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Thursday 7 March 2013

The Mad Tea Party Revisited

On Fr. Lombardi, from Vatican Insider

Brilliant: An Atheist Explains Catholicism

This is one of the best videos going around. Watch this....

Do you think God will allow such evil to continue long?

From LifeSiteNews

One part of the article...

Belgian legislators opened a debate today on whether to amend a decade-old law on euthanasia to cover minors, being told by experts that it was already taking place in practice without any set guidelines. Currently, the law applies to those over 18 but one expert told the upper house of parliament that it was clear that euthanasia was being carried out on younger people, the Belga news agency reported. ”We all know it,” said Dominique Biarent, head of intensive care at Queen Fabiola Children’s University Hospital in Brussels. Faced with this reality, “doctors need a legal framework,” Biarent was quoted as saying by Belga. 

Comment on the letter of Vargas Llosa

To judge to what degree Benedict XVI was correct or not in this matter is a task that clearly belongs to Catholics only. But we non-believers would act badly to celebrate as a victory of progress and of freedom the failure of Joseph Ratzinger on the throne of St. Peter. He not only represented the conservative tradition of the Church, but also her best legacy: that of the high and revolutionary classical and Renaissance culture that, let us not forget, the Church preserved and spread by means of her monasteries, libraries, and seminaries, that culture that impregnated the entire world with ideas, forms, and customs that ended slavery and, departing some distance from Rome, made possible the notions of equality, solidarity, human rights, liberty, democracy and decisively drove the development of thought, of art, of letters, and contributed to ending barbarism and to advancing civilization.
The decadence and intellectual mediocrity of the Church has highlighted the solitary presence of Benedict XVI; and the sensation of powerlessness that seems to have surrounded him in these last years is, without a doubt, a fundamental factor in his resignation and that disquieting glimpse of how bitter our epoch is toward all that represents spiritual life, preoccupation with ethical values, and a vocation for culture and idea

The English translation of the letter is found here, but I want to highlight the last two paragraphs of this letter written by a non-believer Vargas Llosa,. My boldface type....
The reference to Classical Education and Art, as well as the formation of modern human rights and democracy do come from the heritage of Western Culture, which was created by the Catholic Church.
This is not news. Those of us who grew up knowing the history of the culture, before it was denigrated by Marxists and relativists, loved the history of the growth of Christendom, chivalry, knowledge and virtue which blossomed from the Gospels being lived through the monasteries and convent of Europe and passed down through the great schools, universities and libraries, all Catholic.
When Llosa refers to the recent "mediocrity of the Church", I am so pleased that I can hardly say "right on, mate". 
Mediocrity is from anti-intellectualism and laziness in spiritual matters. 
The emphasis on Reason and Faith must be carried on with our next pope, or we shall lose all semblance of civilization not only in the West, but in the world.

Latest News from Rome

No date set yet for the conclave, although guesses are that it is March 11th. Vatican Insider insists on this.

The Vietnamese Cardinal arrived today in time for  the afternoon General Meeting.

I shall keep you posted.

from Vatican Insider today:

In his usual news briefing with journalists, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said it was unlikely the College of Cardinals would announce the Conclave start-date this evening. He also added: “I would rather the date not be announced today.”

“People can judge for themselves whether the news about the anonymous interviews is true. I spoke about similar cases in the past.” This was Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi’s response to an article-interview with an anonymous poison pen letter writer, published in an Italian newspaper today.

"Go to Thomas"

Happy Traditional Feast Day.

I have written about him here before, and did quite a bit in the perfection series on the Angelic Doctor.  But, he deserves, The Universal Doctor of the Church, a note today. He is one of the patrons of this blog. The New Pope must be a scholar who loves Thomas.

Pope Pius XI wrote:

“indeed, We so approve of the tributes paid to his almost divine brilliance that we believe Thomas should be called not only Angelic but Common or Universal Doctor of the Church. As innumerable documents of every kind attest, the Church has adopted his doctrine for her own.… It is no wonder that the Church has made this light her own and has adorned herself with it, and has illustrated her immortal doctrine with it … It is no wonder that all the popes have vied with one another in exalting him, proposing him, inculcating him, as a model, master, doctor, patron and protector of all schools … Just as it was said of old to the Egyptians in time of famine: ‘Go to Joseph, so that they should receive a supply of corn to nourish their bodies, so to those who are now in quest of truth We now say: ‘Go to Thomas’ that they may ask from him the food of solid doctrine of which he has an abundance to nourish their souls unto eternal life.”

What If?

The Church, that is, us, resembled the Holy Family?

A strong protector in charge; a righteous man praying and leading the family...

The family totally centred on Christ and nothing else-no distractions, no false idols.

A peaceful harmony because all are in the Will of God.

Humility leading to sacrificial love.

Dear Theotokos, intercede for us for our new Pope. Let him be just like St. Joseph.

May he be totally living for and in Christ. Let him be our protector.

Administrators or Pastors

The word  "administrator" did not exist until the 15th century, possible around 1450.

The word was created after or during the fall of the hierarchical structures of Europe which had existed for centuries.

Yes, there were civil servants and various levels of such. Yes, there were hierachies in the Church as well as in society. But, administrators, that is, a group of persons in a society who managed something, most likely came from the roles of the agent, seneschal or steward in charge of a nobleman's property, whether movable or stationary.

The seneschal managed the estates of a lord or lady. and could also have been in charge of ceremonies, in the capacity of a master of ceremonies. In addition, this steward would have been in charge of the domestic arrangements in the house or castle, such as dinners, buying and selling and so on.

The land agent is a familiar figure in some novels, for example, in Middlemarch, father of Mary Garth.

Now, the reason I am going into all this history of a role in society is that there has been talk among Catholics that a Pope is needed who is an administrator.


That a Pope should be aware and savvy of certain details, of course. But the difference between a Pope and an administrator is the difference between a king and his steward, or, an abbot and his steward.

Americans are the worst ones for confusing roles. I remember a conversation in 2008 with a person high up in a chancery office who said that all priests should have business degrees, or at least, business acumen.

I could hardly believe this comment, but he was sincere. The person did not understand the idea of the vocation of the priesthood and merely saw the role of the priest as an administrator of a parish, who did the sacraments as well.

Sad. This is a dangerous and unprofessional ideal.

A priest, a bishop and a Pope are all first and foremost pastors of souls.

If such a person can choose excellent administrators to work underneath and with him, fine.

The Pope is not to be an administrator, just as a lord or king is not a land agent or steward or seneschal.

King Arthur's steward was Sir Kay, btw. Sir Kay was a servant of the King. The Steward of Gondor was not the King. The Pope should not be an administrator.