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Showing posts from August 7, 2016

If They Won't Tell You

Longtime ESPN journalist and personality John Saunders is dead at the age of 61. He was good. Really good. He always seemed to be having a good time, and to be legitimately joyful. Appearances can always deceive, I suppose. In fact, I have to assume it was a suicide. If it were anything else, they'd say it, even if they had to say "apparent" first, pending an investigation. It may not have been. But when it is, we need to stop saying "passed away." A person who commits suicide doesn't "pass away". They violently took their own life. Whatever else we say about mental illness, and mitigating factors (especially as Catholics), we need to not surrender to a cultural tendency not to face the ugliness of this, and other things.  To take another example, an artist who dies from a drug addiction is not "gone too soon." In one sense, yes. Middle age or younger is not the ordinary time to die. But we should expect to die, if we are doing thing

Why Catholic? Further Thoughts

It seems to me that the real implied meaning of Newman's "To be deep in history..." statement is that there is theological significance to the visible ecclesial continuity of which the facts of history give ample testimony. A Protestant position is exactly the opposite: there is no theological significance to any visible ecclesial continuity, whether real or perceived. As appealing as that Protestant position may be on certain occasions, reflection surely indicates that if visible ecclesial continuity has no theological significance, then the exercise of authority to maintain orthodoxy in faith and morals ultimately is a fruitless undertaking, even in those Protestant communities. It is the revenge of a bad principle, applied consistently. "If I submit only when I agree, the one to whom I submit is me." In other words, there is no golden mean for the principle of individual interpretation; it will destroy the supposed authority of Willow Creek Community Church

Why Catholic?

I got asked this today. I like this question, but I like it even more when cradle Catholics ask me. Why am I Catholic? Because it's true. . Readers of this blog, however, tend to be Christians, so they don't need to have the concept of divinely revealed truth explained. They do want to know how it can be known that the Catholic Church is the Church, and therefore, why refraining from joining it is a grave sin. To be as brief as I can, it is not reasonable to believe that the commonalities between various Christian communities--not their differences, mind you--can be explained without reference to the Catholic Church. Understand that differences are easy to explain. A guy says one thing, or a community says one thing, and someone else disagrees. Disagrees passionately enough to start over. It's happened often enough, the details aren't that important. But dogma is an important thing. Most of the time you see this word, it's someone mocking someone else's slav