Singular Resources for Catholic Study and Reflection
This site began in 2001 as a way to distribute the free
electronic course, The Old Testament in the Heart of the
Catholic Church. Since then, I have added other original
material. Some of it may be of immediate practical benefit, while
other writings are intended to be highly theoretical and
speculative -- most probably of little earthly use except to the
very boldest Catholic thinkers.
In all cases, the materials at this site attempt to be scrupulously
loyal to the living magisterium of the Catholic Church.
In Christ Jesus our Lord through the intercession of Holy
Catholiclearning.com is pleased to host on this site the final two volumes, Volumes III-IV, of Donald J. Keefe, S.J.'s theological masterwork, Covenantal Theology.
The published Vols. I-II of Covenantal Theology bear an Imprimi Potest, a Nihil Obstat, and an Imprimatur. Fr. Keefe quite rightly wrote, in his Preface to the First Edition, that these are only tentative guarantees that the book is faithful to Catholicism. The Eucharist is in the end its own protection.
Fr. Keefe did something very important in his book. He
reconverted Catholic theology precisely to that Eucharistic Event, the
New Covenant in the Lord's Blood, which will be the judge not only of
Fr. Keefe's work but of all theological works, and which is in fact
Catholic theology's sole object of study. No science could more
urgently need a re-turning to what it ought to be studying, for Catholic
theology has long -- long -- been wandering away from the only reality
that can matter to it -- or to anyone.
Go here to read Vols III-IV.
The Old Testament in
the Heart of the Catholic Church
The Old Testament in the Heart of the Catholic Church
(OTHCC) is a serious general electronic introduction to the Old
Testament for any Catholic student (ages 12-14 and up) capable of
adult-level academic tasks. OTHCC is absolutely FREE, no strings
attached. It is suitable for use in Catholic home schooling, for
individuals, and for small groups.
OTHCC is different, not difficult. It assumes absolutely no
prior knowledge of the Bible -- it starts at ground zero -- and
yet soon, very sophisticated ideas about the Bible will start to
seem obvious to you. You will read from every book in the Old
Testament and from many sections of the Catechism of the
Catholic Church. You will answer well over a thousand short
questions -- and yet, by the time you get to each question, you
will probably already know the answer. You will read hundreds of
short ''lectures'' (usually a few paragraphs long - the longest
is about 20 paragraphs) -- and yet, by the time you get to each
one, you will understand much more of its ideas than you would
have thought possible. Opportunities for reflection and prayer
are built in.
OTHCC works on all PCs, Macs, everything -- even your Palm-OS
PDA. OTHCC uses your browser (which you are using right now), so
if you can read this, you can download, install, and use OTHCC.
When installed, OTHCC consumes about 3 MB on your hard drive.
Installation is semi-automatic (you must be able to follow a
short series of directions).
OTHCC is user-friendly and completely interactive. It really
will take you from ground zero and help you work your way up.
Note, however, that it is a plain-text-only
course. No pictures. No graphics. Just good ideas.
Look on the left side of this page for other OTHCC
Online Catholic Bible?
To use OTHCC, you will need a Catholic Bible. You may not know this, but even aside from translation and other issues, Protestant bibles are incomplete, because under the influence of Martin Luther, Protestants simply removed (and now ignore) several entire books from the Bible. So it really is important to use a Bible approved by the Catholic Church. When OTHCC quotes from the Bible, it uses the Catholic version of the RSV. Ignatius Press (for instance) sells a nice one.
You can also look online for the 'Douay' Bible, because it's a Catholic Bible that's copyright-free. What you will probably find online is the 1749 'Challoner' edition. The 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia has a good article on the history of the 'Douay' Bible, which you may be able to find by clicking on this link (but remember that links often go dead over time). As the 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia points out, there are some issues with the various 'Douay' Bible translations. (Access to good manuscripts in the original languages of the Bible was one problem all older translations had). But it's still a very good Catholic Bible. You can try drbo.org for a 'Douay' Bible online.
Online Catechism of the Catholic Church?
You will also need a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Again, it would be best to buy a copy. However, with appropriate ecclesiastical permission, an online version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has been made available by a Catholic parish in the state of Mississipi, USA, which you may be able to find at this link.
Free Download, just for you
Take the entire course online
Other Downloads of Potential Interest
Bishops Teaching Children
The impossible, here for the taking: a reform of Catholic
religious education that is truly practical because it
takes Catholicism much more seriously.
Bishops Teaching Children makes the controversial
assertion that if there is a practical way for a local ordinary
to personally hand on the faith to the Catholic children
of his diocese, then he is morally and sacramentally obligated do
so -- and then shows exactly how the strengths of advanced
technological market economies could be leveraged to accomplish
this practically. Everybody believes that 'modern life' creates
impersonality and bureaucracy, but amazingly, if you leverage
advanced technological market economies in just the right way,
then you can create a very complex, intricately interactive, and
exceedingly practical everyday social, cultural, and business
environment in which a bishop automatically becomes more
personally and directly responsible for religious education in
his own diocese than bishops have been able to be in a long, long
time. (Thus the title). The method amounts to a radically new way
to be a bishop, and radically deepens the notion of the diocese
as the true 'local church.' In the year 2000 a theology professor
sent it to several bishops and also to several Vatican
dicasteries. Save for one somewhat positive response (from an
American residential bishop), universally it was D.O.A....
Bishops Teaching Children
The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology
A kind of Junior Illustrated Classics introduction to
Covenantal Theology, dogmatic theologian Rev. Donald J.
Keefe, SJ's highly abstruse but devastatingly important
masterwork. Covenantal Theology bears an Imprimi
Potest, a Nihil Obstat, and an Imprimatur.
The Knucklehead's Guide doesn't have any of those, but it tries
to be a reliable introduction "for normal people."
Become a real Knucklehead
An 'Easter Egg' is a programmers' term for a little surprise
that you get when you perform a (usually unlikely) series of
actions. Commonly, what you get when you open one is some kind of
self-indulgent, trivial, and self-glorifying display, which may
nonetheless be mildly amusing. If you are a faithful Catholic up
for a few seriously radical (not liberal, radical) and highly
speculative ideas on topics from "aesthetics" to "postmodernism"
to "university," this is the place.
Go to the Easter Eggs page
It means the Table of Contents page within the electronic
course, The Old Testament in the Heart of the Catholic
Church. You'll see this link on nearly all of the pages in
that course. From the 'All Chapters' page, you can get back to
the Home page here, and to a lot of other places on this