Weekly Reading – October 24, 2014

A more eclectic version of the usual Friday offering.

  • Fr. John Hunwicke, “Professor Roberto de Mattei and Papal Authority,” Liturgical Notes – Is there a better Catholic blogger than Fr. Hunwicke? I have my doubts. His series of posts concerning the recently concluded “Extraordinary Synod” and its aftermath have all been uniformly excellent; this one is no exception. As uncertain has these times seem, it is, in the end, to the Pope where we must look to have false “development of doctrine” cut off at the knees. The money line from Fr. Hunwicke’s entry: “A pontiff who issues a Syllabus of Errors seems to me a pontiff who is earning his paycheck.” After you read this, make sure you review everything else Fr. Hunwicke has posted up over the past two weeks. After that, go to the premier entry of his blog and consume the whole thing. You’ll be better for the experience.
  • Adrian Chen, “The Workers Who Keep D*** Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed,” Wired – Warning: Some of the content of this article is disturbing — very disturbing. Yet I think it’s important to appreciate the trauma of what an online acquaintance of mine called “online sanitation workers” who sift through thousands of videos and images, striking everything from scenes of mangled bodies to underage rape from social networking sites. Many of the people who do this ghastly are, unsurprisingly, overseas employees making a fraction of what their American counterparts receive.
  • Travis LaCouter, “Learning to Love the Individual,” Ethika Politika – The title to this piece is so strange that I thought at first it must be ironic. It isn’t. LaCouter’s remedy for the rise of radical individualism in the West is…more individualism. He believes that the real troubling reality of our time is the impulse toward conformity, though he doesn’t seem to appreciate that it is what young people — and, really, most people of all age groups — are trying to conform to. While it is no doubt true that Christians living today need to embrace a counter-cultural position, for that position to be at all meaningful, and indeed salvific, it, too, must conform — not to the Zeitgeist but to Christ Himself. A self-defined Christianity, built on terms acceptable to “the individual,” has more to do with our present woes that LaCouter appears to realize.
  • Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, “Catholic Action Defined,” DICI – I wrote about this some time ago on the old Opus Publicum. I am posting it here again. It’s a fitting piece to read on the eve of the Feast of Christ the King, for it appears today that faithful Catholics are uncertain of what their role ought to be in society. That is, they appear confused of what we, as lay faithful, can and should do to promote Christ beyond the border of our homes. Before the details of that enterprise can be successfully outlined, however, we must have a clear sense of what Catholic Action — as defined by the Church — is, along with its proper scope. This is a good place to start.