Author: Brian Killian

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Contra Viral Genocide

First Things has published several articles in the past few weeks dismissing the attempts by churches and governments to reign in the COVID–19 pandemic, suggesting they are overreactions. In R.R. Reno and Bioethics of a Pandemic, Dr. Pedro Gabriel addresses...

Cardinal Burke’s Poisoned Well

In a recent interview with the National Catholic Register, Cardinal Raymond Burke once again criticizes an apostolic exhortation from Pope Francis. Querida Amazonia, the result of the most recent synod on the Amazon, summarizes Pope Francis’s vision of the Amazonian...

Pope Francis: 50 Years a Priest!

Today is the 50th anniversary of Pope Francis’ ordination to the priesthood. Pope Francis’ vocation to the priesthood and its significance for him is expressed in the motto of his papal coat of arms, “miserando atque eligendo”. The motto is...

A Spirit of Dialogue or Dissent?

“Tensions may arise between the theologian and the Magisterium. The meaning attributed to such tensions and the spirit with which they are faced are not matters of indifference.” The Church does not force people to believe something against their conscience....

5 Myths about Amoris Laetitia

Some Catholic voices and media continue to push unfortunate falsehoods about Pope Francis and his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Here is a brief response to some of the more common ‘myths’ of Amoris Laetitia. 1. Pope Francis never answered the...

You Will Not Become Like the Roots

There is a trend in Pope Francis criticism that makes a big deal about the fact that “anything [the pope says] can be made to sound orthodox”. I’ve seen Feser and now Dan Hitchens bringing it up as if it...

The Harmony of Amoris Laetitia and Veritatis Splendor

You often find the charge among critics of Pope Francis that his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, is opposed to Pope John Paul’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor. The differences between the two are exaggerated in order to set these two documents of...

Against Certainty

Did Jesus establish his church to give us personal certainty and perfect clarity? Assuming so reveals a rather rationalist view of the church. A view that is typically used as a fortress to rebuff questioning or dissent, or to guard...

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...

The Church is not simply Anti-Abortion

  Being against something is ambiguous, it lacks context. We don’t really know what a person is for just by knowing what he is against. On the other hand, tell me what you are for and I can tell a...

But not a Christian

“Some Catholics consider it [migrants] a secondary issue compared to the ‘grave’ bioethical questions. That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian…” ~ Pope Francis Deal Hudson doesn’t think Pope Francis...

Practical Pelagianism: 5 signs of the heresy in action

Pope Francis has warned of the resurgence of a Pelagian mentality ever since his election. But the new spirit of Pelagianism so decried by Pope Francis is not a formal Pelagianism. It doesn’t show itself in the denial of defined...

Misunderstanding Veritatis Splendor: A reply to E. Christian Brugger

Veritatis Splendor has always been the favorite encyclical of those who are unhappy with the theological direction of Pope Francis.  It is their source of authority for their condemnations of Amoris Laetitia especially. In one recent example, E. Christian Brugger pits...

Responsible parenthood as a corporal work of mercy

A few years ago Pope Francis made headlines by saying that Catholics did not have to ‘be like rabbits’. “That example I mentioned shortly before about that woman who was expecting her eighth child and already had seven who were...

Three Popes, Two Conclaves, One Church

For a long time, Pope John Paull II was the only pope I knew. He was the pope of my childhood, and I was married with four kids by the time he died. But his death, the funeral, and the...

The Mustard Seed and a New Pastoral Paradigm

In a previous post I mentioned that the law of gradualism was not like Jack’s Magic Beanstalk that springs up to the sky over night, but more like the mustard seed that is the smallest of all seeds but eventually...

Reality is Greater than Ideas

Pharisees: “That man cannot be from God: he does not keep the Sabbath.” Blind Man: “Ever since the world began it is unheard of for anyone to open the eyes of someone born blind; if this man were not from...

With Man All Things Are Possible

Some Catholics wield Trent like a baseball bat. In their hands, Canon XVIII is a blunt instrument to beat the weak over the head with. Early in his pontificate Pope Francis criticized these Catholics for being what he called “self-absorbed...

Thomas Aquinas: Ghostwriter of Amoris Laetitia

  Pope Francis has stated multiple times that Amoris Laetitia is rooted in the moral theology of Thomas Aquinas. The citations to Aquinas in Chapter eight have been commented on by others, but quotations from the works of Aquinas are...

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