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Briefly Noted

The Cleansing of the Heart:  The Sacraments as Instrumental Causes in the Thomistic Tradition  by reginald lynch, o.p.  catholic university of america, 260 pages, $65 The sacraments are fundamental to any ecclesiology in which they play a part, and their number, their definition, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Sacramental Realism

To outsiders, the proposal of communion for the divorced and remarried seems a modest adjustment. But it has provoked adamant resistance among the faithful because it throws in doubt the basic logic of the gospel. From her beginnings, the Church has known that the baptized, while born again in . . . . Continue Reading »

Discernment of Situation

Reckoning with a pope whose own remarks seem somewhat erratic is one thing. But how are we to reckon with a situation in which the administration of the sacraments, and the theology behind their administration, is succumbing, with his blessing, to . . . . Continue Reading »

Ritualed Knowing

Epistemology and ritual are rarely considered together. They are often opposed (“mindless ritual”), and ritual is more often associated with belief than with knowledge. At best, ritual is understood as an expression of knowledge that has been arrived at by other means. Dru Johnson doesn’t think these positions do justice to either ritual or epistemology. . . . Continue Reading »

The Most Important Day of Your Life

During talks around the country in recent years, I’ve been asking Catholic audiences how many of those present know the date of their baptism. The high-end response is a little under 10 percent. The average is about 2 to 3 percent. This, brethren, is a problem. You know your birthday. You know (or . . . . Continue Reading »

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