs and ...

The smoking gun we’ve been looking for

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, January 18th, 2011: Priestcraft hysteria breaking out in an AP article by Shawn Pogatchnik, as published on Boston.com this evening, relating to the release today of a 1997 letter allegedly implicating the Vatican in a “cover up” of clerical sexual abuse: Any bishops who tried to impose punishments outside the confines of canon law would face the "highly embarrassing" position of having their actions overturned on appeal in Rome, [Apostolic Nuncio Luciano Storero] wrote. Catholic officials in Ireland and the Vatic...

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...

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...

The Great Retreat of Pederasty

I picked up a link from Hot Air a few days ago to a disturbing but fascinating (English-language) article in Der Spiegel Online, The Sexual Revolution and Children: How the Left Took Things Too Far. The article explores the history of post-1968 views on human sexuality, specifically its role in the “liberation” politics of the left wing in the non-communist world, and how that was translated into pedagogy at the Kinderladen (nursery school) level in the more left-leaning communities in Germany. The results, it should come as no surprise, are chilling: D...

Divine Manifestation and Humility: Pentecostalism and Eucharistic Hope

I was wondering, a while back, what kind of difference it might have made in my life to have encountered a perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel when I was a young man seeking some sort of religious grounding for my spiritual life. I’m wondering about it again as I sit before the Blessed Sacrament on another Sunday late-night. Specifically, I’m thinking about that year or so I spent huddled in my apartment, trying to piece together the shards of my shattered life in the wake of the disaster that was my twenties, and seeking a path to actualize my nasce...

Idealism Unencumbered by Reality: Obamacare, pt.2 (Universality & Reality)

In the on-going debate over how to improve the American healthcare and healthcare delivery systems, the professed intent of most of the players has been to increase “access” or “coverage,” by extending benefits to people who currently do not have such access. Ostensibly, this is because “access” and/or “coverage” is priced out of reach for these folks, on account of some combination of raw poverty, and unavailability of employer-provided/subsidized health insurance, which is the vehicle through which most non-elderly Americans access the healthcare syste...

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...

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...