Quick hits: Hitchens on Martin, Spaemann on Seifert, Douthat on Hefner

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Oct 02, 2017

Easing back into business after a relaxing weekend, here are a few columns that you shouldn’t miss:


Writing in First Things, Dan Hitchens examines the clever rhetorical strategy of Father James Martin, who never quite denies Church teaching on homosexuality (or the ordination of women), yet manages to give aid and encouragement to those who do.


The noted German Catholic philosopher Robert Spaemann comments on the dismissal of Josef Seifert from his post at the International Academy of Philosophy. Archbishop Javier Martinez Fernandez of Granada said that Seifert’s criticism of Amoris Laetitia harmed the community of faith. Spaemann responds that in healthier times “it would not have crossed anybody’s mind to ask whether a philosophical idea was in accordance with the opinion of the then-reigning Pope.” Reflecting more generally on the opposition faced by Catholics who cling to the truths of the faith, Spaemann concludes: “It was easier during Nazi times to be a faithful Christian than today.”


And in the New York Times [subscription may be required after reaching a monthly quota], op-ed columnist Ross Douthat pulls no punches in “Speaking Ill of Hugh Hefner.” Commenting on what the Playboy founder accomplished by bringing pornography into mainstream culture, Douthat suggests: “Now that death has taken him, we should examine our own sins.”

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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