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23 Jul 2015 Articles Resources Comments (2)

Where in the Bible does it say that abortion is wrong?

Though we don’t find the word abortion mentioned in any biblical text, we can deduce from Scripture, not to mention natural law, reason, Church teaching, and pa…

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24 Feb 2016 Americas News USA Vatican No comments

Priest who defied Vatican to promote Literacy in Nicaragua dies at 82-years of age

In the 1980s Father Fernando Cardenal was among the Nicaraguan Catholic priests that were sanctioned by the Vatican for their involvements with the Daniel Orteg…

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07 Sep 2015 Articles Resources Comments (1)

Top 5 Myths About the Papacy

November 5th is traditionally remembered in England as the day that Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the British parliament. It is still common today, to see anti-Ca…

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08 Oct 2015 News USA No comments

Religious or not, many Americans see a creator’s hand

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21 Sep 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Pope deeply moved by plight of Vatican-housed refugee family

As he began his 10-day trip to Cuba and the United States, Pope Francis was seen off by a Syrian refugee family the Vatican is now housing through one of its pa…

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16 Jun 2016 Articles No comments

Hell Revisited

I’m sure you have received many letters since publishing this article ("Sister Hell," May 1996). I can completely relate to Terrye Newkirk’s experience, and I w…

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25 Mar 2016 Articles Comments (5)

Things you need to know about Good Friday

  Through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on Good Friday, we were redeemed from our sins. It is the most solemn day of the Christian year.   …

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26 Feb 2016 Australia News Vatican Comments (2)

Cardinal Muller on proselytism, "Sometimes a silent witness is the best witness of the love of God"

Cardinal Gerhard Müller of Germany, Vatican's Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says proselytism 'is practically a manipulation of the c…

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14 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

Cardinals clash on doubts about process at the Synod of Bishops

ROME — Two high-profile cardinals taking part in the Synod of Bishops on the family offered different views on Monday about some elements of the process, with o…

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Quietly from Rome

It was a letter to some students and faculty in Rome’s Pontifical Urbanian University, read to them, Tuesday, by his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein.At a time when modern, secular, revolutionary forces have again been unleashed in the capital of Christendom — when a synod on the beleaguered Christian family could be hijacked by a proposal to welcome polygamy and sodomy — it provided this reader, at least, with relief from desolation.  The Emeritus Pope’s as-it-were “encyclical,” was about as long as my last Idlepost, but as ever, much holier in tone.  It was one of several modest but characteristically penetrating statements that have come from him, since he went into his prayerful retirement.

Benedict writes:

“The risen Lord instructed His apostles, and through them His disciples in all ages, to take His word to the ends of the earth and to make all men his disciples.…

“But is this still possible?  Many ask this question, both inside and outside the Church today.  Wouldn’t it be better for all religions to get together and work for the cause of peace in the world?  The counter-question being, Can dialogue substitute for mission?

“In this way of thinking, it is usually taken for granted that different religions are variants of one and the same reality; that religion is a common category, which assumes different forms in different cultures, but amounts to the same thing.  The question of truth — that which originally motivated Christians more than any other — is here put inside parentheses.  It is assumed that the authentic truth about God is, in the last analysis, unreachable; that at best one can represent the ineffable with a variety of symbols.  Better to put the question of truth aside,  for the sake of peace among the world’s religions.…

“This is, however, lethal to faith.  In fact, faith loses its binding character and its seriousness: everything is reduced to interchangeable symbols, capable of referring only distantly to the inaccessible mystery of the divine.”

End quote.  The miserable Warren will now resume his diatribe.

The good, the true, the beautiful.  Each opens the gates into each of the others, and into the heart of the mystery of the Triune God.  Not one of these is expendable.  And the Truth is indivisible.

Our English word “truth,” from its northern etymology, denotes steadfastness and fidelity, the genuine and consistent.

Our English word “truth,” from its northern etymology, denotes steadfastness and fidelity, the genuine and consistent.  It reaches beyond this to connote the apt, the fitting — in parallel with the old Greek aletheia (misappropriated by Heidegger in a gnostic way), which meant “the evident” — the being and becoming evident, connoting its presentation.

In our Christian universe, truth is manifested in the sublimity of holiness, so that in moments the word stands not for truth alone, in the narrowest “factual” sense, but for the convergence of the transcendentals: for goodness, truth, and beauty, all three.  It is suddenly embodied for this world, in the very person of Our Lord.

Those who seek the truth may find it.  The Christians of the ancient world announced that they had actually found the answer to the questions of the philosophers: the truth itself.  They did not merely claim to have made a little academic progress.  Conversely, they were very plain: that if this truth is not true, it must necessarily be a lie.  “And if Christ is not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

This declaration is of course in Saint Paul’s first “encyclical” to the Corinthians (15:14); the same in which he was laying down the law on faith and morals and ecclesiastical discipline to a people who might strike us today as peculiarly “modern”; who were themselves rather inclined to substitute “dialogue” for mission.  The proper purpose of “dialogue” is to lead us from error into truth; it is not to compromise on what that truth might be.  And from the moment in which, through grace — and in “the peace which passeth all understanding,” that eureka of the deepest joy, deeper than mere “feeling” — we find ourselves in possession of the truth, our task is not “to deal,” but to proclaim it.

Yet — plagiarizing again — Pope Benedict writes that some religions, the “tribal” ones especially, are “waiting for the encounter with Jesus Christ.”  And when they have found Him they have, in their turn, not only something to take, but something to give: “Christ is waiting for their history, their wisdom, their way of seeing things.”  The Christian Church herself, “grown tired in its historical heartlands,” is waiting to be re-animated by them.  (God bless Africa!  God bless Africa!)

“We proclaim Jesus Christ not to procure as many members as possible for our community, and still less in order to gain power.  We speak of Him because we feel the duty to transmit that joy which has been given to us.”

In the Eucharist — in the Adoration to which all men are called, including every kind of sinner — in the presence of the Truth — let us reclaim that unutterable Joy.  For as the first apostles first proclaimed: We have found the Messiah!


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