The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and views for February 8, 2023

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

Doors in Kiev, Ukraine. (Image: Marjan Blan/

December 25 – “Ukraine’s main Catholic church said on Monday it would move to a new calendar that would see Christmas celebrated on Dec. 25 rather than Jan. 7, amid an effort by Ukrainian institutions to break cultural links to Russia.” Ukraine’s main Catholic church moves Christmas to Dec. 25 in pivot to West (Reuters)

Where’s the Beef? – “In his 3,000-word commentary published Jan. 24, Cardinal McElroy expresses many important laments that pertain to the Church’s life and mission today, many of which should be of concern to each one of us. . . . But . . . ” Holiness and conversion: Cardinal McElroy’s missing link (Our Sunday Visitor)

Dead Wrong – “I was with them when they called for lockdowns, vaccines, and boosters. I was wrong. We in the scientific community were wrong. And it cost lives.” It’s Time for the Scientific Community to Admit We Were Wrong About COVID and It Cost Lives (Newsweek)

Book Ownership Cult? – “I regret to inform you that people are buying books for the wrong reason.” Stuck in the Middle Class with You (National Review)

Timeless Realities – “For the vast majority of the worldwide Catholic family, Cardinal George Pell was another Clemens August Graf Von Galen, a lion of the Church, a magnet for vocations, a confessor bishop, a true cardinal priest. “ George Pell, Lion of the Church (First Things)

Mere Anglicanism – “Anglicans can connect their Christian faith with a fractured world through the themes of longing, beauty, and story, according to an Oxford professor addressing a major theological conference of lay and clergy leaders seeking the renewal of biblical and orthodox Anglicanism.” Better Stories, Stronger Spells: Anglicans Consider C.S. Lewis (Juicy Ecumenism)

A White Van – “With Pope Benedict dead, the gloves are off” Inside the Catholic civil war (Unherd)

Explosive Exposé – “Pfizer acknowledges 20-something different ways its shot can send a woman’s menstrual cycle into disarray.” Dr. Naomi Wolf Details ‘The Chamber of Horrors’ the Jab Poses to Women’s Reproductive Health (Daily Clout)

Surrogate Parents – “The delusional leftists arguing that adoption is more ‘traumatic’ than abortion aren’t making a convincing argument for their brutal baby death cult.” Leftist Logic: Adoption Is More ‘Traumatic’ Than Abortion, But Surrogacy Is Just Great (The Federalist)

Wave of Authoritarianism – “Religion is seized on by cynical and greedy elites as a means of mobilising and unifying national populations. The rise of Islamic and Hindu fundamentalism is an aspect of a general move across Eurasia towards nationalism and totalitarianism.” The end of Christendom: Is Christianity now a homeless faith? (The Critic)

Spiritual Realism – Author and music critic Robert Reilly joins the podcast to discuss one of the greatest operas ever composed, Francis Poulenc’s 1957 Dialogues des Carmélites. 152—The most Catholic opera: Dialogues of the Carmelites w/ Robert Reilly (Catholic Culture)

Broken Seal of Secrecy – “In rehashing the news that Cardinal George Pell was the true author of the memorandum signed ‘Demos,’ sent round to the cardinals last spring and published by Settimo Cielo, a few important newspapers have attributed to me, Sandro Magister, “a long history of confidential documents received from the Vatican” and made public by me.” The Magnificent Seven. The True Story of the Secret Documents Made Public by Settimo Cielo (L’Espresso)

(*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. @ A White Van.
    Our beloved Benedict loaded in a white van during the night, as if for dismissal sets the tone of Damian Thompson’s indictment of the Francis regime. Underscoring the fracture affecting us is the Church itself, its whatness.
    Reading through CWR comments, particularly the recent Birgit Kelle ‘The Church in Germany is on the path into total insignificance’, concerns centered on the nature of the Church questioning its authority. Laity, and the sensus fidei, traditionally understood as the entire Body of the Church.
    “3. As a theological concept, the sensus fidei refers to two distinct realities closely connected, the Church, ‘pillar and bulwark of the truth’, while the other is the individual believer. 4. The importance of the sensus fidei in the life of the Church was strongly emphasized by the Second Vatican Council. Banishing the caricature of active hierarchy and passive laity, separation between the teaching Church [Ecclesia docens] and the learning Church. (International Theological Commission Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church 2014).
    Pope Francis initiated this theological proposal as a prelude to the Synod on Synodality. Unlike the vision of John Paul II in Christifideles Laici 1988, “ 9. In giving a response to the question ‘Who are the lay faithful’, the Council [Vat II] went beyond previous interpretations which were predominantly negative. Instead it opened itself to a decidedly positive vision and displayed a basic intention of asserting the full belonging of the lay faithful to the Church and to its mystery”.
    Christifideles Laici is synonymous to Sensus Fidei. A definitive emphasis on interpretation separates John Paul’s understanding of a complete body inclusive of laity and hierarchy from Francis’ isolation of the individual as [at least] potentially representative of the entire body of Christ. Synod on Synodality structure insofar as representative of the entire body, assumed as such in its universality, is in fact not. The working document recently approved for further theological exploration comprises the findings of a minority. Infinitesimal in comparison to the whole. Nevertheless, the 2014 International Theological Commission Sensus Fidei would support such findings of a minority opinion, presumably inspired by the Holy Spirit. As such it putatively explains the secretarial assignment of the attending bishops as well as the distancing of the Roman Pontiff.
    All the controversial ends of the German Synodaler Weg, marriage and adultery, same sex relationships, priesthood are validated by the latter Francis 2014 document on sensus fidei, as well as that of the Synod on Synodality. Consequently, the Tsunami of homosexuality, as well as other radical policy inundating culture here and elsewhere is received with tentative approval of this present pontificate.

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