Monday 27th September 2021

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Von Hayek: Seventy-Five Years Ago

November 17, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By JUDE DOUGHERTY

The release of John J. Mearshimer’s The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities brought to mind a short work written seventy-five years ago by the Austrian economist, F.A. Hayek (1899-1992).
Entitled The Road to Serfdom, the volume is perhaps more relevant today than when it was written. (1) The book is the result of Hayek’s reflection on the socialist drift in Europe that facilitated the rise to power of Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin.
Written while the outcome of World War II was still uncertain, The Road to Serfdom may be fruitfully read as a historical review of the social and economic policies that prevailed during the first decades of the twentieth century, but that was not Hayek’s primary purpose in writing the book. It was issued as a prophetic warning. The socialist policies endorsed by our “progressive” intellectuals, he feared, are the same as those of the twenties and thirties that created National Socialism.
Hayek was not alone in his analysis of the past or in recognizing the danger that the emerging socialist parties posed for the future of Europe. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago (1973) and in his Harvard University Commencement Address said as much.
Bertrand de Jouvenel, writing in France during the same period, produced a slightly different diagnosis of the events that brought the European dictators to power. De Jouvenel’s book, On Power: Its Nature and the History of Its Growth, will serve a lasting reminder that politics is about power.
“It is in the pursuit of Utopia,” de Jouvenel writes, “that the aggrandizers of state power find their most effective ally, [for] only an immensely powerful apparatus can do all that the preachers of panacea government promise.” (2)
Hayek, much more than Solzhenitsyn or de Jouvenel, was engaged in a debate on economic planning that included Ludwig von Mises, Joseph Schumpeter, Michael Polanyi, Otto Neurath, Walter Schiff, and Karl Popper.
It is significant that the debate focused not so much on social policy per se as it on the method to be employed in systematically arriving at sustainable social policy. The remarkable advances in the natural sciences in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly in theoretical physics, stimulated interest in methodological and epistemological issues normally discussed in the philosophy of science.
The positivism of the Vienna Circle did not remain merely a philosophical outlook but began to have an impact in the social sciences. The methods which had proven successful in natural science were deemed applicable to the sciences of man. Economics was no exception.
Positivism, by eschewing the metaphysical concepts of “nature” and “purpose in nature,” limits knowledge to sense experience, namely to that which can be empirically verified, thereby reducing science to description and prediction. Lost is a sense of an unchangeable human nature, ordered to a divinely ordained end. The implications are manifold, as Malachi Hacohen in his biography of Karl Popper makes clear.
From the positivist’s viewpoint what were traditionally recognized as rights are deemed mere concessions granted by the state or society. Given that rights are not natural rights but the product of law, they are not properly rights at all; they are mere concessions to claims that the individual makes and the state recognizes. As such they can be withdrawn if the state deems such withdrawal in the interest of the general welfare.
No one has stated this more clearly than the American political theorist John H. Hallowell. “There is a great difference,” Hallowell writes, “between freedom from unjust compulsion and freedom from illegal compulsion. When the test of legality, moreover, is ultimately conceived as the force behind law, freedom from illegal compulsion amounts to no more than freedom to do whatever the state does not forbid. This is a conception of freedom much more congenial to tyranny than to the preservation of the inalienable rights of man.” (3)
Viewed from the perspective of positivism, the rights of man are no longer to be called “natural rights”: They are mere “legal rights.”
Hallowell continues, “It was the liberal positivistic jurist long before Hitler who taught (explicitly or implicitly) that might makes right and that rights are not attributes which individuals have by virtue of their humanity; they are simply claims which the state may or may not choose to recognize. Unwittingly, it may be, such liberals prepared the way for Lidice and Dachau.”(4)
Distancing himself from socialist planning, Hayek provides his own perspective on economic planning, that is, by showing how a market economy is actually driven. Most of the knowledge necessary for running an economic system, he holds, is not in the form of scientific knowledge, that is, by a conscious awareness of the rules governing natural or social phenomena.
More important is the knowledge which may be described as “intuitive in character,” idiosyncratic knowledge, consisting of dispersed bits of information and understanding relative to time and place. This tacit knowledge is often not consciously possessed by those who make use of it, and it is of such a nature that it can never be communicated to a central authority. The market tends to use this tacit knowledge as do individuals pursuing their own ends.
Ludwig von Mises had made a similar point in a 1920 article entitled “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth,” wherein he wrote:
“In the absence of a capitalist market, production costs and commodity values could not be determined. A central planning board could neither measure costs nor determine prices. Prices reflect not inherent but changing human preferences; they provide producers and distributors necessary information for planning production and distribution. It is precisely in market dealings that market prices are formed, taken as the basis of calculation for all kinds of goods and labor. Where there is no free market, there is no pricing mechanism: without a pricing mechanism there is no economic calculation.”(5)
Karl Popper, mentioned above, like Hayek, was a student of von Mises, and from the start was critical of the Vienna Circle; although in his early years he could be described as a heterodox socialist. Hacohen, in his biography of Popper, tells us that, upon reading The Road to Serfdom, Popper’s progressivism was badly shaken. In a letter to Hayek, Popper called it “one of the most important political books I have ever seen.” (6)
To another correspondent he wrote, “[Hayek] has seen very much sharper than I have that socialism itself leads directly to totalitarianism.” (7)
Popper, in his autobiography, discloses that he would have remained a socialist had not Hayek shown him that socialism puts liberty at risk. In Hacohen’s judgment, it was also mass support for fascism that gave Popper pause. Eventually, Popper came to the conclusion that the paradox of democracy was real: “If the majority was sovereign, then it could decide that it no longer wished a democratic government. It could, as a third of the German electorate did, vote the fascists to power.” (8)
It is worth remembering that both Hayek and Karl Popper, though universally recognized as social theorists, were initially interested in epistemological issues normally encountered in the philosophy of science. In fact, when Hayek arrived at the University of Chicago, he offered a faculty seminar of the philosophy of science that was attended by some of the most notable scientists of the time, including Enrico Fermi, Sewall Wright, and Leo Szilard.

Totalitarian Forces

In The Road to Serfdom, Hayek concedes that socialism, considered in the abstract, may not inexorably lead to totalitarian rule, but experience shows that the unforeseen and inevitable consequences of social planning do create a state of affairs in which, if its policies are to be pursued, totalitarian forces will get the upper hand.
Ironically, socialism can be put into practice only by methods of which socialists disapprove. (9) Hayek’s book is concerned mainly with protecting liberty from the seemingly unstoppable trend in Western democracies to subject their national economies to central planning, which he claims evidence shows will inevitably lead to tyranny.
Even a strong tradition of political liberty, Hayek warns, is no safeguard. The democratic statesman who from the loftiest of motives sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted with the alternative of assuming dictatorial power or abandoning his plans. In short order he will have to choose between disregard of ordinary morals and failure. Hayek is convinced that the unscrupulous and uninhibited, lacking principle to constrain their activity, are likely to assume positions of authority.
Under their leadership, the moral views that initially inspired the collectivist state are not likely to prevail. The general demand for quick and determined government action will lead to a new morality and the suppression of democratic procedures. Given dissatisfaction with the slow and cumbersome course of constitutional procedures, the man or the party that appears the strongest and seems the most resolute in getting things done will create a new moral tone. (10)
In a planned society it is not merely a question of what the majority of people agree upon but what the largest single or homogeneous group agrees upon. It takes such a core group with like-minded goals to make unified direction possible.
Such a group, Hayek believes, is not likely to be formed by the best elements of society. In general the higher the education and intelligence of individuals, the more their tastes will differ and the less likely they are to agree on a set of ideas. “If we wish to find a high degree of uniformity and similarity of outlook, we have to descend to the regions of moral and intellectual standards where the more primitive and ‘common’ instincts and truths prevail.”
Hayek is convinced: “The largest groups of people whose values are similar are people with low standards.” That said, if a political dictator had to rely entirely on those whose uncomplicated and primitive instincts happen to be similar, their numbers would scarcely give sufficient weight to his campaign. He will have to increase their numbers by converting more to the same creed, a principle that is frequently enunciated in the pages of The Wall Street Journal. The would-be ruler must somehow obtain support of the docile and gullible who have no strong convictions of their own but who are prepared to accept a ready-made system of values if it is drummed into their ears sufficiently loudly and frequently.
It will be those whose vague and imperfectly formed ideas are easily swayed and whose passions and emotions are readily aroused who will thus swell the ranks of the totalitarian party. Absent a strong bourgeoisie (middle class), the transition to a dictatorship may be easy, swift, and accomplished with complete legality.
Speaking of the mechanism by which power is achieved, Hayek notes that, where there is dissatisfaction with the policies of the ruling party, a skillful demagogue can weld together a closely, coherent and homogenous body of supporters by calling for a new order.
“It seems almost a law of human nature that it is easier to get people to agree on a negative program — on the hatred of an enemy, or on the envy of those who are better off — than on any positive task.” (11)
Yet pandering to the demands of a minority can lead to the dissolution of democratic governance, for democratic governance can work successfully so long as the functions of the state are limited to policies where agreement among the majority can be achieved. The price we have to pay for a democratic system, Hayek insists, is the restriction of state action to those areas where agreement can be reached.
Government interference in the life of the citizenry, even for benevolent purposes, endangers liberty if it posits a consensus where none exists. Absent consensus, coercion becomes necessary.
Examining the wellsprings of the socialist mentality, Hayek believes that the desire to organize social life according to a unitary plan springs essentially from a desire for power, more so than a desire for the communal good. In order to achieve his end, the socialist must achieve power over others — a perennial allure regardless of the objective. The success of socialist planning depends on the achievement of power over a reluctant citizenry.
When economic power is employed as an instrument of political power, it creates a degree of dependence scarcely distinguishable from slavery. The separation of economic and political aims, Hayek insists, is an essential condition of freedom.
Throughout his long life, Hayek was to return time and again to themes first articulated in the Road to Serfdom, notably in Law, Legislation and Liberty (three volumes, 1973, 1976, and 1979) and The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism.
In the latter, published when Hayek was eighty-nine years old, he professed to be an agnostic with respect to the existence and nature of God, but he had no doubt about the classical and Christian origins of Western culture. He saw that with the eclipse of Christianity, Europe was losing its force for the good, “the moral high ground,” we may say.
Using history to reinforce his claim, Hayek tells the reader: “The Greeks seem to have been the first to see the connection between private property and individual freedom. From antiquity to the present, no advanced civilization has yet developed without a government which saw its chief aim in the protection of private property. ‘Where there is no property, there is no justice’ is a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid.” (12)

The Role Of Religion

Why then do intelligent people tend to be socialist? Intelligent people, Hayek suggests, tend to overvalue intelligence, and to suppose that we owe all the advantages and opportunities that our civilization offers to bureaucratic design rather than to an inherited wisdom and traditional rules of behavior.
Furthermore the intellectual is likely to suppose that we can, by exercising our reason, eliminate any remaining undesired features of our economy by still more intelligent reflection, and still more appropriate design, and “rational coordination” of our undertakings. This leads one to be favorably disposed to central economic planning and control that lie at the heart of socialism. (13)
“How could,” he rhetorically asks, “the traditions which people do not like and understand, whose effects they usually do not appreciate, and can neither see nor foresee, and which they are still ardently combating, continue to have been passed on from generation to generation?”
We owe to religion, Hayek concludes, that such beneficial traditions have been preserved and transmitted. Those traditions may be no more than “symbolic truths,” but it has been and remains the role of religion in society to preserve our moral traditions. (14)
One must conclude that even at the end of his life, Hayek had not fully escaped the positivism of August Comte and the Vienna Circle to which he had been exposed in his early years. Lacking a metaphysics, he remained confined to the phenomenal order of description and prediction.
Still, like his mentor, Ludwig von Mises, it is to his lasting credit that Hayek by his The Road to Serfdom convinced many an open mind that the main issue in social and political conflict is this: to what extent, in the interest of economic security, one should surrender freedom, private initiative, and individual responsibility to the guardianship of the socialist state. (15)

+ + +

(Dr. Dougherty is a dean emeritus and professor emeritus of Catholic University.)

FOOTNOTES

1. The Road to Serfdom. University of Chicago Press, 1944.
2. Bertrand de Jouvenel. On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth. Les Editions du Cheval Aile, 1945. Many English language editions follow.
3. For a valuable discussion of the impact of the Vienna Circle, see Malachi Haim Hacohen, Karl Popper: The Formative Years, 1902-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
4. John H. Hallowell. Main Currents in Modern Political Thought. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1950, pp. 289, 327.
5. Ludwig von Mises. Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis. Trans. from the German by J. Kahana. New York: Macmillan, 1900.
6. Hacohen, op. cit., p. 485.
7. Hacohen, p. 485.
8. Hacohen, p. 507.
9. The Road to Serfdom, p. 150.
10. The Road to Serfdom, pp. 152 ff.
11. Fatal Conceit, The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek, ed. W.W. Bartley III. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1989.
12. Fatal Conceit, p. 32.
13. Ibid., p. 54.
14. Ibid.
15. Cf. Von Mises, “Preface,” Bureaucracy. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - https://t.co/kqxQXGgoG8

LifeNews.com - The Pro-Life News Source

.

LifeNews.com

Load More...

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…Continue Reading

House passes bill setting up path to citizenship for millions of Dreamers

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday passed an immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

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

Catechism

Adopt A Center

Today . . .

Abortion On Demand Act . . . House Set to Vote Friday on Massive Abortion Bill

CV NEWS FEED // Democrats in the House of Representatives will vote Friday to pass legislation that would enshrine the “right” to abortion in federal law. The “Women’s Health Protection Act,” which Republican opponents have dubbed the “Abortion On Demand Act,” would preemptively destroy all future state-level legislation to protect the unborn.  If the bill passes the House, it is not expected to pass the Senate, where it would need a 60-vote supermajority to overcome…Continue Reading

Federal judge rejects Biden admin’s demand to block Texas abortion ban before hearing

A federal judge has blocked Joe Biden’s emergency request to stop the Texas abortion ban, which has saved anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 babies from abortion. The Texas heartbeat law went into effect Sept. 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Unique from other state heartbeat laws, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law…Continue Reading

Archbishops criticize ‘outrageous’ claims against St Junipero Serra

A California bill to replace a statue of St. Junipero Serra at the state capitol unfairly slanders the saint’s legacy, two archbishops claimed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Sunday, Sept. 12.  Last month, California lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to pass Assembly Bill 338, which would replace the statue of St. Junipero Serra at the state capitol with one honoring local Indigenous populations. The bill text claims that 

Catholic health ministry head decries ‘unjust’ federal vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for many private employers, drawing criticism from the head of one Catholic health care ministry. “Coercing individuals into making a medical intervention is unjust,” said Louis Brown, executive director of the Christ Medicus Foundation and former acting deputy director of the Civil Rights Division of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, in an interview with CNA on Thursday. “And a vaccine mandate that could…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone raises issue of excommunication for abortion advocates

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 5, 2021 / 18:07 pm Calling abortion “the most pressing human rights challenge of our time,” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone on Sunday invoked the excommunication of prominent Catholic segregationists in the early 1960s as an example of a legitimate response to Catholics politicians who support “a great moral evil.” In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, the leader of the Archdiocese of San Francisco pushed back against recent statements by Catholic politicians…Continue Reading

Justice Clarence Thomas… Credits Catholic Nuns’ Anti-Racist Example

By KEVIN J. JONES DENVER (CNA) — Catholic nuns and his grandparents’ example helped instill in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas the belief that all people were children of God and that the racist flaws of American society were a betrayal of its best promises, he said in a lecture Thursday, September 16.“My nuns and…Continue Reading

When Rights Are Wrong

By DONALD DeMARCO There are few topics that are of greater importance than “rights.” At the same time, the topic of rights has been egregiously misunderstood and fraudulently represented. What are rights? Are they the exclusive domain of human beings? What is the basis of a right? How can rights be protected? Can there be…Continue Reading

Are The U.S. And China Stumbling Toward An “Islands War”?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In a diplomatic coup, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a deal last week with the UK and U.S. to have those Anglo-American allies help build a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Australia.A $66 billion French deal to provide Canberra with diesel electric-powered submarines, among the largest defense contracts Paris had ever negotiated,…Continue Reading

9/11: A Blazing Hell On Earth

By BARBARA SIMPSOM (Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on WorldNetDaily on September 10.) + + It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since that awful day — 9/11 — this country was massively attacked by an enemy most Americans didn’t even realize we had.The responsibility for that ignorance should be placed squarely on…Continue Reading

New FDA Records Show . . . Purchases Of Fetal Organs, Heads And Tissue for ‘Humanized Mice’ Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Judicial Watch announced September 14, that it received 198 pages of records and communications from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involving “humanized mice” research with human fetal heads, organs and tissue, including communications and contracts with human fetal tissue provider Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR). Most of the records are communications…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A New Creation

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Genesis 2:18-24Hebrews 2:9-11Mark 10:2-16 In the first reading we have the story of the creation of Eve. There are a couple things to note here. First, God creates all the animals and brings them to Adam for him to name. At this point, Adam is newly created and…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This completes our lessons on the Commandments and Sacraments. We hope that you found them informative and were able to put them to good use. We will have another series, on Apologetics, ready shortly, but in the meantime, we will continue to welcome your questions for the column. Please send them either to the postal mailing address or…Continue Reading

“Abortion is Murder”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Be a pastor, don’t go condemning.” was the Pope’s answer to a question from a reporter on the return flight from his recent apostolic journey to Slovakia and Hungary. The context was a question posed: “What must the pastor do?” in reference to pro-abortion politicians. On the subject of abortion, the Pope repeated the Church…Continue Reading

The Exorcistic Effect… Of The Word Of God

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this commentary on September 8 and it is reprinted here with permission. His blog is found at https://msgrpope.com/.) + + Many often think of exorcism only in relation to driving out demons from possessed people using ancient prayers. But, truth be told, we all have afflictions, oppressions, temptations, and other…Continue Reading

Love God With Your Whole Heart

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Numb. 11:25-29James 5:1-6Mark 9:38-43; 45, 47-48 In the Gospel reading today our Lord tells us that if our hand or foot causes us to sin, cut it off; if our eye causes us to sin, pluck it out. Obviously, our hand, foot, or eye cannot be the cause…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Nicholas Owen

By DEB PIROCH First you see him…and then you don’t. Dangerous times call for dangerous measures. During the reign of Elizabeth I and James I of England, St. Nicholas Owen was the expert at creating what became known as “priests’ holes,” or secret hiding spots for clergy. Located in the homes of wealthy recusant Catholics, these were hidden compartments or…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Mariam Of Jesus Crucified

By DEB PIROCH Her parents had tried so hard to have a child. Again and again they had a little boy, one after the other dying in infancy. After losing 12 boys, Mariam’s mother said to her father: Let’s go to the Holy Grotto in Jerusalem and pray to the Blessed Virgin to intercede for a girl.Mariam’s parents were Greek…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)