After several months of building a base floor of contributors, The Josias is now moving full steam ahead with articles, remarks, dubium, and new translations of formerly unavailable texts. (More information on The Josias is available here.) In the past day, two new pieces of interest have gone up.
The first, generously supplied by permission of the Aquinas Institute for the Sacred Doctrine, is taken from St. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. In it, the Angelic Doctor asks whether heretics should be tolerated.
The second, penned by yours truly, responds to the query, “Is integralism essentially bound up with racism, nationalism, and totalitarianism?” I hope I am not spoiling the surprise when I tell you the answer is, “Negative.” The explanation is laid out in the rest of the piece.
If you have not done so already, make an effort to visit the site and peruse the many excellent resources which are already available. If you have the talent and inclination to contribute, then please do so. And, finally, if you appreciate the contents of The Josias and its mission, do what you can to spread the word. We have no advertising budget; we are disinclined from “branding” ourselves on social media; and above all we hope and pray that if our project is pleasing to God, it will continue to bear good fruit.
Austin Ruse likes to antagonize his co-religionists, or so I surmised from his various entanglements with the so-called “New Homophiles.” While I am not unsympathetic to some of Ruse’s concerns, the unduly harsh manner in which he engages fellow Catholics, coupled with his myopic view of Church teaching and theology on a number of issues, renders me unable to fully endorse his writings. That reservation is now stronger than ever in light of his most recent Crisis piece, “Abortion, Torture, and Juice-Box Theologians.” In it, Ruse attacks not only Left-leaning Catholics who, for various reasons which are perhaps inadequate, reject the mainline Republican Party, but also more conservative/orthodox Catholics. According to Ruse, these “thunder-bolt tossing uber-Catholics,” some of whom are associated with the website Vox Nova, have expanded the list of political “non-negotiables” to absurd lengths, placing issues like gun control, climate change, and the federal minimum wage on the same level as abortion and same-sex marriage.
Yesterday’s brief post, “Blessed Charlemagne,” attracted far more hits than expected, which, to be frank, delighted me a great deal. Last year, on the 1,200th anniversary of his repose, I found barely a mention in “blogdom,” though the good Redemptorist monks on Papa Stronsay, the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, made sure to include the anniversary in their superb wall calendar. This year’s edition proudly commemorates the 400th anniversary of “The Fifteen,” that is, the uprising to place James Francis Edward Stuart to the thrones of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Like the successor uprising of 1745, it proved a failure, but a failure worth honoring nonetheless.
The Josias has posted a translation of, and brief commentary on, Pope Pius VI’s speech, Qaure Lacrymae, which was delivered in response to the regicide of King Louis XVI of France. From the introductory note by Pater Edmund Waldstein:
Quare Lacrymae is mainly concerned with showing that King Louis XVI’s death was a martyrdom. Pius VI can appeal to Louis XVI’s moving last will and testament, but in order to prove the point he has to show that the cause of his death was odium fidei. In order to prove this, Pope Pius argues that the main thrust of the revolution was against the Catholic religion. In the course of his argument he makes a bold claim about the connection between Calvinism and Enlightenment philosophy—anticipating in certain respects recent arguments by the likes of Brad Gregory.
It’s not my intent to provide running commentary on Ethika Politika’s content; it just seems to be working out that way (see here and here). Hunter Sharpless’s latest, “New Seeds of Revolution,” prioritizes an internal, spiritual revolution before an external one since, according to Sharpless, “the injustice of the world finds its birth in the individual human heart[,] . . . not in systems and powers external to [him]” or, for that matter, all of us. While there is a loud ring of truth in that statement, it’s not the whole truth, or at least not one which captures that systems and powers external to all of us shape our lives in profound, and sometimes disturbing, ways.
On this day, the 28th of January, in the Year of Lord 2015, we commemorate the passing of Blessed Charlemagne, Imperator Romanorum and Father of Europe.
The Collect of Blessed Charlemagne from an older edition of the Missale Romanum (H/T Fr. Benedict Anderson):
Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui a gloria tua nullam conditionem excludis: te suppliciter exoramus, ut sicut beato Carolo confessori tuo, post terreni culmen Imperii, caelestis regni solium contulisti: ita meritis ejus et precibus nobis quoque famulis tuis aeternae felicitatis praemia largiaris. Per dominum nostrum.
For more on Charlemagne’s cult and his status as “Blessed,” see Reliquarian‘s entry, “Charlemagne: Saint of the Holy Roman Empire?“
Addendum 1/28/15: The Duplex office for the feast of S. Caroli Magni, including the proper readings at Matins, can be found in the Breviarium Romanum via Google Books here.
On January 25, at the close of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, in the Eternal City of Rome, Pope Francis delivered these stunning lines during his homily (H/T Rorate Caeli):
Liberal, radical, and integralist Catholics — all three are the subject of my piece over at Front Porch Republic, “Illiberal Catholicism One Year On.” From the article:
Stepping out from the shadows to accompany the radical Catholic critique of liberalism is a refreshed iteration of Catholic integralism (sometimes called “integrist”) which takes its bearings from the classic Thomistic tradition and the Church’s modern social magisterium which first appeared in the anti-French Revolutionary declarations of Pope Pius VI; received forceful reaffirmation in Blessed Pius IX’s Syllabus Errorum; and was deepened through such seminal magisterial pronouncements as Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, St. Pius X’s Notre Charge Apostolique, and Pius XI’s Quas Primas, along with Quadragessimo Anno. This integralism, which is neither romantic nor pessimistic, asks in solidarity with the Thomistic philosopher-theologian Charles De Koninck, “When those in whose charge the common good lies do not order it explicitly to God, is society not corrupted at its very root?”
For more on Catholic integralism, see my latest offering at The Josias: “Catholic Integralism and the Social Kingship of Christ.”
I know very little about Sam Kriss, except that he writes a blog entitled Idiot Joy Showland, publishes in Left-leaning outlets, and penned Pater Edmund Waldstein’s favorite reflection on the Charle Hebdo killings in France. People I am friends with in real life and via social media enjoy Kriss, and many more are enjoying his recent piece on Chris Kyle, the slain Navy SEAL whose life—or a certain framing of his life by director Clint Eastwood in the film American Sniper—is causing a tidal wave of controversy. Some of the controversy is quite silly; a good deal of it is trivial and nitpicky; and then there are the heavy-hitting critiques which purport to expose the flaws in both Kyle’s character and Eastwood’s filmmaking talents. For some, such as Kriss, the two are almost intertwined, though perhaps Eastwood shares a bulk of the blame for crafting a movie which portrays Kyle unrealistically while glorifying the Iraq War (and perhaps war in general). For all of Kyle’s faults, including fabricating several outrageous tales in his ghostwritten autobiography, a desperate desire to hide them wasn’t one of them. As Kriss recounts, Kyle bragged remorselessly about the number of people—military and civilian—he killed during his tours in Iraq and his opinion of the Iraqi population as a whole was less-than-edifying. Moreover, Kyle never questioned the Iraq War nor had any qualms about his mission—a mission he frames as protecting American military lives above all else. That facet of Kyle’s character does make its way into Eastwood’s biopic, and it is the least bothersome part of the film.
Being uninterested in continuing to read commentary on the “rabbits” debacle and its fallout (see here and here) doesn’t mean my eyes weren’t drawn to Andrew Haine’s (Ethika Politika) critical response to Matthew Schmitz’s (First Things) reflection on the affair. Haines believes that Schmitz, and other conservative (and I’ll assume traditional, too) Catholics, are uncomfortable with Pope Francis’s various public pronouncements because they hold a “fascination with intellectual purity [which] remains unchecked” and are infected from some ill-defined “ideology that spawned from a consistent, rote repetition of talking points.” (Can we call this the ideology of “doctrinal clarity”?) It’s hard to figure out what exactly Haines is driving against except, perhaps, a certain rigidity in teaching which recognizes neither wiggle-room on the margins nor, apparently, the faithful’s “yearning for more clarity on matters of Church teaching[.]”