Recent Blog Posts


Why the Pope Has to Be Infallible, Part 3

Posted on September 06, 2011

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

Posted on September 01, 2011

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

Posted on August 31, 2011

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

Posted on August 30, 2011

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

Posted on August 30, 2011

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...


Blessed the Barron

Posted on August 26, 2011

The long-awaited book Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith is out and buyable!

When Father Barron is talking, I can’t stop listening. Whatever he writes, I can’t put down unfinished. He loves the people he addresses. He writes about what matters to us. To read him is to be loved in word after word. In these pages, heart speaks to heart.

Don’t miss it!

...

Why the Pope has to be Infallible, Part 1

Posted on August 26, 2011

In response to my post from last Sunday’s readings, Emil Anton has made some interesting interventions in the comments raising issues about papal infallibility.  So I though it might be pertinent to walk through the steps that lead to papal infallibility—at least, the ones I find convincing.

Let’s start with the question: who is the final arbiter of the interpretation of Scripture?  I start with this point, because (surprisingly)...


Journey Through Scripture Success

Posted on August 16, 2011

When the annual Applied Biblical Studies Conference, held on the campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville, wrapped up on July 29, 2011, the staff of the St. Paul Center was more than pleased. The conference, which featured talks on the Gospel of Matthew by Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Brant Pitre, Dr. Michael Barber, Fr. Pablo Gazenz, Dr. John Bergsma, and other Center Fellows, was itself a rousing success. Equally successful, however, was the annual Journey Through Scripture Parish-Based Bible Study Training...


Are War and Schism always Sins Against Charity?

Posted on August 09, 2011

What would happen if, through some bending of the space-time continuum, it were possible to bring together at a conference table contemporary literary critics, theologians, and biblical scholars such as Harold Bloom, John Howard Yoder, and Richard Hays, as well as the common and angelic doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas? What would be the result if these interlocutors were to take as their topic of discussion not only “love” in the abstract, but the concrete sins against love:...


Pope recommends Bible for vacation reading

Posted on August 04, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has urged Catholics to read the Bible while on vacation, particularly the lesser known books of sacred scripture.
“This seems to be a good thing to do on the holidays: take a book of the Bible, so you have some relaxation and, at the same time, enter into the great expanse of ​​the Word of God and deepen our contact with the Eternal,” said the Pope in his Wednesday General Audience address…...