Category: Development of Doctrine

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Pope to Curia: We are no longer living in a Christian world

On December 21, 2019, Pope Francis addressed the Curia in a Christmas message. Unlike many papal homilies, speeches, and addresses that slip silently into the Vatican’s online archives, this address received significant attention from the secular news media. Not surprisingly, these reports contained a mix of helpful factual information interlaced with unhelpful and misleading oversimplifications. The Associated Press published a short article on it, and Francis X. Rocca wrote an article about it for the...

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The Ship of Peter

In Gianni Valente’s recent book-length interview with Pope Francis, the Holy Father explained the Church’s mission: that per Our Lord’s command, we’re a moving church, always reaching out into the peripheries. He stated, “The Church is either on the move or she is not Church. Either she evangelizes or she is not Church. If the Church is not on the move, she decays, she becomes something else.” This is in essence what the Church is....

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“I’m still teaching the same things I always taught…”

In my spiritual formation as a young adult, the idea of a future schism–refusing to submit to the teaching of the pope–was presented as a “liberal” concept. The idea was that in the name of progress, some Catholics rejected papal teaching on subjects like contraception, same-sex marriage, and women priests. This kind of schismatic believes that Church teaching on these matters hasn’t “developed” far enough, that the truth of their ideas is certain, and that...

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A Response to Ross Douthat

Where Peter Is was recently mentioned in the New York Times, in a column by Ross Douthat entitled, “What Will Happen to Conservative Catholicism?” In the piece, he surveys the ways that conservative Catholics in America have responded to Pope Francis. He also analyzes two  potential paths forward for Catholic conservatives other than that of Cardinal Burke or that which he describes as a “schismatic plunge.” The first is: A conservative Catholicism that strains more...