THIRTY YEARS AGO last week, Poland began to self-liberate from communism through the first semi-free elections held behind the iron curtain since World War II.
POPE FRANCIS’S recent motu proprio on sexual abuse, “Vos estis lux mundi” [You Are the Light of the World], was a welcome addition to Church law, as world Catholicism seeks to heal the wounds of abuse victims, promote chaste living, foster mutual accountability within the Body of Christ and restore the credibility of the Church’s leadership. The response to the motu proprio by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, ably summed up that document’s achievement:
Given the seriousness with which the post-Watergate Washington Post takes itself, it seems unlikely that its editors strive for hilarity in devising headlines. Whatever their intention, though, they managed to make me laugh out loud at breakfast on May 20, when the headline on the jump from a page-one story about former vice president Biden’s current campaign read: Biden’s team says there’s no need for Democrats to stampede toward the left.
IN THREE WEEKS, a panel of senior judges will hear Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of the unjust verdict rendered against him at his retrial in March, when he was convicted of “historical sexual abuse.” That conviction did not come close to meeting the criterion of guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is fundamental to criminal law in any rightly ordered society. The prosecution offered no corroborating evidence sustaining the complainant’s charge. The defense demolished the prosecution’s case, as witness after witness testified that the alleged abuse simply could not have happened under the circumstances charged — in a busy cathedral after Mass, in a secured space.
ON MAY 8, the Library of Congress and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars co-hosted a tribute to Dr. James H. Billington, who died last Nov. 20.
It was only a matter of time before this ersatz religion’s false anthropology and cosmology – its denial of the unique status of human beings in a natural order that’s created, not accidental – would lead to the grotesque. With human composting, gussied up as a matter of ecological responsibility, the grotesque has most assuredly arrived.
FOR OVER A HALF-CENTURY, what styles itself the “pro-choice” movement has thrived because of its extraordinary ability to mask what it’s really about – the willful taking of innocent human lives in abortion – through various rhetorical deceptions.
PUBLISHED A WEEK short of his 92nd birthday, Joseph Ratzinger’s essay on the epidemiology of the clergy sex-abuse crisis vividly illustrated his still-unparalleled capacity to incinerate the brain-circuits of various Catholic progressives.
That Easter Effect is worth keeping in mind in this season of Catholic discontent. Even amidst anger and embarrassment, Christians can do the work of evangelization because the first Easter told us that, for the truly converted disciple who has met the risen Lord, despair never gets the final word: God will vindicate his plan for the salvation of the world.
A LENTEN QUIZ: Which came first, God’s creation of the world or God’s covenant with Israel? If we think in terms of chronology, the answer is obvious. If we think theologically, however, we get a different answer – and the drama of creation, covenant, and redemption comes into clearer focus.