Category: Dissent

19

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...

36

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...

21

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...

61

“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...

91

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...

26

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...

43

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...

50

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...

27

Getting it Half-right: Sedes and SSPX

In recent days, a number of articles defending the legitimacy of Francis’s papacy have appeared on websites that are usually critical of the Holy Father, including a two-part blog post on One Peter Five by Robert Siscoe (click to read parts 1 and 2). Siscoe, who co-authored a 2015 book entitled True or False Pope? Refuting Sedevacantism and Other Modern Errors, appears to be a member of what is colloquially known as the “Recognize and...

1

St. Francis de Sales: the Pope is the Guarantor of Orthodoxy & Unity

Below you will find a selection from St. Francis de Sales’ great work The Catholic Controversy.  St. Francis is a Doctor of the Church and was a very successful missionary to the Calvinists of his day (he lived from 1567 to 1622), in addition to being a very well-loved and respected devotional writer.  In this section of the book, addressing Protestants and encouraging them to abandon their Protestant ministers who have led them away from the...

46

Recognize and Desist

In talking with friends who are having trouble accepting the teachings of Pope Francis, I have learned not to discount the serious and legitimate concerns they have. They are torn. On the one hand, they know that the papacy is important and efficacious for Christian unity. On the other hand, they firmly believe that what they are hearing from this Pope is flat wrong. For them, we have headed into uncharted territory for which the...

Followers of the Imagisterium

The Magisterium is the teaching office of the Church. According the the Catechism (#100), “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.” In other words, orthodox teaching is to be found in the official teachings of the pope and the bishops in communion with him. I understand that many Catholics have...

How to Choose a Church

I am truly fascinated by conversion stories because conversion is predicated on a reorientation of the heart itself, a fundamental change in how one sees and approaches the world that may require shunning close friendships, family, and careers. As a Catholic, it certainly is a source of pride in my Church to know that its faithful and perennial witness on a number of moral issues has led people to embrace the Catholic Church as the...

Amoris Laetitia and avoiding reality

In yesterday’s piece, I explored why most of those who reject Pope Francis’s teaching about sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics in Amoris Laetitia are resistant to the idea that they are dissenting from Magisterial teaching, and why it’s vital for them to see themselves as orthodox. Most of their argumentation centers on the content of the teaching, its possible interpretations, and comparisons of Amoris Laetitia with prior teaching and discipline of the Church. I...

The Pianist and the Pope

I feel certain that this book will be helpful to families. I pray for this.” — Pope FrancisPreface, Pope Francis, the Family, and Divorce from the Vatican, August 2017 Back in August, Where Peter Is published a two-part interview with our friend and British author Stephen Walford, as well as a review of his new book, Pope Francis, the Family, and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy (order directly from publisher here, Amazon currently...