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Problems with the Bayside Apparitions

What you are about to read represents probably the biggest waste of time in my life, though that does not mean it will be a waste for time for you. This is my magnum opus against the false and stupid Bayside apparitions. For the past three years I have spent my spare time reading through every single message of Bayside, going all the way back to the late 1960s. Thousands of them. The monotony. The stupidity. The banality. It was horrendous, mind-numbing work, and many times friends of mine urged me to just drop it and move on to something more rewarding. It is waste for two reasons - one, just wasting my years reading all these banal, stupid messages; and two, the fact that,...


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Coronation of Charlemagne

If one were to have a basic literacy of the most important dates in the history of Christendom, undoubtedly Christmas Day of the year 800 would take pride of place. This was the date that King Charles of France was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III. This event was of pivotal importance in both the history of Europe and of the Catholic Church. It is probably the single most important moment in Europe between the Fall of Rome and the Protestant Revolt, as it established Italy and the Papal States as parts of western Europe, made Charlemagne the most renowned king of the Middle Ages, and was fundamental in establishing the contours of medieval and even modern Europe. In this article, we will examine the...


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Gesta Romanorum: The Severed Foot

The Gesta Romanorum was written at the turn of the 14th century – this collection of anecdotes and tales was one of the most popular works of its era. It is called Deeds of the Romans because some of its material comes from Greek and Roman history and legend, but these were essentially short stories that were meant to teach moral lessons. In the following tale from the Gesta Romanorum, we see the medieval approach to the problem of unintelligible suffering and evil in the world - the branch of theology known as theodicy. Rather than condemn suffering as an unjust act of an callous God, the Gesta encourages us to try to see the disposition of all things in the plan of God's Providence. Where one is...


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What is the saving Gospel?

Some time ago our USC apologist Wes Hunt offered a point by point rebuttal (http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/apologetics/86-contra-protestantism/551-slicks-s-not-so-slick-questions-for-catholic.html) to Protestant pastor Matt Slick's "Questions for Catholics." In Part 2 of this series, Wes Hunt will tackle the heart of Slick's objections to the Catholic faith, centering on the question, what is the Gospel? The process of asking a list of "questions" is a common Protestant method for leading Catholics to doubt their faith and give credence to the claims of Protestantism. As Wes Hunt will show, not only are the questions themselves founded on misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the Scriptures, but even the mode of questioning itself is tilted unfairly against the Catholic by giving the false impression of a preponderance of evidence. This method of questioning is not meant...


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Death Penalty Retributive Justice

The key point which is at the heart of every debate on capital punishment is that of justice. What is just? Both those who argue for an broader application of the death penalty as well as those who argue for its abolition do so from motives of justice. The former typically argues that such-and-such a crime "deserves" death and hence capital punishment is just; the latter usually say that a criminal cannot be executed by the state because it would be "unjust." Part of the problem is semantics; there is more than one kind of justice, and proponents of the various positions are often arguing in favor of different types of justice. To make it more complicated, it can happen that multiple forms of justice...


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Philippine Bishop: Stop Homily Abuse

One thing we have often stressed on this website and blog is the importance of decent homiletics. This pertains not only to the content of a homily, but also to its delivery and length. It is ironic that homiletics is in such a particularly dismal state today, given that the post-Vatican II Church was supposed to "break open the Word of God" to the people with increased Scripture readings, more Gospel-themed homiletics, and a focus on the "pilgrimage of the People of God." These "fruits", like others of the "new springtime", have not materialized. By and large priests today do not know how to give a homily. They flounder about looking for ways to make the Gospel "relevant": we get anecdotes from sports, banal personal...


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The Obedience of Athanasius

This article is written in response to the many times St. Athanasius of Alexandria is invoked in support of clerics who are manifestly disobedient to their superiors. "All those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" says St. Paul (2 Tim. 3:12). The Church is composed of fallible, sinful men, and it is always possible that a righteous person who desires only the will of God and good of the Church will end up being persecuted by ecclesiastical or secular authority. This is a given fact of Christian life; the real question is how is a Christian to respond to these trials? Specifically, how is a cleric to respond when unjustly persecuted by those who are his ecclesiastical superiors? The tradition...


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Balthasar and the Faith of Christ

In previous articles on this website and blog we have challenged the orthodoxy of the famous theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar. Balthasar is often promoted as an orthodox answer to the tidal wave of progressive theology inundating the post-Vatican II Church. This is somewhat understandable; Balthasar vehemently resisted certain progressive trends that sought to reduce Christ to into a mere role model and redefine salvation in merely social terms. Balthasar strongly insisted on a transcendent Catholicism with a central focus on the Person of Christ who saves us, not merely from social injustice, but from our sins. Balthasar's voluminous writings on the Church Fathers and various aspects of Christian theology earned him a respected place among the post-Conciliar Church's most notable theologians. His works have...


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Canonization: Old vs. New Comparison

It is often noted by those skeptical of modern canonizations that the procedures by which the Church raises saints to her altars have been "changed" since the Second Vatican Council. What were these changes? Pope Paul VI began the process in 1969. His decree Sacra Ritua Congregatio split the Congregation of Rites into two congregations: the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The latter congregation was sub-divided into three offices, which led in turn to a restructuring of the canonization process. Between 1969 and 1983, the process in a sort of flux. In 1983, St. John Paul II's Divinis Perfectionis Magister further streamlined the procedure, eliminating much of the back-and-forth that characterized the pre-1969 procedure, as well as famously...


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Life in Medieval Cluny

We have written before on the importance of the Abbey of Cluny in the development of medieval Catholicism. Founded as part of the Benedictine reform in the early 10th century, this French abbey would grow to become an enormous force for reform in the Church at large, ultimately giving the Church the men who would be the backbone of her struggle against lay investiture. In this essay, we shall look at what life was like in Cluny Abbey at the height of its influence (11th-12th century). This article presupposes that the reader is already familiar with the basics of the Benedictine Rule, which the Cluniacs followed; hence, we do not go into particulars about monastic life in general, the obligations of the Rule, the Divine...


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History of the Catholic Church

  • Coronation of Charlemagne

    If one were to have a basic literacy of the most important dates in the history of Christendom, undoubtedly Christmas Day of the year 800 would take pride of place. This was the date that King Charles of France was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III. This event was of pivotal importance in both the his…

    Read more: Coronation...

Theology & Liturgy

Catholic Spirituality

  • The Experience of Prophetic Revelation

    Saints are humble people. They know that whatever gifts and graces they have come by the goodness of God, not by any merit of their own. They are extraordinarily fearful of their own pride, and consequently do not like to talk about their own mystical or miraculous experiences. Those who do - like S…

    Read more: The...

Saints, Reviews & More!

  • Krampus (2015)

    It’s a sad statement about our wicked society when a movie about a demonic counterpart to Santa Claus has a better grip on the true meaning of Christmas than pretty much every other production out there not featuring Charlie Brown. ampus 015, PG-13) manages to achieve that, though. Some might cl…

    Read more: Krampus (2015)

Economy & Society

  • Death Penalty & Retributive Justice

    The key point which is at the heart of every debate on capital punishment is that of justice. What is just? Both those who argue for an broader application of the death penalty as well as those who argue for its abolition do so from motives of justice. The former typically argues that such-and-such…

    Read more: Death...