- Monday, 20 August 2012 10:10
Bouncing around in Catholic religious orders for some time is the notion that one can be a member of the Jesuits or the Sisters of Mercy and “go beyond Jesus and the Church.” I can remember hearing from a Jesuit whom I respected in the early 1990s that he was a “post-Christian Jesuit.” I wondered how a member of the Society of Jesus, a son of Saint Ignatius, could be post-Christian. The former Dominican Father Matthew Fox tried the same line of thinking. In fact, he’s neither a Catholic nor a Catholic priest and a professed member of the Order of Preachers as he’s gone to the Episcopal Church and now some kind of new ager. Christ is optional for him. Not long ago a religious sister who teaches at CTU said that the sisters in the USA can go beyond Jesus. So the recent crisis in faith in religious orders reflects a deeper divide in Christian faith in the rest of society.
I try to wrap my mind around what it means to be a post-Christian American. Father C. John McCloskey III, priest of the Opus Dei wrote a piece, “Post-Christian America
,” which I am recommending. Father McCloskey is a Church historian and research fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute (Washington, DC). The point of the article is not demonstrate America’s abandonment of Christian faith but to say how it happened.
- Sunday, 15 July 2012 22:20
The NY Times op-ed columnist and author Ross Douthat writes about the decline of “liberal Christianity.” I found Douthat’s “Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?” a good article to ponder, even good enough to take to prayer, because Ross asks what within the tradition of modern Christianity is worth saving and what definitely needs to be jettisoned. Douthat, for me, reminds me of days not long ago when a prominent religious order of men adopted a form of liberal Christian thinking on all maters but the truth, even to the point of a several members saying they relished being post-Christian. Gone are the days –at least one hopes the days are gone– when we are theologically shallow, lacking the biblical narrative and true theology.
Ross Douthat recently published the provocative Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Free Press, 2012).
- Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:04
The Witherspoon Institute published an address, “At the Door of the Temple: Religious Freedom and the New Orthodoxy” by Philip Tartaglia on June 27, 2012. How are the challenges of faith and reason pressing us to think and act more boldly in the face of limitations being placed upon religious liberty? The Most Reverend Philip Tartaglia is a responsible thinker and provokes all of us to do something that is reasonable.
The new orthodoxy of secularism fails to understand that the virtues generated by religious freedom underpin and encourage a healthy democracy.
When I was consecrated a bishop in 2005, I was not fretting about religious freedom in Scotland or in the United Kingdom. Yet just six and a half years later, I can say with a concerned and fearful realism that the loss of religious freedom is now arguably the most serious threat that the Catholic Church and all people of faith in this country are facing. The way this issue unfolds will determine how the Church will present itself to society for the foreseeable future. Will the Catholic Church–and other religious bodies and groups–have the space to adhere to, express, and teach their beliefs in the public square? Or will these basic elements of religious freedom be denied, driving the Church and other religious bodies to the margins of society, if not actually underground?
Read more ...
- Friday, 15 June 2012 10:40
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.
“Don’t Know Much about Theology …”
National Review online
June 12, 2012
- Wednesday, 13 June 2012 10:30
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).
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.
2010 Newman & the Intellectual Tradition
2011 The Catholic Shakespeare?
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