A Book Review in Several Parts: “From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church” by Francis A. Sullivan, S.J.

A few years ago I began to study the Catholic faith in which I was raised. And the findings of that study were disturbing. Whereas we had always been taught that the Pope of Rome was the “Vicar of Christ” and one who is directly descended from St. Peter – in unbroken succession no less […]

Catholics to Beatify Sola Scriptura

For the first time “on American soil” a saint is to be declared.  Apparently a 26 year old nun who died in 1927 was “holy” enough to merit this award. But how utterly ironic that – contrary to the teachings of Rome during her lifetime – she discovered that the Word of God is “THE wellspring of […]

Papal messianism, bolstered by lack of competence in economics, is the road to a familiar hell, however finely paved with lovely intention.

Maureen Mullarkey has a wonderful piece in this week’s First Things. Entitled “Tammany on the Tiber” it is an exceptional piece. She  wonders rightly, I think, about the trend now developing of popes canonizing their predecessors. She asks, Is election a promissory note drafted in white smoke, and redeemable at death for public elevation to the rank of […]

Bergoglio’s Gig, Part 3: Opposing Ratzinger

In one of his first major public addresses as pope, at St. Peter’s Square, Sunday, March 17, 2013, “Pope Francis” specifically cited Cardinal Walter Kasper’s book “On Mercy”: In the past few days I have been reading a book by a Cardinal — Cardinal Kasper, a clever theologian, a good theologian — on mercy. And […]

Bergoglio’s Gig, Part 1

Before he was elected pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had an opportunity to address the cardinals of the conclave. The WSJ relates the long-term vision he provided regarding “the future of the church”: Cardinal Bergoglio, however, wanted to talk about the elephant in the room: the long-term future of the church and its recent history of […]

Who “Ruined” the Roman Catholic Church?

Peggy Noonan, the syrupy WSJ writer (and former Reagan speech writer) who famously coined the phrase “John Paul the Great” (whom Neuhaus predicted would usher in “the Catholic Moment”), now throws that hopeful papacy and the Ratzinger one under the bus and signs onto the “Church-in-ruins” model that Francis of Assisi was asked to fix: […]

Into and Out of Roman Catholicism

Over at Green Baggins, a commenter named Rooney said: If a reformed person visits sedevacantist websites like MHFM [“Most Holy Family Seminary”], I think such a person would be hardened more against the current RCC and the chances of converting to the RCC will drop. Reading sedevacantist/traditionalist arguments was one thing that kept me from […]

On mining for support for doctrines “after the fact”, and finding “100% certainty” “under certain conditions”. Or: “Dogma-appreciation 101”.

This is something that Nathan Rinne picked up on a couple of weeks ago: Earlier in the thread [the “Visible Church” thread], in post # 221, John Thayer Jensen wrote: “… people often seem to me to make the mistake of deciding, first, what things are true – which implies some external canon – and […]

Straining at a gnat, while swallowing the camel of centuries’-worth of ‘distinctively Roman accretions’

Continuing with my very long discussion with Michael Liccione at Called to Communion: Mike 286: That remark is as good a place as any to start for the sake of explaining what’s wrong with your approach at the most fundamental, philosophical level. There is nothing wrong with my approach at any level, much less “the […]

‘The Church’ in Roman Catholic Ecclesiology: is it the ‘Universal Sacrament of Salvation’? Or merely an idol?

The Roman Catholic Church, at Vatican II, called itself “the universal sacrament of salvation”. Here is how they put it: In later usage the term sacramentum emphasizes the visible sign of the hidden reality of salvation which was indicated by the term mysterium. In this sense, Christ himself is the mystery of salvation: “For there […]