Podcast of Controversies in Church History, a monthly lecture series for Catholic young adults that takes place in Kansas City, Missouri. Each talk is recorded as a podcast each month during the academic year.
*The talk is a bit rambling, as it was recorded while I was traveling. Apologies for any confusion or difficulty in listening.*
In 1967, students and faculty at a weekend retreat at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania experienced what they believed was a movement of the Holy Spirit, which led them to embrace what they called "baptism in the Holy Spirit," a form of spirituality and devotion previously found in Pentecostal Christianity. Since the late 60s, the Catholic Charismatics have made up a growing but controversial part of the global Catholic Church.
The final installment of Controversies in Church History will discuss the historical origins and theology of the Catholic Charismatic movement within the Catholic Church, and discuss why it has sometimes become an object of controversy.
Dignitatis Humanae, the document on religious liberty issued by the second Vatican Council, states that "that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power." And yet, nearly a century before, pope Pius IX condemned the proposition that "every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which...he shall consider true."
Because it seemed to contradict previous magisterial teachings, Dignitatis Humanae has caused controversy ever since its promulgation. On April 25, Controversies in Church History will look at the history of the Church's teaching on religious freedom since the 19th century and its bearing on the status of Dignitatis Humanae.
In the early twentieth century, a group of Catholic scholars tried to argue that the Catholic Church needed to adapt fundamental doctrines of its faith to match with the findings of modern historical and biblical scholarship. In doing so, they challenged both some of the most fundamental doctrines of the Catholic faith, as well as the authority of its hierarchy. In this lecture, we give a broad overview of the causes that led these scholars to deny traditional Church teaching, and why Pope Pius X condemned their beliefs as "the synthesis of all heresies." NOTE: this is a re-recording of the talk given on March 28, 2020, which was not recorded due to technical difficulties.
A presentation on the history of how the Catholic Church has navigated the issues surrounding the scientific theory of evolution, what its teaching is regarding evolution, and how it came to that position.
My lecture on the theory of doctrinal development in the Catholic Church from the publication of St. John Henry Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845) to our present day, given via Zoom January 31, 2020.
This episode of Catholic Lives focuses on the extraordinary Esther Wheelwright (1696-1780). Born in a Puritan family in colonial Massachusetts, she was abducted from her family at age seven by a Native American tribe, eventually converted to Catholicism and became mother superior in a convent of colonial Canada.
Our eighth installment of Catholic Lives is a two for one deal! We look at the lives of two men loyal to the Confederacy during the American Civil War, one of whom entered the Catholic Church after the war was over. Father Abram Ryan (1838-1886) was a priest and poet, know both for his poetry eulogizing the fallen South but also for his great preaching and love for the Catholic faith. James Longstreet (1821-1904) was the second in command to Robert E. Lee during the war, and afterwards became a pariah in the South for criticizing Lee's decision making at Gettysburg.
My lecture on the history of how and why the encyclical Humanae Vitae was promulgated in 1968 as well as the fierce reaction the encyclical and its continuing legacy for the Catholic Church today. Recorded on Facebook Live May 27 (the audio makes reference to visual slides, but is otherwise intelligible.)
My talk from April 27.
The Case of Edgaro Mortara
A. The Story
1. In Bologna, Edgaro Mortara baptized secretly by wet nurse, 1851
2. Holy Office informed of baptism, 1858
3. Papal police remove Edgaro from his family, June 24
B. Why Now?
1. David Kirtzer, The Kidnapping of Edgaro Mortara (1997)
2. The beatification of Pius IX (2000)
3. Hollywood to the rescue
4. Publication of the Mortara memoirs, 2016
C. Preliminary Remarks
1. Liberalism: a definition
2. Anti-Judaism vs anti-Semitism
II. The Papacy and the Jews, 1789-1848
A. Relations Before Pius IX
1. Condition of Jews in the Middle Ages
2. Post Reformation: forced baptisms
3. Impact of the French Revolution
B. Pius IX and the Jews
1. Relations before coming pope
2. Paternalistic charity
3. Qui Pluribus (1846)
4. The Papal State constitution of 1848
III. The Church and the Risorgimento, 1848-1858
A. The Papacy and Italian Nationalism
1. Mazzini and Young Italy
2. Revolt of the middle classes
3. Nationalism and the “Jewish” question
B. Pius IX and the Revolution of 1848
1. Pius refuses war with Austria
2. Murder of Rossini; Pius flees Rome
3. Roman Republic declared, condemned by Pius
4. Pope restored by French troops, 1849
C. Pius and the Jews after the Revolution
1. Restoration of Jewish inequality
2. Response to Jewish grievances
3. Legal exemption, not legal equality
4. Why Pius IX refused to emancipate Jews
D. Cavour and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia (1848-1858)
1. The journal Risorgimento
2. “A free church in a free state”
3. The parliamentary elections of 1857
IV. “Non Possumus”: the Mortara Affair
A. The Mortara Family and the Vatican
1. Family appeals to the Vatican
2. The invocation of Aquinas
3. Response of the Holy Office
4. Why Pius refused their request
B. An International Scandal
1. Papal allies: Austria, France
2. Cavour and Napoleon
3. British diplomacy
4. Moses Montefiore and Jewish opinion
1. The Mortara family’s grief
2. Triumph of the Risorgimento, 1859-1861
3. Papal States abolished, Italy united, 1870
4. Edgaro Mortara ordained priest, 1873
V. Assessing the Case
A. Judgment of Pius IX
1. Pius was wrong
2. Baptism and its discontents
3. Pius as a foil for modernity
4. Should Pius be canonized?
B. The Mortara Case and the Jewish People
1. The Church’s responsibility for antisemitism
2. Infallible, not impeccable
3. Temptations of sanctity
My lecture on the medieval reform movement of the 11th and 12th centuries, given at Guardian Angels parish in KCMO, on January 27, 2020. In it, we describe how reforming clergy reshaped the Church and assert its authority against the interference of secular authority.
My lecture on the schism between the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Churches of the East (primarily Constantinople), given at Guardian Angels parish in KCMO, December 2, 2019. It details how the schism came about and examines some of its causes.
This is a recording of my talk on the First Council of Nicaea, given Monday September 30th, at Guardian Angels Parish in Kansas City, MO. (There is a slight dead period in the recording somewhere in the middle, where I had to do some finagling of my powerpoint slides. FYI)
My talk from September 2018, in which I discuss the religious wars which plagued Europe during the Reformation period, culminating in the Thirty Years War. Was Christianity responsible for the violent wars of the period? Or were there other factors which complicate this received picture of the era? Listen to find out!
This episode was recorded in August of 2018, and featured a guest speaker, Dr. Ezekiel Stear, who gave a lecture on the history behind the Spanish Conquest of the Americas in the 16th century. (Note: you may need to turn the sound up for this episode, as the lecture was not recorded at a very high volume for some reason).
The recording of my lecture of April 2018 on the topic of the Church and the Holocaust. It discusses some of the accusations leveled against the Church, particularly against Pope Pius XII, and what type of defense Catholics should make when confronted with them.
My talk from March of 2018, in which I discuss the First Vatican Ecumenical Council (1870), called to deal with issues of church government, and more specifically, the definition of papal infallibility. It covers the religious and political background to this important council, which would set the stage for much of the modern Church, and especially the modern papacy.
This special Fourth of July episode focuses on the life of Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832), the Catholic landowner, politician and businessman who signed the Declaration of Independence, and helped transform an anti-Catholic British colony into a part of a union one of whose basic rights was religious freedom.
This week's episode of Catholic Lives recalls the life of Barnaba Chiaramonti (1742-1823), known to history as Pope Pius VII (1800-1823), the pope who dealt with the aftermath of the French Revolution in Europe, including the general and statesman Napoleon Bonaparte, whom he excommunicated in 1809.
Our talk given in February 2018 on the condemnation of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) will discuss why the Inquisition condemned his word. The Galileo affair is often used by polemicists against the Catholic Church, to demonstrate its supposed opposition to scientific inquiry, but our talk discusses the historical background, which does not fit the conventional narrative, and actually exonerates the Church from much (though not all) of the calumnies it has received over the centuries.
In this episode of Catholic Lives, we discuss the heroism of Witold Pilecki (pronounced Vitold Piletski, 1901-1948), a member of the Polish resistance against the Nazi occupation of Poland who volunteered to enter the concentration camp of Auschwitz to gain information. Captain Pilecki wrote a hundred page report on the camp, and both it and his life testify to the enduring power of the Catholic faith and the human spirit.
Today we take a brief look at the life of Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos (1404-1453), the last Emperor of the Romans, who came to the throne of Constantinople at the very end of the Roman (i.e. "Byzantine") empire's life, and fought a heroic 52 day siege against Ottoman forces before succumbing in May of 1453.
This is a recording of my talk at Our Lady of Sorrows in KCMO on the Inquisition. It give a broad overview of how the Church has treated heretics, how an "inquisition" as a legal process was established in the Middle Ages, debunks some myths about its destructiveness, and explains how it came to used in propaganda against the Church from the Reformation onward.
The latest episode focuses on Dhuoda, the 9th noble woman known to us only through her Handbook, the work she wrote for her eldest son William. Dhuoda's handbook instructs her son on how to live a Christian life, and prepare him for public life as an aristocrat. Written during a time of war an turmoil during the Carolingian period, Dhuoda's handbook is a testament to a life filled with grief but also a strong and enduring Catholic faith.
This is a recording from my talk way back in October of 2017 on the Crusades. It is a long one, but covers the controversy over the Crusades, their nature, and whether or not such conflicts were compatible with Christian beliefs. Enjoy!
The final talk for Controversies in Church History for the 2018-2019 academic school year, on the liturgical changes since Vatican II. Recorded at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church on Monday, April 29, 2019.
Our latest talk on Monday, March, 25 2019: "Necessary Additions? The Marian Dogmas, 1854 & 1950." In this talk, we explore the background behind the papal definitions of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and why popes Pius IX and Pius XII felt the need to define these dogmas when they did.
The first episode of a new series I am calling "Catholic Lives." Each episode will be a brief look at the lives of Catholics in history who have been overlooked or not as well known to our listeners. For our first episode, recorded shortly after St. Patrick's Day, we will look at the brief but fascinating career of the Battalion of St. Patrick, a unit in the Mexican army during the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-1848, comprised entirely of former American soldiers who had deserted the U. S. Army to fight for Mexico. Please subscribe, like and share this podcast--please help us spread the word!