Square Zero

Archive for September, 2006

Pontiff, Palaeologan, Persian

Posted by Eric (September 22, 2006 at 1:40 pm)

Byzantine CoinIn all this hubbub over Pope Benedict XVI’s speech at Regensburg, there are a few unanswered questions:

1. Are any of those who have told us the Pope gave a speech attacking Islam, condemning violence by Islamic extremists or condemning any use of violence in furtherance of religion ever going to read it?

Benedict XVI gave a speech about the relationship between reason and culture, and the necessary connection between reason and faith—arguably the overarching theme of his entire career as both an intellectual and a shepherd of souls. He gave reference to Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus’ dialog with a “learned Persian” about Christianity and Islam because it was relevant—not only to the topic of faith and reason (where Christianity and Islam differ) but to the day (when Christianity stands between the foes of secularism and Islam).

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Posted in Catholicism, Culture & Society | 5 Comments »

Catholic v. Orthodox

Posted by Eric (September 15, 2006 at 3:50 pm)

Original icon by Nicholas Papas of Greensburg PAKaren, a Byzantine Catholic who blogs at ByzFaith, recently commented on my thread on “The Orthodox & Contraception” with some of her concerns about the Catholic Church. With her permission, I will respond to those concerns here, since she raises some important issues on the tension between East and West.

I wouldn’t say that Orthodoxy has changed her position over time, but rather has always been more reluctant to speak out on certain issues, whereas the Catholic Church has positions on EVERYTHING. Most Catholics simply ignore them.

There’s something to what you say, and I wonder if on the whole proportionally more Orthodox actually use contraception than Catholics. I wouldnt’ be surprised if the percentages were pretty close.

The Value of Clarity

But you have to ask why Catholics ignore certain Catholic teaching. For the most part it isn’t because they’ve heard it explained, thought about it, and rejected it. Rather it’s because they’ve either never heard about it, or hearing about it they lack the spiritual or intellectual maturity to really consider it.

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Posted in Byzantine | 29 Comments »

Eric on Drew Mariani Today

Posted by Eric (September 7, 2006 at 2:55 pm)

Hertz Radio SetFriends, I’m scheduled to be on the Drew Mariani Show today on Relevant Radio, discussing the Pro-Life Action League’s upcoming conference, “Contraception Is Not the Answer”, to be held Sept. 22-23. I’ll be the first guest on the program; I should be on starting at about 3:00 p.m. Central Time.

You can listen live online or tune into the Relevant Radio station in your area.

Update: Well, I wasn’t on for as long as I would have liked; I was all psyched to take calls and the lot. But I’m not going to shake a stick at a free 10-minute advertisement for the conference. Thanks, Drew!

Posted in Pro-Life, Theol. of the Body | 5 Comments »

Of Demons and Diapers

Posted by Eric (September 5, 2006 at 5:09 pm)

Michaelangelo's Last Judgement (detail)I came upon a post recently by one Father Joe, priest in Maryland, in which he criticized the notion husbands and wives confront a demonic struggle in the midst of their marriage, and that to be victorious in this struggle they would do well to employ fasting, singled out by Jesus as particularly effective for casting out demons. Fr. Joe writes:

“Marriages are not principally about powers and principalities, they are about dirty diapers, crying babies, doctors’ bills, making beds, fixing the car, going to church as a family, sleeping as husband and wife naked together under the covers, and so much more.”

Unfortunately, my comments in reponse to this passage were removed from the blog. I offer them here—not to give new life to my dispute with Fr. Joe about what he wrote, which was in response to a particular set of circumstances, but because I wish to share what I hope are a few worthy thoughts.

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Posted in Faith, Family, Fatherhood | 3 Comments »
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