Where Peter Is Blog

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Death Penalty – continuity or hardness of heart?

“All of this shows that the new formulation of number 2267 of the Catechism expresses an authentic development of doctrine that is not in contradiction with the prior teachings of the Magisterium. These teachings, in fact, can be explained in the light of the primary responsibility of the public authority to protect the common good...

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Which Pope said this?

“[Regarding contraception] Holy Church knows well that not infrequently one of the parties is sinned against rather than sinning, when for a grave cause he or she reluctantly allows the perversion of the right order. In such a case, there is no sin, provided that, mindful of the law of charity, he or...

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Episcopalis Communio gives the Synod Of Bishops teaching authority

Wake up and smell the newest apostolic constitution from the Holy Father: Episcopalis Communio. Released Tuesday morning, it re-writes some of the rules for the Synod of Bishops. The stand-out feature is that it for the first time invests the Synod with formal teaching authority. Instead of simply submitting recommendations to the pope...

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Fake news and seething contempt for Pope Francis

Some Catholics disagree with much of what Pope Francis says and does — this is undeniable. Believe it or not, I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with criticizing a pope on prudential matters, at least when done thoughtfully and when consideration is given to the context and circumstances around the pope’s...

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A Moral Maze

Over the past couple of weeks, Where Peter Is has featured some articles presenting dueling metaphors about Christian freedom, conscience, and the place of other people in informing conscience. Paul Fahey first drew a picture of a garden, walled by God, in the middle of a wasteland. He suggested that there should be...

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Which Pope said this?

“While exchanges and conflicts of opinion may constitute normal expressions of public life in a representative democracy, moral teaching certainly cannot depend simply upon respect for a process: indeed, it is in no way established by following the rules and deliberative procedures typical of a democracy.Dissent, in the form of carefully orchestrated protests...

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Out of the Garden

To live in the freedom of Christ is to live in hope, peace, and joy. Yet, during our earthly life, our Christian freedom is constantly in danger, through our own sinfulness, the temptations of the world, and our own human weaknesses.  Some can have confidence, through various signs, that their lives are permeated...

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Mortal Sin: the Consequences of Confusion

A common confusion I see among Catholics is a misunderstanding of mortal sin that conflates mortal sin and grave matter. This misunderstanding has serious consequences and distorts the very heart of our faith.  Concerning mortal sin, the Catechism says: “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of...

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Pope Francis’ “Dangerous” View of Conscience

George Weigel complains that “voices have been heard urging a view of conscience that is curious, even dangerous.” What view of conscience could that be? Weigel describes it like this: Under certain circumstances, conscience may permit or even require that a person choose acts that the Church has consistently taught are intrinsically wrong—such...

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Polarized over the pope, Viganò style

More than two weeks after the release of the sensational “Testimony” of former US apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in which he calls for the resignation of Pope Francis, the Church finds itself in a period of intense polarization that’s difficult to assess. First, if you haven’t read it, I wholeheartedly recommend...

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Should we un-canonize John Paul II?

“For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel...

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Which Pope said this?

“St. José Marello exhorted his spiritual sons to prioritize love and obedience to the teachings and directives of the Holy Pontiff. Those were times of a rationalism that was intolerant to any spiritual dogma. Our age, on the other hand, is one of a sprawling relativism, which undermines the very foundation of our faith...