Old Religion in the New World

'Many Catholics are in a state of uncertainty about their relationship with the American regime.'

Gerard V. Bradley reviews Our Dear-Bought Liberty: Catholics and Religious Toleration in Early America, by Michael Breidenbach, at the Claremont Review of Books.

Modern Apologists Strengthen Our Understanding

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki starts with some history in the Herald of Hope column of a recent issue of the Archdiocese's of Milwaukee's Catholic Herald.

"From the earliest beginnings of the Church, individuals came forward in the defense of the Church’s teachings. They were referred to as 'apologists.' They present the reasonableness of the Church’s position. We sometimes forget that we have a duty to defend the Church’s teaching. Many of the early Church Fathers presented the teachings of the Church, which were not only convincing but compelling. It encouraged the Christian faithful to live the teachings in the face of society’s opposition."
He eventually names names.
"Matthew Kelly, whose multiple books are free and widely distributed, much like the pamphlets of the evangelicals, is one. But Kelly, an Australian, is unabashedly Roman Catholic, and his works not only give insight to the reasonableness of the professed Catholic faith but a basis for the promotion of the faith in the communities in which we live. He is proud to be a Catholic and resonates with Catholics who love their Church. Kelly has a popular following and has been a tireless promoter of the faith."
By "free" I assume he means available for purchase in bulk for free distribution. A generous member of my parish has done this a number of times.
"Patrick Madrid’s daily national program is heard on Relevant Radio. He has authored a multitude of books, one which is actually entitled, How to do Apologetics. I particularly enjoyed Pope Fiction, a 1999 work that deals directly with answers to myths and misconceptions about the papacy. He tackles Church teachings on Purgatory, the importance of tradition and the saints, to mention a few. He is well worth reading and arms the faithful in thoughtful responses to today’s criticisms."
Not all apologists are lay.
"Bishop Robert Barron of 'Word on Fire' is a committed intellectual and advocate of the importance of the Church Teachings. Bishop Barron, who is a longtime friend, has been a consistent champion of interpreting the positions of the Church in a manner acceptable and understandable to our younger generations. He has been a great voice at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the importance of communications to the next generation of Catholic leaders. His philosophical training grounds his approach. I would encourage you to view his website, Word on Fire' and listen to his Sunday homilies. He is a teacher who excites his listeners. He has a group of devoted followers who understand the importance of sharing the faith."
And finally,
"But before Kelly, Madrid and Barron, was Peter Kreeft. During the period of the 70s and 80s, there was a lack of attention to Catholic Teachings. Catholics, who at one time knew their catechism by rote, now were hard-pressed to answer simple questions about the faith. It was into this vast wasteland that Peter Kreeft was an almost lone voice directing individuals in their understanding of the importance and reasonableness of the Church’s teachings."
Dr. Kreeft's website includes links to Featured Writings and Featured Audios and to his books available for purchase.

The Big Dubia

'Adoremus reprints the Vatican’s 2021 official responses to all the questions you may (or may not) have had about Traditionis Custodes.'

Traditionis custodes: Vatican further tightens restrictions on Traditional Latin Mass, Catholic News Agency.

The wedding jars at Cana

Back in 2010 we visited Israel, starting with a coupld days in Jerusalem, then driving up to Galilee to stay a few days, and back for a couple more in Jerusalem.

On the drive to Galilee, we stopped at Cana. A Catholic church there has what are described as jars which are believed similar to those that would have held the wine at the wedding feast in today's Gospel reading, Jn 2:1-11. (See my photo taken at the church.) These jars were at least a couple feet tall and across. It looked like moving such jars around would itself be a minor miracle. Maybe there was a venue used for weddings which was eqipped with jars, and the wine was brought there in skins.

One of the locals told us that the Orthodox church across that street claimed to have the actual jars from the actual wedding feast in the Gospel. That church wasn't open during our brief time in Cana so we couldn't verify that.

The Kasper-Ratzinger Debate & The State of the Church

Pope Francis turns 85 tomorrow. For the occasion, this from Philip Blosser at the New Oxford Review archive (April 2002). He began,
"My priest and I occasionally share articles with each other in an ongoing amicable discussion about the state of the Church. He recently gave me a copy of an article written by Walter Cardinal Kasper entitled 'On the Church' from the Jesuit magazine America (April 23-30, 2001), which was directed against Cardinal Ratzinger by name. My priest suggested that the comparatively young Kasper might make a good pope someday ('Kasper, the friendly pope?'), perhaps right after Cardinal Martini of Milan, who, he said, might make a good immediate successor to Pope John Paul II." ...

Catholic Priests in the United States: Increasingly Conservative and More Pessimistic

Brad Vermurlen at Public Discourse.

"The new Survey of American Catholic Priests was largely modeled after the 2002 [Los Angeles Times] survey. Replicating its questions verbatim allows researchers to assess changes over the intervening years. The survey was first fielded in late 2020 to an email list of priests derived from the Official Catholic Directory, and it was disseminated again in early 2021 to a different email list from a Catholic non-profit organization. Priests from the two email lists reveal findings that are reassuringly similar. The two sampling frames essentially provide a statistical validity check on each other. We therefore combined responding priests from the two email lists into a single dataset, producing a final sample size of 1,036 Catholic priests, including both diocesan and religious."
It does seem that as the years go by I can get an ever closer parking space for Sunday Mass.

American Catholic History on Orestes Brownson

Podcasts at SQPN, Episode 114 on His Biography and Conversion, and Episode 115 on his American Thinking.

(via Alan Cornett)

In addition Brownson's writings linked at the podcast website, there a few at this page on my website.

The Patron Saints for All 50 States

A not-recent Did You Know? feature by Billy Ryan at UCatholic so no peeking or research before posting answers.

Answers along the lines of "Mary", "The Blessed Virgin", "Our Lady", are not specific enough.

Overall, Colorado is probably the hardest. Careful with Idaho.

Issue was taken in comments at uCatholic about some of its answers.

Catholic sculptor re-creating Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ aims to shift the emphasis off hell

'According to the sculptor, limiting the poem’s scope to the Inferno has led to a secularization of Dante’s work. [Timothy] Schmalz’s sculpture will be the first to represent all 100 cantos of the famous poem.'

Claire Giangravé reported at Religion News Service.

(via Peter A. Redpath)

Forming Catholic Priests for a Changing World

'Our goal should be to ensure that all the priests ordained from our seminaries will possess the flexibility and affective maturity to live and thrive as holy shepherds and spiritual guides.'

Fr. John Kartje at Public Discourse. Among his observations,

"Unfortunately, contemporary American culture does not generally encourage young adults to become self-reflective and aware of the impact that their emotions have on their decisions and relationships. Our society seeks instant gratification and rejects anything that is perceived as critical or challenging. The effects of this atmosphere present new challenges for today’s seminaries. So, too, does the high degree of broken family structure in our society. Many young men who are beginning to discern a priestly vocation are dealing (or not dealing) with the impact of parental divorce. Others have never had a healthy paternal role model in their life."
Fr. Kartje, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has since 2015 served as Rector of Mundelein Seminary, where he also teaches sacred scripture.

The Nadir of American Catholicism

Russell Shaw at Catholic Answers Magazine.

"What was the worst year ever for the Catholic Church in the United States? A lot of people would call that a no-brainer. The hands-down worst year, they’d say, was 2002, when disclosures of clergy sex abuse and cover-up rocked the Church from top to bottom.

"Others would no doubt point to other years as real stinkers. For my money, though, the all-time winner as worst year was 1976. Let me tell you why. ..."

Ignatius Press Bible Offers Something Ever-Ancient, Ever-New

Jeremy J. riest reviewed the Ignatius Note-Taking and Journaling Bible at Adoremus Bulletin.

"The pages of the new Ignatius Bible are thin so as not to make the volume too bulky, but sufficiently thick for writing notes with a ballpoint pen. While the font used for the biblical text is small (7 point, Palatino), the cream-colored paper helps the sharply printed text catch the eye of the reader. The small font provides room for the two inches of lined writing space for taking notes on each page."

A Complaint Against Liberal Modernity, and a Solution: Faith

Edmund Fawcett reviewed The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos, by Sohrab Ahmari, in The New York Times.

"Iranian-born but raised in the United States and a convert to Catholicism, Ahmari is op-ed editor of the conservative, Murdoch-owned New York Post, which last year endorsed Donald Trump. He also writes a column in the conservative religious journal First Things. Although no foe of Western capitalism, Ahmari is aghast at what he takes for its ethical and spiritual desolation."