The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and views for May 31, 2023

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

A vandalized statue of St. Junipero Serra in San Francisco is seen June 19, 2020. (CNS photo/David Zandman via Reuters)

Dismantled and Demolished  – “The left’s cultural revolution continues unabated as the St. Junipero vandals receive excessive leniency from Democrat prosecutors.” The Unpunished St. Junipero Vandals Are America’s Communist ‘Blue Guards’ (The Federalist)

Abandoning Religion – “According to a new study, even those [Latino Americans] who aren’t [losing their religion] are defying convention and stereotypes.” More Latino Americans Are Losing Their Religion (New Yorker)

Profitable Cottage Industry with Straw Man Arguments? “What would happen if we dropped that charged word ‘liberalism’ from the conversation and got down to specifics? I suspect much of Patrick Deneen’s postliberal magic would disappear.” After Postliberalism (Public Discourse)

Characters with Souls – “In this abridged version of an address to the Catholic Writers’ Guild at Farm Street, London, Catholic Herald associate editor Simon Caldwell says Catholics of today should tell great stories to this generation.” The Time has arrived for the 21st century Catholic novel (Catholic Herald)

Catholic History – “Throughout the extensive history of the Church, there have been numerous events of lasting significance. Each week brings anniversaries of impressive milestones, unforgettable tragedies, amazing triumphs, memorable births and notable deaths.” This week in Christian history: Anti-Catholic riots in England, ‘father of church history’ dies (Christian Post)

Saints 24 – “Last month, Marymount University in Arlington held a grand opening ceremony for Saints 24, a shop powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology. Marymount said it is the first higher education institution in the U.S. to have an on-campus convenience store that uses the technology.” Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology debuts at new checkout-free store (The Arlington Catholic Herald)

Young People and Social Media – “The rapid change in consensus makes me think (and hope) that even though history is a fickle judge, Americans in 2073 will . . . look back at some of our accepted behaviors as shockingly dangerous and irresponsible.” Social Media Robs Children of Childhood (First Things)

Confrontational Cardinals – “In a rare public clash, two senior Vatican officials present divergent views on Humanae vitae, a key Church text on sexuality and procreation.” Battle over sexual morality rages at the Vatican (La Croix International)

Read more at:
Catholic Traditionalism – “Young French Catholics bound for World Youth Day this August are marked by their fervor and willingness to go against the current, a new survey has found.” Survey finds fervor among young French Catholics (The Pillar)

Synod’s Final Document – “I am the kind of theological nerd who loves papal encyclicals, but it was pure misery slogging through the ‘Final Document.'” Synodality without Spirit (The Catholic Thing)

Centralization and Lack of Clarity – “There are two features to highlight: the first is the sudden haste with which reforms are carried out, an urgency which then brings with it the need to make further changes; the second is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a clear plan for how these reforms are promulgated and carried out…” Pope Francis, the piecemeal reforms (Monday Vatican)

(*The posting of any particular news item or essay is not an endorsement of the content and perspective of said news item or essay.)

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


  1. The New Yorker article missed the forest for the trees again.
    If you only take into account one set of statistics without considering the others you can get a skewed picture. Which may have been the intention.
    In the longer view it matters little what a population believed in if they choose not to reproduce themselves and pass whatever belief or lack thereof unto the next generation.
    The future will look like the demographic groups that are sustaining themselves at a replacement rate or higher. Those tend to be people of traditional faith communities.

  2. @ Synod’s Final Document
    When is it going to say something? But it never does (Randall Smith’s frustration TCT). Euphemisms like revivification, adventure dot the otherwise empty ‘Report’. That’s the grand strategy.
    For example, Smith’s frustration points to issues like the toxicity of education children indoctrinated with homosexual behavior as a sterling good. That’s the grand strategy. Why, His Holiness proclaimed to the media, The only garment required for reception of the Eucharist is faith.
    Our faith is so compromised via Vatican messaging in its various forms it’s time that we all acknowledged the deadly game of doctrinal duplicity that is occurring – duplicity in favor of, The only garment required for reception of the Eucharist is faith. All the more evident is our mission of prayers and sacrifice for the woefully misguided.

  3. @Synod’s Final Document
    Oh, come now Randall, such negativity! Can you not see that synodality is a sort of crossword puzzle, but one that uses only horizontal words? Not so much the Word?

    Therefore, as you note, very few and undefined references to the verticality of Christ. Instead, therefore, a wider and subliminal replacement of St. Augustine’s understanding of us as well, as “memory, intellect and will”—with the synodal process standing (or “walking together”!) in place of memory.

    Memory? Namely the Church’s institutional memory–the Magisterium–finally forgotten by synodality only on the move. The Church’s supernaturally acquired immune system (!) compromised, just as most COVID jabs undermine the natural immune system so as to require constant synodal boosters—the “endless journey.”

    We can suppose that the gatherings worked well at some parishes, or even in some dioceses–assuming of course that the pastors and bishops remembered that they are something more than flip-chart “facilitators”. The synodal thing went off course when it was steered away from key guidance written earlier (2018) by the International Theological Commission:

    “…It is essential that, taken as a whole, the participants give a meaningful and balanced image of the local Church, reflecting different vocations, ministries, charisms, competencies, social status and geographical origin. [so far so good, but then too] The bishop, the successor of the apostles and shepherd of his flock who convokes and presides over the local Church synod, is called to exercise there the ministry of unity and leadership [!] with the authority [!] which belongs to him [!].”

    Butt, why adhere to this dual mission when the whole exercise can be repurposed as wrapping paper for the progressive agenda? The process IS the message…all the parts “aggregated, compiled and synthesized”—but with the heart left out…

  4. Regis Martin says he is the one who called up Pope Francis at the General Audience May 17. It was posed as a call from James Martin. This would mean that Pope Francis took the call because he would have liked to have James Martin featured as favoured and centered in such a manner. It is more poignant than other points Regis Martin makes. One would have hoped that special treatment would change James Martin.

    Why make him such a public center of attention if he has no wiles for conversion?

    Reading through the last two items above, Synod’s Final Document and Centralization and Lack of Clarity, I recall how one of the impulses in VATICAN II was the theme of cohesion in the Church expressed “with Peter”. Pope Francis does not have it and what he is forced to do about that is try to produce the result by constant managements -not VATICAN II. Observing what has this to take place and be insisted upon, suggests the doubt that neither is it the Holy Spirit.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Extra, extra! News and views for May 31, 2023 – Via Nova

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.