Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Here and There . . .

An irregular roundup of blogs, articles and commentary.
  • Last year Fr. Joseph O'Leary wrote an essay called The Rise of the Neocaths, a scathing indicting myself, Jeff Miller, Jimmy Akin, Oswald Sobrino, Earl E. Appleby, Amy Welborn, Arthur Tsui [Angry Twins], "and at the youngest (and perhaps most genuine) end of the spectrum, Apolonio Latar III." (Not everybody hated it -- according to Rocco Palmo: “It's basically what I deal with every day. But still a noteworthy, substantive synthesis.”). You can find a roundup of responses and a link to the good father's original rant in The Perplexing Sayings of Fr. O'Leary August 2, 2005.

    Fr. O'Leary recently revisited the essay in The Decline of the Neocaths -- charging that "The aggrieved, narcissistic tone of these responses [to his essay] showed me that I had overestimated the strength of the neocaths; in reality they were a vulnerable, noisy minority, already showing signs of decline."

    The essay itself is a comical piece of work, given as how it commits the same error as the original essay of lumping together a diverse group of Catholics under the "neo-Cath" label (which I still haven't figured out). Catholic Pillow Fight has already provided a response, along with Michael Liccione, Jr. in The Fall and Rise of the NeoCaths Sacramentum Vitae July 29, 2006.

  • This post hearkens back to April 2006, but I hadn't read it until now (hey, it's my roundup): Rick Gaillardetz on Eucharist, by Bill Cork (Built on a Rock):
    Some time ago I came across Richard Gaillardetz's pamphlet, Broken & Poured Out: A Spirituality for Eucharistic Ministers (Ligouri, 2002). In this pamphlet, Gaillardetz comes across as a Calvinist, arguing that Christ's presence in the Eucharist is "real," but "spiritual," and disparaging Eucharistic devotion and reverence for the Eucharistic elements.

    Let's look at his argumentation. . . .

    (Via Jim at Unapologetic Catholic, who offers his own reflections on being an extraordinary Eucharistic minister.

  • Benedict and the Lavender Mafia - The Pertinacious Papist discusses a rather controversial editorial (what else is new?) by Dale Vree of the New Oxford Review: "Is the Catholic Church Going the Way of the Episcopal Church?", responding to some concerns expressed by readers (myself included) concerning the tone in responding to the Holy Father.

  • "Hilaire Belloc remains for many an undiscovered gem. Yet for those who have the good fortune to have discovered him he is one of the finest jewels in the twentieth century's literary crown," says Joseph Pearce, Catholic literary biographer author of Old Thunder: A Life of Hillaire Belloc. To that end, Matt Anger has assembled for our benefit The Eyewitness: An Anthology of Short Stories by Hillaire Belloc:
    Written with an eyewitness quality, these previously uncollected short stories of Hilaire Belloc transport us to realms of the past and realms of fantasy. In Belloc's tales we meet Yakoub who is in Jerusalem at the time of Christ's passion and resurrection; we witness the noble death of Charles I and the ignoble demise of Henry IV; we encounter two men of the French Revolution -- one a champion of the Republic, the other a victim; we visit the battlefields of Hastings and Blanchetaque. In Belloc's fantasies we meet with an Ogre, an Angel, an Honest Man, a Captain of Industry, the Devil, and pay a visit to Fairyland. In his fables we are warned against the hazards of authorship, the sin of avarice, the pride of intellect, and the vanity of politics. This unique volume contains 25 short stories and fables -- many appearing in print for the first time since Belloc’s death over fifty years ago.
  • Matthew Fish weighs the question Are the Jesuits Damned? (Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita July 28, 2006):
    I find that the Jesuits have become a wonderful scapegoat for people, as it is far easier to blame the Order than actually live in charity and solidarity in the Church, praying and fasting for the Body.

    Those interested in actually fruitful criticism and judgment, and concerned with making a prudent and sensible evaluation of what is in fact the case, seem to be quite rare in these discussions. . . .

  • The American Papist relays the news that the The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is now online!. You can find it here free for your perusal, although if you wish to purchase a copy you can do so here.

    With this in mind, one might ask -- along with Cacciaguida -- just why do the US Catholic Bishops feel it necessary to publish their own version of the catechism?

  • "I Don't Feel Spiritual", by Fr. Jim Tucker (Dappled Things):
    Fairly often in confession or conversations with people, I hear variations on the following theme: "I don't feel very spiritual these days," or, "I don't feel as if I have much faith." Right off the bat, the use of the F-word should raise a red flag because, of course, there is no one-to-one correspondence between one's spiritual state and the way one feels. . . .
    Fr. Tucker provides six helpful ways to counter the spiritual "blues."

  • The Magisterium: A complex and diverse reality: When we say the Church teaches something, we are speaking about the teaching of the Magisterium, by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. SperoForum Thursday, July 20, 2006.

  • Al Kimel at Pontifications has a very good, substantial three-part series on Repentance and Forgiveness, addressing in part the question: What is the crucial difference between (good) Catholic and (good) Protestant preaching of repentance?

  • The Cranky Conservative expounds on the proper use of the phrase "Liberal Catholic":
    Generally speaking, it is those of us on the right that use it to disparage our leftist comrades who support a myriad of causes - namely abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and the like. But lately the term is thrown back at us - as for instance happened to me yesterday (scroll about 1/3 of the way down) when I defended the heretical position that Israel had every justification to respond in the manner it has to recent attacks against it. . . .
  • Patrick O'Hannigan (The Paragraph Farmer) finds himself Questioning Thich Nhat Hanh:
    I have learned much from a student of Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author, and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. Thanks to that student and a few others, including my darling wife, I understand more about the concept of "mindfulness," and more about Zen Buddhism, than I did in my wastrel youth. I also appreciate Hanh's well-deserved reputation as an apologist for Buddhism and a bridge-builder between Buddhism and Christianity.

    All that needs to be said up front, because some of the things Hanh writes in his 1995 book, Living Buddha, Living Christ convinced me that he misunderstands at least part of the Christian critique of Buddhism. . . .

  • Dissecting Anti-isms, by Josef Joffe. The American Interest [adapted from Überpower: The Imperial Temptation of America, forthcoming from W. W. Norton & Co.]:
    [What is] anti-Americanism, as distinct from "anti-Bushism" or anger against a real object like General Motors? How does one distinguish "policy anti-Americanism", which is what most of the well-known polls measure, from the real thing? What is the difference between anti-ism and criticism, between the rabid and the reasonable?
    Joff is author of Uberpower: The Imperial Temptation of America (W. W. Norton. June, 2006).

  • Are Your Reading That For a Class?, by Justin Dziowgo - "I was sitting in the breakroom at work one day reading A History of Philosophy Volume II: Medieval Philosophy, From Augustine to Duns Scotus by Frederick Copleston, S.J., when I was approached by a woman asking me what I was reading. . . ."

  • A Catholic Mystery Writer - Austin Ruse finds that "The Best English-Language Vatican Reporter -- John Allen Jr. of the National Catholic Reporter -- is Hard to Read." Touchstone Special Report: July/August 2006.

  • June 22, 2006 was the feast day of St. Thomas More. Jay Anderson (Pro Ecclesia, Pro Familia, Pro Civitate) provides an excellent roundup and tribute to "A Man For All Seasons": St. Thomas More.

On a Lighter Note . . .

  • "Deadheads Are What Liberals Claim to Be But Aren't": An Interview with Ann Coulter, by Taylor Hill. June 23, 2006. Ann Coulter, DeadHead? -- Who would have figured? (Speaking of which, Fr. James V. Schall reviews Ann Coulter's Godless: The Church of Liberalism.

  • Two Giants Aun Estamos Vivo June 20, 2006:
    Two titans in their respective fields, who were paying the cost to be the boss.

    Here is a rare circumstance in which two of my abiding interests happen to intersect – The Blues and The Church. This is a photo of Blues legend B. B. King handing over his guitar “Lucille” to Pope John Paul II in 1997. . . .

  • A confessional out of Dilbert? - The Curt Jester takes on modern-day "confessionals" with a discussion of "reconciliation rooms" and contemporary "face-to-face confession" in the combox.

  • Goodbye, Blog Christianity Today "Books and Culture" May/June 2006. Alan Jacobs believes that "The friend of information but the enemy of thought." To illustrate his conclusion, you'll read this article and proceed to forget about it by the next "here and there" roundup of provacative posts. ;-)

  • NoEndButVictory has news of a New Weapon in the "War on Terror", focusing on the U.S. military's "unconventional approach to fighting terrorism in the Horn of Africa."

  • Colbert Redux - The subject of Stephen Colbert's Catholic faith and upbringing -- as subtly and not-so-subtly expressed on his television show The Colbert Report has been the subject of increasing conversation. Amy Welborn provides a roundup:
    . . . The question with Colbert, as unpacked in the Althouse discussions is...what are the layers of this persona? Colbert is, by his own admission, a practicing Catholic who's open and happy about his faith. The Colbert character - a play on Bill O'Reilly and other cable-type talk show guys - is a little different - a blowhard, arrogant know-it-all who at once makes us a little hostile but at the same time speaks our mind for us."
  • Darwin's tortoise dead at 176. Charles Darwin's tortoise, Harriet, has died at the Australia Zoo near Brisbane. Darwin brought Harriet -- thought to be the world's oldest living tortoise -- from the Galapagos Islands in 1835. Wow!

If that's not enough to keep you occupied, here's the latest Catholic Carnival. Until next time . . .

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