The Dispatch: More from CWR...

Extra, extra! News and views for Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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

(CNS photo/Narendra Shrestha, EPA)

The Default Deity of Nature – “The religious instinct in us is so great that, even if we do not worship the true God, we will always endeavor to worship something: our country, our culture, a political leader, our own will, etc.” Nature is Our Sister, not Our Mother (First Things)

Kingdoms of the World – “[S]ome American Catholics have revived a form of illiberalism that would use the power of the state to promulgate their faith.” Political Catholicism Reborn? (Law & Liberty)

Mental Illness by Social Media – “America’s girls are in a serious crisis. Mental health maladies are becoming more common among all teens, but the problem is particularly acute for young women.” Social media is killing our girls (The Spectator)

Religious Practice and Identification in China – “Many Chinese adults practice religion or hold religious beliefs, but only 1 in 10 formally identify with a religion.” Measuring Religion in China (Pew Research Center)

Called To Be Holy – It “has become apparent that Lumen Gentium’s universal calling to holiness is consistent with a centuries-old and traditional understanding of holiness that dates back to the Fathers of the Church.” Is the Universal Call to Holiness a New Teaching? (Homiletic & Pastoral Review)

The Evil of Rupnik – “Rupnik and Sr Ivanka Hosta are very dangerous, they must be stopped permanently.” “Many nuns are still paying for the abuse they suffered, we have never had any help, neither material nor psychological.” “The bishops must understand that hiding evil destroys the Church.” “Father Rupnik abused me, now I want to save other women” (Daily Compass)

Porn-Destroying Blueprint – “Louisiana legislator Laurie Schlegel wanted porn websites to do more to protect her state’s children. Now her law is the blueprint for the rest of the country.” The Woman Who Stood Up to the Porn Industry—and Won (The Free Press)

Imprudence Trumps Moral Truth – ” Trump did not argue for prudence — that we must only go as far in legislating as political majorities will permit. Instead, he made a moral judgment against laws that protect unborn children.” This is no time to go wobbly on abortion (The Washington Examiner)

Shedding Bad Translations? – “Genesis 9:6 famously states: ‘Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image’ (RSV). This has traditionally been understood by Jews and Christians alike as sanctioning capital punishment” The Death Penalty and Genesis 9:6: A Reply to Mastnjak (Guest article by Timothy Finlay/Edward Feser)

Hyperpolitical Nothingness – “We should have seen this coming. The white-hot nature of hyperpolitics probably doomed it to a short boom-and-bust shelf life.” America’s New Politics of Nothing (Compact Magazine)

(*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 Default Deity of Nature
    Bishop Barron disguised as a layman called Robert Barron identifies the ‘grumpy old woman’ who terrified Tim Cook ans other Apple execs as she enters the boardroom, as non other than Mother Earth. Fake terror that exemplifies false worship.
    Quite pleased that the bishop makes the St Francis himself correction, that the saint, no idolater as confusingly thought historically referred to Planet Earth as a sister. Now a sister is nowhere’s near the terrifying presence of an angered mother. St Francis was a far better theologian than many of us thought.
    Not so at that Vatican lawn party in which Mother Earth of the Andes Pachamama was worshiped. Now idolatry has repercussions. One glaring example the Synod on Synodality which has placed care for the environment, along with the LGBT phenomenon on a pedestal. Whereas the abortion holocaust is given short shrift.

    • About “nature” and making necessary distinctions (a “backwardist” Scholastic habit!), Romano Guardini offers this:

      “The modern mind took culture to be a ‘natural’ thing. We know, of course, that culture is not natural in any real sense; indeed, true culture rests upon the ability of the human spirit both to distinguish itself from and stand opposite to the natural order of things surrounding it” (The End of the Modern World, 1956).

      So, in today’s kitchen-blender world (to hell with “opposites” and boundaries!), does it really make any difference whether nature is a “sister” or a “mother”? Incest is soon to come on the tail end of the anti-binary LGBTQ protoplasmic mindset (a mega-merger!). Likewise, Germania’s unisex “priesthood”. And then, of course, there’s the inclusiveness of polygamy, and why not the neighbor’s dog, or whatever?

  2. CWR is the unmatched host, allowing wide-ranging debate in the comboxes and very often even showing comments not especially relevant to the particular article. I wanted to mention it with thanks and acknowledge the simple welcome and good will. Thank you again.

    It is not possible for anyone to say that Pope Francis was misunderstood and there was a mis-translation, re “Shedding Bad Translations?”. They actually went and put the error in the Catechism (at 2227). Capital punishment is fixed in natural law, it’s as fixed there as the Crucifixion of Jesus. I am saying this as one who is partial to leniency and argues measured control of weapons. I remember during school days pre-university and then in university, I was always the advocate finding excuses not to inflict capital punishment, when the issue arose. It nonetheless simply is not possible to remove it.

    In the movie Angels With Dirty Faces James Cagney gave a stirring portrayal of the experience of the condemned prisoner. Take a look.

    The Decalogue reflects the unfolding understanding of Genesis with the due punishment. It is possible to be merciful, Jesus was – with the woman caught in adultery. Yet Jesus neither redacted the truth nor abolished punishment. The rationale for declaring capital punishment “finished”, is built on the absolute dignity of the individual who is intrinsically reformable. This is reading into the Gospel what IS NOT THERE. I think this would be Semi-Pelagianism caught up inside a Modernism. I am not surprised by the resemblances to Liberation Theology.

    This is why it is said Modernism is the mother of all heresies: it draws on all of them in different ways, mixing them to its purposes.

    In a strange outcrop today, we have people being oppressed and even killed for the sake of bad laws and bad policies that some Catholics support who also declare that there should be no death penalty and that THEY MUST be believed. Very inverted.

    ‘ The Holy Father concluded that “Through dialogue, we create humanity in people.” ‘

    Pope Francis asks Asia’s university students to seek peace in opposition to ideologies

  3. Hello is anyone going to discuss the horrible depiction of Anti-Catholicism in the new show 1923 starring Helene Nerie and other veteran actors. They are showing nuns and priests beating native Americans, in Montana government run schools, supplied by Catholic religious ???? Please do an article about this – it stems from the pope apologizing to the native Americans in Canada last year. What I know about the Catholic Church and native Americans in from the Jesuits and north American martyrs, Katherine Drexel and her founding of schools for them and African Americans, and from Squanto the Catholic Native American who helped the pilgrims and was the reason for our first American Holy Day through a celebration Thanksgiving Day.. Please write something about this evil show 1923.

  4. So I read THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER “No time to go wobbly”, it suggests progress in the pro-life cause from “pre-Dobbs transactional” to more “Lincolnian rhetoric” and public appeal, downplaying “tight legal arguments”. They consider that luminous? The reality is everything remains transactional until abortion, which is crime, is treated as crime. There isn’t anything complicated about this in law or common sense or normal life. What is complicated is that the US has a serious problem where its Supreme Court can suspend crime and make provisions to treat with the suspensions in transactional formulas making everything appear chary super-scholarly but as well well-in-hand and everyday -when it is precisely not so at all, none of it. Abortion is crime and everything it touches becomes tainted with evil.

    Wasn’t a particular somebody going on about something called dialogue? When you finally decide that it is crime you are going to congratulate yourselves that you talked your way back into it?

    Regardless of who you are or what your faith or non-faith is, abortion has gravely evil spiritual and social consequences coming with it; yet lo and behold the remedy that was always provided to man, integrity, keeps the whole thing in check.

    • Purveyors of abortion and contraception network – they do networking. So when they embed in a parish they are spreading outside what is going on inside; and bringing from outside to bolster inside. In my experience of confronting them, they object, even before they are discovered, that you are “never talking about” the commonplace things that matter too; later, when they are exposed they cry over not being treated fairly and how all they wanted to start with is peace. Does Pope Francis grasp that some of his deliberations mirror the mess and add to it? That he unduly multiplies talking points and fortifies their impudence and their craze?

      The Pope seems to reverse the issue in the manner of the other ones. When you call out the abortionist, it is he, the abortionist, who tries to belittle and who attempts to turn the tables on the Gospel ideologically. Don’t be surprised at it, it’s the fruit of feminist thinking over 100 years.

      These people are strategizing in practical ways AND also in mental ways.

      I do not see how the Pope can attest to anything using such generalization, that if you “hold out your hand in peace” it is not “ideological testimonies and witness”. You may object that I put his words out of context. But surely they work the same way in the context he has them and where I put them! And surely it is proved is, that what I EDUCE is not ideological and not just mere words, it is REAL!

      The get the full meaning/effect from the quotation, read both articles, the one in CRISIS and the one in CRUX.

      ‘ Kollar-Kotelly suddenly addressed Bell, who, once her closing statement had been banned, had declined to address the jury. But the judge offered Bell a last chance to say something. Bell seized the opportunity: “Well, Your Honor, maybe I could just say hello to the jury?” and Kollar-Kotelly said: “Sure, go ahead.”

      Bell got up and stood before the jurors. In a quiet voice she told them: “I have chosen to remain silent because….” Suddenly, prosecutor Rebecca Ross leapt out of her chair and shrieked, literally shrieked: “Objection!” startling those in the gallery and perhaps even the jurors! The judge said: “Sustained.” ‘

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