1. Advice to all Catholics: do not read anything about the synod. If it’s from the popular press, that goes double. What could possibly be the point, what good could it possibly do you or anyone else to get involved here? The press will get it wrong. Very few of us are in any position to understand and interpret; none are or should desire to be in a position to influence. It not our job to watchdog the bishops in synod.
They’re not done yet. When they’re done – at least a year out from now – there may or may not be a document that may or may not have much of anything new to say.
We are falling into the trap of thinking a synod is just like modern politics: white collar crime as a spectator sport. Reality TV. Just say no; just say a prayer.
2. Via a tweet from Wm Briggs, this needs looking into: New schools turn back clock to train Russia’s girls in virtues of nobility. Russians, who, based on the historical evidence, tend towards holy, stoic and insane, have decided to reinstitute a form of schooling designed to train up Russian girls to be the kind of women the Tzar would be proud of:
Two hundred and fifty years ago, in 1764, Russian Empress Catherine II (the Great) issued a decree establishing Russia’s very first Institute for Noble Maidens – the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg. This institution was tasked with “giving the state educated women, good mothers, and useful members of the family and society,” as the decree reads.
Note: “giving the state” – not giving the individual or family what they may want, but trained up for the state. How do we know this wasn’t just benevolent career training?
The girls lived according to a regimented daily routine and could only see their relatives on weekends and holidays, and only in the presence of the headmistress.
Cults and abusive individuals always try to limit contact with family and friends, the people who can provide a reality check. Thus, Fichte argued for children to be completely removed from their families for the duration of their education. Now, since we parents have been properly educated, the schools just give our kids enough homework and extra activities to leave, effectively, no room for thought or opportunity for real inculturation.
They did not have the right to leave the institute prior to graduation, either of their own volition or at the wishes of their families. With the help of this institute, the Empress planned to snatch schoolgirls from their familiar surroundings and create a “new breed of people.”
Now, that sounds familiar. It’s always good to remember that the basic purpose of state-run school is invariable to destroy a culture and replace it with something more to their liking. Sometimes, such as in inner city schools, we don’t much object to the destruction of the existing culture. Sometimes, as in Common Core, it’s more objectionable. But whether we approve of it or not, it cannot be denied that destroying one culture and replacing it with another is the goal of state sponsored schools.
So, the Russians are going to try this again? I’ll try to look further into this when time permits.
3. Darwin Catholic talks about sin being how we hurt people. He starts thus:
In a discussion of the Church’s teaching on divorce (that leaving your spouse and attempting a second marriage is considered by the Church to be adultery) someone made the following comment:
“I find it hard to believe people think God cares about this issue this much, given all the real sin in the world (ie social injustice and war) but anyway.”
Most of us don’t need to hunt for examples of how wrong this is – how the claim that divorce isl harmless in and of itself, and the Church is a big ol’ meany for calling many things otherwise decent people do every day sins.
So, all those broken families, the breakup of which ineradicably carved misery into the hearts of children and ex-spouses – those we just deny. In addition to fragmented families in denial, for whom the cost of acknowledging that their own decisions have caused the damage now playing out in their children’s lives is just too high, there are blended families who work very hard to keep everything above board – ex spouses remain on friendly terms, the kids are shared in a friendly way, nobody overtly hushes particular lines of inquiry – and the hurt is always there, just below the surface, waiting to break out. Sure, it better for the adults to act like adults (or as much like adults as people refuse to take or honor vows can act). The kids seem a lot happier than in those families committed to pretending that this week’s boyfriend is just another normal part of our ever-changing family and you’re being unreasonable to miss that sperm donor a couple of boyfriends back who didn’t like you anyway and stop your whining.
Of course there are truly horrific situations where divorce really is the only sane option, and of course there are intact families that are far from happy. These cases are much more rare than those where the couple just ‘grew apart’ or otherwise gave up to look for greener grass. And of course, there are children who make it through broken homes and manage to live well. But all those kids and former kids carry a pain with them that kids from intact families don’t – the pain of never really believing, in their hearts, that love is forever and promises can be kept.
4. Don’t know if this is a new low point, but this rather over the top essay is found under the Science news in a business newspaper, although it is merely an harang and, indeed, is indistinguishable from communist propaganda. For example:
Yes, capitalism’s at war, fighting against all efforts to limit global warming and climate change. This is WWIII, the defining moment of the 21st century. Why? “One word in the latest draft report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sums up why climate inaction is so uniquely immoral: Irreversible.”
I only hope that this triggers a few synapses to fire in wherever the BS detector section of people’s brain is.
Further on, the author says that the problem is that “the Right focuses on short-term economic consequences. And the Left relies on long-term impact in moral decisions.” One of those short term economic consequences is the impoverishment of much of the world, as cheap energy fueled activities, such as modern agriculture, travel and writing Marxist essays on a computer and publishing them on a website, are sharply curtailed. No more climate summits in Qatar, where evil capital ‘C’ Capitalism evidently forced thousands of morally upright bureaucrats and climate scientists (but mostly bureaucrats) to fly half way around the world to meet in a luxury resort in a godforsaken desert, where everything except air and water had to likewise be flown in, to hold discussions they could have skyped in air conditioned comfort. Hell, Gore might even have to sell a house or two.
Hypocrisy is such an ugly word.
Leftist morality never seems to have to do with the actual behavior of leftists, who can do whatever they want just so long as they toe the line.
5. Diablo Valley School publishes a newsletter which, amidst the photos and student artwork, occasionally runs an essay by me. I start rambling on page 2 of the current issue.