Category: Dissent

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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...

38

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...

6

I Browsed the “Faithful Shepherds” Website So You Don’t Have To

In his most recent post, Mike Lewis mentioned a website called “Faithful Shepherds,” which is spun off from LifeSiteNews. Faithful Shepherds ostensibly exists to “hold bishops accountable.” Gallingly, given current events in the Church, what the site means by “accountable” is not “morally accountable” but “accountable to a certain set of Catholic political priorities.” For the people at LifeSiteNews, publicly taking pro-choice politicians to task is equally constitutive of orthodoxy as holding pro-life views oneself. ...

133

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...

63

The Pope-less Church of Tradition

It seems that hardly a week goes by without another bold intervention into the affairs of the Church by one of the disaffected members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, usually delivered via channels like the National Catholic Register or LifeSite and then spread throughout social media. By now, the gallery of personalities is well-established: Cardinals Müller, Burke, and Brandmüller; Bishop Athanasius Schneider and of course the elusive Archbishop Viganó. Although not all of them are “traditionalists,”...

10

Catholics and the Either-Or Fallacy

People have a habit of thinking in a binary manner: Either X or Y. If one doesn’t support X, they must therefore support Y. The problem is, that’s only sometimes true. It’s only true if there are only two possible choices and you must pick one. But, if choosing Z is an option, if rejecting both X and Y is an option, or if choosing elements of X and Y are options, then the either-or...

30

Has the Modern Church Blunted the Sharp Edge of the Gospel?

Dissenters against recent Church teaching–that is, the teaching of the Church since Vatican II and especially Pope Francis’s recent teaching–often try to argue that there are contradictions between the older and the newer teaching. In my experience, Erick Ybarra is one of the more sophisticated of these dissenters. He has argued not so much that newer magisterial teaching contradicts older teaching, but that, while not strictly contradictory, the “spirit” of newer teaching tends to contradict...

48

Dangerous Parallels

One of the things that the anti-Francis Catholics use as a defense is that the Pope is “unclear” or “confusing.” Therefore, they say, it’s not their fault if they think he’s in error and accuse him of heresy. He should just speak clearly and there wouldn’t be this sort of problem. They claim that his predecessors never had this problem with being misunderstood, therefore it must be his fault. I find that claim bizarre. Catholic...

6

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 were a profound point. In an article called “Pope Francis Forgets” Hitchens says: practically any statement can be reconciled with Church teaching, if you try hard enough. Give me a minute, and I can probably...

37

A Warning from History: St Paul VI, the Magisterium, and Theology

As the endless stream of “doctrinal declarations,” “corrections,” and “clarifications” continues to cause confusion and scandal for the Faithful, I feel it is imperative to cast our minds back to the pontificate of Pope St Paul VI, who, like Pope Francis, faced challenges and great criticism from some members of the Church. We may remember that in 1976, he displayed clear frustration and sadness at the anti-papal attitude of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the...

Links: Pius X vs Francis; Cardinal Burke; Abp Gregory ordains 10 in DC

Happy Trinity Sunday, and Happy Father’s day! Today Pope Francis visited the city of Camerino in Italy, which was struck by earthquakes 3 years ago that took the lives of nearly 300 people. Vatican News reports that in his homily, he spoke about healing woulds and rebuilding after such a tragic event: “Remembering is a key word for life”, said Pope Francis. “Remembering gives us the strength not to surrender”. The Pope admitted that bad...

“I pray for them because they are wrong”

Pope Francis recently gave a 40-minute interview to a Mexican TV station, the full transcript of which has not been released in English (full Spanish transcript here). Several English-language outlets have translated portions, including America magazine, CNA, and Vatican News. Much is covered in the wide-ranging interview, including abortion, immigration, sexual abuse, Amoris Laetitia, homosexuality, China, Theodore McCarrick, and Archbishop Viganò. This interview also contains what appear to be his first public comments on the...

Preaching the Faith with Beauty

Recently, on Twitter, Steve Skojec described the existence of a de facto schism in which “two different and incompatible churches are occupying the same space at the same time.” He expressed a desire to see this de facto schism declared as such “de jure” or under church law.  Without really addressing the content of the comment itself, it certainly raises the question: why is it so hard for people of the same religion to agree...

The Anti-Francis Vortex

Most of us have at least a passing familiarity with the oft-quoted opening stanza of William Butler Yeats’ apocalyptic poem, “The Second Coming“: Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity. Yeats‘ imagery entered the realm of...

Why the Nichols Letter is different

Since the release of the open letter signed by Aidan Nichols and others, many of Pope Francis’s critics on social media are defending it with the same talking points they’ve used to defend their positions on the “dubia” and many other initiatives critical of the Holy Father. They are applying lines like, “we need clarity from the pope,” or “We love Francis but he needs to correct some things.” Apparently, they haven’t read it closely...

We cannot take our faithfulness for granted

Several years ago, I realized that I hadn’t seen a friend of mine for a few months. He and his family were active in my parish. He was a young man with a very lovely wife and a bunch of rambunctious little boys. They could always be found in the narthex during the 11:30 Sunday Mass, working hard to wrangle the kids and doing their best to participate in the Mass. He was active in...