We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Amoris Later

Given the now fading media frenzy to promote what many in the so-called "progressive" camp had hoped to be a change in Church teaching regarding the subject of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, the quest to permit communion in a manner akin to the practice long ago enacted by the national eastern churches has largely been shut down, though it must be acknowledged that without significant effort by faithful pastors and theologians to expose the fecal matter contained within Amoris Laetitia, a cheap attempt to sneak heterodox content past the eyes of the Holy Father and the Church might have gone unnoticed.

Has the Holy Spirit acted to inhibit the damage that could have been done? The curious bits contained within Amoris Laetitia (AL), that is, the bits probably put there by (Archbishop) Victor Manuel Fernández, who according to Sandro Magister is the ghostwriter of said document, have provided orthodox members of the Body of Christ the opportunity to rise up in the name of Truth to offer counsel to the Holy Father. Some have objected to the zealous witness of bloggers lay and ordained who have challenged the promoters of heterodoxy. One media moghul, a fan of limp Christianity lost to his enormously obvious self aggrandizing and defensive if not passive aggressive behaviour, even resorted to the childish act of name calling to attack those who defend the Church and her teaching, referring to faithful bloggers as
obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices (...) very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners! In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pan Orthodox Council: a house dividing.

There is an informative article at FirstThings by Andrew Stephen Damick and Samuel Noble regarding the Pan-Orthodox Council.

Let's jump to the background on the reasons for the absence of a few of the national eastern churches from the Council and the bad blood that exists between at least two of the member churches.
The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, meeting right now in Crete, has been some five decades in the making. Despite news reports to the contrary, the Orthodox Church has had numerous such councils since either the eighth or eleventh century—depending on whether the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787) or the Great Schism (1054, roughly) is the supposed occasion of the last meeting. (We Catholics, of course, recognize 21 ecumenical councils.)
Another misconception that has been repeated in statements and reports (especially by spokesmen of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) is that the convocation of the council was unanimous, signed onto by all fourteen of the universally recognized autocephalous (self-governing) Orthodox Churches. That is not true: Antioch never signed the documents that set the council in motion. (An important point that contradicts the impression given by others.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

50% of Pope Francis' teaching is... .

Facepalm Vatican

Canonist Dr. Ed Peters says it well enough.
The great majority of Christian marriages are valid
June 17, 2016
Last time a ranking prelate (Cdl. Kasper) opined that half of all marriages were null his attribution of such a reckless assertion to Pope Francis himself could be dismissed as hearsay, deflected as referring to marriage in general and not Christian marriage in particular, or at least minimized as describing merely ‘many’ or even ‘half’ of all marriages. But none of those qualifications can be applied to blunt the impact of the pope’s startling claim “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null”.
If last time was bad, this time is very bad.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pope? Puppet?

O Lord our God, hear our prayer. Restore dignity to the office of Peter.

Pope Francis has a certain style. Style points aside for a moment, the real concern for many Catholics is the Holy Father's comfortable way with imprecise language.

Mindful of the respect due the Petrine ministry, and mindful of the Lord's promise to Saint Peter, Francis' loose lips won't be sinking the Lord's ship any time soon. Even though his comments are frequently, it seems, replete with contradictions, the Holy Father has made clear—thanks be to God!—that the teaching of the Church cannot change.

So far, Pope Francis' comments and writings—e.g., Amoris Laetitia—can be listed in the 'take-it-or-leave-it' category. There are many beautiful passages in his published documents, and there are (too) many dopey bits that might be the subject of humour and/or mild consternation for students of theology for centuries to come.

We can and should take solace in the fact that nothing Pope Francis has said and published in his name thus far rises to the level of "Church-ending". That said, Pope Francis needs to find (much) better ghostwriters. His weak response to those who pointed out the questionable footnote attached to Amoris Laetitia suggests he has allowed himself to become as prone as a puppet dangling from the strings of wicked men. Unfortunately, said wicked men have attempted to use those strings to strangle the faithful who have rightly challenged the poorly constructed parts of Amoris Laetitia.

The Gatekeeper

Let us pray for Cardinal Müller who, as head of the the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, certainly has his hands full. We can be certain the good cardinal will use whatever tools in the fraternal correction tool box in his possession to provide appropriate counsel to the Holy Father and Holy Mother Church.

Patience People

Catholics operate with a long view of history. Pray for the grace to demonstrate patience stretching decades. If you are bothered by Pope Francis' awkward comments, hold your breath until the current administration comes to a close. There is nothing the Holy Spirit cannot purge from the Church if we accept our role in providing to our brothers and sisters an example of holiness befitting a disciple of Jesus Christ. Let our speech and actions be clear and orthodox. In all things charity.

Snakes and Adders
St. Luke 11:11
What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent(?)