Faith in Action Blog
A frequent guest on the Catholic Answers Live radio program, Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) recently ventured into less friendly airwaves. At the recommendation of the office of Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput, Dr. de Solenni appeared on an episode of NPR’s “On Point” to discuss the topic, “Ordaining Women Priests.” Despite being outnumbered — her two fellow panelists were both excommunicated Catholic dissidents, and the host and most of the callers decidedly took their side — she did a commendable job of defending the all-male priesthood as instituted by Christ. To quote from her opening remarks:
“In order to understand the Church’s position on this you have to go to a more metaphysical reality, and that is the relationship between Christ and the Church. From the perspective of Catholic theology, that relationship between Christ and the Church is spousal; it’s husband and wife, bridegroom and bride. And the priest is seen as someone who — in the Latin we say is in persona Christi — he’s someone who is in the person of Christ. And it doesn’t mean he just stands in for Christ, it means he really takes on the person of Christ, and that’s why in the Mass he’s able to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. So for Catholics that’s not a symbol that’s an actual reality, and this relationship between Christ and the Church is not a symbol, it’s an actual reality. So when we talk about all-male priesthood it’s because that man who becomes a priest is actually representing Christ in His fullness, which includes His maleness.”
To be sure, reading the sermons of Bl. John Henry Newman is inspiring, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear them? Now you can, thanks to the voice of Michael Six (’79) who plays the part of the blessed cardinal in a new audiobook of His Eminence’s homilies produced by Catholic Audio Publishing. (A sample of the recordings, featuring the sermons Bl. John Henry gave after his entrance into the Church, is available here.)
Meanwhile, Mr. Six’s wife, Julia (Schmitt ’81), recently graduated with a master’s degree in theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (religious studies division) in Philadelphia. She is currently teaching theology at DeSales University in Center Valley, Penn.
Over at National Review Online, Greg Pfundstein (’05) has written a new article, The Misguided Birth Control Crusade Continues, in which he critiques the Obama Administration’s requirement that all insurance plans fully cover contraceptive devices and sterilization surgery. Writes Mr. Pfundstein:
“President Johnson’s fruitless War on Poverty kicked off the nation’s misguided birth-control crusade with grants for ‘family planning’ in 1965. The effort was redoubled in 1970 when, thanks to the efforts of John D. Rockefeller III and George H. W. Bush, Title X of the Public Health Service Act was signed into law by Richard Nixon the day after Christmas. Since 1970, the out-of-wedlock birthrate has tripled to 41 percent. With the help of the Supreme Court with its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, we have also seen the number of abortions spike through the 1980s and reach an equilibrium today at between 1.2 and 1.3 million annually. Both results are at least unexpected from the perspective of a public policy based on the premise that access to contraception will decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies. But perhaps such an outcome should not be surprising.”
Mr. Pfundstein is the Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, non-profit philanthropy in New York. He holds a licentiate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America, and serves on both the Patient’s Rights Council and the Pro-Life Commission of the Archdiocese of New York.
Dr. Nathan Schmiedicke (’00) appeared on the July 3 episode of EWTN’s “Sunday Night Prime” with host Fr. Benedict Groeschel, discussing the subject, “Studying the Bible at Home.” Dr. Schmiedicke is a Scripture scholar at the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, where he is the director theology and biblical studies. Watch the video from his appearance here:
Listeners to the top-rated Catholic radio program in the United States will recognize the voices of two prominent Thomas Aquinas College alumni: Rev. Sebastian Walshe, O.Praem. (’94), and Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93). Both have appeared on several recent episodes of Catholic Answers Live, which is broadcast on hundreds of terrestrial stations nationwide, and is also available via Sirius satellite radio, streaming audio, and podcast.
Fr. Sebastian, a professor of philosophy at the Norbertines’ St. Michael’s Abbey Seminary in Orange County, Calif., will be the chaplain for Thomas Aquinas College’s 2011 High School Summer Program. Follow the links below to listen to or download his appearance on four Catholic Answers Live episodes:
- The Role of Logic in Apologetics (May 7)
- Are You Predestined? (February 10)
- The Nature of Prophecy (December 6, 2010)
- Can Doctrine Develop? (April 26, 210)
An ethicist and cultural commentator, Dr. de Solenni is an expert on issues relating to women’s health, feminism, and the culture at large. Below are links to two Catholic Answers Live episodes for which she was the featured guest:
Dr. de Solenni was the 2001 recipient of the Pontifical Academies Prize for her doctoral dissertation, which examined various feminist theories in light of the anthropology and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.