Miscellaneous Meanderings on the signs of the times (Vol. 9, No. 102)
Dr. Mark S. Latkovic
August 1, 2018
~U2’s Bono’s speech to the U.N. (see https://medium.com/@BonoU2/a-moment-of-possibility-and-peril-e2c1c9b171ed) is filled with a lot of BS, including the notion that the U.N. is actually an indispensable force for good in the world. That would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.
~“Bishops weigh in on SCOTUS union case and workers’ rights” (see https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/bishops-weigh-in-on-scotus-union-case-and-workers-rights-29252). While many bishops repeated the same tired old arguments about unions, Bishop John Thomas Paprocki explains (see https://ct.dio.org/bishops-column/message/i-respectfully-disagree.html) why the Court’s decision was a good one and also compatible with Catholic social teaching.
~Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P. has given a good overview of evolutionary theory from a Catholic perspective (see https://soundcloud.com/thomisticinstitute/fr-nicanor-austriaco-op-aquinas-after-darwin-disputed-questions-raised-by-evolutionary-theory). It’s worth listening to, especially given the fact that Austriaco is both a priest-theologian and a scientist.
~We commemorated the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae (see http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html) on July 25th. This text may well be the most “prophetic” of any stripe – secular or religious – to have been published in the 20th century. Its warnings about the widespread adoption of contraception (see HV, 17) continue to be proven true.
~“Opinion | Can the Catholic Church ‘Evolve’ on L.G.B.T. Rights?” The short answer, for me: No, not unless we say the Church can “evolve” on the nature of marriage (natural and sacramental), the human person, and sexuality, among other created realities.
~A 92-year-old woman by the inapt name of Anna Mae Blessing shot and killed her 72-year-old son who wanted to put her in a nursing home (https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/04/us/elderly-woman-son-death-assisted-living-trnd/index.html). Well, I guess she wasn’t much of a blessing.
~We are subject to a barrage of stories about racist acts. But it’s as if the media have a pre-fitted filter that the stories are almost always without question those of white-on-black racism. There is no other kind; there can be no other kind. They need not even search out these stories. They are presupposed to be a constant occurrence and too numerous to count. For them, it’s just the way it is…
~Many liberals don’t like to apply “historical consciousness” to past figures, especially to ones they don’t like (e.g., see https://www.npr.org/2018/05/13/610396047/heroic-but-he-s-no-hero-revisiting-football-great-jim-brown). You know, cutting people slack based on the fact that they lived in a so-called “unenlightened” time.
~When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, girls who acted like boys were called “tomboys.” Today, these same tomboys would be susceptible to the transgender ideology that is in the air we breathe.
~It seems as if the same people who want to “build bridges rather than walls,” are rather good at constructing high fences around their property. I don’t remember this many fences when I was growing up – at least the tall ones that you can’t see through.
~My wife is crazy. The evidence is irrefutable. She married me.
~My view of Francis’ pontificate: The Holy Father could have made things much easier for himself and us if from the beginning of his papacy he would have reassured the conservatives that he was maintaining the course set by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, but also reassured the liberals that he would emphasize many of the things that they favor (at least on legitimate issues that his two predecessors favored as well), but that he would simply intensify that emphasis. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.
~You know you’re getting old when you’re older than your boss.
~I think of myself as a reasonable person; I try to use reason as much as possible. The problem is most other people don’t use reason.
~I hate when people – both faithful and dissenters alike – say the Catholic Church condemns “artificial contraception.” But the “withdrawal” method (coitus interruptus), for example, is not only a form of contraception it is also “natural.” It is more accurate to say that the Church opposes contraception pure and simple.
~Critics of Humanae Vitae on the Right are out there (e.g., see https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-what-is-the-meaning-of-life?mc_cid=aa12c2803f&mc_eid=c05aa50b37 and https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-50-years-later?mc_cid=0fcae5fafe&mc_eid=c05aa50b37). They agree with its conclusion, but fault especially its alleged abandonment of natural law in favor of “personalism.” But Bl. Paul VI explicitly stated in HV, 4 that to answer the question about contraception “requires from the teaching authority of the Church a new and deeper reflection on the principles of the moral teaching on marriage—a teaching which is based on the natural law as illuminated and enriched by divine Revelation.” (See http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html).
~“Will the Trend Of Low Birth Rates Be Reversed?” There is some evidence for the affirmative, claims Michael Barone. But I believe that this will only happen if Catholics are a large part of this demographic reversal.
~“3 biological parents, 1 child, and an international controversy” (see https://www.vox.com/2018/7/24/17596354/mitochondrial-replacement-therapy-three-parent-baby-controversy). As we continue to “push the envelope” with reproductive science, we should only expect Nature and Nature’s God to strike back at us.
~I heard a funeral homily recently where the priest seemed to be implying a denial of the resurrection of the body. I don’t think he meant that but his words said as much.
~I think that a good deal of the transgender phenomenon is not simply to be attributed to our culture’s individualism, but to a cultural mania that has swooped up people who never would have been swooped up without the influence of the culture in this matter (e.g., via social media).
~Happy August! … It will be much happier for us if the Catholic Bishops can get the terrible sex abuse scandals under control (There have been so many pieces published on Cardinal McCarrick’s sexual abuse, e.g., but see especially this column by Janet E. Smith: https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/07/24/mccarrick-dissent-from-humanae-vitae-and-the-sensus-fidelium/). The watchwords going forward: Repent-Reform-Resolve (and even Resign if need be)! There can be nothing less!