Sunday, September 26, 2010

The President as J. Alfred Prufrock ...

This paragraph made me laugh from Joseph Bottom's otherwise seriously excellent editorial, "Holy War Over Ground Zero" (First things, October, 2010), p. 3:
Nearly everyone in America seems to have opined on this situation already. Cheering it, fearing it, sneering at those who object, mocking those who favor the building of the mosque. President Obama was for it, before he was against it: first giving a speech about religion and our constitutional system so high-minded that it was audible only to bats—and then, as criticism mounted, hurriedly explaining that he wasn’t actually lending his support to the project. That is not what he meant at all. That is not it, at all. The man is turning into J. Alfred Prufrock, here before our eyes.

Michael Davies – Part 1 of 2 – Background

Tridentine Community News (September 26, 2010):
Michael Davies was the Glenn Beck of Catholic authors. With wit and a verbal skewer, Davies could take an opinion, support it with facts, and drive home a point. Like Beck in the popular media, Davies is seemingly everywhere in the traditional Catholic media, despite his having passed away in 2004. His output consisted of a seemingly endless stream of articles, books, and booklets. Many if not most vendors of books pertaining to the Extraordinary Form carry at least some of his works, and they are conversation starters even today.
As with Glenn Beck, controversy arises as soon as Davies’ name is mentioned. Some dismiss Davies’ credibility because he wrote for The Remnant newspaper in the 1980s, a journal which espoused some strange viewpoints during that period. He also made the occasional statement of questionable orthodoxy, such as when he endorsed the suggestion that members of a California parish whose Tridentine Mass was discontinued attend a nearby “independent” priest’s chapel instead.

It it a cliché that no one loses more sales than a successful salesman. Sales is a numbers game. The more leads one pursues, the more sales one should get. One salesman might close five orders out of 100 leads. Another might close one order out of 20 leads. Who has accomplished more? The salesman who lost more sales. The analogy in Michael Davies’ case was his controversial comments. He made so many public comments that some were bound to be less wise than others. Yet these isolated, though often well-known, anecdotes do not represent the man’s legacy.

Davies was not the first person to write about Vatican II and its subsequent liturgical changes, but he was the first, and certainly the most popular, traditionalist to write for a broad audience. Others, often priests or academics such as Msgr. Klaus Gamber, seemed to target a more academic milieu. Davies did not skimp on the footnotes, quotes, or references to support his views, but the more casual and attention-grabbing style of his writings clearly targeted the common man.

Davies’ secular job as an elementary school teacher gave him some freedom to write and deliver speeches, especially during off months. After retiring from teaching in 1992, he was in 1995 appointed President of the International Federation Una Voce, the world’s largest advocacy group for matters pertaining to the Tridentine Mass. Like the secular advocacy groups AARP and NAACP, Una Voce’s activities range from publishing to lobbying, though in Rome rather than Washington or Ottawa. In this leadership role, Davies spent the last years of his life traveling, giving speeches, and continuing to write, becoming the world’s top lay advocate of the Extraordinary Form.

Davies took the interesting path of having defended the positions of both then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and SSPX founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Many Catholics find the latter’s actions grossly imprudent and disobedient. Some traditionalists did not believe the former had been acting aggressively enough to advocate the traditional liturgical views His Eminence expressed in his writings. Davies would have been more than interested to learn that the former Cardinal Ratzinger, in his new capacity as Supreme Pontiff, is pursuing reconciliation with Lefebvre’s organization.

Largely through his work with Una Voce, Davies had met several times with our present Holy Father. Indeed, Davies memorably shared the stage with Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome in 1998 at the event commemorating the tenth anniversary of both the Motu Proprio Ecclésia Dei Adflícta and the founding of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. It was at this event that His Eminence made the now-famous statement that we would have to wait for a “new generation of prelates” before a “juridic” solution freeing the Tridentine Mass would be enacted. That statement was rather depressing for many who believed Cardinal Ratzinger to be the most likely member of the Curia to pursue such legislation. After the event, Davies assured skeptics that His Eminence would push for such legislation if it were possible. In 2007, Davies was vindicated when the now-Holy Father issued his Motu Proprio, Summórum Pontíficum, allowing any priest to celebrate the Tridentine Mass on his own volition.

Cardinal Ratzinger made a kind statement upon Davies’ passing [see "Related" link at end of post]. With his advanced theological and liturgical knowledge, and understanding of Vatican politics, it is telling that the now-Pope Benedict XVI saw value in Davies’ writings and work.

As this column has pointed out about other pioneering figures in the restoration of the Church’s Traditional Liturgy, Davies faced obstacles that no one will ever face again: There was no Internet. There were fewer intelligence sources who knew what was going on inside the walls of the Vatican. There were fewer sympathetic chanceries and bishops, and fewer interested priests, than we now have. And yet Davies persisted, relying on manual research, a network of contact people, and even hand-writing his manuscripts. It is hard to imagine that someone with such a drive could evolve today, because unlike Glenn Beck, who rightly considers himself an entertainer first, Michael Davies was not engaging in these pursuits for monetary reward. He was simply driven by love of our Holy Mother Church, as frustrating as that love had been for him at times in an era when restoration of the Tridentine Mass might have appeared to be a lost cause. Today, we owe him a debt of gratitude for his foresightful work. Requiéscat in pace.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 09/27 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Ss. Cosmas & Damian, Martyrs)

Tue. 09/28 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Wenceslaus, Duke & Martyr)

Wed. 09/29 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for September 26, 2010. Image credit: Hat tip to A.B.]

See our post, "Michael Davies, R.I.P." (Musings, September 28, 2004), for further details about his life, his death, and for then Cardinal Ratzinger's eulogy (added as a belated "update" at the end of the post, beneath the advertisement).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Catholic homosexual as victim soul

Michael Voris, "Catholic and Homosexual" (The Vortex, September 24, 2010). Definitely not the comfortable pew or bed of roses, but a tall order and a tough compassion. What would you rather have? "Go in peace, indulge yourself"? Where would that get you?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mainstream US media asleep on the job?

A friend of mine, a retired Hollywood actor, who rightfully prides himself on keeping up with the news, wrote me recently and included a newspaper clipping on the Pope's recent trip to Great Britain. The newspaper article featured a large photo of crowds of placard-bearing anti-Catholic demonstrators and was substantially devoted to only one subject: the Pope's meeting with sex-abuse victims and the outrage of Britons over the sex scandal. If one's news sources were limited to the mainstream print media and TV networks in the US, this is likely all he would know about the Pope's journey to Britain, if he knew about it at all. By contrast, the historical magnitude and significance of the Pope's visit, which had little if anything to do with the sex scandals, was widely reported in the international secular news media, not to mention Catholic news agencies and blogs. The astounding lack of coverage of this event by American media, however, was noted in a recent post by Deacon Greg Kandra, "The pope, and the greatest story never told" (Beliefnet, September 21, 2010):
One of the biggest surprises of Pope Benedict's historic trip to the United Kingdom may be how few people realize that it was, in fact, historic.

Sunday night, I was chatting by phone with my father-in-law in Maryland. I told him I'd been busy with the papal coverage all weekend.

"Didn't seem like much happened," he said.

"Really?," I replied. "He was the first pope to visit the Church of England's Westminster Abbey. He stood there with the Archbishop of Canterbury, side by side, as they both pronounced the final blessing and made the sign of the cross together."

"He did that?" My father-in-law sounded genuinely surprised.

"He went to the hall where Thomas More was sentenced to death and delivered a speech about religion to the civil leaders of Great Britain."

"He did?"

"And he took part in his first beatification: Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism."

I could almost hear him scratching his bald head. "How come nobody said anything about that?"

Now, my father-in-law is a pretty smart guy, and what you might consider an observant Catholic. He attends mass every morning. He keeps up on current events. Now retired from the FDA, he regularly checks in with the Washington Post, USA TODAY, MSNBC and CNN. But he was baffled that this stuff I was telling him wasn't on the nightly news.

"All we saw down here," he explained, "was that he met with sex abuse victims."

I started to wonder what sort of coverage the trip had received. After I hung up the phone, I searched through several newspaper websites. I clicked on the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe. Nothing, nothing, nothing. None of them mentioned on their home page the pope's just-completed trip.

When I got to work on Monday, I searched CNN Newsource, which provides newsfeeds to my show, "Currents," as well as to countless other news programs around the country. I found a grand total of one item, running about a minute long, slugged "Anti-Pope Demonstrations."

That was it.

Based on my conversation with my father-in-law, you could be forgiven for thinking that the pope made the trip just to meet with victims of sex abuse -- and that a lot of Britons were ticked off about it.

Now, I know: it's tempting to argue that it was a conspiracy of media bias. But I think there's something sadder and less sinister at work: it's the economy, stupid. The religion beat, in most places, just doesn't exist anymore. (Ironic, considering that a recent report says it's something that people crave.) But it's one of the first things to be cut in a budget crunch. In television news, the days when CNN had a Delia Gallagher or ABC had a Peggy Wehmeyer are long gone. It's worse at newspapers, many of which are on life support, gasping for air. Truly historic moments, potentially earth-shifting events, like the pope's trip to the UK, are going under-reported, or un-reported, or mis-reported. They get coverage, but not necessarily from a regular reporter, who understands the nuances of the beat. As a result, they happen in a void, without any real context beyond the hot-button issues of sex or violence or protest. And isn't it sad: that seems to be all that we hear about religion -- any religion -- in the media these days.

Call me old school, but there's something wrong here.

If my father-in-law, a fairly well-informed guy in the pews, didn't know what he didn't know, I have to wonder: how many others in the pews are also being left in the dark?
[Hat tip to E.E.]

What's wrong with Feisal Rauf's What's Right With Islam

Ibn Warraq, "The Two Faces of Feisal Rauf: What's Wrong with What's Right With Islam" (NRO, September 14, 2010). Terrorism counts on the gullibility of the tender-minded self-congratulatory Western liberal political establishment. I wonder whom William James would consider tough-minded now?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ann Arbor’s Old St. Patrick Church Debuts Tridentine Mass at the Encouragement of Bishop Boyea

Tridentine Community News (September 19, 2010):
Just a few weeks ago, Diocese of Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea made a precedent by establishing a new Tridentine Mass Community in Lansing which has the possibility of becoming the first fully Extraordinary Form parish in this region. Apparently His Excellency had yet further plans in mind.

Since shortly after our Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, Summórum Pontíficum, took effect on September 14, 2007, there has been buzz that Old St. Patrick parish in Ann Arbor would commence an Extraordinary Form Mass. Old St. Patrick’s is a small, historic, architecturally intact church, well-suited for the Traditional Liturgy [photo below by Paul Schultz]. Pastor Fr. Gerald Gawronski had rebuilt the church’s Communion Rail and began to offer Holy Mass (in the Ordinary Form) ad oriéntem at the High Altar. A wedding had been celebrated in the Extraordinary Form by a visiting priest. Several members of the parish had been asking for a Tridentine Mass, as had a number of students from the University of Michigan and the since-relocated Ave Maria Law School. Yet it seemed as though a catalyst was required to make these ingredients gel into a Mass.

Two weeks ago, Bishop Boyea provided the final push that was needed by specifically asking Fr. Gawronski to start this long-anticipated Tridentine Mass. Less than two weeks after “the call”, Old St. Patrick’s held its first public Mass in the Extraordinary Form in over 40 years this past Tuesday, September 14 in honor of the third anniversary of the Motu Proprio. Over 50 faithful attended. In the spirit of teamwork that has characterized the start-up of so many of our local Extraordinary Form Masses, St. Josaphat Church provided vestments and training to help Old St. Patrick’s effort start on the right foot. At press time, a schedule for future Masses had not yet been set; we will report when we hear.

Old St. Patrick’s is home to some noteworthy traditional Catholic activities, one of the best known of which is its music program. Its young music director, Mara Terwilliger, enthusiastically embraces chant, sung Propers, and Latin in the Ordinary Form. She has fostered capable adult and children’s choirs, the latter of which has sung at St. Josaphat and St. Albertus. Mara is a student of organ at the University of Michigan, interns at the Music Department at Sacred Heart Seminary during the week, and maintains a blog addressing traditional musical and liturgical matters:

The establishment of a Tridentine Mass in Ann Arbor answers the longtime prayers of many in the area. In less than two months, Bishop Boyea has established two Extraordinary Form Mass sites. Let us pray for this proactive and supportive member of our episcopate.

Sacred Music Farm Team at the University of Michigan

While we are on the subject of Ann Arbor, it is worth noting that the U of M Music Department has produced no less than four young organists who have made names for themselves on the local Latin Mass scene: Joe Balistreri, Dr. Steven Ball, Dr. David Saunders, and Mara Terwilliger. Others from U of M are also indicating interest. Consider that the music at two of the four simultaneous Tridentine Masses that were held on Tuesday, September 14 (Assumption Grotto, Assumption-Windsor, Old St. Patrick, St. Josaphat) was led by members of the above [organ] “bench team”. Dr. Ball, who teaches organ at U of M, deserves particular credit for involving his students in local liturgical events, as it is in the service of the Church’s great repertoire that an organist’s skills are best put to use.

While we obviously must pray for and encourage vocations to the holy priesthood, we should also pray for talented and motivated music directors, skilled in Gregorian Chant, sacred polyphony, and organ, to provide traditional sacred music in the future.

LLA Convention Recordings Available

CDs and DVDs of the talks and Pontifical Mass from the Latin Liturgy Association Convention are now available from Ferndale’s St. Michael’s Media, who recorded the event. You may order by calling (248) 545-5716 or on-line at:

The Wanderer Covers the LLA Convention

Thanks once again to the efforts of Debbie Bloomfield, The Wanderer, a weekly national Catholic newspaper, ran a story about the LLA Convention on the front page of its August 5, 2010 edition. With positive coverage of our host churches and activities, this is surely good publicity for our local Latin Masses and for metro Detroit.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 09/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Ss. Eustache & Companions, Martyrs)
Tue. 09/21 7:00 PM: High Mass at both Assumption-Windsor and St. Josaphat (St. Matthew, Apostle)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for September 19, 2010. Hat tip to A.B.]

Monday, September 20, 2010

Newman, Benedict, and Great Britain

Lest the beatification of the now Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman be thought to have passed unnoticed by this spiritual son of the man, I offer these carefully selected links for your reading pleasure:[Hat tip to C.B.]

Update (9/21/2010):

For extensive coverage of the Pope's visit, see

Also, as Christopher suggests, check out Benedict's visit to the lion's den of Westminster -- praising St. Thomas More in a speech to Parliament / The Anglican Church (!) and offering Blessed John Henry Newman as a model for ecumenical relations:
He can teach us the virtues that ecumenism demands: on the one hand, he was moved to follow his conscience, even at great personal cost; and on the other hand, the warmth of his continued friendship with his former colleagues, led him to explore with them, in a truly irenical spirit, the questions on which they differed, driven by a deep longing for unity in faith.
Of course he didn't mention "Anglicanorum Coetibus" specifically, but as Phil Lawler (Catholic Culture) thinks, it's hard not to interpret his elevation of Newman-the-Catholic as a model to the Anglican bishops as a covert invitation.

Amazing ...:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Now THAT'S a wedding celebration!

Did you like Fiddler on the Roof? This Latino family rehearsed "L'chaim!" for a month in secret to surprise the bride... Enjoy!

[Hat tip to S.F.]

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hussein Wario's exposé of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Hussein Wario, raised as a Muslim and intimately acquainted with the esoteric doctrines of Islam, offers an interesting exposé of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in "Ground Zero Mosque’s Imam and Tauriyya" (Cracks in the Crescent, September 9, 2010). His detailed analysis of the pretended Sufism of the Imam concludes with this statement:
Imam Abdul Rauf’s recent statements show he knows Islamic teachings but he is exercising Tauriya. There is no such thing in authentic Islam as what he is trying to achieve. It has become very evident he is not a Sufi Muslim. He has been using Sufism as a cover and has just blown it. This man knows very well no one who embraces the Qur’an’s teachings and adheres to Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds can build a bridge with people who believe in human rights and religious freedom. He doesn’t believe in these ideals, just maximizing them to advance his cause of spreading Islam in the West. In the words of a prominent Muslim scholar who, unlike Imam Abdul Rauf, is unashamed of Islamic teachings, “‘Democracy, freedom, and human rights have no place’ in Islam.”

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Tridentine Community News (September 12, 2010):
We are pleased to present today’s column guest authored by Sacred Heart Seminary Professor Dr. Philip Blosser. A convert to Roman Catholicism, Dr. Blosser regularly attends our Extraordinary Form Masses at St. Josaphat, St. Albertus, and Assumption-Windsor.
Converts are drawn to the Catholic Church for many different reasons: her historical credentials, the clear moral witness of pro-life Catholics, reasons of doctrine and truth, etc. Some, particularly former high church Anglicans, have spoken occasionally of being impelled by conscience to convert despite the vast doctrinal confusion and liturgical ugliness they found in certain Catholic parishes. Conversely, some have been drawn to the Church for aesthetic reasons -- by the beauty of Gregorian chant, Palestrina, Chartres, Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, the breath-taking vision of Dante, and the majestic traditional Latin liturgy itself. Converts from non-liturgical backgrounds attest to the compelling power and beauty of even simple gestures, like kneeling, genuflecting, and the Sign of the Cross.

What is the relation of beauty to truth? Usually truth is understood as a matter of propositions or judgments. The Medievals distinguished three acts of the intellect: (1) understanding, (2) judging and (3) reasoning. Logically, the object of understanding is a term (“rose”), the object of judging is a premise (“All roses are red”) and the object of reasoning is a syllogism (“All roses are red/This flower is a rose/Therefore, this flower is red”).

In these examples a flaw is readily apparent in the syllogism because of the false premise: it is not true that all roses are red. This tells us something important: truth applies to judgments, the second act of the intellect. Judgments can be true or false. But can the term “rose” be true or false? Clearly not. It is either understood or not; but the question of truth seems irrelevant to understanding, the first act of the intellect. Or, at least, so it seems.

The poet, John Keats, once declared: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” What did he mean? Is there a sense in which the beautiful can be true? Beginning with Plato, a number of ancient and medieval philosophers have referred to the good, the true and the beautiful as though they were somehow inter-penetrating concepts. Medieval philosophers related these to other concepts like “being,” and called them “transcendentals” (from Latin transcendere = “to climb over”), meaning they transcend or “climb over” all divisions, categories and distinctions between and within beings.

For example, anything in the world, by the mere fact of its having been created by God, is good. Evil, then, cannot be some sort of existing thing, but rather a kind of non-being, as blindness is the non-being of sight. The goodness of something (like sight) does not add anything to its being, but is simply an aspect under which its being may be considered.

The same is true of all the other transcendentals: Truth is being as known, Goodness is being as rightly desired, and Beauty is being as rightly admired. Being considered (1) as the object of the intellect is Truth; (2) as the object of right desire is Goodness; and (3) as the object of right aesthetic delight is Beauty. Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, then, are various aspects of Being as apprehended by the intellect, will, and emotions.

A little sticking point might be the terms “right” in the definition of Good as the object of “right desire” and Beauty as the object of “right admiration.” After all, is not the proverbial maxim De gustibus non est disputandum (“there is no disputing about taste”)? Isn't “beauty” purely subjective? Aren't “goodness” and even “truth” considered purely subjective these days? Who is to say what is “really” true, good, or beautiful? Isn't that presumption a trifle arrogant?

This is hardly the place for a full-blown discussion of criteria for adjudicating differences of opinion over judgments of truth, goodness, and beauty. Suffice it to note several conditions that will serve to define the framework of a traditional Catholic approach to these questions. First is the conviction that reality is intelligible and that the intellect can know it -- maybe not exhaustively, but adequately. Hence, Truth is defined as the correspondence between intelligible reality and the knowing intellect (adaequatio rei et intellectus).

Second is the conviction that what is really (as opposed to merely apparently) good for us is knowable and that we ought to desire it. Hence Goodness is defined as the object of right desire.

Third is the conviction that what is really (as opposed to merely apparently) beautiful is knowable and that we ought to admire and delight in it. Hence Beauty is defined as the object of right admiration.

Beauty has been called “the synthesis of all transcendentals” since it is related not just to one faculty but to the intellect and will and emotions. It is therefore the most complex of the transcendentals. St. Thomas Aquinas defines it in one place as id quod visum placet (“that which pleases upon being seen”), which underscores its subjective aspect. The beautiful is pleasing to us. Yet this is not the end of the matter, because we clearly do dispute whether certain objects rightly warrant aesthetic admiration. Accordingly, St. Thomas adds three objective criteria to his subjective criterion of pleasure: (a) integritas (unity), (b) consonantia (harmony), and (c) claritas (splendor or radiance).

Thus, when John Paul II entitled one of his encyclicals, Veritas splendor (“The Splendor of Truth”) he seems to have touched on the inter-penetrating quality of transcendentals: Truth is beautiful. It exhibits qualities of beauty: unity, harmony, and splendor (or radiance). One could also refer to the goodness of truth. Well, you get the picture.

Can we also speak of the truth of beauty, then? There does seem to be some reason for supposing that truth need not be limited to judgments alone. While it makes little sense to speak of a beautiful rose as “true” in a strictly propositional sense, a rose nevertheless presents itself as an object of the intellect, and as an intelligible being created by God in correspondence to His own intellect and will. At the very beginning of his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas refers to “God, in whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only (as man also can do), but also by things themselves.” Thus God signifies not only His existence, but His power and majesty by the sheer beauty of His creation (see Romans 1:19-20). Likewise, the beauty of music, liturgy, and religious art can serve, as do Sacraments themselves, as signs that point to realities and truths beyond themselves.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Regular Sunday Masses are not listed.
  • Mon. 09/13 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Requiem Mass with Absolution at the Catafalque)
  • Tue. 09/14 7:00 PM:High Mass at both Assumption-Windsor and St. Josaphat (Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
  • Wed. 09/15 7:00 PM:High Mass at St. Josaphat (Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for September 12, 2010. Hat tip to A.B.]

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Debate: "Is Religious Extremism or Secular Extremism the Problem?"

Flashback: an illuminating debate between Robert Spencer and Dinesh D'Souza on Islam, terrorism and the political and cultural left (YouTube, 3 parts) -- in the news you may have missed.

Must-Read of the Day: Dinesh D’Souza on ‘How Obama Thinks’

Dinesh D’Souza, "How Obama Thinks" (Forbes, September 27, 2010), via Frank Ross in Big Journalism, September 9, 2010).

To remember or to forget?

The Vatican II document, Nostra Aetate (1965) declares, as Fr. Z reminds us today (though with significant qualification), that since numerous quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Muslims, "this sacred synod [Vatican II] urges all to forget the past (praeterita obliviscentes) and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom."

Commenting on this passage, Fr. Z says: "I wonder if we can truly – nay rather – reasonably 'forget things that have occurred in the past'. On the face of it, that is not either wise or possible. However, the intent of this is surely meant to be 'not be embittered by what has happened in the past'. Fine. But my initial comment stands: we cannot, should not, forget the past. Rather, the past should be a spur and a check on our choices today."

In a post immediately preceding this one, Fr. Z offers the following remarkable stanzas from Thomas Merton's Figures For An Apocalypse, VI – In the Ruins of New York, written in 1947:
Oh how quiet it is after the black night
When flames out of the clouds burned down your cariated teeth,
And when those lightnings,
Lancing the black boils of Harlem and the Bronx,
Spilled the remaining prisoners,
(The tens and twenties of the living)
Into the trees of Jersey,
To the green farms, to find their liberty.

How are they down, how have they fallen down
Those great strong towers of ice and steel,
And melted by what terror and what miracle?
What fires and lights tore down,
With the white anger of their sudden accusation,
Those towers of silver and of steel?
Seemingly prescient, the coupling of Merton's stanzas with the images of the Twin Towers on 9/11 offer much that is hard to forget.

Again, this report from Pakistan yesterday, reminds us that a hard-to-forget pattern of intolerant hostility continues to the present, as Rorate Caeli reminds us with the sardonic remark: "As usual, no one will condemn this because persecuting Christians is normal, right? However, if you even speak about burning the Quran ..." (Flashback: "Christians in Gaza Fear for Their Lives as Muslims Burn Bibles and Destroy Crosses.")

I would like to return to Fr. Z's earlier post, however, entitled "Questions raised by Nostra aetate about the Christian God and Muslim Allah" (WDTPRS, September 11, 2010), which was prompted by a commentator on his blog who said: "It’s also about time that Catholics start repudiating those sections of Nostra Aetate referring to Muslims." Fr. Z takes a look at the relevant passage from Nostra Aetate referring to Muslims (he offers the Latin; I offer only the English here, with Fr. Z's comments and added emphasis):
3. The Church regards with esteem (aestimatio: "an estimation of a thing according to its intrinsic worth") also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they (tamen ... ?) revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past (praeterita obliviscentes) and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.
Fr. Z says he wonders about a few things, such as whether the English translation offered by the Vatican website is a good reflection of the Latin. The English strikes him as "slightly rosier than the Latin," he says.

Then, following his (above-quoted) remarks about whether it is possible or wise to forget "things that have occurred in the past," Fr. Z turns to the document's statement that Muslims worship "the one, only God" (unicus Deus). He comments:
We often hear that Christians and Muslims (and Jews) worship the same God, the God of Abraham.

Is this indeed the case?

I don’t know enough about the Muslim understanding of God to be able to embrace that assertion without hesitation.

It would be helpful to have the help of some experts on Islam on this question.

I know that this is very complicated, and leaves us open to all sorts of bickering, but perhaps we could drill at this question a bit… calmly and intelligently.

I know, for example, that it is said that the God Muslims refer to as "Allah" (among the many other names) is personal, omnipotent, and is said to be compassionate. There is some agreement (to what extent I am not sure) that the Muslim’s Allah is the same God that entered into a covenant with Abraham. St. Augustine says that God is closer to us than we are to ourselves. The Koran says that Allah is closer to us than our own jugular vein… which is an unsettling image.

Christians obviously believe that God is Triune. But, "O People of the Scripture! Do not speak lies against Allah, but speak the Truth. That Jesus Christ, son of Mary, was a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not ‘Trinity.’ Desist! It is better for you. For Allah is one God." (An-Nisa 4:17)

Sometimes a contrast is made between the God of the Old and New Testament and Allah, who seems to act in a more "capricious" manner. Christians tend to think of God in terms of Logos while, as I understand it, Muslims tend to think of Allah as "Will", which brings us back to the notion of "capricious", that such a God would not be bound even by his own word. Certainly Pope Benedict raised some interesting questions at Regensburg, in 2006.
This is an important and a good question. Perhaps it can be honed to a finer point by asking whether (1) it is the same God that Muslims and Christians worship, albeit with different understandings of Him, or (2) a roughly similar (monotheistic, transcendent, all-powerful, etc.) understanding of God that they have, notwithstanding certain differences in emphasis, but with completely different referents -- that is, one referring to the living God, the other to a diabolical fantasy. I pose the issue in this antithetical manner simply in order to highlight as clearly as possible the logical possibilities.

I close with Fr. Z's advice: "Let’s see if we can have a discussion about some of these points without being boors."

Friday, September 10, 2010

The elephant in the mosque

All this Muslim outrage over talk of Koran burning, and the insistent push to build the NY mosque over protests of the majority of NY residents and 70% of US citizens, and the plan to name the Islamic center after the Mosque of Córdoba, which was built as a sign of conquest literally on top of a Catholic church in Cordoba, Spain, by the conquering Moors -- makes one wonder what the reaction might be if Christians of the Reconquista had built on top of a Moorish mosque from those times a Catholic cathedral named after Santiago Matamoros -- Saint James the Moorslayer.

Amidst the recent appeals by the U.S. president, by the Department of Defense, by liberal news media editors and such against Qur'an-burning -- all of which are clearly motivated by fear of violent reprisal, destruction, burnings and loss of life (all of which are predicted by Islamic leaders and promised by self-proclaimed jihadists) -- the elephant in the room is the fact that all the claims (made by everyone from former President Bush to current Muslim leaders) that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance are confounded by the massive international experience to the contrary.

[Hat tip to E.E.]

Preparing for Pope's visit to Britain

"Ten Reasons to love the Pope" (Heresy Corner, September 8, 2010):
The Pope is said to be looking forward to a "joyful" visit to Britain next week. It's not clear who else is. The organisers seem to be terrified it will be a flop, even while doing their best to discourage the crowds. Even Damian Thompson is filled with foreboding, perhaps because his liberal enemies are responsible for the arrangements, while surveys suggest that grassroots Catholics are oddly indifferent to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a close-up look at their boss. Only the Protest the Pope crowd would seem to be truly looking forward to the occasion. And the Guardian and BBC, of course, who will relish the opportunity to big up the protesters.
The Heresiarch, priming the pump, offers, in the face of such party-pooping, ten reasons to love and welcome the pope, including: Julie Burchill hates him; his shoes; as well as more predictable things like his moral courage.

[Hat tip to J.M.]

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A philosopher on why philosophy cannot be taught

Bill Vallicella,"Can Philosophy be Taught?" (Maverick Philosopher, October 8, 2009), tackles the old analogue to the Socratic question whether virtue can be taught:
In one sense a philosophy is a set of conclusions, systematically set forth, on ultimate matters. To appreciate the conclusions, however, one must appreciate the arguments and counterarguments the sifting of which first led the philosopher to the conclusions. But to understand the arguments and counterarguments one must understand the issues and problems that they revolve around. Appreciation of the issues and problems, in turn, is rooted in wonder the presupposition of which is a contemplative detachment from the taken-for-granted.

And so we must distinguish: doctrines, arguments, problems, wonder. Philosophy as the study of the doctrines of the philosophers is philosophy in its most superficial sense. Studying that, one is not studying philosophy, but philosophies, and them in their most external form. Philosophy as the grappling with the arguments whose conclusions are the doctrines is closer to the real thing. Philosophy as the exfoliation and penetration of the problems themselves, under suspension of the need to solve them at all costs, is closer still to philosophy's throbbing heart. This is philosophy as aporetics. But without wonder there can be no appreciation of problems, let alone solutions. Thus we have it on the excellent authority of both Plato and Aristotle that philosophy begins in wonder.

Upshot? Teaching philosophy is well-nigh impossible. One can of course teach the lore of the philosophers, but that is not what philosophy is in its vital essence. And although argumentative and logical skills are impartable to the moderately intelligent, the aporetic sense, the feel for a philosophical problem, is not readily imparted regardless of the intelligence of the student. A fortiori, the wonder at the source of the aporetic sense is a gift of the gods, and nothing a mere mortal teacher can dispense.

So I propose to go Kant one better. Somewhere deep in the bowels of The Critique of Pure Reason, he remarks that "Philosophy cannot be taught, we can at most learn to philosophize." I say that neither philosophy as doctrinal system nor the art of philosophizing can be taught. For there is no one extant doctrinal system called philosophy, and neither the aporetic sense nor the wonder at its root can be taught. As I used to say in my teaching days, "Philosophy cannot be a mass consumption item." Logic perhaps, philosophy no.

Or to paraphrase a remark I once heard Hans-Georg Gadamer make, "Just as there are the musical and the unmusical, there are the philosophical and the unphilosophical." One cannot teach music to the unmusical or philosophy to the unphilosophical. The muse of philosophy must have visited you; otherwise you are out of luck.
[Hat tip to C.B.]

Monday, September 06, 2010

A Married Priesthood: Why Not?

By George Buddleighton

One of the more enduring aspects of the secular media and dinner-party dogmaticians is an inability to understand that there is a coherent reason for Catholic teachings. To a large extent this ignorance cannot be regarded as culpable, as Church authorities seem reluctant to explain the rationale behind authoritative teachings. One such teaching concerns the celibate priesthood and how it relates to the current vocations crisis. The need for such an explanation has become ever more acute in light of Pope Benedict XVI's generous new apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, which has provisions to allow already married Anglican clergymen to be ordained as Catholic priests.

The basis for the celibate priesthood is not doctrinal but concerns the difficulty of fulfilling the duties of three intermingled disciplines — that of the married state, that of the priestly vocation, and finally that of the individual priest. Let's examine these three aspects separately.

The concession permitted to groups such as doctors and clergymen that exempted them from jury service in Ireland was for most of the past century extended to married women, as it was felt that the rearing of a family was too important a task to be compromised by jury duty. In latter years, a group of human-rights activists identified this exemption as demeaning to women, completely misreading the intention of the legislators in an earlier — and, dare I say, more gracious — age. The same tendency is seen when the celibate priesthood is derided as demeaning of the married state. In reality the celibacy requirement is a recognition that the duties of marriage should not be compromised by the competing demands of the priesthood.

The Church has always taught that marriage is a noble vocation and that a married man's primary duty is to his wife and family, and that this discipline must not be in competition with others. It is significant that the Greek Orthodox Church recently expressed concern about the fact that its priests cannot find wives, as marriage to a priest is not regarded as a good prospect!

On the discipline of the priestly vocation, one can only say that marriage would expose the priest to an extra burden in that his duty to family could only compromise his vow of obedience. Essentially, this is the difficulty of serving two masters. Moving to a new post on the orders of his superior would be immensely complicated if the interests of a family had to be considered, and the faithful would have the extra burden of contributing to the support of the family as well as of the priest himself.

Another consideration — one that I have rarely heard mentioned — is the fact that every individual priest becomes a priest in answer to God's call. If we had a married priesthood, a priestly caste would develop, with young men following their fathers into the clergy.

Finally, there is the discipline of the individual person of the priest, a man who has made himself "a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of heaven." Again, difficulty understanding this concept reflects the shallowness of modern society, which cannot comprehend the concepts of commitment or vocation, and therefore cannot understand the traditional status given to the paterfamilias — that to be a father is to be a man. If a proper status is given to fatherhood, there is a certain degree of awe accorded to one who voluntarily rejects this status for the sake of something as important as the priesthood. Despite his faults, the priest, be he pope or the humblest curate, has given up a status and a comfort in life — his right by his masculinity — for the sake of his calling.

Advocates of a married priesthood often argue that such an innovation would eliminate cases of clerical pedophilia and also the perceived shortage of vocations. Both these problems they regard as caused by celibacy, and some have suggested that Pope Benedict's recent welcome to Anglicans is an attempt at an end-run around these problems. But, in fact, they are more a consequence of modern society than something intrinsic to the Catholic Church.

With regard to the evil of pedophilia, the idea that marriage would cure it is bizarre, to say the least. This notion stems from the theories of Alfred Kinsey, who stated that "man is naturally pan-sexual and thus will attempt to indulge in sexual activity with whatever is available, regardless of age, sex or species." This is relativism in extremis, defining a range of activities from conjugal love to bestiality and ephebophilia as a spectrum of "natural" behavior! It is not surprising that those who subscribe to this distortion would believe that marriage could be an alternative to such depravities.

If we examine the reported cases of clerical child abuse, we note that the majority are examples of ephebophilia — that is, predatory assaults on peri-pubertal boys — essentially an expression of power and violence, and hatred of the normal. The use of the term "clerical pedophilia" is really a cynical attempt to hide the frankly homosexual origin of this depravity. Popular culture accepts the "gay" lobby's portrayal of sodomites as a gentle, persecuted minority, disguising how common it is for active homosexuals to seek out youngsters with the object of seducing them.

The modern distortion of defining homosexuality as a charming personality quirk has influenced some vocations directors and seminary rectors who, out of a misplaced compassion for those with homosexual tendencies, have been less than vigilant in following Vatican instructions to prevent the ordination of such candidates to the priesthood. The practice of homosexuality among God's anointed is truly demonic, and it must be rooted out of seminaries and the priesthood.

Further consideration of the shortage of vocations reveals that, as well as the uncomfortable character of sexual orientation in some seminaries due to pronounced homosexual subcultures of the recent past, we are dealing with a further phenomenon, confined to the domain of Western liberalism. While historically there are more seminarians than ever worldwide, the Western world has simply lost the concept of vocation. In Ireland this trend can also be seen in the difficulty of getting teachers and doctors for isolated or deprived areas.

It is ironic that we have calls for clergy to adopt a second vocation — that of marriage — in societies that have completely undermined marriage itself; societies in which marriage vows have less legal veracity than standard employment contracts!

In short, the demand for a married clergy is a manifestation of the modernistic approach as applied to the Church, while the shortage of vocations and the sexual perversions of some clerics are further manifestations of the same modernistic tendencies as practiced in the Church. While some have hinted that Anglicanorum Coe­tibus has cracked open the door to consideration of a married Catholic priesthood, it will likely have the limited effect of a pastoral exception rather than revolutionizing the celibate nature of Catholic holy orders.

As for a more appropriate response to the "vocations crisis," we were long ago given the formula for adequate numbers of suitable priests: Pray to the Lord of the harvest.

[George Buddleighton is a family doctor in Ireland. This column originally appeared in somewhat different form under the title, "Of Gall Wasps, Priestesses, and Eunuchs for the Kingdom," in the November 2005 issue of the Irish Brandsma Review, and was reprinted by permission in New Oxford Review (July-August 2010). It is reproduced here by kind permission of New Oxford Review, 1069 Kains Ave., Berkeley, CA 94706.]

Hope for Down Syndrome kids -- 90% of whom are aborted today

I know friends who have healthy three or four kids of their own but want to adopt. Some of them specifically want to adopt Down Syndrome babies. These are amazing people, it goes without saying. I don't know if I would could be that selfless. I admire not only their openness to life, but their openness to "abnormal" life.

New research is offering new hope for Down Syndrome children, however -- and the promise of a future that will help mothers pressured into abortion make a choice for life.

Please watch this video:

Research Down Syndrome suggests that parents are largely unaware of the truly groundbreaking research being done on behalf of children with Down Syndrome. The fact is that scientists have begun identifying the sources of learning difficulties in persons with Down Syndrome. As a result the future holds increased life opportunities for Down Syndrome kids, including more advanced educational opportunities and improved career paths, which could very possibly lead to independent living.

[Hat tip to E.E.]

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Planned Parenthood for blacks: "humane" alternative to death camps

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg unintentionally sent the pro-abortion movement into overtime damage control last July when she said to the New York Times (July 7, 2009):
"Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of."
As Katie Walker reports in "'Maafa 21' -- A year later" [PDF] (ALL-CL, July-August 2010):
As a leader of the "women's rights" movement since at least the 1970s and now one of the most powerful women in the U.S. government, Ginsburg had just admitted to the nation's best-known daily newspaper that the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision (1973), which decriminalized abortion, was about getting rid of populations "that we don't want too many of."
The slip-up came less than a month after the documentary Maafa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America [(1) Trailer; (2) whole movie] was released on June 19, 1865, the anniversary of the federal enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas. Walker says that she was privileged to to sit for a screening in an auditorium in the Capitol Visitor Center, across the street from the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. Two hours later, she writes:
... I was reeling between anger, disgust, and tears. Maafa 21 isn't just a story for black pro-lifers; it's the story of how we got saddled with a society that aggressively violates the human rights of "populations we don't want to have too many of" and justifies all sorts of atrocities in the name of some "greater good."
Maafa, a Swahili term for great tragedy or disaster, refers (1) to the more than 500 years of oppression suffered by Africans and their descendants under slavery, colonialism, imperialism and racism; and (2) -- and here's the kicker -- to the attempt to control and reduce African American populations through eugenic birth control, sterilization, and abortion (as Maafa 21 abundantly documents, nearly to the point of overkill).

Before abortion was legalized in the U.S., the illegal procedure was the province of comparatively well-to-do whites who could afford to pay for it. Since Roe v. Wade legalized it as a "right," the floodgates of funding were thrown open and comparatively low-income blacks quickly became the largest group availing themselves of the procedure. Since 1973, estimates suggest that abortion has reduced the American black population by over 25%. Table 3 of National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Oct. 14, 2009, available at reports that in 2005, there were 587,000 live births vs. 452,000 abortions of black pregnancies. Walter B. Hoye II, CEO of the California Civil Rights Foundation calculates a net "black life deficit" of 157,808 in 2005, a figure that does not include 177,000 black preborn babies who died in 2005 from causes other than induced abortion. The Guttmacher Institute's May 2010 Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States ( states: "Thirty percent of abortions occur to non-Hispanic black women." Bearing in mind that only about 12% of the U.S. population is African-American, according to the 2000 census, compared to about 75% for the white population (including Hispanics) and about 12% for other racial categories (see, and that these abortion statistics don't reflect the fact that hormonal contraceptives can induce very early, undetected abortions, the black population is clearly in significant decline. (See,,,, and my favorite,

I remember first reading about the phenomenon of black genocide (which sounds a little extreme at first, so call it Planned Parenthood "killing me softly with its song") about ten years ago through the precursor of this website: I had an African-American student at Lenoir-Rhyne University in an ethics class who researched the issue and became so incensed that, for his class project, he asked if he and a partner in a rap group could produce a rap song on the racist designs behind Margaret Sanger's development of the Planned Parenthood organization and its earlier parent organization. I offered a few guidelines, and he not only wrote the lyrics, but performed the rap song for the class with the help of his partner, a synthesizer, audio speakers and a great deal of electronic equipment. He got a standing ovation. It was awesome. Further, I have to credit Dr. Janet Smith with the idea, which I got from a remark she made in passing in her talk, "Contraception: Why Not?" about how she would love some "rap group" to put together a little song for her on a related issue of this kind.

I did not hear about Maafa 21, however, until I read Katie Walker's aforementioned article about it a year after it was produced. I am astounded that I haven't heard of this documentary video until now. Of course, I do not have a television, which might keep me out of the loop somewhat. I am curious, however: I wonder how many of you have heard about this documentary previously, and, if so, where you heard about it. It's remarkable to me that more notice has not been taken of this video in Catholic news outlets.

Of course, it may seem alarmist and unrealistic at first. Yet if you watch the thing, you will see that the eugenics movement is abundantly documented in American history. Names are given, and documents are shown and quoted. Margaret Sanger's speaking tour with Klu Klux Klan groups throughout the country is documented. The influence of American eugenicists on Adolf Hitler is documented. Interestingly, leaders in the black community (like Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammad) sounded the alarm against the eugenics threat long before American evangelicals or Catholics awakened to the issue. Jessie Jackson once was staunchly pro-life and equated abortion with black genocide, but changed his tune to "a woman's right to choose" when he ran for president and found himself dependent on Democratic political and financial support. Promoters of the eugenics movement as a means of black population reduction has not been limited to socio-political liberals like Margaret Sanger and Democratic Presidents like Harry S. Truman and Lyndon Baines Johnson, however. There are quotations from President Dwight D. Eisenhower and a voice recording of an Oval Office conversation with Richard M. Nixon that ought to embarrass and curdle the blood of any Christian who voted for them.

Walker says in her article that one of Maafa 21's most startling effects is the support it has drawn from diverse populations that are typically pro-abortion strongholds. She quotes Mark Crutcher, the video's writer and director, as saying: "Usually, the most we can hope for is to win over the neutral or ambivalent, but winning over people who are hard-core or 'pro-choice' didn't happen; [however,] we're seeing that [happen] with Maafa."

Friday, September 03, 2010

American Civil Religion: Evangelicals in bed with Glenn Beck

A friend from California suggests that this article by Bryan Fischer, "Evangelicals to Glenn Beck: a huge thank you" (Rightly Considered, September 2, 2010), "desperately needs to be pulled limb from limb to distinguish the facts from the outright fabrications."

Have at it.

As a sideline, I offer the observation that Jacques Maritain embraces a sort of "civil religion" ideal in his book, Man and the State,which makes me uncomfortable despite the rubric of "natural law" under which he attempts to develop it. I also see that the September issue of the Knights of Columbus' magazine, Columbia contains an article by Joshua Mercer, entitled "America's Catholic Founder," meaning Charles Carroll (1737-1832), the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, which I have not read yet. It will be interesting to see how his role in the American experiment is cast by Mercer. Finally, our post, "Anti-Catholicism and the American Revolution" (August 10, 2004), reviews the vociferous American reaction to the "Quebec Act of June 1774" in which the British crown granted Catholics freedom of worship in French Canada. In fact, Cardinal Gasquet, a Benedictine historian, declares that "the American Revolution was not a movement for civil and religious liberty; its principal cause was the bigoted rage of the American Puritan and Presbyterian ministers at the concession of full religious liberty and equality to Catholics of French Canada."

A pontificate under attack

Sandro Magister, "'Why They Are Attacking Me.' Autobiography of a Pontificate" (www.chiesa, September 3, 2010): "Ever since he was elected, Joseph Ratzinger has been the target of a crescendo of assaults, from inside and outside of the Church. Is an "invisible hand" moving them? Here's how the pope sees and explains it."

Please identify yourself in comment boxes

I like the fact that anybody can comment on my blog posts. One option is therefore to comment under the "Anonymous" option, and I don't want to eliminate that option. A problem arises, however, when readers confront numerous "Anonymous" comments, often in the same combox, and would like some way of distinguishing their authors from one another.

My suggestion is that readers pick the "Name/URL" option and either state their personal name or pick a moniker and stick with it (the URL is optional). That way commentators will have consistent identities to work with, and it will be easier for participants to track combox discussions and continue their conversations from one combox to the next.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Stephen Hawking: God did not create the universe

Time to cash in your chips, folks. The jig is up. The guessing game is over. Science has spoken. Heh.

Don't you just love when scientists speak as "experts" about subjects totally outside their competence? Laura Roberts, "Stephen Hawking: God was not needed to create the Universe" (, September 2, 2010), writes:
In his latest book, The Grand Design,an extract of which is published in Eureka magazine in The Times, Hawking said: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”
What would Mr. Hawking think if the tables were turned? If he were to watch a Bible-thumping televangelist on a TV show insist that the world was created only a little over 6,000 years ago (4004 B.C.), based on Ussher's Bible chronology, do you think he would come to his senses and convert to Biblical Fundamentalism?

Sheesh. Why does this stuff continue to be reported seriously under the rubrics of "scientific news"? This is actually not at all uncommon. It's actually astounding how much "scientists" have to say publicly about "theology," "metaphysics," and "ethics"! Means to Message: A Treatise on Truth(1999) by the late great physicist and theologian, Fr. Stanley L. Jaki (pictured left) offers abundant and telling examples, from Heisenberg to Watson & Crick.