The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and views for March 1, 2023

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

A cardinal holds his biretta as Pope Francis celebrates Mass with new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo. (CNS photo/Gregorio Borgia, Reuters pool)

Heretical Prelates – “Unfortunately, it is not uncommon today to hear Catholic leaders affirm unorthodox views that, not too long ago, would have been espoused only by heretics.” Imagining a heretical cardinal (First Things)

Abortion’s Never Necessary – “Women face many possible illnesses during pregnancy, but intentional feticide is never necessary even in the worst-case scenarios.” The Pro-Abortion ‘Life Of The Mother’ Argument Is A False Flag Operation (The Federalist)

Civil Rights – “Unfortunately, laws can reconfigure the body politic much as some medicines can change the body. In theory, it should be easy just to switch medicines. But sometimes that is hard on the body.” The Great Unwokening: Disestablishing our new state religion. (Claremont Review of Books)

Banning Transgenderism – “The Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill on Thursday that would prohibit the hosting of drag shows in public venues or anywhere minors might be present.” Tennessee House Passes Bill Prohibiting Drag Shows in Presence of Minors (National Review)

Passionsspiele Oberammergau –The world’s most famous Passion play is powerful theater. There’s a hole at its heart.” Oberammergau’s Broken Vow (Plough)

Trans Children’s Books – “She Persisted is a children’s book series featuring the stories of, you guessed it, women. Who persisted. Florence Nightingale, Temple Grandin, Helen Keller, Ruby Bridges, Ella Fitzgerald. A mix. A mix indeed.” On the Gender Beat (Charlotte Was Both)

Media-Saturated Democracy – “Our cultural craving to be entertained—to have fun—has consequences.” The Omnipresence of Entertainment (Maureen Mullarkey: Studio Matters)

The First Amendment – “The Department of Education yesterday released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to rescind two related rules adopted by the Trump Administration in September 2020.” DOE Proposes to Rescind Trump Administration Rules Shielding Student Religious Groups at Public Colleges (Religion Clause)

Expertise in Philology – “Paul Mankowski, S.J., who died unexpectedly in 2020, was a rare ecclesiastical commodity.” Paul Mankowski’s Outburts of Sanity (First Things)

Gaming the Justice System – “Los Angeles district attorney George Gascon has suspended a prosecutor for allegedly referring to a convicted child molester and suspected murderer by his birth name and the pronouns that correspond to his sex  . . . ” L.A. DA Gascon Suspends Prosecutor for Misgendering, ‘Deadnaming’ Child Molester (National Review)

Marymount University – “A Catholic liberal arts university in northern Virginia is getting ready to cut 10 traditional majors and programs – including theology, religious studies and economics – over a ‘lack of potential for growth.'” Catholic university ready to ax core majors like theology, English to fund more popular programs (Fox News)

Restoring All Things – A”fter two years of initial planning, Christendom’s Graduate School of Theology first launched the Christendom@ Project in 2018, with the goal of offering live, online, interactive lectures for students at universities that don’t offer courses in Catholic thought.” Program brings Catholic courses to colleges nationwide (The Arlington Catholic Herald)

(*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. Faithful Catholic?
    Christendom College deserves your support.
    They take zero Federal Funding.
    They generate vocations.
    They limit student body size to around 500 or so thus the school is a community where the profs and students know each other.
    If you search for worthy Catholic charities – check them out- you will be pleased.

  2. @ Abortion’s Never Necessary
    A reasonable medical opinion that effectively questions the death of mother v prenatal infant proposition. Although as far back as 2003 Carmen Dolea MD and Carla AbouZahr MD recommended, to World Health Organization Geneva in cases of obstructed labor, the most common medical rationale for abortion – the Cesarean section.

  3. @ Heretical Prelates
    Bishop Paprocki makes a case for heresy by a prelate of high rank such as cardinal, and the issue of whether such a heretical cardinal can validly vote in a papal election.
    Paprocki’s argument underscores manifest heresy, although what is evident on one level of responsibility is not in another such as the definition required by canon law. A reasonable definition is adamant and consistent heresy. Otherwise, every moment in deliberation, musing on issues, hypothetical speaking, whenever we make a misplaced statement intended or not we’d be condemned as heretics. The persons Bishop Paprocki alludes to, Cardinals Hollerich and McElroy have not to my knowledge made definitive repudiations of doctrine such as abortion, homosexuality. Words like ‘should’, must be changed, this requires reexamination based on research, what was formerly held is wrong, does not meet the consistent, adamant standard of canonical repudiation.
    Whereas Pres Biden, speaker Pelosi are both manifestly adamant and consistent in their direct refutation of Catholic doctrine on abortion and homosexuality and the Church has not excommunicated them. If their bishops do not exercise their rightful authority to excommunicate the blatant heretic, how can we expect the Roman Pontiff, one who gives evidence of empathy with their positions, allows the Eucharist for them at the Vatican – to excommunicate these cardinals even with canonical cause?
    If the bishop of Rome relents to take action most of our bishops except Paprocki, Cordileone are disposed to riding things out. Too many others empathize with McElroy. The next step for Cordileone would be to excommunicate Nancy Pelosi for her spiritual good. That’s doubtful. Although we can hope. Analogously it’s become the sheepish bishops without a shepherd.

    • Good reply father….but we know what these cardinals and bishops think…they are so Suttle and deceiving like one fr james martin…it is unfortunate that we adhere to the letter of canon law while ignoring the spirit of it…have all the lustful thoughts I want as long as I don,t commit adultery…fortunately Jesus saw through that justification..

    • Similarly you’re likely not to hear a Francis repeat of the words, ‘Forgive them, [in the confessional] whether or not they’re repentant. Always forgive!’ Rather we’re most likely to hear variations. Similar to Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini.

    • The blatantly pro-abortion Cardinal Martini not only never received a rebuke; he did receive bear hugs and endless praise about how great he was to the very end of his life by JPII “the great” and Benedict, the “great and generous scholar.” Martini who should have been laicized and excommunicated for aiding and abetting the mass slaughter of babies by publicly weakening the Church’s moral voice, even got a building named after him. How many lives were snuffed out as a result of cold blooded moral indifference by high prelates sending a confused message to the far corners of the world. Is the Church just playing one big game? Do we really care about the crushed skulls from this greatest holocaust in history?

      • Yes, there’s an apparent special club relationship among hierarchy that glosses over differences, serious ones as you indicate. It’s an anomaly belonging to a self assured elite class.
        Card Martini was the author of the synodal Church concept designed to accelerate the Church’s identification with the world. He instituted and chaired the St Gallen Group that canvassed cardinals to elect Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio. Jorge was his disciple, Martini overjoyed when he was elected the second time around, the first attempt Ratzinger unexpectedly elected.
        All this doesn’t bode well for a Church suffering this profound corruption of moral integrity. Our best option is deepen, stand fast in the faith. We may be in for worse. Our faith is being tested. Our commitment to Christ will save us, as well as others.

        • Even in my youthful atheistic years I postulated many things about what the nature of God would have to be if He actually did exist. I knew such things that He would have to favor those of weak native intelligence as much as the gifted. A high IQ man like myself enjoyed the gift of teaching swimming to “retarded” children in those years, whom many said shouldn’t have been allowed to be born. A good God would have to have divine anger towards vanity.
          We should be happy within the creative limitations God has given us. But it boggles the mind how it cannot be self-evident to anyone of mustard seed faith that God is the exclusive source of truth and that His creatures create no truth at all. There is tremendous room for creativity in articulating and giving witness to truth, and to discover new implications coherent with received understanding, and this should be enough. Our Church is blessed to have your voice. Any theologian who thinks he creates anything wholly new is treading on heresy, and he should know it, and everyone of faith should know it from the laity to the highest episcopate.

  4. @Marymount University
    In answer to the critics, President Irma Becerra or her spokesperson clarify that financial savings are not so much the game as is a paradigm shift in overall focus and mission. Deleted Liberal Arts content would seem to involve a reallocation into more of a “diversity, equity and inclusivity” sort of flat-earth cacophony.

    So, when the board of trustees votes, they should weigh two questions: (1) whether the President (a mole for possible outside agendas?) is competent to advance the university’s core mission (and core course requirements?) as a Catholic presence on a vapid national multi-versity landscape (admittedly a tough gig), and if not, then (2) the job description and qualification requirements for her possible replacement.

    Given her weather vane mentality (“cognitive diversity”!), it seems like President Becerra would be more competitive elsewhere—as for any of those “meteorologist” positions on the mainstream media weather segments. But, who am I to judge?

  5. In our Media Saturated Democracy, the discerning audience would have to contend at least with these 4 areas, I propose:

    1. finding good entertainment
    2. defending other authentic pastimes
    3. being alert to what else happens in the media, of importance
    4. perceiving the deeper nuances in what is engaged.

    This web journal CWR and its lively and unflinching comboxers, are always offering bright tips on what is available for entertainment, pastime, education, updating and prayer. A rare commodity! Shared generously. Thank you CWR.

    In case it gets overlooked, Dr. Fauci is still under investigation and could be on the ropes. Also, vaccine-death autopsies are turning up PROOFS, on the one hand, that gene- and protein-spike vaccines are injuring and killing; but on the other hand, TEST METHODS even for those who are alive, that could be used by those concerned about risk.

    If you test and it shows you are at risk, you can detox from the vaccine. Alternatively, you can proceed and detox regardless of testing. For starters, detox information is available at the US Front Line Doctors website FLCCC.

    Dr. FAUCI




  6. Just being a trend is not really making a Civil Rights contribution.

    Politics and law are at put at odds with each other and become convulsed in strife because basic principles in civil rights are not followed. This is my view on “wokeism”, that it is a passing phenomenon to do with the drive to sustain and/or spread political reach. Somewhat like a “marketing” brand. So the next trend will have its own label and background collectivity.

    Incidentally, it also explains – as I make it – how they would give charitable status to Satanists who explicitly say they do not serve or believe in God and say they are not a religion and do not do charitable work. Just because you use the word “theism” as in “egotheism”, doesn’t mean God or religion as legal qualifications etc.

  7. According to the video, in 1991 total US abortions reached an all-time high of 1,608,600 but then in 1992 the number jumped to over 26,000,000.

    Three questions. 1. What produced this jump between those two years 1991 and 1992?

    2. What actually got said in the meeting with the Kennedys and the Jesuit priests in those days in the early Sixties?.

    3. What really is the basis for the Pied Piper effect that turned the whole political spectrum to abortion and to -as I name it- Kennedy Catholicism, causing virtually everyone to run with the Kennedy Politics-With-Abortion?

    • What is the source for the numbers? That large a jump from 1991 to 1992 does not seem plausible. The Guttmacher Institute reported different numbers:

      “The number of abortions performed per year remained relatively stable from 1980-90, at about 1,600,000, but declined to l,557,000 in 1991 and to l,529,000 in 1992.”
      Author: Henshaw Sk, Van Vort J
      Publish Year: 1994
      Abortion services in the United States, 1991 and 1992 – PubMed

    • Hi Elias,
      The gal in the video says that the ‘total’ number of abortions in the US reached 26 million by 1992. The stat is a cumulative number, adding the number for each year to the total number for each year prior; i.e., the number during 1973, added to the number during 1974, added…until the number during 1991. That should give some number in the vicinity of 26 million (by 1992).

      • Thank you Meiron, I missed that.

        My second point relates to the impossibility of dialogue and witness when a certain secrecy takes hold. Those who participated in that “discussion” back then : how could they uphold Humanae Vitae?

        Or, were they mixing into the opposition?

        Or were they doing both?

        And something comparable got imposed – again – with McCarrick when he buried the Pope’s direction on US abortion politicians.

  8. THE TELEGRAPH has carried some intelligent reviewing of wokeness and Civil Rights. I found it through the YAHOO! page aggregator. Everyone’s noticing a problem.

    ‘ So the post-modern mockery of truth that underpins wokeness is now extending well beyond the humanities into areas that, until about five minutes ago, had been spared. ‘

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