1. Dad Meets the Sexual Revolution: A politically incorrect Father’s Day guide to sex, masculinity and daughters.

By  William McGurn, The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2017, Pg. A14, Opinion

This coming Sunday, in homes across the nation, millions of American men will awake to the arrival of breakfast in bed. Prepared and served by their children, these Father’s Day repasts convey appreciation as well as contributing to the general bonhomie of the day to come. But as he sips his coffee from his “World’s Greatest Dad” mug, even the most obtuse father has to ask himself: Have I been the man my children deserve?

For dads with daughters, the question can be particularly disquieting as we contemplate a sexual revolution that has lost sight of any boundaries. In theory it’s all gloriously empowering. But for those who regard human sexuality as a profound gift, and la différence as a key to appreciating this gift, it’s astonishing how judgments that would have been elementary to our great-great-grandmothers today elude the most privileged and well-educated.

The great fraud of our age, of course, is that consent and contraception are all a woman needs to have sex the way a man can. Certainly birth control and its backstop (abortion) permit women to enjoy a sexual relationship without the fear of an unwanted child. But seldom does anyone ask whether an unwanted pregnancy is the only unfortunate consequence a consensual sexual relationship might bring.

Already I hear the chorus rumbling. Mansplaining! This guy’s a dinosaur! Get woke!

Perhaps. Then again, most dads accept that part of the job is a willingness to be the unfashionable one; that is, to love enough to speak unpopular truths when the world cheats your children with fifty shades of grey. For all the complaints about “toxic masculinity,” genuine masculinity seems hard to come by. Surely the greater male dysfunction of our time is perpetual adolescence, and a culture that encourages the man-child.

So this Father’s Day, looking over the three greatest blessings in his life, this dad pines for the day when we might again speak honestly and openly about the profound differences between male and female sexuality, when the heart might be taken as seriously as the orgasm—and when young men pursing young women might even rediscover the marvelous possibilities of moonlit summer evenings.


2. Liberalism’s final frontier: The afterlife

By Michael Gerson, The Washington Post, June 13, 2017, Pg. A15, Opinion

It is apparently not enough for some of the liberal-minded to help those on Medicare and Social Security; now people must be guaranteed eligibility for heaven as well. Or at least be protected from those who believe in the other place.

At a contentious confirmation hearing last week for Russell Vought as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget — generally not known as an institution with theological job requirements — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took vigorous exception to an online post Vought had written claiming that Muslims (and, presumably, others) who “have rejected Jesus Christ” therefore “stand condemned.”

Sanders found this “indefensible” and “hateful.” But at least when it comes to a belief in hell, Vought is hardly a rarity.

Perhaps Sanders was just meaning to deny a government job to someone whose theology he finds objectionable. Which is not only presumptuous but unconstitutional (see Article VI).

But, on second thought, never mind about these questions. Thanks to the Constitution, we aren’t required to give a damn what Sanders thinks about the religious views of any American.


3. As Church Shifts, a Cardinal Welcomes Gays; They Embrace a ‘Miracle’

By Sharon Otterman, The New York Times, June 13, 2017

The word “pilgrimage” usually evokes visions of far-off, exotic places, but for some 100 gay and lesbian Catholics and their families, a pilgrimage to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart here on a recent Sunday was more like a homecoming.

The doors to the cathedral were opened to them, and they were welcomed personally by the leader of the Archdiocese of Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin.

The welcoming of a group of openly gay people to Mass by a leader of Cardinal Tobin’s standing in the Roman Catholic Church in this country would have been unthinkable even five years ago. But Cardinal Tobin, whom Pope Francis appointed to Newark last year, is among a small but growing group of bishops changing how the American church relates to its gay members. They are seeking to be more inclusive and signaling to subordinate priests that they should do the same.


4. Pope names bioethics advisers in closely watched appointment

By Associated Press, June 13, 2017, 7:29 AM

Pope Francis has selected the members of his bioethics advisory board, a closely watched appointment because the commission had previously reflected the conservative vision of sexual morality and life issues championed by the past two popes.

Francis kept several previous members and added new members of the Pontifical Academy of Life. But notably absent from the lineup released Tuesday were some of the academy’s more outspoken members, who had led protests when, for example, experts who didn’t support church teaching were invited to speak at a 2012 Vatican infertility conference.

Francis has upheld church opposition to abortion, but he hasn’t emphasized sexual morality as much as his predecessors. He has said that after St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, Catholics know what the church teaches.


5. For first World Day of the Poor, Francis encourages personal encounter

By Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, June 13, 2017, 4:35 AM

In his message for the first World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis said that the suffering and broken bodies of the poor are where we encounter the body of Christ – and to know Christ we must know the poor.

“If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor, as a response to the sacramental communion bestowed in the Eucharist,” he said in his message, released June 13.

Pope Francis established the World Day of the Poor in his apostolic letter, “Misericordia et misera,” presented Nov. 20, 2016 at the end of the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy.

To be celebrated on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time – this year falling on Nov. 19 – the idea came about, he explained, during the Jubilee for Socially Excluded People, highlighting in particular the homeless, which took place at the Vatican near the end of the Jubilee.


6. Bishops’ Spring Meeting Set for Indianapolis: USCCB will discuss religious liberty, immigration and upcoming synod this week

By Matthew E. Bunson, National Catholic Register, June 12, 2017

The members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will assemble in Indianapolis June 14-15 for their annual Spring General Assembly. While typically not as comprehensive as their annual fall assembly in Baltimore, the spring meeting gives the bishops an opportunity to discuss pressing matters and to do some key preparatory work for the autumn session.

This year, the chief items on the agenda for the bishops are shaped largely by the policy proposals of the Trump administration and the new Congress, including the reform of the ACA, the Affordable Care Act — so-called Obamacare — immigration and religious liberty. The bishops are also starting to prepare for the upcoming Ordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome that is scheduled for fall 2018 on youth.