Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ecumenism Questions

1. What is the church's source(s) of authority?
2. How does the church view Sacred Scripture?
3. What, if any, sacraments are celebrated by the church?
4. What, approximately, is the worldwide membership of the church?
5. What is the church's moral stance on issues like homosexuality, contraception, and abortion?
6. Who are the leading figures in the foundation of the church / denomination? Who are the leading figures today?
7. What is the church's attitude toward ecumenism?
8. What are common devotions, prayers, and practices within this church?
9. Based on these answers, how closely would you say the church is to the Catholic Church?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ut Unum Sint

We are examining Pope John Paul II's encyclical on ecumenism. A link to the document is below. As a class we are only reading sections 10 - 13. The encyclical is a very large document - we are just looking at one small excerpt.
After reading the excerpt, please answer the following questions - in complete sentences, of course.
*Please note, when I use the word "Church", capitalized, I am referring to the Catholic Church. All other uses of "church" refer to other, usually Orthodox churches.
1. What is ecumenism, and what is the Church's attitude toward it?
2. What is meant by the statement, from Vatican II, that "the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church"?
3. The document notes that "many elements of sanctification and of truth can be found outside her visible structure." What do you think some of these elements might be? (see section 12. if you get stumped.)
4. The elements mentioned in question 4 have "an inner dynamism towards Catholic unity." Which means, um...what does that mean?
5. The beginning of section 11. is an admission of some faults and flaws of the human element of the Church. However, the Pope writes that these "cannot destroy what God has bestowed on her as part of his plan of grace." Why can't the flaws and faults of the human element of the Church nullify the Truth of the Church?
6. The Pope acknowledges that the degree to which other churches or ecclesial communities are in communion with Rome differs from one to another. Which are the churches that are most in communion with Rome and why? Which are those that are least in communion with Rome, and again, why?
7. Condense the two paragraphs in section 13. into one sentence each. Then assess how these two sentences compare your original assumption about the attitude of the Church toward other churches.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On teaching the Truth with Love

"And so I try not to get discouraged but to try to continue to speak the message in a way that people can understand. I try not to be -- and I don’t believe that I have been -- harsh or angry in my teaching. Certainly, I always could’ve been more effective in it, but try to speak the truth with love as the Holy Scriptures say, but also to realize that one has to continue to proclaim the message in season and out of season, and whether it’s being warmly received or not being received or being resisted or criticized doesn’t excuse the bishop or the priest from teaching clearly or steadfastly."
- Raymond Cardinal Burke,
prefect of the Apostolic Signatura

"And I ask Blessed Mary, ever virgin..."

The title of this post comes from the confiteor, a prayer of repentance offered during the penentential rite at mass.

The post itself is in response to some discussion in class regarding the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Mother. The objections were:

1. There is no proof

2. It's not in the Bible

3. It was probably conveniently made up by some pope who thought it should be that way.

First, as we have discussed, there are many things that we can find no empirical proof for, but this lack of tangible evidence does not call into question the Truth of the matter. We discussed this at length earlier in the year.

Secondly, there are a number of things that are "not in the Bible", but they are nonetheless true. We forget that the Bible itself was created by the bishops - the Fathers of the Church, and it was their authority that assembled the books and guides our interpretation of it. They did not create the Bible to serve as a replacement for their authority. In other words, if you accept the authority of the Church on which books are Divinely inspired, why not accept its authority on other Truths that are not explicitly mentioned therein?

Finally, a hunch, or suspicion, or a feeling is not a solid foundation for doubting a doctrine. In fact, establishing the Truth on the basis of a hunch is precisely what "some pope" is being accused of. So instead, let's look at some of the writings of the Church Fathers - wise and holy teachers of the first centuries of the Church, who, I might add, were unanimous in their belief in the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady. If you feel compelled to dig a little deeper, feel free to check out the excerpts of this book: Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought by Luigi Gambero. Much of the book is available online at Google Books. It may not put to rest your doubt, but it will at the very least present to you the generations of evidence that refute your hunch.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Colonialism Illustration

While mildly inappropriate, this video illustrates the injustices of colonialism in a brief, and over-simplified form.

IUPUI Library Book Renewals

Students, you must go to the following link to renew your books from the IUPUI library.
Remember, they can be returned at any IMCPL branch, the Marian University Library, or the Speedway Public Library.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Service Hour Reminder

Students, please remember that the deadline for the completion and submission of your five service hours is only a few weeks away. The form can be found on the school website at
and will also be uploaded to school weblockers.