Weekly Reading – October 17, 2014

I promise that there is nothing (directly) related to the “Extraordinary Synod” this week.

  • Russian Church Speaks Very Plainly to Synod,” Byzantine Texas – This isn’t an original blog post. Rather, it is a copy of Metropolitan HIlarion Alfeyev’s (Russian Orthodox Church) address to the “Extraordinary Synod” in Rome in which he naturally discusses…Uniatism. Notice in his rebuke to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church a proud declaration of “age-old blood ties” which exist between Ukrainians and Russians, as if the true Faith is transmitted genetically. Let’s call Alfeyev’s statement what it is: a xenophobic ramble which might very well make our own Cardinal Walter Kasper proud. If that’s not enough, one can certainly enjoy guffawing at a churchman praising his confession’s “rich pastoral care for the family” as his native country continues to spiral into demographic suicide.
  • Society of St. Pius X, “Reservations on Beatifying Paul VI” – Amidst all of the turmoil over the ongoing Synod, it seems that Pope Paul VI’s pending beatification has gotten lost in the sauce. I note this document from the SSPX simply to remind folks that this beatification is around the corner. I certainly think that a far larger case could be made to hold the Pope’s hand back from making this move, but perhaps that will come in due course. Still, there is something richly ironic that the author of Humanae Vitae, an encyclical some of the movers-and-shakers at the Synod are trying to do an end-run around, should be elevated at its close.
  • Michael Stokes Paulsen, “2014 Supreme Court Roundup,” First Things – The Harvard Law Review’s (HLR) annual Supreme Court issue it isn’t, but then again I suspect that Paulsen, a profess at St. Thomas School of Law, isn’t on the short list to be invited to pen that issue of the HLR’s lead article, either. Whether one agrees with Paulsen’s analysis or not, the problem with this piece is that it isn’t a review of the Court’s last term at all; it’s another sounding-off on religious liberty and abortion. No moderately serious person or above could possibly hope to gain any insight on the voting behavior of the Court, where it is going, and what we might expect next term from reading Paulsen’s piece. It’s well-written emptiness.