Monday, June 15, 2015

Items of Interest: Week of Dominica III Post Pentecosten

Information Theory And The Origin of Life
Published in the Physics arXiv Blog. «The nature of information places important new limits on how the first living things must have emerged.»

Humor in Defense of Virtue
by Kaye DeMetz (First Things). «Hrosvitha of Gandersheim wrote her six short comedies in a German convent. An educated woman, she constructed the theatre pieces in response to the ‹licentious› women depicted in the plays of the Roman playwright Terence. By her own admission she imitated his style: ‹I ... have not hesitated to imitate in my writings a poet whose works are so widely read, my object being to glorify ... the laudable chastity of Christian virgins in that self-same form of composition which has been used to describe the shameless acts of licentious women.›»

De Montfort: Mary in the Struggle Against Satan
by Kathleen Beckman (Catholic Exchange). «It is to our purpose to explain this here for the glory of the most holy Virgin, for the salvation of her children and for the confusion of the devil: ‹I will put enmities between thee and the woman and thy seed, she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel› (Gen. 3:15).»

This Flowchart Will Tell You When Cooperation with Evil is Immoral
by David Rummelhoff. «Imagine you own a custom t-shirt shop, and you are approached by a customer asking you to print her shirts that say “LEGALIZE GAY MARRIAGE”. What would you do? What are you obliged to do, if anything? Or perhaps you really like a particular web browser, but then the company that built that browser starts to publicly advocate for no limits on abortions. What do you do? What should you do? Maybe your buddy has asked to borrow your car after he received a suggestive txt from his girlfriend. Can you give him the keys? Should you refuse? These are all questions related to the concept of cooperation with evil, and the graphic below is meant to help you understand how a Catholic moral theologian would begin to answer these questions.»

Red State Families: Better Than We Knew
by W. Bradford Wilcox & Nicholas Zill (Institute for Family Studies). «The conventional wisdom among scholars about family in America suggests the red state family model has failed to deliver the stability that boosts children’s odds of thriving in today’s world. But we find that the reddest states in America are more, not less, likely to raise their children in a stable, married home, other things being equal.»

Catholic Education and the Cult of Theistic Evolution
by by Thaddeus Kozinski (The Imaginative Conservative). «The movement to accommodate traditional Catholic doctrine, as well as the traditional interpretation of the accounts in Sacred Scripture, to the supposed ‹fact› of the evolution of man from primitive matter by a relentless process of spontaneous transformations of species over an enormous period of time has become so widespread in Catholic intellectual circles that it has now assumed the appearance of a ‹mainstream› point of view. The assumed ‹fact› of biological evolution, as pictured in contemporary biological theories, has moved in our time from a far-out to a central theological position and is now threatening to become a supposition of the updated ‹teaching of the Church,› with all the inevitable consequences of such a development, not only as regards the two-thousand-year-old teaching of the Church on such issues as Original Sin, but also as regards the very credibility of Church teaching as such. At this moment in the historic assault of modern secular humanism upon Catholic belief, we are witnessing to our dismay more and more heretofore ‹solid› defenders of Catholic tradition ceding to Darwinism and its progeny ground without which they cannot survive for long as orthodox thinkers.»

Does It Matter If Medjugorje Is Real or Not?
by Simcha Fisher (National Catholic Register). «Those are the fruits of Medjugorje: disobedience, a disregard for legitimate authority, and -- possibly most shocking of all -- statements like what my Facebook friends made: that it doesn't even matter if it's true or not, because look at the good fruits! Well, the Holy Spirit can bring good fruits out of any situation, no matter how rotten. Auschwitz produced converts and repentance, too. Good fruits alone are no sign that God's will is being done. When we're willing to disobey, when we're willing to say, "Why does the truth matter?" then these are fruits of Medjugorje, as well.»

Silent Action of the Heart
by Robert Cardinal Sarah (Catholic World Report). «Fifty years after its promulgation by Pope Paul VI, will the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy finally be read? Sacrosanctum Concilium is actually not just a catalogue of “recipes” for reform, but a veritable Magna Carta of all liturgical action.»

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