The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, Extra! News and views for September 21, 2022

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

"News Depot, Cos Cob" (1912) by Childe Hassam (Image:

Faith and Science – “The Church established the first exclusively scientific academy in the world. Today, the pope encourages the successors of those first scholars.” Why the Catholic Church is all about following the science (Aleteia)

Substituting Radical Social Politics for Doctrine – “Pope Francis habitually elides the Christian religion with ill-considered social activism and a humanitarian moral and political message…” The Church over the Abyss (The American Mind)

Revolt of the Masses – “If the old motto was watch out below, the new one ought to be: Watch out above!” 15 Observations on the Emerging Vertical Dimension of Cultural Conflict (Ted Gioia, The Honest Broker)

The Fit Hit the Sham – “For millions of people watching the [Bringham Young racist slur] story unfold, this was yet another example of the ineradicable stain of American racism, of just how little progress we’ve really made. Except it didn’t happen.” How the Media Fell for A Racism Sham (Common Sense)

Religious Identity – “New study projects that the religious identity in the US will drop below 50 percent by 2070.” Decline of Christianity Shows No Signs of Stopping (Christianity Today)

American Sexual Ethics – “Has the American notion of religious freedom changed in recent decades? And if so, why?” Defending religious freedom after the sexual revolution (Pillar Catholic)

Sexual Transitions – “The Michigan Department of Education has adopted a radical gender theory program that promotes gender ‘fluidity’ beginning in elementary school. Concealing Radicalism (City Journal)

Accusing Others – “As Saul Alinsky, patron saint of today’s progressive politics, saw so clearly, the most fruitful defense is a nasty offense; and preferably directed at persons, not merely their ideas.” The Fine Art of Name-Calling (The Catholic Thing)

The Late Queen – “News of the passing of Queen Elizabeth is only hours old, but I’ve already begun fielding questions regarding the British monarchy and its relationship with Anglican Christianity.” Q&A: Anglicanism and the Monarchy (Juicy Ecumenism)

The Unvaccinated – “The pandemic is essentially over, right? For some, yes. For others, not so much.” Continuing COVID craziness shows it was never about the science (New York Post)

The Dangers of Autolatry – “Words are associated with images. What images do you associate with the word ‘idolatry’?” Our (Not So) Secret Idoloatry (The Catholic Thing)

A Cursed Deal – “The biggest trick the Devil ever played was convincing people that online stuff is free.” YouTube May Force You to Watch 10 (or More) Unskippable Ads in a Row (Ted Gioia, The Honest Broker)

Political Points – Chrissy Teigen is rewriting the facts of her ‘miscarriage’ so she can use her tragedy as a weaponized sob story to push abortion. Chrissy Teigen Misconstruing Son’s Death To Score Pro-Abortion Points Reminds Us She’s The Worst (The Federalist)

Catholic Intellectual Formation – As private college costs continue to rise, alternative approaches to Catholic higher ed are emerging as an important option. Catholic Education, Secular Campus: Growing Movement Provides Intellectual Formation to Catholic Students, Wherever They Are (National Catholic Register)

(*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. I have a suspicion that Chrissy Teigen might have been approached by pro-feticide interests to publicize this story before the midterm elections.
    If she experienced an early induced delivery to save her life that is not a case of direct abortion. She may not understand the difference between that & committing feticide, but Catholic teaching does.
    I don’t think it’s really charitable to assume she’s participating in this charade with full knowledge.

  2. Skip these worthy articles if one must, but do not skip #2: Substituting Radical Social Politics for Doctrine – “Pope Francis habitually elides the Christian religion with ill-considered social activism and a humanitarian moral and political message…” The Church over the Abyss (The American Mind)

  3. Fagerberg gives a good overview using a new word autolatry, worship of self. The most common feature underlying idolatry, the rationale for Original Sin. We, by refusing God, become gods of a lesser order typified by the Satanic rebellion. “So Frederick William Faber describes a worldly man as someone who lives as if he will never have to give an account of himself to a higher power” (Fagerberg on Faber).
    Fagerberg alludes to the problem that exists in religion. We have a pontiff who seemingly seeks to repudiate rules, although the deeper we analyze his words, spoken and written, it becomes not so much repudiation of rules rather reinterpretation. And, of course, the fine line between legitimacy regarding a hermeneutic of continuity [Benedict XVI] and error. His Holiness responds to this critique by referencing a practicality, the viability of the pastoral perspective [as he referred to Archbishop Cordileone’s sanction of Nancy Pelosi as not pastoral, and politically disruptive]. Although, isn’t that the feature that is conveyed in Church China relations, and the Cardinal Zen policy [or non policy]?
    Now I’ll risk adversity. Might we assume that transference of the morality of hermeneutic continuity to pastoral concern is simply a break with the Author of rules? Then, if reasonably held to be so, is it not another form of idolatry that Fagerberg defines as autolatry?

  4. @Substituting Radical Social Politics for Doctrine. Professor Mahoney correctly details the reinvention of Catholicism by Francis, its transformation into what others perceive as just another NGO focused on climate change and the like. A good article if we require a refresher course, or have been [purposely] asleep the past 9 years. It’s accurate but old hat.
    At this stage it’s to better advantage if we’re going to effectively address what’s been happening since 2013. A drift away from traditional practice rather than a definitive repudiation of doctrine, as was the Arian heresy that denied the divinity of the Person Jesus Christ. Here [today] we have no such definitive heresy. What then? As responded to on The Dangers of Autolatry radical subversion of the faith has occurred by emphasis on pastoral inclusion rather than eliminating rules. And as Mahoney identifies a shift toward ‘worldly’ concerns protection of the Planet.
    If there was an indicator of that change of direction it’s the Amazonia project involving Cardinal Hummes et al that revived a sanctification of the natural world, glorification of indigenous practices, ritual as closer to God’s creation than modern Man and his exploitation of the environment. Key within this is what may be brushed off as naive foolery. Nonetheless a series of interconnected events followed the Vatican Gardens Pachamama [goddess of the Andes that accentuates reverence for the natural world, and with that pre Christian social mores] enshrinement ceremony, German Synodalweg, The grand Synod on Synodality.
    An unavoidable question. Can anyone describe the essential difference with the goals for the Synod on Synodality as laid out by relator Cardinal Hollerich, and as very recently detailed by participants as the desired outcomes of the grand Synod – from the newly published document citing Synodalweg changes [advances?] to Catholic doctrine?

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