Sunday, September 22, 2013

Away for two weeks

As I will be traveling to Rome for the next two weeks, there will be no updates to the New Theological Movement blog until sometime after October 5.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Married priests, ritual purity, and priestly celibacy

While there is a good deal of reflection (some good, most bad) in the secular media, as well as in Catholic media, on the value and role of priestly celibacy in the Church, there is yet very little theological consideration of the topic.
Nearly every argument for or against priestly celibacy is related either to practical concerns (i.e. “we will get more priests,” or “they will not have time to care for family and parish”) or to devotional thoughts (i.e. “marriage is given by God to all,” or “an undivided heart”). Now, there is certainly something to be said for both practical and devotional points, but we must first consider something of the theology behind celibacy if we are to have any hope of discussing the topic intelligently.
Interestingly, the question of clerical continence for married priests and deacons may be of great aid in helping us to consider the doctrine behind the discipline of priestly celibacy.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

MYTH: A ship could be build from the "relics" of the True Cross

What may be the largest relic of the True Cross
Santo Toribio de Liébana in Spain
September 14th, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross
“There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poitiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it.” John Calvin, Traité Des Reliques
Protestants, rationalists, modernists, and other enemies of Christ and his Church attack the veneration of the True Cross (a practice as ancient as Christianity itself) with the mockery: “If all the supposed splinters of the True Cross were collected, there would be enough wood to build a boat!” Those who are not quite so pompous will add, “Or at least three crosses.”
But is it true? Just how much Sacred Wood is venerated in the Church of Christ?

Monday, September 9, 2013

In response to Father Brian Mullady - "Contraceptive intention" and NFP

Over at Human Life International’s “Truth and Charity Forum” [here], Father Brian Mullady O.P. has an interesting little article on “Fundamental Differences: NFP vs. Contraception”.
While the majority of the article is quite insightful, Fr. Mullady falls into the same error which has plagued many scholars and lay-folk alike who enter this discussion: He fails to realize that a sinful use of Natural Family Planning is still not “an act of contraception.”

Friday, September 6, 2013

Must a man "renounce all his possessions" to be a Christian? On counsels and precepts

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 14:25-33
Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.
After telling the crowds that a man must hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, in order to be his disciple, the good Savior then seems to enjoin radical poverty upon all Christians.
To understand properly this passage, which is closely related to the tenth chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, we must keep in mind the difference between a counsel and a precept. Likewise, it will be well to consider certain styles of Hebrew speech which are not easily translated into modern western languages.
Only in this way will we succeed in giving the proper interpretation of our Lord’s words.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pope St. Gregory the Great on the human knowledge of Jesus Chrsit

September 3rd, Feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great
But of that day or hour no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father. (Mark 13:32)
Many will be shocked to discover that Pope St. Gregory the Great, together with all the doctors of the Church after him, expressly condemns the opinion that Our Savior, in his humanity, did not know all created truths including the day and the hour of the final judgment.
This opinion, considered a heresy by the holy Pontiff (and by all the great theologians since him), is called Agnoeticism, meaning “not knowing”. Fr. Hardon summarizes the Agnoetes as follows, “A sect of Monophysites who held that Christ was subject to positive ignorance. The leading exponent of its error was Deacon Themistios of Alexandria. He was condemned by the Church, which declared that Christ’s humanity cannot be ignorant of anything of the past or of the future. To attribute ignorance to Christ’s human nature is to profess Nestorianism (Denzinger 474-76).” (Modern Catholic Dictionary, “Agnoetes”)
In other articles [here] and [here], we have discussed many particulars of this debate – at present, we intend only to explain something of why it will be important to adopt St. Gregory’s teaching.