Tag Archives: faith and reason

CDF Prefect rehearses work at hand for moral formation, dignity of the person

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard L. Müller, addressed the Pontifical Academy of Life on 22 February 2013. It was the annual meeting in Rome. Müller’s talk didn’t shatter too many windows by unearthing new problems, nor did it break new ground in the Church’s teaching. Müller gives a brief assessment of the situation and that we have gone off the tracks in some ways. He does, however, shed light on the fact that we need to take more seriously our moral and faith formation and to put in the time doing the hard work to know the issues and how to respond to them according the parameters of the Catholic Faith. Too often we are afraid to do the hard work. And that’s the ministry of the Prefect: to illumine and offer a corrective. Archbishop Müller did challenge, to a degree, the theological professorial establishment, even if the talk may be seen a bit anemic. 

The full text: Gerhard Müller Human Life in Some Documents of the Magisterium.pdf

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Benedict Ashley, OP, RIP

Ben Ashley OP.jpgWord received this evening that the venerable theologian and priest, Father Benedict Ashley, OP, 97, died today. Father Benedict was a teacher of mine when I was in St Louis.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Father Benedict was a professed member of the Order of Preachers–Saint Albert the Great Province– for 71 years and a priest. He was educated at the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, Aquinas Institute of Theology (River Forest, IL) and the Angelicum.
Father Benedict was the author (or, co-author) of at least 19 books and numerous articles. Among Ashely’s academic interests were healthcare and social ethics and intellectual history. Faith and reason (science) coalesced in the life and work of this Dominican friar. He was a terrific priest and teacher, a man of the Church and person of great humanity.
Ashley was a member of the River Forest School of Thomism and he helped to form the Albertus Magnus Lyceum which was an effort to respond to Pope Leo XIIIs call to re-establish the thought of the 13th century Saint Thomas Aquinas into the life of the Church. This thought is called Thomism. He was a professor of moral theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology (St Louis, MO).
Ashley’s Barefoot Journeying ~ An Autobiography of a Begging Friar is available at New Priory Press.
A biographical essay may be read here.
Dominican Father Richard Peddicord edited a collection of essays in honor of Father Ashley, In Medio Ecclesiae (2007), on the occasion of Ashley’s 90th birthday.
May Father Benedict’s memory be eternal.
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A change of heart

The New Haven Register’s Michael Bellmore has something to say to me in “Lapsed Catholic has a confession to make.” His struggle with Christian faith is not unique to him, nor is the struggle for living coherently. Earlier this evening I had a conversation with friends about faith, meaning and struggle for truth in the lives we lead. I was privileged to be invited to a gathering at a friend’s house sharing in an interesting conversation with his niece who’s a freshman at Providence College and who just read Saint Augustine’s Confessions as part of a Western Civ class. Wow! Someone is still reading Augustine’s Confessions. Admittedly, the book is challenging for a well-educated person, and yet I find it clarifies my own journey and the path most people make in life.

To be honest the first line of the article gave me the feeling, “Oh, hear we go again, another angry, complaining, silly reporter trying to give another black eye to the Church.” But I read the article and I found something else. I found a young man searching for meaning, reaching out in anxiety and finding friendship, mercy and forgiveness: a stony heart exchanged for new  one.

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Cardinal Francis George details keeping Catholic faith part of American consensus


English: Coat of arms of Francis cardinal Geor...

Chicago’s archbishop, Francis Cardinal George, soon to be 76, spoke to 45 members of his Archdiocese Pastoral Council on November 17th about the need to clarify what we as Catholics believe and how we ought to live if we want to make a contribution to any of the national dialogues. For example, had the topic been center stage at the time of the meeting, the cardinal may asked a question like, given the tragedy in Newtown, CT, how would an informed and reasonable Catholic respond to matters: of mental health, to the Second Amendment, to God’s role in our life with such violence?

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3 unavoidable questions for Christian faith’s reasonability

In recent years, we have seen a significant interest in teaching the faith more authentically, but also we’ve become more attentive to answering the real questions believers and unbelievers have. With the Year of Faith fully engaged now, I think we need to attend to three unavoidable questions whether we are teaching teens, adults, or expanding the horizons of our faith and understanding of the cosmos we live in.

There are no easy answers in proposing the Christian faith to others, especially to teens. Do you want pablum when considering real questions?

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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]yahoo.com.
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