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Profit as Just Recompense

"A stake will be driven between fitted stones — sin will be wedged in between buying and selling." -Sir. 27:16Last summer I had a conversation with a Protestant friend of mine about the concept of profit. The question I posed was whether any financial arrangement was just so long as both parties agreed to it, no matter how much it was weighted in favor of one party. He answered in the affirmative - an agreement was an agreement, and so long as both parties entered it freely, there was no way it could be morally objectionable, regardless of how the agreement was weighted. While I got him to admit that in certain extreme situations agreements could become exploitative - like selling an apple to a starving man for $100 - he basically...


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Proselytism and Conversion

Surely no one who has been paying attention to the shenanigans of New Church has failed to note the painful double-think that comes into play whenever ecclesiastical officials discuss Catholic missionary efforts. On the one hand, we hear proclamations from the pope right on down to the local bishop about "going out into the streets" and being effective witnesses of the Gospel; we get entreaties by mail and by visiting mission priests to give to Catholic missionary efforts - and yet, we hear prelates saying that we should no longer seek the conversion of Jews, and prayers to that effect are removed from the Mass; the pope calls proselytism "solemn nonsense" and reports of missions abroad seem to suggest that our missionaries are adopting the...


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Defense of the Divine Mercy Devotion (part 3)

While I figured this would be my shortest article on the Divine Mercy, it's going to be my longest as I came across a widely read article attacking the devotion. Again, by a priest, and again, the attacks hold no merit. Whether Father was being dishonest or was simply misinformed, that is between him and God. The first part will deal with what took place at the BBQ mentioned in Part 1. The second will deal with a miscellaneous objection I was told of that took place in an internet forum, and the last will deal with the article written by Msgr. Patrick Perez, published by Tradition in Action.


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The Truth About Priestly Continence and Celibacy in the Early Church

The discipline of priestly celibacy is one of those practices of the Catholic Church that are under intense attack in the modern age. However, it happens too frequently that the discussion about celibacy is framed incorrectly, which leads to conclusions that, while sometimes true, miss the point entirely and can lead unintentionally to further errors. For example, everyone agrees that priestly celibacy is a discipline, not a dogma. This is established by the fact that for many, many centuries the Church admitted married men to Holy Orders. This fact is not disputed, or at least it should not be. Anyone who denies there were married priests in the first six or seven centuries of the Church has simply not read enough of the Fathers.


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Archbishop Cordileone Bulletin Insert

Catholics faithful to the Church's traditional moral principles found a new hero last week in the person of the Most Revered Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco. When members of the American homo-lobby, including Nancy Pelosi, bombarded the Archbishop with letters requesting he not participate in the March for Marriage, the Archbishop, rather than cave to the pressure of the American sodomites, Archbishop Cordileone stood his ground and make a very pointed public statement affirming traditional marriage and the importance of standing up against homosexual redefinition of the institution. He went on to participate proudly in the March - unlike the spineless Cardinal Dolan who has nothing better to say about homosexual relationships than "bravo."


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Comparing Roman and Medieval Technology

The following article was originally featured on the popular traditionalist blog Athanasius Contra Mundum, managed by Ryan Grant, under the title "The Church and Science: Smashing the Roman Illusion" and was published on January 17, 2010. The article explains how one of the most persistent misunderstandings about the Catholic Middle Ages is the idea that technology regressed during this time compared to the Roman period. Mr. Grant demonstrates that, in fact, the medievals gave us several technological innovations that were completely unknown to the Romans of antiquity. In fact, the Romans were held back by an anti-technological bias that kept them ignorant of many labor-saving advances that were subsequently discovered by the medievals.


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The Visible Church

Though Protestants and Catholics have many points of disagreement, it seems the most fundamental area of conflict has to do with the nature of the Church. Is the Church a visible, physically identifiable reality with an institutional government that keeps guard over doctrine and discipline, or is it a kind of invisible, loose union of various communities of Christians with different opinions on doctrinal questions and no institutional reality beyond the local level? Both Protestants and Catholics acknowledge the Church has an invisible, supernatural element; Catholics, however, assert that in addition the Church has a physical, visible side - that it is physically identifiable on this earth. Protestants, following Luther, tend to view the Church as a fundamentally invisible reality. In this essay, we will...


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Tongues of Fire

On the day of Pentecost, the Church was filled with the Holy Spirit - which Pius XII referred to as the Church's "soul" - and which is the source of the manifold gifts, graces and charisms that have characterized Catholicism since the beginning. On that auspicious birthday of the Church, the giving of the Spirit was manifest by the miraculous gift of tongues, a gift which continued on in the Early Church as Christianity spread throughout the Empire. In this article we will look at some very basic questions about the gift of tongues. It is not within the scope of this article to resolve disputed questions about the modern phenomenon of 'tongues' in charismatic movement, nor is it meant to delve into the patristic...


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It's all about God

A certain priest I know operates a homeless shelter in one of Ohio’s larger cities. It is a humble, welcoming ministry - the kind of that goes on patiently doing good largely unbeknownst to the outside world. Every day a constant stream of homeless persons file looking for a hot meal and a clean bed for the evening. There is no limit on who can come or how frequently. The only condition placed upon the poor for receiving this aid is that they attend one of the daily Masses offered in the shelter’s chapel...


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Pius XII on Rural Economy

The 1940's were an interesting time in the economic development of the west. On the one hand, the end of World War II had brought us definitively into the modern era with electrification, modern communication, nascent consumerism, and of course the inauguration of nuclear energy. On the other hand, many regions of Europe and North America were primarily rural and depended upon agriculture for their economic survival. In many places, horse-power was still being used. It was a period of transition, a brief crossroads between two epochs with all the questioning and uncertainty that comes with such times. In 1946, Pius XII gave an address at the Convention of the National Confederation of Farm Owner-Operators in Rome on the importance of agricultural activity in the economy,...


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History of the Catholic Church

Theology & Liturgy

  • Proselytism and Conversion

    Surely no one who has been paying attention to the shenanigans of New Church has failed to note the painful double-think that comes into play whenever ecclesiastical officials discuss Catholic missionary efforts. On the one hand, we hear proclamations from the pope right on down to the local bishop…

    Read more: Proselytism...

Catholic Spirituality

  • Defense of the Divine Mercy Devotion (part 3)

    While I figured this would be my shortest article on the Divine Mercy, it's going to be my longest as I came across a widely read article attacking the devotion. Again, by a priest, and again, the attacks hold no merit. Whether Father was being dishonest or was simply misinformed, that is between hi…

    Read more: Defense of...

Movie Reviews

  • The Help (2011)

    The Help (PG-13, 2011) was a film a lot of families I knew were talking about when it first came out but which I somehow missed. My wife and I had been wanting to see it for some time and finally got a chance to borrow it from a friend and watch it last night. Overall we were impressed by the film's…

    Read more: The Help (2011)

Economy & Society

  • Profit as Just Recompense

    "A stake will be driven between fitted stones — sin will be wedged in between buying and selling." -27:16Last summer I had a conversation with a Protestant friend of mine about the concept of profit. The question I posed was whether any financial arrangement was just so long as both parties agr…

    Read more: Profit as...