A Catholic dictionary for pastoral planning

As we enter into a more public phase of the archdiocese’s pastoral planning process, I want to review some language. This may seem elementary, but it is important that when we hear and use certain words, we operate with common definitions.

The Ratzingerian constants and the maintenance of harmony in the church

Some years ago, my friend Msgr. Francis Mannion wrote an article concerning the three essential features of the eucharistic liturgy — namely, the priest, the rite and the people. When these elements are in proper balance, rightly ordered liturgy obtains. Further, from these categories, he argued, we can discern the three typical distortions of the liturgy: clericalism (too much of the priest), ritualism (a fussy hyper-focus on the rite) and congregationalism (a disproportionate emphasis on the people). It was one of those observations that just manages to spread light in every direction.

Soup’s on!

Christine Schoeler warms souls with her soup ministry and joy-filled spirit

Spinoza, secularism and the challenge of evangelization

During this Christmas holiday, I’ve been reading Anthony Gottlieb’s breezy and enjoyable history of modern philosophy, entitled The Dream of Enlightenment. Throughout his treatment of such figures as Descartes, Hobbes, Locke and Voltaire, Gottlieb reveals his own rather strong bias in favor of the rationalism and anti-supernaturalism advocated by these avatars of modern thought. Toward the end of his chapter on Spinoza, Gottlieb avers that what he calls “the religion of Spinozism” is more or less identical to the secularist worldview espoused by so many in the West today, including himself.

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