Phillip Campbell joins us for part 2 of our conversation exploring the nitty gritty of the Middle Ages. In this conversation we will discuss lay control of the Church, Episcopal absenteeism, the failure of the two-sword theory; tournaments, jousts, trial by ordeal, whether peasants actually liked the days off as well as relations with Muslims. Join us as we deconstruct overly romanticized notions of our medieval heritage.
Today Fr. Ioannes Petrus re-joins us for a wide-ranging interview which is perhaps the first one I did not script with pre-planned questions. We discuss voting, the trajectory of government in the West, the current Holy Father, the threat of Islam, Immigration and how Christians should respond to the crisis of our times.
USCCB guide on Voting
“36. When all candidates hold a position that promotes an intrinsically evil act, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.” (My Emphasis)
On Independence day we decided to celebrate in an entirely different way, with a re-examination of the American Revolution against Great Britain, the factors involved, and numerous details not found in your history books. Charles Coulombe, a writer, researcher and fellow pipe-smoker joins us to shed light on the inconvenient details of early American history hidden from your history books. NB: After the interview we discussed a matter which should have perhaps prefaced it: many people will be mad at this, especially if you are of tea-party persuasion. The charge of “treason” and “unpatriotic” behavior will be leveled, I’m sure. Patriotism, properly love of the land and countrymen, is a virtue, distinct from the thoughtless worship of the government. We both adhere to the former, as every good Catholic should since true patriotism is a virtue; while have nothing to do with the latter.
Today we are joined by Chris Ferrara, the president of the Catholic Lawyers Association, a well known Columnist for the Remnant, the author of The Great Façade, The Church and the Libertarian, and his magnum opus: Liberty: The God that Failed. Chris today, comments on where Francis appears to be taking us with Laudato Si. Should we cheer the anti-globalist sentiments and the condemnation of Malthusian approaches? Should we celebrate the few scant references to abortion? Or are there foundational problems with the language in the encyclical that we should be weary of? Should Distributists harken to the condemnations of globalism and abuse of resources? Or is there a radical departure from the tradition of Catholic thought which we should be worried about? Join us for an in depth conversation on the document.
Today we are joined by John Medaille, a retired professor from the University of Dallas and the author of The Vocation of Business, and Toward a Truly Free Market, as well as many other writings in periodicals from Res Publica to the Remnant. We talk about Distributism and the economic issues facing Distributist economic theory, government, labor and many other issues which delve deeper into Distributism than the normal reflections on Chesterton.
Today is the feast of the twin martyrs, St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More. There are books yet to be written on both, for all that have been written, but since so many more have been written on the latter I wish to write more on the former.
Now, in the first place, Fisher was a far greater theologian than St. Thomas More, who was a rhetorician and a lawyer, though no less devout a layman than Fisher was a bishop. Fisher established the seminary system in all but name, and made sure good preaching was the norm. This is rather an interesting thing. In the late Renaissance, patronage, which was designed to move ahead those who were worthy had become instead a way of rewarding friends and picking favorites. Men became pastors and bishops solely due to royal favor, and the Popes tended not to care because they received the first year’s income of that diocese, a sort of Church tax called the Annates. Suffice it to say the whole thing had gone very wrong in the fifteenth century, and now preaching was a rarity. Some Bishops did not preach a sermon in their lives. Many bishops lived elsewhere, and would attempt to have other dioceses consecrated under them, or when those had been exhausted abbeys, so they could live it up in Paris or Rome or some other large city, and appoint a vicar for low pay to administer his diocese. These often did not do so well, particularly since they were not paid for the job. At the time St. Charles Borromeo entered Milan as its Archbishop, there had not been a Bishop who actually resided in Milan for 125 years! Yet that holy reforming bishop had a portrait of two saints in his room, one of St. Ambrose, and the other of St. John Fisher.
Today Boniface joins us, who readers might remember was my co-author on the old version of Athanasius Contra Mundum. Today he talks to us about his experience as the mayor of his small town in Michigan. We discuss the challenges and realities facing local government, the problems of the economy, being a “job friendly” town, and the problems of government in general, wherein we contrast the system today with Catholic jurisprudence and political thought, and discuss solutions.