Wednesday, April 27, 2016

KYMT: The Church supports the death penalty

If you ever hear someone say that the Church is anti-death penalty (of course consider context) you can dismiss them clearly as being ignorant of Catholic teaching on the matter.  Tjose that defend the right of the state to use such are not to be confused with Gnostics or being holier than thou.  Both are excuses for passing by actual teachings in order to play into modern affections and novelties proposed that play well with emotional people.

Because I dont think it worthwhile to reinvent the wheel, below are a few resources"

The Traditional Case for Capital Punishment Fr. C. John McCloskey III


Most importantly, the Catholic Church’s Magisterium does not and never has advocated unqualified abolition of the death penalty. The U.S. bishops have conceded that Catholic teaching has accepted the principle that the state has the right to take the life of a person guilty of an extremely serious crime. Even the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin – hardly a conservative – never stated that every criminal has a right to continue living, nor did he deny that the state has the right in some cases to execute the guilty. St. John Paul II, although opposed to most applications of the death penalty, thought the same.

Let’s hear what St. Augustine had to say on this topic: “ . . . there are some exceptions made by the divine authority to its own law, that men may not be put to death. These exceptions are of two kinds, being justified either by a general law, or by a special commission granted for a time to some individual. And in this latter case, he to whom authority is delegated, and who is but the sword in the hand of him who uses it, is not himself responsible for the death he deals. And, accordingly, they who have waged war in obedience to the divine command, or in conformity with His laws, have represented in their persons the public justice or the wisdom of government, and in this capacity have put to death wicked men; such persons have by no means violated the commandment, You shall not kill.” (City of God, Bk I, 21)

Augustine also said that capital punishment protects those who are undergoing it from further sinning, which might continue if their life went on.

If this is not enough, consider the thoughts of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, on this topic. Citing Exodus 22, which specifies that certain categories of wrongdoers shall not be permitted to live, Aquinas unequivocally states that civil rulers can execute justly to protect the peace of the state. St. Thomas finds frivolous the argument that murderers should be allowed to live in hopes of their repentance, questioning how many innocent people should have to suffer death while waiting for the guilty to repent. While capital punishment is not justifiable as an act of vengeance, according to Aquinas it is justifiable to help secure the safety of the community by removing a dangerous wrongdoer and deterring others from his example; in addition, it is an act of justice, allowing expiation for the wrongdoer’s sin.


St. Paul in his hearing before Festus says, “If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death.” (Acts 25:11) Very clearly this constitutes an acknowledgment on the part of the apostle to the gentiles that the state continues to have the power of life and death in the administration of justice. And of course when we first encounter Paul (Saul at that point), he is cooperating in the stoning to death of St. Stephen for the crime of blasphemy.

Pope Pius XII said, “In the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life.”

The Catechism of the Council of Trent, composed under the supervision of St. Charles Borromeo, stated: “Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thou shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.”

None of the figures mentioned above were bloodthirsty individuals. All probably would have agreed with several modern popes that great care be used in modern conditions in applying the death penalty. But it’s doubtful they would have supported abolishing it.

Indeed, for any son or daughter of God, it is a great grace to know the time of one’s death, as it gives us the opportunity to get right with the Lord who will judge us at our death. Perhaps many people have been saved in this way by the death penalty. Who knows what would have happened if they had been allowed to linger in this life, one day possibly killing other people?

And there are other, utterly unexpected effects. The great Catholic convert and evangelist Frank Sheed wrote a book called The Map of Life. In one edition of the book, he tells of a man sentenced to death for murder. After reading Sheed’s book, the man wrote Sheed that, if what he had put down in that book about heaven and forgiveness was true, though he was offered clemency by the State, he decided to allow the execution, because he would be going to heaven now as a Catholic convert."

Read the whole of it HERE

Capital Punishment New Testament Teaching

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Nowhere in the New Testament is capital punishment outlawed. On the contrary, the New Testament not only recognizes the right of the State to exercise authority in the name of God, but enjoins obedience to the State in applying the laws of God to its citizens.

As already noted, St. Paul explicitly declares that the State has authority from God to punish criminals. Christ Himself tells us to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. St. Peter enjoins Christians to be good citizens. Moreover, we are to obey civil authority – not mainly, but also "because you are afraid of being punished" (Romans 13:1-6).

But Sacred Scripture needs to be explained. As we reread the early Church's interpretation of the rights of civil authority, we find a remarkable thing.

From the beginning there were two variant interpretations of State authority relating to war and capital punishment. One interpretation was openly pacifist, and the other was non-pacifist.

Two names especially stand out that wrote belligerently against all war, and therefore espoused universal pacifism. Tertullian, 160-220, and Lactantius, 240-320 also fought strenuously against capital punishment of condemned criminals.

At the same time, the accepted Fathers of the Church never adopted these extreme positions, either outlawing all war as unjust or forbidding all capital punishment as inherently evil.

The Church's Teaching

Over the centuries, the Church's writers have defended the traditional Christian teaching on capital punishment.

St. Augustine explained St. Paul's teaching on the State's right to inflict capital punishment. Certainly the State may execute convicted criminals. But it should exercise Christian forbearance and thus temper juridical severity.

Pope Leo I in the fifth century and Pope Nicholas I in the ninth century made it clear that the Church herself could not be directly involved in capital punishment; but the pontiffs assumed that the State was divinely authorized to do so. So, too, the Councils of Toledo (675) and Fourth Lateran (1215) forbade the clergy to take direct part in the juridical process or sentencing of a person on a capital charge. But again, the councils took for granted that the State may condemn a convicted criminal to death and execute the sentence.

St. Thomas Aquinas made the classic defense of capital punishment. He reasoned that "if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good" (Summa Theologica II, II, 64, 2). Certainly the crime had to be very serious, and the welfare of society was at stake. But there was no question about the moral validity of capital punishment.

In the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent mandated the publication of the Roman Catechism. Promulgated by Pope St. Pius V in 1566, it has been confirmed by one sovereign pontiff after another. Thus in 1905, when Pope St. Pius X decreed the catechetical instruction to be given in the Catholic world, he mandated that the basis of this instruction should be the Roman Catechism. In dealing with the fifth commandment of the Decalogue, this fundamental catechism of Catholic doctrine declares:

There are some exceptions to the extent of this prohibition to killing. The power of life and death is permitted to certain civil magistrates because theirs is the responsibility under law to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment, such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the state is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent life (The Fifth Commandment, 4).

In the twentieth century, Pope Pius XII provided a full doctrinal defense of capital punishment. Speaking to Catholic jurists, he explained what the Church teaches about the authority of the State to punish crimes, even with the death penalty.

The Church holds that there are two reasons for inflicting punishment, namely "medicinal" and "vindictive." The medicinal purpose is to prevent the criminal from repeating his crime, and to protect society from his criminal behavior. The vindicative is to expiate for the wrong-doing perpetrated by the criminal. Thus reparation is made to an offended God, and the disorder caused by the crime is expiated.

Equally important is the Pope's insistence that capital punishment is morally defensible in every age and culture of Christianity. Why? Because the Church's teaching on "the coercive power of legitimate human authority" is based on "the sources of revelation and traditional doctrine." It is wrong, therefore "to say that these sources only contain ideas which are conditioned by historical circumstances." On the contrary, they have "a general and abiding validity." (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1955, pp 81-2).

Behind this declaration of the Vicar of Christ is a principle of our Catholic faith. Most of the Church's teaching, especially in the moral order, is infallible doctrine because it belongs to what we call her ordinary universal magisterium. There are certain moral norms that have always and everywhere been held by the successors of the Apostles in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Although never formally defined, they are irreversibly binding on the followers of Christ until the end of the world.

Such moral truths are the grave sinfulness of contraception and direct abortion. Such, too, is the Catholic doctrine which defends the imposition of the death penalty.

Certainly Christianity, like Christ, is to be merciful. Certainly Christians are to be kind and forgiving. But Christ is God. He is, indeed loving and in fact is love. But He is also just. As a just God, He has a right to authorize civil authority to inflict capital punishment.

You can access Fr. Hardon's archives HERE

There is also wonderful story about the graces offered to souls on death row


Friday, April 22, 2016

Saintly encounters with the paranormal

With soooo many important things in the news and so many reporters and bloggers expressing their most necessary opinions, I figured it was about time to take myself ever so seriously as well and prompt the needed discussion of Saintly encounters with the paranormal.

St. Anthony encounters a Hippocentaur and a Faun 

St. Jerome relates the story of St. Anthony going out in the desert to search for St. Paul the Hermit:

 “Scorching noontide came, with a broiling sun overhead, but still he did not suffer himself to be turned from the journey he had begun. Said he, ‘I believe in my God: some time or other He will shew me the fellow-servant whom He promised me.’ He said no more. All at once he beholds a creature of mingled shape, half horse half man, called by the poets Hippocentaur. At the sight of this he arms himself by making on his forehead the sign of salvation, and then exclaims, ‘Holloa! Where in these parts is a servant of God living?’ The monster after gnashing out some kind of outlandish utterance, in words broken rather than spoken through his bristling lips, at length finds a friendly mode of communication, and extending his right hand points out the way desired. Then with swift flight he crosses the spreading plain and vanishes from the sight of his wondering companion. But whether the devil took this shape to terrify Anthony, or whether it be that the desert which is known to abound in monstrous animals engenders that kind of creature also, we cannot decide…

Anthony was amazed, and thinking over what he had seen went on his way. Before long in a small rocky valley shut in on all sides he sees a mannikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goats’ feet. When he saw this, Antony like a good soldier seized the shield of faith and the helmet of hope: the creature none the less began to offer to him the fruit of the palm-trees to support him on his journey and as it were pledges of peace. Anthony perceiving this stopped and asked who he was. The answer he received from him was this: ‘I am a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favour of your Lord and ours, who, we have learnt, came once to save the world, and ‘whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.’’ As he uttered such words as these, the aged traveller’s cheeks streamed with tears, the marks of his deep feeling, which he shed in the fullness of his joy. He rejoiced over the Glory of Christ and the destruction of Satan, and marvelling all the while that he could understand the Satyr’s language, and striking the ground with his staff, he said, ‘Woe to thee, Alexandria, who instead of God worshippest monsters! Woe to thee, harlot city, into which have flowed together the demons of the whole world! What will you say now? Beasts speak of Christ, and you instead of God worship monsters.’ He had not finished speaking when, as if on wings, the wild creature fled away…”

Subtle Matter and the touch of an angel

What are angels made of up of? Well, nothing, but when we can be affected by them how is it so? Nothing dogmatic strictly but…

“This is the assertion that angels and spirits are made of a matter like but unlike that of the physical world; unlike it that it can be invisible, weighs little, moves quickly, etc; like in that beings composed of it can affect physical objects, and can be, as it were, measured or perceived to some degree. Holders of this belief would assert that only God can be immaterial, for He alone is unchangeable. (Angels, while of immovable Will, did change at least once, when they took up sides at Satan's revolt). Moreover, the Second Council of Nicaea ruled in favour of this belief, when it approved the following passage from a book by John of Thessalonica

Respecting Angels, Archangels, and their powers, to which I also adjoin our own Souls, the Catholic Church is indeed of the opinion that they are intelligences, but not entirely bodiless and senseless, as you Gentiles aver; she on the contrary ascribes to them a subtile body, aerial or igneous, according to what is written: "He makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a burning fire. Although not corporeal in the same way as ourselves, made of the four elements, yet it is impossible to say that Angels, Demons, and Souls are incorporeal; for they have been seen many a time, wearing their own body, by those whose eyes the Lord has opened.” (h/t Charles Coulombe)

St. Andrew and St. Bartholomew relieve a man of a dog-faced curse

 From the “Myths of the Dog-man” by David Gordon White:

 “Cynocephali also figure in medieval Chrisitan world-views. A legend that placed St. Andrew and St. Bartholomew among the Parthians presented the case of “Abominable”, the citizen of the “city of cannibals… whose face was like unto that of a dog.” After receiving baptism, however, he was released from his doggish aspect.”

Other animal-headed men in Catholic lands

The following is taken from Wikipedia:

“Paul the Deacon mentions cynocephali in his Historia gentis Langobardorum: "They pretend that they have in their camps Cynocephali, that is, men with dogs' heads. They spread the rumor among the enemy that these men wage war obstinately, drink human blood and quaff their own gore if they cannot reach the foe. At the court of Charlemagne the Norse were given this attribution, implying un-Christian and less-than-human qualities: "I am greatly saddened" said the King of the Franks, in Notker's Life, "that I have not been thought worthy to let my Christian hand sport with these dog-heads." The ninth-century Frankish theologian Ratramnus wrote a letter, the Epistola de Cynocephalis, on whether the Cynocephali should be considered human (he thought that they were). If human, a
Christian's duty would be to preach the Gospels to them. If animals, and thus without souls, such would be pointless.

Quoting St. Jerome, Thomas of Cantimpré corroborated the existence of Cynocephali in his Liber de Monstruosis Hominibus Orientis, xiv, ("Book of Monstrous men of the Orient"). The thirteenth-century encyclopedist Vincent of Beauvais acquainted his patron Saint Louis IX of France with "an animal with the head of the dog but with all other members of human appearance… Though he behaves like a man… and, when peaceful, he is tender like a man, when furious, he becomes cruel and retaliates on humankind".

St. Martha and the Tarasque

Also taken from Wikipedia:

“The legend of the Tarasque is reported in several sources, but especially in the story of St. Martha in the Golden Legend. The creature inhabited the area of Nerluc in Provence, France, and devastated the landscape far and wide. The Tarasque was a sort of dragon with a lion's head, six short legs like a
bear's, an ox-like body covered with a turtle shell, and a scaly tail that ended in a scorpion's sting. Other legends report it as living on the modern site of the Chateau Tarascon; i.e. on a rock in the midst of the Rhone. According to the Golden Legend "There was, at that time, on the banks of the Rhone, in a marsh between Arles and Avignon, a dragon, half animal, half fish, thicker than an ox, longer than an horse, with teeth like swords and big as horns, he hid in the river where he took the life of all passers-by and submerged vessels. " "Sainte Marthe". L'Abbaye Sainte Benoit. Retrieved 28 Jan 2013.

The Tarasque was said to have come from Galatia which was the home of the legendary Onachus, a scaly, bison-like beast which burned everything it touched (this creature is similar to the Bonnacon). The Tarasque was the offspring of the Onachus and the Leviathan of biblical account; disputably a giant sea serpent.

The king of Nerluc had attacked the Tarasque with knights and catapults to no avail. But Saint Martha found the beast and charmed it with hymns and prayers, and led back the tamed Tarasque to the city. The people, terrified by the monster, attacked it when it drew nigh. The monster offered no resistance and died there. Martha then preached to the people and converted many of them to Christianity. Sorry for what they had done to the tamed monster, the newly Christianized townspeople changed the town's name to Tarascon. The story of the Tarasque is also very similar to the story of Beauty and the Beast and King Kong. The monster is charmed and weakened by a woman and then killed when brought back to civilization. A similar idea is found in the myths of Enkidu and the unicorn: both are calmed by sending them a woman. The description and legend of this creature is curiously similar to other dragons of French folklore such as Gargouille and Peluda.”

St. Columba encounters the Loch Ness Monster

Taken from

“Columba, you may recall, was trained by Irish monks. However, his youthful Christianity was skin-deep while his passions were strong. He was partly responsible for the battle of Cul-drebene in which many men lost their lives. Repentant, he sailed to Britain as "a pilgrim for Christ" and founded the monastery of Iona, from which Christianity spread across North Britain. He himself traveled and preached, establishing several churches and monasteries.

Revered as a saint, his life was written by Adamnan. In reporting Columba's life, Adamnan gives what appears to be the first written account of the Loch Ness Monster.

Traveling in Scotland, Columba had to cross the Loch Ness. On its banks, he saw some of the Pict folk burying a man who had been bitten by a water monster while swimming. The body had been pulled from the loch with the aid of a hook by rescuers who had come to his assistance in a boat.

Despite the danger, Columba ordered one of his followers to swim across the loch and bring back a coble (boat) that was moored on the other side. This man's name was Lugne Mocumin. Without hesitation, Lugne stripped for the swim and plunged in.

The monster, robbed of its earlier feast, surfaced and darted at Lugne with a roar, its jaws open. Everyone on the bank was stupefied with terror; everyone, except Columba, that is. A firm believer in the authority of the crucified Christ, he raised his hand, making the sign of the cross. Invoking the name of God, he commanded the beast, saying, "You will go no further, and won't touch the man; go back at once."

At the voice of the saint, the monster fled as if terrified, "more quickly than if it had been pulled back with ropes," says Adamnan.

The heathen were amazed. Everyone who witnessed the sight gave glory to the God of the Christians.”

Anslem’s Hare

Not specifically paranormal, but a good story with the purpose of showing sympathetic comparison of the hare to the poor hunted sinner:

"Anselm left the court and, while he was hastening to his manor at Hayes, the boys of his household with their dogs chased a hare which they came upon in the road. As they were pursuing it, it fled between the feet of the horse on which Anselm sat. The horse stood still; and Anselm - knowing that the wretched animal looked to find a place of refuge beneath him, and not wishing to deny it the help it needed - drew his horse by the reins and kept it still. The dogs came round, snuffling about on all sides and restrained against their will, but they could neither make it move from under the horse, no

r harm it in any way. We were astonished at the sight. But Anselm, when he saw some of the horsemen laugh and make merry at the expense of the cornerned animal, burst into tears and said: "You laugh, do you? But there is no laughing, no merry-making, for this unhappy beast. His enemies stand round about him, and in fear of his life he flees to us asking for help. So it is with the soul of man: when it leaves the body, its enemies - the evil spirits which have haunted it along all the crooked ways of vice while it was in the body - stand round without mercy, ready to seize it and hurry it off to everlasting death. Then indeed it looks round everywhere in great alarm, and with inexpressible desire longs for some helping and protecting hand to be held out to it, which might defend it. But the demons on the other hand laugh and rejoice exceedingly if they find that the soul is bereft of every support."

When he had said this, he slackened his rein and set off again along the road, raising his voice and forbidding the dogs to chase the animal any more. Then the hare leapt up unhurt, and swiftly returned to its fields and woods; while we, no longer laughing and not a little uplifted by so affecting a deliverance for the frightened animal, followed the Father along our appointed way."

Christopher Columbus encounters UFOs apparently

And of course there is the story of St. George and the dragon.


Thanks to Charles Coulombe for bringing some of these to light. Here are a couple talks he does where he talks about the paranormal and the Catholic mind:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The chapter you MUST read from "The Soul of the Apostolate"

 Importance of the Formation of “Shock Troops” and of Spiritual Direction

Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O
"Returning once more to that striking conversation with Father Timon-David,68 surely, the reader must have been struck by one of the words that fell from the lips of that experienced founder of good works. I refer to the vivid metaphor of “crutches,” with which the Canon summed up his opinion on the use of various modern amusements (like plays, bands, movies, complicated and expensive games, and so on) to attract youths to their clubs and keep them there. These attractions more often than not serve only to wear everybody out, and leave all listless and depressed, instead of resting and expanding the soul. Or else they merely cater to physical health, or flatter vanity, or overstimulate the imagination and the emotions. For the rest, the term “crutches” in no way supplies to those refreshing though extremely simple games which relax the soul and strengthen the body, and which have been found sufficient by so many generations of Christians.89 If one were to make a comparison between the advice of this extremely prudent

Canon with that of other able leaders of Catholic Action, without quite seeing his correct meaning, one might well wonder if he was not too sweeping in his enumeration of the cases when “crutches” can be discarded.

Leaving to one side works that are founded chiefly for the relief of bodily ills, we may divide the others into two classes: those which take only carefully selected members, and those which exclude none but the scabby sheep.

But we also assume that even in the latter case, a nucleus of “shock troops” will be formed, youths who will be able, by their fervor, to bring home to the others what the principal aim of the movement is, and to bring all the other members to lead a life that is Christian not merely on the surface, but deep down in the soul. Otherwise, what have we got? “An ordinary social club, run by a priest,” according to the ironical expression of a state-school teacher of great ability who was able to detect, behind the clerical front, just about as many weaknesses as he deplored in those establishments that were beyond the reach of the Church’s influence.

Directors who do not hesitate to reject from their movements members that are clearly incapable of being incorporated into the shock troops, will find the term “crutches” exactly expresses to what an extent they consider as secondary those means that they can well do without, or which they only tolerate with unfeigned repugnance. And as a matter of fact, they do not easily run short of arguments in favor of their viewpoint.

As far as they are concerned, the regeneration of society, and especially of France, can come only as a result of a more intense radiation of the holiness of the Church. It is by this means, they say, rather than by lectures and apologetics that Christianity developed so rapidly in the first centuries of its history, in spite of the power of its enemies, of prejudices of all sorts, and of the general corruption.

They put an end to all argument by an answer like this: Can you quote any fact, just one fact, to show that during that time the Church needed to think up amusements to turn aside the souls she was going to conquer from the filth of pagan shows?

One of these directors of Catholic Action remarked, in allusion to the thirst for money and the infatuation for the films which keep the bulk of the population in our days in a fever of excited craving for enjoyment: “The Panem et Circenses (Bread and Circuses) of the decadent Romans might be translated into modern terms as ‘Relief and Movies.’” Now look at St. Augustine, or St. Ambrose, for example: what a prodigious attraction they exercised over souls! And yet do we ever see them, at any time in their lives, organizing some movement to provide amusements that would make their flock forget the pleasures held out by paganism?

And when St. Philip Neri set out to convert Rome, lukewarm with the spirit of the Renaissance, do we read that he needed any of those “crutches” that so aroused the scorn of Canon Timon-David?

It is very certain that the primitive Church, as we have already hinted, knew how to organize magnificent and numerous shock troops, in the midst of the faithful, and their virtues both struck the pagans with astonishment and excited the admiration of honest souls, even those most prejudiced against Christianity by their principles, their traditions, and their social background. Conversions were the result, even in circles to which no priest had access...."


You can find the text to the whole book HERE, as well as find where I left off by searching therein for it. It is absolutely of great importance you read at least the whole of the chapter.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Edward Feser on William Lane Craig's erroneous take on Divine Simplicity

For those of you Thomists out there, and for Catholic's that promote Dr. Craig's books and theories

"A number of readers have called my attention to a recent podcast during which William Lane Craig is asked for his opinion about theistic personalism, the doctrine of divine simplicity, and what writers like David Bentley Hart and me have said about these topics. (You can find the podcast at Craig’s website, and alsoat YouTube.) What follows are some comments on the podcast. Let me preface these remarks by saying that I hate to disagree with Craig, for whom I have the greatest respect. It should also be kept in mind, in fairness to Craig, that his remarks were made in an informal conversational context, and thus cannot reasonably be expected to have the precision that a more formal, written treatment would exhibit.

Having said that…

I was surprised at how many basic mistakes Craig made in his characterization of the views of his opponents, and at how little argumentation (as opposed to mere assertion) was offered in response to those views. Let’s walk through the various issues Craig addresses and dissect his comments. (A side note on the most minor mistake: The man interviewing Craig mispronounces my name. The correct pronunciation is “fay-zer,” like the word “phaser” in Star Trek.)


Divine simplicity

In characterizing the doctrine of divine simplicity, Craig gives the impression that the doctrine involves, among other things, the claims that we can only make negative predications of God, that we can make only analogical predictions of God rather than univocal ones, that analogical predications are non-literal, and that we not only have to be agnostic about God’s nature but that God has no essence. None of this is correct.

First, while some adherents of the doctrine of divine simplicity (such as Maimonides) are committed to a purely negative theology, most are not. Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, et al. certainly agree that we can make positive as well as negative affirmations about the divine nature.

Second, while Thomists hold that all language about God has to be understood in an analogical rather than univocal way, not all classical theists or adherents of the doctrine of divine simplicity would say that. For example, Scotists both affirm divine simplicity and hold that theological language is univocal. Of course, we Thomists regard this Scotist position as unstable, but the point is that it is (contrary to the impression given by Craig) simply not the case that the debate over divine simplicity is as such a debate over whether theological language ought to be understood in an analogical rather than univocal way." (…)

You can read the rest of the post HERE


Bonus item for the day from the Latin Mass Chairman of England engaging with modernity on the BBC. CLICK HERE

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mutual Enrichment?: Another look at the variation of the lectionary in the two forms

A few times in the past, I have noted that there are some interesting aspects to the differences between the lectionaries in the ancient and new roman rites.  Dr. Taylor Marshall did some intersting work on the matter and so did Una Voce.

Thanks be to God Matthew Hazell has also released a new book on the matter called "Index Lectionem" which Joseph Shaw of LMS did a short write up on recently.  A few excerpts from the Shaw piece below:

"No doubt for different reasons, the following two verses, 1 Corinthians 10:7-9, part of the Traditional Lectionary for the 9th Sunday After Pentecost, are totally excluded from the 1970 Lectionary.

Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them, as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents.

So is this passage, of a quite different character, across Romans 12:17–21, used in the old Lectionary as part of the Epistle of the 3rd Sunday After the Epiphany:

To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men. Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

Dr Kwasniewski gives more examples, and the book sets out the whole thing in detail. None of this would be surprising if the reform of the Lectionary did not have as its chief publicly stated purpose (and the only purpose given it by the Second Vatican Council), that of providing a larger selection of scriptural texts. It is indeed a larger set of texts, but they still went to amazing trouble to exclude texts they didn't like, for a variety of reasons, from use. Some are buried among scores of options given for votive Masses unlikely ever to be considered, let alone used; others are completely absent."

You can read the full write-up HERE

You can purchase the text HERE

Friday, April 8, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Athanasius Contra Mundum Interview with Fr. Ioannes Petrus

This was such an excellent talk!

I wanted to just provide the link and a short description so you too can take in this talk.

"Today Fr. Ioannes Petrus re-joins us for a wide-ranging interview which is perhaps the first one I did not script with pre-planned questions. We discuss voting, the trajectory of government in the West, the current Holy Father, the threat of Islam, Immigration and how Christians should respond to the crisis of our times."

He also touches on Savonarola and even defends the Borgias to a point.

Click HERE for the link

Monday, April 4, 2016

Holy Week at St. Stans 2016

So I posted what I thought were the best pictures from Holy Week on the Facebook page, but for those interested I will post below the rest.

If you use these photos please credit P. Wesley, and if you wish to contact him comment below:

Palm Sunday and St. Joseph's Table

Holy Thursday

Easter Vigil

All photos credits to Patrick Doolan
Posted by St. Stanislaus Catholic Church (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) on Thursday, March 31, 2016