Recent Blog Posts
Calling the Fathers: Reflections on the 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time
Malachi 1:14-2:2, 8-10
1 Thessalonians 2:7-9, 13
Though they were Moses’ successors, the Pharisees and scribes exalted themselves, made their mastery of the law a badge of social privilege. Worse, they had lorded the law over the people (see Matthew 20:25). Like the priests Malachi condemns in today’s First Reading, they caused many to falter and be closed off from God.
In a word, Israel&rsquo...
Pope Benedict Calls for a Year of Faith
Ever since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Benedict has spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith, to respond to the profound crisis of faith that has affected many people. With his new Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, he has announced a Year of Faith when the Church as a whole will reflect on the great treasure of our faith and how we can better profess and share it with the world around us. It...
Scott Hahn Addresses the New Evangelization
VANCOUVER—Catholics have been given the task of spreading the message, says Dr. Scott Hahn.
They must be trained to evangelize and catechize, and they must be sacramentalized (partake in the sacraments), Hahn said during a recent lecture on mystagogy at Regent College.
Mystagogy, a Greek term meaning “to be guided into the mysteries,” leads believers to a deeper understanding of the Liturgy of the Mass and its Scriptural and historical roots....
The Bible and the Fathers
It was the Bible that made me read the Fathers.
When I was studying for the Presbyterian ministry, I wanted to understand the world where Jesus lived and where the apostles preached. I wanted to defend the New Testament canon against its latest round of challenges, for example — against those who would place the newfound “Gnostic Gospels” on the same footing as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
My research into that world was my...
St. Paul Center to Government Regulators:
As you may be aware, the federal government’s Department of Health and human Services (HHS) has proposed a morally bankrupt new regulation that, if implemented, will go into effect in 2012. It would require that all insurance programs nationwide cover all forms of contraception - including abortifacient drugs such as Plan B and Ella - and sterilization as “preventive services for women.” The regulation includes a so-called “religious employer exemption.” But it is so extremely narrow...
Why the Pope Has to Be Infallible, Part 3
This is the third in a series of posts about Papal infallibility and its relationship to the interpretation of Scripture. See part 1, part 2, and part 2a.
In the first and second parts of this series of posts, we discussed the infallibility of the Church as a whole, and then the infallibility of an ecumenical council.
We concluded the last post with the question, Is the infallibility of an ecumenical council enough? In other words, in...
Exegesis as Theology, Theology as Exegesis
One of the most jaw-dropping sections in Pope Benedict’s recent letter, Verbum Domini, states the following:
“where exegesis is not theology, Scripture cannot be the soul of theology, and conversely, where theology is not essentially the interpretation of the Church’s Scripture, such a theology no longer has a foundation” (Verbum Domini, no. 35).
In a sense, here Pope Benedict is reiterating what the Second Vatican Council taught, namely, “the study...
Why the Pope has to be Infallible, Part 2a
The semester is in full swing for many of us, and the time to blog is scarce. In preparation for my next post on papal infallibility, I’d like to call attention to this well-known essay by Protestant theologian Stephen Long from Garret-Nelson Seminary, who made some excellent and succinct remarks on the necessity of the papacy during the time of John Paul II’s funeral and the election of Benedict XVI: click here for the...
In the School of Pope Benedict
The new semester’s starting up. We’re heading back to school. I’m readying my lesson plans. My students are shopping for the best buys on their textbooks.
Maybe your school days are long over. But isn’t it good that we have these seasonal nudges—perennial reminders that we should never be finished with our learning? Maybe the school bus doesn’t stop for us any more, but we...
Why the Pope has to be Infallible, Part 2
In my last post, I tried to show that there were two basic positions about who is the final arbiter of the interpretation of Scripture, either (A) the Church or (B) the individual Christian, and if (A) is true, then the Church has to be infallible; otherwise one returns to the default position (B).
I think many are willing to grant that the Church is infallible. I would have accepted that proposition in theory even...