Author: Mike Lewis

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Is Cardinal Burke an enemy of the pope?

This weekend, the New York Times published portions of a lengthy interview of Cardinal Raymond Burke by columnist Ross Douthat. Before going any further, I would like to acknowledge that in this interview, Cardinal Burke answered the question I posed in my September 24th post, “Does Cardinal Burke think Francis is an antipope?” Douthat: You believe Francis is a legitimate pope? Burke: Yes, yes. I’ve had people present to me all kinds of arguments calling...

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A missionary Church: where everyone’s wounds are healed

Pope Francis recently sat down with journalist Gianni Valente of Fides (the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples) for a lengthy interview on some of his favorite topics, including evangelization, what it means to be a missionary, and witnessing to the Gospel. It was published on November 5 in Italian as a book entitled, Without Him, We Can Do Nothing: a Conversation About Being Missionaries in Today’s World. Hopefully an English...

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Vatican’s Secret Archives aren’t secret anymore!

According to a new Motu Proprio issued by Pope Francis, the Vatican Archives has changed its name to something a bit less… mysterious: From now on the present Vatican Secret Archive, without prejudice to its identity, its structure and its mission, should be called the Vatican Apostolic Archive. Reaffirming its active desire to serve the Church and culture, the new name highlights the close link between the Roman See and the Archive, an indispensable instrument...

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As the “Inside Synod” nears the finish line

In his opening address to the Synod of Bishops on October 7, 2019, Pope Francis warned about “two synods”–the idea that while a synod of bishops takes place in the Synod Hall (Aula del Sinodo), a “synod of the media” takes place concurrently. This second, unofficial synod is the public, often vitriolic, ideology-fueled discussion that takes place in the public square, on social media, and in publications and blogs (including this one). This media synod...

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Pope Francis’s true message to priests

Following up on yesterday’s post about saturnos and rigidity, especially after reviewing the comments, I’d like to address a narrative that’s been advanced through much of his papacy: that he likes to “insult” priests, especially those who embrace orthodoxy, tradition, and Latin liturgy. One critic of Francis has received widespread publicity for publishing “The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults.” The well-known American priest, Msgr. Charles Pope wrote an open letter to Pope Francis on...

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When a hat isn’t just a hat

Hats are radical; only people that wear hats understand that. —Philip Treacy Last week, I highlighted a beautiful response from Pope Francis on his spiritual life, which he gave in a Q&A session with 24 local Jesuits in Mozambique during his pilgrimage to Africa early last month. Social media and reactionary Catholic outlets, however, decided to focus and provide criticism on other responses in the meeting. A number of priests on social media took to...

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Pope Francis: “I have never been asked this question before”

Pope Francis’s travels receive a great deal of media coverage. From his public celebrations of Holy Mass to his audiences with world leaders; to his visits with the local sick or imprisoned; to his comments aboard the airplane and his famous and free-wheeling in-flight press conferences, nearly every aspect of his voyage is covered and analyzed in great detail. One of the most interesting yet underappreciated parts of Pope Francis’s apostolic pilgrimages, however, are the...

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*UPDATED* Does Cardinal Burke think Francis is an antipope?

****UPDATE 11/11/19:  In an interview with Ross Douthat, published in the New York Times on Saturday, Cardinal Burke responded to a question on his position regarding the validity of Francis’s papacy. Douthat: You believe Francis is a legitimate pope? Burke: Yes, yes. I’ve had people present to me all kinds of arguments calling into question the election of Pope Francis. But I name him every time I offer the Holy Mass, I call him Pope...

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The road to schism isn’t a one-way street

In the last several days, many Catholics have been discussing Pope Francis’s comments about a potential schism in the Church, specifically in reference to a movement (in the U.S. Church and elsewhere) that is highly critical of Francis and his teachings. In his comments, Francis described the causes of schism, suggesting that they occur when: Ideologies enter into doctrine and when doctrine slips into ideology that’s where there’s the possibility of a schism. There’s the...

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Cardinal Burke: “This is an opinion of Pope Francis as a man”

Recent remarks by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, captured on audio, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Burke explicitly rejects the revised teaching on the death penalty in Catechism #2267 and urges catechists not to accept or teach the change that Pope Francis has mandated. On this site, we have long been tracking the views of those with extremist viewpoints who criticize Pope Francis. We have also noted a more mainstream contingent whose members strongly oppose...

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What would Fr. Hardon say?

On April 7, 2018, Cardinal Raymond Burke delivered an address to a conference in Rome dedicated to the legacy of the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra titled, Catholic Church: Where are you heading? The title of Burke’s address was, “The plenitudo potestatis of the Roman Pontiff in service of the unity of the Church.” Plenitudo potestatis means “fullness of power,” a term frequently used by medieval canonists to describe papal power and authority, and canonized in...

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NCR’s Winters warns of a looming schism

Today in the National Catholic Reporter, columnist Michael Sean Winters argues that the biggest threat to the unity of the Catholic Church (especially in the U.S.) is the expansion of a highly visible and well-organized movement that opposes Pope Francis and seems determined to split the Church in two. He even goes on to suggest that the highest priority for the USCCB’s November meeting should be developing a response to the question, “To what degree are...

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Talking WPI with Mark Shea

Last night, I was a guest on Mark Shea’s radio show, Catholic and Enjoying It!, where we discussed Where Peter Is and the polarization over Pope Francis in the Catholic Church. Topics included the origins of the site, the Amoris Laetitia controversy, and the relentless media attacks against the Holy Father. Click below to listen!   Read Mark’s blog by clicking here!   Image: Pixabay Mike LewisMike Lewis is a writer and graphic designer from Maryland, having...

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The dramatic developments of John Paul and Francis

In yesterday’s post, I explored the hostile responses from many of Pope Francis’s critics over his ecumenical gestures towards Christians outside of full communion with the Catholic Church, and how the outcry compares to their acceptance of similar gestures — not to mention a major change in sacramental discipline — made by St. John Paul II during his papacy. Today, we’ll take a closer look at three issues that are at the center of debate...

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“When JP2 did it, it was different”

On July 25, the Catholic Herald published a piece by the Canadian priest Raymond de Souza entitled, “The inexplicable transfer of St Peter’s relics to Constantinople,” in which the author offers a litany of objections to Pope Francis’s gift of a reliquary containing small bone fragments (believed to be St. Peter’s) to Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. I pointed out in a Twitter thread on July 3 that radical traditionalists’ objections to popes giving...

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NFP Week Roundup

In conjunction with yesterday’s anniversary of St. Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, this week has been designated by the USCCB as National NFP Awareness Week. Humanae Vitae, of course, affirmed the Church’s traditional teaching that prohibits the use of artificial contraception. NPF, as you likely know, is an abbreviation for Natural Family Planning, a catch-all term for the various methods of avoiding pregnancy that are approved by the Church, which rely on tracking a...