AMERICA’S PROBLEMS WITH RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
Two papers published on the American Catholic website, The Catholic Thing, have put in high relief the problems of ‘religious liberty’ in their country and elsewhere throughout the world. more
POPE FRANCIS & SECULARISATION OF THE CHURCH
American commentator, Mary Eberstadt, has raised what is perhaps the most important issue for the good of the Church the new pope must consider. Here is our comment. more
THE POPE AND THE QUESTION OF ‘CONDOMS’
This is the republication in consolidated form of two papers published in 2010 in consequence of certain remarks by the then pope, Benedict XVI, to the effect that the use of a ‘condom’ in certain circumstances might be ‘a first step towards a moralisation’. The principle to which the remarks refer, that one may do evil if some good may come of it, is in breach of the Church’s constant teaching. more
THE POPE THE CHURCH NEEDS
A comment on the needs of the faithful that a new pope will need to address. more
A POPE ABDICATES
Pope Benedict has advised he will cease to hold the Petrine Office on 28th February. Here is our comment. more
WHAT’S WRONG IN THE VATICAN PRESS OFFICE?
This is a comment on an article that appeared recently on ‘The Catholic Thing’ website. The website’s editor has overlooked the source of the problems. more
Some thoughts on the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II of England. more
SCIENCE AND ARISTOTLE'S AETHER
In 2004, American philosopher, Christopher A Decaen, published in 'The Thomist' a remarkable paper on Aristotle's aether. This commentary on what he had to say there is an attempt to develop the consequences of Aristotle's thought - as refined by St Thomas Aquinas - in the light of modern science.
This is a substantial revision of the commentary which appeared on this website on 25th May 2008. more
FAILURE OF THE EXECUTIVE POWER
This is a revision of a paper that appeared on this website in August 2005.
It deals with the problems that arose for Catholics on the interplay of two influences, one from outside the Church and the other, the more important, from within. more
JOHN XXIII AND VETERUM SAPIENTIA
On 22nd February 1962, in the Apostolic Constitution, Veterum Sapientia, Bl.
John XXIII wrote as follows: "[I]t is necessary that the language the Church employs be not only universal but immutable. For if the truths of the Catholic Church were to be handed on via one or other of more recent and malleable languages, no one of which is superior to another, the meaning of these truths, varied as they are, would not be manifest to everyone with sufficient clarity and precision. There would, moreover, be no language which could serve as a common and constant norm by which to gauge the exact meaning of other renderings. But Latin is indeed such a language. It is set and unchanging. It has long since ceased to be affected by the alteration in meaning of words which is the inevitable concomitant of daily, popular use... [T]he Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular."
The wisdom of these observations and the directives the Apostolic Constitution contained were swamped by the indulgence in novelty which followed upon the Second Vatican Council. Pope Benedict has stirred the Church's members to recognise the critical place that Latin plays in the Church's mission and liturgy. It is timely, then, to resurrect this important Church document. more
THE SCHISMATIC TENDENCY IN ‘CREATION SCIENCE’
'Creation Science', the naive assertion that the universe was created only 6,000 years ago, is a Protestant thing. Its adoption by Catholics presents real dangers to their faith. more
THE LOSS OF METAPHYSICS
John of Salisbury, 12th Century philosopher, says in his Metalogicon:
'Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs sitting on the
shoulders of giants. We see more... because they raise us up...' In the
century that followed John of Salisbury, the greatest of the intellectual
giants appeared, Thomas Aquinas. His philosophy, metaphysics, is the only
ultimately satisfying explanation of reality, the only philosophy which
leads us inevitably to the Author of all reality, Almighty God. Thomas's
philosophy was adopted by the Catholic Church as her own to assist in
formulating doctrine and in solving the great problems of morals. Yet, in
the last 40 years that philosophy has been abandoned and the Church and the
world have suffered. If the Church is to be returned to her rightful position of
influence in the world, her bishops and teachers must return to St Thomas's metaphysics. more