Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Here and There . . .

An irregular roundup of blogs, articles and commentary.

  • Now this is interesting, in light of our recent discussions of economics and social doctrine: Private Initiative, Entrepreneurship, and Business in the Teachings of Pius XII, by Anthony G. Percy. Markets and Morality Vol. 7, No. 1 Spring 2004 takes a look at Pius XII's teachings on Catholic social doctrine:

    The great dramas of this period in the life of the Catholic Church [during the 1940's & 50's] may explain why Pius XII's contributions to the development of Catholic social teaching have not captured the attention of historians and theologians. This absence is somewhat strange, not least because the magisterial teachings of his immediate successors—not to mention the Second Vatican Council—are replete with citations and footnotes from Pius' numerous addresses and speeches. It is, for example, in Pius' writings that we observe crucial developments in magisterial teaching on the subject of democracy and the emerging discourse of human rights.

    Even less recognized are Pius XII's teachings on specifically economic issues . . .

    Percy takes a look at nine texts by Pius XII on the subject, including The Fiftieth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum June 1, 1941, Vocation of Businessmen, April 27, 1950 and Business and the Common Good, February 17, 1956. According to Percy:

    Throughout these texts may be found some of the most positive commentaries on the nature of private initiative, entrepreneurship, and business ever expressed by the Roman Magisterium. The primary purpose of this article is to draw attention to key passages of these addresses, most of which are relatively unknown to contemporary audiences. To this extent, this article indirectly questions the widespread consensus that John Paul II's encyclical letter Centesimus Annus (1991) articulates the Magisterium's most favorable view of private enterprise to date.

  • Cal Thomas and John Danforth on Christian Political Activism, as presented by Teófilo (Theophilus) @ Vivificat.

  • St Josemaria Escriva Or How Surrender Is Might:

    Into this mess steps the Catholic with a quiet faith and a sure trust in the goodness of the Church. It is tough to be a Catholic in an increasingly inquisitive and frequently hostile secular world.

    It is almost impossible to be a homosexual Catholic. You've all seen the DREADNOUGHTERS who sometimes arrive here, full of anger. Their rage at whatever straw-man Church they've decided to hate overtakes them. How can you be Catholic? How can you believe this rubbish?

    The only response DREADNOUGHT makes, the only response open to any of us, is complete surrender. In radical humility, taking on the poverty of spirit the saints have owned before us . . .

  • "Santo Padre, Questo e' Signor Bono" - Rocco Palmo (Whispers in the Loggia) on the Pope's encounter with the frontman from U2 . . . and what happened to Bono's shades.

  • Congratulations to Alan Phipps (Ad Altare Dei) on the announcement of his engagement.

  • Jeff Miller aka. The Curt Jester takes on Fr. Richard MacBrien and the false axiom "the truth is found in the middle":

    Well it doesn't mater how many times this axiom was muttered it is pretty much without value. As Dietrich Von Hildebrand use to say is that truth does not lie between two extremes it transcends them. Sometimes the truth is both extremely radical and surprising. The measure of whether something is true is not the measure of its extremity but the measure of the fact that it indeed is true. . . .

    A good and thoroughly deserved thrashing. It's too bad Father Richard P. McBrien doesn't read blogs. =)

  • For those following the provocative and oftentimes heated Greg Mockeridge / Stephen Hand "debate" of April-May 2005, I. Shawn McElhinney (Rerum Novarum provides a comprehensive wrap-up "to recapitulate to a certain extent many of the themes that have been covered in certain parts of the blogosphere since late April of 2005 pertaining to Mr. Stephen Hand and his TCR website."

    Note: On May 30, 2005 I ended my public interaction with Mr. Hand, at which time I had concluded that "the necessary preconditions for further discussion and a civil, rational and charitable exchange . . . are sorely lacking." Other bloggers involved in the discussion have arrived at a similar assessment.

    Now it appears that after much hurling of epithets and bitter denunciations of "jobless warbloggers" catering to "money imperialists" in perpetration of "the new holocaust" with a war criminal President, Stephen has finally gotten around to posting some semblance of a reply to Greg Mockeridge's original post. Perhaps Greg will respond, but after two months it seems to me to be a case of "too little, too late." But perhaps there is hope yet.

  • Carl Olson @ Insight Scoop -- who was raised as a 'Fundamentalist' and having attended an Evangelical Bible College prior to his conversion -- shares some Passing thoughts on Billy Graham and what he learned from one of America's most famous public evangelists.

  • The Angry Twins are furious over the sacrilege of Cardinal Mahoney's Our Lady of Angels Maximum Security Prison -- er -- Cathedral:

    Little boy: "Hey it's Jesus in a Jedi outfit!"
    Arthur: "Sorry, that's not Jesus! That's our Blessed Mother!"
    Little boy: "WHAT?!"

    Of course, the Twins are lucky . . . They don't actually reside in the Diocese of Los Angeles, unlike L.A. Catholic, who reports on an interfaith prayer service held in the Cathedral celebrating the inaugeration of "pro-abortion, pro-gay, 'Catholic' politician and now mayor of Los Angeles" Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

    Meanwhile, Karen from Some Have Hats is gathering information for a strongly-worded letter to Rome accompanied by a file on the liturgical abuses "that are in blatant contrast to the teachings of the Church, such as the Rainbow Sash stuff or throwing a big pagan party at the Cathedral for all the pro-abortion politicians." [Update -- Karen's holding a Mahoney Mass Photo Caption Contest].

  • Kevin Miller @ Heart, Mind & Strength posts an excerpt from John Paul II's Memory and Identity expressing his thoughts on "modern democracy."

  • Was Pope JPII an Effective Governor? by Peter Mirus, special to June 22, 2005:

    Pope John Paul II has been criticized both before and after his death as being a poor ruler because he was a poor disciplinarian. To say that he was a poor disciplinarian implies at least one of three things. First, the Pope was unaware of the need for discipline, out of touch with reality. Second, the Pope tried to discipline but didn't have the stomach for it and was therefore ineffective. Third, the Pope was attentive to disciplinary matters but simply wasn't any good at it.

    Any of the above would imply that the Pope's ability to govern effectively was compromised by his poor disciplinary ability. I subscribe to another theory: that the option of discipline in the typical sense was examined, and generally discarded as being inappropriate for the circumstances of our day. . . .

On a lighter note . . .

  • If you're not reading Blame Bush!, you should -- a parody blog in true "Curt Jester" fashion (although it's not Jeff Miller). "Because Bush is to blame for everything", blogger Liberal Larry has taken to reading the news through the foggy lense of Bush-hatred. This time around it's NASA:

    Bored with flying planes into buildings, Bush has now taken up crashing spacecraft into heavenly bodies. There goes another $333 million down the poop chute, on top of the billions he's already wasted on tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of Americans.

    Fearful of losing their cut, the neocons at NASA are desperately trying to spin this fiasco into a "great scientific achievement", insisting with straight faces that the whole thing was "intentional". But frankly, I find the thought of Bush launching a 1/2 ton chunk of metal into a speeding comet on purpose even more terrifying than if it were simply another one of his colossal pooch screwings. The chimp can't eat a pretzel without hospitalizing himself, let alone tinker with the natural balance of the universe. This whole thing reeks of Karl Rove. . . .

    Q: Did a young George Bush infect cattle with Mad Cow disease to drive progressives insane with talking toasters? -- Well? DID HE?!? =)

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