How Metaphysical Certitudes Anchor Proofs for God

This brief essay is not intended to be a complete presentation of the classical proofs for God’s existence as proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas and his disciples. Even partially full treatment of these arguments would require book-length a … [Read more...]

The Difference Between Imperfect and Perfect Hope

Contrasting Aquinas and Luther

In this short essay, I ultimately seek to lay out a brief explanation of the mechanics of hope as a theological virtue, which must include its synergy with charity. First, I will emphasize that the Thomistic or Scholastic theology of hope … [Read more...]

Dante and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Faith and Reason

The topic of the relatedness between reason and faith is important. As people leave the faith in high numbers, one of the reasons given is that faith and reason — more specifically, scientific reason — are viewed as incompatible. The Cath … [Read more...]

Newman, Aquinas, and the Development of Doctrine

The question of the development of doctrine, and his investigation of its implications, was crucial to John Henry Newman’s conversion to the Catholic Church. The question with which he struggled was this: how can it be that the Christian f … [Read more...]

The Mass that Always Was There

As a result of the 2020-2021 coronavirus pandemic, Catholic bishops in dioceses around the world restricted public access to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In the United States, every Latin Rite diocese reportedly canceled public Masses at … [Read more...]

Deferring Absolution in Clerical Abuse Cases

Deferring absolution is the key moment of decision on several key moral issues like contraception and relations with legal but not legitimate spouses, so it ends up being somewhat controversial. However, regarding clerical abuse, I think … [Read more...]

Conception: A Contradiction?

[Cf. Francis Etheredge: Conception: An Icon of the Beginning, St. Louis: En Route Books and Media, 2019: https://enroutebooksandmedia.com/conception/ (the publisher’s page includes interviews, reviews, endorsements, Contents and connections … [Read more...]

Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?

Aquinas on the Divinity of the Johannine Christ

In his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus, the noted Jewish historian of the first century, described Jesus of Nazareth as a “wise man [sophos anēr] . . . a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.”[1. “sophos anēr . . . didask … [Read more...]

On the Problem of Mental Reservation

Should we lie when the Nazi stands at the door and asks us his infamous evil question? Traditional proposals about how to solve this problem by means of what is called “mental reservation” tend to be unsatisfying, because they are based on t … [Read more...]

Questions Answered – February 2020

Purgatory and Filthy Lucre Question: I teach RCIA and a catechumen in my class said he was taught that Catholics dreamed up Purgatory as a way to get money from people. I know Purgatory is referred to in Maccabees and responded that … [Read more...]

The Eucharist as Source and Summit of Evangelization in the Recent Magisterium

“Yes, if only I am lifted up from the earth, I will attract all men to myself.”[1. Jn 12:32. All Scriptural quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the Knox Translation of the Bible.] In recent decades, the Church’s Magisterium has rep … [Read more...]

The Theological Anthropology of Karol Wojtyla (Pope St. John Paul II)

Every so often, there appears in history a person who has an effect on the world, that the whole world is changed for the better as a result of their being there. A person of recent memory is Father Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope St. John … [Read more...]

Is the Trinity a Mysterious Contradiction or a Rational Mystery?

Introduction Consider how central the Trinity is to our faith. We invoke the Trinity at the start and end of every Mass when we make the Sign of the Cross; those of us who pray the Rosary or the Divine Office will invoke the Trinity … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – June 2019

The Catholic Writer Today and Other Essays By Dana Gioia. Reviewed by Ken Colombini. (skip to review) Raymond E. Brown and the Catholic Biblical Renewal By Fr. Donald E. Senior. Reviewed by Rev. John P. Cush, STD. (skip to … [Read more...]

Catechesi Tradendae’s Fortieth Anniversary

The Usefulness of Metaphysics and Epistemology in Catechesis

The year 2019 marks the fortieth anniversary of a classic papal document on catechesis and evangelization in the contemporary Church and world, namely, Pope St. John Paul II’s 1979 apostolic exhortation Catechesi Tradendae, “On Catechesis in … [Read more...]