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Vic Biorseth, http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com
Assigning purpose and direction to a conservative Catholic forum.
Conservative Catholic Forum might be a bit of a misnomer; however, due to common usage in our contemporary American culture, we all know what we mean when we talk about Conservative Catholics and Liberal Catholics.
Terms like Liberal and Conservative more properly belong to the realm of politics than they do to the realm of correctly held religion. Within Roman Catholicism, a teaching regarding faith or morals is either true, meaning correct, or it is not. It's all very simple, really. Orthodox is the operative term. An orthodox Catholic teaching is one that is widely recognized as being:
- in agreement with the Church’s magisterial teaching,
- in agreement with long-held traditional teaching,
- widely held as correct by leading Church authorities.
The opposite of orthodox is heterodox, or, unorthodox. Which is to say,
- Not in agreement with magisterial teaching;
- Not a long held traditional teaching;
- Not widely held as correct by Church authorities.
In the simplest terms possible, a heterodox teaching is one that is incorrect and untrue. Orthodox Catholicism may be expected to be represented in a conservative Catholic forum, and, heterodox Catholicism may be expected to be represented in a liberal Catholic forum. Following that line of reasoning, a Conservative Catholic, in so much as there is such a thing, would be a Catholic who believes and follows all the words that he professes when he recites the Creed, and who recognizes the authority of Rome in matters of faith and morals. And who stands juxtaposed to the Liberal Catholic, who does not.
So we have a definition for a good conservative Catholic forum, and it’s opposite. For the non-internet oriented, blog is a web-ese transliteration of Web Log; a log, or journal, of pages or other elements that have been added to or changed within a Website. In the most common usage (which is really incorrect) a blog is a dialogue on the website’s topic(s). A participant puts forth an argument, and by doing that invites criticism and/or counter arguments; thus, a dialogue between interested parties. A more correct term for this is a forum.
In the best blog dialogues, or forums, will be found well thought-out, reasoned arguments, with participants fully prepared to rigorously defend their own points and not afraid to expose any weaknesses in the points of others, while adhering to rules of common civility and manners. In the worst blog dialogues will be found less reasoned arguments that may degenerate into obscenities, insults and ad-hominem attacks aimed at the messenger rather than the message. A good conservative Catholic forum will maintain some editing authority over the site to keep that sort of thing to a minimum, for the good of all participants, and for the good of good gentlemanly and ladylike argument itself.
Representative Government in regards to ecclesial (Church) law might be the foremost topic of contention presented in a conservative Catholic forum. After all, the notions of self-government, the so-called sovereign citizen and principles of Jeffersonian Democracy seem to be the driving factors underlying the Conservative American Forum page, right? However, there is quite a difference between American governance and Church governance. The conservative American forum properly addresses issues pertaining to Civil Law, and thus worldly matters. A good conservative Catholic forum would address Ecclesial Law, and thus spiritual matters. There is too big a difference between them to properly address them both in one place.
Adherence to the Catholic religion – the Creed, the doctrines, the precepts, the liturgy, the tradition - all the rules attendant thereto, provides the disciple with a proper sense of purpose and direction for life. The most important of these are all rules that never change.
Adherence to Civil Law, and to participation in Representative Government and the living American Republic provides the good citizen with the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of his nation, and to meet new challenges in a world that is constantly changing. Just as international relations and other nations change, economies, technologies and industries change, civil law must change, and it is the duty of the participating citizen to do his part to see that all new or changed law is truly representative of the will of the people.
What should be heavily noted on a good conservative Catholic forum is this major difference between Catholicism and the various Protestant denominations that hold periodic major ecclesial conferences or conventions or other events in which the denomination’s ecclesial rules and/or rules regarding faith and morals are changed, added to, or deleted from. The Catholic Church cannot do that sort of thing. The Catholic Church is not, has never been, and will never be any sort of Democracy. It is a pure bureaucracy designed and intended to not change any teaching entrusted to it.
Unlike the great and on-going American experiment, the Church does not seek innovators or inventers or challengers of old “truths” among those men to be elevated to the purple, or to Peter’s chair. What she seeks instead is ultra-conservatism, in the oldest sense of the word; men who will spend their lives protecting the entire Revealed Gospel from the slightest change. The Church teaches that public Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, and it has not changed since. Nothing has ever been added to it, subtracted from it, or changed. And so it will remain, until He comes again.
By way of comparison, the Church Of England bases its existence, its very founding on a change to a Revealed Doctrine, that being, the ecclesial rule regarding divorce and remarriage. King Henry VIII wanted to be able to divorce and remarry, the Church denied permission, and that is the whole, sole reason for the very existence of the Church Of England. That’s it.
And, that happens to be a major topic of contention between the conservative Catholic forum and the liberal Catholic forum. Lots and lots of American bishops and their priests will avoid the subject, change the subject, and studiously pretend not to see as thundering herds of remarried divorcees come forward to the Communion rail every Sunday. You are much more likely to hear public words on this topic raised on a conservative Catholic forum than in any contemporary official Catholic teaching institution in America (with very few exceptions.) The teaching has never changed. Those who remarry after divorce, without any official Church declaration of nullity, and without living a life of, essentially, celibacy, commit grave sin, and should not come forward for Communion. But that’s not something most of our American bishops want to highlight, or even discuss in public. They prefer to speak of inclusiveness.
Catholicism equates to Communism is the claim of Leftist Catholics, and they quote Scripture to prove it. Their strongest argument can be found in Acts of the Apostles 4 and 5. So let’s look at Acts 4:32-37; 5:1-10:
 Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common.  And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.  There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold  and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.  Thus Joseph who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas (which means, Son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,  sold a field which belonged to him, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
 But a man named Anani'as with his wife Sapphi'ra sold a piece of property,  and with his wife's knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet.  But Peter said, "Anani'as, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."  When Anani'as heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.  The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.  After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.  And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much."  But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."  Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
So what is the conservative Catholic forum to make of this? We know that the Luke, the author, could not have read Marx, so, was Marx a closet Christian? The proper response from a conservative Catholic forum would be neither. It would appear from these passages that the Apostles lived a perfect “Communist” life denying property rights. This would seem to present a serious obstacle to the natural law regarding Private Property rights, which are reinforced by “Thou shalt not steal.” That’s the view of the liberal Catholic forum, so what does the typical conservative Catholic forum say on this?
Well, the conservative Catholic forum might point out that Peter condemned anani’as and his wife for one thing only, that being, willful deception regarding the sale price. He was bound under no obligation to turn over all of the proceeds, or even to turn over any of them. It was a voluntary thing; this was a form of willful Evangelical Poverty. It finds its expression today in religious orders under vows of obedience, chastity and poverty, in monasteries and convents around the world. A conservative Catholic forum should recommend a reading of the full book of the Acts of the Apostles, which would show the many instances of Christians holding wealth and property. They were members of the Church, but not Apostles, and not necessarily Evangelists, or members sent on a mission or given an ecclesial ministry. And a conservative Catholic forum should point out that it was never obligatory for Christians to turn over private property to the Apostles.
Early Church generosity was spontaneous and not imposed by any precept. In the various Churches, the wealthy contributed, to the degree necessary, unspecified amounts to be managed by the Apostles for the benefit of the poor. The wealthy remained wealthy, and they remained in the Church.
St. Thomas placed it all in proper perspective. Neither religious life nor the ‘communism’ of the early Christians constitutes a serious obstacle to the legitimacy of private property. For the objection to have any value, the community of goods realized in the primitive Church would have had to have been imposed upon all of the faithful, and religious life would have to be a precept, and not merely a counsel. The perfection of the evangelical counsel does not make illicit a different practice that conforms to natural law.
St. Thomas (Sed Contra, II-II, quest. 66, art. 2; also Summa Contra Gentiles, bk. 3:II, chap. 127, 8) supports this argument. Saint Thomas recalls the heresy of the Apostolici mentioned by St. Augustine (“De Haeresibus,” no. 40, in P. L., vol. 42, col. 32): “The Apostolici assumed that name with an extreme arrogance, because they refused from their communion married persons and those who possessed property, such as both monks and clerics who in considerable number are to be found in the Catholic Church. But the Apostolici are heretics precisely because, separating themselves from the Church, they consider condemned those who make use of these goods, of which they deprive themselves.”
“The heresy of the Apostolici does not lie in taking the vows of chastity and poverty: monks and numerous clerics do the same. But the error lies in wanting to impose the same discipline on all the faithful under pain of condemnation.” And St. Thomas concludes: “It is, therefore, an error to say that it is not permitted for a man to possess property.”
St. Thomas thereby makes a good case for the perfection of evangelical poverty; however, religious, monastic community life cannot and was never intended to be imposed on everyone. And, that the counsel of evangelical poverty most certainly does not prevent the rich from sanctifying themselves even amid their riches, for: “Great was the virtue of Abraham, who, possessing great riches, nonetheless knew how to keep his heart free from love for his riches. . . .”
So the good conservative Catholic forum needs to affirm the record that Catholicism and Communism are most certainly not compatible. Marxism addresses the purely worldly state, denying even the existence of God, and seeks to enforce social and economic “sameness” upon the whole population, even against their will. Marxism (Communism) is a notion that flies in the face of a free man making a free will decision.
Inclusiveness Vs Exclusiveness or Divisiveness is the clarion call from the Catholic Left. The conservative Catholic forum needs to present this as a black and white issue. Inclusiveness for its own sake is the reason for the drop in Church attendance and the decline of the Church in America. The conservative Catholic forum recognizes that the whole Artificial Contraception issue is one in which Church teaching has never wavered, yet American bishops and priests look away from the issue in the interest of inclusiveness. And the numbers drop. The conservative Catholic forum recognizes that the whole homosexual mainstreaming movement, spearheaded by Homo-Nazism, is one in which Church teaching has never wavered, yet American bishops and priests look away from the issue in the interest of inclusiveness.The biggest inclusiveness issue the conservative Catholic forum needs to hit on involves language, especially in liturgy. Any blog that doesn’t hit on modification of Holy Scripture merely for the sake of the advance of Femi-Nazism is certainly not a conservative Catholic forum.
Innovation Vs Tradition, most especially in liturgy and in liturgical music, is a high ranking conservative Catholic forum issue. This is where the most lapsed Catholics are produced. MOST American bishops cry, “we have no young people; our congregations are aging; attendance is declining.”
Go to any current authorized Tridentine Latin Mass and just look around. You will see, predominantly, young people. Young couples with lots of little ones in tow. A nearly full church, filled, mostly, with people far to young to be pre-Vatican II Catholics. Ladies with their heads covered; men in full suits. And a few older guys and gals, like us.
You will only hear about this sort of thing in a conservative Catholic forum. There is a hunger for the ancient liturgy out there. Young people are thirsting for it. They travel significant distances just to be able to participate in it.
Coming in a close second to the Old Mass is the New (Novus Ordo) Mass when offered entirely in Latin, as is done at the 9:30 AM Sunday Mass at Assumption Grotto in Detroit. Many who think they hate the new liturgy might, in my opinion, absolutely love it when they see it done properly. Personally, I like it better than the Old Tridentine Mass, maybe because I’ve attended the Novus Ordo Mass for so many decades now that I’ve grown comfortable with it, and now it’s a little harder for me to follow the Old one.
Declining Priest Numbers is the reason given for the closing of all the older traditional parishes. A good conservative Catholic forum will point to the conservative, i.e., orthodox, dioceses of Arlington, Lincoln, Peoria, Wichita, Bridgeport, Omaha, Atlanta and Rockford, and tell you to look around. What you will see is lots of priests, and lots of seminarians. All the declining dioceses and archdioceses in America teach wishy-washy, inclusive, heterodoxy and pretend it’s Catholicism. They strive to remove distinctions between clerics and lay people, and they succeed at that, and in declining numbers of seminarians. Why be a priest? What’s the difference?
And it’s exactly the same with the religious orders. There might be two or three in the whole nation that might remain in existence twenty years from now. The ones the avoid extinction will be the ones that are different from the rest of us lay people. The better conservative Catholic forum will point out the fact that all of the rapidly declining orders of professed religious
and are obviously cruising straight into extinction and oblivion. What they all have in common is heterodoxy in a time when the rest of the Catholic world is crying out for orthodoxy. But they are too blind to see it.
Get in the game. Find yourself a good conservative Catholic forum to participate in, or create your own. The Catholic world is at a turning point. I believe we have a whole lot more orthodoxy in our future.
Pray for the Church.
Note added May 10, 2007, re the Holy Father’s remarks to reporters on his plane trip to Brazil.
(This note was added first to the Abortion page.)
Mexico had just passed a legal abortion law, and Mexican bishops had publicly declared the self excommunication of the pro-abortion lawmakers.
On the plane to Brazil, reporters asked Benedict XVI if the Church had excommunicated the politicians of Mexico City who had voted to legalize abortion in the first trimester.
The Holy Father said that the excommunication for those promoting abortion is "nothing new, it's normal, it wasn't arbitrary. It is what is foreseen by the Church's doctrine."
The Pontiff also underlined that Christian politicians need to be consistent with their beliefs, and confirmed that the Church announces the Gospel of Life.
"The death of an innocent, of a newly born baby is inconceivable," the Pope added. "It is not something arbitrary and the Church expresses value for life and for the individual character of life from the moment of conception."
Father Lombardi, who was with Benedict XVI on the plane, clarified that neither the Pope nor the Mexican bishops had declared those politicians excommunicated.
The press office director explained that the Church teaches that the promotion of abortion is not compatible with the reception of Communion.
They then asked the spokesman: "So, are they excommunicated"?
Fr. Lombardi responded "No. They excluded themselves from Communion."
This means that they effectively excommunicated themselves, by the very act of willfully committing a very public (and therefore scandalous) grave and mortal sin. The sin itself was enough, under Canon Law; public scandal just piles on and makes it that much worse. A little elaboration on excommunication might be helpful for some.
Excommunication: (From the Latin ex, out of; and, communio or communicatio – meaning communion – literally, exclusion from the communion.) Excommunication is the most severe Catholic ecclesial penalty or censure in existence. It is a medicinal and purely spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty party of all participation in the common blessings of the ecclesiastical society, which is the Body of Christ. Being a penalty, it supposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Church can inflict, it supposes guilt regarding a very grave offence. It is a medicinal rather than a vindictive penalty because it is intended to correct the culprit and bring him back to the path of righteousness, and not merely punish him. Very grave sin, most especially of a very public and scandalous nature, cannot be tolerated as normal, operable and acceptable within the ecclesial community, lest the community itself change for the worse.
From the Oxford English Dictionary:
excommunication (Eksk@mju:nI"keIS@n). Also 5 excomunycacion.
[ad. late L. excommuŽnicaŽtioŽn-em, f. excommuŽnicaŽre: see prec. and -ation. Cf. F. excommunication.]
The action of excommunicating or cutting off from fellowship.
1. Eccl. The action of excluding an offending Christian from the communion of the Church; the state or fact of being so excluded. Also in wider sense: The exclusion of an offending member from any religious community, e.g. Jewish or heathen.
The Canon Law recognizes two kinds of excommunication: the lesser, by which an offender is deprived of the right to participate in the sacraments; the greater, by which he is cut off from all communication with the church or its members.
1494 Fabyan Chron. vi. clxiv. 168 This to be obseruyd vpon payne of excomunycacion.
1555 Eden Decades 172 We furthermore streightly inhibite all maner of persons..vnder the peyne of the sentence of excommunication..to trauayle for marchaundies.
1651 Hobbes Leviath. (1839) 502 This part of the power of the keys, by which men were thrust out from the kingdom of God, is that which is called excommunication.
a1744 Pope Love of the World Reproved, A part in every swine No friend..May taste..On pain of excommunication.
1781 Gibbon Decl. & F. III. 34 A sentence of excommunication was pronounced, which enjoined Ambrose to depart from Milan without delay.
1856 Froude Hist. Eng. (1858) I. iii. 192 Excommunication seems but a light thing when there are many communions.
1830 Hood Haunted H. i. iii, A house–but under some prodigious ban Of Excommunication.
1840 — Up the Rhine 16 The yellow flag which indicates that sanitary excommunication [quarantine].
1873 F. Hall Mod. Eng. 34 He calls you a utilitarian. The greater excommunication being thus denounced against you.
2. Short for ‘sentence of excommunication’.
1647 Clarendon Hist. Reb. ii. (1843) 43/2 To restrain any excommunication from being pronounced..without the approbation of the bishop.
1781 Gibbon Decl. & F. III. lvi. 366 By some acts of rapine or sacrilege, he had incurred a papal excommunication.
1866 Kingsley Herew. vii. 129 The pope fulminated an excommunication against him.
3. (See quot.)
1751 Chambers Cycl. s.v., The rule of the Benedictines gives the name Excommunication, to the being excluded from the oratory, and the common table of the house.
In current Catholic usage:
Revised Code in 1983 removed the 1917 code distinction between the excommunicated person to be avoided and the one to be tolerated (CIC 2257 § 1 and CIC 2258 § 1.)
Self imposed excommunication, latae sententiae, is imposed by the willful commission of the sin itself.
Church imposed excommunication, ferendae sententiae, is a formal imposition of the penalty, and carries with it greater solemnity and greater difficulty in achieving restoration of communion.
The Abortion Canon: Canon 1398 – A person who procures a completed abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication.
The old 1917 Code (CIC 2350 §1) is largely restated. All directly involved as principle agents or necessary cooperators in the deliberate and successful effort to eject a non-viable fetus from the mother’s womb thereby incur a latae sententiae excommunication from the body of Christ.
I submit that publicly or privately promoting or supporting or even voting for a civil law, political issue or political representative who’s stated purpose is the legalizing or other enabling of abortion fits the description of being a necessary cooperator in multiple willful abortions. Perhaps even millions.
There is nothing new here. No one should be the least bit surprised.
The fact that the majority of bishops in the United States, with damned few but very notable exceptions, just stand around acting mute for years and years while the same thing goes on here doesn’t mean that the rule has ever changed in the Church. What it means is that the clear majority of Catholic bishops in the USA are yellow bellied nut-less wonders who are not really fit or competent to fulfill the requirements of their high offices.
The Church tells no one how to vote. But the Church retains for herself the right to determine who is a Catholic. So, for detractors and pro-abortion candidates and activists and voters, go ahead and promote and vote for abortion; you are perfectly free to do so. Just stop pretending to be Catholic while you do it, because you have willfully excommunicated yourself from the Catholic Church by your own willful actions.
That pretty well covers the majority that makes up the Democrat Party, which sponsors, champions and promotes lawful abortion throughout the full term of pregnancy. Abortion is not only a plank, but probably the largest and most important plank in the whole Democrat Party Platform, right next to the pro-sodomy plank. This is what the Democrat Party loves, while pretending not to love it, and what big shot Democrats sponsor and defend, while pretending to be aloof from it. This is what they stand up and fight for, even as some of them come forward in American Catholic Churches, to add sacrilege to their sins, and bring public scandal into the Church in America. And they do it while lots and lots of American bishops pretend not to see.
Because, why, Heavens to Betsy, we mustn’t be divisive.
Note added June 11, 2007, in response to multiple politician's public statements on the issue.
All over the world, from South of the border to Australia to the independent People's Republic of Massachusetts, the public charge is being made that the Church is ordering people how to vote and ordering theoretically representative legislators how to legislate. These statements are clearly false.
I submit for your consideration that the shoe is on the other foot: The Church is ordering or instructing no one to vote or to legislate in any particular way. It is the politicians and celebrocrats who are attempting to order the Church to modify its own ancient ecclesial law regarding who is to be considered to belong to the Roman Catholic confession. Just who the Hell do they think they are?
Theoretically representative legislators are perfectly free to legislate to their heart’s content, and voters are perfectly free to vote any way they choose. The Church does not tell anyone how to vote. What it does point out to it’s members, from Baptism onward, is the clear differentiation between a state of grace and a state of sin, and the difference between the path to salvation and the path to damnation. These are free will choices; no one can be dragged into Heaven against his will. To publicly, flatly and consistently oppose the ancient Church teaching on the aborting of human beings is to publicly demonstrate the attitude of the obstinate unrepentant sinner. The more publicly this is done the more scandalous it becomes.
And then, these arrogant, public, scandalous, obstinate unrepentant sinners have the unmitigated gall to try to turn the situation around and falsely charge that Holy Mother Church is somehow opposing the democratic process in government. The simple fact is that the Leftocratic Party members want to play-act at Catholic piety while they champion and sponsor the unrepresentative-court invented and completely unregulated multi-billion dollar abortion industry for their own political reasons.
The sole reason these hypocrites publicly pretend to still be Catholic as they howl against the Church and her ancient doctrine is to curry political favor with the rich and powerful, and with the most gullible and/or uninformed among the voters.
If there was one ounce of honor anywhere in the hearts of these purely political hypocrites they would just drop the Catholic charade and go ahead and legislate and vote as they please, and stop dragging the name of the Catholic Church through the mud as they do it. But, alas, they have no such honor. They are, purely and exclusively, worldly and political beings. Politics is their real “religion.”
(See also our Arguments Pro and Con page.)
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Tue 6/26/2007
From: Mike Rizzio
Subject: Galileo Inquisition
Once again you hit the proverbial nail on the head. I only wish that ideas as clearly presented as yours could find a wider audience in this culture of sound bites and fast food. PBS has been doing this for years, spouting anti-Catholic lies for so long, it has established them as de facto truth in the media (Shades of Hitler's maxim?)
I think that Galileo and Einstein are for different reasons the darlings of the Aquarian Conspiracy. If revisiting the Einstein myth uncovers the truth and the untold story of a might-have-been-prophet and if enough people connect the dots, then maybe we can stop this train long enough to spur reason-based dialogue that seeks what is unified, truthful and good and beautiful.
I put together 33 reasons why this Catholic reevaluation of "the Great One" is important:
I. Let us begin with names.
As St. Augustine relates it, "the New is concealed in the Old and the Old is revealed in the New."
Christening is the process of naming a child of God at his or her baptism. It should not be taken lightly.
Ia. Albert - meaning noble and bright
Albert – St. Albert the Great (1205-1280) the greatest of pre-Reformation Catholic scientists; schooled and grounded both in theology and science; a native German also from the vicinity of Ulm; mentor of St. Thomas Aquinas (an Italian) and a theological genius, well ahead of his time. St. Albert is the patron saint of all scientists.
St. Albert the Great was convinced that all creation spoke of God and that the tiniest piece of scientific knowledge told us something about Him. Besides the Bible, God has given us the book of creation revealing something of His wisdom and power. In creation, Albert saw the hand of God. (Source: EWTN)
Both St. Albert and St. Thomas are Doctors of the Church; their lives bear witness to the fact that there was no disagreement (only apparent contradictions) between Faith and Reason and between Faith and Science.
See ALBERT, THE GREAT at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01264a.htm
Ib. Einstein - meaning one stone
Sacred Scripture shows us the importance that God places on both stone and rock: altars of stone, "sharp stone" for circumcision, Moses striking the stone twice, "two tablets of stone," David's "smooth stone" slaying Goliath, "the stone the builder rejected," now a cornerstone, "they decided to stone Him," tombstones, captstones, millstones, stumbling stones, "I will take away the stony heart,""you are Rock, and on this Rock." They are all important, for they provide us a medium for the conveyance of the analogical truth about God's relationship with man and good creation. God is fond of working with what is solid, after all He is the Rock who saves us.
See STONE in Sacred Scripture at http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/s?q=stone&b=drb&t=0
(Thumbnail sketches for the rest, so that you do the work too.)
II. Einstein: inspiration---riding a beam of light back to its source(back to the Father of Lights?); his childlike search for the secrets of God's creative genius, the "Old One's" mind.
III. Einstein: the son of Herman---a German "Father of Lights" who moves his family from a very Protestant Ulm to a very Catholic Munich when Albert is only one year old.
IV. Einstein: a Sign of Contradiction---a slow learner maybe, but his childhood memories were sharp.
V. Einstein: the special gift of a magnetic compass and an orientation to truth and mystery at age 5.
VI. Einstein: the Great Event---lighting up a very Catholic Munich Oktoberfest in 1885.
VII. Einstein: three years of Catholic school education at the Peterschule(aged 6-9). As the one Jew along with 69 Catholic children he learned the catechism and began to understand the sacramental life of the church which included Holy Communion. Was there weekly Mass attendance? Probably so.
VIII. Einstein: the priest -> nail -> "This is the type nail that the Jews used to crucify Jesus!" incident at the Peterschule; potential isolation and subconscious scarring of a sensitive kid.
IX. Einstein: love of Maja (his sister), love of music (violin) and a religious awakening (the making of a Fiddler on the Roof?)
X. Einstein: the layering of knowledge---Jewish (secular), Catholic (religious), Talmud (religious), Science.
XI. Einstein: a clear cut case of youthful rebellion against his family and their values.
XII. Einstein: rebellion against religion in favor of science (after the influence of a positivist Max Talmud :) Talmey)
XIII. Einstein: Immanuel Kant, as philosophical mentor (even his name is significant, "singer of God with us")
XIV. Einstein: Euclid Geometry and a first instance of future genius.
XVII. Einstein: 1905 Albert Einstein's annus mirabilis---a "light-filled" revelation and four papers. Mileva provided some of the science/math although this is a mysterious and hotly debated point. Mileva may have also converted to Catholicism during this year---how about that for an interesting connection.
XX. Einstein: Special Theory of Relativity and the “seeds of relativism” are sown by a reluctant cult hero of the anti-establishment.
XXI. Einstein: his adultery with his cousin Else (among others)and his divorce of Mileva. Espousing Baruch Spinoza's philosophy, this definitive "breaking of the covenant" in early 1919 seems to mark the end of Einstein's productive spurt of genius.
XXIV. Einstein: interesting correspondence and relationship with Sigmund Freud.
XXV. Einstein: 1933 and the Great Escape from Hitler's Third Reich and exile to Princeton, N.J.
XXVI. Einstein: At Leo Szilard urging, the August 2, 1939 letter to President Roosevelt that spurred on the Manhattan Project.
XXVII. Einstein: Trinity Project (not asked to be part of it)---its epic proportions Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the birth of the Atomic Age.
XXXI. Einstein: Quest and failure to discover the Grand Unified Theory---he was denied an understanding of the one remaining unknown, the source of gravity.
It’s a long list Vic, but I believe that a strategically minded Thinking Catholic will find that there is something to it.
Date: Tue 06/26/2007
From: Vic Biorseth
Subject: Galileo & Einstein
There is much food for thought here. I have long been intrigued by Einstein’s interest in Transubstantiation, and quotes such as “God does not roll dice.” But I don’t know what the Aquarian Conspiracy is, and am likewise unfamiliar with the Einstein Myth. Perhaps you could fill in those blanks for me.
Currently I am operating in a limited window of time in which I can concentrate on new pages; the ones on my plate now for immediate attention are on the Crusades, the Reformation and a History of the Bible. I need to concentrate on those while I have this limited opportunity to devote my time to writing.
In the meantime, let's leave it on Forum to see if anyone else might submit some responses to it. You never know where new light might come from.
Date: Thu 12/27/2007
First, comments regarding "critical thinking" need not necessarily be pro or con. I think that’s a good starting point for my concerns regarding the general mission of this site proposing to present "thinking Catholicism".
First, I think it is reasonable and valuable to say that talking about Catholicism must accept that there is an orthodoxy, there is a pope, there are edicts, there is dogmas, etc etc. You can't just make them go away. If you're talking about Catholicism, you must accept certain things like the Nicene Creed "is true."
However, defining Catholicism and defining critical thinking are different things. I feel that this cite doesn't allow dialogue of what might be called "meta" issues that underlie the basic premises of philosophy.
I believe in Catholicism and postmodern ideas which "can" challenge the very roots or meta claims of Catholicism. However, that doesn't mean that after "real" critical thinking, accepting ideas that challenge Catholic ideas, you can't at the end of the day still believe in the basic premises. Critical theory suggests breaking down everything, and then building it back up again. We as humans only "know" the manifest Catholic Church on earth. We "have faith" in that which isn't the church on Earth. Those are two different things. I see value in challenging underlying ideas and I think that’s what critical thinking is all about, coming to critical understanding by challenging everything. Call me a liberal lefty Jesuit educated Catholic, but I'm still a Catholic who believes in the Nicene Creed and doesn't think 20th century philosophers are "wrong."
Date: Fri 01/04/2007
From: Vic Biorseth
Subject: Critical Thinking and Thinking Catholic
I’m with you, I think, 100%. While I can’t be sure which parts of the site you’ve read yet, I think that you may think you have detected a broken link between my promotion of critical thinking on the one hand, and of doing good Catholic thinking on the other. In my not so humble opinion, properly done critical thinking regarding religion and afterlife will almost inevitably lead the critical thinker into Catholicism, if the searcher is completely honest and objective.
You are right; critical thinking and thinking Catholic are two different things; but there is a bit of an inter-dependency between them. Once the critical thinker has arrived at the Truth of Catholicism, it necessarily colors his thinking about almost all other matters. The “rules” of Catholicism thereafter form the axioms, or “givens,” that are pre-embraced ahead of time and that can therefore modify the direction of your critical thinking on other matters. That is not to say that Catholicism itself is not to be critically thought about.
If we were physicists critically thinking about and discussing observable physical phenomena, our efforts would be advanced if we operated from a basis of axioms, or “givens,” such as Relativity and Quantum Theory, allowing us to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. It’s the same with religion. The big difference, of course, is that there are almost no limits to what other subjects religion, properly lived, may properly address.
The only part of the Catholic “truth” that can be deconstructed and thoughtfully criticized is the related history, Scripture, archeology and so forth. Which, fortunately, is quite rich; probably no personages or subjects are more thoroughly recorded, historicized or written about. So at the end of the quest, questions such as, did Jesus of Nazareth live; did He rise from the dead; etc., etc., etc., are overwhelmingly affirmed by the existing evidence. As are the Jewish Revelations preceding Christianity. It’s the first instance of God approaching man, rather than man seeking God as in all other major religions. It is God’s Revelation to man.
Once we move past that point and into faith, we have to let the critical thinking go, because our puny human intellect is far too limited to embrace the mystery that is God. We must settle for some “givens” that we will never understand in this life. There either is a super-natural or there is not. There either is a first unmoved-mover or a primal-cause of all other causes, or there is not. Jesus Christ either rose from the dead, or He did not.
Once the Truth has been embraced, faith steps in and critical thinking necessarily steps out. We simply cannot understand a virgin-birth, let alone a Resurrection, or a primal first cause among all causes. Such things defy orderly thought, when we try to understand them; we merely accept them. I’m not sure you could say we uncritically accept them, yet accept them we do, on faith.
And once we do, everything changes.
Date: Sat May 29 06:39:28 2010
From: Matt Tynan
Um .... how do you know any of the 'war in heaven' stuff id true?
Date: Sat May 29 11:16:33 2010
From: Vic Biorseth
I assume you are speaking of the picture of the angels and the related quote. It’s from the Bible, Rev. 12. It is apocryphal or apocalyptic language, as if from a prophetic dream, given to open interpretation, and has seen many, many varied interpretations over the centuries. Some interpretations say it is a future event; some that it already happened; others that it is impossible to tell, because to heavenly beings, there is no such thing as time, only eternity, which we cannot fathom.
Note that, in the quotation, Satan is cast down to Earth, not to Hell. In Luke 10:18 Jesus is quoted as saying “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven.” This still doesn’t tell us whether it is a future or past event, because Jesus was God, and stands in eternity, not in time. Past, present and future are the same. (Note the beginning of the Gospel of John, in which the very first verse identifies Jesus as God. Then, it tells us that “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world knew Him not.”)
Gnostic and other non-scriptural ancient writing speaks of the war in Heaven, of Lucifer’s “I will not serve!” revolt, and of Michael’s challenge “Who is like unto God?”
So – how do I know? I don’t; but I accept it, on faith. All things are not given to my understanding.
Date: Fri Mar 25 21:18:33 2011
Hi Vic, I have sent you a picture as an attachment to an email to email@example.com – I hope you got it. It’s a depiction of the ancient Yin Yang symbol, which suggests the theory that there is good and bad in everything, that good has some bad in it, and that bad has some good in it. Under this theory, Lucifer and Michael would be of the same value. What I mean is, if you put them on a counterbalance-scale, it would be level. The good would weigh as much as the bad. What does Catholicism say about Yin and Yang?
Date: Sat Mar 26 07:59:17 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
Essentially, the dualism suggested by the symbol is seen by the Church as erroneous; when held or taught as true by a Catholic, it is a heresy. This is the symbol of Taoism and other Eastern religions that hold to at least the possibility that good and evil are equal throughout the universe. It was represented among the first Catholic heresies, most notably Manichaeism.
While it might be closer to the truth to hold that Lucifer and Michael might be equal on your counter-balance scale, good and evil do not begin and end with them. In the beginning, there was one God, and no matter. If it is held that God is Good, then, in the beginning, there was no evil. Since everything has its origin in God, and God is good, there is no possibility of evil ever outweighing or even equaling universal good. The creature – the created being or thing – cannot ever hope to be of greater significance than its creator. The creator is always superior. While Lucifer might have the ghost of a chance battling Michael, he depends for his very being upon his creator, to Whom he is therefore inferior, and of less weight.
How evil came into the world was through the blessing of free will, which was given to angels, and later to men. Free will brought with it the possibility of rebellion, which Lucifer led. The Lord wanted man to love Him, and therefore He gave man free will, because without free will, true love is quite impossible. Robotic adulation is not love. Man must truly decide to love, and that free will decision is quite impossible in the absence of free will. However, free will means that man can refuse to love God, and can choose sin over virtue – hence, evil came into the world. Something similar happened in heaven with the rebellion of Lucifer.
So, while there is some validity to the Yin – Yang theory of good and evil, light and darkness, it may not be universally applied. There is no evil in God, and His good outweighs everything. When He steps on His side of the scale, the other side of the scale becomes a catapult.
Date: Wed Mar 30 11:42:13 2011
From: Unidentified Fan
Two points: Regarding your writing about Marxism and Islam, especially Marxism, being false, evil and conspiratorial in nature, do you not see any possibility of the Aquarian Conspiracy having any validity? Perhaps there is an unconscious, unplanned and unintended “conspiracy” of like-minds through general enlightenment. Perhaps an automatic and unconscious mass movement toward some sort of improvement of society, through modern education, is responsible for at least some part of what you see as a purely evil conspiracy.
The second point; you have expressed hope in the future of the Cincinnati archdiocese with Archbishop Schnurr, but I see that the LPMP contact person for the Dayton area is still Sr. Nancy McMullen. Do you think she has changed for the better, or do you think the Archbishop is unaware of her wild teaching?
Date: Wed Mar 30 13:02:42 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
I had to do some quick internet research to find out what the Aquarian Conspiracy is supposed to be, and so far I’m not particularly impressed. It looks to be pure theory based on modern psychiatry and “states of consciousness” which says to me that it has strong links to the Freudian and Jungian bull-crap I exposed in the Freudianism page. None of that stuff has any basis in anything other than subjective conjecture on anyone’s part. I would sooner accept that such an unconscious conspiracy might be the product of angelic or demonic instigation than that it might be the mere product of human “unconscious minds.” First of all, that would make the phenomenon purely worldly, and if it were purely worldly, then how would you objectively prove it? It would be an activity of one or more minds, which may only be subjectively studied by other subjective human minds, would it not? You cannot objectively study an immaterial, ephemeral thing, such as a mind (not a brain, but a mind.)
On your second point, I saw that announcement in my church bulletin too, with some dismay. Sr. Nancy’s teaching was addressed in this site in the Pure Catholic Dissent page, with the left-column navigation button labeled “Cafeteria Catholic 3,” and elsewhere in this site. I don’t know what to say about this. I don’t see any way that this lady could change her spots, and I would predict that her teaching will remain as it was: anti-magisterium, pro-deaconess, pro-priestess, pro-sodomy, and basically anti-Catholic. We can hope that Archbishop Schnurr is unaware of the heterodox nature of Sr. Nancy, and that some future pupil will complain about her teaching and bring it to his attention. She was one of former Archbishop Pilarczyk’s LPMP demons. I mean faculty.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Updated this page to the new SBI! 3.0 release.
Date: Thu Jul 17 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
and name from
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.
Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages. .
Date: Tue Nov 01 21:22:05 2016
From: Sr. Christina M. Neumann
Location: Grand Forks / ND / USA
thought I would let you know about the blog, "Our Franciscan Fiat": https://ourfranciscanfiat.wordpress.com. I publish it for our community of the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen (USA province). For your reference, our province's website is: www.dillingenfranciscansusa.org.
In our blog, we discuss issues connected with our catholic faith (and religious life) and give a glimpse into how religious life is lived in our community on a day-to-day basis. We cover a variety of related topics.
I would invite you to check it out. Also, if you would ever consider sharing it with those you know who are interested, I would greatly appreciate it.
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