CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - October 24, 2012

NEW RESOURCES    EDITORIALS OF INTEREST    EDUCATION MATTERS

Note from the Managing Editor:

Ralph Martin, Director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, is concerned that an atmosphere of "universalism" pervades the mindset of many Catholics today.  It's a mindset Martin believes needs to be corrected if the new evangelization is to be successful.  Martin explains in a recent interview:

"As I travel around and visit with people, the picture that most Catholics have in their mind about the world is this:

"Broad and wide is the way that leads to heaven and almost everybody's going that way, but narrow is the door and difficult the road that leads to hell and hardly anybody's going that way.

"Now this is a little scary because it's just the opposite of what Jesus said.

"So how did we get to this point, where so many of our fellow Catholics are believing something as a matter of Gospel truth that is just the opposite of the Gospel truth.

Matthew 7: 13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

Theologians Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar articulated variations of the universalist position in their writings.  It's a story how this reversal of Catholic understanding based on the Gospels gradually became a consensus among Catholics who had never read a theological treatise in their lives.

"It seems that Rahner in his overall theological work on this topic has reached the point that Newman says we can never legitimately reach — where the words of the gospel have become reversed — and the many headed towards destruction have now become the few, and the few headed to salvation have now become the many; where the 'strive (agonize) to enter' of Jesus' urgent exhortation has now become the 'accept yourself, follow your conscience' of Rahner."

It follows naturally enough that if people are convinced that all you need to do in order to be saved is to be a good person — and almost everyone has some goodness in them — then why expend a lot of energy on evangelization? 

In his book Will Many Be Saved?, Martin explains how we got to this point and what a proper reading of the Gospels and the relevant Church documents helps us understand about all of this.  I published a review by Jeff Mirus of Martin's book on September 26, but thought I would bring it to your attention. Go here. The interview with Ralph Martin quoted above is here. - J. Fraser Field

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Quote of the Week:

"The Church has vast boundaries to defend, and each generation finds itself called to service upon a different front." - Evelyn Waugh



New Resources:

His divine hand - Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. - from The Joy of Full Surrender
Godless Secularism Assaults Life and Liberty - Archbishop William Lori
Lance Armstrong: Win & Lose - Father Raymond J. de Souza - Convivium
Manning Up — A Message for Catholic Men - Jonathan E. Doyle - Man Alive
A Lie or a Terminological Inexactitude? - Donald DeMarco - Crisis Magazine
Are post-abortive Pro-Lifers hypocrites? - Béatrice Fedor - 400 Words for Women
Charting a Future for Catholic Education - Sean Kennedy - City Journal
'Argo': A Fake Movie Makes for a Real Thriller - Steven D. Greydanus - National Catholic Register
The Council after fifty years - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
29th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Father John Horgan - CERC

Editorials of Interest:

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith - CNA
In Big Apple, The Big Night - Whispers in the Loggia
The wrong side of history - Cardinal George - Catholic New World
Another Election — and Another People? - The Catholic Thing
What would Hippocrates do? - Boston Globe
Subsidiarity: A Principle for the 25 Percent - The Harvard Crimson
Chastened humanism - First Things
Catholicism and sex shops: the struggle for Poland's soul - Reuters
Texas cheerleaders get help from above - Holy Post
Cistercian nuns plan new monastery after vocations rise - EWTN
Uruguay’s bishops: pro-abortion legislators are automatically excommunicated - Catholic Culture
Adam Gopnik vs. Paul Ryan - The New York Times
Seven saints for the times - CNA
Vancouver archdiocese to launch multi-ethnic appeal for Catholics to 'come home' - Vancouver Sun
But the difficult thing is converting the Muslims - Chiesa
Vatican approves addition of Bl. John Paul II's feast for US - CNA
Gratefully Weeping Through the Knox Bible - On the Square
AP knows what the Pope really thinks - Get Religion
Birra Norsia - Youtube
Where Orthodoxy Stands - Preachers Institute
Races and Initiatives Catholics Should Watch - The Catholic Thing
Televised presidential debates have harmed America - Catholic Culture

Education Matters:

Why the Christian Philosopher and Christian College Need Each Other - Front Porch Republic
BC Professor Criticizes Hook Up Culture, Says Bring Back the Date - Campus Notes
Primer on Success - Education Next
Can Digital Learning Transform Education? - Education Next
The Last Radicals - NRO
The next big thing in sex-ed: the evil of heterosexism - Family Edge
The Future of School Choice - Defining Ideas
The case against same-sex marriage in five minutes - Youtube
The New Tolerance at Tufts - Acton Blog
How the Internet Ruined the Teaching of Literature - NAS


NEW RESOURCES:

His divine hand - Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. - from The Joy of Full Surrender

There is not a moment in which God is not present with us under the cover of some pain to be endured, some obligation or some duty to be performed, or some consolation to be enjoyed.

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Godless Secularism Assaults Life and Liberty - Archbishop William Lori

For some time now, both life and liberty have been under assault by an overarching, Godless secularism, replete with power and money, but sadly lacking in wisdom.

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Lance Armstrong: Win & Lose
- Father Raymond J. de Souza - Convivium

Take inspiration from Armstrong, but not instruction.

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Manning Up — A Message for Catholic Men
- Jonathan E. Doyle - Man Alive

Robert Flazon invited me to address you today, because he knows that I’ve figured out everything there is to know about manhood and I live it perfectly everyday and that I should come and bestow my great wisdom and learning upon you.

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A Lie or a Terminological Inexactitude?
- Donald DeMarco - Crisis Magazine

Winston Churchill deserves the credit for replacing the word “lies” with the "fabrication of terminological inexactitudes."

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Are post-abortive Pro-Lifers hypocrites?
- Béatrice Fedor - 400 Words for Women

One who knows reflects upon the attitudes of pro-choicers about women who've aborted babies and then become pro-life.

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Charting a Future for Catholic Education - Sean Kennedy - City Journal

Some schools are creating a new model for religious instruction.

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'Argo': A Fake Movie Makes for a Real Thriller - Steven D. Greydanus - National Catholic Register

How Hollywood, Canadians, and the CIA rescue 6 Americans from Iran.

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The Council after fifty years - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor

The Council was almost a synonym for newness. It is less so now, after fifty years.

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29th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Father John Horgan - CERC

We have new saints: St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Sister Marianne Cope, St. Pedro Calungsod, and most interestingly St. Anna Schaeffer.

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EDITORIALS OF INTEREST:
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Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith - CNA

The Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith.

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In Big Apple, The Big Night - Whispers in the Loggia

Putting a new spin on the old line, perhaps the shot above could best be captioned "Dolan, caput mundi."

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The wrong side of history - Cardinal George - Catholic New World

Secularism looks ascendant but is headed for the ash heap of history.

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Another Election — and Another People? - The Catholic Thing

For The Catholic Thing, Hadley Arkes reflects on the poverty of debate on important moral issues during this year’s American presidential campaign.

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What would Hippocrates do? - Boston Globe

For starters, he wouldn't be helping patients to kill themselves. Neither should Massachusetts.

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Subsidiarity: A Principle for the 25 Percent - The Harvard Crimson

The Catholic principle of subsidiarity is the idea that affairs should be conducted at a level as localized as possible.

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Chastened humanism - First Things

Some humanists — in France of all places — understand the attractions of religion.

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Catholicism and sex shops: the struggle for Poland's soul - Reuters

At the sound of a bell from the altar, relayed over loud-speakers, about 50,000 people at an open-air mass last month in the Polish capital dropped down to kneel in the street.

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Texas cheerleaders get help from above - Holy Post

Texas is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of a high school cheerleading team fighting to continue featuring religious messages on banners at football games, Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general, said Wednesday.

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Cistercian nuns plan new monastery after vocations rise - EWTN

Because so many Wisconsin women seek the religious life, a new monastery complex is under construction for a community of Cistercian nuns, the only one in the English-speaking world.

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Uruguay’s bishops: pro-abortion legislators are automatically excommunicated - Catholic Culture

The secretary of Uruguay's episcopal conference says that lawmakers who recently voted to legalize abortion are automatically excommunicated.

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Adam Gopnik vs. Paul Ryan - New York Times

Last week's vice presidential debate ceased to matter at about 8:59 PM last night, but before it disappears from our memories entirely I should say something about one of the stranger reactions that the Biden-Ryan showdown provoked.

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Seven saints for the times - CNA

Pope Benedict canonized seven new saints (two connected with America) and commended them as patrons for the New Evangelization.

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Vancouver archdiocese to launch multi-ethnic appeal for Catholics to 'come home' - Vancouver Sun

The Roman Catholic archdiocese for Metro Vancouver will take a multicultural approach as it becomes the first in Canada to launch a campaign urging inactive adherents to return to the pews.

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But the difficult thing is converting the Muslims - Chiesa

Seven bishops have spoken out at the Synod on the New Evangelization about a taboo subject: converting Muslims.

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Vatican approves addition of Bl. John Paul II's feast for US - CNA

The Congregation for Divine Worship has approved the celebration of Blessed John Paul II's feast day in the dioceses of the United States, after setting the feast day for Oct. 22.

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Gratefully Weeping Through the Knox Bible - On the Square

We are barely two weeks away from an election day.

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AP knows what the Pope really thinks - Get Religion

I was at a meeting of a journalism fellowship program I’m part of this weekend.

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Birra Norsia - Youtube

The Monks of Norcia invite you to watch this video which contains footage from Inauguration Day, as well as a tour of our newly-minted brewery.

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Where Orthodoxy Stands - Preachers Institute

Orthodoxy contends that the faith cannot be understood from outside the living reality of the Church itself. This creates problems for the habits of modernity.

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Races and Initiatives Catholics Should Watch - The Catholic Thing

On Election Day, November 6, there are local races and state ballot measures that should be on the radar screens of Catholics. Here’s the rundown on the high profile ones:

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Televised presidential debates have harmed America - Catholic Culture

Not many American voters changed their minds as a result of last night’s presidential debate, I feel sure.

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EDUCATION MATTERS:

Why the Christian Philosopher and Christian College Need Each Other - Front Porch Republic

As Alasdair MacIntyre has shown, human knowledge is both "tradition-constituted" and "tradition-dependent," as well as "tradition-transcendent."

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BC Professor Criticizes Hook Up Culture, Says Bring Back the Date - Campus Notes

Boston College professor Kerry Cronin gave all the students at Boston College some homework recently. She reportedly assigned students at the Jesuit college with the task of asking someone out on a date.

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Primer on Success - Education Next

Character and knowledge make the difference.

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Can Digital Learning Transform Education? - Education Next

More than 2 million K–12 students are enrolled in online courses today, and will hit 10 million by 2014. Will today’s wave of technology inexorably change the face of schooling, or must we first alter policy?

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The Last Radicals - NRO

Homeschoolers occupy the curriculum.

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The next big thing in sex-ed: the evil of heterosexism - Family Edge

If you were worried about sex education classes that encouraged sexual relations between teenage girls and boys, you might now have something even more serious on your plate: indoctrination of kids against "heterosexism".

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The Future of School Choice - Defining Ideas

What’s more free market than charter schools and vouchers? Education savings accounts, which will revolutionize K-12 education.

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The case against same-sex marriage in five minutes - Youtube

When it comes to the behaviour of its citizens a government has only three options: it can promote, permit or prohibit their behaviour.

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The New Tolerance at Tufts - Acton Blog

Perhaps I’m exceptionally naive, but it always surprises me when colleges and universities — the supposed bastions of tolerance in secular society — refuse to accept people or groups whose views do not align with their own administrators.

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How the Internet Ruined the Teaching of Literature - NAS

Next spring, for the first time in forty years, I will not be teaching Introduction to Literature.

 

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