For those interested, my latest column from Bridge magazine, “There’s More to Conservatism Than Genuflecting Before Free Markets,” is now up online. If you’ve paid attention to this blog for more than five seconds, I am sure you already know where I am coming from.
Note: This post is lifted largely from an e-mail exchange, albeit with a few edits and redactions. It was prompted, in part, over a “concern” about why I tend to identify myself as a traditional Catholic and, moreover, why I continue to support the Society of St. Pius X despite its canonically irregular status. I apologize in advance if some of the paragraph transitions are a little choppy. Consider this post a placeholder for a more detailed discussion of the topics covered.
So, some group of Satanists is planning a “Black Mass” where they will, among other things, desecrate an allegedly consecrated Host, that is, the body, blood, and soul of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some have raised questions over whether or not the Host has actually been consecrated; others have asked how it is this Satanist group has come by this Host. Now it has come out that the Archbishop of Oklahoma City — where this Mass is, allegedly, going to be performed — is suing to have the Host returned to them. Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA and the founder of the Volokh Conspiracy web-log, has weighed-in on the matter here. He draws some analogies in order to determine, in the abstract, if the Catholic Church has a legal interest in the return of the Host. Upon learning of the Satanists’ claim that they have a “double agent” priest within the Church who supplied them with the Host, this is what Volokh has to say on the matter:
My “Straussian” days may be over, but I still remain peripherally interested in what goes on in the land of Leo Strauss scholarship. That interest is also extended to a handful of Strauss’s students, particularly the late classicist Seth Benardete. Words like “cryptic,” “obscure,” “challenging,” and “eccentric” fail to do justice to the labyrinthine complexity of Benardete’s thought as expressed through his formal written works. Now for the first time researchers and continuing students of Benardete’s work can begin accessing online a treasure trove of Benardete’s reading notes, written lectures, jottings, early essay drafts, and so forth through the New School’s Digital Archive. While not everything is available online (yet) and some categories of the Benardete papers remain restricted (e.g., correspondence with persons still living), you can get a full account of the archive, including links to the digital material, in the “Benardete Papers: Collection Guide” file. I will admit that his handwriting and note-taking style presents some challenges, but there are some fascinating finds among the collection, including Benardete’s notes on the New Testament.
At some point I may institute a weekly post rounding up articles — scholarly or popular — which I find especially interesting (even if I don’t always agree with them). It’d be nice if I had more time to comment on such things, but I have to pick my time investments wisely. Anyway, here we go.
As you can see, activity has not picked up on the blog; I am busy with other, life-related, things. So it goes. Between ebola and the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, surely there is plenty else in the world to keep you occupied. In “Catholic land,” our Sovereign Pontiff, Francis, has just finished a visit of South Korea where, among other things, he called for peace and reconciliation between north and south. Some economists are fretting over whether or not there is another recession on the horizon and, despite my best efforts, I think I may fall short of finishing Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century before I return it to the library. Rectify, which aired this season’s penultimate episode last week, remains the best (and most under-appreciated) show on television. Oh, and in an unprecedented show of in-ring brutality against a made main-eventer, Brock Lesnar destroyed John Cena at Summerslam for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The last time I saw a beating that bad, Phil Coke was on the mound for the Detroit Tigers. Speaking of the Motor City Bengals, it looks like upgrading to having David Price in the rotation has done absolutely nothing with respect to their win/loss record. Perhaps this is Kanas City’s year…but probably not.
Anyway, I shall return — I am just not sure when. I’m aiming for Thursday.
Once again, I wish I had more time to devote to this, but the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) has responded to Moscow Patriarch Kirill’s recent letter (discussed briefly here) which foists blame for alleged wrongdoings to Orthodox Christians on the UGCC and the independent Orthodox Kievan Patriarchate. I will leave it to you, dear readers, to compare the tone and contents of both epistles.
The weekend is packed and I have an article to finish, but I couldn’t pass up drawing attention to the Russian Orthodox Church’s latest round of paranoid, hyperbolic criticism of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) and the independent Kievan Patriarchate (KP) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In a letter to the other local Orthodox churches which was posted on, and then later removed from, the Moscow Patriarchate’s official website, Patriarch Kirill offers up a litany of accusations against the UGCC and KP with nary a mention of his own Church’s activities in the recently (and probably illegally) annexed Crimea. Kirill is also silent on the fact his priests have actively supported separatist in east Ukraine and that Russian Orthodox churches have served as ammunition depots for the rebels. You can read the full hypocritical text here.
As always, pray for peace in Ukraine and the UGCC. Ask the Blessed Virgin and St. Nicholas — the Patron Saint of Ukraine’s Greek Catholics — for their intercession so that the Church of Christ may continue to prosper and grow in the lands of the Christian East.
I still haven’t found much time for “blogging” and with the Feast of the Assumption (Dormition) tomorrow, I may not get back around to Opus Publicum until this weekend. Thankfully that doesn’t mean the Internet is without other things to read in the interim. Here are a few pieces which caught my eye over the last week.
Eric Posner and Adam Chilton of the University of Chicago Law School have just posted a new working paper, “An Empirical Study of Political Bias in Legal Scholarship.” For any who have spent time in and around the legal academy, the abstract won’t contain any surprises: