The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! New and views for July 27, 2022

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

Detail from "Portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam Writing" (1523) by Hans Holbein the Younger (Image:

Church Teaching – On Dr. Larry Chapp Presents, Dr. Chapp Interviews Eduardo Echeverria On Vatican II. Dr. Eduardo Echeverria Discusses Vatican II and Pope Francis (Gaudium et Spes 22)

Gender Pronouns – Los Angeles Unified School District adopts radical “trans-affirming” programming and instructs teachers to work toward “the breakdown of the gender binary.” Sexual Liberation in Public Schools (City Journal)

Young Priests – Young priests are not being ordained at an easy time in the history of the United States. I’m not sure there has ever been an easy time to be a priest, regardless of the period in history or the spot on the globe. But it is undeniable that challenges await.” Stir into Flame: A Response to the Survey Among Recently Ordained Priests (Homiletic and Pastoral Review)

Definitely Defining “Woman” — When political leaders can’t define what a woman is, society has a problem. Sex and Gender Matter. Writer-Academic Abigail Favale Explains Why. (The Daily Signal)

Much More of the Same — “According to Fauci, Americans in high-transmission areas should still wear masks in ‘schools, places of worship, anything that brings people together in a closed environment.’” Fauci: Covid Restrictions Should Have Been ‘Much, Much More Stringent’ (National Review)

NFP – In preparation for NFP Awareness Week this year, I conducted a series of pre-recorded interviews, talking about the theology, science, and goodness of NFP with couples, a doctor, a priest, and our office staff. Why Humanae Vitae Is Still Right (Catholic Exchange)

Religion and Theology – Today we have a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of religion in our lives. Most secular people want to push religion out of the public square, and often even religious people think it is just a private affair. What is Religion and Why Does it Matter? (Guest: R. Jared Staudt, Crisis Magazine)

Astrology – God knows. The stars do not. 18 Reasons Why Astrology Makes No Sense (National Catholic Register)

Contraception is Evil – there have been confusing ideas coming from the Pontifical Academy of Life that seem to imply that the Church’s teaching on contraception can “develop” to allow the use of artificial contraception. Contraception Will Always Be Intrinsically Evil: A Look at the Development of Doctrine (National Catholic Register)

‘Teach us to pray’ – Why is there so much interest in prayer and yet so little praying? Discover what Jesus teaches us about the essential qualities of prayer. Essential Qualities of Prayer (Integrated Catholic Life)

Same-Sex Marriage- Jordan Peterson is an enigmatic person. Ever since he suddenly appeared on the world stage as a teacher of responsibility, self-discipline, and political incorrectness, he has been controversial.  Why Jordan Peterson’s Surrender on Same-Sex “Marriage” Is Tragic (Crisis Magazine)

‘Climate Crisis’ – While Biden promised to use his authority to address ‘climate change,’ he stopped short at declaring a national emergency. Biden promises ‘official government action’ against ‘climate change,’ stops short of declaring emergency (LifeSite News)

California Gun Law – California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a gun control bill into law that will allow private citizens to sue anyone who manufactures, sells, transports or distributes illegal “assault weapons and ghost guns.” Newsom signs gun control bill modeled after Texas abortion law (Fox News)

Conversion Therapy – Keeping a campaign promise he made to the LGBT community, Biden called for an administration-wide push to eliminate the use of conversion therapy by therapists across the nation. Biden’s LGBT Executive Order Seen by Some as an Attack on Civil Rights (The Epoch Times)

Poetry’s Place – Most Christians misunderstand the relationship of poetry to their faith. They consider it an admirable but minor aspect of religious practice. Christianity and Poetry (First Things)

(*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. Responding to “Religion and Theology:” Staudt comments on religion, philosophy, theology and then Christianity. But in these nihilistic times, what if the deeper need of students and others is also, or even first, fresh hope?

    It might not fit the curriculum slicing and dicing of academia, but a shelved work these days is John Paul II’s reader-friendly interview: “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” (1994). A quick weekend read. Concise sections are even offered on Buddha, Islam, Judaism, the New Evangelization, and Is There Really Hope in the Young.

    And, for those cancel-culture German bishops of block-party ecclesiology, we even read (in italics): “The Catechism was also indispensable, in order that all the richness of the teaching of the Church following the Second Vatican Council could be preserved in a new synthesis [“synthesis!”: subject to textual-abuse under literally open-ended “synodality”] and be given a new direction.”

    (The German misdirection is now rebuked, butt only procedurally, and now pins its enthusiasm—not to be confused with theological “hope”—on possible verbal fondling by the like-minded Cardinal Hollerich.)

  2. Chapp and Echeverria circle the issue of Francis’ pastoral approach to absolute truth as traditionally understood in the Deposit of Faith. Francis gives [as cited] examples of a contextual pastoral understanding relative to context. Not a direct denial of the faith as if it were succinctly held by Pope Francis, rather a presumed Lerian extension of revelation.
    Circling the issue may be unkindly seen as circumventing the issue, although both well versed on the details don’t definitively resolve whether Francis’ new paradigm pastoral approach is not simply clumsy errant theology, rather heretical. Canonically, Francis [in my opinion a very astute theologian contrary to the opinions of Echeverria and Chapp who deftly manages to forge a policy without definitively committing himself].
    Rather than address intent as either malevolent or benign [that is God’s bailiwick; both presenters consider it benign but off the mark] I choose to address that which anchors truth, absolute, or contextual. Both Chapp and Echeverria benignly consider Francis wrong with benign intent. That may, theoretically, leave the issue of absolute truth [essentially relative to the unchanging good that is the divinity where relative is more inference] subject to opinion. Who is to say which opinion is absolutely correct?
    The best approach is that of Aquinas on certitude, achieved when both major and minor premise of a proposition is known in one act of knowing [see De Anima]. That as Aristotle says in his Ethics [Nicomachean] is not science, rather intuitive. That is to say, not arrived at by reason; arrived at by a simple inherent capacity of man to apprehend those absolutes. Otherwise, Aquinas will add, we continuously circle the matter without arriving at a definitive conclusion [this implies an act of the will in suppressing what is interiorly given]. Don’t Chapp and Echeverria conclude that without naming it? Yes. However, without cognizance of how absolute truth is apprehended the reader is left with a form of intellectual floating considering whether a Francis relative approach may also be correct.

  3. I was very disappointed to read about Jordan Peterson & his interview that appeared to legitimize homosexual couples hiring surrogates to carry children.
    I don’t know that Dr. Peterson actually endorses that or if his reticence in the interview was motivated more by courtesy but it did sadden me to watch the video the article link here describes.
    It’s strange because not long before that interview was filmed Dr. Peterson had done another one about the critical need of a father & mother in the home.

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