BOOKS RECEIVED: Antonio Socci on why Benedict is still Pope and Sam Gregg on the Struggle for Western Civilization

Books are coming in like hail.  Many on a similar theme.

Here’s what I’ve been up to today, resulting in the melting of my brain.

Today I read through

The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still the Pope? by Antonio Socci.

The Italian subtitle is a little different: “He is still the Pope.”  A couple people, who ought to have known better, wrote to me as if I were an idiot, to explain that sometimes publishers change the titles when they are translated into new languages.  YES… I know.  I read books in 5 languages and I’ve been reading them for a while now.

US HERE – UK HERE

First, Socci describes the conditions in the world leading up to the resignation.  He goes into a lot of geopolitics, which may or may not interest a lot of you.  Effectively, there has always been a conflict between secular and sacred authority.  In recent years the conflict of these USA with Russia manifests a certain dimension that made Benedict’s reign less and less tenable after the Cold War and the death of JP2.  He comes back to that, briefly, at the end when he brings in the Third Secret of Fatima.   Socci also underscores the important turning point of the amazing Regensburg Address, so misunderstood by so many outside and inside the Church.  Anyway, there would be reasons to doubt the validity of the conclave that elected Francis because of the clear machinations of certain Cardinals pushing for a more secularized Church.  However, the main point Socci argues is essentially the case Archbp. Gänswein famously made in a speech during a book presentation.  Namely, Benedict didn’t really intend to resign the papacy in its totality: just the administration of the munus, not the munus itself.  Hence, there is a way in which he remains the legitimate Pope while not governing the Church.  He makes also an interesting spiritual argument also, based on the way that Christ was stripped of His clothing before being crucified.   Finally, Socci gets into the Third Secret and what that might mean based on his argument about Benedict still being Pope while Francis is out there poping.  He has some new, or at least relatively unknown, words of Jacinta about seeing the Pope in visions.

The book is heavily laden dense footnotes often having more text than the principle text.  I suppose Socci did that so that one could read the book rather continuously and to keep the volume relative slim.  You decide.

Next, I’ve delved into Samuel Gregg’s new work

Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization

US HERE – UK HERE I see that it is also available via Audible and Blackstone Audio.

This is a history of ideas kind of book.  Gregg explores what happens when faith and reason drift apart.  This is issue of existential importance for “the West”, especially in light of the fact that the West itself has been the source of ideas that have caused the separation of faith from reason.

Hence, Gregg’s first chapter is entitled “The Speech That Shook The World”.  It is about Pope Benedict’s famous – and aforementioned – Regensburg Address.

Read the Address HERE.    Audio in German HERE.

You also want to read about Benedict XVI’s amazing Regensburg Address with the help of James Schall.

US HERE – UK HERE

 

Finally, for today, I also received a copy of

The Word Became Flesh: An Introduction to Christology (Formed in Christ Series)

US HERE – UK HERE

This is part of a series intended as High School texts.   However, given the state of things, I think this could easily be adapted also for parishes, or parish study groups.

Indeed, an “introduction to Christology” might be exactly what your parish priest needs.

I paged through this book.  It is well organized and the style is pitched low but not in a condescending way.  Anyone would be able to use this.  Each section has some assigned reading from Scripture and the CCC.  Each section has questions for both review and for discussion.  This is why it could form a good resource for a parish study group, even of adults.   I didn’t see anything that made me raise my eyebrow, even though some points are necessarily made a little thin, due to constraints of space and audience.  A good guide of a study group could expand.  For example, the reality of Hell is not downplayed in the least.  The issue of mortal sin and separation from God at death and judgement is underscored.  However, the why of and how sin separates us from God forever could be filled out by a good leader.

And so I circle back to the book at the top, Socci’s book about Benedict.   His first chapter dealt with Arianism, the major Christological question of the early Church which caused so many problems of unity and identity.  Those times can teach us about our times.  One could also say that most of our problems today flow from bad Christology.  Thus, a new book for younger people on Christology is welcome.

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27 Responses to BOOKS RECEIVED: Antonio Socci on why Benedict is still Pope and Sam Gregg on the Struggle for Western Civilization

  1. robtbrown says:

    IMHO, the confusion over the resignation of BXVI can be traced to the introduction of the episcopus emeritus.

  2. tzabiega says:

    Pardon me, but isn’t Pope Benedict still being Pope even if spiritually a great danger and an unprecedented act in the history of the Church? Popes have resigned before, but have never stayed behind in the “spiritual” realm. I would rather have one bad Pope (we have had dozens in the Church’s history) than having two Popes. I actually blame all the problems of the Pope Francis papacy on Pope Benedict. Francis is doing what he believes is right, even though much of it is wrong, but the Cardinals should have known what they were getting. Pope Benedict is the one responsible for the crisis, because even if he continued to be Pope in the most incompetent of ways, at least he wouldn’t be publishing anything on the border or past the border of heresy. He could have simply given Cardinal Pell or Burke or a group of Cardinals the administrative part of the Church and could have stopped all public appearances (maybe just show up at the Angelus on Sunday) and no great harm would have happened. Cardinal Dziwisz warned him not to resign: “If God puts you on the cross, you have no right to get down from it.” But Pope Benedict did otherwise and has harmed the Church irreparably.

  3. tzabiega says: Popes have resigned before, but have never stayed behind in the “spiritual” realm

    This is precisely the point of Socci’s argument. Socci argues that Benedict has done something unprecedented in bifurcating not the munus of the papacy but the administration of the munus and the spiritual reality of the munus. Socci thinks that Benedict did this purposely, intentionally. He cites various things Benedict said at the end of his pontificate as well as the speech by Gaenswein, remaining “Pope Emeritus” instead of something else, dressing in white, staying in Vatican City, wearing a ring with Peter and Paul (unlike Francis), etc.

    You can take or leave Socci as you please.

  4. carndt says:

    Are laity in schism if they believe that Benedict is the Pope because he resigned in error and don’t recognize Bergoglio as Pope?

  5. Amerikaner says:

    @Fr. Z – in the comments you mention that Socci appears to say Benedict purposely bifurcates the munus. Does Socci hint as to why Benedict would do so?

  6. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Should I be puzzled by the title, “The Word Became Flesh”, instead of “The Word Was Made Flesh”?

    [No.]

  7. Geoffrey says:

    In “The Secret of Benedict XVI: Is He Still the Pope?”, does Antonio Socci support the Fatima conspiracy theories? Third secret is still a secret and all the rest of it? I would like to read the book, but not if its just going to be someone echoing the late Nicholas Gruner. The late Fr. Andrew Apostoli made the case for me.

    [First, you don’t have to be anything near a supporter of the late Fr. Gruner to think that there is something not yet complete in the matter of the Third Secret. In this new book Socci mentions the controversy of the Third Secret (he wrote his own book about it after all) but he doesn’t dwell on it. He makes an interpretation of the text that was released in light of this book’s argument.]

  8. Uxixu says:

    I would disagree with robtbrown on this one point, at least. There were “emeritus” bishops before the Council. It was relatively rare, but sometimes happened that a bishop retired for various reasons usually health or senility. What Benedict appeared to be trying to do was telescope that to the papacy as if there’s an ontological change there, which disregards the previous precedents of Celestine V shedding every symbolic dignity of the papacy (and being imprisoned in seclusion by his successor Boniface VIII. While it’s something to Francis’ credit that he DOESN’T lock B16 away, that he continues to wear the white (the initial flimsy excuse by some was there was no time to find a black or red cassock in Rome is appallingly absurd), the conspiracy theories are going to naturally flourish even without the revelations of Sank Gallen, or the strangeness of the ATM business that happened right around the abdication.

  9. veritas vincit says:

    “I would rather have one bad Pope (we have had dozens in the Church’s history) than having two Popes. ”
    I agree, but that is my quarrel with anyone who says, without the clearest of evidence (such as coercion), that Benedict did not validly resign the papacy. Benedict resigned by a clear and definite act in the presence of the College of Cardinals and the public.
    As for machinations during the conclave (presumably meaning the “Sankt Gallen Mafia”) that elected Francis, that is nothing new in church history.
    Casting doubt on the legitimacy of the sitting Pope, no matter what faults he has, is a very serious matter, if not at least borderline schismatic.

  10. Imrahil says:

    What veritas vincit said.

    After all, there is such a thing we like to call “obvious”. Pope Benedict meant to resign the Papacy, he said so, hence he did it. And if to some that is not enough, they had better recall that he was, at that time, the supreme legislator in the Church in all that is not Divine Law and so obviously not bound to any specific canonical formula.

    It is quite irrelevant which honorifics his successor, or society, would still account to him, following the precedent of retired bishops, and also retired monarchs[*]. (In the 1870s, Austrian newspapers announced the death of “His Majesty Ferdinand the Good, Emperor of Austria”. And in the U.S., I believe, you talk of “Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama” and adress them as “Mr. President”; we Germans at least in the official etiquette certainly do so both to ex-presidents and to ex-chancellors.) Neither is it relevant if his Secretary, subsequently, or even he himself should overindulge a bit in the use of metaphors to describe the things he does now for the Church.

    [* My own practice, which as far as I see is also in use by society, is to still say His Holiness Pope Benedict, but reserving the “Holy Father” to the actual Pope.]

  11. TonyO says:

    Would it be too much to ask if Veritas Vincit and Imrahil were to read the argument before making their comments?

    Like them, I tend to be strongly skeptical of theories that Benedict did not resign. The appearance that he did has the presumption of validity, and any claim to the contrary has the burden of proof.

    That said, Socci (and Archbishop Gänswein) present an argument that purports to carry that burden of proof, and while (in my very non-expert opinion) their argument is not perfect and without ANY possible problems, it is actually pretty good and deserves attention. In a nutshell, because there is in fact a section of canon law that addresses the validity of a papal resignation, it controls unless the Pope SAYS he is superceding that specific canon. And he didn’t say any such thing. And that specific provision says he has to manifest his resignation in a clear, unambiguous manner. Unfortunately, what Benedict did at the time of his resignation was to allow his speech to present the ambiguity between a ministry and an office, which both immemorial practice and canon law clearly do NOT conflate. In his actions and words SINCE the resignation, he seems to have bolstered the arguable thesis that he meant to give up the active ministry of the Petrine Office but not the entirety of that office. That is, he has not by his later actions manifested that originally he MUST have meant to relinquish the OFFICE as such, completely and absolutely. So the ambiguity in his words of resignation remain, real enough and worrisome.

    It would be easy for Benedict to come out and say: “I did resign, I meant to resign, but for the satisfaction of those who have worries that my resignation was not sufficiently clear: I hereby declare that by my resignation speech I meant to relinquish all and every aspect of the Petrine Office, completely and absolutely.” However, I am sure he would still meet with resistance in some quarters. Alternatively, (this is my favorite), if Francis were to die soon (and I withhold the typical caveat “God forbid”), while Benedict is still alive, I would love it if Benedict were to come out and say: “It has been made clear to me that my attempted act of resignation of February 2013 was inadequate to produce a valid resignation of the Petrine Office. I hereby correct the error in that act: ‘Today I hereby fully and completely, absolutely and in every possible sense, resign the office of Bishop of Rome and the Petrine Office.’ ” This would have the effect of putting paid to ALL of the acts of Francis, making them null and void as papal acts. We could then have a new election without his horrible legacy looming over us.

  12. robtbrown says:

    Americaner,

    In so far as a bishop emeritus is not assigned to a titular diocese, he still has some relation to the diocese from which he retired–thus its munus.

  13. TonyO says:

    In so far as a bishop emeritus is not assigned to a titular diocese, he still has some relation to the diocese from which he retired–thus its munus.

    @ Robtbrown: Why? Is there an absolute requirement of the Church’s constitution that a bishop can only BE a bishop by being a bishop of a given place (or ordinariate)? What about, for example, the bishops who were consecrated (against Rome’s orders) by various schismatics or by Archbishop Lefebvre, not assigned to a diocese? (Or by the bishops of the Polish Catholic Church, or the Old Catholic Church). For that matter, it seems to me plausible that the Letters of Paul indicate the possibility that Paul consecrated as bishops a couple of his disciples (e.g. Timothy) without immediately assigning them to a diocese (a “church” at the time), but still associated with Paul as his ongoing ministry. (Not sure about that, but it seems likely.)

  14. robtbrown says:

    UXIXU,

    1. Munus is used both with regard to Potestas ordinis and Potestas iurisdictionis. There is ontological change with the first by ordination, none with the second. Thus, there is no Ontological change when a bishop or pope retires–and I don’t think BXVI supposes there is.

    IMHO, he was merely following the contemporary MO.

    2. A few years ago a retired bishop in a nearby diocese didn’t become emeritus. Instead, he became an auxiliary in the archdiocese. In fact, he was the titular Bishop of my hometown, which once was the archdiocesan see.

    Also:

    Emeritus is not merely an honorific. For example, an emeritus professor receives a pension but still can teach. It is common in US universities for retired profs still to teach a class or two.

    An emeritus bishop still retains some relationship with the jurisdiction of his diocese. What that is I don’t know. I read that some think he retains the Docens munus, but that can not be said of a pope emeritus–Infallibility pertains to the universal papal jurisdiction re teaching.

    IMHO, emeritus applied to a pope or any other bishop just creates a mess.

  15. colospgs says:

    I read Socci’s book on Fatima, and I found it to be very hard to follow while reading the footnotes. I found that they would interrupt the flow of what he was trying to say. So I re-read it and ignored the footnotes for the most part and it was much easier to read. I would suggest anyone reading his new work to try it this way, and just hit the footnotes of particular interest to you. Then maybe read it a second time paying closer attention to the footnotes.

  16. robtbrown says:

    Tony O,

    The bishops consecrated by Lefebvre don’t have jurisdiction, thus the problems with validity of SSPX Matrimony and Absolution. If they are valid due to necessity, as the SSPX argues, it is acc to Ecclesia supplet iurisdictionis, not thst SSPX clerics have faculties (jurisdiction).

    Francis has decreed that SSPX M & A are valid, but he did it without formal jurisdiction or faculties being given. I assume this is like an ex priest hearing the Confession of a dying man.

  17. rahook says:

    According to Zenit News, Sister Lucia stated in a meeting with Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone in 2001 that the Fatima secret has been revealed in its entirety. To see the story, go to the document library at http://www.ewtn.com and search for “no more secrets”.

  18. TonyO says:

    The bishops consecrated by Lefebvre don’t have jurisdiction, thus the problems with validity of SSPX Matrimony and Absolution

    Right, but you are mixing apples and oranges. A bishop by definition has the authority and power to forgive sins in his diocese. A priest has that power only by delegation – and it is the delegation of faculties from the bishop to the priest that allows the priest to validly absolve sins. My point was about the validity of consecration as bishop: the priests who were ordained for the SSPX became REAL bishops by that ordination, even though they had no proper jurisdiction or see. Hence it is not in virtue of being as bishop of a specific or diocese or see that makes the ordination valid. If a bishop is replaced due to retirement, there is nothing in principle that says he automatically retains some role or office with respect to former diocese “just because”. At least, not as far as I know. He will always be “the former bishop of X”, of course, but this is just a retrospective truth.

  19. robtbrown says:

    TonyO,

    It’s correct that “a bishop by definition has the authority and power to forgive sins in his diocese.” And how is “his diocese” designated?

    His diocese is designated when the pope assigns him there, giving him jurisdiction.

    It has been said here many times, including by yours truly, that the consecration of bishops by Abp Lefebvre was valid. I don’t know anyone who disputes that.

  20. robtbrown says:

    Also:

    1. A retired bishop is not just emeritus in genere. He is the bishop emeritus of a certain diocese.

    2. Fr Richard McBrien thought the SSPX episcopal consecration were invalid. McBrien was sponsoring an opinion that smelled of Donatism (cf ex opere operato).

  21. TonyO says:

    It’s correct that “a bishop by definition has the authority and power to forgive sins in his diocese.” And how is “his diocese” designated?

    His diocese is designated when the pope assigns him there, giving him jurisdiction.

    Fair enough. However, this is due to the current structure of jurisdictional roles and expressed so in canon law. It is not from the very constitution of the Church and the office of bishop: in ancient times, bishops were consecrated and assigned by the regional metropolitan or patriarch (or, in earliest times, by an Apostle) without explicitly asking permission from Rome. In somewhat later times, bishops often were selected locally (such as by the canons of the cathedral church) and ordained as bishop by any bishop in the region. Or, as I suggested above: it appears to me that St. Paul may have ordained men such as Timothy without the new bishop being explicitly ordained as the bishop of a diocese, but just to assist Paul in the ministry right there where he was operating.

    That is: it is not an absolutely essential aspect of the office of bishop that the person so ordained be ordained with respect to the office of ordinary of a specific diocese. If it were, I would suggest that the very nominalist (rather than substantive) “reality” of the assignment of a so-called titular diocese would undermine the validity of the ordination-to-bishop of auxiliaries and others ordained with no real diocese: how can you achieve a REAL sacramental effect from a PRETEND city of governance?

    Also, even when a bishop is removed from a diocese, to be no longer its ordinary, whether by being moved to a new diocese to be its new ordinary, or by being moved to the Vatican to take over a dicastery, or by being removed from office due to being a heretic or otherwise a malefactor, he will always retain the fact of having-been-ordained-as-bishop with respect to the first city he had. This relationship can never be eradicated (as neither can his being a bishop, even if he is a heretic, due to the ordination being explicitly “forever”). Hence one might put it that being retired out of the office and NOT being given some other role just automatically leaves him as an “emeritus bishop” in the sense that he is (a) the former bishop ordinary of the see, and (b) not removed for cause, and thus (c) is still a cleric in good standing with regard to that diocese. It seems to me that nothing further need happen to be an “emeritus” bishop – and it doesn’t imply any authority or office other than that of being “a retired ordinary with no new assignment”, i.e. a bishop-without-portfolio. Having “emeritus” status is not some positive office.

  22. robtbrown says:

    TonyO,

    1. I think I already made it clear that the validity of ordination/consecration is independent of faculties/jurisdiction.

    2. The jurisdiction of an auxiliary bishop given by assignment to a titular diocese means that he is attached to Rome but has no jurisdiction where he is living–that comes from the ordinary of the diocese. In light of his titular diocese he has jurisdiction “over a pile of rocks in North Africa” (described to me by a titular bishop, who later became a Cardinal).

    3. Although the final say in the nomination of bishops is reserved to the Apostolic See, the process is anything but top down. For a suffragan diocese the metropolitan is consulted, as are various clerics and laity. Prominent members of the national hierarchy also can give input. The story of Bernardin and Laghi each lobbying JPII for their respective candidates for NY (Kelly of Louisville vs O’Connor) is well known. And it seems that Cupich is in Chicago because of Wuerl’s efforts.

    4. Further, acc to the Swiss concordat, bishops are elected by the Cathedral chapter. Rome can only approve or disapprove, except in the case of promoting an auxiliary.

    5. When a culture or its politics are decidedly anti-Catholic, I think it’s a good strategy to keep local input to a minimum. That included those nations once under Soviet occupation as well as contemporary secular cutures. McCarrick’s influence on the nomination of certain bushops is well known. And it’s possible that there has been planned infiltration of the Church by anti-Catholic agents.

    6. A bishop who has changed dioceses has an historical relationship to his first diocese but not ontological, Sacramental or juridical. An emeritus bishop still has some relation to the diocese and is expected to stay there.

    7. Let me make clear–once again–that I am not defending the episcopus emeritus. I noted above, clearly I thought, that it was not a good idea. It is another VatII era idea that was implemented without considering the consequences–the product of ideological dreamers rather than realists.

  23. robtbrown says:

    TonyO,

    1. I think I already made it clear that the validity of ordination/consecration is independent of faculties/jurisdiction.

    2. The jurisdiction of an auxiliary bishop given by assignment to a titular diocese means that he is attached to Rome but has no jurisdiction where he is living–that comes from the ordinary of the diocese. In light of his titular diocese he has jurisdiction “over a pile of rocks in North Africa” (described to me by a titular bishop, who later became a Cardinal).

    3. Although the final say in the nomination of bishops is reserved to the Apostolic See, the process is anything but top down. For a suffragan diocese the metropolitan is consulted, as are various clerics and laity. Prominent members of the national hierarchy also can give input. The story of Bernardin and Laghi each lobbying JPII for their respective candidates for NY (Kelly of Louisville vs O’Connor) is well known. And it seems that Cupich is in Chicago because of Wuerl’s efforts.

    4. Further, acc to the Swiss concordat, bishops are elected by the Cathedral chapter. Rome can only approve or disapprove, except in the case of promoting an auxiliary.

    5. When a culture or its politics are decidedly anti-Catholic, I think it’s a good strategy to keep local input to a minimum. That included those nations once under Soviet occupation as well as contemporary secular cutures. McCarrick’s influence on the nomination of certain bushops is well known. And it’s possible that there has been planned infiltration of the Church by anti-Catholic agents.

    6. A bishop who has changed dioceses has an historical relationship to his first diocese but not ontological, Sacramental or juridical. An emeritus bishop still has some relation to the diocese and is expected to stay there.

    7. Let me make clear–once again–that I am not defending the episcopus emeritus. I noted above, clearly I thought, that it was not a good idea. It is another VatII era idea that was implemented without considering the consequences–the product of ideological dreamers rather than realists.

  24. Semper Gumby says:

    From Benedict XVI’s 2006 Regensburg Address:

    “The decisive statement in this argument [over the Bible and the Koran between Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an “educated Persian” c.1391] against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature.”

    “…Theodore Khoury [20th century theologian who edited a volume on the dialogue between the Emperor and the Persian which Benedict XVI used as his source] observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm [11th century Muslim theologian in Andalusia] went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will [says Ibn Hazm], we would even have to practise idolatry.”

    Benedict XVI continues:

    “At this point, as far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we are faced with an unavoidable dilemma. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: “In the beginning was the Logos.””

    “…Logos means both reason and word…In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos is God, says the Evangelist.”

  25. Semper Gumby says:

    Samuel Gregg in a 2016 article at Public Discourse:

    “Those who write the histories of the twenty-first century will, I suspect, list an address delivered at a German university on this day ten years ago as one of this century’s most important speeches. In just 4,000 words, what we now call the “Regensburg Address” managed to identify the inner pathology that is corroding much of the world, how this malignancy emerged, and what can be done to address it.”

    “The fact that it was the Roman Pontiff who showed how a collapse of faith in full-bodied conceptions of reason explains so much of our world’s evident disarray probably made Voltaire roll over in his grave. But Benedict XVI’s analysis- which enraged many Muslims but also drew scorn from some secular and religious progressives- didn’t emerge from a vacuum. The need to defend an understanding of reason that goes beyond the natural and social sciences has long featured in Joseph Ratzinger’s writings.”

    Samuel Gregg in 2017:

    “No one would designate the Rule of Benedict, Magna Carta, Michelangelo’s “David,” Mozart’s “Coronation Mass,” Plato’s Gorgias, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis, Jefferson’s Monticello, or Shakespeare’s Richard III as representative of Japanese, Persian, or Tibetan culture. Likewise, would anyone seriously question that ideas such as the rule of law, limited government, and the distinction between the spiritual and temporal realms, have developed and received their fullest expression in Western societies rather than Javanese or Arab cultures?”

    “These things, however, are essentially derivative. They proceed from specific philosophical and religious commitments without which the West as we know it could never have developed. When those foundations are shaken, we should not be surprised that all that is built on them starts to falter.”

    “Need people be faithful Jews or orthodox Christians to affirm Western civilization’s achievements? No. There are agnostics and atheists described by the late Michael Novak as “smiling secularists.” Though they might not accept Judaism and Christianity’s religious claims, they have no doubts whatsoever about these faiths’ indispensable role in the growth of Western culture.”

  26. Semper Gumby says:

    [Mary] became, in a literal sense, the unique custodian of divine truth: She carried the Logos in her womb. In her vocation as Mother of God, Mary opens herself to truth’s fruitful power. And in the stable in Bethlehem, she conveys that truth to others. – R.R. Reno

    Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature. – St. Augustine

    For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. – John 3:16

    If you had told me, before I set out, that decades later I would find the heart of the West somewhere entirely different- in events that took place on a dusty, blood-stained hilltop on the outskirts of ancient Jerusalem- I would have cackled in disbelief. – Sohrab Ahmari

    God Himself teaches us to go forward with our hand in His by means of the Church’s liturgy. – St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

    The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. – St. John Paul II

    Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the tomb. – St. John Chrysostom

    Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn. – Bishop Fulton Sheen.

  27. Semper Gumby says:

    Freedom must constantly be won over for the cause of good. – Benedict XVI

    Freedom that lacks moral truth becomes its own worst enemy. – George Weigel

    Why has evil been such a hard concept for many on the left to accept? The basic agenda of the left is to change external conditions. But what if the problem is internal? – Thomas Sowell

    “Two thousand years ago He chose twelve very broken, imperfect corrupt men to be his Apostles…He knew all of their sins…He still chose them.” – Fr. Josh Johnson to a man in a restaurant confronting him about the Catholic Church.

    To reach something good it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience. – St. Teresa of Avila

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn’t misuse it. – St. John Paul II

    Politics is chiefly a function of culture, at the heart of culture is morality, and at the heart of morality is religion. – Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

    The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better. – Thomas Sowell

    What makes you think I’d be happy about that? – Ronald Reagan in the hospital recovering from the assassination attempt, after being informed by Lyn Nofziger that the government was “running normally.”

    A brief word from the monks of Nursia:

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=P1hrdHtQHOg