Where Peter Is Blog

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In the Desert God Restores Our Lives

“Behold the desert, place of life not of death, because to converse with the Lord in silence restores life to us.”  Pope Francis, Ash Wednesday General Audience (Source: Zenit) In his weekly audience for Ash Wednesday this year, Pope Francis returned to the idea that silence is an essential part of Christian life, for...

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Fr. James Martin and the End of Modernity

The most recent controversy involving CNA’s reporting of a meeting between Fr. James Martin and Pope Francis illustrates well just how much Martin has become a lightning rod, in social media and beyond, for his advocacy for and on behalf of LGBT Catholics. But why? It is superficial to think that the controversy...

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Respecting Continuity in Church Teaching

There are, unfortunately, Catholics who think that defending Pope Francis involves tearing down his predecessors. Throughout his pontificate, they have portrayed almost everything Pope Francis has done as “finally correcting” the bad practices of his predecessors and ignoring the good that they accomplished. This is a problem because these Catholics fall into the...

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Be Perfect

The gospel reading today ends with Jesus summing up his great Sermon on the Mount by saying, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We can easily misunderstand what this passage means and leave feeling like Jesus is placing moral demands on us that simply are not possible.  I’ve heard...

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On the CNA/Martin Affair

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, JD Flynn wrote an essay in First Things arguing that Father James Martin, an American Jesuit known for his ministry and pastoral outreach to the LGBT community, presents “a vision of the human person at odds with Catholic teaching.” In the piece, Flynn quoted neither Father Martin nor...

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Which Pope said this?

“An authentic option for the poor and the abandoned, while motivating us to liberate them from material poverty and to defend their rights, also involves inviting them to a friendship with the Lord that can elevate and dignify them (…) Nor can we be content with a social message. If we devote our...

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The New Americanism, Part Four: Religious Submission

Related to the problem of liberty, noted Pope Leo XIII, is the Americanist view that “all external guidance [that] is set aside for those souls who are striving after Christian perfection as being superfluous or, indeed, not useful in any sense…”[1]  Americanism resists trustful docility to the guidance of spiritual directors and the...

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Narratives that Colonize

Narratives are powerful. Narratives help frame issues and events, making them accessible and more easily understood. Within a world full of confusion and “information overload,” narratives can provide meaning and clarity on complicated issues and controversies. But it is also true that narratives can be dangerous. Narratives almost always reflect the perspectives and...

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My Clericalism and Querida Amazonia

After reading Querida Amazonia, my initial reaction was to think we have a Pope that believes there are some issues more important than the priesthood. Those of us who criticize clericalism certainly believe this, yet many of us were disappointed by the exhortation. This may say something about us, especially those of us ...

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The New Americanism, Part Three: License and Liberty

In his late nineteenth-century letter to Catholics in the United States, Testem benevolentiae, Pope Leo XIII condemned the heresy of Americanism. Although few American Catholics know about this heresy, many of those who have heard of Americanism believe it is consigned to the Left alone. They believe Americanism is liberalism, progressivism, modernism and–for...

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Married priests and Querida Amazonia: my thoughts

“This sanctity is what protects and has always shielded the Church from every positivist and manipulative ideological reductionism (…) The synodal perspective does not cancel out antagonism or surprises, and neither do conflicts get solved by syncretic solutions of ‘consensus,’ resulting from the elaboration of censuses or surveys about one topic or another....

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Western Caesaropapism and the Recent Popes

In their contempt for Pope Francis, radical anti-Bergoglio Catholics even avoid mentioning him by name. The Pope becomes “the Argentine of Santa Marta”: Francis is the “Argentine,” just as John Paul II was the “Pole” and Benedict XVI the “German shepherd” (as if he was some breed of dog). These forms of clerical...

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Which Pope said this?

“But it is necessary to go even further. We can never say “enough”, because the love of God is infinite, and the Lord asks us—or better—requires us to open our hearts wider so that there will be room for even more love, goodness, and understanding for our brothers and sisters, and for the...

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Querida Amazonia: An Opportunity

As with so many of the reforms and magisterial acts of the papacy of Pope Francis, Querida Amazonia will surely make a lasting impact on the Universal Church into the future. Yet in the coming days and weeks, you will hear no end to the dissection, analysis, and—sadly—spin about the document. Querida Amazonia...

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Here Comes the New World Order (Again)

In an interview with Don Fier published on December 26, 2019 in The Wanderer, Cardinal Raymond Burke raised the spectre of a “one-world government” when speaking about the idea of global “ecological conversion”—a concept that has become a central theme of the Francis pontificate, but which was also promoted by Pope John Paul...

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Querida Amazonia: A Call for Authentic Inculturation

Vatican City — In his latest apostolic exhortation, Querida Amazonia, Pope Francis calls for “authentic” inculturation in the Amazon, so as to allow for the creation of a Church which truly bears the features of the region and the culture of its people. In the Pope’s latest document, published 12 February, Francis sets out...