Church News, News About Saints

Another One Bites the Dust

Another beatification cause has apparently dimmed into oblivion.

C’est la vie. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. So everything goes. That holds for canonization causes, too.

They either end in success or fade into nothingness. And while for the latter an imprint may remain, perhaps just a faint one, their dust is blown away by history’s inexorable march, and we forget these heroic men and women. Continue reading

News About Saints, Uncategorized

Dorothy Day Cause Moves Forward

As America magazine reports here, the cause for the Servant of God Dorothy is moving forward.

While many will welcome this news, others make some good points as to why her cause is problematic (e.g., her loathing violence when on the part of conservatives, encouraging it on the part of communists, etc.; evidently she wasn’t quite the pacifist her supporters would have us believe) and thus not worthy of becoming a saint. The best, most recent argument in this regard is here.

However let us keep in mind that saints are not declared such because they were infallible or immune to the errors of their times. St. Paul accepted slavery. Saints in Merovingian times accepted things we would find horrific today.

Saints are named saints because of their holiness of life, how they lived the virtues in a heroic way. As one person put it, the saints are an annotation of the Gospels. So even if Ms. Day was morally inconsistent, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t holy.

God’s will be done now and forever.


Eucharist–Part One–“If it’s a symbol, to hell with it.”

My Calling

“Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.”

At the end of a late-night dinner, Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor gave this singular reply to fellow writer Mary McCarthy, who’d just pronounced her thinking of the Eucharist as a symbol, and a pretty good one. “That was all the defense I was capable of,” O’Connor explains in her December 1955 letter to a good friend. “[B]ut I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.”

Flannery O’Connor’s words might well shake us out of any sense of the Eucharist as a routine celebration.

Sometimes we all need to be re-awakened to what we believe. Roman Catholics and vowed religious brothers and sisters are no different.

Let’s remember some of what the Eucharist…

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First thoughts on the English version of Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia.

As usual, really good analysis by Dr. Peters. I especially agree with one point. Indeed I think it’s fundamental in understanding Francis and what makes the Holy Father so maddening at times, and it is this: He is not a systematic thinker.

He also is not a clear, unambiguous communicator. That may be a studied action on his part. He may be purposely ambiguous.

So, for instance, when Dr. Peters makes the argument in point #4, one has to wonder was Francis simply not conscious of what he was possibly implying or was his ambiguity studied? Is he doing like Fr. Raymond Brown and others have so assiduously done since Vatican II by tip-toeing to the line of rejecting perennial Church teaching, giving a wink-wink/nudge-nudge to heresy or at least dissent, without actually giving full-throat to what they really believe? Who can say? He’s the Rorschach blot Pope. You can make an argument either way depending on your perspective.

Now does he reject “forever” “condemnation” as in he rejects the reality of hell? I don’t think so.

But does he really think that denying Communion to the divorced-and-civilly-remarried is a “condemnation” “for ever”? Your guess is as good as mine.

The Holy Father will not read these words, but maybe someone who knows him will. If that happens, I would ask this person to pass on this humble and filial request: Popes are not supposed to truck in ambiguity. They are supposed to stand as clear, unambiguous defenders and teachers of perennial doctrine, because the truth cannot change. So please, Your Holiness, start doing that. This is getting … has become really old.

In the Light of the Law

There are as one might expect in a document of this length and written with access to the kinds of resources a pope commands, many good things said about marriage in Amoris. Whether those things speak with any special profundity or clarity is better left, I think, for each reader to decide individually.

That said, however, one must recall that Francis is not a systematic thinker. While that fact neither explains nor excuses the various writing flaws in Amoris, it does help to contextualize them. Readers who are put off by more-than-occasional resort to platitudes, caricatures of competing points of view, and self-quotation simply have to accept that this is how Francis communicates.

Some juridic issues that were widely anticipated include:

Holy Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics. Francis does not approve this central assault tactic against the permanence of marriage, but neither does he clearly reiterate constant Church…

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Know the Truth About the Crusades

Whether you’re Catholic, Protestant, some other religion, or someone with no stated faith (I would argue atheists do have a faith), but you are a person of good will who believes in intellectual honesty, you need to know what the Crusades were truly about. Why? Because the Crusades are so often used against Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. Even the “Leader of the Free World” spouted bad history on this subject.

There are plenty of examples of bad things done in the name of Christ. I would strenuously argue that the Crusades don’t fall into that camp, not if they’re properly understood.

So in the interest of intellectual honesty and good will (or just for your own edification), please read this piece. (Note: It’s not mine, if that’s more of an incentive to read it. 😉 ) Continue reading

News About Saints

Pope Slows Sainthood for Stepinac

In a recent posting, Dr. Robert Moynihan has some really interesting insights into why Pope Francis has slowed the process of canonization for Bl. Aloysius Stepinac, the martyred archbishop of Zagreb (d. 1960).

You can read said insights here.

Saints Stories, Uncategorized

The Cinderella Nun

St. Maria Crescentia Höss
Memorial: April 5

In the old days, nuns didn’t live by themselves in apartments. In fact, most of the time, they were completely cloistered. That meant once you entered, you were with the same group of women for the rest of your life.

Well, what if it had been your heart’s desire from the time you were a little child to enter a religious order, but once you did, you learned that most of those women with whom you were going to spend the rest of your life pretty much hated you and devoted their lives to making yours a living hell? Continue reading