Discover

Why Marxism is the opium of the intellectuals…

“Why does opium make us sleep? Because of its soporific power.” So ran Molière’s send-up of self-important Parisian physicians. Sohrab Ahmari’s “The Trouble with Christian Leftism” invites a similar question-and-answer. By taxing progressive Christians with having succumbed to the opium of the intellectuals—Marxism in its various forms—Ahmari invites us to ask what is its hidden power. Why are we so prone to be always looking for the next social-scientific solution to our problems? Because we pine for a knowledge that will take away the burden of living by practical reason. Aristotle sized up prudence with his customary brevity: “the reason must be true and the desire must be correct, if indeed the deliberate choice is to be an excellent one.” That is an imposing task. For our practical re...

New Italian Missal introduces new formula of consecration…

COMMENTARY: Italian is not an international language, but it has great influence in the Church — so it’s especially unfortunate that two different consecratory formulas can now be used when celebrating Mass there. With the approval of the new Italian translation of the Roman Missal third edition (2002), consider the following: A Catholic anywhere in North America — from Alaska to Zacatecas — will hear the same consecratory formula for the chalice at Mass, whether attending Mass in English, French, Spanish or the original Latin. The same would be true if he went to Mass in Spanish in Argentina or in French in Zaire. But that same Catholic on pilgrimage in Rome, attending an early morning Mass at one of the many altars in St. Peter’s, will hear a different consecratory formula depending on w...

Italian bishops’ conference newspaper defends Netflix’s ‘Cuties’…

The review does not contain criticism of elements that have been lambasted across in the United States and Latin America, including long scenes of provocative dances and nudity. According to L’Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, those who have criticized the controversial French movie Cuties, released by Netflix last week “have not seen it or have really limited themselves to the poster. Otherwise they have not understood it or have looked at it with the wrong eyes.” A review of the film, entitled “The boycott: Cuties is a hard, but educational movie,” and written by the newspaper’s TV critic Andrea Fagioli, claims that the film “does not revolve around a ‘scandalous sexualization of adolescents’ n...

Lessons about democracy in ‘Justice League — Rule of War’…

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” It feels like he penned that phrase yesterday. Self-governance is something achievable when the people hold a common truth and trust of each other. The greatest dictators accumulated power during a crisis. At first there’s a promise of protection. Rulers tell the people how they will safeguard against outside (or sometimes inside) threats. Little by little freedoms are given up in the name of safety. Justice League Rule of War (Issues 48-50) shows how easy it is for protectors to transform into tyrants. Understand the Will of the People Traveling in space, the Justice League discover a ship containing young alien...

Jared Staudt’s new book offers theological foundations for rebuilding Catholic culture…

St. Augustine argued that we are bound together as a people by a shared view of what is lovable. While it is bad enough that Americans appear to be bound together by love of creature comforts, COVID-19 has brought about an even lower common denominator: today we are bound together, not by love of easy living, but by fear of bodily death. All too many of us are willing to sacrifice liberties, friendships, and our social lives so long as we can prolong the Grim Reaper’s unwelcomed visit. Even many churchgoers reveal the dominance of this fear in their soul, and put more trust in secularists’ hand-picked experts than the prudent guidelines published by the Thomistic Institute. When fear of death dominates, one looks to the greatest earthly power, and thus our governors have been emboldened to...

Catholics need to start again in many ways, in how we live and participate in civil society. And Cardinal Tobin isn’t helping…..

Cardinal Tobin is greeted by Italian Cardinal Bertone at the Vatican, November 19, 2016. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters) A plea for something better from people of faith. Newark’s Cardinal Tobin has said that it is more problematic to vote for Donald Trump than for Joe Biden. With all due respect, I don’t know that he should be making that call in either direction. The bishops’ role is to inform consciences. He seems to think we are beyond “single issue” voting. Unfortunately, I think he buys into some cultural lies in his implication. By single issue, we, of course, know he means abortion. But here’s the thing: Abortion has never been a single issue. The riots in the streets? They are about a lot more than racism. I’d never do it, but I’ve lately had the urge to run through the streets screa...

George Weigel’s ‘The Next Pope’ is a renewed agenda for the Church through a revitalized sense of mission…

The Next Pope:The Office of Peter and a Church in Missionby george weigelignatius, 141 pages, $19.95 In the Catholic Church, synods of bishops are complex bits of theater. The pope sets the theme, observes the proceedings, and writes the “apostolic exhortation” that translates a synod’s work into teaching. Some post-synodal texts, such as Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi (“Evangelization in the Modern World,” 1975), are brilliant. Others, such as Pope Francis’s document Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love,” 2016), are more problematic. The role of synods is consultative, not legislative. At their best, they provide a forum for bishops from around the world to meet at the Vatican for several weeks, discuss freely and frankly issues facing the Church, and advise the pope accordingly. Or, that’s t...

We should remember our dead daily — for memory is a promise, and a preparation, for something yet to come…

“I saw them in all the times past and to come, all somehow there in their own time and in all time and in no time…”Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow Some time ago it really struck me when reading Wendell Berry’s fiction how he portrayed growing old, and the deepening connection one feels to those who have gone before you. Now years later his sentiments are much more real to me. I find myself thinking about death, or rather I should say thinking about the dead, more than I did before. There is a great Christian practice of remembering our dead in prayer. I reflect now on another aspect of remembering our dead—remembering them in our daily life. This is an aspect of memory that is a powerful gift to those of us still living, here. Memory is always about presence. And life itself is about presence. ...

China-linked hackers accused of targeting Vatican network weeks before deal renewal…

CNA Staff, Sep 17, 2020 / 06:10 am MT (CNA).- State-sponsored hackers targeted Vatican computer networks just weeks before the provisional agreement between China and the Holy See is due to be renewed, according to a report released Tuesday. The analysis, published Sept. 15, said that hackers had continued to focus on the Vatican and other Catholic organizations even after their activities were publicized in July. The report was compiled by the Insikt Group, the research arm of the U.S.-based cybersecurity company Recorded Future.  Earlier this year, the organization announced that it had uncovered “a cyberespionage campaign attributed to a suspected Chinese state-sponsored threat activity group,” which it referred to as RedDelta. In an update on its investigation, the Insikt Group sa...

This is why it’s so hard to climb an iceberg…

“Should not have eaten breakfast before climbing. … Not to be repeated.”

Bite your tongue! A reflection on common sins of speech…..

In the pastoral guide of St. Gregory the Great, the opening line reads: “A spiritual guide should be silent when discretion requires and speak when words are of service.” This is not easy. Indeed, self-mastery in speech is among the rarer gifts and usually comes later in life! Some of the most common sins we commit are related to speech: gossip, idle chatter, lies, exaggerations, harsh attacks, and uncharitable remarks. With our tongue we can spread hatred, incite fear and maliciousness, spread misinformation, cause temptation, discourage, teach error, and ruin reputations. With a gift capable of bringing such good, we can surely cause great harm! The Book of James says this: We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what he says is perfect, able to keep his whole body i...

In second known instance, invalidly baptized Oklahoma priest baptized and ‘re-ordained’…

Denver Newsroom, Sep 16, 2020 / 04:08 pm MT (CNA).-   In the second known instance in the United States, a man who believed himself to be a validly baptized Catholic and ordained priest had to “re-receive” all of his sacraments, including ordination, after discovering that his baptism was invalid. Fr. Zachary Boazman, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, thought he was validly ordained in 2019. But in August, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a doctrinal note, reminding Catholics that baptisms are not valid if the minister of the baptism changed the words, or formula, of the baptism from “I baptize you” to “We baptize you.” Boazman, who was baptized in another diocese in 1992, reviewed a videotape of his baptism after the announcement from the Va...