Month: June 2011

George Weigel on ‘Gay Marriage,’ Libertarians, and Civil Rights

According to a New York Times story of June 25, an essential part of the coalition that brought “gay marriage” to the Empire State consisted of Republican financial high-rollers who gave Republican legislators cover for voting in favor of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “marriage equality” bill while generously funding the pro–“gay marriage” ground campaign, and who “were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.”

George Weigel responds (National Review (6/27/11).

Here and There …

"The encroachment of the buzz."

The book – the physical paper book – is being circled by a shoal of sharks, with sales down 9 per cent this year alone. It’s being chewed by the e-book. It’s being gored by the death of the bookshop and the library. And most importantly, the mental space it occupied is being eroded by the thousand Weapons of Mass Distraction that surround us all. It’s hard to admit, but we all sense it: it is becoming almost physically harder to read books.

In his gorgeous little book The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time
, the critic David Ulin admits to a strange feeling. All his life, he had taken reading as for granted as eating – but then, a few years ago, he “became aware, in an apartment full of books, that I could no longer find within myself the quiet necessary to read”. He would sit down to do it at night, as he always had, and read a few paragraphs, then find his mind was wandering, imploring him to check his email, or Twitter, or Facebook. “What I’m struggling with,” he writes, “is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there’s something out there that merits my attention.”

I think most of us have this sense today, if we are honest. If you read a book with your laptop thrumming on the other side of the room, it can be like trying to read in the middle of a party, where everyone is shouting to each other. To read, you need to slow down. You need mental silence except for the words. That’s getting harder to find.

Johann Hari: How to survive the age of distraction The Independent June 24, 2011.

Dr. Philip Blosser contra Fr. Martin Rhonheimer

Taking his queue from a Youtube clip of George Weigel, Jody Bottum and Raymond Arroyo allegedly “mocking” the Social Kingship of Christ, Dr. Philip Blosser (The Pertinacious Papist) responds at length to Fr. Martin Rhonheimer’s reflections on Vatican II and religious liberty.

Fr. Martin Rhonheimer’s original guest-column “The Hermeneutic of Reform” and Religious Freedom” (Sandro Magister / Chiesa. 4/28/11).

Sandro Magister on Vatican II

Over the past few months, the Italian columnist Sandro Magister has played host to an ongoing debate on the Second Vatican Council — between supporters of Benedict XVI and those who maintain that Vatican II was not only poorly interpreted and applied; the seeds of error and confusion were inherent in the texts themselves.

Required reading for the context of the debate is Benedict’s December 2005 Christmas Address to the Roman Curia — where he lays out his own position espousing a “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in continuity. What does he mean by this? — For a detailed explication see Benedict’s Vatican II Hermeneutic by Edward T. Oakes, SJ (First Things March 17, 2009).

  • 05-26-11: Religious Freedom. Was the Church Also Right When It Condemned It? Benedictine theologian Basile Valuet weighs in on the dispute over Vatican Council II. Against the traditionalists Gherardini and de Mattei. But also against the “Ratzingerian” Rhonheimer. Who replies in a postscript. And also Cavalcoli, Introvigne… With the counter-reply of Valuet.
  • 05-11-11: Benedict XVI the “Reformist.” The Prosecution Rests Professor Massimo Introvigne replies to de Mattei, a leader of the anti-conciliarists. And Professor Rhonheimer returns to explain how and why Vatican II must be understood and accepted. In the way indicated by the pope.
  • 05-05-11: The Church Is Infallible, But Not Vatican II And it made mistakes, maintains traditionalist historian Roberto de Mattei. The dispute continues for and against the popes who guided the Council and put its innovations into practice.
  • 04-28-11: Who’s Betraying Tradition. The Grand Dispute The discussion is becoming heated over how to interpret the innovations of Vatican Council II, above all on freedom of religion. The traditionalists against Benedict XVI. An essay by philosopher Martin Rhonheimer in support of the pope.
  • 04-18-11: The Disappointed Have Spoken. The Vatican responds Inos Biffi and Agostino Marchetto reply in L’Osservatore Romano to the traditionalists Brunero Gherardini and Roberto de Mattei, who criticize the current pope for not having corrected the “errors” of Vatican Council II.
  • 04-08-11: High Up, Let Down by Pope Benedict They are some of the leading traditionalist thinkers. They had wagered on him, and now they feel betrayed. The latest disappointments: the Courtyard of the gentiles and the encounter in Assisi. The accusation that they make against Ratzinger is the same that they make against the Council: having replaced condemnation with dialogue.
  • 01-14-11: A New Syllabus for the 21st Century That is, a document condemning mistaken interpretations of Vatican Council II. It’s been requested by a bishop of Kazakhstan, at a conference in Rome with other bishops and cardinals. Also prompting reactions is the announcement by Benedict XVI of a new interreligious meeting in Assisi.

A Jew rises to the defense of the Catholic Church in America

Sam Miller, prominent Cleveland businessman – Jewish, not Catholic – is fighting mad about & concentrated effort by the media to denigrate the Catholic Church in this country:

I’m going to say things here today that many Catholics should have said 18 months ago. Maybe it’s easier for me to say because I am not Catholic, but I have had enough, more than enough, disgustingly enough.

During my entire life I’ve never seen a greater vindictive, more scurrilous, biased campaign against the Catholic Church as I have seen in the last 18 months, and the strangest thing is that it is in a country like the United States where there is supposed to be mutual respect and freedom for all religions.

This has bothered me because I too am a minority in this country. You see, unfortunately and I say this very advisedly the Catholics have forgotten that in the early 1850′s when the Italians, the Poles, the Latvians, the Lithuanians, all of Catholic persuasion, came to this country looking for opportunity because of famine, (particularly the Irish) they were already looked upon with derision, suspicion and hatred. Consequently the jobs they were forced to take were the jobs that nobody else wanted bricklayers, ditch diggers, Jewish junkmen, street cleaners, etc.

This prejudice against your religion and mine has never left this country and don’t ever forget it, and (sic) never will. Your people were called Papists, Waps, Guineas, frogs, fish eaters, ad infinitum.

And then after the Civil War, around 1864, the fundamentalists, conservatives, Protestants and a few WASP’s began planting burning crosses throughout the country, particularly in the South. And today; as far as I’m concerned, very little has changed. These gentlemen now have a new style of clothing they’ve gone from bed sheets to gentlemen’s suits.

There is a concentrated effort by the media today to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. You don’t find it this bad overseas at all. They have now blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage. You and me have been living in a false paradise. Wake up and recognize that many people don’t like Catholics. What are these people trying to accomplish?

(Read the Rest)