Thursday, 1/2/14

  1. Petitio principii
  2. World poverty chart
  3. Christian blog commenters
  4. Distributism in two nutshells


Cardinal Manning wrote, “The appeal to antiquity is both a treason and a heresy. It is a treason because it rejects the divine voice of the church at this hour, and a heresy because it denies that voice to be divine.” Elsewhere Manning commented, “The appeal from the living voice of the Church to any tribunal whatsoever, human history included, is an act of private judgment and a treason because that living voice is supreme; and to appeal from that supreme voice is also a heresy because that voice by divine assistance is infallible.” In other words, [a] person must begin … study of history assuming that Catholicism is already true. This circular approach makes it difficult for Roman Catholic theologians to come to an objective assessment of the history record, though they frequently make appeals to the church fathers for polemical purposes.

(Robin Phillips)


Kate Pitrone at Postmodern Conservative comments on the world poverty rate. Take it with a grain of salt (and cross-reference Item 4), but we almost certainly should take it.


Dale Coulter at First Things offers a taxonomy of commenters in the Christian blogosphere.

  • Heresy Hunters
  • Quotation Hounds
  • Disciples
  • Ecclesial Evangelists
  • Theo-politicos
  • Discoverers of Deeper, Hidden Meaning
  • Précis People
  • Literalists

I think I’m one of the Précis People, but I know I’m a recovering Ecclesial Evangelist. Because, really, all that’s good and true in any tradition was there in Orthodoxy all along.

Oops. There I go again.


Distributism is difficult to grasp in a world divided by political paradigms, in a dichotomy which pits charity and justice against one another. When we are asked what is distributism, the finest answer we can provide is that at the core of distributism is love. This year, 2014, let us renew our love of God and of our neighbor.

(Distributist Review) I also like the explanation of Distributism as a system that thinks so highly of capitalism that it wants to multiply capitalists by ten, a hundred, a thousand times, making more people the owners of their own means of production, fewer dependent on someone else’s good will or “job” offers.

According to distributists, property ownership is a fundamental right and the means of production should be spread as widely as possible rather than being centralized under the control of the state (state socialism) or of accomplished individuals (laissez-fairecapitalism). Distributism therefore advocates a society marked by widespread property ownership and, according to co-operative economist Race Mathews, maintains that such a system is key to bringing about a just social order.

(Wikipedia, footnotes omitted)

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.