Letter #57, 2022, Monday, March 28: The Attack on Ukraine
The following article on the war in Ukraine, written by Dr. John Lamont, is a powerful indictment of the decision of the Russian government to attack Ukraine. Because it contains some facts and arguments I have not seen in other places, I thought it worth bringing to your attention. Lamont is a Catholic scholar and his piece was first published six days ago, on March 22, on the Rorate caeli website — a site which supports the traditional Latin liturgy — at this link. So it reflects the thinking of one who is part of that milieu. I do not agree with every point Lamont makes, but thought his piece might spark responses and comments from readers. Please feel free to make such comments (I could include them in a future letter).
I still believe there prayer, which expresses a desire of the heart, and soul, is needed now.
Maria, ora pro nobis (“Mary, pray for us.”). —RM
P.S. Today, March 28, is the 2-year anniversary of the death of my father, William Moynihan. May eternal light shine upon him, and may he rest in peace.
Putin’s Attack on Ukraine
by Dr. John Lamont
March 22, 2022
Although wars are a temporal phenomenon, they often have religious repercussions or arouse religious passions and disputes. The Russian attack on Ukraine is no exception.
One of its religious effects has been to provoke divisions among Catholics. Most of them have backed the Ukrainians in their self-defence against invasion.
Some vocal Catholic traditionalists have however taken the Russian side to a greater or lesser extent – certainly to the extent of arguing that the Ukrainians should not be given assistance by other countries in their fight against the Russians, a step that would doom them to defeat.
This argument is not framed in purely political terms.
The pro-Russian side sees the Ukrainians as aligned with the anti-Christian order that dominates the West, and the Russians as defenders of Christianity and traditional values.
This makes it important to get at the truth of the nature of this conflict, in its temporal aspects as well as in its inevitable religious dimensions.
This essay will attempt to do so.
Before the Russian attack on Ukraine, I had some sympathy with the Russian position on that country, for the following reasons.
The Russian insistence that Ukraine not join NATO seemed a reasonable one.
NATO is a military alliance that exists to oppose Russia.
Ukrainian membership in NATO would bring a foreign military alliance to within a few hundred kilometres of the Volga.
Any Russian government would have reason to regard this as an existential threat, and would oppose it by any means possible.
Russian complaints about illicit foreign interference in Ukrainian politics have a basis in fact.
In 2014, Viktor Yanukovich, the pro-Russian president of Ukraine, was deposed by a revolt.
Yanukovych was grotesquely corrupt, but he had been fairly elected by a substantial majority.
The demonstrators who overthrew him had substantial backing from the United States, and some of the groups most involved in the violent confrontations that led to his downfall were neo-Nazis.
When Putin was negotiating with the French president Emmanuel Macron over Ukraine immediately before the war, these reasons seemed to indicate that he had a case, and that the Russian demands that were reasonable should be accommodated.
Many people said this at the time.
The Russian attack on Ukraine showed that Putin had been playing a comedy with Macron, and that his sympathizers, including myself, had all been fooled.
This was shown by the strategy of the Russian attack.
The Russians chose the most ambitious plan available to them; an attack on multiple axes from north, east, and south.
The goal of this attack was to decapitate the Ukrainian government, completely surround and destroy the Ukrainian armed forces, and conquer the entire country except for its western region.
Its goal is not neutralization of Ukraine, but conquest.
This implements the Russian view – expressed plainly by Putin, and held by most Russians – that Ukrainians are a variety of Russians rather than a separate nationality, that Ukraine is not a legitimate state independent of Russia, and that the historical union of Russians and Ukrainians in a single state should be restored.
The western region would probably have been left on the table by the Russians because most of the country’s resources are outside it, because its territory is suited to insurgency, and because Putin knows that it kept up a strong and determined armed resistance to Stalin from 1945 to 1951.
Such a union of Russia and Ukraine would of course greatly enhance the power of Russia.
The reasonable points made by Putin prior to the war were a clever blind, designed to disguise and to facilitate this war of conquest.
His goal was to use these demands to divide and confuse opinion outside Ukraine and thereby facilitate his attack.
Once its military goals were achieved, he intended to thumb his nose at the West and incorporate most of Ukraine into Russia.
This remains his goal.
The goal of the Russian attack, not to speak of its methods, shows that right is on the Ukrainian side in this war.
The Ukrainians do not want to be ruled by the Russians.
The Russians are in the wrong in trying to forcibly subdue and conquer them, and the Ukrainians are defending their just rights in resisting them.
The Ukrainians are not fighting for George Soros and the New World Order, as some conservatives absurdly claim.
They are fighting for their homes, their families, and their country.
There is also the consideration that one of the Russian war aims is the destruction of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
The Russians see the Ukrainian Catholics, with some reason, as a bastion of Ukrainian nationalism, and consistently describe them as fascists.
The Russian Orthodox Church helped Stalin to suppress the Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1946, a process that involved the death of most of the bishops, priests and religious of that church under torture, before the firing squad, or in the Gulag.
The Russian Orthodox have never disavowed their involvement in this suppression or expressed regret or repentance for it, and aspire to repeat the forced incorporation of Ukrainian Catholics into a Russian-controlled Orthodox Church; an initiative that agrees with the goals of the Russian government, and is indeed necessary for their realization.
The Russians will suppress the Ukrainian Catholics if they conquer Ukraine. After taking over the Crimea in 2014, they repressed the Ukrainian Catholics there.
If the Russians take Kiev, the Ukrainian Catholic Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk will be shot.
The strict question of the justice of the war is thus not in doubt.
The Ukrainians are in the right, and the Russians are in the wrong.
This question does not however exhaust the moral, religious and political significance of the war, which demand further examination.
One important starting point for this examination is provided by the excellent book by Dominic Lieven, The End of Tsarist Russia (2015). Lieven describes the role of Ukraine in the genesis of the First World War.
Those of us who associate that war with the Somme and Passchendaele are surprised to find that the great slaughters on the Western Front in which our forebears took part depended on political struggles over Ukraine.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the status of Imperial Russia as a great power depended on its possession of the wealth, resources, industry and population of Ukraine. Romanov rule over Ukraine was threatened by Ukrainian nationalism, whose epicentre was in the western section of Ukraine ruled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Ukrainian nationalism and Ukrainian culture was intimately linked with the Ukrainian Catholic Church, which had been completely suppressed by the Russian empire but survived in Austrian-ruled Ukraine.
The threat to the Empire posed by Ukrainian nationalism made the conservative, Slavophile element in Russia hostile to the Austrians and ready to go to war with them.
Russian hostility to Austria was counterbalanced by German fear of increasing Russian economic strength.
The growth in Russian population, wealth, industry, and scientific achievement before the First World War threatened to eclipse German hegemony in Europe and place Germany in a position of permanent inferiority to Russia.
Germany was thus ready to go to war with Russia while the balance of power was still in her favour.
From a purely military point of view, this was a sensible calculation; Lieven shows that the Russian military authorities reported to the Emperor in 1914 that the country was not ready for war with Germany, and would be defeated.
Nicholas II was told that the country would not be ready for war until 1917.
However, he failed to heed this advice, with the defeat of Russia and the Russian Revolution being the consequence.
Putin’s Valdai Club awarded Lieven a prize for his work in 2018, which indicates that Putin takes an interest in his views on Ukraine.
The traditional Russian interest in possession of Ukraine is thus an essential element in this war.
What about the political differences between Russia and Ukraine?
Putin claims to be seeking the de-Nazification of Ukraine, and to be waging the war for this purpose.
Eventual fascist elements in Ukraine do not mean that Ukraine is a fascist or neo-Nazi state.
The fact that the Ukrainian president Zelensky is Jewish is one thing that demonstrates this, but it is not the fundamental consideration. Fascist and Nazi states have a distinct political structure.
This includes brutal suppression of all political opposition and expression of political dissent; systematic, omnipresent, and dishonest propaganda and indoctrination; glorification of the ruler; exaltation of brute force and military might; and rejection of all absolute moral, legal or religious principles that conflict with the power and control of the state and the actions of the ruler.
Ukraine does not have this political structure. In Ukraine, there is real public criticism of the ruler and real competition for political power, and the populace have a real say in who rules them.
Even if it did have this structure, that would not justify Putin’s trying to invade and conquer it.
But his proclaimed goal of ‘de-Nazification’ is all the more baseless and absurd given the Russian connections to neo-Nazism and fascism.
One aspect of these connections is the neo-Nazi affiliations of military units connected to Russia.
The pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region included a number of neo-Nazi units; ‘The round eight-pronged swastika—“kolovrat” (a neo-pagan swastika) appeared on the badges of the neo-Nazi “Rusich” and “Ratibor” sabotage-reconnaissance units within the “Batman” Rapid Response Group, and the “Svarozhichi” battalion within the “Oplot” brigade’.
Like the Azov Battalion, these neo-Nazi units often have pagan religious affiliations. Yan Petrovsky, a senior officer in Rusich, is a well-known Russian neo-Nazi. This Russian unit has committed numerous atrocities while fighting in Ukraine.
The Russian mercenary company ‘Wagner’ is a central tool of the Russian state.
It is used for Russian military operations when direct involvement of the Russian military would be politically undesirable.
The Wagner group has conducted important operations in the Middle East and Africa.
Its leaders are known for their Nazi sympathies.
In accordance with Nazi ideology, they largely reject Christianity in favour of paganism, espousing a revived pagan religion known as Rodnovery.
The group was given its name by its founder, Dmitri Utkin, to express his admiration for Richard Wagner and the Third Reich. Utkin has had SS insignia tattooed on to his body.
The principal connection between Russia and fascism is however the structure of the Russian political system.
Unlike previous Russian rulers – Catherine the Great, say, or Nicholas I – Putin both seeks and receives popular support for his rule.
But the form of popular support that he receives is the kind sought by fascist rulers.
Both Hitler and Mussolini enjoyed popular support for most of their careers.
Putin achieved popular support by techniques similar to those of the German and Italian dictators (whose methods he is likely to have carefully studied).
These techniques had four components: delivery of real benefits to the mass of the population, omnipresent propaganda and indoctrination in favour of the ruler and his regime, suppression of criticism of the ruler, and suppression by force or fraud of any real political opposition. This is how Putin himself stays in power.
This feature of Putin’s rule should be kept in mind by Catholics and conservatives who see him as in some way a defender of traditional or Christian values.
Putin’s opposition to gender and LGBTetc. ideology is no doubt genuine.
It is of course not a mark of Christian commitment, since Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung also either opposed these things or would have opposed them if they had known about them.
The nature and significance of Putin’s opposition to this ideology needs to be understood.
It is the opposition of one evil to the evil at the opposite extreme from it.
Gender ideology denies manhood entirely.
Putin’s actions and ideology spring from an unregenerate masculinity that is twisted into an evil form, that takes the masculine characteristics of aggression and assertion and perverts them into an extreme of brutality and merciless cruelty.
The resemblance between Putin and a villain from a James Bond film has often been remarked.
The comparison picks up on the fact that Putin was a KGB agent in the 1970s and 1980s, for whom Bond rather than his opponents would have been the villain.
But it fails to acknowledge the squalidness and lack of flamboyance that characterizes most of Putin’s crimes.
The military operations that he has initiated use systematic attacks on civlian targets in order to produce terror and break the will of the population he is attacking.
The Austrian military analyst Tom Cooper observes: “In Syria, the VKS (Russian air force) hit over 100 medical facilities, most of these 3-4 times, for a total of 492 registered air strikes on medical facilities. … In Syria of September 2015, the insurgents have single [sic] of hospitals in areas held by them. They have provided precise coordinates, expecting the VKS to avoid these. The Russians bombed every single one of the hospitals in question, and then launched a smear campaign against the White Helmets, declaring them for ‘jihadists’. When the insurgents began hiding their hospitals, the Russians somehow got coordinates for these (probably bribed somebody at the UN), and bombed them too. Without exception.” [https://www.facebook.com/keksifarm.hayday]
Russian aircraft in Syria would often bomb a civilian target, then return to bomb the civilians and rescuers who came to the aid of the victims of the first bombing.
Cooper remarks, “In Ukraine so far, [the Russian air force] hit 18 medical facilities. Because that’s the Russian way of fighting wars. It’s a part of strategy aiming to spread terror, break morale, and prompt civilians to flee.”
The incompatibility between Putin’s technique of war and Christian values need not be underlined.
It is a return to pagan standards of cruelty and inhumanity, taking its most open form in the employment by the Russians of neo-Nazi and pagan soldiers, but pervading all of Putin’s military actions.
Is Putin behaving irrationally?
Some commentators, such as Timothy Snyder, have claimed that Putin has left rationality behind in his attack on Ukraine.
But this is not a plausible claim, and seems to arise from a sort of wishful thinking – the idea that a rational person will not plan the unprovoked invasion of a nation and the massacre or exile of a great part of its inhabitants.
History, unfortunately, shows the falsity of this idea.
Putin’s estimate of the value and strategic importance of Ukraine corresponds to that of Imperial Russia in 1914, and is based on fact.
There is a substantial Russian-speaking population in Ukraine, that (prior to the invasion) looked favourably on closer ties with Russia and was hostile to Ukrainian nationalism.
The Ukrainian government was corrupt and ineffectual, and Ukrainian GDP per capita is far below that of Russia’s.
If Ukraine has been incorporated into a Russian state for most of its history, why should that not be possible again?
If Putin’s military plan had worked, toppling the Ukrainian government and neutralizing the Ukrainian military in a few days without great bloodshed or ruin (which was undoubtedly the objective of the plan), it is quite possible that he would have succeeded in absorbing most of Ukraine.
This would have been a great victory for Russia, and would have decisively changed the balance of power in Europe in Russia’s favour.
In retrospect, Putin’s fundamental mistake was his war in the Donbass from March 2014 onwards.
This war created a situation where his plan for Ukraine could not succeed.
In February 2014, the Russians conquered the Crimea in a spectacular and almost bloodless coup.
The Ukrainian military put up no effective resistance, and large numbers of Ukrainian officers defected to Russia.
The Russians followed this up by fomenting armed attacks in the Donbass region in the east of Ukraine.
Pro-Russian military groups made up of locals and Russian soldiers occupied part of the Donbass and carried on a war with the Ukrainian military.
Almost 400,000 Ukrainians ended up enlisting to fight the Russians in the Donbass.
This provided the Ukrainians with military experience in fighting the Russians, and an army that was solidly committed to resisting Russian attacks.
Western countries provided funding to build up the Ukrainian military, with the greatest contribution in this respect being made by Donald Trump.
Obama had refused to send lethal military aid to Ukraine, but Trump reversed this policy.
This greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the Ukrainian military, which numbered about 140,000 before the Russian attack in 2022.
The large number of Ukrainian veterans of the Donbass conflict makes available a trained reserve of hundreds of thousands of men.
All these factors meant that the initial Russian attack on Ukraine was unable to meet its objectives.
The Ukrainians have called up their reserves and their military is now estimated at about 300,000 men.
They are being provided with sophisticated weapons and ammunition by the West, and will continue to receive them as long as they stay in the field.
They are also being given military intelligence on the Russian forces by the West.
As a result Putin cannot win the war with the troops he has committed to the invasion.
In order to defeat the Ukrainian military and occupy the country, he would have to mobilize Russia and commit most of the mobilized force of the Russian military to the war in Ukraine.
The political cost of mass mobilization and the casualties resulting from the war and occupation would be more than he can afford.
The economic cost would be untenable as well.
Savage fighting of the kind that went on in Stalingrad is already occurring in Mariupol. [Note: this was written a week or so ago; the city has since fallen to the Russians.]
The project of attacking Kiev in the way the Germans attacked Stalingrad, and suffering the enormous death toll that would result, is one that many if not most Russians will see as insane.
Putin’s fundamental handicap as a ruler is that his intellectual abilities and rationality, while outstanding in some respects, are limited.
He is good at cold calculation of the odds, at circumventing, suborning, converting or destroying known factors.
But war goes beyond the realm of known factors.
It causes seismic shifts, unpredictable changes that alter the landscape beyond expectation and beyond recognition.
War is chaos.
The skills that Putin possesses are of no avail in such circumstances.
The only thing that serves as a guide in war is a deep knowledge of history.
Putin’s Soviet past prevents him from having this knowledge.
In line with the Soviet approach, he sees history as something to be shaped and used for one’s own purposes.
But for those who wish to effectively direct a state, history is a master, not a servant. Putin does not accept this master.
That is not to say that many of the lessons that history teaches about Putin’s attack on Ukraine are not apparent – now that it is too late for Putin to profit from them.
Before the German invasion in 1941, Stalin had taken the precaution of killing more of his own citizens than Hitler would ever do, reducing the population of the USSR to a state of terrorized and virtually insane subservience.
This left him with a comfortable margin of manoeuvre when it came to popular support of his regime, enabling him to get away with losing almost the entire prewar army of 4 million men in six months and still retain power.
Putin’s popular support, while solid, is not of this calibre.
Crucially, it has been built up by his actually delivering benefits to the Russian population; and it not clear how it can survive economic collapse and bloody stalemate in war.
Stalin also benefited from the economic support of the U.S., without which he would certainly have been defeated.
Putin is in the opposite position; the Americans are supporting his opponents, providing them with modern weapons that are more lethal and far more expensive than the weapons of Stalin’s day.
Russia’s ability to keep pace with this supply of weapons is questionable.
In many ways Putin’s situation is close to that of Nicholas II, fighting for Ukraine with an insufficient economic base and vulnerable popular support; a parallel that many commentators have drawn.
Imperial Russia’s declaration of war on Germany in 1914 was greeted with majority popular support in Russia as well.
History also shows that Ukraine is not a country upon which it is productive to use Russian military methods.
As many as 4.5 million Ukrainians were purposely starved to death by Stalin in the early 1930s. During the Second World War the Ukrainians lost more people than the Russians did.
Although Ukraine was entirely occupied by the Germans, the Ukrainians still made a huge and decisive contribution to Soviet victory as soldiers in the Red Army.
Techniques of terror by mass murder of civilians were used by the Germans on the Ukrainians to a far greater extent than Putin has done or will be able to do.
Many of the most brutal battles of the war were fought in Ukraine.
There were four major battles of Kharkov in the Second World War, which is now (under its Ukrainian name of Kharkhiv) the scene of a fifth.
The Ukrainians know what Putin is doing, they have seen the film already.
Even Russian-speaking Ukrainians who were previously favourable to Russia have proved loyal to Ukraine, as a result of experiencing the familiar Wehrmacht approach — attack by tank columns and indiscriminate shelling of cities — at the hands of the Russian army.
The Ukrainians know what it will cost to successfully resist Putin, and they are willing to pay that cost; it is not going to come near what they have had to suffer in the past.
Our analysis has shown that the Russian attack on Ukraine arises from the dynamics of Russian history.
There is a final lesson to be drawn from this history.
For Nicholas II, possession of Ukraine was essential if Russia was to be a great power.
This was because the limitations of technology, industry and especially of methods of food production before the First World War made it impossible for Russia without Ukraine to compete with other world powers.
Today, this is no longer the case.
Russia without Ukraine remains by far the largest country in the world, and in consequence is far more richly endowed with natural resources than any other country.
It has a well-educated and talented population.
The limits on growth in wealth and population that were imposed by technology and food production methods in 1914 no longer apply.
The main constraint on Russian growth and power is its political and cultural set-up, where a despotic ruler sits at the head of an almost unimaginably corrupt economic and political system, and uses conflict with external enemies to solidify his control and extract sacrifice and loyalty from the populace.
The waste, plunder, inefficiency and despair that result from this system are staggering, and prevent Russia from realizing her potential.
Until now, Putin has maintained himself at the head of this centuries-old Russian political system with adroitness and skill.
His invasion of Ukraine was meant to restore Russian power and influence in the traditional way, and preserve and strengthen the traditional Russian political system in so doing.
The failure of this invasion has been a fatal misstep for him personally.
If it helps to provoke a spiritual and moral revival in Russia, it could prove fatal to the traditional Russian system as well.
It is to be hoped that the forthcoming consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will bring about such a revival. [Note: This was written before the Consecration performed on March 25 in Rome and around the world.]
Dr. John Lamont:
Australian Catholic University, Faculty of Theology & Philosophy, Research affiliate
Academic work experience
– 2012-present. Honorary fellow, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University.
– 2013. Tutor in philosophy, Australian Catholic University. Core course taught; social ethics.
– 2013. Lecturer in theology, Campion College, Australia. Undergraduate course taught: Scripture and revelation.
– 2010-2011. Senior lecturer in philosophy, University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus.
Undergraduate courses taught: epistemology, history of modern philosophy, philosophical anthropology, medicine and religion, introduction to Scripture. Graduate courses taught: faith and reason.
Committee work: departmental committees addressing academic standards, graduate studies, course content, and relations with evaluating bodies; committee for development of core curriculum.
– 2006-2009. Lecturer in theology, Catholic Institute of Sydney.
Undergraduate course taught: Trinity, Christology, grace, eschatology, introduction to theology.
Graduate courses taught: Trinity, Christology, grace, eschatology.
Committee work: Board of Graduate Studies, College of Teachers, committee for revision of theology syllabus.
– 2003-2005. University of St. Andrews, Gifford Research Fellow.
– 2000-03. Oxford University, tutor in philosophy. Taught papers in philosophy of religion and the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.
– 1992-1993. Sessional lecturer in philosophy, University of Manitoba.
– D.Phil. in philosophical theology, Oxford University, supervised by Prof. Richard Swinburne. Thesis: ‘The nature of the rational grounding of Christian faith’.
– Licentiate in theology (S.T.L.), Collège dominicain de philosophie et théologie, Ottawa, supervised by Fr. Jean-Marie Roger Tillard, O.P. Thesis: ‘Trinity and identity’.
– Master of Studies degree in philosophy, Oxford University
– B.A. (Hons) in philosophy and economics, University of Manitoba
– Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada doctoral fellowship, 1996-2000.
– Gifford Research Fellow, University of St. Andrews, 2003-2005.
- Defending the Faith against Present Heresies (Waterloo, On.: Arouca Press, 2021), ed. with Claudio Pierantoni, author of 3 chapters.
- Divine Faith (London: Ashgate, 2004). Selected reviews: William Lad Sessions, Religious Studies, Sept. 2006; Fergus Kerr, New Blackfriars, July 2007.
- The Existence of God, 2005, textbook for the B.A. in Philosophy of the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham (course validated by the Open University).
1. ‘Catholic teaching on religion and the state’, New Blackfriars, November 2015.
2. ‘The consolations of Boethius’, Frontiers of Philosophy in China (2014) vol. 9/1, 69-86.
3. ‘Pour une lecture pieuse de Vatican II au sujet de la liberté religieuse’, Divinitas 55 (2012), vol.55/1, 70-92.
4. ‘The justice and goodness of hell’, Faith and Philosophy, 28/2, April 2011, pp. 152-173.
5. ‘Conscience, freedom, rights: idols of the Enlightenment religion’, The Thomist 73/2 (April 2009), 169–239.
6. ‘Fall and rise of Aristotelian metaphysics in the philosophy of science’, Science and Education, 18 (2009), vols. 6-7, 861–884: reprinted in Science, Worldviews and Education, Michael R. Matthews ed. (Dordrecht: Springer, 2009).
7. ‘Determining the content and degree of authority of Church teachings’, The Thomist 72/3 (July 2008), 371-407.
8. ‘What was wrong with Vatican II’, New Blackfriars 88 (1013) (January 2007), 87-99.
9. ‘The nature of the hypostatic union’, The Heythrop Journal, 2006, 47/1 16-25.
10. ‘Aquinas on subsistent relation’, Recherches de théologie et philosophie médiéval, 71/2 (June 2004), 260–279.
11. ‘Finnis and Aquinas on the good of life’, New Blackfriars 83 (977/978), issue in honour of Herbert McCabe O.P. (July 2002), 365–380.
12. ‘Plantinga on Belief’, The Thomist 65/4 (October 2001), 593-613.
13. ‘On the functions of sexual activity’, The Thomist 62/4 (October 1998), 561-580.
14. ‘Aquinas on divine simplicity’, The Monist 80/4 (October 1997), 521–538.
15. ‘Newman on faith and rationality’, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 40/2 (October 1996), 63-84.
16. ‘Stump and Swinburne on revelation’, Religious Studies 32/3 (September 1996), 395-412.
18. ‘The historical conditioning of church doctrine’, The Thomist 60/4 (October 1996) 511-535.
19. ‘Believing that God exists because the Bible says so’, Faith and Philosophy 13/1 (January 1996), 121-124.
20. ‘An argument for an uncaused cause’, The Thomist 59/2 ( April 1995), 261-277.
21. ‘The nature of revelation’, New Blackfriars 72(851) (July/August 1991), 335-345
1. ‘The authority of canonizations’, in Peter A. Kwasniewski ed., Are Canonizations Infallible? (Waterloo, On.: Arouca Press, 2021), 151-162.
2. ‘The authority of canonizations and the morals of the faithful’, in Peter A. Kwasniewski ed., Are Canonizations Infallible? (Waterloo, On.: Arouca Press, 2021), 163-174.
3. ‘The “Nouvelle théologie” and neomodernism’, in Vecchio e nuovo modernismo. Radici della crisi nella Chiesa, ed. Roberto de Mattei (Rome: Edizione Fiducia, 2020).
4. ‘Catholic teaching on religious liberty’, Dialogos Institute Publications vol. 1: Colloquium on Dignitatis Humanae (Dialogos Institute, Oct. 2017).
5. ‘In defence of Villey on objective right’, in Truth and Faith in Ethics (St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Life), Hayden Ramsay ed. (Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2011), 177-198.
6. ‘A Conception of Faith in the Greek Fathers’, in Analytic Theology: New Essays in the Philosophy of Theology, Oliver Crisp and Michael Rea eds. (Oxford: OUP, 2009), 87-116
Other professional activities
Reviewing book manuscripts for Cambridge University Press, Catholic University of America Press, Oxford University Press