Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Here and There . . .

An irregular roundup of blogs, articles and commentary.

  • Who is the greatest theologian of all time? -- In answer to a recent survey run by the, the Protestant theologian John Calvin won out (over Augustine, Karl Barth, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Aquinas and Friedrich Schleiermacher -- yes, in that order). However, the Christian Post reveals that "The poll was conducted in May and was based on responses from 400 web viewers," making for a rather limited panel, in my opinion.

    Needless to say, the results are being contested -- and the question reconsidered -- by Blogodoxy (favoring Origen), Ad Limina (seconding Blogodoxy's choice of Origen), and Pontifications, as yet undecided but Fr. Al "would put Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, and Martin Luther (in that order) above John Calvin."

  • Peter Sean Bradley (Lex Communis) reports on a blog controversy over the historicity of the Catholic Church. "The controversy was kicked off by a post at Redstate where various bloggers reviewed Thomas Woods' How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. . . ." -- Peter provides a good roundup of the discussion, including contributions by Josh Trevino and Jimmy Akin, as well as his own perspective on the matter.

  • Justin Nickelsen, a friend and reader of David Jone's la nouvelle théologie -- has been inspired to start his own blog: RRCT: Retrieval and Renewal in Catholic Thought. One of his opening posts is on the "journalistic maturing" of John Allen, Jr., reporter for the National Catholic Reporter and the well-read column "Word from Rome".

  • On la nouvelle théologie, a flurry of comments and a minor dustup btw/ Stephen Hand and myself, but may be useful reading in that I clarify exactly why I do not believe the Zwicks (of the Houston Catholic Worker) are "exactly on point" in their treatment of Michael Novak, but rather indulge in a misreading, and perhaps even a deliberate misrepresentation, of his position on issues in Catholic social doctrine.

    Presently I'm reading and enjoying Novak's Free Persons and the Common Good, a very rich and educational study in understanding the term from the Catholic perspective as well as Alexis de Tocqueville and the writings of our founding fathers. Novak wrote his book in tribute to Jacques Maritain and the 40th anniversary of Maritain's influential essay The Person and the Common Good.

  • My brother Jamie-the-Patristics-Scholar has just updated his Saint Augustine's Library -- "[his] attempt to compile a comprehensive 'library' of St. Augustine's works, their translations, and commentaries which are available online." A very impressive compilation of links and resources. Check it out.

  • Jonathan Bennnett, author of Ancient & Future Catholic Musings blogs on the Catholic practice of offering it up.

  • Mystery Achievement on the need to Purge the Poison of Anti-Semitism:

    For the poison of anti-Semitism to be purged from the Church, we Catholics must come to terms with the modern state of Israel. I'm not talking about the diplomatic sphere, either--as important as was the Holy See's establishment of relations with Israel was. I am talking about the theological sphere.

    One of the things that Benedict talked about in his meeting wtih Jewish leaders in Rome was the need to come to grips with the theological and moral dimensions of the Holocaust. And speaking of same, a good place to start would be to examine the roots of the "Palestinian" movement . . .

  • Benedictines Come Home: An Ancient Order Returns to Norcia:

    It may seem strange that the church built over the house of the man who founded Western monasticism would be devoid of Benedictines, but that was indeed the case. When Napoleon conquered Italy in the first decade of the 19th century, he outlawed monasteries and expelled the Benedictines from Norcia. The church was given over to the diocese and the monastery remained empty.

    Then, during the great Jubilee of 2000, the year of conversions and miracles, the tide turned. A tiny group of American Benedictines led by Father Cassian Folsom came to Rome looking to return to their monastic roots. Their paths crossed with the archbishop of Spoleto and Norcia, Riccardo Fontana, who invited the little group to return to the home of their founder. . . .

  • Can't afford a pilgrimage to Rome but always wanted to hear Papa B16's general audiences? -- According to Zenit News Service, Podcasting Has Arrived. "Vatican Radio broadcasts in more than 40 languages to every country via all long, medium and short waves and, for the last four years, has enabled its listeners to tune in via the Web, at -- recently, they ventured into the technological trend of podcasting, enabling Catholics to plug in with their IPods and portable MP3 players.

  • Worries about Resurgent Devotions, Fr. Jim Tucker (Dappled Things) responds to an article ("Let’s not be hopelessly devoted to devotions") by U.S. Catholic associate editor Bryan Cones, criticizing the prevalence of popular piety among young Catholics.

  • L'Espresso interviews Pope Benedict XVI's spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls, "From doctor to journalist. Love. Chastity. A passion for dance. Opus Dei. And twenty-one years spent beside two popes."

  • Swimming the Tiber, or how I came to love infallibility, by Fr. Kimel of Pontifications. (See also The Church of the Body and Blood of Christ - an account of his reception into full communion with the Catholic Church at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina:

    . . . here is no uncertainty in the Catholic Church. The sacramental intention of the Church and her liturgy is clear. This is a Church that truly believes and confesses and prays the Real Presence.

    The Body of Christ was given to me to eat. The Blood of Christ was given to me to drink. At that moment I knew that I now belong to the Church of the Body and Blood of Christ.

    Also, The Pontificator makes his First Confession.

  • Dawn Eden (The Dawn Patrol) has an ongoing account of her conversion to the Catholic faith:

    C.S. Lewis wrote that those who find themselves in heaven will look back and realize they had been there since birth (and so too with those in hell). Likewise, when I look back to my earliest understanding of God, I see an affinity with Catholic faith. My faith journey now seems like a natural progress, brought to its greatest fruition with the understanding and acceptance of the Roman Catholic Church as the church that Jesus founded and has chosen as His means of salvation. . . .

    Part One, Two and Three.

  • Evangelization 101: A Short Guide to Sharing the Gospel, by Carl Olson. Ignatius Insight: If asked to complete this sentence, "The entire mission of the Church, then, is concentrated and manifested in      ", how many Catholics would finish it with the word "evangelization"?

  • Excessive Catholicism would like to say "We Told You So":

    That is what the pro-life movement can collectively say, now that infanticide is being rationalized in a major medical journal and the nation's paper of record. Yes, on March 10, 2005, the New England Journal of Medicine printed an article by some Dutch physicians that sets out some ethical and procedural guidelines for killing newborns that have severe disabilities. . . .

  • Matt C. Abott, columnist for RenewAmerica, posts an exchange btw/ gay Catholic James Clark and James Likoudis of Catholics United for the Faith, on homosexuality and the Church's inclusive call to sainthood.

  • Father Down (Waiting in Joyful Hope) has a good post on sexual intersubjectivity written in response to a student's inquiry:

    So why can't the object of the intersubjective union be pleasure? It most certainly can be, and for a sexual union to be a truly intersubjective union means that each spouse should be attentive to the pleasurable elements of sex, not for themselves, but for their spouse. "Wham bam thank you ma'am" has no place in Catholic discipleship regarding sex, even if it is open to procreation. But what I think you are really asking is, "Why does *each and every* sexual union have to be intersubjective, i.e. open-to-the-total-gift-of-the-others-fertility-and-the-gift-of-God's-blessing?" . . .

    That's the question posed by his student. Read his post for the answer.

On a lighter note

  • Earlier this month my little bro' Nathan completed the qualifications for Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist Designator. He was "pinned" by the MCPN (Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy) who is the highest ranking enlisted man in the entire Navy.

    The Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist designator is awarded when a Sailor passes the respective qualifications involving a broad knowledge of all the weapons systems and main components of all the departments on a ship.

    The most recent papist of the Blosser Family converts, Nathan is actively involved with religious life aboard his shop, assisting his priest at Mass and spreading the gospel to his fellow sailors. (Via Dr. Blosser aka. The Pertinacious Papist, who posts a photo of the "pinning").

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