As the press tells it, this year’s consecration of Russia, together with Ukraine, was undertaken at the bidding of Ukraine’s Catholic bishops. Beneath the religious-sounding string of catchwords and rebukes, it is a secular declaration pronounced for political purposes. The media-driven orthodoxy of the day—Putin, evil; Zelensky, heroic—resurrects an outmoded cultural diktat. It serves neither the Church nor the truth of things.
Russia is no longer the font of atheistic materialism as Cardinal Burke believes it to be. His recent claim that “the great evil of Communism must be healed at its root” is true. Continue Reading
For those of you who do not subscribe to Fr. George Rutler’s Sunday homilies, today’s reflection is excerpted below. But first let me follow the example of Pope Francis and scold a bit: You really should subscribe. They are free. You have no excuse. [I shake my finger here.] Fr. Rutler brings wit, erudition, and deep faith to the pulpit—the very place that blessed medley of qualities is most needed but too often absent.
These postings began when Father was pastor of Our Saviour. Continue Reading
Peronism is the highest level of consciousness reached by the Argentine working class.
Statement of the Movement of Priests for the Third World, 1971
We mustn’t pay too much attention to people who talk to us of prudence. We must be fanatical.
By whatever varietal name you call it, populist leftism is experiencing a rebirth, with the Vicar of Christ as an attendant midwife. Jorge Bergolio grew up amid extravagant devotion to Juan and Eva Perón. The agitated history of those years and the collapse of the peronato into violence and economic ruin is well documented. Continue Reading
Snared by the hot button issues of the day, we serve ourselves best by standing back a bit and reading, or rereading, previous texts that anchor the mind in the longue durée. Or at least release us from the pressures of the moment. Philip Larkin’s quip that sex began in 1963 applies to a great many things, including those myths and inclinations driving the ecclesial culture that produced Laudato Si. Herewith, a small bouquet for remembrance.
Begin with Charles MacKay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, first published in 1841 and still in print. Continue Reading
There is a great temptation today to confuse sociological evolution with spiritual progress, and Christians are the first to succumb to that temptation. Nevertheless, the Bible expressly tells us that the history of mankind ends in judgment. It does not give place to the Kingdom.
Jacques Ellul, False Presence of the Kingdom
Conformity to the world is expressed by the passion for politics, by the politicizing of Christian thinking, manners and action.
Jacques Ellul, Hope in Time of Abandonment
In the cap and bells of Flip Wilson’s Church of What’s Happening Now, Pope Francis is readying an encyclical on climate change. Continue Reading