February 23, 2019

Gary Michuta interviews the ever-interesting Rod Bennett on his new and timely book Bad Shepherds: One of the weirdly consoling things about being Catholic is that we have lots of experience of lousy shepherds. Indeed, even our very best shepherds have had their spectacular failures, starting with Peter and the gutless apostles. And, like Judas, not all have been well-meaning failures. Some have been right SOBs. The Church, like all human things, has had periods of sin and dissolution and… Read more

February 22, 2019

It is notable that, though subsequent Christian piety, meditation, and art would rightly dwell upon the extremities of Jesus’ sufferings in the Passion, the New Testament narrative is typically spare.  All the gospels are hesitant to speak much beyond the bare facts about the sheer physical horror of the Passion.  Instead, they tersely say that Jesus was scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified.  The reason for this is not far to seek.  Crucifixion was a common occurrence in the world of… Read more

February 21, 2019

Dan Amiri continues over at Where Peter Is: Finally, we should not neglect the importance of Francis being the first Jesuit pope. In many respects, it appears Francis’ Jesuit background has had an important influence on Pope Francis’ theology. Given the Jesuits lengthy history and its varying roles over time, it would be merely superficial to draw the many parallels between Francis’ papacy and the Jesuit order broadly. Rather, the goal here specifically is to focus on the parallels between… Read more

February 20, 2019

Continuing his discussion of the theology of Pope Francis, Dan Amiri writes: Guardini is not the only influence on Pope Francis, of course.  Pope Francis’ theology seems heavily influenced by his pastoral work in Argentina. That is to say, Pope Francis’ theology is pastoral in nature, and it is also shaped by his experiences in Argentina. Pope Francis’ biography on the Vatican website is eager to mention that Francis is a “simple pastor.” Like St. John Paul II, he has an acute… Read more

February 19, 2019

The next installment in the little series that Where Peter Is is running: While well-educated and academically trained, it can be said that Pope Francis does not belong to any one “school.” He is not strictly an “Augustinian” or a “Thomist,” though he cites Aquinas quite liberally. However, one person to whom we can likely grant a place of honor is Romano Guardini, to whom Francis devoted his doctoral studies. Guardini, of course, was one of the great thinkers of the early… Read more

February 18, 2019

…of introducing us to the theology of Pope Francis: In God’s gift of faith, a supernatural infused virtue, we realize that a great love has been offered us, a good word has been spoken to us, and that when we welcome that word, Jesus Christ the Word made flesh, the Holy Spirit transforms us, lights up our way to the future and enables us joyfully to advance along that way on wings of hope. Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei It has been… Read more

February 16, 2019

I remain… unconvinced. With the exception of childhood tragedy, World War I, and his romance with Edith, Tolkien just did not live a cinematic life. He spent most of it in a room, grading stuff, or in another room, typing stuff. His actual views of things, most postmoderns would be ignorantly horrified about. He believed the internal combustion engine was the most evil invention of the modern world. He was a hard-assed Catholic who loudly made his responses in Latin… Read more

February 16, 2019

…here are some lovely shots of bubbles freezing: People who demand miracles a lot should remember that the first miracle God performed is the creation of the universe and that, in Catholic understanding, creation is still going on in every square inch and in every nanosecond of time. Here and there (and for more often than most people think), God still does what most people call miracles and Scripture calls “signs”. But he resolutely refuses (even when he was in… Read more

February 15, 2019

…here: In section 254 of Evangelii Gaudium, Francis takes up and even advances Vatican II’s teachings on other religions. Here is the full paragraph: Non-Christians, by God’s gracious initiative, when they are faithful to their own consciences, can live “justified by the grace of God,” and thus be “associated to the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ.” But due to the sacramental dimension of sanctifying grace, God’s working in them tends to produce signs and rites, sacred expressions which in turn bring others… Read more

February 14, 2019

This is an authentic expression of Catholic spirituality: Authentic Christian spirituality seeks the good of the other, even if it costs one’s own life. It is therefore fitting that St. Valentine’s Day associate the death of a martyr with the joy of lovers: Ever since Jesus died praying for mercy to his murderers, the authentic Christian way has sought life for others, if necessary, at the cost of one’s own.  Real disciples of Jesus worry more about the bodily health… Read more

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