Daily Archives: February 13, 2009

Intelligent Design is not "theological" or "philosophical"????

OK. This one is disturbing. There have been headlines about this for a while now.
The Vatican is hosting a scientific conference on evolution.
Now, it should be noted that the very few scientific controversies involving the Church (i.e., Galileo–can anyone think of anything else?) involved researchers who were *Catholic,* and mostly involved their attempts to change theology based upon science.
The Church has long said that evolution, as a principle, was not incompatible with Catholic teaching. It can be found in St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and Aristotle. There are many historical and scientific inaccuracies in Scripture, and you don’t need to live in the Twentieth Century to be aware of them.
But there are many historical and scientific innaccuracies in many ancient –and contemporary– works that we don’t completely devalue because of their authors’ mistakes.
St. Augustine himself said that, iif it’s a choice between science or history and the Bible, insofar as the realms of science and history go, you opt for science and history. Jesus is the Truth, and Christians should love all truth.

That said, my understanding of “intelligent design” is that ID merely says Nature points to the hand of an intelligent designer, that DNA, cells, etc., are so amazingly complex that they show the Universe was created–whether or not evolution is part of the creative process. ID is not simply “creationism repackaged.”

Yet here is the Vatican-as has often happened since the 1960s–going to the opposite direction of previous Church practice in regards to caution.

Catholic philosophy has always been about trying to see the hand of the Creator in creation. ID is just doing the same thing, yet the Vatican is officially *rejecting* ID as a valid theory. It is one thing to say ID is not science. ID is not science . It is the application of science to theology. But *that* is why I find it disturbing that Father Marc Leclerc, a philosophy professor at Gregorian University, is saying intelligent design is *not* philosophy.

Those Wonderful South American Catholics

We often hear about how allegedly “well” the Church is doing in South America, at least in terms of numbers in the pews. . . .
Even though the Church in South America is largely influenced by both the Charismatic “Renewal” and the Liberation Theology movement.

Well, I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news, but the Brazilian government says that 99% of the populatoin is “homophobic.”

According to a survey, 92% of the public believe that God created us “male and female” for the purpose of procreation (labeled “homophobic”)
58% say that homosexual behavior is against God’s law (“homophobic”)
41% say that homosexuality is an illness and needs to be treated (“homophobic”)
64% say that they don’t like to see homosexuals engaging in PDAs. (OK, if you’re going to acknowledge that there is such a thing as “homophobia,” an insult to the intelligence of anyone who understands Greek roots, this one might at least *qualify*, since it involves emotional discomfort).

So, in the country with the world’s biggest Catholic population, the government says homosexuality is a great thing, and any criticism of homosexual behavior, even based upon moral or religious grounds, is “homophobia” that needs to be ‘reeducated.”

1) Credit should be given to Brazil’s Catholic citizens for having these views. I’m sure if you polled American Catholics on all these points, the percentages of agreement would be miniscule.

2) But how did they elect such a *horrible* government???
Could it be that Liberation Theology really *is* one puff of the “smoke of Satan” in the Church, that Catholics voting for socialists because of “Liberation Theology” purposes are stabbing the Church in the back??
Could it be a warning sign to Catholics in America who said that Barack Obama’s moral views could be ignored in favor of his economic policies and racial symbolism?

Catholic "skills"

Kind of interesting thing about Catholic “skills” pre and post Vatican II.

Before Vatican II, everyone had a daily Missal. To understand and participate in the Traditional Latin Mass, people took for granted that you had to have a Missal (I’m sure the churches provided them).

Now, a “Missal,” in illo tempore (and of course at any Extraordinary Form Mass today) could simply be a guide to the Mass itself, without necesssarily including the Propers. However, the savvy Catholic would have been very comfortable with the Missal and its various ribbons, placing the appropriate ribbon in the appropriate places.

Now, prior the Vatican II, the Liturgy of the Hours was a very complicated business. It had all 150 Psalms in one week, with multiple “required” hours per day. Each hour had about 5 Psalms, and it was necessary to flip back and forth between various sections (as I recently discovered). A little bit more than in the current version, but very similar. But mostly a matter learning the basic rules and terminology (and having the time to do it).

At Vatican II, the LOTR was simplified. The Psalter was stretched out over 4 weeks to make it a little less slavish. Emphasis was placed on Matins, Lauds, Vespers, Compline, but the other night Hours were eliminated, and the three daytime Hours were greatly simplified.

Meanwhile, while Missals were very common in the old days, the “Missalette” is the common use today, giving everything right up front.

So, in a liturgy that was reformed to make it more accessible to Laity, the liturgical *books* have been so simplified that Laity have lost the familiarity they used to have with flipping around liturgical books.

Kinda funny.

Joy said…
Your sticky Liturgy of the Hours post doesn’t allow for comments, so I’ll write one here. Do you know where I can find the equivalent of the St. Joseph’s Guide in digital format on the web?


Good question, and I have no idea. (Try site search for my threads on the Divine Office; what you’re referring to is an RSS feed).

In the “PrayStation Portable” version I have linked, Fr. Roderick reads Morning and Evening Prayer right ought of the book.

Depending upon which version you use, however, I can offer a quick run-down:
1. The “Shorter Christian Prayer” book is just the 4-week Psalter. Theoretically, one can get by on the 4 Week Psalter alone, but it will be awfully repetitive. 🙂 With a very few exceptions, all you have to do is just take the week of the liturgical season and divide by 4.
This is Week 5 of Ordinary Time, so it’s Week 1 of the Psalter.
2. The “Christian Prayer” version is the 4 week Psalter plus saints and Sundays. The closing prayer is the same prayer as the Collect of Mass (where the Liturgy of the Hours is combined with Mass, the Psalms are sung, without the readings, canticle or intercessions. The Collect is said right after the Psalms, and Mass progresses as usual. After Communion, the Gospel Canticle is sung). So you can use the Collect in the Four Week Psalter, or you can use the Collect for that week’s Sunday/daily Mass, or else you can use the Collect for the Saint of the Day.

Most days, unless you customize the Collect, the Four Week Psalter is all you use.

If it’s a Saint, the Saint usually has a special canticle antiphone and collect. So you want to check that *first*. Also, it depends upon what *kind* of day it is.
On a Feast or Solemnity, the Saint totally overrides the regular liturgy. Very few days are officially feasts or solemnities, but one can celebrate a memorial as a feast or solemnity if one has a particular devotion to the Saint (e.g., if one’s name were “Joy,” the Feast of St. Felicity could be celebrated as a solemnity in one’s house, or if one’s husband were named David, the Feast of St. David the Prophet, no longer even on the General Calendar, could be celebrated as a solemnity in one’s house).

So on a Feast or Solemnity, you get everything from the appropriate Common, regardless of what kind of day it is.

On a memorial, you can mix and match the Common for the Saint with the Four-Week Psalter.

On Sundays, you get the antiphons and Collect from the appropriate Sunday in the front of the book. The Evening Prayer 1 Gospel Antiphon is from the Year A Gospel, the Morning Prayer Gospel Antiphon is taken from the Year B Gospel, and the Evening Prayer 2 Gospel Antiphon is taken from the Year C Gospel.

(I usually reuse the Sunday stuff on Weekdays if there’s no saint).
In Advent, Lent, Christmas and Easter, things get mixed up a bit. You kind of have to go back and forth between the Proper of Seasons and the Psalter.

3. In some ways, if you have the four-volume edition with the office of Readings, it’s a little bit easier. In the one-volume edition, you only officially turn to the Proper of Seasons once a week (exceptions mentioned above), but with the Office of Readings, you use it every day, so it helps keep things organized.

There is a subscription website that posts the official texts (as opposed to Universalis, which only posts the minimal parts and in an unoffficial translation).

But that’s an interesting suggestion for a weekend feature! I could start posting the following week’s Liturgy of the Hours passages on Saturdays.