Author: Paul Fahey

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Judging the Insignificant, Domesticating the Mystery

One of the advantages of working at a parish is that I rarely have a good excuse for not making it to Mass once or twice during the week. This morning the visiting priest reflected on the first reading during his homily and it resonated with what I have read recently from Pope Francis. The reading was from 1 Kings and told the story of God sending Elijah to go stay with a widow who...

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Everyone’s a Little Bit Gnostic

Have you ever thought that you could convince someone to become Christian or Catholic? Have you ever thought that if you could articulate the best argument for something that people would just have to believe you? Have you ever thought that simply by telling someone a fact that you were adequately showing them the truth? Have you ever thought that apologetics, having the right answers, was all that’s necessary to evangelize someone? Have you ever...

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St Paul’s Letter Against Pelagianism

Pope Francis appears to to be pretty concerned with something called “Pelagianism.” He has made multiple references to it throughout his pontificate, including his new Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, and recently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a document specifically addressing Pelagianism in the Church today. Pelagianism is a 4th century heresy, a false teaching taught by an Irish monk named, you guessed it, Pelagius. And Pope Francis says that this...

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Humanae Vitae: truth, accompaniment, and culpability

Therefore, it must be emphasized once more that the pastoral intervention of the Church in support of the family is a matter of urgency. Every effort should be made to strengthen and develop pastoral care for the family, which should be treated as a real matter of priority, in the certainty that future evangelization depends largely on the domestic Church.” …The Church’s pastoral action must be progressive, also in the sense that it must follow...

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Mary Mother of the Church – Same mother, new feast

Back in February of this year Pope Francis gave the Church a new feast day. Every year the day after Pentecost is now the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. Cardinal Robert Sarah, the head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, has urged priests to make celebrating this memorial a priority and he said that the readings the Church chose for this feast “illuminate the mystery of spiritual...

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Humanae Vitae: An anniversary is an awful thing to waste

“We have long thought that simply by stressing doctrinal, bioethical and moral issues, without encouraging openness to grace, we were providing sufficient support to families, strengthening the marriage bond and giving meaning to marital life. We find it difficult to present marriage more as a dynamic path to personal development and fulfilment than as a lifelong burden. We also find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond...

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If you can’t keep the Commandments, it’s your fault! A defense of JP2

Last week I wrote an article about neo-Pelagianism that drew from the recent CDF document titled “On Certain Aspects of Christian Salvation.” I wanted to follow up that article first by drawing from Pope Francis’ brand new Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, regarding neo-Pelagianism and then compare what Saint John Paul II has taught on this issue with Pope Francis. Pope Francis devotes an entire chapter of Gaudete et Exsultate to discussing two heresies that...

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We cannot make ourselves holy

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently released a document “On Certain Aspects of Christian Salvation.” This document is concerned with what it calls neo-Pelagianism and neo-Gnosticism. Concerning the former it says: “A new form of Pelagianism is spreading in our days, one in which the individual, understood to be radically autonomous, presumes to save oneself, without recognizing that, at the deepest level of being, he or she derives from God and from...