30 November, 2014

This Country Banned Abortion and Now, Abortion Promoters Can’t Believe their Eyes! Another Pro-Choice myth blown to smithereens!

This Country Banned Abortion and Now, Abortion Promoters Can’t Believe their Eyes!

Five Strategies for Keeping Advent in Advent

NCRegister | Five Strategies for Keeping Advent in Advent

Francis rolls out ‘social gospel’ case for Catholic/Orthodox unity | Crux

Francis rolls out ‘social gospel’ case for Catholic/Orthodox unity | Crux

Francis might want to take Turkey’s deal on Islamophobia | Crux

Francis might want to take Turkey’s deal on Islamophobia | Crux

Pope Francis’ ten commandments for a happy life - IrishCentral.com

Pope Francis’ ten commandments for a happy life - IrishCentral.com

Pope, patriarch seek peace, dialogue in Ukraine | CTV News

Pope, patriarch seek peace, dialogue in Ukraine | CTV News

A little inspiration to kick off Advent 2014: 'Mary, Did You Know?' - by Pentatonix

29 November, 2014

Is Religion the primary cause of war? | Religion is the Cause of War | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

Is Religion the primary cause of war? | Religion is the Cause of War | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

‘New Media’ Evangelization: A book review from the NCRegister of 'Transforming Parish Communications: Growing the Church Through New Media'. Looks like an interesting read!





NCRegister | ‘New Media’ Evangelization

Priestly Celibacy and the Demise of Marriage - Crisis Magazine

Priestly Celibacy and the Demise of Marriage - Crisis Magazine

Facing splits inside and outside, Pope Francis calls for unity | Crux

Facing splits inside and outside, Pope Francis calls for unity | Crux

Justin Trudeau says Filomena Tassi agreed to vote pro-choice if elected in 2015 : Just another reason why I'll never again vote Liberal.

Justin Trudeau says Filomena Tassi agreed to vote pro-choice if elected in 2015 - Politics - CBC News

True and false reform of the Roman Curia | National Catholic Reporter

True and false reform of the Roman Curia | National Catholic Reporter

Judging and firing bishops and due process in the church | National Catholic Reporter

Judging and firing bishops and due process in the church | National Catholic Reporter

Pope visits iconic Muslim and Christian sites in Istanbul | CTV News

Pope visits iconic Muslim and Christian sites in Istanbul | CTV News

You Will Serve Somebody, The Only Question is “Whom?” As Seen and Heard in a Video « Archdiocese of Washington

You Will Serve Somebody, The Only Question is “Whom?” As Seen and Heard in a Video « Archdiocese of Washington

28 November, 2014

Pope backs anti-ISIS strikes, faces pressure on ‘Islamophobia’ | Crux

Pope backs anti-ISIS strikes, faces pressure on ‘Islamophobia’ | Crux

Why kids can't high-five in Peterborough, Ont. - The 'Nanny State' goes too far once again.

Why kids can't high-five in Peterborough, Ont. | CTV News

Pope Francis in Turkey condemns violence against minorities - World - CBC News

Pope Francis in Turkey condemns violence against minorities - World - CBC News

A Stitch in Time: Threads of the Tapestry of God

Pornchai Moontri: A Stitch in Time: Threads of the Tapestry of God

Francis calls for a change mentality in the Church, easier homilies and flexible times - Vatican Insider

Francis calls for a change mentality in the Church, easier homilies and flexible times - Vatican Insider

Judging and firing bishops and due process in the church | National Catholic Reporter

Judging and firing bishops and due process in the church | National Catholic Reporter

Pope wades into Islamic State turmoil with Turkish visit | CTV News

Pope wades into Islamic State turmoil with Turkish visit | CTV News

27 November, 2014

Book Review: 'How the West really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization' by Mary Eberstadt (Templeton Press; West Conshohocken, PA) 2013

If you were asked to answer the question “What happened to religious practice among industrialized nations over the past 100 years?” how would you respond? Most people from academics and religious leaders like Pope Benedict XVI to the leaders of the New Atheist Movement would probably point to the influence of secularist societies as being responsible for bringing about the demise of faith. This proposition is so widely held among people that it is considered to be conventional wisdom: a premise that is self-evident. Mary Eberstadt, in her recent book ‘How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization’(Templeton Press; West Conshohocken, PA) 2013, turns such ‘wisdom’ on its head. She points instead to the breakdown of family life and values as being the responsible culprit that emptied out churches. Her argument is compelling both in the evidence she provides and from in its internal logic; a logic understood as one who is actually familiar with the issue from the perspective of both a believer and an academic.

The first task she sets herself to is examining what forces or circumstances are actually accountable for secularism’s ascent to prominence throughout the West. In the process, she demolishes the (again conventional) wisdom that it rose and ascended due to the writings of Enlightenment sophists such as Voltaire. Next she shreds apart the argument that secularism is the logical outgrowth of the ascendancy of the natural sciences. To do this, she makes judicious use of that popular trope (oft times wielded by atheists against believers) that ‘correlation is not the same thing as causation’. In the process, she demonstrates the unsubstantiated assumptions upon which the secularist position rests. Put plainly, she questions that just because science and/or liberal democracies flourished at the same time as religion began to wane doesn’t necessarily signify that the former truly caused the latter. While each had an important role to play, Eberstadt points out that they cannot actually account for all the changes that have befallen churches in our time.

Leading the reader through numerous studies and sociological articles, Eberstadt presents a persuasive and cogent argument that it has in fact been the decline in family life throughout the West that bears the greater responsibility for the current demise of religion today. While no one piece of evidence in itself proves her argument, she weaves together a strong albeit circumstantial case from a multiplicity of published research papers to show that the ‘family factor’ merits more responsibility for the change than does secularism or science. This is to say that the family factor rather than secularism or science best explains the bulk of evidence amassed by academics and writers since the Enlightenment.

Why is this conclusion so essential for the Church today? It’s because if the Church continues to fall prey to the argument that secularism and/or science are responsible for the decline in religious practice, she will expend her energies confronting the wrong enemy! Rather than engaging in the ongoing cultural wars currently afflicting western democracies which serves only to alienate people from the Church, Eberstadt argues that it is by addressing the issue of the ongoing disintegration of traditional family structures that the Church can actually begin to turn the tide in its favor.


How the West Really Lost God’ by Mary Eberstadt is definitely required reading for anyone interested in participating in the ‘New Evangelization’ project that Catholics are being called upon to enact.

Lessons From Dietrich von Hildebrand | George Weigel | First Things

Lessons From Dietrich von Hildebrand | George Weigel | First Things

How to Thank God as He Has Instructed – A Meditation on Thanksgiving: A little something for the American friends of the blog!!





Happy Thanksgiving to our American brothers and sisters!


How to Thank God as He Has Instructed – A Meditation on Thanksgiving Day « Archdiocese of Washington

‘The Sisterhood’ Episode 1: Fears and tears | A TV series following five women considering becoming religious sisters

‘The Sisterhood’ Episode 1: Fears and tears | Crux

'Brutal' wedding by United National Church minister not legal - Toronto - CBC News

'Brutal' wedding by United National Church minister not legal - Toronto - CBC News

Pope Francis’s address to the European Parliament in full

CatholicHerald.co.uk » Pope Francis’s address to the European Parliament in full

How Narnia and Middle Earth helped an atheist professor find her faith

CatholicHerald.co.uk » How Narnia and Middle Earth helped an atheist professor find her faith

Eucharistic Symbolism in the Hunger Games - Crisis Magazine

Eucharistic Symbolism in the Hunger Games - Crisis Magazine

25 November, 2014

The Dying of the Brights: The 'New Atheist Movement' is dying?

The Dying of the Brights | Word On Fire

Pastors opposed to same-sex marriage vow not to participate in any civil ceremonies | Crux

Sad as this story is, I'm glad that pastors are taking up the issue of their participation on the part of the civil state in wedding ceremonies. I've argued here and elsewhere that the only sure way of establishing the line between the Christian and state definition of what constitutes a marriage is to opt-out of our civic roles as agents of the state. In effect, it separates 'matrimony' from 'marriage' allowing the church to effect the former and the state to register the latter. This is the way it works in much of the world and it is the way things should work here in North America as well.



Pastors opposed to same-sex marriage vow not to participate in any civil ceremonies | Crux

Pope to Europe: Get your social and spiritual house in order | Crux

Pope to Europe: Get your social and spiritual house in order | Crux

“Transversality and the intergenerational pact against mistrust” - Vatican Insider

“Transversality and the intergenerational pact against mistrust” - Vatican Insider

“Europe is suffering from a culture of waste and consumerism” - Vatican Insider

At the European Parliament today, Francis warned institutions against distancing themselves from the people.

“Europe is suffering from a culture of waste and consumerism” - Vatican Insider

24 November, 2014

Freedom Through Truth: Comfort the Afflicted and Afflict the Comfortable

Freedom Through Truth: Comfort the Afflicted and Afflict the Comfortable

Francis poised for Era of Good Feelings with secularism | Crux

Francis poised for Era of Good Feelings with secularism | Crux

In tapping new liturgy chief, Pope Francis reaches across the aisle | Crux

In tapping new liturgy chief, Pope Francis reaches across the aisle | Crux

Why God Will Not Die - The Atlantic

Why God Will Not Die - The Atlantic

Report: Top Vatican prosecutor failed to report abuser | Crux

"But McGuire was not reported to civil authorities, which troubles victim's rights advocates. Catholic bishops in the United States adopted a zero-tolerance approach to clergy sexual abuse, which requires notifying civil authorities, in 2002."

This report makes clear all the proper steps the Pope's choice as the cleric tasked with the responsibility of prosecuting priests made in this case which resulted in his expulsion a predator from the clergy's ranks. He should receive all the plaudits that his good work accomplished.

BUT...

If that same priest failed in his responsibility to civil society by not reporting this predator to the Police and thus potentially putting other children at risk, would he be your first choice to demonstrate your commitment to the world to ensure their protection? Seems like an odd choice IMHO.

People know and accept that there are predators in every walk of life; rich, poor, ditch-digger or academic alike. Perverts walk among us. That's no surprise, even within the Church. Their existence in any profession or vocation is unfortunate, but hardly a shock. People understand this.

What they don't understand is why Church leaders first tried to hide these affairs from the public's eyes. They struggle too with the inability of Church leaders to grasp that the failure to report ALL SUCH CASES to the police places children at further risk of abuse. This they don’t understand. Nor will they accept it.

I appreciate that it is required that the victim must consent to the involvement of the police in their case and that sometimes they choose not to go that route. But even if we cannot bring to the police the name of a victim, can we not tell them the name of a predator so that the police could conduct a full investigation to ensure the safety of future victims and if possible, obtain justice for victims past?

The optics of choosing someone who chose to not do this makes it difficult for citizens to believe the Church actually means what it says. I sincerely hope that this is made clear to Pope Francis and that he will choose someone else as Vatican prosecutor. Irrespective of the good this nominee has accomplished, he is tarnished in the eyes of the faithful and not the right man for this job.


Report: Top Vatican prosecutor failed to report abuser | Crux

Cardinal Sarah Appointment Signals Decisive Tone for the Pope's Reform of the Curia | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Cardinal Sarah Appointment Signals Decisive Tone for the Pope's Reform of the Curia | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Pope discusses reform with Vatican department heads | National Catholic Reporter

Pope discusses reform with Vatican department heads | National Catholic Reporter

Pope to Urge Europe to Tackle Racism, Religious Intolerance

Pope to Urge Europe to Tackle Racism, Religious Intolerance

Book Review: Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life

‘Every evil screams out only one message: ‘I am good!’  This line from Alexander Schememann and quoted by Elizabeth Scalia in her recent work, ‘Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life (Ave Maria Press, 2013) is the ideal frame through which to understand her principal argument. The book is premised upon a fundamental truth, namely that we all create idols in our life. Idols obscure and blot our capacity to recognize God’s love for us and blinds us to our duty to share that love with others. This illusory capacity of evil to camouflage itself as a virtue is conceivably its greatest power since it focuses our attention on ourselves, on our personal desires and wants. It orients us to satisfying ourselves rather than being committed to dedicating ourselves to serve God and each other.

Starting with the seduction wrought by our ego, our intellect, and our prosperity, technology, passions as well as our desire to be in control of our lives, Scalia convincingly guides the reader through a type of ‘examination of conscience’ enabling the reader to both recognize the false idols we worship as well offering a few time-tested techniques that help us to overcome them.


Short in length and written in easily approachable language, ‘Strange God’s’ is a must read for anyone serious about deepening their relationship with God. It’s also a valuable aid to anyone who undertakes to be a spiritual director for others.

22 November, 2014

Photos: Pope meets with children with autism at the Vatican | Crux

Photos: Pope meets with children with autism at the Vatican | Crux

Tayloring Christianity by Matthew Rose - A look at the impact of one of the most important theologians of this age



"Why was it once virtually impossible not to believe in God, while today many of us find this not only easy, but inescapable?” The question is Charles Taylor’s, and his nine-hundred-page answer has arguably been the academic event of the decade. Seven years after its publication, A Secular Age has done more than reignite the debate over secularization and its religious roots. It offers to change the very terms in which Christians profess belief.
One of the world’s leading philosophers, Taylor is known for the expansive breadth of his interests in a discipline whose research programs have shriveled in scope. He has written commandingly on German romanticism, ethics, hermeneutics, and the philosophies of mind and action, and has done so in a relaxed style that draws smoothly on literature and history.
Taylor has done little to disguise his religiosity, something that also sets him apart from the philosophical establishment. He describes himself as a “believer” and “person of faith” and without affecting embarrassment. A professed Catholic, he has made occasional sorties into the Church’s intellectual life, quietly signaling his sympathies for liberal movements in theology. Following the publication of Sources of the Self in 1989, a book that credited ­Augustine with inventing inner selfhood, Taylor’s writings took a soft theological turn. A Secular Age is the kind of work readers probably should have seen coming."


Click on link below to read entire article: 

Tayloring Christianity by Matthew Rose | Articles | First Things

The New Intolerance presented by Mary Eberstadt: A video presentation from First Things

Event Calendar | First Things

World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia: a primer | National Catholic Reporter

World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia: a primer | National Catholic Reporter

Recovering Authentic Ecumenism | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Recovering Authentic Ecumenism | Daily News | NCRegister.com

21 November, 2014

‘Lumen Gentium’ at 50 | Daily News | NCRegister.com

‘Lumen Gentium’ at 50 | Daily News | NCRegister.com

The "Humanum" Videos: Extraordinary Short Films on Marriage and the Family - Brandon Vogt

The "Humanum" Videos: Extraordinary Short Films on Marriage and the Family - Brandon Vogt

Pope called alleged Spanish abuse victim, encouraged him to file charges :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope called alleged Spanish abuse victim, encouraged him to file charges :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

A Conversation on the art of dying | Crux

A Conversation on the art of dying | Crux

The hungry ask for dignity, not for charity, Francis tells FAO - Vatican Insider

The hungry ask for dignity, not for charity, Francis tells FAO - Vatican Insider

8 Clues Your Friends Secretly Want To Be Catholic - EpicPew

8 Clues Your Friends Secretly Want To Be Catholic - EpicPew

Men of blood and iron: 700 years ago a Christian counterpart to ISIS emerged in Europe

When I encounter folks who claim that all Muslims are dedicated to eradicating Christians I always try to make two simple points. First, that it is only a minority sect within the Islamic community that desires this (Islamist extremists). Second, that we Christians have been there as well at times in our history as this article makes clear.



These are two important facts since the first gives us perspective and hope that we will come to a state of peaceful co-existence with our Muslim brothers and sisters once the 'silent majority' in their midst comes to the ascendancy. It also means that the Christian community can help this to happen if we share with the theological processes that we used during our periods of dealing with violent extremists with moderate Muslims.



I'm grateful for this article because it offers the evidence to prove my point. It's an article that gives me hope. Does it do the same for you?



MercatorNet: Men of blood and iron

Watch Patrick Madrid Make the Case for the Catholic Church - a Youtube video

Borders and Ethics: Krakow and Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church | Commonweal Magazine

Borders and Ethics: Krakow and Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church | Commonweal Magazine

20 November, 2014

Conservatives defend Pope Francis | Crux

Conservatives defend Pope Francis | Crux

Reflections on my ‘60 Minutes’ interview by Cardinal Sean O'Malley

Reflections on my ‘60 Minutes’ interview | Crux

Sweet Hour of Prayer! Or Not? How do You Experience Prayer? « Archdiocese of Washington

Sweet Hour of Prayer! Or Not? How do You Experience Prayer? « Archdiocese of Washington

Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle

Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle

Subjectivism opens the door to relativism - By Alice von Hildebrand

Subjectivism opens the door to relativism - By Alice von Hildebrand

How the Church can rebuild from the ashes of the sexual revolution :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

How the Church can rebuild from the ashes of the sexual revolution :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The Theology of Dad: The Incarnation of the Gospel

The Theology of Dad: The Incarnation of the Gospel

Pope Francis explains that you don't need to be a priest, nun, or bishop to become a saint!

Have You Abdicated Your Throne? - Something to consider as we approach the Feast of Christ the King this weekend

Have You Abdicated Your Throne? - Catholic Stand : Catholic Stand

Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones? (Hint... the answer is NO!)

Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones? Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Strange Religious Future - NYTimes.com: An interesting column from Ross Douthat

The Strange Religious Future - NYTimes.com

Vatican sending bishops' conferences documents for 2015 synod | National Catholic Reporter

Vatican sending bishops' conferences documents for 2015 synod | National Catholic Reporter

13 Things You Should NEVER Say to a Priest - EpicPew

13 Things You Should NEVER Say to a Priest - EpicPew

Too late to put the brakes on the right-to-die debate: opinion | AL.com

Too late to put the brakes on the right-to-die debate: opinion | AL.com

Barbara Kay: Beware euthanasia’s friendly face | National Post

Barbara Kay: Beware euthanasia’s friendly face | National Post

Ten Thousand Places: The Bible of Father Brown - The Bible is a book filled with nonsense and horror. Discuss.

Ten Thousand Places: The Bible of Father Brown: N., as I have already said, was a man who read his Bible. That was what was the matter with him. When will people understand that it is u...

19 November, 2014

How Francis Is Befriending the Pentecostals - Sandro Magister

How Francis Is Befriending the Pentecostals

Arguing the Church - Ross Douthat's latest column about his dialogue with Fr. James Martin s.j., (official chaplain of the Colbert Report!)

Arguing the Church - NYTimes.com

Vatican II and the Berlin Wall | George Weigel | First Things

Vatican II and the Berlin Wall | George Weigel | First Things

On Heretical Popes: 'Heretical Popes'??? Is that even logically or theologically possible? Read the article and decide for yourself.

On Heretical Popes

Pope calls abuse victim, asks for forgiveness 'in the name of the Church' - BuenosAiresHerald.com

Pope calls abuse victim, asks for forgiveness 'in the name of the Church' - BuenosAiresHerald.com

Pope Francis: Coping with the Pope Who Would Not Be King

Pope Francis: Coping with the Pope Who Would Not Be King

In full: Lord Sacks speech that brought Vatican conference to its feet | Catholic Voices Comment

In full: Lord Sacks speech that brought Vatican conference to its feet | Catholic Voices Comment

Pope raffling Fiat, bikes, more for charity | Crux

Pope raffling Fiat, bikes, more for charity | Crux

Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice - The rapid spread of Christianity is forcing an official rethink on religion

Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice | The Economist

Ten Thousand Places: The Diagnosis of Father Brown

Ten Thousand Places: The Diagnosis of Father Brown

18 November, 2014

Scientists discover molecule that could enhance brain capacity | CTV News

Scientists discover molecule that could enhance brain capacity | CTV News

Philae comet lander expected to wake up again next spring - Technology & Science - CBC News

Philae comet lander expected to wake up again next spring - Technology & Science - CBC News

Fascinating photos beamed back from comet by Philae probe - Technology - News - Catholic Online

Fascinating photos beamed back from comet by Philae probe - Technology - News - Catholic Online

Just Say No To Hermeneutics |Blogs | NCRegister.com

Just Say No To Hermeneutics |Blogs | NCRegister.com

5 Books for Advent and Christmas - EpicPew

5 Books for Advent and Christmas - EpicPew

Cardinal Sean O’Malley on 60 Minutes | National Catholic Reporter

Cardinal Sean O’Malley on 60 Minutes | National Catholic Reporter

Pope Warns Physicians Against ‘Playing With Life’ by Abortion and Euthanasia | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Pope Warns Physicians Against ‘Playing With Life’ by Abortion and Euthanasia | Daily News | NCRegister.com

17 November, 2014

Pope Francis blasts abortion, euthanasia as 'sins against God' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope Francis blasts abortion, euthanasia as 'sins against God' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Ukrainian Lessons for the West | National Review Online

Ukrainian Lessons for the West | National Review Online

Pope Francis or Pope Benedict XVI? | Crux - A digital test to see if you can tell them apart

Pope Francis or Pope Benedict XVI? | Crux

Chicago’s exiting cardinal: ‘The Church is about true/false, not left/right’ | Crux

Chicago’s exiting cardinal: ‘The Church is about true/false, not left/right’ | Crux

Emasculated Bishops and Church Presence

Emasculated Bishops and Church Presence

Front Row With Francis: On the Role of the Bishop | Catholic Lane

Front Row With Francis: On the Role of the Bishop | Catholic Lane

'Do They Know It's Christmas Time - 2014' A project to raise awareness and funds to fight Ebola in West Africa

The Mass is Not the Faith: A short but powerful reflection from Suzanne Fortin, a full-throated, intelligent defender of the Catholic faith. WELL WORTH THE READ!

The Mass is Not the Faith

AMAZING SPEECH BY WAR VETERAN: Thanks to Larry Green for posting this video on Facebook!

What the Media Got Wrong about Pope Francis and Evolution | Word On Fire

What the Media Got Wrong about Pope Francis and Evolution | Word On Fire

What is “The Art of Accompaniment”? Some Concerns About Another Phrase Emerging From the Synod « Archdiocese of Washington

What is “The Art of Accompaniment”? Some Concerns About Another Phrase Emerging From the Synod « Archdiocese of Washington

Ten Thousand Places: What Does Freedom Mean?

Ten Thousand Places: What Does Freedom Mean?: I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shi...

Scientists to release data from Philae comet lander's experiments | CTV News

Scientists to release data from Philae comet lander's experiments | CTV News

Taking Edmonton baby off life support is ‘kindest’ option, judge rules after mother fights to keep her alive | National Post

Taking Edmonton baby off life support is ‘kindest’ option, judge rules after mother fights to keep her alive | National Post

Pope says will visit United States next year - Daily Press

Pope says will visit United States next year - Daily Press

Book Review: "Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life" (Paulist Press; 2013)



Cardinal Walter Kasper, a participant in the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on Family Life, calls for a reprioritization of theological virtues in his book, "Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life" (Paulist Press; 2013).


Often represented as promoting a theology of mercy that negates the juridical components of Church teaching, opening its doors to those that do not live in accordance with the Church’s teachings, a careful reading of this work does not support such a parody. Kasper even warns in the introductory comments against an opposition between justice and mercy. He asserts that mercy deforms into ‘pseudo-mercy,’ which allows error to reign and sin to lose meaning, when isolated from justice.


However, he is not entirely successful in achieving the stated aim of establishing God’s mercy as the answer to that ages-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people? Still, one can be forgiven for incompletely answering a question that philosophers and theologians have wrestled with through the ages without coming up with a response that satisfies.* What Kasper does do successfully is build a convincing argument that ‘mercy’ is the very definition of God’s essence. He argues it is the heuristic key required to understand God’s very being and essential in understanding our proper relationship with him. Like every good academic, he begins any discussion with a return to the sources. Sacred Scripture, Patristic teachings, Council teachings and a wide variety of writings by various scholars and academics are used to construct his case. With this Kasper demonstrates how mercy is the lens through which we can comprehend God’s justice.


Kasper relies on the absolute sovereignty of God to act and/or judge as he pleases as a proof of his abundant desire to reconcile humanity with his divine being. He concludes that it is in the exercise of this divine mercy that God most completely expresses the essence of his nature. He mercifully lifts humanity to himself despite the damage we’ve done through sin. God's desire to seek out the lost and heal the broken-hearted is his very being expressed concretely and existentially in terms that we can comprehend. We need only reflect upon the Cross-to see the distance God is willing to go to reconcile mankind to himself. Kasper argues further that if the Church (and its members) wishes to reflect God’s divine essence to a broken world, it must first and foremost practice mercy in its relations with all the sinners and saints she encounters.


Finally, Cardinal Kasper also proposes that it is easier for a Christian society to safeguard the essential role that mercy plays within our modern culture than does a thoroughly secular society. In this, he falls back upon the traditional Catholic argument that a virtue desired by God carries greater gravitas than one that is rooted in the loose soil of secularism. When consensus or majority rule is allowed the power to establish the parameters of a virtue such as mercy, it rarely takes long before that virtue is twisted or deformed into a tool for social engineering. Cut loose from its traditional definition, secularism tends to eliminate the obligation of the individual to practice a virtue as the state/collective soon assumes to itself the responsibility and power to accomplish what individuals or private institutions formerly did. When such a deformation of mercy is effected by the state, it soon is robbed of its strength. We only need look to current trends in liberal Western democracies to see it redefined in such a way so as to justify state-sanctioned killing of its citizens (euthanasia).


‘Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life’ certainly merits a place on the reading list of any serious Catholic.



* (Read Rabbi Harold Kushner’s ‘Why Bad Things Happen to Good People’ for the best answers to this question. ‘Mercy’ just didn’t do it for me.)




Copyrighted: Fr. Tim Moyle 2014

16 November, 2014

Ten Thousand Places: From the Summit of the Mountain

Ten Thousand Places: From the Summit of the Mountain

What ‘America’s Ratzinger’ would like to ask Pope Francis | Crux

What ‘America’s Ratzinger’ would like to ask Pope Francis | Crux

More Federal Agencies Are Using Undercover Operations - NYTimes.com: I don't think this is such a good idea. What do you think?

Hummm... first it was revealed that our telephone and electronic communications were being eavesdropped upon by Federal authorities on both sides of our common border. (Thank you Edward Snowden.)   Then came the realization of the de facto militarization of civil police forces such as we witnessed in Missouri in the aftermath of a police shooting (Our sympathies to Ferguson). Now comes an acknowledgement that government intelligence operatives are lurking as part of legitimate social demonstrations in an effort to spy on civilian citizens in their native country...  All in the name of 'keeping us safe'. 



But I've got to wonder....



Did we not say a long time ago that our army and intelligence services could not exercise these same sorts of activities within our own borders since the use of military equipment and armaments or the spying on a civilian population out of recognition that such activities had proven dangerous to the health of a secular democracy in the past? 



This is the reason that legislation such as the War Measures Act or other legislative instruments must be used in times of great crisis or calamity to suspend civil rights.  Shouldn't something of that nature be required before the police exercise the military role of suppressing an indigent population with light tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers,  or intelligence agencies be deployed to snoop into our private communication whether at home or in the public square? If not, why not?



So why are we now allowing government authorities to do those same things within our own borders today seemingly believing it's being done entirely for our own good? What made something that was decried as a great wrong in the wake of the bloody and sometimes deadly civil rights demonstrations and other abuse of government agencies of the Nixon years suddenly such a good idea today? What's changed? 



I'm more than a bit concerned whenever I see a government ceding to itself the right to militarize its civil police departments or to covertly spy on its own citizens with government agents. It doesn't seem like such good idea to me. How about to you? What say you on this issues?

15 November, 2014

“Christians have a right to profess their faith freely” - Vatican Insider

“Christians have a right to profess their faith freely” - Vatican Insider

Harper tells Putin to 'get out of Ukraine' at G20 summit | CTV News

Harper tells Putin to 'get out of Ukraine' at G20 summit | CTV News

On the Wrong Side of History - EpicPew: A reflection of the Church's stand on marriage

On the Wrong Side of History - EpicPew

Pope Francis building three showers for homeless people in heart of historic St. Peter’s Square | National Post

This strikes me as a very practical, scriptural, and Jesuit initiative, worthy of the first Jesuit Pontiff.

Practical in that it directly addresses a present need among 'the poorest among us' through the use of Church properties. From the earliest 'hospitals' of the Dark Ages which were attached to cloisters and churches along the roads of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa so as to feed, billet, and care for the poor traveller who could not afford to stay at an Inn - to this shower initiative, the Church has tended to the cares of anyone who needed help on a journey.

Scriptural in that it a concrete expression of exactly what Christ called on his disciples and follower to do: tend to the alien, the widow and orphan by putting yourself at their service.

Jesuit because it's so practical and evangelical at the same time. It will remind curial prelates and clerics that the great 'unwashed' are the people they are commissioned to serve by Christ himself - and not the great powers and principalities of the world that should concern them. They are to see in any future line of folks waiting a shower their very brothers and sisters in Christ... or at the very least recognize them as their neighbour!

Fr. Tim


Pope Francis building three showers for homeless people in heart of historic St. Peter’s Square | National Post

Ten Thousand Places: The Key to the Door of the Heart of God

Ten Thousand Places: The Key to the Door of the Heart of God

14 November, 2014

O’Malley’s bold talk is about him, not the pope | Crux

O’Malley’s bold talk is about him, not the pope | Crux

Pro-Life Catholic Fought Father’s Path to Assisted Suicide | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Pro-Life Catholic Fought Father’s Path to Assisted Suicide | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Cardinal O’Malley: Finn must go, and Church’s probe of US nuns is a ‘disaster’ | Crux

Cardinal O’Malley: Finn must go, and Church’s probe of US nuns is a ‘disaster’ | Crux

The Catholic Church risks civil war - Telegraph

The Catholic Church risks civil war - Telegraph

Words to live by!


Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope St. John Paul II : The Integrated Catholic Life™


“True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement.” (Pope St. John Paul II)
Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope St. John Paul II : The Integrated Catholic Life™

Death With Aesthetics | Wesley J. Smith | First Things

"We don’t speak plainly in public discourse anymore. Rather, we equivocate and deploy euphemisms to sanitize our debates. Take the passing of Brittany Maynard by her own hand, which the media has repeatedly characterized as an act of “dignity.” To be sure, Maynard died with human dignity—but not because she committed suicide. Human dignity is intrinsic. Indeed, to accept the premise of suicide as death with dignity says—or at least strongly implies—that patients who expire naturally die with indignity."
Click on link to read the entire article:



Death With Aesthetics | Wesley J. Smith | First Things

The Sacred Page: "The economics of salvation": Readings for the Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Sacred Page: "The economics of salvation": Readings for the Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Historical Argument for God | Strange Notions

The Historical Argument for God | Strange Notions

Religion is often a presence in violence, but it's not the cause | National Catholic Reporter

Religion is often a presence in violence, but it's not the cause | National Catholic Reporter

For Pope Francis, Kingdom of God Grows by Silent Witness | Daily News | NCRegister.com

For Pope Francis, Kingdom of God Grows by Silent Witness | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Hate the Sin Love the Sinner – How Do I Do That?

Hate the Sin Love the Sinner – How Do I Do That?

12 November, 2014

Prayer according to Cynthia Bourgeault | Crux

Prayer according to Cynthia Bourgeault | Crux

The science of attraction: How the pill is changing who women want :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The science of attraction: How the pill is changing who women want :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Discovery - LIVE STREAM: Rosetta #CometLanding

Discovery - LIVE STREAM: Rosetta #CometLanding

Annulment reform and a golden age for canon law | Crux

Annulment reform and a golden age for canon law | Crux

Michael Ciresi: Companions in Faith Along a Road Less Traveled

Michael Ciresi: Companions in Faith Along a Road Less Traveled

Ten Thousand Places: Scandal! Scandal! Read All About It!

Ten Thousand Places: Scandal! Scandal! Read All About It!

Are These the “Outer Bands” of a Coming Judgment? « Archdiocese of Washington

Are These the “Outer Bands” of a Coming Judgment? « Archdiocese of Washington

Pope: bishops and priests must listen humbly and learn Vatican Radio

Pope: bishops and priests must listen humbly and learn Vatican Radio

Roman Catholic Religious Forced to Leave Crimea By End of Year

Roman Catholic Religious Forced to Leave Crimea By End of Year

Vatican appointments reveal Pope Francis' vision for the church - Living Faith - Home & Family - News - Catholic Online

Vatican appointments reveal Pope Francis' vision for the church - Living Faith - Home & Family - News - Catholic Online

Those who attend church without living as a Christian, causes scandal, Pope says - Living Faith - Home & Family - News - Catholic Online

Those who attend church without living as a Christian, causes scandal, Pope says - Living Faith - Home & Family - News - Catholic Online

09 November, 2014

Hearing God's voice is hard if you're self-absorbed, Pope warns :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Hearing God's voice is hard if you're self-absorbed, Pope warns :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

OMG! While I appreciate the reality of the masculine urge to domination, this tidbit (which to my amazement is not a piece of satire) takes the issue way too far. IMHO, it demeans the authentic victims of rape and sexual domination. What do you think?


Next on Pope Francis' agenda: Curia reform, personnel moves, a revamped synod | National Catholic Reporter

Next on Pope Francis' agenda: Curia reform, personnel moves, a revamped synod | National Catholic Reporter

Why are schools brainwashing our children? - Macleans.ca

Why are schools brainwashing our children? - Macleans.ca

Ten Thousand Places: Spiritual But Not Religious?

Ten Thousand Places: Spiritual But Not Religious?: My fellow Christians, today is the birthday of this church, an occasion for celebration and rejoicing. We, however, ought to be the true ...

What the Pope could do to defend religious freedom | Crux

What the Pope could do to defend religious freedom | Crux

What makes for a stable marriage? | Randal S. Olson

What makes for a stable marriage? | Randal S. Olson

A Homily for the Feast of St John Lateran « Archdiocese of Washington

A Homily for the Feast of St John Lateran « Archdiocese of Washington

Battling Sin: Book review of Winning the Battle Against Sin... Hope-Filled Lessons From the Bible

NCRegister | Battling Sin

08 November, 2014

Pope Appoints Archbishop Gallagher as Secretary for Relations with States, Replaces Cardinal Burke with Archbishop Mamberti | America Magazine

Pope Appoints Archbishop Gallagher as Secretary for Relations with States, Replaces Cardinal Burke with Archbishop Mamberti | America Magazine

Mikhail Gorbachev warns world on 'brink of a new Cold War' - World - CBC News

Mikhail Gorbachev warns world on 'brink of a new Cold War' - World - CBC News

“God is more important than sex”: Couple abstained from sex for 19 months while waiting for annulments

“God is more important than sex”: Couple abstained from sex for 19 months while waiting for annulments

NCRegister | Faith, Reason and the Sciences

NCRegister | Faith, Reason and the Sciences

Archbishop Chaput’s Advice for Christians Today: Work, Pray, Love | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Archbishop Chaput’s Advice for Christians Today: Work, Pray, Love | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Our Tendency to Make Poor Decisions, As Seen in a Funny Commercial « Archdiocese of Washington

Our Tendency to Make Poor Decisions, As Seen in a Funny Commercial « Archdiocese of Washington

Pope Francis and the Scandal of Listening - These Stone Walls

Pope Francis and the Scandal of Listening - These Stone Walls

07 November, 2014

Hadfield's cover of 'Space Oddity' back on YouTube | Entertainment & Showbiz from CTV News

Hadfield's cover of 'Space Oddity' back on YouTube | Entertainment & Showbiz from CTV News

The other problem with ‘Q': The best take on the Ghomeshi affair I've read!!



Theology as Knowledge by Various | Articles | First Things

Theology as Knowledge by Various | Articles | First Things

Pastors Don’t Need to Enter Politics—They’re Already In It | Peter J. Leithart | First Things

Pastors Don’t Need to Enter Politics—They’re Already In It | Peter J. Leithart | First Things

Assessing the Synod’s Final Report | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Assessing the Synod’s Final Report | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Top Five Catholic Novels

Any book written by Michael O'Brien should make it on to this list. But very happy to see that my favorite one did!!



Pope Francis to the World Evangelical Alliance: “We can learn so much from each other”

Vis: Vatican Information Service

Watch out Pope Francis: the Catholic civil war has begun » The Spectator

Watch out Pope Francis: the Catholic civil war has begun » The Spectator

Anti-Catholic protesters with bullhorns appear at several D.C.-area parishes - The Washington Post

“We don’t have to go to the other side of the world to experience religious extremists,” wrote Jones, describing parishioners leaving Saturday’s 5 p.m. Mass. “We were assaulted by shouting and hatred being spewed by protesters standing at both our driveways. Armed with megaphones and brandishing signs, these ‘christians’ ranted for more than 30 minutes about everything they view as ‘evils’ of our Catholic faith. They attacked our dogmas, teachings, practices and leaders, including Pope Francis! Who are they? We don’t yet know.”
Click on link below to read entire article:



Anti-Catholic protesters with bullhorns appear at several D.C.-area parishes - The Washington Post

06 November, 2014

Francis confirms norms concerning bishops’ retirement - Vatican Insider

Francis confirms norms concerning bishops’ retirement - Vatican Insider

To heart of Europe: Pope expected to talk dignity, jobs, family life | Crux

To heart of Europe: Pope expected to talk dignity, jobs, family life | Crux

If you want more evidence of the Francis earthquake, look at the finances | Crux

If you want more evidence of the Francis earthquake, look at the finances | Crux

At the heart of the annulment process: Justice, salvation of souls, Pope says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

At the heart of the annulment process: Justice, salvation of souls, Pope says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

For German bishops mercy comes at a price, critics charge :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

For German bishops mercy comes at a price, critics charge :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Twenty-Five Years After a Massacre, Jesuits Reflect on the Meaning and the Martyrdom

Twenty-Five Years After a Massacre, Jesuits Reflect on the Meaning and the Martyrdom

Fort Lauderdale Charges 90-Year-Old, Two Pastors for Feeding Homeless - NBC News.com

Fort Lauderdale Charges 90-Year-Old, Two Pastors for Feeding Homeless - NBC News.com

Personalism Is the Key to Understanding Pope Francis | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Personalism Is the Key to Understanding Pope Francis | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Reading the Signs of the Times Rightly - Aleteia

Reading the Signs of the Times Rightly - Aleteia

Jesuit Philosopher Works to Demonstrate Compatibility of Faith and Science | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

Jesuit Philosopher Works to Demonstrate Compatibility of Faith and Science | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views