To close this Year of Faith, we thought we should hearken back to the last Year of Faith and talk a little about creeds. We presume everyone reading this knows the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed. There is also the so-called Athanasian Creed. At the close of the Council of Trent, a new creed was published, ditto at the close of Vatican I. New creeds tend to deal with “the problem du jour” — the Nicene Creed dealt with the procession of the Holy Spirit; the Athanasian Creed, deals (again) with Trinitarian Theology (especially contra Arius), and the necessity of the Church for salvation. The Trent Creed dealt with claims of the Protestants. After the close of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI published what can be fairly called The Creed of Paul VI or maybe The Pauline Creed, published for the first Year of Faith in 1968. Although it is mainly an expansion on the Nicene creed, true to form it deals with problems of the day: Modernism and other theological speculations, and the balance between concern for the world, and concern for the Kingdom. Read more “Faith and Creeds”
Frodo: I am frightened; and I do not feel any pity for Gollum. … he is as bad as an Orc, and just an enemy. He deserves death.
Gandalf: Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it.
— J.R.R. Tolkein. The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship of the Ring. Book One. II. The Shadow of the Past
The Great State of Missouri executed three men since November and that prompted me to get down to work on this essay again. It had been cooking in my mind since this past summer. I don’t recall the circumstances, but a conversation had turned to the topic of capital punishment. I’d cited the Catechism on the point, and asserted that in Missouri in 2013 capital punishment isn’t licit. I heard something like this in reply:
The Church is not against the death penalty – she leaves it as a matter prudential judgment by Catholics, and that means the plain, everyday Catholics. The Church does not tell them they have to take college courses in theology, or do advanced research before making prudential judgments; she trusts them to make these prudential decisions for themselves. My prudential judgment is for capital punishment. Read more “Prudential Judgment and the Death Penalty”
When we say, “preaching to the choir,” we mean “preaching to the converted.” It suggests that a lot of energy is being squandered trying to convince people of something about which they are already convinced, which is why preaching to the choir, whom we assume to be among the converted, is considered a waste of time.
So why do it? Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist tell us in this article from the Bellarmine Foundation Forum.
In case you missed it, here is a transcription of Archbishop Carlson’s Sermon given at the closing Mass of the Fortnight For Freedom, July 3rd, 2013. For the time being at least, you can click here to hear and see the St. Louis Review’s video (sorry, no longer available) made at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, with about 1,500 in attendance. It may go behind the paywall, we don’t know. The transcript was made from the video by a Credo Board member, and he added some footnotes and hyperlinks. The opening greetings have been omitted. Without further ado, the Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis:
… As I welcome you to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, as we gather to pray this day for the protection of Religious Freedom, we do so on the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle. St. Thomas is probably best remembered for the passage in today’s Gospel that speaks about his doubt of the resurrection of our Lord. But through God’s great mercy and love, he was able to encounter in a personal way as each of must Jesus Christ. And through God’s good Grace, his heart was opened. And he said to the Lord as we read in today’s Gospel making his great act of faith “my Lord and my God1”. Read more “Archbishop Carlson’s Sermon”