Tuesday 19th June 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

First Teachers… Fr. Spadaro And The Politics Of Non-Politicization

March 2, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By SHAUN KENNEY

Fr. Antonio Spadaro is back in the news again, and for all the wrong reasons. This time, it is a retweet — sharing something through the social media platform Twitter — of a comment someone made that EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo and the entire EWTN staff ought to be placed under papal interdict until Mr. Arroyo is fired by the Catholic news outlet.
Fired?
I am trying to be sympathetic to the Pope Francis and those who circle his papacy, I really am. One completely understands his emphasis on Romano Guardini and the philosopher’s warnings against postmodernism. As a student of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, Fr. Spadaro has bought the argument that the only means of resolving the dialectic of power is to forfeit the game — thus refusing to play into the game and delaying and even deferring the arrival of the Antichrist, whose objective is the rank aggregation of worldly power to achieve an alter Christus — another christ.
Fused together, one can instantly see where Spadaro is coming from. Given his European prejudices — and they really are prejudices — against American government and the Republican Party in general, Spadaro’s fusion of Protestant televangelism with the secular aims of the conservative right creates a phantom boogeyman of a Catholic traditionalist whose fidelity to the Church is paper thin and purely political — the very worst of Catholic integralism linked to an ultramontanism disappointed with the Franciscan papacy.
Of course, there are tremendous flaws in Spadaro’s argument, not least of which is that we — as Christians — are called to be salt and light. Every instance where a Catholic says credo is an assertion, and in the concept of power relations a perceived threat to the secular world and the lord of this world — the alter Christus. Thus what Spadaro is asking for really does fall prey to the “king of the hill” argument that Arroyo accurately perceives.
Where Spadaro says that Francis “seeks to dissolve the narrative of a toxic final clash of religions,” Arroyo responds that Catholics are called to fulfill God’s will, know His will, and then bring a society forward that exists in accord with His will — a very basic demonstration of St. Thomas Aquinas’ dissertation of human law in the Summa Theologiae.
At heart in both is the idea of Christendom. Catholic integralists would insist Arroyo’s interpretation as correct — but again, this suffers the problem of political contagion, and the Catholic Church is most certainly not a political unit. Alternatively, Spadaro seeks a Christendom of conscience, but is not only utterly unwilling to fight for this, but sees any political contagion as — you guessed it — evidence of the infiltration of the alter Christus.
Such a viewpoint would explain Spadaro’s hostility to alternative viewpoints. If political contagion is the “smoke of Satan” infiltrating the Church, one would and should be hostile to it. On the other hand, Western Christendom should be set upon the path of the Byzantine Empire, where the Orthodox Church — unable to impose its political will — simply survived in enclaves until a more favorable occasion (which we are seeing in the Russian Federation today) enables it to exist as the conscience of the state…up to a point, that is.
Arroyo has the better argument, in that this should not become an either/or dialectic, but rather a both/and. Spadaro betrays his own principles when asserting a power dynamic over those with whom he disagrees. That element alone creates the introduction of division, and of division such as that there is only one author — and it is most certainly not Christ.
Much like some politicians, Spadaro needs to have his Twitter account taken away. Spadaro’s clumsy and accidental weaponization of the Catholic Church against all rival power structures sadly falls victim to its own argument. The politics of non-politicization is in and of itself a political act; weaponized against opponents and praised for its own gnostic contempt of the unenlightened. Cooler heads and warmer hearts should prevail here.

Helping Others

After a night at the gym, a gentleman came up to me in the parking lot with a moderately convincing story. His truck was broken down, he lived in a neighboring county, needed precisely $23 to get the tow truck to take his vehicle to the shop and then get a ride back home.
The story came with any number of flaws. His grandson’s computer was in the back; he would sell it to me if required. He had a watch; he would sell that as well. Either way, he really needed the $23.
Now I’m a firm believe that charity — once given — is between you, the person to whom it was extended, and God. The moment you brag about it is the moment it stops being charity. So my intentions here are not to extol my own virtues, but to go through the motions of why I gave the gentleman the money he asked for rather than telling him to get a job.
Yet in the back of our consciences, something in the back tickles when we know we are being asked to be charitable. True, the individual asking might not be all that honest about why he is asking. Quite frankly, neither are we when we petition God through prayer, as our pride and faults in asking for God’s benevolence frequently interfere with what God wants for us.
Much like prayer, we do not perform acts of charity for their own sake. God commands us to pray and to give charitably for our own soul’s sake, not because we owe something or are cooperating in an act of so-called social justice — but rather, we are approached by the imago Dei of the Other with a call that says feed me, help me, be Christ to me.
For that lesson, it was worth the $23 indeed. If Jesus Christ had asked me for help, I’d have fallen over myself to extend it. Name your favorite politician, musician, poet, or priest and most would have done likewise. Dorothy Day used to say that the poor are Jesus. It was in poverty that Christ was born and it was among the poor whom Christ lived.
Was it enabling, one might ask? I’d be sad to think God’s questions His mercy toward us as enabling our future sins — but the good news is that God never said “I was” nor did He say “I will be” but rather I AM. In the present moment, we are all given opportunities to extend charity toward others as they occur. The trick is to remember that we aren’t helping them, but rather ourselves.

Send Me Your Comments!

Of course, I am succeeding (but not replacing) the inestimable Mr. James K. Fitzpatrick for the First Teachers column.
Please feel free to send any correspondence for First Teachers to Shaun Kenney, c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Rd., Kents Store, VA 23084 – or, if it is easier, simply send me an e-mail with First Teachers in the subject line to: svk2cr@virginia.edu.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Bishop: Deny Communion to Border Agents. It’s a ‘Life Issue.’

Is enforcing U.S. immigration law a moral evil that demands excommunication? Or would a new proposal politicize the Eucharist, strengthen organized crime, and hurt even more migrant children? Roman Catholics must face these questions after Bishop Edward Weisburger of Tucson suggested “canonical…Continue Reading

Argentina steps closer to legalising abortion

Catholic Argentina’s lower house has backed a bill legalising abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. After a divisive debate lasting more than 22 hours, 129 members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour and 125 against while…Continue Reading

Pope Francis rejects German proposal for inter-communion

Vatican City, Jun 4, 2018 / 06:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One month after Vatican and German delegates met in Rome to discuss a proposal put forward by German bishops to allow Protestant spouses in inter-denominational marriages to receive the Eucharist…Continue Reading

St. Paul archdiocese settlement is largest-ever in Catholic bankruptcy case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of its plan for bankruptcy reorganization, making it the second-largest U.S. payout…Continue Reading

Church’s teaching on male-only priesthood is ‘infallible’: Vatican doctrine chief

ROME, May 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Vatican office overseeing Church doctrine has insisted that the Church’s teaching on the male-only priesthood is “infallible,” and has offered a veiled rebuke of a prominent Cardinal who recently claimed the…Continue Reading

The revolt against Humanae Vitae continues to haunt us today

ROME, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — As in 2017, 2018 is also a year that is rich with important and significant anniversaries which we need to remember, because the roots of the present are found in the past. The best known…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Communion cannot be shared with non-Catholics like beer or cake

BUCKFASTLEIGH, England, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Protestants who want to receive Holy Communion should become Catholics, Cardinal Francis Arinze said this week, and added that “it is rather serious” to presume marriage can be dissolved for the purpose of…Continue Reading

Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…Continue Reading

Pope asks for prayers for Catholics in China

Pope Francis has appealed to all Christians to be spiritually close to Catholics who live in China, and to pray they may live their faith in full communion with the Holy See. Speaking during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled…Continue Reading

Life is the ‘true source of America’s greatness,’ President Trump tells pro-life gala

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump affirmed the importance of the right to life and called on pro-life voters to help secure it Tuesday night, in his keynote address at the Susan B. Anthony List’s 11th…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Conway: ‘As a mother, as a Catholic,’ no one likes migrant family separation policy

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday “nobody likes” the Trump administration’s policy of separating families who cross the border illegally, but indicated President Trump will not act unilaterally to change it. “As a mother, as a Catholic, as somebody who’s got a conscience … I will tell you that nobody likes this policy,” Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Congress passed the law that it is a

Catholic bishops rebuke Trump’s asylum changes, suggest ‘canonical penalties’

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (RNS) — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opened its spring meeting this week with a stern reproach of the Trump administration’s latest immigration policies, with the group’s president suggesting the new rules on asylum are a “right to life” issue. Some bishops followed by urging protests, including “canonical penalties” for those who carry out the administration’s new rules. Within minutes of opening the USCCB’s biannual meeting in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday…Continue Reading

New law requiring priests to break confession seal ‘premature and ill-judged’, Archbishop Coleridge says

CHURCH leaders are standing firm in support of priests upholding the seal of confession as a “religious freedom”, despite a new law that would require a priest to break the seal to report allegations of child abuse and misconduct. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge described the new law – that will apply in the Australian Capital Territory from March 2019 – as “premature and ill-judged, seemingly driven by a desire to…Continue Reading

Papal advisor claims Francis would not give ‘strict no’ to women’s ordination

June 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The new preparatory document for the 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod of Bishops is calling for the Church to open an “official ministry” to women, and seeking “courageous” and inculturated proposals for an “inclusive ministerial action.” Bishop Erwin Kräutler, one of the organizers of this forthcoming October 2019 Synod, is promoting the idea of ordaining married men to the priesthood for that Amazon region, and even women. He carefully claims that Pope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis accepts the resignations of 3 Chilean Bishops

The Holy See’s Press Office announces that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three Chilean Bishops–two for reasons of having reached the age limit.

Advertisement(2)

Lindsey Graham’s Unjustifiable Call for War

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + Question: Has North Korea reinvaded South Korea since it signed an armistice 65 years ago suspending the Korean War? Answer: No. Question: Why? Answer: It has been deterred. Question: Would it…Continue Reading

Love And Cruelty In Ireland

By DONALD DeMARCO On the night of August 21, 1879, Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to a group of ordinary people in the village of Knock, County Mayo. She was flanked by St. Joseph on her right and St. John the Evangelist on her left. She said nothing and was described as being deep…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Exploring The Goodness, Truth, And Beauty Of Narnia

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Donal Anthony Foley reviews Further Up & Further In: Understanding Narnia, by Joseph Pearce, TAN Books, hardcover, 216 pages; $24.95 at www.tanbooks.com; Kindle version available at amazon.com for $9.98. The Chronicles of Narnia, the seven books written originally for children by the celebrated Christian writer, C.S. Lewis, are among the most…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan Says… Let’s Not Capitulate To The Abortion Culture

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — Responding to Fr. Thomas J. Reese’s recent suggestion that the pro-life movement abandon efforts to make abortion illegal and focus instead on reducing the number of abortions, Timothy Cardinal Dolan voiced grave concern with the proposal. “As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, I…Continue Reading

Love And Cruelty In Ireland

By DONALD DeMARCO On the night of August 21, 1879, Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to a group of ordinary people in the village of Knock, County Mayo. She was flanked by St. Joseph on her right and St. John the Evangelist on her left. She said nothing and was described as being deep…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Will Marriages Outside A Church Keep Couples In The Church?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church makes exceptions to its own rules; this is well known. There are God’s rules, such as the Commandments, exceptions to which cannot be granted by man. And then there are the regulations promulgated by the Church, using the authority given her by the Lord, in order to better facilitate the pastoral work of…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Understanding Confession More Deeply

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 33 When Jesus gave the apostles the power to bind and unbind things here on Earth (Matt. 18:18), He gave them authority over His flock. Hence, from the very first century, Popes and bishops passed laws to be observed by the people. Consequently, considering the seriousness of sin, and the risk many take for…Continue Reading

Man’s Desire For Happiness

By DON FIER Significant to note from last week’s consideration of the eighth Beatitude: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10), is that the reward promised is identical to that of the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Can you tell me the difference between a basilica and a cathedral? — M.N., California. A. A basilica is a title of honor given to certain churches which may be classified either as major basilicas or minor basilicas. The only four major basilicas are located in Rome. They are St. John Lateran, St. Peter, St. Paul Outside the Walls,…Continue Reading

Mourning Ireland’s Rejection Of The Eighth Amendment

(Editor’s Note: Below we reprint two statements on Ireland’s recent anti-life vote, the first from Fr. Shenan Boquet, the president of Human Life International, and the second from Bishop Kevin Doran of the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland. (Fr. Boquet’s June 5 commentary first appeared at hli.org, and was reprinted by LifeSiteNews. (Bishop Doran’s May 28 message was reprinted at zenit.org…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph The Hymnographer

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late sixth and early seventh century, the glories of Gregorian chant began to develop in Rome. Then, in the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote beautiful hymns to celebrate Corpus Christi and to honor the Real Presence. In the Eastern Church, around Constantinople, they also sang hymns, but it was not until the late ninth…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Medard

By CAROLE BRESLIN Detachment from worldly goods and temporal pleasures sometimes comes to a person after years of devotions, fasting, and prayer. By giving up one vice at a time or practicing one virtue and mastering that one, then moving on to the next, a person can grow in holiness. Occasionally, our Lord will bring a child into the world…Continue Reading