Category Archives: Faith & Reason

Not doctrine, but power: recent tensions in the Church

We need perspective, we need a good review of what’s happening in the press regarding the state of Catholicism. At least I do. The ever-well spoken George Weigel takes on us on a brief journey….

The American mainstream media, reflecting deeper currents in American culture, typically treats “religion” as a private lifestyle choice: a personal option one may exercise to make sense out of life (and death) through certain rituals embodied in communities. That the “choice” in question has anything to do with adherence to the truth, as one is grasped and transformed by that truth; that those rituals embody religious truth in a unique way that links the believer to the very life of God; that those communities are formed by, and accountable to, truths that can be rationally explicated in a body of knowledge called “theology” — say what? To treat religion as a lifestyle choice leaves little room for the very concept of “truth,” unless it be the anorexic postmodern notion of “your truth” and “my truth” (which means that Khalid Sheikh Muhammad’s “truth” is just as much “truth” as Pope Benedict XVI’s). In the sandbox of self-absorption that is so much of postmodern culture, there is little or no room for the truth.

Perhaps we should take a hint from a recent Church Council on this matter: 

“Theology relies on the written Word of God, taken together with sacred Tradition, as on a permanent foundation. By this Word it is most firmly strengthened and constantly rejuvenated, as it searches out, under the light of faith, the full truth stored up in the mystery of Christ.” (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation)

Read the whole article here.

Georeg Weigel

“Don’t Know Much about Theology …”

National Review online

June 12, 2012

Modern Science, Ancient Faith: Portsmouth Institute set

pi-2011-logo.jpgThe Portsmouth Institute is set to begin its third year of work from June 22-24, 2012, with the theme of “Modern Science, Ancient Faith.” The Institute is located at Portsmouth Abbey and School (Portsmouth, RI).

The speakers include Rt. Rev. Dom James Wiseman (St. Anselm’s Abbey, Washington, DC), R. Dom Paschal Scotti (Portsmouth Abbey), William Dembski, John Haught, Kenneth Miller, B. Joseph Semmes, Michael Ruse, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP.
Prayer, fraternity and time to think are hallmarks of the Portsmouth Institute. Situated at the beautiful Portsmouth Abbey on the Narrangansett Bay, who could not love expanding one’s thinking on faith and science.
Visit the website noted above for more information of the conference, the Abbey and School.
Previous Institutes:
2009 The Catholic William F. Buckley, Jr.
2010 Newman & the Intellectual Tradition
2011 The Catholic Shakespeare?
Join the work being done…
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America Magazine appoints Matt Malone 14th editor in chief

Matt Malone SJ.jpgThe century old magazine edited by the Jesuits, America Magazine, has a new editor in chief, Father Matthew Malone, SJ. He’s the 14th editor, and the youngest in the publication’s history.

America is a mixed bag of journal opinion when it comes to covering the Church, it mostly pushes the envelop on matters that are not up for debate: it sheds more smoke and than light. In many ways it seems as though America has abandoned it’s prestigious and valuable nature of journalism as a Catholic publication rooted firmly in Ignatian spirituality. I pray that Saint Ignatius and all Jesuit saints and blesseds inspire Father Matt in his new mission. I certainly wish him the best.
America’s press release is here.

Our First, Most Cherished Freedom — the US Bishops speak up for religious liberty

We the People.jpg

Today, the US
bishops issued a call to action to defend religious liberty and urged laity to
protect the First Freedom of the Bill of Rights. No doubt there is 
considerable consternation surrounding
the proposed usurpation of our legal freedom of religion: clearly the US
President has forgotten the first clause of the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof….”

The statement,
“Our First, Most Cherished Freedom,” aims to inform and to encourage the entire
Christian Church in North America –and beyond–in understanding what the Church teaches on religious liberty. Moreover, the US bishops want to encourage a rightful role in
defending the first of our American liberties. Being Catholic 
or a person of faith does not mean that we give up a sense of reasonableness and citizenship. The bishops published this work in order
to reassert their voice in the public square, thus bridging the gap of faith and reason
for a coherent national debate on matters of concern. Religion cannot be
relegated to the closet. Like most documents of the Church, this one also hopes
not only to impart information but also to form Catholics (indeed, all
Christians) as faithful citizens. It is our Christian belief that religious liberty is God-given and is not
imparted by our elected officials. “Our First, Most Cherished Freedom” is a
document of the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.

Read more ...

Portsmouth Institute announces the 2012 conference: “Modern Science, Ancient Faith”

The Portsmouth Institute is set to begin its third year of work from June 22-24, 2012, with the theme of “Modern Science, Ancient Faith.” 

The Institute is located at Portsmouth Abbey and School (Portsmouth, RI).
Check the website for more information.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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