Author: Pedro Gabriel

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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 lives to their service, to working for the justice and dignity that they deserve, we cannot conceal the fact that we do...

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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. That would be too reductive.”  — Pope FrancisLetter to the Pilgrim People of God in GermanyJune 29, 2019 (my translation) Prior to...

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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 problems which concern not only the human community, but also the effective preservation and protection of the natural environment of which we...

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The Crucified Church: tensions with the flavor of the Gospel

“What’s at the root of this temptation is to think that, given so many problems and deficiencies, the best answer would be to reorganize things, make changes and especially “patches”, that would order and synchronize the life of the Church by adapting it to the logic of a particular group. Through this path, it would seem that everything would be solved if the ecclesial life would acquire a predetermined order, new or old, that would...

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Which Pope said this?

“The Church well knows that it is difficult to mount an effective legal defence of life in pluralistic democracies, because of the presence of strong cultural currents with differing outlooks. At the same time, certain that moral truth cannot fail to make its presence deeply felt in every conscience, the Church encourages political leaders, starting with those who are Christians, not to give in, but to make those choices which, taking into account what is...

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Making things right

One of the criticisms I heard about my article on the papal hand-slapping controversy was that I was trying to excuse Pope Francis of his wrongdoing. Of course, I was very clear in my article that the Pope had not reacted well, and that he had apologized, so this criticism doesn’t really stick. However, my article did indeed try to put the whole situation in perspective: first, we have to remember the Pope’s humanity, old...

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Which Pope said this?

“[T]he other face of the same vice is the Pelagianism of the pious. They do not want forgiveness and in general they do not want any real gift from God either. They just want to be in order. They don’t want hope they just want security. Their aim is to gain the right to salvation through a strict practice of religious exercises, through prayers and action. What they lack is humility which is essential in...

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Which Pope said this?

The Day for Life (…) every year highlights the value of human life and the absolute duty to defend it, from conception to its natural end. (…) That’s why the defense of life has as its fulcrum the welcoming of those who have been conceived and remain inside the maternal womb, sheltered by the mother as if in a loving embrace that unites them both. (…) Voluntarily eliminating life in its blossoming is, in every...

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Which Pope said this?

“[Celibacy] is certainly not a dogma. It is an accustomed way of life that evolved very early in the Church on good biblical grounds. (…) It is not a dogma. It is a form of life that has grown up in the Church and that naturally always brings with it the danger of a fall. When one aims so high, there are failures. I think that what provokes people today against celibacy is that they...

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Benedict, Francis, and ideology – an overlooked continuity

“But there have always been those people who, without any official title, go about disturbing the Christian community with discourses which unsettle souls: ‘Ah, no, what he said is heretical; that cannot be said, not that, the doctrine of the Church is this’. In reality, they are fanatics about things which are not clear, like those fanatics who went about sowing weeds to divide the Christian community. So, this is the problem: when the doctrine...

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Which Pope said this?

“To speak of humaneness and generosity is to echo another constitutional principle of the United Nations, its positive summit: you are working here not just to eliminate conflicts between States, but to make it possible for States to work for each other. You are not content with facilitating coexistence between nations. You are taking a much bigger step forward, one worthy of our praise and our support: you are organizing fraternal collaboration between nations. You...

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What have we become?

In his New Year’s Day homily, Pope Francis denounced violence against women as a “blasphemy against God, who was born of a woman.” CNN immediately tried to capitalize on this for sensationalistic purposes, by tying his speech to the incident the previous day, when he slapped the hand of a woman who yanked his arm violently in order to release himself from her grip. I admit I was pleasantly surprised, not by the tweet, but...

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“Which Pope said this?”

“Good news. A single word – Gospel – that, even as it is spoken, becomes truth, brimming with joy and mercy. We should never attempt to separate these three graces of the Gospel: its truth, which is non-negotiable; its mercy, which is unconditional and offered to all sinners; and its joy, which is personal and open to everyone. Truth, mercy and joy: these three go together. (…) The mercy of the good news can never...

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The infallibly erring Pope

“Even a stopped clock is right twice a day” — Popular proverb, unknown author One of the criticisms against our website we most often hear is: “you think that everything the Pope does or says is infallible.” Not so. We know full well that a Pope is only infallible when he makes an ex cathedra definition (even though it is also true that the Pope is acting infallibly in a sense when he promulgates a...

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On yanking and slapping hands

Today is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God: one of the holy days of obligation of the Christmas Octave and the first day of the New Year of 2020! So what better way for a Catholic to celebrate and cheer, than to badmouth the Pope? Yes, unfortunately, yesterday and today, Catholic social media has been boiling with a viral video of Pope Francis slapping the hand of a woman. The...

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Which Pope said this?

“Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (v. 24). With these words, Jesus makes it clear that it is not a matter of numbers, there is no “limited number” in Paradise! Rather, it is a case of taking the right way from now, and this right way is for everyone, but it is narrow. This is the problem. Jesus does not...

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Merry Christmas!

“From the womb of Mother Church, the incarnate Son of God is born anew this night. His name is Jesus, which means: “God saves”. The Father, eternal and infinite Love, has sent him into the world not to condemn the world but to save it. The Father has given him to us with great mercy. He has given him to everyone. He has given him forever. The Son is born, like a small light flickering...

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Which Pope said this?

“The enchanting image of the Christmas crèche, so dear to the Christian people, never ceases to arouse amazement and wonder. The depiction of Jesus’ birth is itself a simple and joyful proclamation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. The nativity scene is like a living Gospel rising up from the pages of sacred Scripture. As we contemplate the Christmas story, we are invited to set out on a spiritual journey,...

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Ecological sin and the Cosmic Temple

“Equally worrying is the ecological question (…) At the root of the senseless destruction of the natural environment lies an anthropological error, which unfortunately is widespread in our day. Man, who discovers his capacity to transform and in a certain sense create the world through his own work, forgets that this is always based on God’s prior and original gift of the things that are. Man thinks that he can make arbitrary use of the...