- Saturday, 25 June 2011 09:58
The Pontifical Council for Culture has been doing some good work in promoting serious dialogue among those who work in science, the humanities and theology. You may be familiar with the Council’s “Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest” (STOQ Project). The most recent collaboration has been with NeoStem in organizing a forthcoming conference dealing with the theme of “Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture.” Regenerative medicine is now on the front burner for dialogue and research among scientists, theologians and pastors. This field of study has wide applications for work in culture, law, theology, pastoral practice, scientific research and practical application for all peoples on the planet.
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- Friday, 01 April 2011 10:33
The transcript for the talk on whether a scientist can be a believer that was given at a lecture hosted by the New York Encounter in January has just been released by the Crossroads Cultural Center. Faith and reason is being explored here. It is a great question to ask if a believer in Christ –or perhaps a Jew or Muslim adherent– can be credible, true to his or her being given a certain intellectual formation. Does belief in God forfeit our true search for the Divine? Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete’s portion of the discussion is the most interesting to me and it is noted below (emphasis mine). A believer sometime has to work overtime to convince him or herself that faith and science are compatible. The other day my attention was drawn to what a little girl said about Lent: her view of life and the simplicity by which we have to look everything realizing that we don’t make ourselves; everything is given. Albacete answers the question of the compatibility of faith and science: The answer, I propose, is not only yes he can, but, in fact, it is faith that will sustain his or her passion for investigating nature, and prevent the process itself and its results from becoming enslaved to political, economic, and religious ideology.Let me know what you think.
In such a case, is awe, wonder, and joy at scientific
discoveries possible? When I was thinking about this, a friend sent me the text
of a speech given by Msgr. Luigi Giussani about the “love of being” that is
remarkably appropriate to this reflection. Giussani’s argument is that the truth of Christianity can be
verified by a proper consideration of the evidence for it. Evidence, he says,
is the correct word, even if the evidence for the Christian claim is given to
us through signs. Signs are things that can be touched, seen, and experienced. The Apostles had Jesus in front of them and this presence was a sign of His
victory over death, and therefore of His mysterious identity. But what about
us? What happens with the passage of time? What signs are there for us as
evidence of the truth of the Christian claim, of the reasonableness of the
The interpretation of the signs available to us engages our
liberty, he says. In this drama, our liberty is a manifestation of our love for
being. Without this love for being we are not truly free and we will never
grasp the evidence of the signs given to us. At this point, as an example of
this love for being, Giussani invokes the Magi.
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- Friday, 01 April 2011 07:07
Coming to Christ –that’s what I am calling it when some comes into full communion with the Catholic Church (or Orthodoxy)– is not an easy thing for some people. Family, friends, employment, fear, and second-guessing the discernment can make “converting” all the more a royal pain. Only grace can sustain one’s move from one ecclesial body to another. A case in point has been those of the Anglican Communion coming to Catholic Church and now Byran Kemper, a baptized Catholic turn Presbyterian who founded the Stand True Ministries, among other things. Kemper is also the author of Social Justice Begins in the Womb (2010).
Why is Byran Kemper coming into full communion with the Catholic Church (he’s reverting to the Church in which he was baptized and through whom he received the pledge of future glory)?
He mentions a few factors that cradle Catholics often dismiss as important: the Liturgy, the Seven Sacraments, church authority, pro-life theology and activity, and friendship.
In the coming weeks as we move closer to the great feast of our faith, the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and where our brothers and sisters come home to Christ, add Bryan and the others in the RCIA programs around the world who will receive the Easter Sacraments at the Easter Vigil to your prayer list. Beg the Holy Spirit for the grace of fortitude.
- Friday, 18 March 2011 07:10
Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, has been traveling lately. Most recently to Australia. There he spoke on the theme of “The Fall of the Christian West,” at a
symposium organized by the Australian Catholic Students Association, Sydney. He gave “particular attention to the witness to the truth regarding human sexuality, as fundamental to holiness of life, and to the question of conscience as the irreplaceable and secure guide in the pursuit of holiness of life.” The cardinal also reflected on martyrdom.
many things said in the address the Cardinal said:
- quoting Benedict XVI said, we “need to form our consciences, in accord with the moral teaching of the Church … ‘our responsibility to make these criteria [these moral foundations] audible and intelligible once more for people today as paths of true humanity, in the context of our paramount concern for mankind'”
- “…our call to build anew a
strong Catholic culture, in fidelity to our vocation to give witness to Christ
and, therefore, to be martyrs for the faith”
- “witness to the truth regarding
human sexuality, as fundamental to holiness of life, and to the question of
conscience as the irreplaceable and secure guide in the pursuit of holiness of
- “The life of the martyr for the faith finds its center and source in the
Eucharistic sacrifice, in Eucharistic adoration, and in all forms of
Eucharistic devotion, especially visits to the Blessed Sacrament and spiritual
communion throughout the day”
- “The Holy Eucharist not only strengthens us
spiritually to be true martyrs, but is the model of our martyrdom, pure and
selfless love, without condition, to the end.”
- Monday, 14 March 2011 13:57
The Siena Forum for Faith and Culture will be hosting Patrick Madrid -of EWTN fame– at the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena (NYC) this
We are delighted to have Patrick with us for the the weekend!
Madrid’s talks are very promising as I believe that they will open
new doors to knowing Christ, loving the Church, and spreading the Good News
that Christ is risen from the dead! For those who ask the questions, “Can an educated person
be Catholic?” Or, “Why be Catholic?”, Madrid’s talks will give good
answers. Even for those of us who are consider life-long Catholics Patrick
Madrid will be helpful.
The Church of Saint Catherine of Siena is
pleased to host Patrick Madrid for a 2-day seminar based on his
book Search and Rescue: How You Can Help People Come Home to the
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