Friday, April 29, 2005

Are you having trouble buying Ratzingeriana?

Don't buy from Amazon. Go straight to Ignatius. I ordered books from Amazon about half an hour after "habemus papam", and they were delayed. Amazon eventually sent me a note saying that "Introduction to Christianity" could not be gotten, and they canceled it from my order. Frustrated, I tried, and the books were shipped within a few hours of my order.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Karl's Athanasius' Simple Sex Test

Do you understand sex? Do you know anything about sexual intercourse? Take this simple test and find out:

Question: Does the thought of praying before, during, and after an act of sexual intercourse
a) Kill the mood
b) Seem weird
c) make perfect sense?

If you answer a or b, you don't know beans about sex.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Der Herr wird uns helfen, und Maria, seine allerseligste Mutter, steht uns zur Seite.

Pope Benedict XVI! What a wonderful surprise. I went immediately to Amazon to order eight of his books.

My immediate reaction is that he will be the most hated man in the world. His predecessor was loved and treated as a great man, a great man who had some odd moral quirks (traditional Catholic doctrine). I don't think many will love Pope Benedict, and so he will be identified very closely with the teachings of the Church, which is as it should be. Because many people hate these teachings, they will hate him. He will be a sign of contradiction.

But perhaps this will bring some much-needed clarity.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

A very good post

on icons over at Disputations, by sometime SMC commentator Han Ng.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Two simple arguments for why Church doctrine will not change

1) The Spiritual Explanation: The Church was founded by Christ, who is God, and is protected by the Holy Spirit, who is also God. Its magisterial pronouncements through councils united to the pope and (rarely) through the pope are guaranteed by the Spirit to be true. If the Church were to change, it would require God to change his mind. But that's ridiculous. Ergo, the Church isn't going to change its teaching with the new pope.

2) The Political Explanation: The Church is merely a collection of men trying to keep power. These men have whatever claim to power that they do have because they believe that #1 is true, and lots of other people believe #1 is true. If they changed Church teachings, it would show #1 to be false, therefore destroying the power of the Church. We'd become Episcopalians in a hurry. No one wants that. Therefore, the Church isn't going to change its teaching with the new pope.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Challenge concering the Pope

There will be mixed coverage--in fact, it's already started. In the Tribune today, the editorial page both admired his leadership, courage, heroism, principled opposition to totalitarianism, and then complained about his absolute stands on moral issues. More of this will be coming: "Pope John Paul II was a great man, but. . . such a strict absolutist, such a backwards medieval on morality." This will be said as if it is a contradiction.

Let me propose some facts which I hope you will stipulate:

JPII was smart. Very smart. Smarter than any of you, and even me. (joke--little joke)

JPII was very well-educated, a philosopher, theologian, poet, and playwright, probably more educated than any of us.

JPII was more courageous than any of us, likely. He began his career as a seminarian under the Nazis, where being caught would have led to certain death. He continued his education under the Soviets, where the situation was little different. He persevered in his vocation, and became a bishop in Poland, an officially atheist communist state, and defied the communists with wisdom and fortitude. The communists founded a town called Nowa Huta, where there was to be no church ever built. Karol Wojtyla held open-air masses there, in defiance of the communists. Once he was made pope, he came to Poland, where one third of the population (in a Soviet controlled, atheist state) came to see him in person, and everyone else watched on television. He exhorted them to be free, and shortly afterwards, Walesa and his shipyard workers led Poland to freedom. He's more courageous than we are.

He prayed more than any of us do. He was a man of extreme prayer, who would almost have to be dragged from the chapel.

Now, given all of these indisputable facts, do you think it makes sense to say "Great man, but a silly reactionary on moral matters?" Maybe, just maybe, the same fundamental principles that led him to defy the Nazis and oppose the communists are the same principles that led him to oppose abortion and contraception? Perhaps inalienable human dignity requires that we treat everyone, always, everywhere with the dignity that they deserve as children of God.

The challenge is to re-evaluate your thinking. If you think he's great, he was great through and through. If you disagree with his moral teaching, then he wasn't great, but a fool.