The marriage of Joseph and Mary

Super Flumina
Babylonis

under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic

By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
on the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. . . Ps 136

St Dominic

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11th September 2001

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LESSON 3 – A WORLD GONE BACKWARDS

Here we map the regression in human thought that followed on Martin Luther’s rejection of God’s authority 500 years ago.  more

LESSON 2 – TRUE AND FALSE EQUALITY

Here we address the errors in modern slogans that flow from the errors of the French Revolution.  more

THE MISGUIDED FR EMMET COSTELLO

A recent biography of the eminent Australian barrister T E F Hughes QC reveals an erroneous assessment of the Church’s moral teaching by the late Fr Emmet Costello SJ.  Lest that assessment should mislead members of Christ’s Church, we have hastened to expose its errors.  more

LENT 2017

Everything comes to an end : therefore take heart for we pass from one thing to another until at last we arrive at eternity. Even seeing how the things of this life end so quickly ought to console us, because the nearer and more quickly we are approaching that end towards which all our activities should tend.                 St Teresa Margaret Redi (1747-1770)

Ash Wednesday, 1st March, marks the beginning of a Lent that may prove among the most significant for the 21st Century. Life is like a river in which we are placed at the moment of our birth ; and, like a river, it never ceases to run. But where is it going ? Every motion is unto some end : what is the end ?



The little Carmelite, St Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart, daughter in religion of the great St Teresa of Avila, lays out the issue for us, each of us, clearly in the anagraph above. Our life here is a limited thing. It is a time of proving for a life that will endure for all eternity. For man, once created, cannot uncreate himself—it is beyond his power, notwithstanding what the atheists, materialists, secular humanists, subjectivists, intending suicides, adherents of modern philosophy (in all its 57 varieties), and the 'death with dignity' enthusiasts, may assert to the contrary. I did not bring myself into existence : ergo I cannot take myself out of existence. Will I spend eternity in heaven, or in hell ?

The gravity of an offence is measured by the dignity of the one offended. The offence given to God by Adam and his heirs is infinite, quite impossible of reparation by any other than one who was himself God. Jews have a Day of Atonement but Catholics, all Christians, have a season, 40 days in which to practise some self-mastery and to unite themselves in spirit with the Son of God who took to himself our human nature to make reparation for the sins of mankind. For Christ died for our redemption.

Lent, even for the irreligious, provides a time for reflection, for self-denial. We owe Christ the courtesy, at least, of taking his sacrifice seriously. But we owe him much more. “For love,” as another Carmelite, St John of the Cross, teaches, “is repaid by love alone.”


Michael Baker
1st March 2017—Ash Wednesday

PROFESSOR SOLOMON 3RD SERIES - LESSON 1 -  DEATH IN TWENTY SECONDS

Professor Solomon embarks on the third year of his lessons for home schooled children with this offering.  He advises that this year he will mix philosophy with the theology of Christ’s Church.  The recent tragedy on Australia Day in Perth provides a good place to begin.  more

ON THE FORMAL CORRECTION OF POPE FRANCIS

This paper by John Lamont is an admirable analysis of the historical reasons why many Catholics seem to be paralysed over the correct attitude to take to the errors of their superiors, bishops, priests and even popes.  It may be viewed at http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/02/article-on-formal-correction-of-pope.html#more.   For those who wish, a slightly edited version may be viewed as a pdf file here.

CONSIDERATIONS ON THE DUBIA OF THE FOUR CARDINALS

This—http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/12/article-considerations-on-dubia-of-four.html#more—by John R T Lamont addressing the issues raised by Pope Francis’s refusal to address the Dubia offered by Cardinals, Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra and Meisner concerning Amoris Laetitia, serves as a companion piece to the paper of Robert de Mattei published here a week or so ago.  Those wishing to do so may read the article here.

RESISTANCE AND FIDELITY TO THE CHURCH IN TIMES OF CRISIS

This—http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/11/majestic-lecture-by-prof-roberto-de.html#more—from Roberto de Mattei is outstanding in its contribution to coping with the current problems in the Vatican.  He makes points we have  been endeavouring to make on Super Flumina Babylonis for the last 10 years, notably, that while the Pope is occasionally infallible he is not indefectible, but God’s Holy Church is always infallible and indefectible. Those who wish to do so may read the article here.

FR HUNWICKE ON VATICAN II & DIGNITATIS HUMANAE

This is a criticism of certain comments made by the well-respected English commentator, Fr John Hunwicke on his blogsite. more

THE STUPIDITY OF VOTING ON ‘GAY MARRIAGE’

What marriage is, its essence, is of nature, not of human will.  It follows that no matter what men may think, they can’t alter it.  more

MERCY & THE DEATH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

The beheading of John the Baptist brings a timely reminder of the immutability of Catholic doctrine.  Here, we address an aberration in papal teaching which has led to the current dalliance with heresy over divorce.  more

IT’S THE COUNCIL THAT’S THE PROBLEM

Our commentary on Vatican II showing how Pope Francis’s conduct is bringing to a head the evils the Council initiated.  more

 

EVELYN WAUGH & AMORIS LAETITIA

10th April, 2016 was the 50th anniversary of the death of Evelyn Waugh who died on Easter Sunday, 1966.  God in His providence has ordained that the anniversary should be marked in singular fashion.  An anonymous priest who calls himself Monsieur L'Abbé has written a commentary on the Pope's recent Apostolic Exhortation comparing the principles obtaining at the time of the setting of Waugh's most famous novel, Brideshead Revisited, with those the Pope sees as applicable today. The effect is memorable. The article may be viewed on the Rorate Caeli website at http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/04/guest-op-ed-pope-francis-pro-mundum.html#more   Alternatively, the reader may view a copy of it here.

PROFESSOR SOLOMON'S INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

Professor Solomon's Introduction to Philosophy - First Series is available as a booklet from Cardinal Newman Faith Resources for the price of $15 plus postage - click here to order. It is available also as individual chapters in Adobe Acrobat form on this website -  more

WAS LUTHER NOT SUCH A BAD CHAP AFTER ALL?

This paper was published first in 2008. The recent visit by the Holy Father to the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Rome and remarks he made there to a Lutheran woman married to a Catholic have prompted us to republish it. more   (See also Fr Z’s blogsite under the byline “What Did The Pope Really Say...about Lutherans and Communion” http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/11/what-did-the-pope-really-say-about-lutherans-and-communion/ ; also Fr George Byers’ site under the byline “Pope Francis on Inter-Communion With Lutherans” http://ariseletusbegoing.com/2015/11/16/pope-francis-on-inter-communion-with-the-lutherans/)

THE ONE NECESSARY ENCYCLICAL—PART II, A DRAFT

The statement of members of The Roman Forum meeting at Lake Garda, Italy, on 9th July 2015  [http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-lake-garda-statement.html ] demonstrates that there are many within the Catholic Church who recognise the crisis through which the Church is passing—has passed, these last fifty years—and are able to enunciate a course for the return to the Church's proper station as the means of salvation for all the world.

We have been insistent on superflumina about the need, if the Church's authority and salutary influence in the world is to be restored, for the Vicar of Christ to confront and confound the immense evil of atheism in an encyclical letter.    It is an undertaking that requires an immense effort of investment, with the hope of a proportionately immense return.  We have essayed a draft of such an encyclical to this end that it might attract the attention of the Church’s future bishops, one of whom will one day come to assume the pallium of the Vicar of Christ on earth. more

THE ONE NECESSARY ENCYCLICAL

This is a recasting with slight amendments of a paper published in August 2009 inviting His Holiness to address the one intellectual issue that presses mankind in the modern world.  more

FAILURE OF THE EXECUTIVE POWER

This is a revision of a paper that appeared on this website in August 2005. It deals with the problems that arose for Catholics on the interplay of two influences, one from outside the Church and the other, the more important, from within.  more

THE SCHISMATIC TENDENCY IN ‘CREATION SCIENCE’

'Creation Science', the naive assertion that the universe was created only 6,000 years ago, is a Protestant thing.  Its adoption by Catholics presents real dangers to their faith. more

THE LOSS OF METAPHYSICS

John of Salisbury, 12th Century philosopher, says in his Metalogicon: 'Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more... because they raise us up...' In the century that followed John of Salisbury, the greatest of the intellectual giants appeared, Thomas Aquinas. His philosophy, metaphysics, is the only ultimately satisfying explanation of reality, the only philosophy which leads us inevitably to the Author of all reality, Almighty God. Thomas's philosophy was adopted by the Catholic Church as her own to assist in formulating doctrine and in solving the great problems of morals. Yet, in the last 40 years that philosophy has been abandoned and the Church and the world have suffered. If the Church is to be returned to her rightful position of influence in the world, her bishops and teachers must return to St Thomas's metaphysics. more