'Gay Marriage’s' Looming Battle

03/25/2013 Comments (169)

Something quite wonderful happened in the middle of this series on Pope Emeritus Benedict and secularism — Pope Francis.

The really wonderful news is that the pope is not a president. A change in popes does not signal, as it does with political elections, a change in administrations that brings a radical change in fundamental doctrines. A pope is bound by Tradition and Scripture, by the doctrines and decisions of the Church for 2,000 years as rooted in and defined by the Revelation of God. He is about handing on the truth, proclaiming the truth, not reinventing the truth.

As with Benedict, Pope Francis will be proclaiming the truth against ever more aggressive secularism. Like Europe...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, moral law, natural law, pope emeritus benedict xvi, pope francis, redefinition of marriage

Totalitarian Irrationality

03/12/2013 Comments (14)

In the previous blog post, we explored Pope Benedict’s account of the roots of relativism — roots which ultimately blossomed into full-scale secularism in the West. Again, Benedict sees the problem in reason itself, or what has been done to reason.

To review, while secularists claim to champion reason, they actually put forth a constricted form of reason — so constricted that it mutilates both our reason and our humanity. Reason, secularism asserts, must be restricted only to what is material and measurable. The mutilation occurs because secularism then assumes that what is not material and measurable is not real, or at best, merely a subjective fancy.

Secularism thereby embraces...READ MORE

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A Gem of a Pope

03/01/2013 Comments (4)

Benedict XVI is a gem of a pope, a diamond who has been treated roughly by the liberal press as if he were a mere growling guard dog of benighted and ossified orthodoxy. But he is a man deeply read in history, philosophy and theology, and the Church has not had nearly enough time, in his short pontificate, to explore the many facets of his profound learning.

In great part, his courageous defense of orthodoxy comes from his profound grasp of the roots of relativism, his defense of the truth from a deep understanding of the worldview that would destroy it (along with our humanity).

In the last blog post, I discussed Pope Benedict’s warning that we are, more and more, the unhappy...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, dictatorship of relativism, faith and reason, papacy, pope benedict xvi

Benedict vs. the Dictatorship of Relativism

02/25/2013 Comments (8)

In his homily to the 2005 conclave that would soon choose him as the successor of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger warned those attending, “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.”

This is a warning that Pope Benedict has not tired of repeating during his pontificate.

Relativism is a poison. It attacks our most human capacity, the capacity to seek and know the truth, including the moral truth. A dictatorship of relativism imposes by real cultural force (and even by political force) a no-standard standard, a command that all must imbibe this...READ MORE

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The Tale of Two Benedicts

02/19/2013 Comments (3)

This is the first of a seven-part series on the papacy of Benedict XVI. Part 1: Pope Benedict vs. Secularism.

It is certainly sad that Pope Benedict will be leaving us, but we should not forget all that he has left us — a great legacy of the deepest theological and philosophical reflection that can guide and inspire the New Evangelization he’s demanded of us. A little history puts that legacy in its proper context.

The first Benedict, St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547), left us a rule that established monastic order in the West and, in doing so, grounded the evangelization of Europe. Benedictine monasticism was the deepest root of the Church’s infusion of order into a pagan society,...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, new evangelization

Paul Ryan, Economic Reform and Catholic Principles

11/05/2012 Comments (14)

As noted in a previous post, I interviewed Paul Ryan about two years ago. At the time — obviously — neither of us had any inkling he’d be a future vice presidential candidate.

Almost the entire interview was focused on Ryan’s economic thinking — not just his detailed economic plan (A Roadmap for America’s Future), but the philosophy at the bottom of his economic views.

What about his detailed plan? As chairman of the House’s Committee on the Budget, Ryan knows details. He has been dubbed Congress’s budget hawk, a man determined to do whatever it takes to keep the U.S. from experiencing the kind of catastrophic economic collapse now dragging Europe’s nations, one by one, into their...READ MORE

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Solidarity and the Welfare State?

10/23/2012 Comments (13)

In the last post, we discussed why the Catholic principle of solidarity does not equal socialism. In this post, we’ll be looking at solidarity and the welfare state.

To many Catholics, the call to solidarity boils down to a call for concern for the poor. If welfare is concerned with the poor, then it would seem solidarity means that Catholics should unambiguously affirm the welfare state. In this view, the welfare state is the incarnation of solidarity, a governmental system that takes care of the poor.

But that identity is questionable. Hence the question in the title of this post: “Solidarity and the Welfare State?”

Let me be very clear that by putting it in question I am not...READ MORE

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Solidarity, Yes. Socialism, No.

10/09/2012 Comments (12)

I’ve been talking in recent posts about the Church’s principle of subsidiarity, the principle that “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good” (Catechism, 1883).

It’s now time to talk about another Catholic principle, solidarity. Whereas the principle of subsidiarity is generally ignored, the principle of solidarity is generally misunderstood.

Solidarity, in emphasizing the concern for the poor, is often taken to imply the...READ MORE

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About Benjamin Wiker

Benjamin Wiker
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Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of Human Life Studies, and Senior Fellow of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is a speaker and author of 10 books, his latest being Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion. His website is benjaminwiker.com.