Pope: Faith-Reason Split Is “Schizophrenia”

The relationship between faith and reason is a serious challenge for the present prevailing culture in the Western world, and it is precisely for this reason that our beloved John Paul II wrote an encyclical, which was entitled precisely “Fides et Ratio” — “Faith and Reason.” I also took up this argument recently, in the address to the University of Regensburg.

In reality, the modern development of the sciences brings countless positive effects, which must always be acknowledged. At the same time, however, it must be admitted that the tendency to consider true only that which can be experienced constitutes a limitation for human reason and produces a terrible schizophrenia, evident to all, because of which rationalism and materialism, and hypertechnology and unbridled instincts, coexist.

Faith implies reason and perfects it, and reason, illuminated by faith, finds the strength to rise to knowledge of God and of spiritual realities. Human reason loses nothing when it is open to the contents of faith; what is more, the latter calls for its free and conscious adherence.

Faith without reason is superstition and reason without faith has no meaning. You need both to truly understand reality.

Read the whole thing

Pope: Faith-Reason Split Is “Schizophrenia”

The relationship between faith and reason is a serious challenge for the present prevailing culture in the Western world, and it is precisely for this reason that our beloved John Paul II wrote an encyclical, which was entitled precisely “Fides et Ratio” — “Faith and Reason.” I also took up this argument recently, in the address to the University of Regensburg.

In reality, the modern development of the sciences brings countless positive effects, which must always be acknowledged. At the same time, however, it must be admitted that the tendency to consider true only that which can be experienced constitutes a limitation for human reason and produces a terrible schizophrenia, evident to all, because of which rationalism and materialism, and hypertechnology and unbridled instincts, coexist.

Faith implies reason and perfects it, and reason, illuminated by faith, finds the strength to rise to knowledge of God and of spiritual realities. Human reason loses nothing when it is open to the contents of faith; what is more, the latter calls for its free and conscious adherence.

Faith without reason is superstition and reason without faith has no meaning. You need both to truly understand reality.

Read the whole thing

Catholic Schools Week

Today begins the annual observance of Catholic Schools Week, a week devoted to reminding people of the value that Catholic Schools add not only to their students, but to the community at large.

I was given a flier about how much the benefits Catholic schools bring to the community here in Delaware:

Savings to the Community
· Delaware spends more than $9,700 per public school student, on average
· Almost 13,000 students attend Catholic schools in Delaware (more than 1 out of ten Delaware students attend Catholic schools)

· Therefore Catholic school families save the state of Delaware at least $126,000,000 a year. (Note: That figure might be a little high. If there are 13,000 students in Delaware Catholic schools, a percentage of them are residents of other states. I was friends with Pennsylvanians, Marylanders and New Jersey-ites (?) throughout high school. But the savings to Delaware taxpayers are certainly in the 9 figures annually.) Imagine how high our school taxes would be without Catholic schools.

Quality

  • All schools are accredited by Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools
  • 3 National Blue Ribbon Schools
  • 42% of teachers have Masters degrees
  • 63% of teachers have ten or more years of experience
  • Over 90% of Catholic high school graduates pursue post-secondary education
  • All schools are accredited by Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools

Achievement

Grade Equivalent Based on National Test Score
  Grade 3 Grade 5 Grade 7
Reading Composite 5.5 9.7 11.0
Language Composite 6.8 10.3 12.6
Math Composite 4.7 7.0 10.3
Science 5.0 7.5 10.8
Social Studies 5.6 7.4 11.5

(A grade equivalent of 5.5 means a score that is average for a group in the fifth month of grade 5. So, Catholic School 3rd graders are reading at the level of someone in the fifth month of the fifth grade, while seventh graders are at the level of a high school junior.)

Source: Delaware Alliance of Catholic School Parents

Now, one obvious response to the above achievement is the issue of student selection. Public schools have to take everyone which private schools can take who they choose. While that’s true in theory, in practice it’s not so true. For example, my parish school, St. Ann’s Elementary, is slightly under capacity and could take more students if more applied. I was told my senior year at Salesianum that in the four years I was there, we had turned down a total of two students, and they tested as legitimately retarded and therefore needed special schooling. And from personal observation, I attended school with people who would not have been admitted in a truly competitive environment.

None of the above benefits include perhaps the most important element of education: forming whole persons, those who are good people. Learning proper values and a sense of responsibility are at the center of every school experience. I was thinking this past week that for all the importance and focus given to the three R’s (reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic), there two even more R’s we need to teach our children: right and ‘rong. Those R’s are at the center of every Catholic education.

So, when considering where to send your children to school, take a look at Catholic schools, where they get a thorough education in the things that truly matter.

5 Random Things about me

Meme going around, via American Papist:

  • When I’m eating an apple I’ve sliced and try to pick up a slice, only to realize that I’ve finished it, I always get a little sad
  • I really like tunafish
  • I’m way too into NewsRadio (hence the domain name)
  • I used to be a complete Star Trek nerd, a phase I am very glad to be beyond
  • I really don’t like Ann Coulter, but I just requested her book Godless from the library one the recommendation of a priest I’m friendly with

I’m tagging: Ann(-e), Duffy, Miriam, and the members of the DCBA

Forty years later, ‘Humanae Vitae’ proves prophetic

Life Will Be Victorious

If someone had predicted 40 years ago that by the Third Millennium, marriage and family life would be thriving, child abuse eliminated, abortion almost nonexistent, teenage pregnancy a thing of the past, and people in general enjoying a level of contentment and happiness unsurpassed in human history, we would not consider this person a very accurate social forecaster. A meteorologist, who was so mistaken on his predictions, would be unemployed.

On the other hand, if someone 40 years ago had predicted that in the beginning of the Third Millennium, the institution of marriage itself would be weakened as in no other moment in the history of Western civilization, sexual promiscuity and its related health problems would be rampant, abortion would be both legal and common, pornography would become culturally acceptable, and some nations would actually force their citizens to limit family size, we would have to acknowledge this person ’s wisdom and adeptness at recognizing the long-term consequences of social trends.

The argument was made that the widespread use of artificial contraception would result in every child being a wanted child, virtually eliminating child abuse and abortion. It was asserted that easy access for adolescents to contraceptives would rid society of teen pregnancy. Liberated from the repression of sexual activity, caused in part by the fear of pregnancy, advocates of “The Pill” predicted that the mental health of the general population would improve significantly.

On the other hand, Pope Paul VI, in his much-criticized 1968 encyclical letter, “Humanae Vitae” (“Of Human Life”), in the process of re-articulating the church’s teaching on the nature of marriage, identifies many of the inevitable societal consequences resulting from a redefinition of the meaning of sexual intimacy that excludes its life-giving power. He specifically cites: 1) “the general lowering of morality”; 2) an increase in marital infidelity; and 3) the effect on the young, particularly young men, encouraging a disregard for the moral law and the treatment of women as “a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment.”

Pope Paul VI also anticipated China’s One-Child Policy by predicting government policies that would attempt to impose contraception on their citizens. Pope Paul VI also foresaw that the widespread use of the artificial means of contraception would lead to a cultural acceptance of both abortion and pornography.

Was “Humanae Vitae” a desperate effort to present an antiquated morality? Or was it a prophetic statement of the truth and consequences of abandoning our traditional morals? What does the experience of the past 40 years teach us? Think about it!

If you take the time to read Humane Vitae, I think you’ll be surprised by how prophetic it was and how much it just makes sense. I accepted the Church teaching on artificial contraception but didn’t really believe it until I’d read this document. It’s so clear and well thought-out, it’s hard to argue with once you open yourself to its logic.

As as Archbishop Naumann argues in the column excerpted above, it’s hard to ague that contraception has had the effect that was promised: child and spousal abuse are more common, rapes have increased, pornography is everywhere and abortion is rampant. Without the contraception revolution, society would likely be in a much better place.

Hat Tip: The Curt Jester