"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pentecost, Babel, and the Ecumenical Imperative

"But as the old Confusion of tongues was laudable, when men who were of one language in wickedness and impiety, even as some now venture to be, were building the Tower; (Genesis 11:7) for by the confusion of their language the unity of their intention was broken up, and their undertaking destroyed; so much more worthy of praise is the present miraculous one. For being poured from One Spirit upon many men, it brings them again into harmony." (St. Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 41)

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Holy Orders and the Sacrificial Priesthood

Tim Troutman has just published an article at Called To Communion. The article is titled "Holy Orders and the Sacrificial Priesthood." He writes:

At the heart of the separation of Catholics and Protestants lies a disagreement about the ecclesial hierarchy. Who are the rightful shepherds of Christ’s flock? This article will examine the Catholic Church’s doctrine of the sacrificial priesthood, and in doing so, will lay the foundation for our subsequent discussion on the critical issue of apostolic succession. We will argue for the following four claims. The hierarchical difference between the clergy and the laity was ordained by God and is supported by the Biblical data. The distinction between presbyters and bishops existed from apostolic times and was intended by Christ. Christian ministers are ordained into a visible priesthood that is distinct from the general priesthood of all believers. Finally, Holy Orders is a sacrament.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

An opportunity to study orthodox Catholic theology

At Called to Communion I posted a link to two lectures recently given by Professor Lawrence Feingold on the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. As usual, these lectures are outstanding both historically and theologically. In my opinion, Professor Feingold is one of the premier Catholic theologians in the United States. (See the latest issue of The Thomist for responses to his book The Natural Desire to See God According to St. Thomas Aquinas and His Interpreters.) And yet his lectures are clear and accessible even to those with very little theological training. This, in my opinion, is an additional mark of a good theologian.

If you are looking for an opportunity to deepen your understanding of Catholic theology or become qualified to take on some pedagogical role of service in your diocese or parish, and would like to study under Professor Feingold and other well qualified and orthodox Catholic theologians, consider taking classes in the Institute for Pastoral Theology (IPT) through Ave Maria University. The IPT is currently accepting applications for the Master of Theological Studies degree program for classes beginning in August 2010. Classes meet one weekend per month in various locations around the US, ten months each year. Deadline for applications is June 1, 2010. For further information, visit their web site at www.ipt.avemaria.edu.