May 30, 2016

Pope Francis—pontifex maximus of cheap grace and haphazard forgiveness, the kind of bishop who would’ve asked the deacons to hand over the holy books during a Roman persecution, or really would do whatever the authorities demand—in short, he’s bowed to the world, remitting sins like some Galilean lunatic or something. Or so the story goes. Cheap grace commanded and dispensed through Amoris Laetitia and the Jubilee Year of Mercy are not, however, the hallmarks of the Franciscan pontificate. No. Justice… Read more

May 24, 2016

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple area for the three o’clock hour of prayer. And a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at… Read more

May 23, 2016

In good Christian fashion, I’ve often tried to take my cue from Nietzsche and philosophize with a hammer. Even if the idols do not shatter, a chink in a previously-solid veneer means a hard-won skirmish. Though, the very work of such destruction always leaves one vulnerable to idolatry in another form. Some traditionalists smash the dreams of “Modernists,” but fall into a web of pseudo-history. And many a “liberal” sees history so clearly as to turn ressourcement into license for… Read more

May 19, 2016

As readers of my blog may know, I am a person prone to anxiety, even depression—not for any fault of mind or character, but from depth of feeling. Perhaps it’s a congenital condition, half-curse and half-blessing, some of us can’t help but find aching within. Perhaps it’s a product of life and experiences—early deaths, illnesses, and a concomitant stirring, an inability to be comfortable with a happy middle-class life. Most likely it’s a bit of both. Regardless, this capacity to… Read more

May 13, 2016

In a recent piece in Crux, Fordham professor Charles Camosy quotes Harvard Law professor Mark Tushnet on the Culture Wars: The culture wars are over; they lost, we won […] For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (‘You lost, live with it’) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that… Read more

April 25, 2016

Just yesterday a post appeared on another Patheos blog called “A plea for a measure of incoherence” (call me old fashioned, but I go in for capitalizing my titles. I do like e.e. cummings though). The piece is a wonderful exploration of not only the inevitability of ambiguity but also of its desirability (a topic on which I have commented before). Here’s an especially nice tidbit: [It’s] true that there were those in these controversies that fought boldly, even defying… Read more

April 24, 2016

It was a few years ago, when I was just beginning to come to the Church. I’d go with my roommate to Sunday Mass, not really knowing exactly what I was doing, but familiar with the basics thanks to my years of Catholic schooling. Sitting, standing, kneeling, all of these came easily enough (though the new responses took time), but the finer points of discipline completely eluded me. At this point in my life during one Mass, I saw something… Read more

April 22, 2016

I am no alarmist, but there is undeniably something post-Christian about our time and place (the West). Or, perhaps, the better way of putting it is that we are post-Christendom, thrust back into pre-Constantinian days in which to be a Christian is an act of protest, squared off against both the status quo and other philosophical sects bent on challenging the structure of society. As I have argued before, we have much in common with those in the past who… Read more

April 17, 2016

My last post, “Rigid Traditionalism is Idolatry,” has elicited quite the reaction, more so than I had expected. Thankfully, support has outweighed outrage, but anger has still reared its ugly head. Unfortunately, as a graduate student, I don’t have the time to bicker for hours on Twitter (I’m not sure anyone does), nor do I have the time to moderate and respond to every comment on the piece. And so, I’ve decided to write this brief note as a final… Read more

April 15, 2016

Let it not be said that this piece applies to all traditionalists in a Latin context. I have great respect for the Latin Mass and have many a friend who prefers it to the Novus Ordo. It is also not an endorsement of particular changes in pastoral approach. Its goal is to problematize and complicate our view of history so that a fruitful discussion might be had. I ask you to please read with this in mind. (Considering the response… Read more

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