Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today on Kresta - July 1, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 1

4:00 – Many Are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood
In Many Are Called, Dr. Scott Hahn enthusiastically encourages Catholics around the world to renew their focus on the sacred role of the Catholic priest. Using his unique ability to present deep spiritual and theological ideas in the language of everyday life, Dr. Hahn examines the biblical and historical roots of the priesthood to explain the centrality of the priest in the life of the Church. He brings reinvigorated attention to the many roles of the priest—provider, mediator, protector, teacher, judge, and more—all of which are united in the priest's place as spiritual father to God's people, and ultimately he shows that it is through the priest, empowered by God, that the continuing presence of Jesus Christ makes itself known to our world.

5:00 – Israel: Whose Land is it?
Recently the nation was discussing the Helen Thomas broujaja and the question of who "owns" the land of Israel/Palestine inevitably arose. Jimmy Akin is here - not to solve that long-standing and thorny question in this blog post - but to offer some considerations that need to be taken into account when forming an opinion on the subject.

5:40 - Supremacy and Survival - How Catholics Endured the English Reformation
The persecution of Catholics began in 16th century England and tested the Church for over 250 years. Penal laws labeled Catholic believers as traitors and brought fines, imprisonment, and even execution. Prominent persons such as Thomas More, Edmund Campion, and Margaret Clitherow were martyred, while others quietly endured suspicion or harassment to teach and pass on their faith to others, but died peacefully in their beds. The official persecution slowly subsided as threats to England's external power waned in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, intellectual converts such as John Henry Newman and Henry Manning brought the merits of Catholicism a new respect in the eyes of Protestant public opinion. With the canonization of Cardinal Newman coming later this year, Stephanie Mann is here to tell the story of the Catholic Church's survival and restoration in one land. It serves both as a lesson and a warning of the risks to faith and freedom when absolute power is given free reign.


  1. Listeners can find out more about my book on and keep up with my almanac of research on my blog at

  2. As part of a Church History class I'm currently taking, I just finished reading the chapters on the English Reformation in Justo Gonzalez's book "The History of Christianity Volume 2." I appreciated Professor Mann's mention that Henry came to question if God was punishing his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and that he thought of himself as a Catholic throughout his life. Too often the issues get simplified down to "Henry wanted a divorce and the Pope said 'no'" ignoring some of the political and religious overtones.

    That said, I was disappointed that no mention was made of the extreme persecution of the Protestants under "Bloody" Mary Tudor. It's true that Elizabeth was persecuted Catholics in her reign, but Mary executed almost as many Protestants in during a reign that was 1/10th the length of Elizabeth's!

    Really, for all of Western Christianity, the Reformation was not a proud moment. I think oftentimes both Protestants and Catholics mythologize the era. It really represents some of the worst of Christian history.

  3. Isaac, we were going so fast I did not have time to cover the campaign against heresy under Mary I. Mr. Kresta said we'd try to schedule another interview so we could go more in depth. See my website for my article in First Things last year and my book for my treatment of Mary I. Thanks for listening.

  4. Al,
    Thanks for interviewing Jimmy Akin and James Paharik, both of whom bring thoughtful analysis to the issue of Palestine. That kind of fair discussion cannot be found anywhere else on Christian radio or conservative talk radio, where Arab hatred seems to be the overriding motivation.

    I think the Palestinian Arabs got a raw deal in 1947 when the U.N. passed Resolution 181, which partitioned Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Thirty three traditionally Christian countries (albeit a few of them were communist at the time) voted to give 56 percent of the land to the Jews, even though Jews were only 32 percent of the population. (That 56 percent of the land given to the Jews included the large Negev desert to the south. It's a wasteland, but it allowed Jews access to the Red Sea. The Arab city of Beersheba, a strategic city in the Negev, was located in the Arab portion of the partition, but Israel took it over in the 1948 war. In the 1950s, Israel created the city of Dimona in the Negev and built their nuclear complex nearby.)

    Here are some interesting maps concerning the 1947 partition. This map, from Wikipedia's entry on the U.N. partition plan, shows the original partition boundaries. This demographic map, at, shows the population distribution in Palestine by district in 1946. Note that the Jews had a majority population in only one district, that being Jaffa. Also note that the land around the Sea of Galilee was majority Arab. Nevertheless, the U.N. gave that land to the Jews. This map, also at, shows the percentage of land ownership by district in 1945. Finally, this map from Wikipedia, shows how the countries voted on U.N. Resolution 181.

    I recommend The Teaching Company lectures called "The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 911," presented by Salim Yaqub, who now teaches history at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He taught at the University of Chicago when he made the Teaching Company lectures. He gives, at least to me, an informative and balanced presentation of our Middle Eastern foreign policy. From the Teaching Company website: "Dr. Yaqub is also the son of an American mother and a Palestinian father. His father taught at the American University in Beirut, and the family lived in the expatriate American community while Dr. Yaqub was a high school student in the 1970s." Yaqub does not have an accent. He has a clear American voice, although he occasionally stammers. These lectures might be at your local library.

    The U.S. State Department opposed the partition plan; President Truman was for it. According to Yaqub, Truman's advisors, Clark Clifford and David Niles, without Truman's explicit approval, and possibly without his knowledge, pressured other countries to vote for partition. The Philippines had initially planned to vote against partition, but changed its position when Truman's underlings hinted that U.S. aid to the country might be affected by a negative vote. Similarly, they hinted to Latin American delegations that construction of the Pan-American highway might not go forward if they voted the wrong way.

    Al, I really liked your March 25 interview with James Paharik. Your listeners should go to the Kresta archives and listen to it. I hope you have him on again.