The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and tidings, February 16, 2022

Recent articles, essays, and assorted pieces that caught our attention this week.

Detail from "The Artist's Father Reading his Newspaper" (1866) by Paul Cezanne (

Totalitarian ideas are now out in the open: “Quick: what do you think when someone tries to convince you of something by prefacing their remarks with the phase ‘Experts say'” ? A plague of phony experts and elites

The prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith speaks: “… attacks on the faithful from within are coming from ‘secularized’ parts of the Church and frequently occur in the workplace or in schools. Cardinal Mueller: For faithful Catholics, it’s a time of tribulation and psychological terror

A specialist in medieval Christianity reflects on the title “Doctor of the Church”:  St Irenaeus “saw [gnosticism] as a heresy threatening to separate Christians from beliefs handed down by Jesus’ apostles. Why are some Roman Catholic saints called doctors of the Church?

Inspired by the Gulf Coast: A small Catholic college in Mobile brewed its own beer that has hints of orange and pineapple. Catholic college in Alabama gets its own locally-brewed beer

Concerns about religious freedom: In some parts of the Middle East and northern Africa, celebrating St. Valentine’s feast day is not allowed. Countries where Valentines Day is banned or discouraged

Thoughts on Our Lady of Lourdes: “While the Church is in fact extremely circumspect in accepting the validity of any new visions or apparitions, she also believes that “nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37)”. Apparitions and the Directions of Human Acts

“Just’ but not “good” seems to be a contradiction: “war has seemed both unavoidable and at the same time reprehensible.” What Makes a War Just?

Marriage is so much more than a partnership or contract:  It “is a Sacrament, covenant, partnership and vocation. It is permanent, faithful, exclusive and open to life.” The Good News about Catholic Marriage

Pope Francis’s motu proprio from Feb. 14: “The new law signals that a long-expected radical shift in the CDF’s purpose and power seems off the table”. The aftermath: Pope’s CDF changes and curial reform

Revisiting the Big Bang Theory: “One of Lemaître’s contributions was his insistence that the beginning of the universe, to which his cosmology pointed, ought not to be identified with the moment of creation.” Cosmology and Creation

A neglected subset of abortion: “Why, in a year when millions will receive abortion-derived vaccines, did we not remember the victims of fetal tissue harvesting, mourn them, and call for ethical alternatives?” Why the Blackout on Fetal Tissue Research Among Pro-Lifers?

“On the list of cardinals that Francis would like to see as his successor there is one new name that has quickly jumped to the top of the rankings. It is that of Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg.” If the Conclave Wants a Second Francis, Here Is the Name and the Program

Why has Pope Francis chose to deal with traditionalists in the way he has? While progressives shout about the necessity of dialogue and openness, some are “hermetically closed” to conservative Catholics. Unity Without Reduction: A response to Austen Ivereigh

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  1. The article on the Canadian Truckers Convoy – suggesting they are strictly a peaceful protest against so called totalitarian measures by our government to bring the pandemic under control is so biased it is in my view false news. Yes people are tired of the measures taken to control the spread of this pandemic whether it be social distancing, mask wearing or the like. But the majority of Canadians are law abiding and accept the gifts of vaccines against these diseases and have been vaccinated. It will be because of those who have been vaccinated that we will our lives resume to pre COVID freedoms and in spite of those who would prefer to block bridges, intersections, highways to further bring our economy under pressure and risk the lives of their fellow citizens. True freedom comes from caring about the lives of everyone and this truckers convoy (which thank heavens is not supported by the major trucking companies) is doing to end this pandemic. I also found it typical that the author chose to attack the Black Lives Matter movement. Not a word against the white supremicists or neo nazi’s marching. Shame shame for a Catholic publication. I can get this kind of stuff from FOX I don’t expect to see it also in a Catholic publication.E

    • A little history lesson: This started out in March 2020 as “2 weeks to slow the spread/curve” to “If you don’t get this experimental shot, you may lose your job, etc” to “if you financially support those who are being told they lose their job if they don’t get the shots, we may close all of your accounts”.

      Or, in other words, frog meet quickly heating water.

      “Shame shame for a Catholic publication.”

      Oh, please. Spare the empty emotional tactics for the politicians. (Also, I haven’t watched FOX News in years, so try an actual argument.)

      • Whether you agree with the law is not a factor in whether you should obey it. Render unto Caesars the things that are Caesar’s. Both right and left these days seem to resort to the same tactic and the same line of argument. I don’t want to therefore I shouldn’t have to. Not that either the right nor the left supports the other when it is their turn to make the argument.

        No government acts with perfect information or with perfect charity, but that does not give anyone, left of right, the right to opt out of any law they disagree with, and still less the right to paralyse society until they get their way.

        And pointing out, and exaggerating, the limits of the information that the government is working with is essentially vacuous. Of course the information they are working with is imperfect. It always is. But in this case they are responding to an emergency that requires a time-sensitive response and broad public co-operation. And while the information is incomplete, the weight of evidence rests overwhelmingly on the side of the efficacy and safety of vaccines, and quite conclusively on the side of the terrible effects of COVID-19. There could be few cases in which the balance of probabilities aligns more squarely with the policy of the government.

        You can, of course, criticise the details. Exactly which mandates, when and where. But no such disagreement justifies civil disobedience or insurrection.

        The essence of democracy is that we accept and obey those laws we disagree with and work to change them by trying to persuade others to vote for our policy and our party. Yes, this sometime involves us obeying laws we don’t like, even laws that we believe are evil. But if we base the legitimacy of government solely on whether we agree with it (as do those who call every policy they disagree with “undemocratic”) that is a recipe for mere anarchy.

        In short, the legitimacy of the government and your obligation to obey its laws does not rest on whether you agree with its policies or the information they are based on. Arguing about the science, therefore, is irrelevant to the question.

        • A number of problems here, but I’ll just focus on one. No, we do not have to obey laws that are evil or unjust; in fact, we have a duty to reject such laws. As the Catechism notes, unjust laws cannot be binding on one’s conscience:

          Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a “moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility”:

          A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.
          1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, “authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.” (CCC 1902)

          And from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:

          Authority must enact just laws, that is, laws that correspond to the dignity of the human person and to what is required by right reason. “Human law is law insofar as it corresponds to right reason and therefore is derived from the eternal law. When, however, a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; in such a case it ceases to be law and becomes instead an act of violence”.[816] Authority that governs according to reason places citizens in a relationship not so much of subjection to another person as of obedience to the moral order and, therefore, to God himself who is its ultimate source.[817] Whoever refuses to obey an authority that is acting in accordance with the moral order “resists what God has appointed” (Rom 13:2).[818] Analogously, whenever public authority — which has its foundation in human nature and belongs to the order pre-ordained by God [819] — fails to seek the common good, it abandons its proper purpose and so delegitimizes itself. (no. 398.)

          This would be a recipe for anarchy if in fact we were not able to ascertain what laws are just or unjust. But the Church has provided a wealth of means by which we can analyze and judge laws. Furthermore, raising questions and challenging the logic behind laws in private and public debate is an essential part of an authentic democracy. But it appears, more and more, that many people deny such a freedom, or even sophistically claim it is somehow contrary to freedom, democracy, and the moral order. Just another example of upside down claiming to be right side up.

    • Your attitude is so hopelessly biased that I hardly know where to begin. Neither you nor I know the long term implications of this vaccine. If the worst case scenario proves right, what will your reaction be? The BLM movement destroyed businesses, gave rise to wide spread looting, where is the good in that? As for your appraisal of CWR that is pure and utter rubbish. It has been a consistent beacon of truth and reliability. Go back to CNN it sounds more up your street.

    • i would say that the protest was more peaceful than any of the blm riots. and maybe you should read the blackout on fetal tissue article, you might consider never receiving another vaccine again.

  2. I’m all for small Catholic colleges brewing their own beer, but Spring Hill College in Mobile is Catholic in the same way that, say, Georgetown University is Catholic. In other words, not in the slightest.

  3. Hollerich is a fraud and, therefore (?) is named as the relator-general for the Synod on Synodality scheduled for 2023.

    WHAT WILL BE his words in the carefully-crafted “synthesis” of all the comments offered by participants in the 3,000 diocesan synods worldwide? Perhaps the other bookend to Cardinal Kasper’s two-hour grooming address that kicked off Amoris Laetitia? The “harmonized” full barrel predictably will include carefully nuanced bad apples…(in the same way, also, that packaged banking investment packages in 2008 concealed non-viable loans among the good—triggering a global financial collapse).

    The QUESTION is whether, at the next conclave—the new mix of voting cardinals—will stay in line as so-called Francis-cardinals, or whether they will perceive the colossal disaster—the theological Germany-virus going pandemic like the biological China virus?

    Will Hollerich and his ilk be quarantined, or not?

    The hand-puppet cardinal doesn’t even show up on the list of 19 most likely papabili examined thoroughly and fairly in “THE NEXT POPE: The Leading Cardinal Candidates,” edited by Edward Pentin (Sophia Institute Press, 2020).

    Are the cardinals attentive, or not? OR, JUST AS the Synod on Youth (2018) found itself as the water carrier for an attached surprise message about, what, “synodality,” will Hollerich’s “synthesis” and final report include another surprise addendum, to the effect that—regardless of contradictory contents—because so many folks took part in the synodal process, this participation itself IS a “consensus”! AND, constitutes the unanimity of sensus fidelium!!! A throwback to Marshall McLuhan’s “medium IS the message” of the 1960s.

    And, therefore, the NEXT CONCLAVE will have to be, what’s that new word, oh yes, “confirmed” in some way, by synodality, perhaps by delegates from each of the seven continental synods. Germany with some sort of procedural veto? Just a bad dream?

    But, let’s just do the “endless journey” of “communion” (with Eucharistic coherence?), “mission” (more than generic Christianity?) and “participation” (the bishop successors-of-the-apostles [!] more than “primarily as facilitators”? [the Vademecum]).

    DEMOGRAPHICALLY, by mid-century, three-fourths (!) of Catholics will live OUTSIDE of the West (already 20 percent of the total are in Africa). LET US PRAY that the new mix of conclave cardinals votes with informed heads, docile to the promptings of indwelling of the Holy Spirit. AND that Germany’s and the derailing West’s sinkhole theologies (or some kind of hole?) will not penetrate the papal selection process.

    • Upon reflection, an apology here to Cardinal Hollerich and the CWR readers. In my opening remark I use the word “fraud” and this is not at all accurate, instead probably slanderous or at least unwarranted hyperbole. I was looking for a word indicating at least that there are uncounted other better candidates for the papacy, and more trust-inspiring for relator-general of the Synod on Synodality. His positions on so many matters, unnecessarily repeated in the broad public forum, are simply disqualifying and scandalous, even if coming from a layman or a backwoods priest, and much more so from a bishop or cardinal. What can one say?

  4. Austen Ivereigh, in response to my [Hollis’ America] article, suggests that I [Hollis] suffer from naïveté when it comes to traditionalists—that I view them merely as “people with harmless if peculiar liturgical tastes.” What’s more, he argues that I don’t comprehend the sheer scale of corruption in the traditionalist movement, corruption that is so pervasive that dialogue should be abandoned: “Rather than dialogue, which would only serve to feed the corrupt person’s self-justification, the proper response is to put such a person in crisis.”

    Pot calls kettle black, which [yawn] one has learned to expect from sloganeers, profiteers, and worse. Calling Cardinal Cormac for backup. Calling CM’s internet attack dogs as security.

    Thinking Francis can further Church unity is hoping that Satan shine his light on sin.

  5. Reading some of Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich’s opinions in interviews he had given, I find them contrary to the Bible and two-thousand years of the Church’s teachings and traditions. In my opinion he has too many fanciful and worldly viewpoints, and not grasping the reality of sinful man in this world.

  6. Why the black-out regarding fetal tissue researchers by prolife activists/community? Same reason there is a black out regarding contraception and IVF.
    Convenience, possibly a need to be “ecumenical.” By the way, nearly all required vaccines (and many medicines) are made and/or tested utilizing HEK or some such cell line, and this has been given the de facto approval of by the Catholic Church hierarchy

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