The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and views for June 1, 2022

Here are some articles, essays and editorials that caught our attention this past week or so.*

Detail from "Waiting for the Stage (1851) by Richard Caton Woodville (Image:

Conservative Homosexuals – Out homosexuals have insinuated themselves into the halls of conservative think tanks and publications. Are Gays Replacing Christians in the Conservative Movement (Crisis Magazine)

Why McElroy? – Beyond particular and proximate issues such as homosexuality, eucharistic discipline, sex abuse scandals, and obstructionism, it is important to ask a simple question: why does Pope Francis like Bishop McElroy enough to make him a Cardinal? Cardinal McElroy and the Moral Theological Project of Pope Francis (Gaudium et Spes 22)

Meaningful Moral Action – “Perhaps the key theme in C. S. Lewis’s book The Abolition of Man is his emphasis on the importance . . . of the chest as the seat, the location, of our moral intuitions and convictions.” Keeping Things on My Chest (Snakes and Ladders)

Promoting Chaos – Man’s instincts have been reimagined in the last two decades. We’ve been told by the left and feminists that our masculinity is toxic and law enforcement is the villain. Whitlock: Barack Obama, BLM, and the summer of George Floyd contributed to ‘Uvalde massacre’ (The Blaze)

Hipsters wanted – “A sense of sameness pervades the creative world. The dominant themes feel static and repetitive, not dynamic and impactful.” 14 Warning Signs That You Are Living in a Society Without a Counterculture (Ted Gioia – The Honest Broker)

Less Screen Time – Children are acting out, mostly negatively, to their parents’ constant use of their devices and the frequent neglect of their children. Parents with Cell Phones: How Children Suffer Due to Our Distracting Devices (Catholic Exchange)

Welcome to the Club – “After years of dragging its feet on numerous allegations of sexual abuse by clergy and church employees within the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention finally commissioned an independent investigation into the scandal.” Baptists Share Catholics’ Pain (The Clarksdale Press Register)

Tom Cruise’s Story – “Cruise grew up in a traditional Catholic household, and well into his college years, Catholicism is where he sought spirituality.” The Tragic Real-Life Story of Tom Cruise (The Grunge)

The Pastoral Approach – “San Francisco’s Catholic shepherd has a profound understanding of what the U.S. bishops have called the preeminent issue of our time, and his stand is courageous.” A New Era? (National Catholic Register)

Notes on the complexity and simplicity of evil – What if the experts know exactly why America is plagued with murderers who want to do these things and have developed the best possible strategies for combating this scourge? It still wouldn’t solve the problem. Schrödinger’s Serial Killers (The Dispatch)

A Clandestine Ordination – “Dom Alcuin Reid is a liturgical scholar, the prior of a monastic community in the south of France and a vocal critic of Pope Francis’ decision to restrict celebrations of the Traditional Latin Mass.” Traditionalist monk suspended following clandestine ordination (The Tablet)

Opponent or Ally? – “Billionaire and Tesla founder Elon Musk on Tuesday decried the decades-long trend of declining birth rates in the United States, urging that Americans ‘celebrate having kids’ rather than discouraging it.” Elon Musk Decries Low Birthrates, But His Company Promotes Abortions (Catholic Vote)

(*The posting of any particular news item or essay is not an endorsement of the content and perspective of said news item or essay.)

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  1. In “Why McElroy” (second article from the top) Larry Chapp documents THE POINT that the Francis project is all about changing moral theology.

    Chapp begins with Amoris Laetitia, and highlights the trashing of Veritatis Splendor. Under the Francis project, moral prohibitions are redefined, in effect, as more fluid evangelical councils. As this reader has often commented on CWR, yes, it’s all about (a) still AFFIRMING the formal teachings of natural law and revelation (no explicit heresy there!), while at the same time (b) inventing categories of action which are simply EXEMPT from the same teachings. This is Jesuitical causuistry on steroids and in a white or red hat.

    THEN Chapp asks what truly new and non-contradictory thing is actually needed today “which breaths fire” into the regime of grace?

    In response, THIS:
    Is it that 70 percent of clerics (like the 70 percent of laity as reported by PEW research?), do NOT believe in the Real Presence (CCC 1374)? Instead, do they market the real presence only as a symbol of the congregational clan, as a somewhat unifying idea, but not as a fact? The ghost of Edward Schillebeeckx?

    What if Pope Francis opened his eyes to THIS crisis of anti-sacramental progressivism, this contradiction to his own “principle” in Evangelii Gaudium (2013) that “realities are more important than ideas”?

    But instead, he unwittingly enables eventual replacement of the Eucharistic Church with an increasingly flat-earth synodality, surrounding himself with smiley-button mediocrities like McElroy, who now accuse and backstab their brother successors of the apostles for “weaponizing” the Eucharist.

  2. When in Rome I hesitated to do as the Romans do. At least not Roman lecturer German Bernard Häring who taught Moral theology at the Academia Alfonsiana in Rome 1949 and 1987, and as guest lecturer at the Beda Pontifical College where I studied. New to it all I was impressed with his eloquence nonetheless able to detect his unorthodoxy.
    Larry Chapp responds to what McElroy’s appointment means in his perception of where Pope Francis is taking us. He offers us a persuasive indication where, quoting Francis’ ingratiating remark on Häring “as a great model for the renewal of moral theology”. Chapp citing Jeffrey Mirus: In his 1973 book Medical Ethics, Häring defended sterilization, contraception and artificial insemination. He also suggested that the human embryo does not become a person until the twenty-fifth day. Häring also wanted a change in the teachings of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage, regarding it as inflicting cruel hardships on the young. According to Häring, under difficult circumstances, we may engage in a process of discernment which leads us to the commission of intrinsically evil acts (Mirus).
    The voyage of the good ship Synod on Synodality is cutting toward uncharted waters helmsmaster heedless of the few among the many passengers’ who murmur in faint alarm all sufficiently tranquilized with a unique brand of pontifical valium.

  3. Homosexuals have taken over the Catholic church, the Protestant churches, and so on. There is no reason they cannot take over “The National Review” or the American Enterprise institute. Getting inside these institutions and taking them over is their hallmark. They are very good at it. They know conservative institutions stand in their way, and they know the best way to eliminate opposition is to get inside it and turn it around. Even Dennis Prager has become very pro homosexual, saying that “everyone is bisexual”. That man has gone a bit haywire.

  4. In the final analysis, people who are unhappy and disaffected vote with their feet and their wallets. Most faithful Catholics are traditional in their point of view. And they are the ones who show up at church and put dollars in the collection plates. The more twisted church leaders go in destroying traditional values, the fewer congregants will be in the seats and the fewer dollars they will collect.Eventual it will meet its end. We are already selling church properties to pay debts but it seems not to have sunk in with the hierarchy. The Germans are running toward destruction too . Lets see if the other nations follow.A few years down the road, I think a schism will be inevitable.

  5. Why McElroy:

    According to Pew polls in the last ten years (during which time Francis has regaled the Catholic World with his mess of situational ethics), only about 1/3 Catholics view homosexual acts as sin, over 50% say abortion should be legal in all cases, and 8% see contraception as morally wrong. Was anyone surprised to learn that Pew then polled to discover that two of every three Catholics did not believe the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is actually present and given to worthy recipients in the Holy Eucharist?

    Chapp cuts to the quickened bone of moral relativism with his sharp analysis. McElroy reflects the typical, average faith of the Western Catholic world. As does Francis. Birds of the same mucilaginous black feather, together.

    For at least a year, Beaulieu here has been denouncing Francis’ moral proportionalism and gradualism, eating away at Veritatis Splendor.

    Welcome to the noble fight, ye good Christian soldiers on Peter’s page. Onward and forward with St. Joan, St. Justin, Sts. Peter and Marcellinus, martyrs all, with robes washed white in the blood of the lamb.

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