What is Capitalism? Pope John Paul II has the answer.

Pope John Paul II

Cover of Pope John Paul II

“If by ‘capitalism’ is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a ‘business economy’, ‘market economy’ or simply ‘free economy’. But if by ‘capitalism’ is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative”

John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 42: AAS 83 (1991), 845-846

Which one is morally “good?”

One the Church appreciates. One is Ayn Rand. Your choice.

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Reviews of several @CatholicLogos packages

Today seems like as a good a day as any…

A few months ago, Cliff from Logos sent along several packages related to Catholic Studies. As a new Protestan who proudly accepts the title of Catholic-lite, I was happy to receive these works due to their theological value as well as, in many cases, their critical value. From Boethius to Pope Benedict XVI, these packages include a wide range of (C)atholic teaching ranging from the beginning of the medieval spirituality to the present theological movements.

We in the more enlightened 21st century tend to view with apprehension anything coming out of the medieval period, even to the point of denying that Christian theological development and even Christian philosophy was alive and well during these so-called dark times. However, to do so would be to miss the great wealth of spirituality and deep theological insight produced by Hugh of St. Victor, St. John the Damascene, and Pope Gregory the Great. What is also essential about these authors and their works — these preachers and their sermons — is the value of learning how the Roman Catholic Church developed such elements as the papacy, such seedbeds as free will and determination, and how love was treated. The 34 volume set of The Medieval Preaching and Spirituality Collection beckons us to consider the great treasure trove that is medieval theological tradition.

Of course, there is something more too. I was able to receive as well the Encyclicals of the two most recent Popes, Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Fourteen and three, respectively, these letters show how the two popes covering most of our lifetimes have develop Catholic doctrine and practical theology in the face of post-modernism, the rise of the vitriolic class, the end of Communism, and all the while exploring what Vatican II means to twentieth and twenty-first century Catholics (and Christians on the whole, if we allows ourselves to willingly found common ground). Likewise, the Apostolic Constitutions, those exhortations of doctrine and piety confessed by these two Popes, provide deep insight into the modern Catholic (and Christian, see the parenthetical just above). These provide three decades worth of decisions, thought processes, and a sincere appreciation both for Catholic tradition (natural law, especially), and the modern human existence. Both of these sets include the English and the Latin, with the latter most helpful in keeping up your Latin reading (as well as reading it in the original language of production).

Below is are several pictures from one of Pope Benedict’s encyclicals:

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Perhaps you will can live your Christian life without such works in your library. Others have, but we are given such a short space on this planet, and we must seek to enrich it continuously. These books will enrich and enliven your Christian life, even for the Protestants, because it connects you to the deep and reflective thought over a millennia long. And frankly, you should not count yourself truly living until you have read Boethius.

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Vatican Christmas Shocker!

Well, that is the newest, or rather, the current recycled headline which details that Pope Benedict has forever decided that child rape is really just something being blown up. Such as this articlewhich has a headline which reads, Pope says child rape isn’t that bad, was normal back in his day.

Of course, since the internet is, for now, free… you can actually read what the Pope said… last year:

In order to resist these forces, we must turn our attention to their ideological foundations. In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a “better than” and a “worse than”. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. Anything can be good or also bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist. The effects of such theories are evident today. Against them,Pope John Paul II, in his 1993 Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, indicated with prophetic force in the great rational tradition of Christian ethos the essential and permanent foundations of moral action. Today, attention must be focussed anew on this text as a path in the formation of conscience. It is our responsibility to make these criteria audible and intelligible once more for people today as paths of true humanity, in the context of our paramount concern for mankind.

Wow… so, people weren’t and aren’t reporting the story right…

By the way, the Pope was not wrong, that in the 1970’s, there was a rise of pro-pedophilia among ‘intellectuals.’ Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Jean-Paul Satre, Simone de Beauvoir, André Glucksmann, Roland Barthes are just some of the names. Kinsey as well. Who knew that leaders in Western society, and not the Roman Catholic Church, fought to justify child rape.

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Modern Day, real life, Exorcists?

Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagoni...

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“The world must know that Satan exists,” he told CNA recently. “The devil and demons are many and they have two powers, the ordinary and the extraordinary.”

The 86-year-old Italian priest of the Society of St. Paul and official exorcist for the Diocese of Rome explained the difference.

“The so-called ordinary power is that of tempting man to distance himself from God and take him to Hell. This action is exercised against all men and women of all places and religions.”

As for the extraordinary powers used by Satan, Fr. Amorth explained it as how the Devil acts when he focuses his attention more specifically on a person. He categorized the expression of that attention into four types: diabolical possession; diabolical vexation like in the case of Padre Pio, who was beaten by the Devil; obsessions which are able to lead a person to desperation and infestation, and when the Devil occupies a space, an animal or even an object.”

Read the rest of the story, here:

Rome’s exorcist finding Bl. John Paul II effective against Satan :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

I’m not too interested with some of this theological statements – because I can separate the fact that he fully believes what he has been taught, and while I may disagree with him over that, there are bigger fish to fry – but I am interested in his notion of evil.

Clearly, he is not Bultmannian.

Do you explain evil? Is it personified or actually embodied? Is there a honest to goodness Satan and his band of evil demons, or is Satan more of a Loki type character?

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Every person, without exception, REDEEMED! – John Paul II

This man is the way for the Church – a way that, in a sense, is the basis of all the other ways that the Church must walk – because man – every man without any exception whatever – has been redeemed by Christ, and because with man – with each man without any exception whatever – Christ is in a way united, even when man is unaware of it: “Christ, who died and was raised up for all, provides man” – each man and every man – “with the light and the strength to measure up to his supreme calling” Redemptor hominis

John Paul II – Emmaus and the Eucharist

Dr. Gregory S. Neal, UM Elder, presides at the...

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I admit it, I am more Eucharist-centric than more Protestants, much to the chagrin of a few (okay, one) biblio/theo-bloggers, but there are scriptural, traditional and experiential reasons for that (You see what I did there, right?). Anyway, today’s Daily Gospel features a quote from the late Pope John Paul II who will be beatified shortly:

John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Apostolic Letter « Mane nobiscum Domine » §2,11-12 (© copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

“He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened”

The image of the disciples on the way to Emmaus can serve as a fitting guide for… the Church [to] be particularly engaged in living out the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. Amid our questions and difficulties, and even our bitter disappointments, the divine Wayfarer continues to walk at our side, opening to us the Scriptures and leading us to a deeper understanding of the mysteries of God. When we meet him fully, we will pass from the light of the Word to the light streaming from the «Bread of life» (Jn 6,35), the supreme fulfilment of his promise to «be with us always, to the end of the age» (Mt 28:20)…

The account of the Risen Jesus appearing to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus helps us to focus on a primary aspect of the Eucharistic mystery, one which should always be present in the devotion of the People of God: The Eucharist is a mystery of light!…  Jesus described himself as the «light of the world» (Jn 8:12), and this quality clearly appears at those moments in his life, like the Transfiguration and the Resurrection, in which his divine glory shines forth brightly. Yet in the Eucharist the glory of Christ remains veiled. The Eucharist is pre-eminently a mysterium fidei. Through the mystery of his complete hiddenness, Christ becomes a mystery of light, thanks to which believers are led into the depths of the divine life…

The Eucharist is light above all because at every Mass the liturgy of the Word of God precedes the liturgy of the Eucharist in the unity of the two «tables», the table of the Word and the table of the Bread…  In the account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, Christ himself intervenes to show, «beginning with Moses and all the prophets», how «all the Scriptures» point to the mystery of his person. His words make the hearts of the disciples «burn» within them, drawing them out of the darkness of sorrow and despair, and awakening in them a desire to remain with him: «Stay with us, Lord.»

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She locked eyes with John Paul II … and felt holiness

On Thursday in a party room coup, Kristina Keneally became the first woman Premier of the Australian state of New South Wales. She is a staunch Catholic. She met her husband at World Youth Day in Poland in 1991, and … Continue reading

Pope gunman: I want to convert to Christianity

How about that?

ANKARA, Turkey – The man who shot Pope John Paul II says he would like to convert to Christianity at a baptism ceremony at the Vatican soon after his release from prison in January, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Over the years, Mehmet Ali Agca has made frequent claims that he is the Messiah or Jesus Christ, raising questions about his mental health and leading to speculation that he had converted to Christianity.

“Agca is not formally a Christian,” lawyer Haci Ali Ozhan told The Associated Press. “When he converts, he would like a baptism ceremony at the Vatican,” Ozhan said, relaying comments Agca made during a recent prison meeting.