Friday, April 23, 2004

Too much spam

So in an effort to try to reduce it, I've simply put my email address after my fav blogs; sorry, you'll have to actually type it in if you want to email me.
Redemptionis Sacramentum

The Instruction "On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist" from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament (with the assistance of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) was promulgated by JPII today.

You can find the text here.

Here's the Table of Contents:

Preamble [1-13]

Chapter I

The regulation of the Sacred Liturgy [14-18]

1. The Diocesan Bishop, High Priest of his Flock [19-25]
2. The Conference of Bishops [26-28]
3. Priests [29-33]
4. Deacons [34-35]

Chapter II

The Participation of the Lay Christian Faithful in the Eucharistic Celebration

1. Active and Conscious Participation [36-42]
2. The Ministries of the Lay Christian Faithful in the Celebration of Holy Mass [43-47]

Chapter III

The Proper Celebration of Mass

1. The Matter of the Most Holy Eucharist [48-50]
2. The Eucharistic Prayer [51-56]
3. The Other Parts of the Mass [57-74]
4. The Joining of Various Rites with the Celebration of Mass [75-79]

Chapter IV

Holy Communion

1. Dispositions for the Reception of Holy Communion [80-86]
2. The Distribution of Holy Communion [87-96]
3. The Communion of Priests [97-99]
4. Communion under Both Kinds [100-107]

Chapter V

Certain Other Matters concerning the Eucharist

1. The Place for the Celebration of Holy Mass [108-109]
2. Various Circumstances Relating to Mass [110-116]
3. Sacred Vessels [117-120]
4. Liturgical Vesture [121-128]

Chapter VI

The Reservation of the Most Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Worship outside Mass

1. The Reservation of the Most Holy Eucharist [129-133]
2. Certain Forms of Worship of the Most Holy Eucharist outside Mass [134-141]
3. Processions and Eucharistic Congresses [142-145]

Chapter VII

Extraordinary Functions of the Lay Faithful [146-153]

1. The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion [154-160]
2. Preaching [161]
3. Particular Celebrations Carried Out in the Absence of a Priest [162-167]
4. Those Who Have Left the Clerical State [168]

Chapter VIII

Remedies [169-171]

1. Graviora Delicta [172]
2. Grave Matters [173]
3. Other Abuses [174-175]
4. The Diocesan Bishop [176-180]
5. The Apostolic See [181-182]
6. Complaints Regarding Abuses in Liturgical Matters [183-184]

Conclusion [185-186]

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Atheists and abortion

It seems that pro-abortion atheists are used to dealing with pro-lifers who appeal to theology to support their position. I say this because when they encounter a pro-lifer who offers arguments demonstrating the humanity of the human embryo, they offer all sorts of non sequiturs, strawmen, and other baseless arguments.

My latest example of this is in my discussion of the humanity of the embryo with Ben, in the comments of this post.

Now, I've enjoyed my conversations with Ben thus far, and continue to do so. But neither he nor biologist PZ Myers have thus far offered a definition of a human being which excludes the embryo or fetus in a non-arbitrary and consistent manner. Nor, IMO, have they successfully refuted my arguments. But I'll let the readers of the comments judge who is more successful.
Ono Ekeh

Mr. Ekeh was -- until a few weeks ago -- an employee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. When it was discovered that he was a strong Kerry supporter with a website "Catholics for Kerry", he was asked to resign, and rightly so: Kerry is unabashedly in favor of abortion rights, and there is simply no way to reconcile that with a Catholic perspective.

Mr. Ekeh has explained himself recently in a piece entitled More than one pro-life way in the National Catholic Reporter.

And Amy Welborn responds nicely.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


In discussing same sex marriage with Ben, it's become apparent that I'm going to have to enter into a more lengthy discussion of natural law theory, as it is so crucial in understanding the rational case against said marriages. As I told Ben, I hope to begin that discussion soon.

In the meantime, a couple of more articles worth reading:

Shelby Steele's WSJ article, and his rebuttal to Andrew Sullivan's response to the WSJ piece.

Which branch is unchecked?

William -- one of the guys at Southern Appeal -- posts today on the following comment made by SCOTUS justice Breyer in oral arguments yesterday: "It seems rather contrary to a nation with a constitution providing for three branches of government that one branch should be allowed to do whatever it wants without any check."

Go and read Bill's fisking of this somewhat ironic statement of a SCOTUS justice.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Hate speech

Candace -- one of the bloggers at The Village Gate (formerly The Right Christians) -- posts about this from the Family Research Council:
    Gays disproportionately diseased "Homosexuals account for a disproportionate number of America's most serious STD's, including syphilis, gonorrhea, genital warts, and hepatitis A and B."
She sees it as hateful, anti-gay rhetoric. But what if it's accurate? Is it hateful then? Is it hateful to say that a particular group accounts for a larger proportion of STDs? If it's an outright falsehood, that's one thing. But Candace doesn't challenge the accuracy of the statement... merely to utter it is hateful, even if true.

On the other hand, I wonder what she thinks of this little note sent to
    Biil c250 will pass. Your group will be the first one we go after. You are nothing but a group of hatefilled bigots. How dare you use a name like freedominion, free for who, right wing ***holes. I was in Edmonton last week and I enjoyed ****** Lorne Gunters son in the *****. Tight. I am headed down to parliament hill later to slap that ******* Anne Cools[bible thumping nigger] and to ****** your hero Steve Harper. I'll bet he likes the taste of ********. Talk to you later redneck *********.
Hmm... which one sounds more hate-filled to you?

(Hat tip to Mark Shea on the latter.)
More Dan Brown inanities

I've read The DaVinci Code, but only because I gave a talk on it. Before that piece of historical rubbishnovel came out, I started Angels and Demons on my dad's recommendation, only to put it down within the first ten pages after references to the conflict [sic] between faith and reason.

Bill Cork, on the other hand, was able to finish the A&D, and he catalogs some of the egregious errors Brown makes in that novel.

But what does Brown care about truth? He's making a pile of money.
Two Is Enough: Why large families don't deserve tax breaks.

That's the title of this article by Dalton Conley, the director of NYU's Center for Advanced Social Science Research. Conley writes, "If we really care about kids' welfare and accomplishment, the United States should scrap policies that encourage parents to have lots of children. As my recent research shows, having more than two children is tantamount to handicapping their chances for academic, and thus economic, success."

Whatever. My wife is one of eight kids, and of the eight, six have at least a bachelor's degree. And my in-laws are most certainly middle class. But read the whole thing.
A Train on a Circular Track

Fyodorovna -- current Lutheran, former Catholic -- offers her thoughts on Josh's argument, which I linked below. She doesn't think that Josh's argument will convince many Catholics -- about that, she's right -- because whether your an orthodox Catholic or not, "the primacy of a personal commitment to the institution(!)" nullifies the most determined efforts to help Catholics see the truth.

Fyodorovna's argument reminds me of what a friend wrote to me some years ago. He -- currently an LCMS pastor, then a seminarian -- accused me of having a completely circular thought process, akin to a bullet train on a circular track. His point was similar to hers: I kept pointing back to the human institution of the Church.

I have to cut this post short... I'll return to the thought later.
Blogroll updated

I've updated the blogroll some.
Rowan Williams

Yesterday kendall of titusonenine linked an interesting (and lengthy -- 47 pages) article on the theology and sexual ethics of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. It might be worth reading...
Catholic certitude

Josh has a good post on the question of certitude in Catholicism. He notes how one so often hears Catholic apologists asking, "How can you know that what you believe is true without an infallible teaching authority?" and then proceeds to outline some of his problems with certitude in the Catholic Church. Pointing to what he views as contradictions between how one doctrine was explained back in the day and how it's explained today, he posits that a Catholic can never really know the truth of a doctrine, because the explanation he hears today might change tomorrow.

I've offered a few thoughts in the comments box... I think it's an important post that Catholics need to address, or rather, they need to address Josh's argument.

Friday, April 16, 2004

You knew it had to happen sometime...

Fr. Bryce Sibley has found something interesting (what's new)... a version of Star Wars, Episode IV... the opera.
"rely on"???

Jeff Miller wonders what the VP and General Counsel of the fledgling liberal talk radio network Air America meant when he said, "To shut off a broadcast that listeners rely on without warning and in the middle of discussions is the height of irresponsibility and a slap in the face of the media industry."

So, liberals can't do without their daily dose of Franken and Garafolo? With Jeff, I thought it was only Rush Limbaugh's listeners who were mind-numbed robots who depend on the talk show host in order to know what to think. Hmm...
JPII to the U.S. Bishops, I

Every five years all of the Catholic Bishops of the world make their way to Rome for consultation with the Holy Father and the Roman Curia. This year, the bishops of the U.S. make their quinquennial visit, doing so by Province, as always. The first such visit was made at the end of March and beginning of April by the bishops of the Provinces of Atlanta and Miami, and concluded --as always-- with a group meeting with the Holy Father, in which he shared his thoughts with this particular group of bishops (as he will with each group). That address is as follows:

    Dear Brother Bishops,

    1. "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!" (Eph 1:2). At the beginning of this series of visits ad limina Apostolorum by the Bishops of the United States of America, I offer a warm welcome to you, my Brother Bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Atlanta and Miami.

    Your visit to the tomb of Peter and to the house of Peter’s Successor is in fact a spiritual pilgrimage to the heart of the Church. May it be for you a summons to a more intense encounter with Jesus Christ, a pause for reflection and discernment in the light of faith, and an impulse to new vigor in mission. I trust that this series of ad limina visits will also bear particular fruit in a deeper appreciation of the mystery of the Church in all its richness, and a far-reaching discernment of the pastoral challenges facing the Bishops of the United States at the dawn of the new millennium.

    Our meetings are taking place at a difficult time in the history of the Church in the United States. Many of you have already spoken to me of the pain caused by the sexual abuse scandal of the past two years and the urgent need for rebuilding confidence and promoting healing between Bishops, priests and the laity in your country. I am confident that the willingness which you have shown in acknowledging and addressing past mistakes and failures, while at the same time seeking to learn from them, will contribute greatly to this work of reconciliation and renewal. This time of purification will, by God’s grace, lead to "a holier priesthood, a holier episcopate and a holier Church" (Address to American Cardinals and Bishops, 23 April 2002, 4), a Church ever more convinced of the truth of the Christian message, the redemptive power of the Cross of Christ, and the need for unity, fidelity and conviction in bearing witness to the Gospel before the world.

    2. The history of the Church demonstrates that there can be no effective reform without interior renewal. This is true not only of individuals, but also of every group and institution in the Church. In the life of every Bishop the challenge of interior renewal must involve an integral understanding of his service as pastor gregis, entrusted by Christ’s will with a specific ministry of pastoral governance in the Church and the responsibility and apostolic power which accompany that ministry. To be an effective pastor gregis, however, the Bishop must also strive constantly to be forma gregis (cf. 1 Pet 5:3); his apostolic authority must be seen first and foremost as a religious witness to the Risen Lord, to the truth of the Gospel and to the mystery of salvation present and at work in the Church. The Tenth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops recalled that "the Bishop’s life is to be completely submitted to the word of God in his daily commitment of preaching the Gospel in all patience and sound doctrine" (Pastores Gregis, 28; cf. 2 Tim 4:2).

    The renewal of the Church is thus closely linked to the renewal of the episcopal office. Since the Bishop is called in a unique way to be an alter Christus, a vicar of Christ in and for his local Church, he must be the first to conform his life to Christ in holiness and constant conversion. Only by himself putting on the mind of Christ (cf. Phil 2:5) and acquiring "a fresh, spiritual way of thinking" (Eph 4:23), will he be able to carry out effectively his role as a successor of the Apostles, the guide of the faith community, and the coordinator of those charisms and missions which the Holy Spirit constantly pours out upon the Church.

    3. The recent Synod of Bishops and the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Gregis have spoken insistently of the need to appropriate an ecclesiology of communion and mission, which must be "our fundamental point of reference" for understanding and exercising the episcopal ministry (Pastores Gregis, 2). In doing so, they have taken up the core vision of the Second Vatican Council, which called for a renewed appreciation of the mystery of the Church, grounded in the trinitarian life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit (cf. Ad Gentes, 2; Lumen Gentium, 2-4), as the basis of a reaffirmation of her inner unity and her missionary outreach to the world.

    This appeal of the Council is as valid today as ever. A return to the heart of the Church, a recovery of faith’s vision of the nature and purpose of the Church in God’s plan, and a clearer understanding of her relation to the world must be an essential part of that constant conversion to God’s revealed word which is demanded of every member of the Body of Christ, reborn in Baptism and called to work for the spread of God’s Kingdom on earth (cf. Lumen Gentium, 36).

    Ecclesia sancta simul et semper purificanda. The Council’s urgent summons to pray, work and hope that the image of Christ may shine ever more brightly on the face of the Church (cf. Lumen Gentium, 15) calls for a constant reaffirmation of faith’s assent to God’s revealed word and a return to the sole source of all authentic ecclesial renewal: the Scriptures and the Apostolic Tradition as authoritatively interpreted by the Church’s Magisterium. Indeed, the Council’s vision, which found expression in the great Constitutions Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes, remains "a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning" (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 57).

    4. Dear Brothers, at the start of these meetings of the Successor of Peter with the Bishops of the United States, I wish to reaffirm my confidence in the Church in America, my appreciation of the deep faith of America’s Catholics and my gratitude for their many contributions to American society and to the life of the Church throughout the world. Viewed with the eyes of faith, the present moment of difficulty is also a moment of hope, that hope which "does not disappoint" (Rom 5:5), because it is rooted in the Holy Spirit, who constantly raises up new energies, callings and missions within the Body of Christ.

    The Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, celebrated in the wake of the epochal events of September 11, 2001, rightly noted that the Bishop is called to be a prophet, witness and servant of hope to the world (cf. Pastores Gregis, 3), not only because he proclaims to all the basis of our Christian hope (cf. 1 Pet 3:15) but also because he makes that hope present through his pastoral ministry, centered as it is on the three munera of sanctifying, teaching and governing. The exercise of this prophetic witness in contemporary American society has, as many of you have pointed out, been made increasingly difficult by the aftermath of the recent scandal and the outspoken hostility to the Gospel in certain sectors of public opinion, yet it cannot be evaded or delegated to others. Precisely because American society is confronted by a disturbing loss of the sense of the transcendent and the affirmation of a culture of the material and the ephemeral, it desperately needs such a witness of hope. It is in hope that we have been saved (cf. Rom 8:24); the Gospel of hope enables us to discern the consoling presence of God’s Kingdom in the midst of this world and offers confidence, serenity and direction in place of that hopelessness which inevitably spawns fear, hostility and violence in the hearts of individuals and in society as a whole.

    5. For this reason I pray that our meetings will not only strengthen the hierarchical communion which unites the Successor of Peter with his Brother Bishops in the United States, but will bear abundant fruit for the growth of your own local Churches in unity and in missionary zeal for the spread of the Gospel. In this way, they will come to reflect ever more fully the "great mystery" of the Church which, in the words of the Council, is in Christ as it were a "sacrament of intimate union with God and of the unity of all mankind" (Lumen Gentium, 1), the firstfruits of the Kingdom of God and the prophetic foreshadowing of a world reconciled and at peace.

    In the coming months, I would like to engage you and your Brother Bishops in a series of reflections on the exercise of the episcopal office in the light of the threefold munus by which the Bishop, through sacramental ordination, is conformed to Jesus Christ, priest, prophet and king. It is my hope that a consistent reflection on the gift and mystery entrusted to us will contribute to the fulfillment of your ministry as heralds of the Gospel and to the renewal of the Church in the United States.

    6. Dear Brothers, I assure you of my prayers for each of you and for all the clergy, religious and lay faithful entrusted to your pastoral care. As we strive to meet the challenges which lie ahead of us, let us never cease to thank the Triune God for the rich variety of gifts which he has bestowed upon the Church in America and to look with confidence to the future which his providence is even now opening before us. With great affection I commend all of you to the loving intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the United States of America, and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Oh yeah...

Happy Easter!

Veritas celebrated its second birthday during Lent... although I certainly have not been posting as regularly and often as I did when I first started this blog, I'm still enjoying the opportunities for discussion which it affords. And I'm sure that the few dozen people in my email address book prefer being able to see what I have to say by going to the blog rather than plowing through the fwd's I used to send out.

Once again, Buona Pasqua!

Ben has been patiently waiting for my response to his reply to my response to his reply to my post (whew.) on same sex marriage from before Lent. I don't have time this morning to get into the full enagement that his argument deserves, but in the meantime, I'm offering links to some articles which I think support my position, one way or another.

First is Donald Sensing's article from OpinionJournal. Sensing doesn't actually oppose same sex marriage; his argument is that The Pill already set the stage for SSM by separating sex from childbirth. I agree.

CA Assemblyman Tim Leslie's article is much more to the point; his position and my position are very similar. Leslie also points to the connection between sex and "the begetting & rearing of children" as the ultimate reason for why marriage is recognized as a public institution, and isn't just a private religious affair.

Next we have an op-ed by three profs at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul which lays out a case similar to Leslie's against same sex marriage.

Finally, we have science fiction author Orson Scott Card's argument, summarized by Peter Sean Bradley as follows:
    (a) same sex marriage is no more "marriage" because 4 out of 7 members of the Massachusett's Supreme Court says it is than a cow would have 5 "legs" because they defined "legs" to include tails; (b) no homosexual has ever been denied the civil right to marry; and (c) we are at a point where "democracy" means allowing 4 out of 7 oligarchically selected individuals wearing black robes the power to unilaterally legislate sweeping social changes without the input of the people.
I hope to respond more specifically to Ben's counterarguments in the near future, but I offer these texts for now.