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June 2021 Contents
Restoring Law and the Legal Profession: A Review of Tomberg’s The Art of the Good (Brian M. McCall)
Angelico Press has done the English-speaking world a great service by making available for the first time in English Valentin Tomberg’s doctoral dissertation under the title, The Art of the Good: The Regeneration of Fallen Jurisprudence. It is a thorough yet concise treatment of jurisprudence (its history and its decline, as well as his plan for restoring it). Tomberg brings an interesting perspective to the topic. He was raised as a Protestant who later joined the Russian Orthodox Church but eventually (by the time he published his dissertation) converted to Roman Catholicism. He lived under Czarist Russia, the Communist USSR, and Nazi Germany. When he speaks of the degeneration of law, he speaks from the experience of seeing it first-hand in communist and fascist totalitarian regimes.
In a parallel to his religious conversion, he also progressed from the humanistic-oriented anthroposophical school of Rudolph Steiner to eventually settle into Medieval Catholic Realism (with a Platonic bent). His deep classical education is evident throughout the pages of The Art of the Good and, although written as a doctoral dissertation, it is refreshingly accessible to a general audience of readers and not mere specialists.
Tomberg’s text is divided into three parts. First, he explains what he means by the degeneration of jurisprudence and how it occurred. Second, he describes what true jurisprudence would look like. And finally, he outlines his plan to restore jurisprudence and the system of legal education. In this review, we will focus primarily on the first two parts of the argument. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
COVID Vaccines, the Common Good, and Moral Liceity: A Response to Professor Roberto de Mattei — Part II (Christopher A. Ferrara)
Vaccine Fanaticism versus the Common Good
As Part I of this series showed, even before it reaches the moral question, Prof. de Mattei’s “The Moral Liceity of the Vaccination” (MLV) fails to demonstrate a credible basis for his claim that “the common good of the population requires mass vaccination” with abortion-derived vaccines and that public authorities would “have a right to impose it, according to the principle that the common good takes precedence over the good of individuals…” (MLV, p. 55). Part I notes that not even the government or the pharmaceutical industry claims COVID vaccines will prevent community spread of the virus, as opposed to merely reducing individual symptoms. Quite the contrary, since Part I appeared, Dr. Harvey Risch, Professor of Epidemiology at Yale, has noted that some 60% of new COVID cases requiring treatment have been among the vaccinated according to clinicians’ reports he has received. His post of that news was removed from Instagram after being labelled “False information” by “independent fact-checkers,” meaning leftwing activists promoting COVID hysteria and the medically absurd indiscriminate mass vaccination of every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth.
Rushing to stamp out the fire of vaccine dissent, the left-leaning Politifact labelled Risch’s statement “Pants on Fire” based on the CDC’s report of only 7,157 “breakthrough cases” of infection among “87 million fully vaccinated people.” But Politifact, whose mission is hiding facts that contradict the Left’s official narratives, failed to mention that the CDC has advised all public health, clinical, and reference laboratories that PCR testing for “breakthrough cases” should have a threshold of only 28 cycles of specimen amplification or lower, down from the pre-vaccination threshold of 35 cycles of amplifications or higher. As Alex Berenson notes, at a cycle threshold (CT) of only 28, more than 90% of “cases” of COVID would not even be detected in the United States or anywhere else, which means there would not be even a colorable basis for mass vaccination. Using a high CT before vaccination to maximize the number of “cases” of COVID detected, which are not cases of actual clinical illness, but only a low CT post-vaccination to minimize the number of “breakthrough cases” is but the latest example of the statistical dishonesty that has plagued COVID-19 reporting from the beginning, as shown in Part I, making it impossible ever to determine accurately the true number and lethality of COVID infections.
In any case, even the promised symptom reduction for individuals would appear to be ephemeral, requiring “booster shots.” Hence, both government and media sources have insisted that even after vaccination ritual mask-wearing and “social distancing” must continue, rendering vaccination essentially pointless in terms of provable substantial benefit to the common good. This was shown in Part I by the example of Chile, a world leader in vaccination rates, which has experienced a post-vaccination “surge” in positive PCR test results misleadingly denominated “cases” of COVID, showing that viral transmission and the development of herd immunity are proceeding despite the vaccine campaign. Click here to continue reading
*The Popes Speak* Pius XII’s Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi on the Church, Part III
The Holy Spirit, Soul of the Church
56. If we examine closely this divine principle of life and power given by Christ, insofar as it constitutes the very source of every gift and created grace, we easily perceive that it is nothing else than the Holy spirit, the Paraclete, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and who is called in a special way, the “Spirit of Christ” or the “Spirit of the Son” [Rom 8:9; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 4:6]. For it was by this Breath of grace and truth that the Son of God anointed His soul in the immaculate womb of the Blessed Virgin; this Spirit delights to dwell in the beloved soul of our Redeemer as in His most cherished shrine; this Spirit Christ merited for us on the Cross by shedding His Own Blood; this Spirit He bestowed on the Church for the remission of sins, when He breathed on the Apostles [cf. John 20:22]; and while Christ alone received this Spirit without measure [cf. John 3:34], to the members of the Mystical Body He is imparted only according to the measure of the giving of Christ from Christ’s own fulness [cf. Eph. 1:8; 4:7]. But after Christ’s glorification on the Cross, His Spirit is communicated to the Church in an abundant outpouring, so that she, and her individual members, may become daily more and more like to our Savior. It is the Spirit of Christ that has made us adopted sons of God [cf. Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 4:6-7] in order that one day “we all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face may be transformed into the same image from glory to glory” [2 Cor. 3:18].
57. To this Spirit of Christ, also, as to an invisible principle, is to be ascribed the fact that all the parts of the Body are joined one with the other and with their exalted Head; for He is entire in the Head, entire in the Body, and entire in each of the members. To the members He is present and assists them in proportion to their various duties and offices, and the greater or less degree of spiritual health which they enjoy. It is He Who, through His heavenly grace, is the principle of every supernatural act in all parts of the Body. It is He Who, while He is personally present and divinely active in all the members, nevertheless in the inferior members acts also through the ministry of the higher members. Finally, while by His grace He provides for the continual growth of the Church, He yet refuses to dwell through sanctifying grace in those members that are wholly severed from the Body. This presence and activity of the Spirit of Jesus Christ is tersely and vigorously described by Our predecessor of immortal memory Leo XIII in his Encyclical Letter Divinum Illud in these words: “Let it suffice to say that, as Christ is the Head of the Church, so is the Holy Spirit her soul.”
58. If that vital principle, by which the whole community of Christians is sustained by its Founder, be considered not now in itself, but in the created effects which proceed form it, it consists in those heavenly gifts which our Redeemer, together with His Spirit, bestows on the Church, and which He and His Spirit, from Whom come supernatural light and holiness, make operative in the Church. The Church, then, no less than each of her holy members, can make this great saying of the Apostle her own: “And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me” [Gal. 2:20].
59. What We have said concerning the “mystical Head” would indeed be incomplete if We were not at least briefly to touch on this saying of the same Apostle: “Christ is the Head of the Church: He is the Savior of His Body” [Eph. 5:23]. For in these words we have the final reason why the Body of the Church is given the name of Christ, namely, that Christ is the Divine Savior of this Body. The Samaritans were right in proclaiming Him “Savior of the world” [John 4:42], for indeed He most certainly is to be called the “Savior of all men,” even though we must add with Paul, “especially of the faithful” [1 Tim. 4:10], since, before all others, He has purchased with His Blood His members who constitute the Church [cf. Acts 20:28]. But as We have already treated this subject fully and clearly when speaking of the birth of the Church on the Cross, of Christ as the source of life and the principle of sanctity, and of Christ as the support of His Mystical Body, there is no reason why We should explain it further; but rather let us all, while giving perpetual thanks to God, meditate on it with a humble and attentive mind. For that which Our Lord began when hanging on the Cross, He continues unceasingly amid the joys of Heaven: “Our Head,” says St. Augustine, “intercedes for us: some members He is receiving, others He is chastising, others cleansing, others consoling, others creating, others calling, others recalling, others correcting, others renewing.” But it is for us to cooperate with Christ in this work of salvation, “from one and through one saved and saviors.” Click here to read Pius XII’s Mystici Corporis Christi
Ex Patre Diabolo: Considerations on the Great Reset (Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò)
I offer heartfelt thanks to dear Professor Massimo Viglione, who wanted to invite me to take part – remotely so to speak – in the conference he has organized as President of the Confederation of the Triarii. I also extend my warmest greetings to each of the illustrious participants in this event. Please allow me to express to you my profound esteem and my fervent thanks for your courageous testimony, for the enlightening contributions and the tireless commitment you have not ceased to display in the most pressing and incisive way, beginning in February of last year. I encourage you not to retreat and not to disarm in this deadly battle that we are called to fight in this fatal hour of history as never before. “Be strengthened in the Lord and in the might of his power. Clothe yourselves in the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of evil that dwell in the high places. Take up therefore the armor of God, so that you may be able to resist on the day of evil and remain standing after having endured all trials” (Eph 6:10-13). The brief reflection I am about to offer you is in some manner a shortened preview of my presentation at the Venice Summit which will take place on May 30, organized by Professor Francesco Lamendola, in which some of you will participate. Click here to continue reading
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine: The Origin of the Feast of Corpus Christi (Paul Casey)
A Vision and a Miracle
St. Juliana of Liège (1193-1258), also known as “of Cornillon,” had a vision. Orphaned at age five, she was entrusted to the care of Augustinian nuns at the Convent of Mont Cornillon, just outside of Liège in what is now Belgium. There she developed a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament while working in the monastery’s leprosarium (a hospital for souls suffering from leprosy). At 16, she saw a vision of a bright, full moon, but with a very dark spot in the center. While staring perplexed at the spot, she heard a voice explain to her that the moon symbolized the Church and the dark spot represented the lack of a feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. She was convinced that the voice was that of Christ Himself. Wishing for the establishment of such a feast, but knowing she was powerless to do anything about it, she kept the visions to herself.
The vision was repeated over a 20-year period, and after being elected prioress, only then did she tell her confessor, who related it both to the Bishop of Liège, Robert de Thorete, and to his archdeacon, Jacques Pantaléon, who later became Pope Urban IV (r. 1261-1264). They, too, were devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, a devotion that had become popular in the northern countries of Europe, particularly in Belgium and most notably in Liège, likely in response to the Albigensians of southern France, who denied that the Eucharist was a sacrament.
Peter of Prague, meanwhile, was, by all accounts, a good and holy priest—but one having doubts. Doubts about transubstantiation—whether the words of Consecration do, in fact, change the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. While on a pilgrimage to Rome, he stopped in the small Umbrian town of Bolsena, 90 miles south of Florence, and celebrated Mass there above the tomb of St. Christina, located in the church named for her. As soon as had he spoken the words of Consecration — Hoc est enim Corpus Meum (“For this is My Body”) — Blood from the consecrated Host began to drip over his hands onto the altar and the corporal (the cloth on which the Host and Chalice are placed during the Canon of the Mass). Instinctively, he tried to hide the Blood; then, realizing Its significance, he wrapped the bleeding Host within the Corporal, and as he lifted It, some Blood dripped onto the marble floor in front of the altar. Those bloodstains remain to this day. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
The Biden Administration: An Alarming Start (Gary Taphorn)
First Hundred Days
Beginning with the first administration of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, the concept of a “first hundred days” became permanently associated with the American presidency. Fifteen years later, FDR’s legacy was an executive branch that was permanently expanded, even bloated, in legal authorities, bureaucracy, and budget. Almost a century later, President Joe Biden’s first hundred days is attempting to repeat FDR’s achievement, but with a sordid new twist. Rather than simply garnering raw political power associated with Roosevelt’s New Deal, Biden has included a focus on fundamentally moral issues – the right to life, sexual orthodoxy, and civil liberties. Biden’s own legacy, which is being forged with the active cooperation of fellow pseudo-Catholic Nancy Pelosi, appears to include a permanent legal perversion of Christian morals and suppression of individual rights. Even Biden’s approach to other, so-called prudential issues such as immigration and foreign affairs is marred by unethical aspects. There is also the naked grab for power being pushed by Biden’s Democrats, such as statehood for the District of Columbia and the “packing” of the Supreme Court. For those readers who may have missed it, former president Bill Clinton recently lauded Biden’s first hundred days as “almost perfect pitch.” Given the source, that comment alone should cause great alarm among orthodox Catholics.
Biden’s third run for the presidency in 2020 began as a decidedly listless enterprise. After finishing a pedestrian fourth in the 2020 Iowa caucuses, then fifth in the New Hampshire primary, Biden – almost miraculously? – won ten of fourteen states on Super Tuesday. As the Democratic presidential nominee, he rode out the campaign in his Delaware basement with even fewer public appearances than Hillary Clinton in 2016. Yet, implausibly, Biden and his clownish running mate Kamala Harris supposedly garnered some fifteen million more popular votes than Biden himself had won as running mate to the popular Barak Obama just eight years earlier. Biden’s victory in November was arguably the ultimate testimony to the colossal power of the Deep State, far beyond all civic and legal accountability.
Unity Pledge – A Hollow Promise
Biden’s inaugural address on January 20 was heavy on the “unity” theme: “…my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause…” Yet immediately after his inauguration, the so-called “moderate” Biden began to pursue a far-left agenda. The new president started wielding his pen on numerous contentious issues, signing some 62 executive actions, far more than any of his three immediate predecessors through the same date (April 15). This includes some 40 legally binding executive orders, many of which directly reversed Trump policies. A thorough review of Biden’s actions to date is far beyond the scope of this article. However, a new online resource titled “Tracking the Biden Administration,” published by the Family Research Council, has provided very disturbing conclusions. Its primary finding to date is that, of Biden’s 62 total executive actions in his first 100 days, 32 (just over half) undermine life, family, and religious freedom. As noted by the FRC, “President Biden’s words don’t match his actions. His claim of unity rings hollow, as Biden’s first 100 days in office have been marked with radical, aggressive, anti-life, anti-family, anti-freedom actions that have further divided our nation. His administration has moved more aggressively than any other to undo federal policies that protect the sanctity of life and defend the family. Any American who claims to value all human life, support the biological reality of the family, and want to protect freedom, should take note of Biden’s abysmal record in these areas.” To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Why Mary Is the Answer to Our Times (Timothy Flanders)
In modern times, Mary has been exalted in a unique way in history. Two Marian dogmas have been solemnly proclaimed—the Immaculate Conception (1854) and bodily Assumption (1950) — and other doctrines and titles, such as Mediatrix of All Graces and Mother of the Church, have received papal praise or approval. From Heaven, Our Lady has appeared in numerous apparitions, whether to St. Catherine Labouré (1830) or St. Bernadette of Lourdes (1858), or at Akita to Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa (1973), and especially at Fatima to the three shepherd children and in the miracle of the Sun (1917). When we consider the specific maladies of the modern epoch, we can discern a number of factors that point to possible reasons for this being a Marian age.
The Greatness of Man
In a certain way (albeit often twisted and used for evil ends), the modern age shows the greatness of man in his nature, created rational by God. Modern man has explored space, built amazing technology, but has also perpetrated the greatest horrors in human history, such as the genocides carried out by totalitarian regimes and the ongoing abortion holocaust. The modern age was summarized well by Dietrich von Hildebrand when he called it, “The New Tower of Babel.” No one can deny the greatness of the technology created in this age or the great men of our time, yet all of this is nothing compared to the greatness of Our Lady.
The modern man shows us that even if man rejects God’s grace, he is still great (objectively speaking) by his very nature, created by God. Yet Mary shows us the greatness of man with grace. The saints show us something that Christ Himself does not — the glory of God in man (i.e., in finite human persons). Mary does this more than any other saint in history.
The greatness of man is shown most of all when God works His wonders in and through him. Mary is the greatest human person ever to live because through her God worked His greatest wonder hitherto — the Incarnation. She has achieved by grace what man cannot achieve by nature. She has become by grace what God is by nature. She is the exemplar par excellence of “partak[ing] of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). This is what the Church prays for each communicant at the Offertory Prayers of the Roman Rite:
“O God, Who, in creating human nature, didst wonderfully dignify it, and still more wonderfully restore it, grant that, by the Mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His divine nature, Who vouchsafed to be made partaker of our human nature, even Jesus Christ our Lord, Thy Son, who with Thee, liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God: world without end. Amen.”
In Mary, we see a union with divine nature which infinitely surpasses the greatest thing man can achieve without grace. Genesis seems to joke about the tower of babel when it says, “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building” (Gen. 11:5). Divine nature must stoop down to look at human nature, because it is the supernatural looking at what is natural. Mary’s exaltation is a reflection of divine grace within her. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
God’s Littlest Children and the Right to Live: Overturning Roe v. Wade (Raymond B. Marcin)
The current composition of the United States Supreme Court suggests to many court-watchers, including pro-life as well as pro-choice adherents, that there is a real possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned.
For pro-life advocates, however, the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision and its progeny is but Step One in the effort to protect the lives of God’s littlest children. There is an all-important Step Two, and it concerns the theory on which the overruling of Roe v. Wade is eventually based.
There are at least two theoretical bases for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. What might be called the “conventional legal wisdom” has it that, if Roe v. Wade is overruled, the question of abortion will then automatically devolve to the States to decide. The late Justice Scalia, in a separate opinion in the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey case, joined in by Justice Thomas, put that conventional legal wisdom in positivist legal terms. After asserting that the United States Constitution does not contain the right to abortion, he went on:
“The States may, if they wish, permit abortion on demand, but the Constitution does not require them to do so. The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.”
In positivist terms, Justice Scalia’s argument was that no right to abortion exists in the text of, or in the intent or purpose behind, the U.S. Constitution. His statement expresses what has come to be known as the “federalism” position — leaving the resolution of a given issue to the state legislatures. For the pro-life advocate, leaving the matter of the protection of the lives of God’s littlest children to the mercies of the fifty individual state legislatures, however, would seem to be a problematic solution at best.
That leads us to the second theoretical basis for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. True, no right to abortion exists in the text of, or in the intent or purpose behind, the U.S. Constitution. But the main argument of the pro-life advocates has always focused on the fundamental right to life of the prenatal human child, not the absence of a right to abortion in the Constitution. And it is certainly true that there are two rights to life in the very text of the Constitution. The Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments both contain rights to life inuring to “persons.” The key word in both constitutional rights to life is, of course, the word “person.” The law of nature might well regard a developing human child in a mother’s protective womb as a “person,” but according to the Court in Roe v. Wade, the text of the Constitution does not.
Thus, arguments for the overturning of Roe v. Wade can be grouped into two categories: (1) the positivist “federalism” argument that the late Justice Scalia advanced — the recognition that, contrary to the assertions in the Roe decision, nothing in the Constitution posits the right to privacy in the abortion decision, thus leaving the legislatures free to regulate the matter — and (2) the positivist fundamental-rights argument that a developing prenatal human child has a fundamental and unalienable constitutional right to life, thus preventing the state and federal legislatures from regulating the matter. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Defending the Truth of Our Lady of Fatima, Part III (Marianna Bartold)
While Parts I and II of this series carefully documented the Virgin’s simple but explicit mandates for the collegial consecration and the Five First Saturdays of reparatory devotion, history demonstrates that, with few exceptions, the Church’s human element resisted Our Lady of Fatima. It must also be stated that, for three main reasons, it is vital to know the entire “Fatima history” of decades. Of special note are the years between 1942-1952, in which (for example) EWTN Online’s Fatima chronology there appears a telling ten-year gap. Those specific ten years prove that (1) Lucia’s consistent testimony verified that the acts of Pope Pius XII in 1942 and 1952 did not fulfill the Virgin Queen’s 1929 command; (2) reason deducts that Lucia’s same declarations apply to the later acts of Pope John Paul II, who stated he was renewing the act of his predecessor Pius XII; and (3) already, it was evident that men of the Church were not averse to tinkering with commands from God and doing with them what they willed.
Part II of this timeline included Pope Pius XII’s incomplete and imperfect Oct. 31, 1942 “Church and world consecration by radio message.” It is so described because the Supreme Pontiff made the act alone, without the participation of the Catholic bishops around the world, and without an explicit mention of Russia or the Five First Saturdays of reparatory devotion.
Yet that singular and lacking “radio consecration” is the only basis for the resurging, three-fold falsehood that (1) Pope Pius XII made the Virgin’s “requested” collegial consecration, for which reason the Lord gave the post-WWII world the promised “era of peace” but not the conversion of Russia; the rest is up to the priests and the laity, or (2) only John Paul II fulfilled Our Lady’s “requests” and, again, the rest is up to the rest of the Church Militant; or (3) the Mother of God cannot command the pope or bishops (to which was provided in Part I the true answer to that sacrilegious assertion), as well as the oft-repeated misinformation that either Our Lord or Our Lady at some point said that the consecration will arrive “too late.”
While chronologies like those of EWTN fail to include Lucia’s response to the 1942 “radio consecration” or other important quotes of the decade of 1942-1952, Part II concluded as follows:
- November 1942: “With anguish I await His Holiness’ order to the bishops, and then the grace of peace for the poor world.”
Such is the last line of a letter from Sr. Lucia to Bishop Ferreira, who had been Sr. Lucia’s spokesman with the Portuguese bishops. In July 1942, it was he who convinced his fellow bishops to send the new petition to the Holy Father.
- February 28, 1943: Because “certain people inflamed by too facile an enthusiasm were already announcing Russia’s imminent conversion,” Lucia reminded Bishop Ferreira in a letter that the 1942 act of Pius XII is “incomplete” and the “conversion of Russia is not for now”: “The good Lord has already shown me His contentment with the act, although incomplete according to His desire, performed by the Holy Father and several bishops. He promises in return to end the war soon. The conversion of Russia is not for now.”
(N.B. From the time of the “radio consecration” in 1942, the terrible War did not cease until the end of 1945, with a total of two successive atomic bombs dropped on two Japanese civilian cities.) To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
*Roman Catechism Series* The Ten Commandments: The Seventh Commandment (Matthew Plese)
Thou Shalt Not Steal
“Thou shalt not steal” (Ex. 20:15). Like the Commandments which precede it, the prohibition against theft is ultimately rooted in the love of God Who seeks our protection, as the Roman Catechism wisely explains in its opening remarks on the Seventh Commandment of the Decalogue:
“In the first place the pastor should exercise care and industry in declaring the infinite love of God for man. Not satisfied with having fenced round, so to say, our lives, our persons and our reputation, by means of the two Commandments, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, God defends and places a guard over our property and possessions, by adding the prohibition, Thou shalt not steal. These words can have no other meaning than that which we indicated above when speaking of the other Commandments. They declare that God forbids our worldly goods, which are placed under His protection, to be taken away or injured by anyone.
Our gratitude to God, the author of this law, should be in proportion to the greatness of the benefit the law confers upon us. Now since the truest test of gratitude and the best means of returning thanks, consists not only in lending a willing ear to His precepts, but also in obeying them, the faithful are to be animated and encouraged to an observance of this Commandment.”
Continuing, the Roman Catechism explains that like the preceding Commandments, the Seventh Commandment enjoins both a negative and a positive precept: “Like the preceding Commandments, this one also is divided into two parts. The first, which prohibits theft, is mentioned expressly; while the spirit and force of the second, which enforces kindliness and liberality towards our neighbor, are implied in the first part.”
Sins Against the Seventh Commandment
The Seventh Commandment requires us to abstain from a wide range of activities that violate another person’s personal property. As stated by Canon Francis Ripley, “In the Fifth and Sixth Commandments, God protects our life and honor; in the Seventh, He places our property and wealth in security.” Chief among these sins is theft, as the Catechism explains:
“We shall begin with the prohibitory part of the Commandment, Thou shalt not steal. It is to be observed, that by the word steal is understood not only the taking away of anything from its rightful owner, privately and without his consent, but also the possession of that which belongs to another, contrary to the will, although not without the knowledge, of the true owner; else we are prepared to say that He who prohibits theft does not also prohibit robbery, which is accomplished by violence and injustice, whereas, according to St. Paul, extortioners shall not possess the kingdom of God [1 Cor. 6:10], and their very company and ways should be shunned, as the same Apostle writes.”
Through the eloquence of the Roman Catechism, the Church explains the distinction between theft and robbery:
“But though robbery is a greater sin than theft, inasmuch as it not only deprives another of his property, but also offers violence and insult to him; yet it cannot be a matter of surprise that the divine prohibition is expressed under the milder word, steal, instead of rob. There was good reason for this, since theft is more general and of wider extent than robbery, a crime which only they can commit who are superior to their neighbor in brute force and power. Furthermore, it is obvious that when lesser crimes are forbidden, greater enormities of the same sort are also prohibited.”
The Catechism wisely states “that when lesser crimes are forbidden, greater enormities of the same sort are also prohibited,” which indicates that as the centuries have evolved and commerce has changed, the same principles apply today. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition
Saint Boniface: The “Good Doer”
Born to Be a Missionary
Wessex is a county in southwestern England long known for producing leaders who came to rule England. In 675 A.D., a son was born to a noble family of Wessex. They named him Wynfrid (or Wynfrith). His father wanted him to be a ruler of England, but Wynfrid’s interests lay elsewhere.
Wynfrid’s father favored him over his brothers and the two had a special relationship. Wynfrid was already manifesting holiness at the young age of five. He told his father about his spiritual aspirations, seeking approval. But his father rebuked the boy, saying he should strive instead to use his talents in order to amass political power.
There was stubbornness on both sides of the fence, and it took a near fatal illness for Wynfrid’s father to have a change of heart. He released his favored son from all the expectations he had for him, and allowed Wynfrid to leave home to study religion at a nearby Benedictine monastery.
It was not the monastery’s custom to take in children, so Wynfrid must have been a singular soul to be deemed mature enough to be introduced to religious life. Under the expert supervision of the Abbot Wulfhard, Wynfrid grew rapidly in holiness. When he reached adulthood, he left the monastery to study at Nursling, an abbey near Southampton. He taught in the abbey’s school, and at age 30 he became a priest.
Instead of remaining in England, Wynfrid decided to become a missionary. In 716, he traveled to the European continent to evangelize his fellow Anglo-Saxons in Frisia (today Holland and Belgium). But King Radbod of Frisia was not a fan of Wynfrid and blocked his efforts at converting the citizenry.
Upon his return to England Wynfrid was nominated to replace the deceased abbot of his former monastery. He turned down the attractive offer in order to evangelize again. He traveled to Rome in 718 and met with Pope St. Gregory II (r. 715-731). Gregory appreciated the Englishman’s zeal and gave Wynfrid the name Boniface: “Good doer.” The following year, King Radbod died and Boniface returned to Frisia as a missionary. In 722, Pope Gregory made Boniface a bishop. The ruler of France, Charles Martel (d. 741), assisted Boniface’s journey across his land to evangelize in Germany, which in 725 was largely a pagan land. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition
The Holy Shroud of Turin: A Powerful Tool of Apologetics — Part II (Fr. Daniel Couture, SSPX)
Editor’s Note: The following is an edited transcript of a lecture presented by Fr. Daniel Couture, SSPX for The Fatima Center (video available here). Catholic Family News is pleased to publish this text, throughout which Fr. Couture provides a wonderful overview of the history and extraordinary nature of the Shroud of Turin — all of which points to it being the true burial cloth of Our Lord. May this presentation serve to strengthen the faith of readers in the glorious Resurrection of Christ and lead to the conversion of more souls to the Risen Lord and His Mystical Body, the Catholic Church.
Let us continue our detective story.
The image on the Shroud is not a painting made by an artist. This is scientifically proven. Is it possible, then, that a medieval forger created this artifact? Such was the answer of the result of the carbon-14 dating in 1988.
2. A Medieval Fake?
On October 14, 1988, newspapers around the world announced that the Turin Shroud was a medieval fake. There is a famous picture of the press conference at the British Museum taken that day. Dr. Michael Tite can be seen in the center, Professor Edward Hall (Director of the Oxford research laboratory) to his right, and Robert Hedges (one of the physicists who did the test) on the other side. On the blackboard behind them, one can see the range of years they believed accurately correspond to the age of the cloth: “1260–1390!”
Soon after this announcement there was an uproar in the scientific world, which had studied the Shroud for over a decade. Roughly a year later, on September 8, 1989, a scientific congress was held in Paris and attended by Dr. John Jackson and other international Shroud specialists. The congress easily refuted the argument that the Shroud was a medieval forgery.
The organizers of the Paris Congress wrote to Dr. Tite, who had been the coordinator of the 1988 tests. Dr. Tite replied to Italian Professor Gonnella, who was very much involved in this whole project. Here is his letter, dated September 14, 1989, just a few days after the Congress.
“Dear Professor Gonnella,
Following our recent meeting in Paris, I am writing to put on record the fact that I myself do not consider that the result of the radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud shows the shroud to be a forgery.
As you have correctly pointed out, to describe the Shroud as a forgery implies a deliberate intention to defraud. And radiocarbon dating clearly provide no evidence in support of such a hypothesis.
I myself have always carefully tried to avoid using the word forgery in discussing the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud. But I fear that the description of the Shroud as a forgery has still crept into a number of newspaper articles based on interviews that I have given. I can therefore only apologize once again for any problem that such reports have caused you and others in Turin.
I was very pleased to meet you and Professor Testore again in Paris.
With best wishes,
A most interesting letter by the one in charge of the whole carbon-14 experiment, who backtracks in front of the scientific world. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition