Argument for the Infallibility of Canonizations

The canonization of Pope Paul VI on October 14, 2018 has thrown traditional Catholics into a maelstrom of anxiety. Indeed, the very notion that the pontiff ultimately responsible for the destruction of the traditional Catholic liturgy and the chaos of the post-conciliar period could be raised to the altars of sainthood is a very hard pill for traditionalists to swallow. The exaltation of Pope Paul VI to sainthood for the veneration of the universal Church runs counter to the deeply held beliefs of traditional Catholics that the pontificate of this man was one of the most destructive in history. 

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Proselytism and Conversion

Surely no one who has been paying attention to the shenanigans of New Church has failed to note the painful double-think that comes into play whenever ecclesiastical officials discuss Catholic missionary efforts. On the one hand, we hear proclamations from the pope right on down to the local bishop about "going out into the streets" and being effective witnesses of the Gospel; we get entreaties by mail and by visiting mission priests to give to Catholic missionary efforts - and yet, we hear prelates saying that we should no longer seek the conversion of Jews, and prayers to that effect are removed from the Mass; the pope calls proselytism "solemn nonsense" and reports of missions abroad seem to suggest that our missionaries are adopting the practices of the pagans rather than converting them - and what's worse, this is all seen as part of some kind of "New Springtime" of evangelization which we are supposed to laud.

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Tongues of Fire

On the day of Pentecost, the Church was filled with the Holy Spirit - which Pius XII referred to as the Church's "soul" - and which is the source of the manifold gifts, graces and charisms that have characterized Catholicism since the beginning. On that auspicious birthday of the Church, the giving of the Spirit was manifest by the miraculous gift of tongues, a gift which continued on in the Early Church as Christianity spread throughout the Empire. In this article we will look at some very basic questions about the gift of tongues. It is not within the scope of this article to resolve disputed questions about the modern phenomenon of 'tongues' in charismatic movement, nor is it meant to delve into the patristic literature on the subject, though we will invoke Augustine and Chrysostom to help clarify a few points. Rather, the purpose of this article is to simply lay out the Scriptural data on tongues and hopefully arrive at a few preliminary conclusions about the nature of the gift and its purpose. Those looking for a polemic here will be disappointed - although we will make a few comparisons to modern charismatic practice when it comes to Paul's guidelines in 1 Corinthians 14.

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Our Lady's Knowledge

Following Pope Francis' comments in his homily on December 20, 2013 that the Blessed Virgin Mary may have felt "cheated", deceived, or weakened in faith when confronted with her Son's crucifixion, there has been a lively interest in the topic of our Blessed Lady's knowledge, particularly when referring to her acceptance of the redemptive death of her Son Jesus. Leaving aside the interpretation of the pope's words in particular for those who are more adept at parsing papal statements, we shall confine ourselves to the question of the knowledge of the Blessed Virgin. What exactly did she know about her Son's mission, and when did she know it? This is an interesting question, one in which we can easily fall into extremes. As always, it is best to begin with Tradition.

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Political Authority's Divine Origin

Christian revelation brought nothing new into the world when it suggested that political authority came directly from God. The idea that God's authority stood behind the authority of the ruler was assumed in ancient Judaism, which saw the establishment of regal authority as a manifestation of the wisdom with which God ordered creation ("By me kings reign", Proverbs 8:15); other civilizations of the Levant had similar notions, often sacralizing the authority of the state to such a degree that the boundary between god and ruler was blurred. With the Romans and Greeks, it was not so much the person of the ruler but the laws of the state that were divine, and both civilizations venerated mythical or divine law-givers such as Romulus, Numa and Lycurgus, signifying that the right ordering of the state was a gift from the gods. Thus divine authority gave legitimacy to political authority...

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Need for Theological Precision

One of the greatest pitfalls in modern theology that is seldom discussed is the problem of imprecision in theological statements. Too often modern theologians and prelates will speak of things like "faith", "love" and "peace", but they mean them in incredibly generic ways that can be taken to mean any number of things. This makes it very difficult to understand what a theologian or bishop really be saying, let alone make any true progress in theological study. Our theologians and prelates desperately need to return to the discipline of theological precision, as does anyone who writes on issues relating to Catholicism, where words and definitions are so vital.A prime example of this lack of theological precision can be found in the passages on the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the topic of scandal. Let's begin with the CCC's definition of scandal:

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Noli me tangere!

After she had described the cause of her overwhelming grief to the angels at the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene turned around. Though He was standing right in front of her, Mary did not immediately recognize the Risen Lord. Drowned in her sorrow and sense of loss, she mistook Christ for the gardener, requesting that the man reveal the location of her Lord’s body. As she turned away, she was answered, “Mary!” Christ cried. Mary turned around yet again and exclaimed, “Rabboni! Teacher!”; for she had found the Risen Lord. Ah, how deeply Mary desired to fall at the Lord’s feet and embrace them, just as she had when she anointed Him, just as she had when she stood at the foot of His Cross! Mary wanted to touch Christ, but He responded, “Noli me tangere" (Do not touch me), for I have not yet ascended to My Father.”

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Predestination: Problems and Solutions

Predestination is one of the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith, but being a Dogma all are required to believe in it. [1] That said, the precise details of how one is to understand the Dogma are not defined, mostly because such a definition and understanding is beyond man's finite capacity to formulate and comprehend it in toto. Instead, the Church has given us "parameters" of sorts, which are supporting Dogmas that protect the faithful from embracing a wrong (and even dangerous) view of Predestination.

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Are canonizations infallible?

Are canonizations of saints an exercise of infallibility? That is to say, when the Church solemnly proclaims that a man or woman is among the blessed and is worthy of veneration, does this statement command the obedience and certitude of faith, or is their room for doubt? Could the Church be in error regarding some of her saints? Is it possible that those we venerate and invoke at our Masses could in fact still be in Purgatory or even be damned?  This concept must cause revulsion in the heart of any loyal Catholic; for those of us raised on the stories of the great deeds of the saints, the very notion that St. Francis, St. Theresé or St. Augustine could be anywhere but heaven is blasphemous and offensive to pious ears. But even if our heart revolts against the idea, what can we say theologically about this question? In this article I will attempt to show that canonizations are infallible pronouncements of the Church...
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Head coverings "because of the angels"

For me, one of the most cryptic and difficult passages of the Bible is found in 1 Corinthians 11:7-10. Here, St. Paul discusses the issue of women's head coverings when praying. He says:
 
"For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels" (1 Cor. 11:7-10, RSV).

What is the meaning of this phrase "because of the angels"? What angels, and why do they care whether or not a woman has her head covered?
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