Saturday, June 29, 2024

Septimus Decimus Anniversarius

Seventeen years of Unam Sanctam Catholicam this day. Seems like a lifetime ago when I started this blog. It has been an incredibly long time. This blog has, in fact, been one of the most constant things in my adult life, which is bizarre to think about. It is older than three of my children and outlasted my marriage and every job I've ever had. And it is one of the oldest still-functioning Traditional Catholic blogs, with the exception of Rorate Caeli and New Liturgical Movement. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Review: Unresolved Tensions in Papal-Episcopal Relations

I recently received an advance copy of the manuscript of the latest anthology published by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski's Os Justi Press, Unresolved Tensions in Papal-Episcopal Relations. This text is a series of essays occasioned by the deposition of Bishop Joseph Strickland in November, 2023, focusing on the question of the pope's relationship to the episcopate. As with previous anthologies compiled under the editorial hand of Dr. K, this work features a diverse cast of contributors tackling the subject matter from a variety of perspectives. In these pages you will find essays by José Antonio Ureta, Joseph Shaw, John Lamont, Brian McCall, and many others (by way of disclaimer, I should mention that I, too, have one essay in this book).

The fundamental question addressed by Unresolved Questions in Papal-Episcopal Relations is whether the Pope is the Vicar of Christ or the CEO of Vatican, Inc.? In other words, is the pope's relationship to the episcopate to be understood in a managerial sense, akin to a corporate CEO to whom all subordinate officers in the Church are merely vectors for the magnification and implementation of papal whims—or is there a way of understanding papal power that is more organic, capable of preserving the plenitudo potestatis of the successor of Peter while not canceling out the truth that "the bishops should not be thought of as vicars of the Pope," as taught by Lumen Gentium and the Catechism (cf. LG 27, CCC 895)?

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

A June Miscellany

Greetings friends! My mind has been crowded lately with a lot of different subjects, many of which I will likely never get around to blogging about. So, time to clear my thoughts with a miscellany of half-formed ruminations. I might develop these into future posts, or not...who knows. Enjoy my brain dump!

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Grace: Here a Little, There a Little

I recently read an article by a former Catholic turned agnostic who opined that the shortcomings and bad behaviors of practicing Catholics are indicators of the inefficacy of grace—that is, if grace does not seem to improve the behavior of those who most readily have access to it, it implies the nonexistence (or at least implausibility) of grace itself, as well as the entire supernatural order.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

The Importance of Spiritual Equilibrium

I am becoming increasingly convinced that finding an internal spiritual equilibrium is the supreme difficulty most Catholics face in their spiritual life. By spiritual equilibrium, I mean the ability to balance opposing tendencies while keeping one's peace—balancing knowledge and uncertainty, law and grace, mercy and justice, faith and seeking, suffering and redemption, sin and forgiveness, and so on. A balanced spiritual life requires these apparently contrary ideas to be maintained in a harmonious equilibrium, where nothing is overemphasized and nothing neglected. Virtue consists in finding a mean between extremes, and so does spiritual equilibrium. It requires us to have the faith fully integrated across the various facets of our lives.