Posts Tagged Vatican

Good shepherds do not flee from the wolves.

30 April 2017

The Inaugural Mass of Pope Benedict XVI

Originally published 1 May 2010 A.D.

From the blog of Father John Zuhlsdorf: WDTPRS

Five[ten years ago presently] years ago Pope Benedict sat down to preach at the first solemn “inaugural” Mass of his pontificate.

Inter alia he said:

One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he Pope+Benedict+XVI+Holds+First+Mass+Saint+Peter+CSkBJBo_CSDlloves Christ whom he serves. “Feed my sheep”, says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, he says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God’s truth, of God’s word, the nourishment of his presence, which he gives us in the Blessed Sacrament. My dear friends – at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love his flock more and more – in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.

The Good Shepherd, and those shepherds after His Heart, do not flee from the wolves.

I read in CNA:

Head of Italian Senate: Pope not afraid to ‘face the wolves’ in the Church

SchifaniRome, Italy, Apr 29, 2010 / 09:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy Father has “never been inert in the face of suffering and injustice,” the President of the Italian Senate said as he reflected on the impact of the five years of Benedict XVI’s time as Pope. The politician noted that the Pope has opted to “face the wolves” rather than avoid addressing difficulties such as cases of priests who sexually abuse minors.

The address from the leader of the Italian Senate, Renato Schifani, took place during a Wednesday evening presentation organized by the Congregation of the Children of the Immaculate Conception, which was themed “The world suffers for a lack of thought.”

Likening the Holy Father to the “messenger” of the Gospel, the image of the pastor and the fisherman, Schifani said that “Benedict XVI really knows that loving means being ready to suffer, and as pastor he gives witness to (Him) who has truly made history with men.

The day after his election, noted Schifani, the Pope asked for prayers for strength to confront “the wolves.”

Reflecting on the Pope’s attitude since then, Schifani observed that, “Facing the hidden dangers, the betrayals, the scandals, the open and painful wounds of the Church, Benedict XVI doesn’t flee out of fear before the wolves.More…

The Confabulator in Chief: @FatherRosica CSB! Pray for his conversion.

11 June 2016

Editor’s Note: Confabulator (Noun) :to fill in gaps in memory by fabrication (being charitable)

Has the Vatican really endorsed Salt and Light TV-the channel that praised the arch-heretic,Gregory Baum?

Posted by Barona at his blog, Toronto Catholic Witness

rosica moron Thomas Rosica, CSB., at an event in Vancouver, BC., stated the following regarding Salt and Light:

“The Vatican has told me this is an extremely important way of evangelizing; a discreet, but constant, evangelization”.

Fr. Rosica should provide us with the name of the churchman or churchmen who stated this. If the Roman authorities did indeed state this, were they aware of the same Fr. Rosica’s praise for the arch-heretic and ex-priest, Gregory Baum. The lauding of Baum, hardly constitutes evangelization, discreet or otherwise.

“… you have been for me and continue to be a real model of hope… you remain a faithful, deeply devoted Catholic; you love Jesus, the Church, the Eucharist”.

Fr. Thomas Rosica, addressing ex-priest/dissident theologian, Professor Gregory Baum.

Definitely click HERE to read the rest of this post!!!

Rome, American Style

25 June 2015

Editor’s Note: Lately we are trying to stay out of the fray in the Church by posting prayers, homilies and authentic sources of Catholic Teaching. The divisiveness swirling around social media and even at some parishes has gotten to much to bear.
However,sometimes someone with courage comes forward to speak truth.

Whether or not you like Michael Voris is not the question. That shouldn’t even be a consideration when viewing videos from Is Voris truthful? Is he reporting and not just part of the pundit problem?

We are taking a bold move her and want to come out on the record as we support Michael Voris in his quest to shine the light on what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI described as,”the filth in the Vatican”. If you don’t agree with him because you don’t like his personality or you think you are an orthodox Catholic and things are just fine, I guess you won’t be reading our blog anymore.

Things are NOT fine and even though we know the end of the story and that the Church prevails, sitting by thinking it’s okay to let evil flourish is wrong. Just plain wrong.

So here goes one of Voris’ toughest critiques of the situation in the Church today. Sadly, he is correct.

Whether you like it or not.

Oh, it’s GOOD to be Catholic: “Canonization Eye Candy” from @FatherZ

27 April 2014

Posted by Father John Zuhlsdorf
at his blog, “Father Z’s Blog”
27 April 2014 A.D.

It is a “four Pope” day.

Frankie and Benedict

The Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints asks the Pope three times in urgent terms to inscribe the names of blesseds in the “album” of the saints.

cause of canonization

Relics of the saints are placed on display and venerated.


And here is a shot of His Mightiness, the Extraordinary Ordinary <[Emphasis, AlwaysCatholic], Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison.< Sofia’s Bishop…oh yeah!

Bishop Morlino 1

What to say?

Francis and Benedict

For more yummies click HERE to go see Father Z!

“How to Become a Saint” via @CatholicLisa

27 April 2014

Posted by Lisa Graas
at her blog,


As the Vatican prepares for the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, there is a great deal of media coverage, both on this particular canonization and on the process of canonization itself. At The Guardian, we find an article by Sophia Deboick that characterizes sainthood as the opposite of what it actually is. Deboick says that sainthood is a “stripping away of individuality” that requires “erasure of personality.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
How does one become a saint? The truth is that we are all called to be saints, and there are far more saints than the Church has officially declared to be saints. One becomes a saint when one allows God to strip away our worldly desires, like the love of money and other selfish pleasures. In doing this, our personalities will not be “erased” but will be changed to be more in conformity with what God has created us to be.
Therein lies the point. God has created each of us to be unique individuals who fulfill His purpose for us as individuals. St. Catherine of Siena famously said, ““Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” There are multiple ways of looking at this quote. One is that if you are who God meant you to be, you will make an impact in the world that will be noticed. Another is that you will bring the fire of God’s love into the world that may be rejected by the world and go unnoticed. So it is that there are saints who are noticed to be saints, and saints who are not known to us to have been saints.

Click HEREfor the rest of the story…

Inside the Conclave: A Visual Chart

7 March 2013

Please DOUBLE-CLICK on image for larger image. Source: USCCB

Advice for Bill Keller: There are men MUCH smarter than yourself!

20 February 2013

20 February 2013 Anno Domini
Ember Wednesday of Lent
Posted by Sofia Guerra

This story was originally posted in August of 2011 as a response to “former” Catholic Bill Keller’s (the top dog over at the NY Times’s- “Hell’s Bible” as @FatherZ has dubbed it”) attack on Catholicism and it’s central belief in the Blessed Sacrament. Well, Keller is at it again, of course with a new opinion piece about, the Vatican,the Pope, et al. Per usual, it is heartbreaking to see a former Catholic with, yet again, obviously inadequate catechesis at the very least. I blame Keller 98% but the 2% goes to whomever taught this man his Catholic Faith. I must say I tried to find out how he learned his Faith but even the Internet doesn’t know everything about everyone. That being said, @FatherZ has graciously provided us with the link to Keller’s latest diatribe concerning the Church. Link to Keller’s OpEd: []

One of the many responses in the combox to Keller’s newest piece (link above)

Mike from Texas

I’m not a Catholic but I find this column offensive. A church was instituted by God and is following divine ordinances or it is nothing.

There are plenty of secular organizations around to accommodate nonbelievers.

PS: If you think the guy who turned water into wine was just another guy, you’re not a deserter – you never enlisted.

Feb. 18, 2013 at 6:48 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Thanks, Mike!

Keller is obviously not a man who uses his God given intelligence utilizing logic and reason. If he did, he would at least attempt to use logic in defending his position. He never does, probably never will. The ironic thing about secular progressives is that they insist that the Church follows no logic. Of course, Catholics that know their faith and their history know better.

If we did not have rational souls, we would not be able to believe. Saint Augustine

Reason’s last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it. Saint Blaise Pascal

Who can deny that the responsibility for the future of humanity and also the respect for nature and the world around us, demands, now more than ever, the careful observation, the critical judgement, the patience and the discipline that are essential to the modern scientific method? Pope Benedict XVI




Important moments in the encounter of faith and reason

36. The Acts of the Apostles provides evidence that Christian proclamation was engaged from the very first with the philosophical currents of the time. In Athens, we read, Saint Paul entered into discussion with “certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers” (17:18); and exegetical analysis of his speech at the Areopagus has revealed frequent allusions to popular beliefs deriving for the most part from Stoicism. This is by no means accidental. If pagans were to understand them, the first Christians could not refer only to “Moses and the prophets” when they spoke. They had to point as well to natural knowledge of God and to the voice of conscience in every human being (cf. Rom 1:19-21; 2:14-15; Acts 14:16-17). Since in pagan religion this natural knowledge had lapsed into idolatry (cf. Rom 1:21-32), the Apostle judged it wiser in his speech to make the link with the thinking of the philosophers, who had always set in opposition to the myths and mystery cults notions more respectful of divine transcendence.

One of the major concerns of classical philosophy was to purify human notions of God of mythological elements. We know that Greek religion, like most cosmic religions, was polytheistic, even to the point of divinizing natural things and phenomena. Human attempts to understand the origin of the gods and hence the origin of the universe find their earliest expression in poetry; and the theogonies remain the first evidence of this human search. But it was the task of the fathers of philosophy to bring to light the link between reason and religion. As they broadened their view to include universal principles, they no longer rested content with the ancient myths, but wanted to provide a rational foundation for their belief in the divinity. This opened a path which took its rise from ancient traditions but allowed a development satisfying the demands of universal reason. This development sought to acquire a critical awareness of what they believed in, and the concept of divinity was the prime beneficiary of this. Superstitions were recognized for what they were and religion was, at least in part, purified by rational analysis. It was on this basis that the Fathers of the Church entered into fruitful dialogue with ancient philosophy, which offered new ways of proclaiming and understanding the God of Jesus Christ.

37. In tracing Christianity’s adoption of philosophy, one should not forget how cautiously Christians regarded other elements of the cultural world of paganism, one example of which is gnosticism. It was easy to confuse philosophy—understood as practical wisdom and an education for life—with a higher and esoteric kind of knowledge, reserved to those few who were perfect. It is surely this kind of esoteric speculation which Saint Paul has in mind when he puts the Colossians on their guard: “See to it that no-one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe and not according to Christ” (2:8). The Apostle’s words seem all too pertinent now if we apply them to the various kinds of esoteric superstition widespread today, even among some believers who lack a proper critical sense. Following Saint Paul, other writers of the early centuries, especially Saint Irenaeus and Tertullian, sound the alarm when confronted with a cultural perspective which sought to subordinate the truth of Revelation to the interpretation of the philosophers.

38. Christianity’s engagement with philosophy was therefore neither straight-forward nor immediate. The practice of philosophy and attendance at philosophical schools seemed to the first Christians more of a disturbance than an opportunity. For them, the first and most urgent task was the proclamation of the Risen Christ by way of a personal encounter which would bring the listener to conversion of heart and the request for Baptism. But that does not mean that they ignored the task of deepening the understanding of faith and its motivations. Quite the contrary. That is why the criticism of Celsus—that Christians were “illiterate and uncouth”(31)—is unfounded and untrue. Their initial disinterest is to be explained on other grounds. The encounter with the Gospel offered such a satisfying answer to the hitherto unresolved question of life’s meaning that delving into the philosophers seemed to them something remote and in some ways outmoded.

That seems still more evident today, if we think of Christianity’s contribution to the affirmation of the right of everyone to have access to the truth. In dismantling barriers of race, social status and gender, Christianity proclaimed from the first the equality of all men and women before God. One prime implication of this touched the theme of truth. The elitism which had characterized the ancients’ search for truth was clearly abandoned. Since access to the truth enables access to God, it must be denied to none. There are many paths which lead to truth, but since Christian truth has a salvific value, any one of these paths may be taken, as long as it leads to the final goal, that is to the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

A pioneer of positive engagement with philosophical thinking—albeit with cautious discernment—was Saint Justin. Although he continued to hold Greek philosophy in high esteem after his conversion, Justin claimed with power and clarity that he had found in Christianity “the only sure and profitable philosophy”.(32) Similarly, Clement of Alexandria called the Gospel “the true philosophy”,(33) and he understood philosophy, like the Mosaic Law, as instruction which prepared for Christian faith (34) and paved the way for the Gospel.(35) Since “philosophy yearns for the wisdom which consists in rightness of soul and speech and in purity of life, it is well disposed towards wisdom and does all it can to acquire it. We call philosophers those who love the wisdom that is creator and mistress of all things, that is knowledge of the Son of God”.(36) For Clement, Greek philosophy is not meant in the first place to bolster and complete Christian truth. Its task is rather the defence of the faith: “The teaching of the Saviour is perfect in itself and has no need of support, because it is the strength and the wisdom of God. Greek philosophy, with its contribution, does not strengthen truth; but, in rendering the attack of sophistry impotent and in disarming those who betray truth and wage war upon it, Greek philosophy is rightly called the hedge and the protective wall around the vineyard”.(37)

39. It is clear from history, then, that Christian thinkers were critical in adopting philosophical thought. Among the early examples of this, Origen is certainly outstanding. In countering the attacks launched by the philosopher Celsus, Origen adopts Platonic philosophy to shape his argument and mount his reply. Assuming many elements of Platonic thought, he begins to construct an early form of Christian theology. The name “theology” itself, together with the idea of theology as rational discourse about God, had to this point been tied to its Greek origins. In Aristotelian philosophy, for example, the name signified the noblest part and the true summit of philosophical discourse. But in the light of Christian Revelation what had signified a generic doctrine about the gods assumed a wholly new meaning, signifying now the reflection undertaken by the believer in order to express the true doctrine about God. As it developed, this new Christian thought made use of philosophy, but at the same time tended to distinguish itself clearly from philosophy. History shows how Platonic thought, once adopted by theology, underwent profound changes, especially with regard to concepts such as the immortality of the soul, the divinization of man and the origin of evil.

40. In this work of christianizing Platonic and Neo-Platonic thought, the Cappadocian Fathers, Dionysius called the Areopagite and especially Saint Augustine were important. The great Doctor of the West had come into contact with different philosophical schools, but all of them left him disappointed. It was when he encountered the truth of Christian faith that he found strength to undergo the radical conversion to which the philosophers he had known had been powerless to lead him. He himself reveals his motive: “From this time on, I gave my preference to the Catholic faith. I thought it more modest and not in the least misleading to be told by the Church to believe what could not be demonstrated—whether that was because a demonstration existed but could not be understood by all or whether the matter was not one open to rational proof—rather than from the Manichees to have a rash promise of knowledge with mockery of mere belief, and then afterwards to be ordered to believe many fabulous and absurd myths impossible to prove true”.(38) Though he accorded the Platonists a place of privilege, Augustine rebuked them because, knowing the goal to seek, they had ignored the path which leads to it: the Word made flesh.(39) The Bishop of Hippo succeeded in producing the first great synthesis of philosophy and theology, embracing currents of thought both Greek and Latin. In him too the great unity of knowledge, grounded in the thought of the Bible, was both confirmed and sustained by a depth of speculative thinking. The synthesis devised by Saint Augustine remained for centuries the most exalted form of philosophical and theological speculation known to the West. Reinforced by his personal story and sustained by a wonderful holiness of life, he could also introduce into his works a range of material which, drawing on experience, was a prelude to future developments in different currents of philosophy.

41. The ways in which the Fathers of East and West engaged the philosophical schools were, therefore, quite different. This does not mean that they identified the content of their message with the systems to which they referred. Consider Tertullian’s question: “What does Athens have in common with Jerusalem? The Academy with the Church?”.(40) This clearly indicates the critical consciousness with which Christian thinkers from the first confronted the problem of the relationship between faith and philosophy, viewing it comprehensively with both its positive aspects and its limitations. They were not naive thinkers. Precisely because they were intense in living faith’s content they were able to reach the deepest forms of speculation. It is therefore minimalizing and mistaken to restrict their work simply to the transposition of the truths of faith into philosophical categories. They did much more. In fact they succeeded in disclosing completely all that remained implicit and preliminary in the thinking of the great philosophers of antiquity.(41) As I have noted, theirs was the task of showing how reason, freed from external constraints, could find its way out of the blind alley of myth and open itself to the transcendent in a more appropriate way. Purified and rightly tuned, therefore, reason could rise to the higher planes of thought, providing a solid foundation for the perception of being, of the transcendent and of the absolute.

It is here that we see the originality of what the Fathers accomplished. They fully welcomed reason which was open to the absolute, and they infused it with the richness drawn from Revelation. This was more than a meeting of cultures, with one culture perhaps succumbing to the fascination of the other. It happened rather in the depths of human souls, and it was a meeting of creature and Creator. Surpassing the goal towards which it unwittingly tended by dint of its nature, reason attained the supreme good and ultimate truth in the person of the Word made flesh. Faced with the various philosophies, the Fathers were not afraid to acknowledge those elements in them that were consonant with Revelation and those that were not. Recognition of the points of convergence did not blind them to the points of divergence.

42. In Scholastic theology, the role of philosophically trained reason becomes even more conspicuous under the impulse of Saint Anselm’s interpretation of the intellectus fidei. For the saintly Archbishop of Canterbury the priority of faith is not in competition with the search which is proper to reason. Reason in fact is not asked to pass judgement on the contents of faith, something of which it would be incapable, since this is not its function. Its function is rather to find meaning, to discover explanations which might allow everyone to come to a certain understanding of the contents of faith. Saint Anselm underscores the fact that the intellect must seek that which it loves: the more it loves, the more it desires to know. Whoever lives for the truth is reaching for a form of knowledge which is fired more and more with love for what it knows, while having to admit that it has not yet attained what it desires: “To see you was I conceived; and I have yet to conceive that for which I was conceived (Ad te videndum factus sum; et nondum feci propter quod factus sum)”.(42) The desire for truth, therefore, spurs reason always to go further; indeed, it is as if reason were overwhelmed to see that it can always go beyond what it has already achieved. It is at this point, though, that reason can learn where its path will lead in the end: “I think that whoever investigates something incomprehensible should be satisfied if, by way of reasoning, he reaches a quite certain perception of its reality, even if his intellect cannot penetrate its mode of being… But is there anything so incomprehensible and ineffable as that which is above all things? Therefore, if that which until now has been a matter of debate concerning the highest essence has been established on the basis of due reasoning, then the foundation of one’s certainty is not shaken in the least if the intellect cannot penetrate it in a way that allows clear formulation. If prior thought has concluded rationally that one cannot comprehend (rationabiliter comprehendit incomprehensibile esse) how supernal wisdom knows its own accomplishments…, who then will explain how this same wisdom, of which the human being can know nothing or next to nothing, is to be known and expressed?”.(43)

The fundamental harmony between the knowledge of faith and the knowledge of philosophy is once again confirmed. Faith asks that its object be understood with the help of reason; and at the summit of its searching reason acknowledges that it cannot do without what faith presents.

The enduring originality of the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas

43. A quite special place in this long development belongs to Saint Thomas, not only because of what he taught but also because of the dialogue which he undertook with the Arab and Jewish thought of his time. In an age when Christian thinkers were rediscovering the treasures of ancient philosophy, and more particularly of Aristotle, Thomas had the great merit of giving pride of place to the harmony which exists between faith and reason. Both the light of reason and the light of faith come from God, he argued; hence there can be no contradiction between them.(44)

More radically, Thomas recognized that nature, philosophy’s proper concern, could contribute to the understanding of divine Revelation. Faith therefore has no fear of reason, but seeks it out and has trust in it. Just as grace builds on nature and brings it to fulfilment,(45) so faith builds upon and perfects reason. Illumined by faith, reason is set free from the fragility and limitations deriving from the disobedience of sin and finds the strength required to rise to the knowledge of the Triune God. Although he made much of the supernatural character of faith, the Angelic Doctor did not overlook the importance of its reasonableness; indeed he was able to plumb the depths and explain the meaning of this reasonableness. Faith is in a sense an “exercise of thought”; and human reason is neither annulled nor debased in assenting to the contents of faith, which are in any case attained by way of free and informed choice.(46)

This is why the Church has been justified in consistently proposing Saint Thomas as a master of thought and a model of the right way to do theology. In this connection, I would recall what my Predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI, wrote on the occasion of the seventh centenary of the death of the Angelic Doctor: “Without doubt, Thomas possessed supremely the courage of the truth, a freedom of spirit in confronting new problems, the intellectual honesty of those who allow Christianity to be contaminated neither by secular philosophy nor by a prejudiced rejection of it. He passed therefore into the history of Christian thought as a pioneer of the new path of philosophy and universal culture. The key point and almost the kernel of the solution which, with all the brilliance of his prophetic intuition, he gave to the new encounter of faith and reason was a reconciliation between the secularity of the world and the radicality of the Gospel, thus avoiding the unnatural tendency to negate the world and its values while at the same time keeping faith with the supreme and inexorable demands of the supernatural order”.(47)

44. Another of the great insights of Saint Thomas was his perception of the role of the Holy Spirit in the process by which knowledge matures into wisdom. From the first pages of his Summa Theologiae,(48) Aquinas was keen to show the primacy of the wisdom which is the gift of the Holy Spirit and which opens the way to a knowledge of divine realities. His theology allows us to understand what is distinctive of wisdom in its close link with faith and knowledge of the divine. This wisdom comes to know by way of connaturality; it presupposes faith and eventually formulates its right judgement on the basis of the truth of faith itself: “The wisdom named among the gifts of the Holy Spirit is distinct from the wisdom found among the intellectual virtues. This second wisdom is acquired through study, but the first ‘comes from on high’, as Saint James puts it. This also distinguishes it from faith, since faith accepts divine truth as it is. But the gift of wisdom enables judgement according to divine truth”.(49)

Yet the priority accorded this wisdom does not lead the Angelic Doctor to overlook the presence of two other complementary forms of wisdom—philosophical wisdom, which is based upon the capacity of the intellect, for all its natural limitations, to explore reality, and theological wisdom, which is based upon Revelation and which explores the contents of faith, entering the very mystery of God.

Profoundly convinced that “whatever its source, truth is of the Holy Spirit” (omne verum a quocumque dicatur a Spiritu Sancto est) (50) Saint Thomas was impartial in his love of truth. He sought truth wherever it might be found and gave consummate demonstration of its universality. In him, the Church’s Magisterium has seen and recognized the passion for truth; and, precisely because it stays consistently within the horizon of universal, objective and transcendent truth, his thought scales “heights unthinkable to human intelligence”.(51) Rightly, then, he may be called an “apostle of the truth”.(52) Looking unreservedly to truth, the realism of Thomas could recognize the objectivity of truth and produce not merely a philosophy of “what seems to be” but a philosophy of “what is”.

The drama of the separation of faith and reason

45. With the rise of the first universities, theology came more directly into contact with other forms of learning and scientific research. Although they insisted upon the organic link between theology and philosophy, Saint Albert the Great and Saint Thomas were the first to recognize the autonomy which philosophy and the sciences needed if they were to perform well in their respective fields of research. From the late Medieval period onwards, however, the legitimate distinction between the two forms of learning became more and more a fateful separation. As a result of the exaggerated rationalism of certain thinkers, positions grew more radical and there emerged eventually a philosophy which was separate from and absolutely independent of the contents of faith. Another of the many consequences of this separation was an ever deeper mistrust with regard to reason itself. In a spirit both sceptical and agnostic, some began to voice a general mistrust, which led some to focus more on faith and others to deny its rationality altogether.

In short, what for Patristic and Medieval thought was in both theory and practice a profound unity, producing knowledge capable of reaching the highest forms of speculation, was destroyed by systems which espoused the cause of rational knowledge sundered from faith and meant to take the place of faith.

46. The more influential of these radical positions are well known and high in profile, especially in the history of the West. It is not too much to claim that the development of a good part of modern philosophy has seen it move further and further away from Christian Revelation, to the point of setting itself quite explicitly in opposition. This process reached its apogee in the last century. Some representatives of idealism sought in various ways to transform faith and its contents, even the mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, into dialectical structures which could be grasped by reason. Opposed to this kind of thinking were various forms of atheistic humanism, expressed in philosophical terms, which regarded faith as alienating and damaging to the development of a full rationality. They did not hesitate to present themselves as new religions serving as a basis for projects which, on the political and social plane, gave rise to totalitarian systems which have been disastrous for humanity.

In the field of scientific research, a positivistic mentality took hold which not only abandoned the Christian vision of the world, but more especially rejected every appeal to a metaphysical or moral vision. It follows that certain scientists, lacking any ethical point of reference, are in danger of putting at the centre of their concerns something other than the human person and the entirety of the person’s life. Further still, some of these, sensing the opportunities of technological progress, seem to succumb not only to a market-based logic, but also to the temptation of a quasi-divine power over nature and even over the human being.

As a result of the crisis of rationalism, what has appeared finally is nihilism. As a philosophy of nothingness, it has a certain attraction for people of our time. Its adherents claim that the search is an end in itself, without any hope or possibility of ever attaining the goal of truth. In the nihilist interpretation, life is no more than an occasion for sensations and experiences in which the ephemeral has pride of place. Nihilism is at the root of the widespread mentality which claims that a definitive commitment should no longer be made, because everything is fleeting and provisional.

47. It should also be borne in mind that the role of philosophy itself has changed in modern culture. From universal wisdom and learning, it has been gradually reduced to one of the many fields of human knowing; indeed in some ways it has been consigned to a wholly marginal role. Other forms of rationality have acquired an ever higher profile, making philosophical learning appear all the more peripheral. These forms of rationality are directed not towards the contemplation of truth and the search for the ultimate goal and meaning of life; but instead, as “instrumental reason”, they are directed—actually or potentially—towards the promotion of utilitarian ends, towards enjoyment or power.

In my first Encyclical Letter I stressed the danger of absolutizing such an approach when I wrote: “The man of today seems ever to be under threat from what he produces, that is to say from the result of the work of his hands and, even more so, of the work of his intellect and the tendencies of his will. All too soon, and often in an unforeseeable way, what this manifold activity of man yields is not only subject to ‘alienation’, in the sense that it is simply taken away from the person who produces it, but rather it turns against man himself, at least in part, through the indirect consequences of its effects returning on himself. It is or can be directed against him. This seems to make up the main chapter of the drama of present-day human existence in its broadest and universal dimension. Man therefore lives increasingly in fear. He is afraid of what he produces—not all of it, of course, or even most of it, but part of it and precisely that part that contains a special share of his genius and initiative—can radically turn against himself”.(53)

In the wake of these cultural shifts, some philosophers have abandoned the search for truth in itself and made their sole aim the attainment of a subjective certainty or a pragmatic sense of utility. This in turn has obscured the true dignity of reason, which is no longer equipped to know the truth and to seek the absolute.

48. This rapid survey of the history of philosophy, then, reveals a growing separation between faith and philosophical reason. Yet closer scrutiny shows that even in the philosophical thinking of those who helped drive faith and reason further apart there are found at times precious and seminal insights which, if pursued and developed with mind and heart rightly tuned, can lead to the discovery of truth’s way. Such insights are found, for instance, in penetrating analyses of perception and experience, of the imaginary and the unconscious, of personhood and intersubjectivity, of freedom and values, of time and history. The theme of death as well can become for all thinkers an incisive appeal to seek within themselves the true meaning of their own life. But this does not mean that the link between faith and reason as it now stands does not need to be carefully examined, because each without the other is impoverished and enfeebled. Deprived of what Revelation offers, reason has taken side-tracks which expose it to the danger of losing sight of its final goal. Deprived of reason, faith has stressed feeling and experience, and so run the risk of no longer being a universal proposition. It is an illusion to think that faith, tied to weak reasoning, might be more penetrating; on the contrary, faith then runs the grave risk of withering into myth or superstition. By the same token, reason which is unrelated to an adult faith is not prompted to turn its gaze to the newness and radicality of being.

This is why I make this strong and insistent appeal—not, I trust, untimely—that faith and philosophy recover the profound unity which allows them to stand in harmony with their nature without compromising their mutual autonomy. The parrhesia of faith must be matched by the boldness of reason.

30 August 2011 Anno Domini
Posted by Sofia Guerra

Bill Keller, the former Catholic who runs the NY (“Hell’s Bible” coined by Fr.Z) Times decided that Faith (or his lack of it) needed to be discussed in the sadly worn pages of the Old Gray Lady. Per usual, another former Catholic showing how sad the state of the Church is in here in North America.

But Keller, did you have to slam the Eucharist? Is your hatred of Catholicism so deep that you go straight to the heart of the Faith…the Mysterium Fidei ?? Bill O’Reilly last evening was the only commentator to report on this story. (Surprised?) Plenty of times Bill gets his Faith wrong when opining but not this time. At the end of the segment with Bernard Goldberg, O’Reilly probably startled even the most traditional Catholic with the statement that as Catholics we should “pray for Bill Keller and perhaps offer our Communion for him…”

Thank you Bill…even though earlier in the report you incorrectly stated that both priests and ministers can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist, (where are the Fox fact-checkers on Religion? Call Father Morris, please!) you towed the orthodox Catholic line in front of at least 6 million viewers. “…offer our Communion for Bill Keller…” Mr. O’Reilly, one of those nuns you so fondly write about in “Bold, Fresh” did teach you well…remember her in your prayers and thank her!

O’Reilly continued on to say it doesn’t bother him when people like Bill Keller state that they don’t believe in the Eucharist. He went on further to state that “smarter people than Keller do believe in it…(the Eucharist)” Well, Bill, your former Religion teacher would be proud. You are correct, there are smarter people than Bill Keller and Cris Mattoon is one of them. Here is a crosspost from Cris’s blog where he addresses Faith, (particularly his own) in the business world…

Bill Keller, watch out! Cris Mattoon might take over the NY Times and actually make it an intelligent, fair publication!


by Cris Mattoon, J.D.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” ~Matthew 7:7-8

“I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” ~Frederick Douglass

A man (we’ll call him “Fred”) had approached me after a meeting to speak to me further about the role of faith in organizational settings. I could tell that he was uncomfortable amidst the lingering group, so we stepped off into a vacant conference room to speak privately.

“Cris, how can you live your faith so openly in business settings?,” he opened.

“Well, Fred, I strive to conduct all of my affairs consistently, regardless of the setting. So, I guess I don’t really notice the difference between the business setting and all other settings, ” I replied.

Fred’s face betrayed his consternation, and then he stammered out, “But aren’t you afraid you’re going to offend someone?! I mean, I’ve seen you speak openly not only with our employees but also with our clients.” Now I understood more about the basis of his concern.

I paused for a moment and then calmly replied, “Yes, Fred, I am concerned about offending Someone…God.” I continued, “Each of us has been endowed by our Creator with certain gifts, often mastered through great effort on our part, often undertaken solely on our faith or the faith of our loved ones. Some of us are great lawyers, doctors and engineers, while others of us are great welders, longshoremen and meat packers. God’s love for us and investment in us have absolutely nothing to do with our earning capacity, but have everything to do with how our lives can influence and improve the lives of our fellow men and women through our service to them.”

Read the rest of this SMART blog piece by clicking here

“…so that we may dare to love Him”

28 December 2012

Pope Benedict: May God Grant Us the Curiosity to Know Him
28 December 2012 Anno Domini

Posted by Lisa Graas at her blog,

The following is the homily given by Pope Benedict XVI on December 24. Since it is on the importance of recognizing Jesus Christ and knowing Him, my favorite topic (identity in Christ), I’ve decided to go ahead and post it. There are many who say they know Jesus, but do they know the real Jesus, and do they know Him in all His fullness? Do they know Him so well that they would recognize Him if He came to them in an unexpected form? I am in love with Jesus, but even I do not know Him in all fullness. That can only happen fully in heaven. And so, it is important for me, and for all of us, to at least have the curiosity to know Him more and more in our lives. That is what a relationship is. It is not a one-time experience. It is a life experience to come to know Jesus more and more.

Vatican City, 24 December 2012 (VIS) – The Pope tonight celebrated Midnight Mass in the Vatican Basilica for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord.

Pope Benedict XVI kneels as he celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Monday, Dec. 24, 2012. (photo credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP)

During the Eucharistic celebration, following the reading of the Gospel, the Holy Father delivered his homily, ample extracts from which are given below:

“Again and again it astonishes us that God makes Himself a child so that we may love Him, so that we may dare to love Him, and as a child trustingly lets Himself be taken into our arms. It is as if God were saying: I know that my glory frightens you, and that you are trying to assert yourself in the face of my grandeur. So now I am coming to you as a child, so that you can accept me and love me.

Editor’s Note: The first line of this homily will stay with me forever… Please click HERE to go to the rest of the homily posted on Lisa’s Blog.

“It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.” Jane Austen

27 October 2011

The main male character in Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park” is Edmund Bertram. Edmund, a good man who aspires to and eventually becomes a member of the clergy. Edmund is judged as less than successful for even desiring to be part of the Church by Mary Crawford, a shallow female character who tries to and almost leads him astray. In defending his calling, Edmund states in Chapter Nine,

“We do not look in great cities for our best morality. It is not there that respectable people of any denomination can do most good; and it certainly is not there that the influence of the clergy can be most felt. A fine preacher is followed and admired; but it is not in fine preaching only that a good clergyman will be useful in his parish and his neighbourhood, where the parish and neighbourhood are of a size capable of knowing his private character, and observing his general conduct, which in London [a large city] can rarely be the case. The clergy are lost there in the crowds of their parishioners. They are known to the largest part only as preachers. And with regard to their influencing public manners, Miss Crawford must not misunderstand me, or suppose I mean to call them the arbiters of good–breeding, the regulators of refinement and courtesy, the masters of the ceremonies of life. The manners I speak of might rather be called conduct, perhaps, the result of good principles; the effect, in short, of those doctrines which it is their duty to teach and recommend; and it will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation.”

[Emphasis mine]

It’s quite sad that a number of men (certainly not all or even close) and many women do not understand that Austen wasn’t simply an author of “romantic novels”. She had the uncanny ability to take the part of social scientist when fleshing out her characters in all of her novels. When reading the reports of the latest attack on the Church, the quote I used for the title immediately came to mind. It is such a sweet delight to know that Miss Austen “got it”. She also was able to articulate it from the masculine perspective quite successfully even when modern churchmen can’t or won’t do it themselves. You just can’t make this up.

In the last several days I went ballistic on Twitter. The ridiculous “white paper” which was released from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, (an office within the Vatican) named “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority,” from the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace (read the full text here) by His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson and Bishop Mario Toso, Titular Bishop of Bisarcio and perhaps a ghostwriter. In addition, I went crazy over the shoddy coverage of the story on “The Blaze” by Billy Hallowell.

First, please understand I hold Rome responsible for how this document was introduced to the media. Per usual, the Vatican’s public relations department finds new and exciting ways to make sure that the Church is continually misrepresented. At the very least, it sets up the attacks on Holy Mother Church (either unknowingly, because of stupidity or deliberately, or BOTH, in order to undermine the Faith and the Holy Father, take your pick).

How hard could it be for the PR people in Rome to say simply what this document is? The PR folks at the Vatican will not say what is really going on here. If they did, it would be a scandal. Yup, I said it…a scandal. Why, Sofia, do you think it would be a scandal? Sadly, Professor Leonardo Becchetti, though not named as one of the actual authors, was present at the press conference ( why, if he wasn’t one of the authors?) for the now reknown white paper. Father John Zuhlsdorf in his blog, “What Does the Prayer Really Say?” has done the job thoroughly deconstructing and explaining what really is going on here with this latest attempt to vilify the Church from within [my opinion, not Father Zuhlsdorf’s]

Professor Bechetti’s political beliefs and agenda are well known in Catholic circles and let just say…he isn’t on the side of the Church and Her Teachings. Ironically, the 2011 Summit of the Group of 20 (G20), the sixth meeting of the Group’s Heads of State or Government, will take place in Cannes, France, from November 3-4, 2011. Hmmmm…”they” say timing is EVERYTHING in life.

Does Bechetti think that Roman Catholics around the world are so stupid that we are not able to read or understand exactly what is going on here? Oh yeah, that’s right, I’ll be called a right wing conspiracy nut, but that in itself is a funny thing. Unlike those attacking “right-wingers”, the left wing who purport those talking points, I still believe in God and KNOW that He is Truth and sees all. Too bad for them.

Father Zuhlsdorf has posted several pieces concerning this white paper and for clarity’s sake we will be cross-posting his work and will put out links for the posts he refers to in his blog. In addition, we have compiled a reading list (which we will post at the end of this piece so that you, dear readers can make up your own minds.) of related posts.

In addition to Father Z’s work, we are crossposting an excellent piece by Lisa Graas from her blog, . Lisa addresses the additional issue of the erroneous claim that the Holy Father supports the protestors at Occupy Wall Street. It never ends.
By the way, It is a “white paper” because basically if you print it out, and shred it, you have excellent packing material.

I will say only a few things concerning the coverage by Billy Hallowell at “The Blaze”. A very close friend of mine has used gentle correction as a Christian to help me realize where the real problem lies in this issue. I do agree I was going after the messenger but I do think that The Blaze needed to do a better job of research and delivery on topics regarding the Catholic Church. If I was too hard, I apologize for my lack of charity. I still believe however, that well known Catholic writer/blogger Lisa Graas and close friend was correct when she stated on Twitter: “It seems anti-Catholic to push something like that (which is falsehood) and ignore other things.”

Well said, Lisa. I guess my reaction wasn’t the hallmark of charity but my only reason would be to say, I am truly sorry but I must defend the Faith and Church I love. I ask those who want to write about the Catholic Church to at least stop taking the lazy way out by grabbing a video from MSNBC of all places of a “priest”, Thomas Reese, S.J., who makes his living denouncing the Church and then twisting Her Teachings to appear to be a truthteller.


Here is Father Zuhlsdorf’s post, “More about the “white paper” from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace” October 26, 2011

More about the latest schizophrenic “white paper” from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.  This new “white paper” – for I don’t want to dignify it with “document”, which might give it more weight that it deserves – offered some pretty good analysis of the status quaestionis and then went to the zoo on offering proposals.

When new documents or initiatives are issued from some dicastery of the Holy See there is usually a presser, during which the heads of the dicastery and experts involved with the genesis of the piece or event present what is going on to members of the press.

In the case of the “white paper” – which does not form part of the Ordinary Magisterium – the presenters were Card. Turkson and Archbp. Toso.  Also present was Prof. Leonardo Becchetti, whom I assume was involved in part in the genesis of the “white paper”.

At this point I direct your attention to the comments made by Jeffrey Tucker, which I have posted here.  Tucker made the observation, and I think he is right, that different hands contributed to this “white paper”.  He wrote: “Probably this document had many authors, one of whom gets the Austrian theory of the business cycle. He prevailed in the first section. Another author seems to know nothing about politics and power or the history of the problems of centralized states and central banking. He prevailed in the second section.”  I am guessing that Prof. Becchetti is the one who prevailed in the second section.

I have some Italian friends who are very well-informed about the topics addressed in the “white paper”.  One of them, a sometime contributor here and a mainstay of the Catholic Online Form, the great Fabrizio, offered some observations on Prof. Becchetti.

This is what Fabrizio had to say, and he is generally spot on in my experience:

I’ll quote what I said on COL. Trust me this is another “Fisichella” scandal.

Even though it’s not about abortion:  it’s not as if liberty and private property are not rather important inalienable rights of man.

“A socialist economist, a left-wing “Catholic” who’s extremely active with the Democrat Party (formerly known as Partito Comunista Italiano, here’s is profile on the website of the party and other socialist organizations. He even has a blog on the website of the ultra-secularist paper “La Repubblica” which leads the charge against the Catholic Church every time the occasion presents itself. I guarantee you that loyal Catholics – and competent economists – don’t get to spread the truth through blogs on La Repubblica’s website.

Among other things this guy formed a lobby to request the EU to levy crazy taxes on financial transactions which will destroy whatever is left of available capitals, especially for small businesses and small investors, with a trickle-down effect that will further damage an economy brought to collapse by socialist greed for power, money and control.

So basically a Vatican dicastery helped a socialist ideologue to advance his agenda with the imprimatur of the Holy See (obviously he is the ghost writer of the part on financial transactions).

The writings of this guy are quoted by all Marxist organs and groups. Here is an example taken by a blog of a local group of the Italian “Democratic Left for European Socialism”. I guarantee you these people HATE the Church and of course liberty and property. They are part of a left-wing coalition led by “Niki” Vendola, a militant homosexualist of the former Communist Party.”


Curiouser and curiouser. There would have had to have been some pretty good cover provided for this “white paper” from the Secretariat of State. Otherwise, with this pedigree, it probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day.

In any event, I think we have a better idea now why the left-wingers and catholics have gotten so excited about this “white paper”. They are able very easily to tune into that frequency.

Related posts here at FatherZ’s Blog, “What does The Prayer Really Say”
“Jeffrey Tucker on the new “white paper”: “a near total absence of clear thinking””
“Samuel Gregg on the new “white paper” from the Pont. Con. for Justice and Peace”
The new “white paper” from the Pont. Council Justice and Peace. Fr. Z rants like loon.”

From Lisa Graas at her blog, “Lisa Graas” “The Pope Has Not Endorsed Occupy Wall Street” October 24, 2011

It’s funny how so many “conservatives” these days tell me they are perfectly comfortable with writing off the Catholic vote when it comes to abortion and “gay marriage” but then when something comes out of the Vatican about fiscal issues, they freak out. What’s up with that? Anyway, THIS STORY at The Blaze which suggests that “the Vatican” has endorsed Occupy Wall Street is misleading, to say the least, as are many other reports coming out about a proposal from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in regard to a “world bank”.

In a nutshell, this paragraph from Catholic News Service may help to clear up the biggest confusion over this [Emphasis mine]:

At a news conference Oct. 24, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, emphasized that the document was “not an expression of papal magisterium,” but instead was an “authoritative note of a Vatican agency,” the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. In that sense, he said, it would not be correct to report that “Pope Benedict says” what’s in the document, he said.



The rest of the post at click here…


First, thank you to both FatherZ and to Lisa Graas for their intelligent, common sense approach to writing and for always telling the truth. Second, thank you to all who have helped me see that sometimes I need to vent BEFORE I tweet. “Im learning, I’m learning!! ha ha) Finally, I want my readers to know that I have always supported Glenn Beck and his cause to help educate us about those who want to destroy America. For this, I thank him for his tireless effort to help protect America and her citizens. I ask that he and his organization to please do their homework regarding Catholic issues. Believe me, I know there are plenty of Alinsky Progressives in the Church trying to destroy Her from within. However, the Pope is not one of them. Case closed.

I wanted to get this post out yesterday when perhaps it would have been timely in the 24 hour news cycle. However, it’s about more than just reporting the stories in a timely fashion, I think. In this case I needed to take time off to pray first. In the end, Saint Paul is correct….”And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

I pray I learned that lesson, finally…

God love you,


Church of the ‘Times’ A DISSENT

2 May 2010

Kenneth L. Woodward

This article will appear in the May 7, 2010, issue of Commonweal.

The New York Times isn’t fair. In its all-hands-on-deck drive to implicate the pope in diocesan cover-ups of abusive priests, the Times has relied on a steady stream of documents unearthed or supplied by Jeff Anderson, the nation’s most aggressive litigator on behalf of clergy-abuse victims. Fairness dictates that the Times give Anderson at least a co-byline.

After all, it was really Anderson who “broke” the story on March 25 about Fr. Lawrence Murphy and his abuse of two hundred deaf children a half-century ago in Wisconsin. Reporter Laurie Goodstein says her article emerged from her own “inquiries,” but the piece was based on Anderson documents. Indeed, in its ongoing exercise in J’accuse journalism, the Times has adopted as its own Anderson’s construal of what took place. Anderson is a persuasive fellow: back in 2002 he claimed that he had already won more than $60 million in settlements from the church. But the really big money is in Rome, which is why Anderson is trying to haul the Vatican into U.S. federal court. The Times did not mention this in its story, of course, but if the paper can show malfeasance on the part of the pope, Anderson may get his biggest payday yet.

It’s hard for a newspaper to climb in bed with a man like Anderson without making his cause its own. Does this mean that the Times is anti-Catholic? New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan thinks it is—he said so last October in response to an earlier series of stories on clergy abuse. Whatever one thinks of Dolan’s accusation, clearly the Times considers sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests more newsworthy than abuse committed by other groups. An April 13 verdict against the Boy Scouts of America, which has struggled with the child-sexual-abuse issue for a century, did not merit page-1, above-the-fold treatment but rather a single paragraph deep inside the paper. A longer April 15 story about a Brown University student credibly accused of raping another student, an incident the university did not report to the police and arguably “covered up” at the request of powerful figures in the Brown community, appeared on page 18.

No question, the Times’s worldview is secularist and secularizing, and as such it rivals the Catholic worldview. But that is not unusual with newspapers. What makes the Times unique—and what any Catholic bishop ought to understand—is that it is not just the nation’s self-appointed newspaper of record. It is, to paraphrase Chesterton, an institution with the soul of a church. And the church it most resembles in size, organization, internal culture, and international reach is the Roman Catholic Church. More…

Editor’s Note: Never, no, not ever, would I think that I would publish an article from “COMMONWEAL”. HOWEVER, miracles do happen as you see with the Anglicans coming home to Rome. In this case, Kenneth Woodward, veteran of “Newsweek” and now currently (ahem) “Commonweal” does his own version of coming home to Rome. Deo Gratias!

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