Friday 15th December 2017

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Confusion Should Not Be A Source Of Pessimism

September 4, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Confusion Should Not Be A Source Of Pessimism

By ALBERTO M. PIEDRA (Editor’s Note: Alberto M. Piedra is the Donald E. Bently Professor of Political Economy, The Institute of Word Politics.) + + + “Man is more himself; man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live” — G.K. Chesterton. + + + Few well-versed people in Church matters would deny the ever-increasing confusion within the Church about her teachings on Holy Matrimony, Holy Communion, and the moral law. His Eminence Raymond…Continue Reading

Joe Scheidler… The Embattled Warrior

September 3, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Joe Scheidler… The Embattled Warrior

By DONALD DeMARCO John Braine, author of Room at the Top, and one of Britain’s most successful novelists, provided a practical guide for aspiring novelists in his 1974 book, Writing a Novel. He advised that every novel should contain at least one highly improbably occurrence. I had never aspired to being a novelist, but was fascinated by this bit of advice. Life itself is much larger than a novel. Therefore, extraordinary coincidences should happen more often than once. I was at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport waiting for my connecting flight. I thought to myself, “Who would I like to meet at this moment among the eight million or so people who reside in greater Chicago?” I had a number of chance…Continue Reading

St. Adamnan Of Iona… Abbot, Author, And Human Rights Pioneer

September 2, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on St. Adamnan Of Iona… Abbot, Author, And Human Rights Pioneer

By RAY CAVANAUGH St. Adamnan of Iona was an abbot and scholar who wrote enduring works of history and hagiography. But his most noble contribution was his AD 697 introduction of the Cain Adomnain, a code of laws that sought to ensure the safety of noncombatants (women, children, elderly, infirm, clerics, and others) in warfare. Remarkably ahead of their time, these laws predate the similarly intentioned Geneva Convention by more than twelve centuries. Adamnan’s feast day is September 23. He is also venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church. Very little is known of Adamnan’s early years other than that he was a native of Ireland’s County Donegal (the town of Raphoe is frequently mentioned) and…Continue Reading

Conscience Vs. State Laws… Culpable And Laudable Disobedience

September 1, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Conscience Vs. State Laws… Culpable And Laudable Disobedience

By ALICE VON HILDEBRAND My Dear Friend: Once again I am going to question your knowledge of ancient Greece. I assume that you have read Antigone — this great work of Sophocles – in which the heroine chooses to contravene the will of the tyrant, Creon (prohibiting the burial of her dead brother). The argument which she defends is that the unwritten laws of the gods should be obeyed for they are immutable and exist from all eternity (Antigone, 458). Creon’s Edict is not Zeus’ and Antigone’s conscience tells her that she can therefore override this purely human and illegitimate ordinance. She must obey the gods rather than man. Creon is outraged and condemns her to death and, as tragedy…Continue Reading

A Potpourri… System Building, Conversion, And Other Matters

August 31, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on A Potpourri… System Building, Conversion, And Other Matters

By GEORGE A. KENDALL Chesterton once remarked that angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. This suggests some thoughts regarding the philosophical systems produced by modern intellectuals. The Germans’ idealist tradition is especially notorious for producing these systems, but it is far from unique in this regard. The kind of thought I have in mind here is characterized by huge labyrinthine systems. Those of us so unfortunate as to have attempted to read the works of these thinkers get hopelessly lost (reminding me of a remark I once made about Proust’s sentences — that you can get lost in one of them and it will take hours to find your way out — if you are lucky). I would…Continue Reading

When Trump Doesn’t Win… At Least President Keeps Political Audience In Suspense

August 30, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on When Trump Doesn’t Win… At Least President Keeps Political Audience In Suspense

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Developer Donald Trump sold himself as a can-do business executive to enough voters in 2016 that he won some new land to build dreams on, the White House acreage as home to the development of his presidential agenda. There was a fast, promising start when Trump took over. He stopped tax money for international organizations providing or promoting abortion, successfully filled a Supreme Court vacancy with a judge with a conservative record, Neil Gorsuch, assembled a cabinet said to be even more conservative than Ronald Reagan’s, and began regulatory reforms. If this was the start, the sky seemed to be the limit. Well, slow down and think again. Every administration produces some zigzags instead of…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Finding Meaning In Historic Suffering

August 29, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on A Book Review . . . Finding Meaning In Historic Suffering

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Leaves Are Falling, by Lucy Beckett (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2014), 314 pp. $19.95. Available from www.ignatius.com or 1-800-651-1531. A beautifully crafted novel, work of profound human interest, and a moving story about Josef Halpern (Joe), a Jewish refugee and an orphan who witnessed the mass executions perpetrated by both Hitler’s army and Stalin’s Russian forces, The Leaves Are Falling begins with an 82-year-old man who narrowly escaped death, left Poland at age 17, and lived in England for the remainder of his life. Remembering his tragic past, Joe constantly recalls the traumatic events he witnessed that have gone unknown, unrecorded, and untaught in history classes. Throughout the novel he ponders many questions about the cause…Continue Reading

William E. May… Dissenting From The Dissenters

August 28, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on William E. May… Dissenting From The Dissenters

By DONALD DeMARCO After the release of Humanae Vitae in 1968, dissent became rampant in the Catholic Church, especially in America. Undergirding dissent was the presumption that dissenters were expressing their freedom and their courage in speaking out against traditional Church teaching. These two presumptions, however, must be called into question since the dissenters, if they were sincere, would have extended these two qualities to anyone who expressed his freedom and courage to assent to Church teaching. Such, to a large extent, was not the case. Dissent was not only allowed but applauded if it opposed the Magisterium. But dissenting from the dissenters, in many cases, was a punishable offense. In fact, dissent became the litmus test for job security…Continue Reading

Freedom For The Speech We Hate

August 27, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on Freedom For The Speech We Hate

By JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO The past weekend, serious violence broke out in Charlottesville, Va., when a group of white supremacist demonstrators was confronted by a group of folks who were there to condemn the message the demonstrators had come to advance. The message was critical of the government for removing a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public place. For some, Lee is associated with the military defense of slavery. For others, he is associated with the military defense of the right of states to leave the union — a union they voluntarily joined. For the organizers of the Charlottesville rally, the removal of the statue provided a platform to articulate crudely their view that the Caucasian…Continue Reading

A Book Review… A Fine Book On The Avignon Papacy

August 26, 2017 Featured Today Comments Off on A Book Review… A Fine Book On The Avignon Papacy

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Falkeid, Unn. The Avignon Papacy Contested: An Intellectual History From Dante to Catherine of Siena. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017. 269 pp. Cloth, $49.95. This is the story of the Avignon Papacy (1309-1377) and of the seven Popes who governed the Church from Provence in southern France, but it is more than that. It is a chronicle of warfare, civic decay, and intellectual conflict in Europe as a whole. It is the period of war-torn Italy and of the Hundred Years’ War between France and Germany. Early in the volume, Unn Falkeid identifies the chief protagonists of her narrative as Dante Alighieri, William of Ockham, Marsilius of Padua, Francis Petrarch, Birgitta of Sweden, and Catherine of…Continue Reading