The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and views for August 10, 2022

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

Detail from "Fruit Bowl, Book and Newspaper" (early 20th century) by Juan Gris (

‘Personal Beliefs’ vs. Objective Science – President Biden asserted his personal belief as a Catholic that human life begins at conception and that abortion, therefore, is morally wrong. He has always been quick to add, however, that he is unwilling to use the law to “impose” this personal conviction on anyone else. Our Catholic President and the Most Pressing Moral Issue of Our Time (Word on Fire)

‘Gender Affirmation’ – Most push notifications that pop up on my tablet concern impending catastrophe. But last week, one newsflash made my day. Glory hallelujah, the NHS is closing the Tavistock. Good riddance to the Tavistock (The Spectator)

Irish Catholicism – High numbers of people attending Mass was a modern phenomenon, NUI Galway professor tells history festival. Catholic Church was a ‘net winner’ from Ireland’s Great Famine, historian says (Irish Times)

American Catholic Painter – Although most readers will not recognize his name, George Tooker is probably the finest Catholic painter in American history. The Catholic Art of George Tooker (The Catholic Thing)

Bahrain Cathedral – A new Catholic cathedral in Bahrain, Our Lady of Arabia, will be consecrated on Dec. 10 by the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. Bahrain Catholic cathedral to be consecrated on Dec. 10 (Arab News)

Close to Ukraine – Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See has hinted that a possible papal trip to his country could happen before the pope’s visit to Kazakhstan in mid-September, when he is expected to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. Ukraine’s Vatican envoy hints Pope may be set to visit the country (Crux Now)

Catholic American farmers – God created the garden of Eden depicting the growth of plants and animals and forming humans as farmers to care for the soil. Stewardship and Catholic Farming (Catholic Exchange)

Growing Evangelical Shift – The Latino exodus from Catholicism and toward more politically conservative evangelical faiths is one important reason for the rightward shift that could shape the future of the electorate. Mapped: Power of Latino Protestants (Axios)

Mulberry Street Protest – Pro-choice picketers and anti-abortion protesters clashed Saturday outside a Catholic church in Manhattan, leading to several arrests. Arrests made as pro-choice, anti-abortion protesters clash outside NYC Catholic church (New York Post)

Tradition and Apocalypse David Bentley Hart’s message is an anti-gospel. May the sheep of God’s flock listen to the voice of their Lord, and not that of a stranger. A Lonely Hart (First Things)

Polio Cases – Many people thought that the poliovirus was extinct across the majority of the world, as the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared many continents polio-free. Vaccines Are Bringing Back a Nearly Eradicated Deadly Virus (The Epoch Times)

Is Francis Ahab? – Is the current pontificate increasingly following the course of Captain Ahab in Moby Dick? The Ahab Papacy (Crisis Magazine)

(*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. Good grief. The Irish don’t need the British to disrespect their Catholic heritage. Irish professors can do that on their own now.

  2. Standing up for life from conception to natural death is NOT a PERSONAL opinion. It is an acknowledgement of biological fact. At one time, everyone alive today was just two cells coming together. That’s how life begins. Truth doesn’t require your agreement, and standing up for life doesn’t mean exercising a personal belief. Chairman Joe has for more than fifty years wet his finger to determine the political wind direction and stood up according to that. His personal convictions mean nothing to his character, he is all about maintaining his POWER, which is how Democrats view their role: not as servants but as wielding power over their constituents.

  3. ‘Personal Beliefs’ vs. Objective Science’. Bishop Barron’s answer to Biden’s position of personal belief and unwillingness to impose on others, “A distinctive genetic structure and identity—comes into existence at the moment of conception. It is furthermore a fundamental axiom of ethics that innocent human life ought never to be attacked”.
    Barron finds Biden’s position incoherent as an ethics issue. He’s correct. Added to the Bishop’s criticism is that it is not simply a religious belief issue. Rather it’s primarily a Justice issue, the inviolability of an innocent human life. The Supreme Court correctly struck down Roe on precisely that basis, that no such right is found in the Constitution, nor in tradition [Common Law].

  4. In the final listing, CRISIS magazine likens the current papacy to Captain Ahab, and the white whale (Moby Dick) to the Leviathan: “Only divine Providence can be hoped to raise us from the devouring sea of this world, lest we have lashed ourselves with the hemp of Ahab to Leviathan.”

    On the other hand, what if the victorious white whale is not the symbol of worldly evil, but instead the symbol of good and even the providential presence of the the Holy Spirit?

    Why is the whale white, and why is Captain Ahab (whose name is an Old Testament symbol of evil) dressed in black? When the British author William Somerset Maugham reviewed the book, he turned everything right side up. He sidestepped the other critics and even Melville’s own explanation that the whale is “all evil, visibly personified” and wrote instead:

    “Why should the White Whale not represent goodness rather than evil? Splendid in beauty, vast in size, great in strength, he swims the seas in freedom. Captain Ahab with his insane pride is pitiless, harsh, cruel and revengeful; he is Evil; and when the final encounter comes and Ahab with his crew of ‘mongrel renegades, castaways and cannibals’ are destroyed, and the White Whale, imperturbable, justice having been done, goes his mysterious way, evil has been vanquished and good at last has triumphed” (Herman Melville, W. Somerset Maugham, editor and introduction, “Moby Dick or the White Whale,” John C. Winston Co., 1949, xxvi).

    • You opened an exciting way of looking at whale and Ahab. Time for a re-read.

      Am following Jessica H. Wilson’s BROTHERS KARAMAZOV commentaries. Do you post lectures on great books?

  5. ‘Is Francis Ahab?’. “Only divine Providence can be hoped to raise us from the devouring sea of this world, lest we have lashed ourselves with the hemp of Ahab to Leviathan” (Wendell Hull’s foreboding).
    Melville’s classic is continuously studied for symbolic meaning. Melville in his exchange of letters with Hawthorne, a believer unlike the himself Melville called Moby Dick his ‘wicked opus’. Drawing from that premise a religious bro who taught English Lit believed the white whale was symbolic of God.
    Melville had an inner fear and hate of a disinterested, impervious to human suffering god. To carry that further in Hull’s analogy of Francis to Captain Ahab, it seems the analogy better fits that between Ahab king of Israel and God. That is in context of literary analogy of course.

  6. The news on the Bahrain Cathedral is old news. The compiler aggregator missed the dateline of the news. One can watch on YouTube the dedication of the cathedral almost a year ago.


    January 23, 1973,
    How can it be.
    Forty-nine years of devastation,
    Leading to the ruin of our nation.
    Abortion the elephant in the room,
    As a womb becomes a tomb.
    Over two thousand children killed every day,
    Never, ever allowed to play.
    Who should live, who should die,
    America needs to look God in the eye.
    Our country has bought the lie,
    Eat the fruit, you will not die.
    Like God you will be,
    As your child takes a knee.
    Time to end the sea of red,
    No more children waking up dead.
    America needs a monument in D.C.,
    Never forget or let it be.
    A crimson wall with over sixty million spaces,
    No names, no faces.

  8. When Irish Roses Cry

    Early morning dew,
    Another child blue.
    As death a mother chose,
    A teardrop falls from a rose.
    Most see a red flower and water,
    I see blood and an aborted daughter.
    The sun starts to rise,
    As I am blessed with crying eyes.
    I walk through crimson roses everywhere,
    Seeing death and an eternal stare.
    The sky is crying, feel the pain,
    Down my cheek teardrops rain.
    Do my prayers fall to the ground,
    Never, ever making a sound?
    Jesus will not turn away,
    So I pray them anyway.
    Yet another child will soon die,
    And a crimson rose will cry.

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  1. Additional, additional! Information and perspectives for August 10, 2022 – Catholic International File – Catholic International File – Worship God Elyon

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