The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and views for February 15, 2023

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

(Image: Clay Banks/

Say, Say, Synodality – As the synodal continental phase continues, how well does the Vatican’s working document reflect what was said around the world? Vocabulary of a synod: Are the synodal reports speaking the same language? (The Pillar)

Online Denunciation – “[M]y ‘Ethics and Empire’ project had become the target of an online denunciation by a group of students, followed by reassurance from the university that it had risen to defend my right to run such a thing.” Anatomy of a Book Cancellation (Compact Magazine)

Benedict XVI’s Posthumous Works – “With the passing of Pope Benedict XVI into eternal life, one of the most sobering realizations was something that we all knew was coming on a theoretical level: the truth that nothing new would ever again come forth from the pen of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger.” Benedict XVI’s Parting Words and Lasting Concerns (Church Life Journal)

A Bombshell Paper – “Last month, three scientists pointed out flu shots barely work and couldn’t be approved based on the standards used for vaccines like measles.” Dr. Anthony Fauci now admits the mRNA Covid vaccines hardly work and might not be approvable (Unreported Truths)

Christian Poetry – “It might be odd to say, but one prominent virtue of two new anthologies of Christian poetry is their prose.” Christian Poetry & Verse: Cheap, Quick, Portable (The Imaginative Conservative)

Controlling Religion – “China’s government ‘exercises comprehensive and extensive control over religion … through a complex web of state laws, regulations, and policies,’ according to a new report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).”  An idolatrous state tries to smother the church (World)

So Much Mail –“Only 35% of US Catholic parents care a lot about whether or not their kids become Catholic adults. Readers react” Reader Mail On ‘Kids Staying Catholic’ Post (The American Conservative)

Music and Liturgy – “LaRocca’s Mass for the Americas premiered at the Cathedral of St. Mary in San Francisco. Since then, the Mass for the Americas has been performed across the U.S. and in Mexico.” Composer Frank LaRocca Discusses His Latest Composition, ‘Messe des Malades’ (National Catholic Register)

Whistleblower Document – “The FBI said Thursday that an internal memo released by its Richmond field office last month warning against ‘radical traditionalist Catholic ideology’ does not meet the bureau’s standards.” FBI Retracts Memo on ‘Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology,’ Says It Failed to Meet Bureau Standards (National Review)

Climate Change and Pope Francis – Despite Francis’ outspokenness on [climate change], not all Catholics in the United States share his concerns, and their views vary by political affiliation, race and ethnicity, and age. The pope is concerned about climate change. How do U.S. Catholics feel about it? (Pew Research)

Accusations toward Pavone – “As accusations mount against Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life says they ‘have already been addressed.'” Another woman comes forward with Pavone allegations (The Pillar)

He Warned Germany – Wilhem Röpke, “one of the most important free market economists, certainly in the German-speaking world” was “very worried in the late 1920s by the rise of the National Socialist Movement. And he saw their rise coming before, I think, a lot of other Germans did.” Uncovering Who the Nazis Really Were (Law & Liberty)

(*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. It could be more than just one Bombshell Paper!

    The WASHINGTON POST article has a link to it’s “money trail” report which I can’t access.

    ‘ Adding to the challenge, the SBA has granted full or partial forgiveness to more than 93 percent of its PPP recipients. It was not immediately clear if the SBA forgave applications tied to the ineligible Social Security numbers that the PRAC surfaced on Monday. ‘

    FEBRUARY 13 2023

    JANUARY 26 2023

    MARCH 28 2022

  2. @ Climate Change and Pope Francis
    Statistics surveys are by nature directed toward the preconceptions of the surveyor. Added are the many and often elusive variables that deny a complete picture of reality. For example, many Catholics and others who vote Republican either openly admit they are open to abortion on conditions or otherwise, while it’s been shown that others who approvingly tolerate homosexuality and abortion do not answer candidly.
    Taking Pew’s Jeff Diamant into account his survey is best understood with those variables, many of which are perceived by simple observation. What does come through is that a majority of Catholics do agree with Pope Francis on climate change moreso than others, that perhaps more to do with the development of a moral conscience, despite current ambiguities and the historical vagaries unique within the Catholic cultural ecclesial framework.
    What’s a hopeful indication of the Pew survey then is the apparent prevalence of moral consciousness among Catholics and the ground for spiritual renewal – provided the Church is graced by the Apostolic leadership.

  3. Climate Change and Pope Francis: For the sake of argument, yours truly would like to propose a perspective…

    Let’s just suppose, while Laudato Si was too-hastily packaged up (in time for the Paris Climate Accord), that it still is onto something possibly epochal. A good analogy might be that while progressive politics keeps food on most tables and nirvana on the horizon, funny-money politics also pushes the day reckoning onto future generations through $31 Trillion in national debt.

    Kick the can down the road…

    Likewise, in progressive economics are we also overshooting various ecological carrying capacities of our Common Home? Like chemical acidification—disrupting ocean food chains (read food supplies)? Or, instead, Nature itself sliding into a contraction cycle—compromising growing seasons and seasonal snowfall—and crops and water supplies? Overall, systemic tipping points and feedback loops eroding our global campsite? Historically, the 1930s Dustbowl did happen…

    So, rather than borrowing too much of the (contaminating?) environmentalist hype, might it be that the Catholic Social Teaching should recenter things more clearly on present and intergenerational Solidarity and inseparably on public/market solution Subsidiarity?

    Then, from the moral perspective: Is the difference between aborting in this generation the unborn child (each as an inner universe!); and failing to figure out and sustain, for future generations, our Common Home (our outer and global amniotic sac!)–that the former is an absolutely and directly sinful act, while the latter is a more complicated and yet imprudent and grave sin of omission? Yes?

  4. “A Synod with many directions. Those tasked with preparing the synodal documents appear often to apply their own interpretations and impressions to the work” (Hodges The Pillar).
    A Tower of Babel response because “analysis shows nothing but patterns, and frequency relationships, data that by itself might prove very little”. An accumulation of the most frequently used words, random, subject to change if surveys were repeated. What happens when conventional vertical leadership is displaced in favor of horizontal opinion.
    However, despite evidence of some consistency of concerns, if one were to utilize this as an opportunity for assigned taskers “to apply their own interpretations and impressions” then the survey has value. But for whom? As Hodges correctly summarizes, for the assigned writers [taskers] of the working documents. Ringmaster: The show must go on.

    • The punch line to the Hodge report comes at the end: “While the national reports fall into several groups which discuss different topics with various frequencies, the global report falls in its own unique corner, not particularly close to any of the national reports in its emphases, rather than falling into the middle of these groups.”

  5. Climate change or the eternal soul of man, which is more important? What is being principally asserted today? Let us remember the role of the church!

    Matthew 16:26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

    1 Peter 1:18-19 Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

  6. @ Whistleblower Document
    Almost as if quoting what His Holiness has said, that ‘traditionalist’ Catholics are dangerous backwardists, hostile to Vat II, to progress, to the papacy present and past, unwelcoming of immigrants, LGBT – the alarming FBI document defined RTC [Radical Traditionalist Catholics] as extremists, that “RTCs are typically categorized by the rejection of the Second Vatican Council as a valid church council; disdain for most of the popes elected since Vatican II, particularly Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II; adherence to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, white supremacist ideology (Brittany Bernstein NR).
    Ms Bernstein’s good reporting cites the infamous Southern Poverty Law Center as the source of the FBI’s informal indictment of traditional Catholics as dangerous radicals. I add “traditional” Catholics because most of us are opposed to open border illegal immigration, as well as LGBT ideology and its present oppressive dissemination policies within the Justice Dept, Congress, and education. Many of us would be judged having disdain for Pope Francis’ policies. We would likely be targeted [and may still be].
    As an interesting side note to the LGBT crisis an atheist friend at Ottawa U chastised me for my opinion that God can do all things and have made Man differently than we are. She argued that wasn’t possible. Years mature and now I agree with my atheist friend, that regarding God’s creation there is indeed finality in regards to Man, that male and female he made them. Distinct, beautiful, and unsurpassable.

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