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Anselm Contra Greeks

The question of the procession of the Holy Spirit remains a bone of contention between the Greek East and the Latin West. The Greeks have historically denied the doctrine known as Filioque (literally, "and from the Son"), the Latin Christian belief that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, as stated in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. The Greek Orthodox have rejected and continue to reject this teaching, stating instead that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone. The Church has had no lack of talented saints and theologians arguing in favor of the Latin tradition; in this essay, we will examine the arguments of St. Anselm of Canterbury against the Greek position and in favor of the double-procession of the Spirit. St....


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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 St. Therese of Lisieux - often do so only under obedience. It is thus very mysterious, from a layman's perspective, what it is really like experientially to receive these special charisms from God - what it is like "behind the veil" for those who truly receive prophetic revelations and visions. In this article, we examine two saints - Columba of Iona (d. 597) and Hildegard of Bingen (d. 1179) who, in confidence...


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Why is Masturbation a Sin?

Alright, let's talk about masturbation. This is an extremely sensitive topic because so many people struggle with it. There is something uncomfortable about it; many Catholics, even in the past, were very reluctant to talk about "the solitary sin." For example, there is no entry for masturbation in the otherwise very voluminous 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia. This traditional reluctance is somewhat understandable. To discuss the matter is to admit one into a very intimate aspect of one's life, an aspect that is sometimes not proper to discuss at all. And to admit of masturbation is a serious embarrassment; it is like admitting that one lacks the most basic self-control. However, given the prevalence of masturbation, the awkwardness surrounding it, the confusion many young people have about...


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Contradictions in the Bible (part 3)

  Today we present our final installment in our long series on contradictions in the New Testament with refutations for 63 allegedly contradictory statements from the writings of the Gospels, Acts and the letters of St. Paul. Since it has been awhile since I last posted in this series, let me remind the reader that these alleged "contradictions" are taken from the atheist website Skeptically.org, where they presume to catalog 194 different contradictions in the New Testament (http://www.donotlink.com/fmsb). In our previous two installments in this series (Part 1 (http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/apologetics/84-contra-atheism/337-contradictions-in-the-bible.html) and Part 2 (http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/apologetics/84-contra-atheism/361-contradictions-in-the-bible-2.html)), we demonstrated how the criteria these skeptics employ for what constitutes a "contradiction" is extraordinarily loose. It would behoove the reader to review the introduction to Part 1 in this series where we...


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Solomonic Gates: Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer

Despite the vast trove of archaeological data that has come to light in the past century in Israel, solid historical evidence of the existence of King Solomon has continued to elude archaeologists and scholars. While there are inscriptions indisputably referring to kings such as Hezekiah, Omri, Ahab, Jeroboam II and even some fragmentary mentions of King David, the historical record has been silent on King Solomon. This has prompted some skeptics to assert that Solomon is nothing more than a Jewish fable; in fact, some will go so far as to deny that there ever was a United Monarchy, and this supposition is in turn used to cast doubt upon everything the Bible says of the events prior to the 9th century. Yet, if the...


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Introduction to Trinitarian Theology

For years at Unam Sanctam Catholicam we have been offering high quality RCIA lesson plans and Power Points that are orthodox and in continuity with the Church's great Tradition. In honor of Trinity Sunday, in which the supreme mystery of the Christian faith is celebrated in awe-filled reverence, we have taken our lesson plan on the Holy Trinity and turned it into a regular article. We have done this for two reasons: first, many Christians, though able to state correctly that the Trinity is one God existing in three divine Persons, may know little more Trinitarian theology than this basic formula. Second, we want to provide an opportunity for people to see an example of the layout and content of one of our lesson plans.


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Pentecost and the Jews

The Day of Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the Church, that day when God, in fulfillment of the promises of Christ, poured out the Holy Spirit upon the believers gathered in the Upper Room. This Holy Spirit endowed the fledgling Church with supernatural zeal, courage and miraculous charisms and sent the Apostles out from the Upper Room to begin the conversion of the world. Pius XII, in his memorable encyclical Mystici Corporis, stated that the Holy Spirit's indwelling in the Church made it the very soul of the Catholic Church. And this began on the Day of Pentecost. Rightly, then, is this feast celebrated with such enthusiasm by the Catholic people. Today, however, rather than focus on the giving of the Holy Spirit,...


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Despair and Presumption

"O Israel, hope in the Lord, now and forever more" (Ps 131:3). The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines hope as  "the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God's love and of incurring punishment" (CCC 2090). Most of us are familiar with despair and presumption as two sins against hope; presumption claims to have already laid hold of something that we do not yet fully possess, while despair leads us to believe it is impossible to ever possess it. The object of hope is a good which is difficult but possible to obtain - in our case, eternal life. Despair sins against hope by making impossible something possible, while presumption sins against hope by making...


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Authority of Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno

In my home state, there has been vigorous debate about proposals to raise the state's minimum wage. This sort of proposal of course prompted fierce online debates between various factions, some arguing for, some against the proposal. It also brought out spirited debate among faithful Catholics on the concept of a just wage, and classical issues surrounding Catholic social teaching. The particulars of the minimum wage proposal are neither here nor there; I personally see very little correlation between contemporary economic discussions and the lofty ideals of Leo XIII and Pius XI. But what was very interesting in the discussions was the different approaches Catholics took to their Catholic social teaching. Some were willing to grant it a great authority, on par to the Church's...


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Geisler and Mackenzie: Refutation of Sola Scriptura (part 2)

In Part 1 of this series (http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/apologetics/86-contra-protestantism/529-refuting-geisler-mackenzie-sola-scripture.html), we covered mainly Geisler and Mackenzie’s arguments from scripture. While in this rebuttal you will find they appeal to scripture very often, they appeal to it for the purpose of arguing that every oral tradition taught by either Christ or the apostles, was eventually "inscripturated", that is, recorded in the New Testament. We admire Geisler and Mackenzie for their zeal in supporting what they believe, yet, still, even so, we are reminded of the words of St. Paul: “For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge” (Rm 10:2). With that said, pull up a chair and get comfortable, as we embark on a journey to find...


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History of the Catholic Church

  • Solomonic Gates: Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer

    Despite the vast trove of archaeological data that has come to light in the past century in Israel, solid historical evidence of the existence of King Solomon has continued to elude archaeologists and scholars. While there are inscriptions indisputably referring to kings such as Hezekiah, Omri, Ahab…

    Read more: Solomonic...

Theology & Liturgy

  • Anselm Contra Greeks

    The question of the procession of the Holy Spirit remains a bone of contention between the Greek East and the Latin West. The Greeks have historically denied the doctrine known as Filioque (literally, "and from the Son"), the Latin Christian belief that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and t…

    Read more: Anselm...

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!

  • Minions (2015)

    The Minions are probably some of the most beloved characters of contemporary children's cinema. For many people, they were the most enjoyable part of the Despicable Me films. In the original Despicable Me, the Minions began as a kind of background comic relief to the cynical Gru. By Despicable Me 2,…

    Read more: Minions (2015)

Economy & Society

  • Why is Masturbation a Sin?

    Alright, let's talk about masturbation. This is an extremely sensitive topic because so many people struggle with it. There is something uncomfortable about it; many Catholics, even in the past, were very reluctant to talk about "the solitary sin." For example, there is no entry for masturbation in…

    Read more: Why is...