Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Solid, Thought-Provoking Catholic Articles by Fellow Metro Detroit Resident Dr. Robert Fastiggi

I first met Bob Fastiggi (Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit) at a party about five years ago, I think, at my friend Gary Michuta's house. Gary is an apologist who debated James White in May 2004 on the question of the deuterocanonical books.

We both live in the Detroit metro area. There are a few semi-humorous stories to be told here. In 1990, I used to go to the library at the seminary where Bob teaches (a glorious old building in a cool-looking older neighborhood where Ty Cobb and Henry Ford used to live, and close to the church where Aretha Franklin was raised), in order to refute Catholicism. My big bugaboo in those days was infallibility. I thought it was ridiculous and almost immediately dismissible. So I went looking for books and information to shoot it down, such as those by Catholic dissident Hans Kung and Anglican controversialist George Salmon (also Joseph Dollinger: the historian who refused to accept Vatican I on spurious historical grounds and was excommunicated). As it turned out, I converted by October of that year, as a result of discussing the issue of contraception, studying the 16th century Protestant Revolt, and (especially) after reading John Henry Cardinal Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.

The other humorous aside was that, two years ago, Bob's son and my second oldest son (now just-turned 12 and already 5'8"!) were on the same church baseball team. Since I had met him only once I didn't recognize him at first. So for about five or so games, we didn't know who each other was (by appearances), even though we had met the one time and both knew each other's names. Apart from meeting him, I knew that Bob had debated James White on the Blessed Virgin Mary and justification; he's also debated Dave Hunt (justification) and Robert Morey (all three are anti-Catholics). He did a wonderful job in the two that I listened to again a few days ago. And he had written a great chapter in Robert Sungenis's book Not by Scripture Alone, entitled: "What Did Early Protestant Theologians Teach About Sola Scriptura?" (pp. 325-369), that I knew about. He mentioned me in one of his articles (see below), prior to that time. Somehow I finally figured out who he was, and then we proceeded to have some great discussions during all subsequent games.

That was really fun. We had a backyard pool party last Sunday and Bob and his wife Kathy and their three children came. I told Kathy that I would be interested in collecting Bob's articles on the Internet, to place on my blog and website. He has written lots of interesting, informative stuff on a variety of topics, and his theology is impeccably orthodox. Hopefully, this small effort of mine will help to make them better known and more widely-read. Here they are (all that I could find):

Ecclesiastical and Temporal Power in Vitoria, Suárez and Bellarmine (see also the Google HTML version)

Amazon review of Origin Of The Human Species, by Dennis Bonnette

[Second review of the same book]

The Swami From Oxford [Bede Griffiths] (co-author: Jose Pereira)

Review of The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy, by James Likoudis [I was kindly mentioned in the first sentence]

Catholics and capital punishment: Who to follow — Justice Scalia or the pope?: Assessing the Catholic tradition on capital punishment

The methodology of ambiguity: Richard McBrien's revised Catholicism

OSV pamphlet available for purchase: What the Church Teaches: How to Form Your Conscience

Human embryonic stem cell research: A Catholic response to President Bush's decision

Excerpt in First Things article, "Antonin Scalia and His Critics: The Church, the Courts, and the Death Penalty" (scroll about three-quarters down)

Christology, Ecclesiology and the Future of Ecumenism

The Incarnation: Muslim Objections and the Christian Response

"Natural Reason in the Service of Faith," in St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition / ed. by John Goyette, Mark S. Latkovic, and Richard S. Myers, Washington, DC : Catholic University of America Press: 2004.

Joint letter to the Detroit Free Press on the wrongness of voting for pro-abortion candidates

Can a pro-lifer support exceptions politically or legislatively?

Book: The Natural Theology of Yves de Paris, 1588-1678 [amazon page]

The Eucharist as Sacrifice and Heavenly Banquet [playable audio file]

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At my party, Bob told me that he was working on a new edition of Denzinger's Enchiridion Symbolorum (aka The Sources of Catholic Dogma). This is the famous compendium of Catholic dogmatic statements. How exciting! My own edition is from 1955, so I eagerly look forward to that. Also, he is translating some work by St. Robert Bellarmine, I believe. The late Fr. Hardon, S.J. (who received me into the Church) stated that he thought Bellarmine's apologetic work contra Protestantism was perhaps the best refutation ever done by a Catholic. The trouble is, virtually none of this great 16th century saint's work is available in English. So anything at all would be highly prized in the apologetics community, to be sure. Many kudos to Bob for both of these important, valuable projects.

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