The Dispatch: More from CWR...

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

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

Dante Alighieri shown holding a copy of the "Divine Comedy" next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory, and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Domenico di Michelino's 1465 fresco. (Image: Jastrow/Wikipedia)

Purgatory Now – “The practicing Catholic starts with the end-goal of heaven and more specifically the Beatific Vision, and, in working backwards, knows they must die in a state of grace in order to enjoy the blessings of both. ” Our Lady’s Greatest Delight (Catholic Exchange)

Hate Speech Charges – A woman in Norway is facing up to three years in prison on criminal hate-speech charges after saying that a man cannot become a lesbian. Norwegian actress Tonje Gjevjon faces up to 3 years in prison for saying men cannot be lesbians (New York Post)

Renovations – Hundreds of thousands were paid to a contractor instead of going to missionary and charitable projects. Paglia claims they were repaid; while others cry foul. Paglia used charity funds to renovate apartment (The Pillar)

Real Reform – “…the Eighth World Meeting of Families was a remarkable success.  Its one chronic problem, in the eyes of the Philadelphia team actually doing the work, had a name:  Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.” Archbishop Paglia? Financial Reform? (The Catholic Thing)

Oligarchs and Rulers – “Two main components comprise the foreign policy and military world: policy and operations.” The Plight of Ordinary Ukrainians with Negotiations in Deep Freeze (CNS News)

Ditching Christianity – “It’s less about hot-button topics like abortion and gay marriage and more about the Cold War and the internet.” A mass exodus from Christianity is underway in America. Here’s why. (Grid)

Heroic Virtues – “Recognizing that Matteo Ricci “lived the Christian virtues to a heroic degree,” Pope Francis has officially put the famous 16th-century Italian Jesuit missionary to China on the path to sainthood.” Pope Francis puts Matteo Ricci on path to sainthood (America Magazine)

Conservative Clergy, Liberal Laity – “Almost half of young clergy in a survey disapprove of the liberalizing Pope Francis.” U.S. Catholic Priests Are Increasingly Conservative as Faithful Grow More Liberal (Wall Street Journal)

100,000 Have Died – “Recently, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen carelessly revealed the devastating cost of the Ukraine war.” Is This Winning? (The American Conservative)

Release These Guys – “Pope Francis has asked world leaders to release prisoners, as a ‘gesture of clemency,’ as we approach the Christmas season.” The gap between papal rhetoric and action (Catholic Culture)

A Point of Scandal – “An alleged victim of Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik has detailed the sexual, psychological, and spiritual abuse she said she suffered as a religious sister.” ‘Descent into Hell’: An alleged Rupnik victim speaks out (The Pillar)

Limits of Medicine or Divine Intervention? – “The Marian shrine is famous to the faithful, but less well known is the Lourdes office of medical observations. ” France’s Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes: Where 70 medical miracles have been recognized by church officials (CBS News)

Travelling Holy Family – “Instead of the well-known ‘Elf on the Shelf’ activity, I wanted to invite parents reading this post to try something different this Advent by introducing ‘Travelling Mary and St. Joseph’ to their home.” Travelling Mary and St. Joseph: A Catholic Alternative to Elf on the Shelf (Archdiocese of Toronto)

Sports and Faith – “Do you allow sports to compete with God for the number one spot in your life? Do you celebrate receiving Jesus in the Eucharist much more enthusiastically than you celebrate your team scoring a touchdown?” Sports host takes his Catholic faith to the airwaves (The B.C. Catholic)

A Diocesan College – “At one time, it might have seemed unnecessary to attempt to define Catholicity for a Catholic institution of higher education. It was Catholic by its very nature . . . ” Our Rich History: The Catholic identity of a Diocesan College — a historical perspective (Northern Kentucky Tribune)

Do Good, Avoid Evil – “The manualists, as they were called, distinguished themselves from those writing about pursuing the good. Those authors wrote about growing in ‘perfection’ or the ascetical life.” A brief history of the Catholic Church’s teaching on mercy and sin (America Magazine)

The Joy of Life – “A rumor is making the rounds in Rome that Pope Francis is preparing to issue an encyclical or some other form of teaching document on contraception.” A New Encyclical on Contraception? (The Catholic Thing)

(*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. #2 “HATE SPEECH”…What! “Hate speech” by an actress now to be punished for saying a man cannot be a lesbian? We can conclude, therefore, that United States Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote for the majority in Obergefell v Hodges ratifying the oxymoron “gay marriage,” received his exemplary legal training in Norway!

    For, it was “none” but he who also practiced hate speech (!), at the highest level, when he included (inclusiveness!) wording into the ruling that anyone affirming the real meaning of marriage was a “homophobe”—thereby inserting his novelty into the body politic and the post-colon-ial (!) Constitution of the United States.

    #8 “CONSERVATIVE CLERGY”…of younger priests and seminarians, we read from the incomparable and complaining Rev. Thomas Reese, “Now they are only loyal to the pope if he agrees with them.”

    Specious rhetoric! Maybe “they” can still discern the difference, despite the slight variation in spelling, between “fraternal collegiality” and collegial frat-house solidiarity. Of which, the layman Thomas More remarked to the Duke of Norfolk: “And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?”

    Final listing, “THE JOY OF LIFE”…likely not an “encyclical,” but rather a lower ranking “exhortation,” or maybe a Wednesday audience, or synodal double-speak, or some other signal like a photo-op with Fr. James Martin?

    The game plan has been to not directly contradict the Magisterium (the Catechism, Veritatis Splendor), but instead to drive a wedge between pastoral accommodation and the truth of natural law, of which: “The Church is no way [!] the author or the arbiter of this [‘moral’] norm” (Veritatis Splendor, n. 95). So, “yes” still to the truth, butt ambiguity as to whether truth still has a place off the scholarly bookshelf?

    Of which, this from St. John Paul II and the Magisterium:

    “A separation, or even an opposition [!], is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid and general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision [no longer a ‘moral judgment’!] about what is good and what is evil. On this basis, an attempt is made [!] to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept [thou shalt not!]” (Veritatis Splendor, n. 56).

    And! “This is the first time, in fact, that the Magisterium of the Church [!] has set forth in detail the fundamental elements of this [‘moral’] teaching, and presented the principles for the pastoral discernment necessary in practical and cultural situations which are complex and even crucial” (n. 115).

  2. St. Paul says he is the Least of the Apostles.

    In his honour, I offer a brief comment on the Second-To-Last item, “Do Good, Avoid Evil”, re, manualism. If you’re not fully satisfied with the fare at AMERICAN JESUIT MAGAZINE, you can find a mesmerizing discussion of manualists at ONE PETER FIVE, by Christian Wagner, “In Defense of Manuals and Manualism”.

    Maybe AMERICAN at December 15 felt they had to compete with 1P5 at December 2, but I think that even with the advantage of time that AMERICAN had, they are outstripped by 1P5. AMERICAN is too concerned with a contemporary theme that sets its own limits and thus they are unable to extend the survey. They should spend more effort reading CWR, it would do a lot for them.

    Today at CWR I discovered Catherine Harmon’s article 2011 about an apparent oversight from Pope Benedict XVI – made by omitting to reach to things within his grasp. It seems to be a complementary lesson going with manualism. On the other hand, it could be that at the time BXVI delegated the tasks and bore with the results: again, like to manualism in its own sense.

    I would like to wish everyone at CWR a Merry and Holy Christmas 2022 and say thank you to the masterful and exceptionally tranquil Editorial staff who process my works and give the okay to publish what I write. I am at a loss to repay you and I am in your debt. God be your recompense!

    And a Merry Christmas etc. to fellow Comment contributors like the icing on the cake.

  3. @Purgatory Now. A great bit of advice from Jonathan Coe. “Why not have a Purgatory Now mentality, the strategy to suffer on the front-end in order to diminish or avoid suffering on the back-end”? Why not?
    Actually, if we take our faith seriously and love Christ for what he has done for us by his passion, we really should have some sense of participating with him in his mission, to offer ourselves in gratitude. Simply by our baptism we all share in the commonly held, universal priesthood as disciples of Christ.
    Presently, the risk of loss of souls is great. Catholics falling away in most locales [insofar as those who offend us, and resulting anger prayer for their good is the finest means of achieving peace]. Why not reach for sanctity when Christ and the world need us, those of us blessed with the true faith. It’s charity that saves. Reward in this life is also part of the sacrifice, the interior experience of Christ’s ineffable love.

  4. Mercy and Sin
    “This is an extraordinarily important claim: Our happiness depends on our upright communal behavior. A focus on mercy and hospitality, not an obsession with sin, is the trademark of early Christians. Their moral lives were clearly at the service of others whom they identified as siblings.”

    This article is simply trying to justify the modern Church putting secular ‘social justice’ ahead of saving souls. To love God is to obey God. To sin is to hate God. Jesus did not even talk to Caesar about welfare programs, crucifixions and wars. Jesus’ focused on producing the fruit of love for God in your heart, for your eternal salvation.

    In the Second Secret of Fatima, God offered the world peace, rather than WWII. If people would have repented of their massive sinfulness, and if the Church Consecrate Russia to the Blessed Mother’s Immaculate heart, then God would have granted us peace, rather than WWII. What better way to protect strangers among us from war, famine and pestilence, than to get the world to turn away from sin?

    John 14:15
    If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

    John 15:22
    “If I had not come to them and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; now, however, their sin cannot be excused. To hate me is to hate my Father. Had I not performed such works among them as no one has ever done before, they would not be guilty of sin; but as it is, they have seen, and they go on hating me and my Father.”

    1 John 5:3
    For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments.

    John 5:27
    “The Father has given over to him power to pass judgment because he is Son of Man; no need for you to be surprised at this, for an hour is coming in which all those in their tombs shall hear his voice and come forth. Those who have done right shall rise to live; the evildoers shall rise to be damned.”

    “People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended!” “If not [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated”

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