"No institution has done more to shape the West than the Church....[Yet] The Catholic Church... has come in for a bad press....many people are only aware of the darker parts of Church history....
"Western civilization...does not derive exclusively from Catholicism. Nevertheless, it is easy to forget just how much the Church contributed in such areas as art, music, architecture, science and law.
"A strongly negative view still persists regarding the Middle Ages, even though...just about all historians have now rejected the old prejudice of this period as the 'Dark Ages.' While there was indeed a period of decline in the sixth and seventh centuries, this was due to barbarian invasions and constant wars. The destruction would have been worse if it had not been for the Church's efforts at maintaining some kind of order.
"Modern civilization owes a particular debt to the work of countless monks during the Middle Ages....It was in the monasteries that the great Roman texts were copied and preserved for future generations....
"The medieval monasteries were also vital in the development of agriculture....the many thousands of Benedictine establishments played a crucial role in clearing and developing land. They also introduced the local populations to important techniques, such as cattle rearing, cheese making, water management and raising bees. Cistercian monasteries also played a vital role...in areas such as the development of water power and metallurgy....
"Far from being a period of ignorance the Middle Ages saw the birth of the university system. The Church was at the center of this advance, which took off in the second half of the 12th century in centers established in Paris, Bologna, Oxford and Cambridge. The papacy...also played a central role in establishing and encouraging the universities....
"Modern science also owes a large debt to the Catholic Church. Most people remember the Church's conflict with Galileo, which was not nearly so negative as popular myths would have it....The Church was at the center of scientific advances, with many clergymen combining their divine vocation with an interest in science.
"In the 13th century, the Dominican St Albert the Great, for example, was considered one of the precursors of modern science. And Robert Grosseteste, chancellor of Oxford University and bishop of Lincoln, is...considered to have been one of the most knowledgeable men of the Middle Ages. He was, among other accomplishments, the first to write down a complete set of steps for performing a scientific experiment.
"The Church's involvement with science would continue in later centuries. In the 17th century Father Nicolaus Steno of Denmark was credited with setting down most of the principles of modern geology. And in the 17th and 18th centuries the Jesuits made many important contributions to science, particularly in areas such as mathematics and astronomy.
"Art and architecture also owe a great debt to the Catholic Church. When the iconoclasts, who were opposed to images of religious figures, sought the destruction of religious art in the eighth and ninth centuries, it was the Church that resisted this heresy.
"In the following centuries Catholic patronage, through the construction of the great cathedrals and the commissioning of innumerable works of art, was at the center of European art and architecture. The popes, in particular, as patrons of many great artists were behind the production of many masterpieces....
"The discovery and conquest of the New World presented Catholic theologians with the task of developing what should be the legal and ethical principles governing the treatment of the native peoples in the new territories. One of the best-known of these thinkers was Francisco de Vitoria, a Dominican who is credited with helping to lay the foundations of modern international law. He defended the principle that all men are equally free and have the same right to life, culture and property.
"Vitoria, along with other figures such as fellow Dominican Bartolomé de las Casas, played an important role in defending the native populations against those who sought to treat them as a subhuman class, thus legitimizing slavery and other kinds of ill treatment. Injustices were committed in spite of these efforts..., but the Spanish theologians made important contributions to concepts such as natural rights and the just war.
"Many other aspects of Western legal systems also owe their origin to the Church....canon law, was the first systematic body of law developed in medieval Europe and formed the basis for subsequent secular legal systems.
"Church influence was vital in ensuring, for example, that a valid marriage required the free consent of both the man and the woman. And the Church's defense of human life meant that the Greek and Roman practice of infanticide was discontinued. Other barbaric practices such as trial by battle or blood feuds were eventually discouraged due to the Church's influence. Canon lawyers also introduced principles such as reducing legal liability due to mitigating circumstances....
"From the first centuries the Church sought to alleviate the suffering caused by famines and diseases. Inspired by the Gospel the faithful were encouraged to donate money to the Church to be used to help those in need.
"In the early Church, hospices were organized to care for pilgrims, ransomed slaves and the poor. Other groups, such as widows and orphans, also benefited from institutions set up by the Church. The establishment of hospitals on a large scale also stems from initiatives organized by the Catholic Church from the fourth century onward. And, during the Middle Ages, monasteries became the providers of medical care in many areas.
"The extent of this aid was such that many who were otherwise hostile to Catholics, ...such as Voltaire, ...paid tribute to the Church's charitable work.
[When] "King Henry VIII suppressed the monasteries in England and confiscated their properties the subsequent loss of charitable aid led to civil uprisings in some parts. And the nationalization of Church property during the French Revolution meant that more than a half-century afterward, in 1847, France had 47% fewer hospitals than in 1789.
"Woods concludes by affirming 'So ingrained are the concepts that Catholicism introduced into the world that very often even movements opposing it are nevertheless imbued with Christian ideals.' The Catholic Church, he continues, 'did not merely contribute to Western civilization -- the Church built that civilization.' Contemporary civilization has cut itself off from this foundation more and more, ...in many cases with negative consequences" (Zenit News Agency, 6/4/05).
Moral Decision Making 101
- "Natural law" is Not a Defense of the Status Quo
- A Truly Golden Compass
- Even Masterpieces Can Have Serious Blemishes
- Father John C. Ford, SJ Deserves Better!
- Like It or Not, We are Still "Cooperating" with the Heinous Sins of Planned Parenthood
- NOT a Stand Alone Survey of Philosophy
- Not Only Unethical But Impractical, Too!
- re: the Natural Law (Bucks Cty Courier Times, 3/6/03)
- Remote Cooperation
- The Compendium of the Catechism, Part 3 (a study guide)
- The Courage to Stand for Truth
- Truth is a Many Splendored Thing
- “Loyal Dissent” or “An Overall and Systematic Calling into Question of Traditional Moral Doctrine”?
Monday, December 11, 2006
Western Civilization - Anti-Catholic biases in its presentation
The author of "How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization" is Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D. (who received his doctorate from Columbia). As per an interview with Dr. Woods,
Posted by Bioethics and More! at 8:11 AM
The Church, the Culture, & the Treatment of People with Disabilities
- * A Wonderful Education About Down Syndrome
- * The Catholic Church & People with Disabilities
- * For the Deaf & Hard of Hearing: Their Lives are Sacred
- * The Catholic Families of Individuals with Disabilities
- * How should we proclaim the Good News to those who cannot hear?
- * An Ethics Chair for Springer?
- * re: "Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus"
- * We Can Recapture the Spirit that Cherishes All Human Life
- * "Well Done. Good & Faithful Servant"
- * Cherish Children with Disabilities
- * This Book Needs 'the Church'"
- * Ethical Treatment of People with Significant Cognitive or Psychiatric Impairments: Two Issues
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- For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Their Lives are ...
- re: "Bought With a Price: Pornography & the Attack...
- Isn't Providing Food & Water Part of Hospice (B.C....
- re: "Redemptionis Sacramentum"
- excerpts from Pope Benedict XVI’s 1/28/06 Address ...
- The need for public transportation (Bucks Cty Cour...
- Western Civilization - Anti-Catholic biases in its...
- Clinton Legacy: poor Grow Poorer (Bucks Cty Courie...
- On Papal Infallibility (Bucks Cty Courier Times, 2...
- Science in Faith, Faith in Science (Times of Trent...
- Sharing the Faith - a Study Guide for the Catechis...
- re: "Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding th...
- The Catholic Families of Individuals with Disabili...
- We Can Recapture the Spirt that Cherishes All Huma...
- Honor St. Patrick not with Beer but with Devotion ...
- Empty Tomb (Bucks Cty Courier Times, 6/8/06)
- The Hillary Plan (Bucks Cty Courier Times, 2001)
- Shared Responsibility to Those on the Streets (Buc...
- People are Not Commodities (Times of Trenton, 7/11...
- Population Growth Not the Problem (Times of Trento...
- "Just War" analysis still can't ignore the sanctit...
- re: "Catholics & Contraception: an American Histor...
- The Link between Natural Family Planning & Long Ma...
- Unexpected Legacy: No Fault Divorce a Modern Day S...
- The Indebtedness of the "Theology of the Body" to ...
- "Making Moral Decisions" - start by not buying thi...
- Nutrition & Hydration (5/13/05)
- Emergency So-Called Contraception (5/13/05)
- Be honest about Plan B (Bucks Cty Courier Times, 9...
- Need Does Not Justify the Destruction of Human Lif...
- "Good Care, Painful Choices" - Excrutiating Readin...
- The Companion to JP II and the Theology of the Bod...
- Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body - a study...
- An Ethics Chair for Springer? (Times of Trenton, 1...
- re: the Natural Law (Bucks Cty Courier Times, 3/6/...
- All Dogs Go to Heaven?
- The Church & the Tax Exempt Status
- “Some Catholic schools quiet on pharmacy ethics”
- The Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancies (2/3/07)
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Remarkable resources discovered on YouTube & the net:
- "28 Days on the Pill"
- "A Baby Changes Everything"
- "Angry 'Dr. Death' on defensive"
- "Let's Talk About Natural Family Planning" (an interesting perspective)
- "Let's Talk About Natural Family Planning" (an interesting perspective)
- "Life Will Triumph"
- "Terri Schiavo Remembered"
- A Newsanchor Proclaiming Christianity as the Path to Redemption
- Amazing NFP video!
- Bonanza's "The Quality of Mercy" (1963)
- Brian Gail
- Catholic Annulment, part 1
- Catholic Annulment, part 2
- Dietrich von Hildebrand
- Dr. Daniel Greene Answers Common NFP questions
- Dr. Hilgers & Dr. Raviele
- Dr. Hilgers at Ave Maria University (May 2009)
- Grisez, Germain. Christian Moral Principles, Franciscan Press, 1983
- Grisez, Germain. Difficult Moral Questions, Franciscan Press, 1997
- Grisez, Germain. Living a Christian Life, Franciscan Press, 1993
- John & Yoko on So-Called "Over" Population
- Kennedy Protege Coakley's Opposition to Conscience Protection & Religious Freedom
- Mother Teresa Quotes
- NFP vs. Contraception
- Stop Abortifacients
- Symposium for Catholic Medical Professionals (includes Drs. Janet Smith & John Bruchalski)
- The Billings Method & NaPro Technology
- The Catholic Church - Builder of Civilization
- The Silent Scream
- The Vatican's Archbishop Burke Discussing Canon 915
- Trading on the Female Body
- Truth Booth: A Window to the Womb