Thursday, October 12, 2017

I write in Angelus magazine on "The Double Birth and Lonely Death of Hugh Hefner"

Angelus, the weekly newsmagazine of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, this week features an article I wrote on "The Double Birth and Lonely Death of Hugh Hefner." It begins with these words:
There is a scene in Ken Russell’s film of The Who’s rock opera “Tommy” that depicts a church whose goddess is Marilyn Monroe. In a grotesque mockery of Catholic devotion, the faithful rise from their pews to venerate a larger-than-life porcelain statue of the actress, while preacher Eric Clapton croons that she “gives eyesight to the blind.”

I thought of that scene when I learned that Hugh Hefner, the Playboy magazine founder who died Sept. 27 at the age of 91, paid $75,000 in 1992 to buy the vault next to Monroe’s at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles so that he could be buried next to the ill-fated star.

Hefner made the purchase because, as he told the Los Angeles Times, he was “a believer in things symbolic.”

“Spending eternity next to Marilyn,” he added, “is too sweet to pass up.”

Where Hefner may, in fact, be spending eternity is not for me to say. But he was right to recognize the symbolism in his desire to enjoy the afterlife in the presence of Monroe, whose nude image (published without her consent) was the major selling point for Playboy’s premier issue in 1953.

Read the rest on the Angelus website.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I write in Vatican Insider: "Critics of Amoris laetitia ignore Ratzinger's rules"

La Stampa's Vatican Insider website today features a new commentary I wrote with Prof. Robert Fastiggi of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit: "Critics of Amoris laetitia ignore Ratzinger's rules for faithful theological discourse."

The article begins:

It seems that the case for the Amoris laetitia critics’ self-proclaimed “Filial Correction” of Pope Francis is weakening. Dr. Joseph Shaw, one of the signers of the Correctio filialis, recently wrote: “It is not that we’re saying that the text of Amoris cannot be bent into some kind of orthodoxy. What we are saying is that it has become clear that orthodoxy is not what Pope Francis wants us to find there.”

Shaw’s claim that Pope Francis doesn’t want orthodoxy, however, is based on subjective impressions derived from mostly non-authoritative statements of the Pope. This does not seem to be a very strong foundation for accusing the Roman Pontiff of promoting false teachings and heresies.

The supporters of the Correctio and other critics of Amoris laetitia often try to contrast what Pope Francis says in this exhortation to teachings of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It is interesting, therefore, to note that many of these same critics fail to follow the guidelines for theologians published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1990 when John Paul II was pope and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI, was prefect of the CDF. These guidelines are contained in the instruction, Donum veritatis (Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian) — a document that traditionalist opponents of Amoris laetitia, such as Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, ironically claim to hold in high esteem.

Read the rest at Vatican Insider.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I write in Vatican Insider: "Does Amoris Laetitia 303 Really Undermine Catholic Moral Teaching?"

Today, La Stampa's Vatican Insider features an article I wrote with Sacred Heart Major Seminary Professor Robert Fastiggi: "Does Amoris Laetitia 303 Really Undermine Catholic Moral Teaching?"

The article begins:
Although most Catholic bishops, pastors, and teachers commenting publicly on Pope Francis’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia have welcomed it, a small but persistent chorus of critics accuse the Holy Father of obscuring and even undermining the foundations of Catholic moral doctrine. In this article, we show that one contested passage in the document, when read in its original Latin, has a significantly different meaning than it does in the official English translation. We argue further that many of the critics of Amoris laetitia are basing their criticism precisely upon what the Latin text does not say.
Read the rest at Vatican Insider.

Update, 9/29/17: E. Christian Brugger has issued a response to Fastiggi's and my article. Here is a reply to Brugger that Fastiggi posted in the comments section of Brugger's article (an expanded version of the statement I posted here earlier):
Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein and I are grateful to Prof. Brugger for his reply and his tone of civility. We are glad that he finds our translation "superior." The flaw in his analysis is his claim that the "quod" is clearly referring back to "statum quendam." This does not seem to follow from the Latin. The "quod" refers to to the "liberale responsum" (generous response) and not to the "statum quendam" (given situation). This is made clear from the copulative verb, "sit," which links "quod" to "responsum." Furthermore, a "response" involves an act of the will, but a "given situation" is a condition and not a personal act. We believe Professors Brugger and Seifert are reading into the text what they think Pope Francis is saying, but their reading does not seem to follow from the text itself.

We should also note that even the English translation posted on the Vatican website (which preceded the Latin posting) can be read in a more benign way than Professors Brugger and Seifert claim. The Latin text, which is now in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, should be considered normative, and it makes more clear the Holy Father's meaning, a meaning which we explained in our article.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

News from Eden: Editing a book by a certain Jesuit named Francis

If you'd like to know what I've been up to lately besides my work as an assistant professor of dogmatic theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, here are excerpts from an update I recently sent to friends and family (which has been reprinted online by Catholic columnist Matt J. Abbott):
  • Two new books in the pipeline: Over the summer, I wrote a proposal and two chapters of a memoir, tentatively titled Sunday Will Never Be the Same: My Search for Infinite Love, From Rock to Rome. I also wrote a proposal for a book of my dissertation, reframed with the tentative title Consecrating the World Through Spiritual Sacrifices: Redemptive Suffering as an Act of the Baptismal Priesthood. Both proposals are currently being reviewed by publishers, so I'm hoping to have some more good news to share with you soon. Please say a prayer.
  • An edited book coming soon: Another project that kept me busy over the summer was editing Fun Is Not Enough, a collection of thought-provoking essays on faith, freedom, and pro-life issues that my late friend and mentor Francis Canavan, S.J., wrote for the catholic eye newsletter. Fun Is Not Enough has already earned praise from National Review Online's Kathryn Jean Lopez, who writes, 'This book empowers the reader to see beyond the daily distractions of politics, culture, and our overstimulated lives, and keep the focus on the truth in Christ.' The book, which includes an introduction by Stephen M. Fields, S.J., will be launched on October 26 at the Human Life Foundation's annual Defender of Life gala at the Union League Club, where I will speak briefly about Father Canavan before the evening's honoree, Carly Fiorina, is introduced.
  • An upcoming conference presentation at an Ave Maria University: I'm very excited to be presenting a paper at the Aquinas and the Greek Fathers conference at Ave Maria University in January. My topic will be "St. Thomas Aquinas, Pseudo-Dionysius, and St. John Chrysostom on Galatians 2:20 and the Purification of Love."

Friday, July 28, 2017

Catholic World Report names me a "Creative Catholic"

I'm grateful to be featured in today's Catholic World Report's "Creative Catholic" column, which has previously showcased such noted authors as George Weigel; James V. Schall, S.J.; Joseph Pearce; and Sally Read. K.V. Turley asked me questions on topics that I don't normally have the opportunity to discuss: the nature of the writing process and the writer's vocation.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My book Remembering God's Mercy wins a top industry award


Today I received the wonderful news that my book Remembering God's Mercy, on Ignatian spirituality for healing of memories, has been awarded first place in the Inspirational category of the Association of Catholic Publishers' 2017 Excellence in Publishing Awards. The win took me by surprise, as my book was up against works by such accomplished authors as Elizabeth Scalia and Robert Ellsberg (who took second and third place, respectively).

I chat with residents at the Montana State Veterans Home last month. After speaking on healing (see recording below), I gave copies of Remembering God's Mercy to every veteran who was present. My thanks to the anonymous donor who makes such gifts possible.

I am grateful for the opportunity to draw more attention to my writings on healing. My special hope is that the award will lead to more opportunities to speak to survivors of trauma and abuse, as when I spoke at the Montana State Veterans Home last month. Here is a recording of the talk I gave there, "Healing the Spiritual Wounds of PTSD." Please pray for my readers and for those who hear my talks, that they may be touched by the healing love of Christ.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Dawn of a new life back in America! Holy Apostles hires me as an assistant professor

It is my joy to share with you the wonderful news that I will be returning to the United States to begin a new teaching position this fall at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, where I will be an assistant professor of dogmatic theology.

I have loved teaching seminarians this past school year as a resident lecturer in dogmatic theology at St. Mary's College, Oscott, in Birmingham, England. My new position will enable me to not only help prepare men for the priesthood but also teach lay students and religious brothers and sisters. It will also enable me to be closer to most of my family and friends.

For many years, I have been hearing from friends about the faithful, high-quality education they have received at Holy Apostles through its on-campus or online programs. The college and seminary cultivates a family atmosphere among its staff, which includes priests, religious, and a number of laypeople. I am excited and thankful to be joining such a diverse and talented group of professionals at an institution that is known throughout the world and is honored in the Newman Guide.

Holy Apostles' press release follows:

Very Rev. Douglas L. Mosey, C.S.B., Ph.D., President and Rector of Holy Apostles College & Seminary, and the entire Holy Apostles community are pleased to welcome Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein to the On Campus faculty in the Fall of 2017 as an Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology. She joins Holy Apostles from St. Mary's College, Oscott, the seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, England, where she currently serves as a resident lecturer in Dogmatic Theology. Dr. Goldstein's teaching credentials include having taught at Allen Hall in London, which is the seminary of the Archdiocese of Westminster, and at Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England. Last year, she served as a featured lecturer for the John Paul II Forum Summer Workshop.

Dr. Goldstein received her Doctorate in Sacred Theology, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of St. Mary of the Lake. She holds the distinction of being the first woman ever to be awarded that degree from St. Mary's. She holds her STL, Magna Cum Laude, from the Pontifical Institute of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies.

Additionally, Dr. Goldstein is a noted author under the name Dawn Eden. Her works include Remembering God's Mercy: Redeem the Past and Free Yourself from Painful Memories, My Peace I Give You, and The Thrill of the Chaste. She has also written articles for the New York Times, L'Osservatore Romano, and many other publications.

The Holy Apostles College & Seminary community is proud to have Dr. Goldstein join our Mission to Cultivate Catholic Leaders for Evangelization.