Sunday, July 19, 2009

Update part deux, electric boogaloo

It seems only courteous that I inform my readers that I received my acceptance letter from the seminary on Friday. So I am now officially a seminarian. I no longer need any adjectives to hedge my bets against a possible, if unlikely, change of circumstances. I am a seminarian.

I move down to the seminary on August 26. I'll be spending the remaining month trying to tie up a number of loose ends on various other fronts, as well as making sure I have everything I need. I am going to have to go get measured for a cassock so I can have a properly fitted one for cassock day in October. This is simultaneously very cool and a little scary.

Your prayers, as always, are very much appreciated.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Incredible claims

"Incredible claims require incredible evidence," can only mean, "claims that I choose to reject willfully and a priori require evidence that I will not choose to reject willfully and a priori." This is entirely a matter of the speaker's intellectual and volitional dispositions. But a speaker's intellectual and volitional dispositions have no effect on the truth, i.e. the reality, of a claim. Thus the the idea that, "incredible claims require incredible evidence," is not relevant to judging the truth or falsity, i.e. the reality or non-reality, of any particular claim.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

An Update

I know that some are interested in an update on my status as a candidate for seminary.

Here it is: I am in. After reviewing my information and the recommendation from the diocesan Commission for Orders and Ministries, my bishop has given his approval for my sponsorship as a seminarian.

I literally just got the letter from the diocese this past Saturday. And on that same day the diocesan vocations director called me and invited me to the seminarians' summer get together on Tuesday and Wednesday. So I spent Monday getting ready and taking care of various errands.

I still need to be accepted to the seminary itself, since it is run by another, neighboring diocese. According to the vocations director, as well as every other priest I know, this is a formality. No one approved by their bishop has every been denied acceptance. So I am now, for all intents and purposes, a seminarian.

I would like to thank everyone who has prayed for me and my discernment. If you could continue to remember me in your prayers and ask God to help me further discern His will in my life, I would be grateful.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Prayer request

Today, June 15, 2009, at approximately 2:30 PM, EST, I will be interviewed by the Commission for Orders and Ministries of my diocese. This is a panel of priests who have been given the various material I have had to submit as part of the process for applying to seminary. Having gone over it, they will use this time to ask me any questions this material may have brought up. After the interview they will suggest to my bishop whether or not I should be accepted as a seminarian. His Excellency will take their suggestion into account when he makes his final decision.

This is one of the last steps in the process of becoming a seminarian. If any of you would be so kind as to remember me in your prayers today, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My how the Liturgy of the Hours for today is difficult

OK, so...

Today is Corpus Christi... except, in the U.S., it's not. Fine. I think that moving the Solemnity so people don't have to attend Mass more than once a week is a bad idea, but I'm not in charge and - since I don't have access to a 1962 Breviary and thus cannot choose to use the old calendar for today - I am obediently praying the Liturgy of the Hours for St. Barnabas the Apostle.

One problem. St. Barnabas is on the calendar as a memorial. Both the Ordinary of the Liturgy of the Hours, i.e. the rubrics written in red, and the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours say that memorials are not celebrated during the daytime hours of terce, sext and none (or midmorning, midday, and midafternoon prayer, if you prefer). But St. Barnabas has proper readings for terce, sext and none. So what's a man to do? Does the fact that he has proper readings trump the general norms? I am leaning towards not using the readings in his proper since both the rubrics and the praenotanda seem to say that I shouldn't.

Does anyone out there have a 2009 Ordo for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the United States? What does it say?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On textual criticism

I would never deny that textual criticism can have its uses in the study of Sacred Scripture. But I am skeptical about how all-powerful this usefulness is.

For example, the Fathers confirm that the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John and the three Epistles of John. Some textual critics argue that this cannot be correct because of the difference in writing style.1 To investigate this further, I will propose and experiment.

Here is something I wrote on a lark in college. Read it and, if you are familiar with the general tone of this blog, tell me if you would have guessed it and this blog were written by the same man if you had not been told:
I don't trust the Care Bears. They're up to something. I believe that they are an alien species bent on conquering the Earth. Think about it. They live in the sky, among the stars. They fly around in strange vehicles.

And how comes they're always trying to spread peace and love? Because they want us all to be shiny, happy people? I think not. They're trying to disarm humanity and take away our ability to fight. When we have disarmed and all people are living in harmony, they will launch their quick and devastating attack, destroying our communications infrastructure and murdering world leaders. After this quick coup they will rule us all with an iron fist... er, uh... paw.

What I don't understand is how I am the only one to see it. They fire lasers from their freaking stomachs. FROM THEIR FREAKING STOMACHS PEOPLE! They use these tummy-lasers to eliminate any enemies that stand in the way of their diabolical plan of slowly sifting the fighting spirit out of the human race.

Once this information goes public, I will probably be targeted for "caring." I can only hope that this message reaches enough people in time. Don't let this cuddly alien menace get away with it. Fight these hibernating hell-bringers with all your strength. Do it for humanity.
I hope this experiment has been useful to you.

1 I'm honestly not all that up on the current ins and outs of Biblical scholarship. Is this still a popular view? It certainly was when I was in high school and college.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The logic of modernity

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State. ~Planned Parenthood v Casey
I believe that I've written explicitly enough that the killing of George Tiller was murder, and that it was both evil and foolish for Roeder to do so. That being said, let us reason together.

The quote above is, as stated, from the decision in the Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v Casey. That means, at least insofar as the present day workings of the legal system of these United States goes, that the quoted position is to be taken as a basic principle contained in and protected by the Constitution of the United States. Now assume the following: Roeder defines human life in such a way that abortionists are not included under it, or at least under the category of human life whereby one is protected by a right to not be killed. Or assume Roeder defines the universe in such a way that it is a moral imperative for abortionists to be killed because of what they do. Or assume both, or any similar type of position, or every similar type of position.

Under such an assumption, how can Roeder be prosecuted for murder? He has a basic Constitutional right to define these things for himself, and to do so without any compulsion from the State. That compulsion obviously includes using laws against his position to punish him. This is the same logic that says abortion must be legal, else we would we using "compulsion" to define things like life for people and thus denying them their liberty. If Roeder holds any position similar to the ones given above, then he should be immune from prosecution under the Constitution of the United States as authoritatively interpreted by the United States' Supreme Court.

In other words, the logic of modernity and basic consistency demand that Roeder be free from prosecution by the State. If they were truly consistent, then pro-aborts would be decrying Tiller's murder, but at the same time they would be decrying any attempt to prosecute Roeder. They would admit that they do not like the murder of abortionists. But the answer to that is simple: if you don't like abortionists being murdered, then don't murder one. They would reach across the aisle, extending hands of peace and cooperation, so that both pro-lifers and pro-aborts could work together to make the murder of abortionists safe, legal and rare.

This is what logic would demand. Moderns love to claim the mantle of logic and reason. Let us see if any actually follow their first principles were logic leads.