Church

Structures of Self-Deceit

A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Garry Wills is a remarkably learned man. Graced with a powerful and confident mind and an elegant style, Wills is a forceful writer, with a clarity of conviction that is all too rare nowadays. Devoted to the rosary, the Mass, and the creed, he is deeply pious. But, above all, he … Read more

Speak, Lord

One of the sources of the atheism that plagues modern society is, according to Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes, our alleged sense of being in control of things. But surely this is a mood, not a conviction. A stroll to the corner is usually sufficient reminder of one’s contingency. When are we not open to … Read more

Reconsidering Vatican II

In May 1964, in the middle of the Second Vatican Council, I published a book, The Open Church, an optimistic assessment of the changes in the Catholic Church that I believed the council would produce. I had written it in white-hot haste in my room at the Pensione Baldoni in Rome during a six-week period … Read more

The Price of Priestly Pederasty

Rudy Kos, former Catholic priest and convicted molester of altar boys, just spent another hot summer in the unair-conditioned Texas prison where he is serving four life sentences for hundreds of incidents of sexual abuse of minors during the 1980s and early 1990s. While Kos, 56, was hardly the first Catholic priest to sexually abuse … Read more

Seven Problems with the Jesus Seminar

The Jesus Seminar, so-called, has been running out of steam. Its two flagship projects on the words of Jesus and the deeds of Jesus recently have been completed. The chairman, Robert Funk, has great agendas for reconstructing the whole of the first five centuries of Christianity, showing that the creeds and theology of St. Paul … Read more

Funding The Jesus Seminar

When Robert Funk announced the founding of the Jesus Seminar in 1985, he made a point of saying that all its work would be above-board. “We are going to carry out our work in full public view,” the New Testament scholar told a gathering of scholars in Berkley, California. “We will not only honor the … Read more

Biblical Scholarship and the Church

Biblical scholarship is usually granted instant credibility today because it is considered “scientific.” Thus, the findings of the Jesus Seminar, however ill-founded, nev­ertheless quickly become front-page news. The assumption is that “science” has once again exploded claims about the Jesus found in the New Testament and preached by the Church. On the other hand, the … Read more

Robert Funk and the Jesus Seminar

The Church canonized only four Gospels. However, Robert Funk, the leader of the Jesus Seminar, wants to add the Gospel of Thomas and the Sayings Gospel Q to our canon. This poses the question: Why did the Church canonize four Gospels and no more? The answer is that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the … Read more

Deliver Us From The Jesus Seminar

“There’s a sucker born every minute.” Sadly, P.T. Bar­num’s famous saying applies not only to the circus but also to academia. It seems that the scholars of the Jesus Seminar bank on gullibility in their efforts to spread a reconstructed Gospel that presents a Jesus to their own lik­ing. The Jesus Seminar, chaired by Robert … Read more

Catholic and Apostolic

If all the converts who entered the Catholic Church were to tell about their road to Rome, it would probably appear that no two of them followed exactly the same route. It does not surprise us, having accepted the claim of the Church to be the “pillar and ground of truth,” that as many roads … Read more

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