Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Luther was only joking, right???

Whoa! I came across this quotation from Martin Luther today, which, shall we say, gave me pause:
Christ committed adultery first of all with the woman at the well about whom St. John tells us. Was not everybody about Him saying: "Whatever has he been doing with her?" Secondly, with Mary Magdalene, and thirdly with the woman taken in adultery whom he dismissed so lightly. Thus even Christ, who was so righteous, must have been guilty of fornication before He died. (D. Martin Luthers Werke, kritische Gesamtausgabe [Hermann Bohlau Verlag, 1893], vol. 2, no. 1472, April 7 - May 1, 1532, p. 33)
The supposition seems to be that Luther must have intended his remark sarcastically. There's no telling. Much of what was taken down and later recorded in his Tischreden (Table Talk) was uttered when he had downed a few tankards of ale and was fully 'lit.' For the full knock-down blow-out discussion of the data, see the following post from a discussion board: "Did Martin Luther Believe That Jesus Had Carnal Relations With Mary Magdalene and Others?"

From the 20th to the 21st century, here we go ...

"The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age." - G.K. Chesterton (pictured right)
"Our 1970's-style sing-along Mass music is the only thing which saves us from degrading slavery to tradition." - David Haas & Marty Haugen (pictured below, left and right) [impersonated]

Perhaps you're thinking, "If I hear 'Gather Us In' or 'Come to the Feast' or 'Sing Out, Earth and Skies' one more time, I'm going to strangle somebody!" You may want to join the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas

Monday, December 27, 2004

Charlotte Diocese being watched

The December 2004 issue of The New Oxford Review carries a New Oxford Note by editor Dale Vree about an incident that allegedly occurred in the Diocese of Charlotte this past summer. Vree cites a letter to the Bishop of Charlotte from Joe Ecclesia (no doubt a pseudonym) printed in the July 2004 issue of Chronicles. Beginning with "Your Excellency," the letter says:
Recently, I read in our diocesan newspaper of the "gay and lesbian Mass" offered at St. Peter's Church in Charlotte. According to the article, this Mass was a means of comforting those who have been ostracized by the Church.... Msgr. Richard Allen, who received a standing ovation for his homily, called gays and lesbians "heroes." His remarks made me wonder if I had taken the right path by marrying and raising a family....
Vree comments:
You may have seen the bumper strip, "Gay Rights Aren't Special rights." Whether you agree or disagree, "gay rights" are definitely special rights (and rites) in the Catholic Church. In many dioceses there are "Gay and Lesbian Masses." My, how does one get to be so special!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Reflections

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another,
Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pas, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter Two, Verses 13-20)

Every Christmas, it seems, NEWSWEEK or TIME magazine will come out with an article featuring the "latest scholarship" concerning the "authenticity" of the Christmas story. The scholarly authorities cited are consistently and incorrigibly one-sided, usually including scholars like John Dominic Crossan who dissent from Church teaching, or more ostensibly mainline scholars like Raymond E. Brown (now deceased) who have been quite thoroughly corrupted by the Humean philosophical presuppositions of the historical-criticism of the biblical narrative. The upshot is always the conclusion, or at least the suggestion, that the Gospel writers are unreliable and not to be trusted, and certainly not to be taken at face value. Just how ludicrous this all is can be seen by almost anyone with a bit of intelligence and familiarity with literature, mythology, and history. One of the best examples of a powerful antedote to this kind of foolishness is a little essay by C.S. Lewis entitled "Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism," which is available in a collection of essays by Lewis entitled Christian Reflections [Amazon link] (1967; reprinted by Eerdmans, 1994). The following are some excerpts from Lewis' essay, which begins on p. 152 and contains four objections (or "bleats") about modern New Testament scholarship:
1. [If a scholar] tells me that something in a Gospel is legend or romance, I want to know how many legends and romances he has read, how well his palate is trained in detecting them by the flavour...

I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one [of the stories in the Gospel of John, for example] is like this... Either this is reportage - though it may no doubt contain errors - pretty close up to the facts; nearly as close as Boswell. Or else, some unknown writer in the second century, without known predecessors or successors, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern, novelistic, realistic narrative...

2. All theology of the liberal type involves at some point - and often involves throughout - the claim that the real behaviour and purpose and teaching of Christ came very rapidly to be misunderstood and misrepresented by his followers, and has been recovered or exhumed only by modern scholars... The idea that any... writer should be opaque to those who lived in the same culture, spoke the same language, shared the same habitual imagery and unconscious assumptions, and yet be transparent to those who have none of these advantages, is in my opinion preposterous. There is an a priori improbability in it which almost no argument and no evidence could counterbalance.

3. Thirdly, I find in these theologians a constant use of the principle that the miraculous does not occur... This is a purely philosophical question. Scholars, as scholars, speak on it with no more authority than anyone else. The canon 'if miraculous, unhistorical' is one they bring to their study of the texts, not one they have learned from it. If one is speaking of authority, the united authority of all the Biblical critics in the world counts here for nothing.

4. My fourth bleat is my loudest and longest. Reviewers [of my own books, and of books by friends whose real history I knew] both friendly and hostile... will tell you what public events had directed the author's min to this or that, what other authors influenced him, what his over-all intention was, what sort of audience he principally addressed, why - and when - he did everything... My impression is that in the whole of my experience not one of these guesses has on any one point been right; the method shows a record of 100 per cent failure.

The 'assured results of modern scholarship', as to the way in which an old book was written, are 'assured', we may conclude, only because those who knew the facts are dead and can't blow the gaff... The Biblical critics, whatever reconstructions they devise, can never be crudely proved wrong. St. Mark is dead. When they meet St. Peter there will be more pressing matters to discuss.

However... we are not fundamentalists... Of course we agree that passages almost verbally identical cannot be independent. It is as we glide away from this into reconstructions of a subtler and more ambitious kind that our faith in the method wavers... The sort of statement that arouses our deepest scepticism is the statement that something in a Gospel cannot be historical because it shows a theology or an ecclesiology too developed for so early a date...

Such are the reactions of one bleating layman... Once the layman was anxious to hide the fact that he believed so much less than the Vicar; he now tends to hide the fact that he believes so much more...
If you're interested in ordering the book, click on the link below:
C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections, edited by Walter Hooper [Amazon link]
Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The problem with Hans Küng

The problem with Hans Kung is that, like the rest of that part of the post-Christian world that has been reluctant to let go of its sentimental attachment to Christianity, he wants to change the meaning of Christianity to conform to his post-Christian commitments rather than to admit that his beliefs are no longer, in any traditionally recognizable sense of the term, Christian. In short, Kung wants to belong to the historical Christian community without accepting key historical Christian beliefs.

Recently Hans Kung was interviewed by Stephen Crittenden for The Religion Report on Radio National (December 15, 2004). The interview, "A conversation with Number 399/57 i" is named after the file number that Kung keeps for life in the offices of the Inquisition, or Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In the interview, Kung shares his views of Vatican II, Karl Barth, his personal acquaintance with Popes Pius II, John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II, whom he calls a man of "the mediaeval, anti-reformation, anti-modern paradigm of the church." Among other things, he plays to the audience's prejudices with allusions to secret Opus Dei machinations behind the next papal election, and much, much more.

For a more detailed analysis in my Scripture & Catholi Tradition blog, click here.

(Thanks to Al Kimel for his tip concerning the above-mentioned interview.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Dumbing down the Pope

Something that I think has become a huge problem is the effect that the media are having on the popular perceptions of the Christian message to the world--particularly when the Pope speaks. I call it "Dumbing down the Pope." It consists of reports of papal statements so trivial and so remotely related to the Gospel that they make his statemens seem utterly redundant (an echo of what everyone is already saying anyway) and irrelevant, if not simply silly. It is bad enough when you see this in the secular media, even if somewhat understandable (you can't expect the secular world to understand the spiritual nuances of the Gospel of Salvation, by gum!), but it is an even more serious problem when you see it in diocesan newspapers and other Catholic media outlets as well. Here are a few examples:
  • Pope urges protection of envirnoment (Nov. 10, 2002, Associated Press)
  • Pope's Christmas Message: End global violence (from 1998, CNN)
  • Pope urges more human rights for Cubans (Dec. 3, 1999, Miami Herald)
  • Pope praises continued efforts to eliminate land mines (Dec. 10, 2004, The Catholic News & Herald, Diocese of Charlotte, NC)
The problem, of course, is not that these things are unimportant, but that the Pope's purpose is distorted by constant exposure to such statements. The Pope is not a public relations arm of the United Nations. The Pope is Heaven's Ambassador, the Vicar of Christ on earth; as such, he His Holiness has an even more pressing message for us, but one that is almost routinely ignored. Even diocesan papers seem to regularly portray the Pope's message in the most banal terms. Here is an example from a column in my diocesan paper entitled "The Pope Speaks":
  • Pope: Christians must live in harmony with church social teachings (Dec. 10, 2004, The Catholic News & Herald, Diocese of Charlotte, NC)
Whoop-te-doo! Doesn't it just make you want to get up and run outside and go live in harmony with church social teachings!? Why this pathetic banality? How about something with a bit more zip in it so parishioners might have a clue what any of this means--something like:
  • Pope: Catholic fornicators playing Russian Roulette with Satan
  • Pope to youth: live chastely or risk going to hell
  • Pope's Christmas message: repentance key to God's mercy for even most wretched sinners
  • Pope: Georgetown University no longer Catholic
Whatever one may think of his Ultramontanism, who can help but admire the bracing sentiment of the 19th-century writer, W.G. Ward, who once stated--I think it was in the pages of the Doublin Review: "I should like a new Papal Bull every morning with my Times at breakfast"!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Man Bites Dog

This is simply amazing. I once saw the bizarre French film entitled Man Bites Dog, about a killer whom a photographer follows around filming while he makes his hits. But "Man Bites Dog" literally??? Get this: a central Florida man named Mount Lee Lacy, 21, has just been accused of biting a dog and charged with felony animal cruelty! It's just too bizarre. Among other things, the report stated:
Mount Lee Lacy, 21, told officers he bit his dog, Lady, because she had defecated in the house and that he routinely bit her as punishment.
Read the story here.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Letters to a lapsed Catholic

Letter No. 1
Thanks for being forthcoming about not having been to church since last Ash Wednesday. So where is your relationship with God if you've left His Church out of it? Sounds either very Protestant or very indifferent-- which would mean very apostate.

Pascal's Wager might be worth a few moments' reflection here. Regardless of whether we spend time thinking about it, we're gambling spiritually with our lives by the little decisions we make every day, aren't we! As Peter Kreeft once said, there are finally only two kinds of people in the world: saints who know they're sinners, and sinners who think they're saints; or, as C.S. Lewis preferred: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says: "Thy will be done."

If it's disillusionment with the local Catholic parish, I could write a book of my own about that. I find contemporary Catholic practice appalling. There's better music in Anglican and Lutheran churches, and better catechesis in Baptist and Presbyterian churches. The only problem is this little darn thing called truth: it's still the only real Church-- His Church. And I can't pretend to live obediently and garner His blessing apart from His Church. It's a blessing to me, actually, that Peter and Judas both betrayed Christ, not only because I realize that even those whome Jesus chose to be members of His varsity team were morally fallible (i.e., peccable), but because it shows me that those whom He placed in charge of His Church (Peter, at least) was morally fallible and yet to be obeyed (becaue under the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit). If you want a good illustration of that, read the first two chapters of Galatians, which relates the first meeting of Paul with Peter, as well as his later meeting with him. Imagine Paul, the most educated Jew in all Palestine-- the protoge of Rabbi Gamaliel, a Roman citizen, speaker of Latin and Greek as well as Hebrew and Aramaic, a Pharisee by training-- just imagine this Paul, converted independently on the road to Damascus, after three years going up to Jerusalem to submit himself to this head-strong and probably arrogant-seeming Joe Sixpack of a fisherman, PETER, accepting his authority as head of the Church!! A truckload to think about there.
[There are nine letters in all. Read all nine letters here.]

Former atheist, Antony Flew, now believes in God

The word is that Professor Antony Flew (pictured right), the former champion of Humean skepticism and philosophical atheism, now believes in God. Flew, whose teaching career has led him from philosophy professorships in Britain at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keel, Reading, and York, to posts in North America in Toronto, Calgary, San Diego, and Los Angeles, is author of numerous books offering philosophical arguments against theism as well as naturalistic alternatives to theistically-based theories of human nature, cognition, belief, and ethics. Representative are his books:
  • Hume's Philosophy of Belief (1961)
  • God and Philosophy (1966)
  • Evolutionary Ethics (1967)
  • The Presumption of Atheism, and other philosophical essays on God, Freedom and Immortality (1976)
  • A Raional Animal: Philosophical Essays on the Nature of Man (1978)
  • Darwinian Evolution (1984)
  • Atheistic Humanism (1993)
I can remember being assigned books by Flew when I was beginning my undergraduate classes in philosophy in the 1970s. His perspective was consistently imbued with an unequivocal opposition to what he regarded as nonsense quite typical of the tradition British empiricism, which had invested all its stock in the "sensible." His arguments and illustrations against theistic belief seemed, at least within the framework of that mindset, devastating. (This, of course, was before Alvin Plantinga [pictured left] injected new enthusiasm among theistic philosophers for a counter-offensive beginning in the late sixties and early seventies.)

Philosophical debates between philosophers about the existence of God, of course, have a venerable tradition. I remember reading as an undergraduate the famous BBC Copleston-Russell debate of 1944 beween Fr. F.C. Copleston, J.S. (pictured right), the great Catholic historian of philosophy, and Bertrand Russell (pictured left), the author of Why I Am Not a Christian (Amazon link)--a book, which, I've heard it said, has ironically nudged more than one disappointed atheistic reader in the direction of theistic belief! More recently the same tradition of debate has been continued by William Lane Craig, Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, and Walter Sinnot-Armstrong, Philosophy Professor at Dartmouth College, in their book God?: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist (Point/Counterpoint Series, Oxford, England) (Amazon link). Antony Flew himself has been involved in such debates. One famous debate, published back in 1977, was that between Flew and Thomas B. Warren, under the title: The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God (Amazon link). Another, more recent debate was that between Flew and William Lane Craig (pictured left), under the 2003 title: Does God Exist: The Craig-Flew Debate (Amazon link) In the same year (2003), a debate between Flew and Gary Habermas, a prolific philosopher and historian from Liberty University, was published under the title of Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?: The Resurrection Debate (Amazon link)

The Winter 2004 issue of Philosophia Christi features an exclusive interview with the former atheist Antony Flew, conducted by Gary Habermas (pictured right). Flew, who is eighty-one years old, says that he doesn't yet believe in the God of a "revelatory system," although he's "open to that." It will be interesting to see where his newfound theism leads. Flew is hardly the first philosopher, of course, to find his way from atheism and agnosticism to theism. Many have pushed beyond that to explicit belief in the "revelatory God" of Judaism or Christianity. Examples that come to mind include Alasdair MacIntyre (pictured below right), who converted from sexular Marxism to Catholicism some years ago, as well as Mordimer J. Adler (pictured left), who converted from a secular Jewish background to theistic belief, then to Christianity, becoming a member, first, of the Episcopal Church in 1986, then the Catholic Church in 1999. MacIntyre, whose book After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (1984) brought him international attention, is now Professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame. Adler, who chaired the Board of Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, founded the Great Books program and authored many books, including Aristotle for Everybody and How to Think About God, died on June 28, 2001. Edward T. Oakes has written an account of MacIntyre's career and conversion in "The Achievement of Alasdair MacIntyre" (First Things, August/September, 1996). An account of Adler's conversion is available in the Wikipedia article, "Mortimer Jerome Adler," as well as a humorous remembrance by his secretary, "Nancy Olson Remembers."

For a detailed academic curriculum vitae of Antony Flew, listing his educational background, teaching posts and publications, see a Brief Biography of Antony Flew.

Link to publications by Antony Flew:

Link to publications by Alasdair MacIntyre:

Link to publications by Mortimer J. Adler:

[Credits: Thanks to Christopher Blosser for the tip regarding the Habermas interview in Philosophia Christi.]

Friday, December 10, 2004

How can anyone living in INSANE LUXURY be a STAR today?

Actor and political commentator Ben Stein (pictured right) observes in his Dec. 10, 2003 column:
How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a star we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails. They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer.

... A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he ws guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.
For many years, actor and political commentator Ben Stein wrote a biweekly column online for called "Monday Night At Morton's." Stein reportedly recently ended the column, named for an upscale restaurant, about which he says:
I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.... I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path.
Read more here.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Fr. Louis Bouyer, rest in peace

Fr. Louis Bouyer, a Lutheran convert to the Catholic Faith who subsequently became one of the leading Catholic theologians and liturgical scholars, died on October 22, 2004. A friend of Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and J.R.R. Tolkien, and a co-founder of the international review Communio, Bouyer converted to Catholicism in 1939. His book, The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism, is an apologia for his conversion that has influenced many a subsequent convert to Rome. Specifically, he argues that many of the positive elements in Protestantism, such as the call for a personal converstion to Christ, can only hope to survive and flourish in the long run if rooted in the living organism of the Catholic Church. Though he is best known for his excellent writings on the history of Christian spirituality, he also became a leading figure in the Catholic Biblical and Liturgical movements of the twentieth century and was involved in the proceedings of the Second Vatican Council (pictured right). In fact, he was a member of the Concilium commissioned by Pope Paul VI and organized under the leadership of Cardinal Annibale Bugnini to write the blueprint for the liturgical reforms of Vatican II. Bouyer, who was initially enthused about the prospect of liturgical renewal, became rapidly jaded between 1964 and 1968 when it became clear that Bugnini was railroading through his own radical implementation of the Vatican II reforms that Msgr. Klaus Gamber and Cardinal Ratzinger would later describe as a "rupture" with tradition. Bouyer published his own account of the matter the following year in The Decomposition of Catholicism (1969). [For several excerpts from Bouyer on this issue, click here.]

I first heard about Bouyer back in the late 1980s when I was just beginning to consider the prospect of converting myself. I don't remember if was in a phone conversation with Scott Hahn or in an essay by someone like Tom Howard, but I got a copy of his The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism from the library and read it through. Despite the less-than-perfect English translation, I was impressed by the appreciation he had for his Protestant past, particularly in his detailed review of features in Luthernism, Calvinism, and Methodism that no Catholic could deny were positive. In fact, the whole first half of the book seemed to reaffirm the major positive insights and contributions of Protestantism. There was note of the hostility towards one's former position that one typically finds in converts. But then, in the second half of the book, Bouyer gently but firmly goes on to show where each of these Protestant traditions goes wrong in hiving off to try and start something new, when the Church cannot be erased and started over again, like the French Revolution tried to start history over again by declaring the calendar year one! Needless to say, Bouyer's book had a profound impact, and I would recommend it highly, perhaps especially for Lutherans, since Bouyer was a Lutheran.

Some years ago the Aquinas-Luther Conference at Lenoir-Rhyne College was devoted to the subject of liturgy, and I remember trying to see if we could get Fr. Bouyer to come and speak at the conference. He would have been ideal, given his Lutheran background and Catholic affiliation. I remember contacting a Catholic nun I had met at a conference on Cardinal Newman's work in Rensselaer, Indiana, who personally knew Bouyer, but she said that he was in his mid-eighties then and would likely not be permitted by his physician to make the trans-Atlantic flight even if he were personally willing to undertake the project.

In any case Bouyer's passing seems to have passed almost unnoticed so far. Perhaps he would have wanted it that way. Like Cardinal Newman, he was a quiet Oratorian, a member of the French Congregation of the Oratory founded by Cardinal Pierre de Berulle in the 17th century and patterned after the original 16th century Oratory of St. Philip Neri. After the Second Vatican Council, he seemed almost to fade away. One thinks of the words of General Douglas MacArthur: "old soldiers never die, they just fade away." But certainly he deserves a flood of tributes. Requiescat in Pace, Father Bouyer, and thank you for all your wonderful gifts!!!

The following are a few of Fr. Louis Bouyer's writings. These are highly recommended for those who wish to better their understanding of Catholic-Protestant relations, as well as the Church's liturgical and spiritual traditions:

Other writings by and about Louis Bouyer on the web: (courtesy of Christopher Blosser:

Friday, December 03, 2004

Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

Patrick Henry Reardon, a priest of the Antiochean Orthodox tradition and editor of Touchstone magazine, weighs in on the current separation of Church and State debate with a provocative essay entitled "Free Press & Pulpit: On the First Amendment." This article was used (with permission of the author) as a basis for the December Colloquium of the Center for Theology at Lenoir-Rhyne College, with Dr. J. Larry Yoder leading the discussion.

One of the issue to surface, left unaddressed by Reardon, was the issue of the tax-exempt status of Churches. While some present felt the question irrelevant, others pressed the issue, some arguing on the one hand that this should prevent churches getting mixed up in politics, others arguing that churches ought to abandon their tax exempt status in order to freely address the public square and endorse political candidates.

It seems to me that one of Reardon's most salient points was implicit in his title: "Free Press and Pulpit." The press has traditionally been seen as the public arena where "the facts" (policy issues, etc.) are freely addressed and debated. The Church has been viewed for some time as properly belonging to the sphere of private and personal "values" (religious and moral beliefs). This distinction conforms to the post-Kantian bifurcation of "facts" and "values." The problem, however, as we now see clearly, is that the press does not withhold its value-judgments in addressing various public policy issues. Likewise, Church teaching is replete with implications for the public sphere of politics. The "fact" vs. "value" dichotomy, as tidy as it looks, just doesn't work. The fact is, genuine values (the immorality of rape and murder, the goodness of courage and mercy) themselves are facts, as Peter Kreeft notes in his book, A Refutation of Moral Relativism. The upshot of Reardon's article, at least in my reading of it, is that the Church ought to be freely proclaiming her teachings, and she shouldn't be hesitant to do so just because these teachings have implications for public policy, as do Church teachings (at least of the Catholic and Orthodox churches) on such matters as abortion, stem-cell research, and same-sex "marriage."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Ratzinger Fan Club webmaster interviewed by Ignatius Insight

Since Cardinal Ratzinger was the Featured Author for the month of November on Ignatius Insight, the online magazine of Ignatius Press, the editors thought it made good sense to interview the folks behind the Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club website. So they contacted Christopher Blosser, the webmaster and creator of and conducted a wide-ranging interview about Cardinal Ratzinger, his profile in the Church and world today, and how the website was begun. The interview is informative and brilliant.

Alright-alright-alright! Don't just sit there and smile indulgently at the bias of this proud father. Read for yourself and see if I'm not right! C'mon! Hey! You!! You talkin' to me?! You talkin' to ME?!! HEY!!! Read the two-part interview here ...