The Law of Gradualness: 12 things to know and share

10/13/2014 Comments (50)

What is the "law of gradualness" and why is it such big news at the Synod of Bishops?

Most Catholics have never even heard of the “law of gradualness,” but it became big news this week at the Synod on the Family.

What is the law of gradualness, and what role does it play in Catholic thought?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1) What is the law of gradualness?

It is a principle used in Catholic moral and pastoral theology, according to which people should be encouraged to grow closer to God and his plan for our lives in a step-by-step manner rather than expecting to jump from an initial conversion to perfection in a single step.


2) Is there a basis for this idea?

Yes. Human experience testifies that we are not made perfect upon our initial conversion. We...READ MORE

Filed under synod on the family, synod_2ol4

'Blue Bloods' Runs Cold on Church’s Treatment of Homosexuals

10/13/2014 Comments (83)

When the opposition not only caricatures the Church’s teaching on a particular matter, but also anyone who espouses that teaching, you know they’re running from the truth. After all, if you’re not fearful of what your opponent professes, you can let him have his say, confident you can carry the day persuasively through a charitable, honest witness.

But, unfortunately, that’s not what happened in the latest episode of Blue Bloods, the hit TV series that airs Friday nights on CBS and which stars Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan, the police commissioner of New York City.  Frank is also the head of the Reagan clan, an Irish-Catholic family with long and deep roots in serving in or assisting the men...READ MORE

Filed under blue bloods, homosexuality, tom nash, tv series

Mary, Evolution, and Michaelangelo's Chisel

10/12/2014 Comments (106)

Two of the most controversial topics among Catholics and Protestants are evolution and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Great quantities of ink and electrons are expended in print and on the Internet each day, arguing about these things. "Catholics call Mary the cause of salvation!" complain our Evangelical friends. "Not only that, their Pope caved in on evolution and thereby denied God is the Creator!" Meanwhile, secularists complain of the exact opposite thing against Catholics. Not only do we deny pure materialism and hold that God is the Creator, we also credulously believe in the Virgin Birth, when science has supposedly disproven the miraculous, according to the Richard Dawkinses and Carl...READ MORE

Filed under ponderings

Parish Communications in New York Going to a New Level

10/11/2014 Comments (4)

This week, Flocknote and eCatholic announced an exciting partnership with the Archdiocese of New York. The Archdiocese is going to be equipping each of their 350+ parishes with both Flocknote and eCatholic.

Connecting the Church from eCatholic on Vimeo.

The partnership hopes to accomplish a few goals. According to Matthew Warner, founder of Flocknote, “In working with thousands of parishes across the country, we've learned that one of the biggest hurdles for a parish is not just *having* technology, but it's having technology that they'll actually use and benefit from – which are two very different things! Both Flocknote and eCatholic have created simple approaches to solving key...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, communication, ecatholic, evangelization, flocknote, technology

Register Radio - Synod for Marriage and Family / Increasing Lifelong Faithful Marriages

10/10/2014 Comments (1)

, Dan Burke gets insights from Ignatius Press’ Mark Brumley about the first week of the Synod for Marriage and Family in Rome. Also, Jeanette De Melo talks to Hilary Towers who together with 48 scholars and marriage advocates sent an open letter to the Synod Fathers. That letter included concrete ways of stemming divorce and cohabitation rates while increasing lifelong, faithful and happy marriages.

Mark Brumley on the Synod for Marriage and Family

Mark Brumley is the Chief Executive Officer for Ignatius Press. He also oversees the online magazines for Ignatius Press, is project coordinator for the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. Mark joins us to talk about the Synod of the Family in the...READ MORE

Filed under faith, family, hilary towers, mark brumley, marriage, register radio, synod 2014

Context and Clashes, How the Synod and Council Compare?

10/10/2014 Comments (8)
Lothar Wolleh/Wikipedia Commons

Second Vatican Council

– Lothar Wolleh/Wikipedia Commons

A major difference between the atmosphere of Synod on the Family meeting now at the Vatican and the atmosphere surrounding the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s is the unavoidable pessimism generated by the decline of religious belief and practice in the West over the past half century.

As with Vatican II, much of the hierarchical leadership leading up to the Synod has come from Western Europe, where — also as at the Council — the primary response has been to seek accommodations with the secular culture through “dialogue,” a strategy that seems clearly to have failed in the 50 years since the Council.

While few bishops of the Third World played a significant role at the Council, they...READ MORE

Filed under james hitchcock, pope francis, second vatican council, st. pope john xxiii, synod 2014, synod on the family, synod_2ol4, vatican ii

The Truth About This Crisis

10/10/2014 Comments (265)

I think it is high time that we talk frankly about what is truly happening in the Church. It is quite probable that we are approaching the denouement of this horrible play, a century in the telling, in which the Synod on the Family, currently playing out in Rome, may be the opening scene of the final act.

We endlessly speculate and debate over who is with Cardinal Kasper and who is not, who will stand up and who will be quiet, and where does doctrine end and pastoral praxis begin.  Meanwhile, a “dark and false Church,” as foreseen by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, which has grown within the Church for a century, continues its unhindered progress.

We have many Cardinals and Bishops of...READ MORE

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The Meaning of Merit

10/09/2014 Comments (26)

For most of my Evangelical family of faith (I am an Evangelical who entered the Roman communion in 1987), the very word "merit" as a theological term is as sinister as it is (for most lay Catholics) unintelligible and disused. At best, many Evangelicals feel a sort of uneasy truce with Catholic belief since it appears to them that merit "went out with Vatican II" and is therefore no longer really taught by the Church (a misperception abetted by lay Catholic ignorance of the Faith). But the truce is very uneasy. For the fact that merit was ever taught at all by the Church is a cause of deep misgiving and suspicion. And the sickening revelation that merit is still taught by the Church can...READ MORE

Filed under merit

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