Weekly Reading – December 24, 2014

I am going on blogging hiatus for a few days, so I am posting this one up early. Merry Christmas everyone — except my Julian Calendar Eastern Catholic and Orthodox readers. To you I wish a blessed close to the season of Advent.

  • Austin Ruse, “15 Minutes for the New Homophiles,” Crisis –  I have very little interest in the so-called New Homophiles movement. However, an article which generates as much attention and heat as this one is worth linking to. Ruse may receive penalty points for tone, but that doesn’t detract automatically from the points he raises — the most important of which is, “What are the New Homophiles up to?” Based on the virulent reaction Ruse’s article has received, it would seem that there is more at work here than keeping the Catholic Church’s doors open to those who struggle with same-sex attraction (a laudable goal). Or perhaps this is all a theological fad, the next generation’s “Theology of the Body.” Ruse’s crime, then, is spoiling the party prematurely.
  • Torture: Historical and Ethical Perspectives,” Unam Sanctam Catholicam – Catholics have been saying a lot about the recent Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of harsh, even torturous, interrogation methods on prisoners suspected of having links to terrorism. Unfortunately, much of the rhetoric has been delivered in isolation of the Church’s tradition. This lengthy and detailed post attempts to clarify the matter in the light of historical practices, theological inquiry, and the magisterium.
  • J. Arthur Bloom, “Christmas Greetings From Mordor,” Front Porch Republic – I’ll confess up front that I haven’t paid much attention to Front Porch Republic as of late, but the addition of Bloom to its writing staff may change that. In his debut post, Bloom offers a thoughtful, if not somewhat whimsical, reflection on libertarianism and contemporary politics.
  • Michael Matt, “Defeating Darkness by Staying Awake,” The Remnant – Matt delivers another timely reflection on the state of the Church and the world, this time with specific attention paid to the life and witness of Pope Pius XII. No, it’s not the cheery holiday message some of us may want, but these are not cheery times, are they?