Daily Archives: June 8, 2009

Fantastic Site

Mary found a cool Apologetics page: http://www.catholicapologetics.info/

The home page actually looks “Catholic,” which had me worrying it was a radtrad site. Can’t really find an “About Us” link, other than that they’re out of Australia. Certainly, their views on ecumenism are more traditionalist in nature. The Judaism page has a couple potentially anti-Semitic links. There’s a defense of the Society of St. Pius X, but you’ll likely find most of what they say on many orthodox sites.

But their pages on Islam, which is how we found them, are very hard-hitting, including extensive quotation from St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Contra Gentiles.

What, exactly, is the Vatican’s “take” on Obama?

The usual suspects are gleefully accusing Michael Novak, Deal Hudson, George Weigel (and, presumably, Fr. Euteneuer, Judie Brown, etc.) of “dissent” because suddenly we pro-lifers are chaffing with the editorial policy of L’Osservatore Romano regarding Barack “Heaven is tucking my two children into bed” Obama.  The extremely unbalanced NCR is calling L’Osservatore Romano’s coverage “balanced“.

Between the Cherie Blair invitation, the opposition to the Brazilian excommunications and the glowing endorsements of a President whose rhetoric is the very thing the Church condemns in Catechism 676, we really do have to wonder what’s going on at the Vatican?

Apparently, “official” Church reactions to his speech in Cairo have been positive.

Meanwhile, Giovanni Maria Vian, the editor of L’Osservatore Romano, insists that the paper’s editorial policy is that of the U.S. Bishops towards Obama.

At the same time, Vian has said that, despite obvious differences with the new administration on pro-life issues, he does not consider Obama a “pro-abortion president,” and his newspaper has emphasized Obama’s declared commitment to reducing the number of abortions.

He wants to “reduce abortions” with contraception and “sex education”.

Secondly, administration officials have already emphasized that Obama does not want to “reduce abortions” but “reduce the need for abortions.”

Obama believes that abortion is sometimes necessary.  If something is necessary it is a good.  To say abortion is necessary is to be pro-abortion.

Plus, Vian is apparently ignorant of the core issue in why we say Obama is the most pro-abortion president ever: born alive protection.

October First: Notre Dame, Round 2

Norma McCorvey had her initial hearing today, and the trial date is set for October 1–probably a jury trial.

This really needs to be an event. The MSM will probably only report it after the fact. Pro life media need to converge on South Bend again that day and get the news out, when “Jane Roe” is sent to Jury Trial for protesting abortion at a Catholic university.

Fr. Z. Asks about Trinitarian Analogies

In honor of Trinity Sunday, Fr. Zuhlsdorf asked about Trinitarian analogies heard in homiles.

I heard a decent homily, since I went to the Extraordinary Form, but I have always wondered, as my faith has matured, about how C. S. Lewis’s Trinitarian Theology falls in terms of orthodoxy.

Lewis proposes a geometric understanding of being.

Inanimate matter would be like a point. A point as no dimension. A point would be incapable of understanding the universe in terms other than as a bunch of points.

When we move into two dimensions, we can understand what a “line” is. We can also see, from our three-dimensional vantage point, that a line is a series of points. Vegetative Life would be like the line.

A two dimensional object can be explained as two dimensions, or it could be explained as a set of lines, or it could be explained as a *lot* of points. But the point would only be able to explain 2D in terms of ponits, and the line would only be able to explain 2D as lines and points. Animal existence could be explained as akin to 2D in geometry.

We are three dimensional. We understand 3 dimensions. We understand 2 dimensions. We understand lines and points. But, an existence at those geometric levels would only be able to explain things up to its own level.

We try, in theoretical physics and metaphysics, to comprehend “four” dimensions. We even argue that time itself is a dimension. But, to understand time as a dimension, we have to convert to a three-dimensional system. So we take the universe as we know it, and then we reduce the universe as we know it to a finite, 3D object (or even a point), and then imagine it on the line of Time.

If there are other mathematical, cosmic dimensions besides “time” (e.g., the “Fifth” Dimension sometimes referred to in science fiction), we can’t even really comprehend those. We can’t put them in mathematical terms. We just extrapolate them there.

So, C. S. Lewis suggests that the Trinity is like that. God is at a level of being beyond ours the way that a fourth or even a fifth dimensions is beyond our level of geometric comprehension. So God revealed Himself to us in terms we can understand: Three Divine Persons, because Personhood is part, but only a subset, of God’s Divine Existence, the way that a cube is made up of six sides but is yet more than just six sides.

Any problems in that analogy from a Catholic standpoint?