The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, Extra! News and views for March 22, 2023

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

Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 27, 2022. (CNS photo/Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters)

Conversion of Power – “Contrary to the storyline pushed by papal courtier Austen Ivereigh and others, Pope Francis exercises authority in the manner of a Jesuit superior who, after hearing those he chooses to hear, makes his own decision.” A Pontificate of Power (National Catholic Register)

Soviet Universities – Today, many American college students do not understand that they are advocating for a system that goes beyond what even the Soviets promoted. ASSOC. PROF. Buynevich: I grew up in the Soviet Union. Even those universities valued merit more than some American schools do today. (Campus Reform)

Decreased Birth Rates – “A team of European researchers have determined that birth rates in 19 European countries declined sharply toward the end of 2021 following peak Covid-19 vaccine uptake earlier that year in the spring.” Significant birth rate drop in most heavily Covid-vaccinated European countries (Sharyll Lattkisson)

Sexual Integrity – “In the Latin rite, diocesan priests make a promise of celibacy.  Religious community priests take a vow of chastity.  The intended result is the same:  The priest commits himself to refrain from sexual relations.” Enough is Enough (The Catholic Thing)

Identity and Desire – “Emmaus Road Publishing kindly sent me copies of two recent books of theirs focusing on a subject in which someone up there obviously discerned is an interest of mine: gender.” Gender Matters (Charlotte Was Both)

Human Trafficking – “Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced human traffickers responsible for the bodily harm or death of migrants will face prison sentences of between 10 and 30 years.” Meloni Introduces Severe Prison Terms for Human Traffickers (The European Conservative)

Mature Discernment – “Too many people assess their moral standing with unhelpful platitudes such as these: ‘I’m basically a good person,’ or ‘Well, I haven’t murdered anybody.'” “Lists” Of Mortal Sins (

Abortion Pill Ban – “Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon on Friday signed into law a bill outlawing the use or prescription of medication abortion pills that was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature earlier this month.” Wyoming governor signs law outlawing use of abortion pills (Reuters)

Seeking to be Cleansed – “You notice the priest is not clothed in his vestments, which are lying off to the side on his chair. Instead, he is wearing a cope over his alb and a biretta on his head. Here, he must first seek forgiveness before he can clothe himself in the garb of a priest.” Love Letters to the Latin Mass 3: First We Must Be Cleansed (Catholic Stand)

The Church and Salvation – “The claim that “there is no salvation outside the Church” has been reiterated for centuries by Councils and Popes. Did Vatican II Change the Doctrine ‘No Salvation Outside the Church?’ (Catholic Stand)

Crypto Donations – “The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC, is expanding its ministry and support for 139 parishes and regional initiatives to help those in need by accepting donations in cryptocurrency.” Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington partners with Engiven to accept crypto donations (Cryptopolitan)

Coast Guard Abortions – “The U.S. Coast Guard informed its members that the military service will give administrative absence and convalescent leave from duty stations for abortions, including travel allowances.” U.S. Coast Guard to Pay for Abortion Travel (Catholic Vote)

(*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. @ The Church and Salvation
    It is absurd to believe that if Card Newman died during his long ‘journey home’, that he would have been condemned to eternal suffering by Jesus Christ at judgment.
    “Aquinas is absolutely clear that no one can be excluded from God’s offer of salvation; even if he is less clear about how exactly God would bring that about” (Catholic Stand). St Thomas correct as usual. As are Pius IX, XII on observance of the natural law within common to all.
    Why the anomaly with the apparent strictly pronounced tenet of no salvation outside the Church? That can be understood with the qualification, ‘without being under the authority of the bishop of Rome’. The intent in those pronouncements are in context of the Protestant Reformation and the continued antagonism between Catholic and Protestant belief. Allusion is to those who are aware of the Catholic Church and its doctrine.
    From personal experience in Africa, I’ve met Africans who were not evangelized, had virtually no knowledge of the Church and its doctrines who showed evidence of their sense of justice, and moral good, compassion. This was among the Ngoni, formerly Zulu living in remote W Malawi decades past.

  2. @ Sexual Integrity…yes, but wait, maybe it’s not about sex at all? Take the active homosexual abuse thingy. The perpetrators first rationalize a bubble within which “chastity” applies only to men with women, not to morally exempt (!) homosexuality. As in, “I have never violated my vow of chastity.”

    So, what is at issue is the much broader (inclusivity!) wraparound redefinition of “unity.” As in “conglomerate” = unity! It all depends “on what the meaning of is, is!”

    This is the “unity” inclusive of LGBTQism, now peddled by Bishop Wilmer. This is the more across-the-board “unity” of Batzing’s omnivorous der Synodal Weg. And, under the luminary Cardinal Hollerich, this is likely the conglomerate “unity” of those reports to be “expert”-ly “compiled, aggregated and synthesized” (the Vademecum) from today’s seven-fold synodal Continental Drift. Nothing to be excised? …Instead, the dialectical philosopher, Hegel—another German guy or whatever, smiles from Berlin’s Dorotheenstadt Cemetery.

    Lip syncing the dead! Talk about today’s conglomerate and “backward” progressives!

  3. @ Conversion of Power
    The icy winds of John Paul and Benedict being replaced by the gentle, warm breeze of Pope Francis (Austen Ivereigh’s papal defense here quoted and entertainingly depicted by Fr de Souza, Francis’ courtier). Although the assumed Peronist, actually a Jesuit superior exercising supreme authority says Fr de Souza, and that Francis’ “Pontificate of power has proved in great matters strangely impotent”.
    Here is where there is more to the story. Impotence weaponized. That feigned, if one were to be an inveterate cynic [which I am] would be a brilliant [as the Irish would say] camouflage. Not that my take is that exceptional, since there are others who perceive possible strategy by Francis’, a seeming impotence that has a desired effect.
    To continue beating a dead horse it’s the transference of what the Synodale Weg is achieving to the grand Synod on Synodality. Sort of like, Chairman Bätzing to Relator Hollerich, have you received the message? Relator Hollerich to Chairman Bätzing, Ditto. Over and out.

  4. Pope Francis, in bringing the Jesuit model of leadership has in a way made an innovation in the exercise of papal leadership. This Jesuit model as designed by St. Ignatius of Loyola has been imitated and is actually also practiced in most religious order communities. This model is unlike the monarchal model of papal leadership of the long past ages of hyperpapalism when the Pope was considered an absolute monarch, and but unfortunately is still practiced by many diocesan bishops around the world today. Similarly, in the parish level we also see this in many pastors today who prefer not to have a parish pastoral and finance council around him despite of Vatican II’s mandate for this given some sixty years ago. In this monarchial model, the Pope, the bishop, or the pastor is not required to consult anybody before making any decision. On the other hand, in the Ignatian model, vital emphasis on discernment is given as a key to knowing God’s will and acting upon it. Here, the superior puts in place a process of discernment by gathering as much information and opinion as possible from a council of consultors to help him in discernment. But ultimately, the superior makes the decision himself. Pope Francis did just that after he got elected by convening his Council of Cardinals. He consults but in the end he makes the decision himself as demanded by his office. Today he’s continuing this process of consultation and dialogue in all levels of the church especially in the process leading to the Synod on Synodality. You see that the Jesuit model requires that consultation and dialogue be made before the superior makes any decision. In the monarchical model, that is only an option and is not required. I see this Jesuit model better and an improvement over the monarchical model of papal leadership.

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