Category: Gaudete et Exsultate

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Pastors Gotta Pastor

The Christian faithful need pastors to guide them in the truth, to help form their consciences, and to call them to greater holiness. In the past weeks (regarding the synod), years (regarding Francis’ papacy), and decades (regarding the post Vatican-II Church), many Catholics have rejected their pastors, falling into a state of categorical distrust of the Church under the guise of conscience. It’s true: the Church gives the conscience a high place.  Our experience of...

10

Can parish life make me holy?

I serve on my parish council at a church in an affluent suburb of St. Louis. Our parish typically gives a generous amount toward various fundraisers, including Archdiocesan special appeals, parish appeals, and missionary and service efforts, locally and abroad. It certainly is a lot to be proud of and I’m so happy to be part of such a generous parish. But the work of building parishioners up in holiness is never-ending, and any critical...

3

Bishop Barron on Amoris Laetitia and the JPII Generation

I love Bishop Robert Barron. I just listened to his talk from the World Meeting of Families last month in Ireland where he spoke on chapters seven, eight, and nine of Amoris Laetitia and I noticed two things. First of all, in an hour long talk he spends all of five minutes on chapter eight because he sees it as obviously non-controversial. Bishop Barron explains the most contentious teaching in Amoris in his book, “To...

4

Transgenderism – An Apology

I want to apologize. Back in 2015 I attended a conference hosted by Courage, a Catholic apostolate for persons with same-sex attraction and their families. One of the talks during that conference was by Deacon Patrick Lappert, MD, a plastic surgeon, about the Catholic perspective on Transgenderism and gender reassignment surgery. At the time I was really impressed with his presentation and argument. I took notes and after I got home I found a similar...

2

This Terrifying Pope

In the pontificate of Francis, Bishop of Rome, there are a number of accusations which perpetually plague the peace of the people of God. So and so insists that the Holy Father is too vague while such and such declares that he is too nefariously definitive. This man says he is far too liberal in his religion and that newspaper says that he is still trapped in the old Catholic ‘conservatism.’ Still another says that...

1

Judging the Insignificant, Domesticating the Mystery

One of the advantages of working at a parish is that I rarely have a good excuse for not making it to Mass once or twice during the week. This morning the visiting priest reflected on the first reading during his homily and it resonated with what I have read recently from Pope Francis. The reading was from 1 Kings and told the story of God sending Elijah to go stay with a widow who...

2

Practical Pelagianism: 5 signs of the heresy in action

Pope Francis has warned of the resurgence of a Pelagian mentality ever since his election. But the new spirit of Pelagianism so decried by Pope Francis is not a formal Pelagianism. It doesn’t show itself in the denial of defined dogmas, or the rejection of councils and canons. It reveals itself, unintentionally, by its assumptions and practice, it’s a practical Pelagianism. The “New Pelagians” will not argue with Augustine on the necessity and priority of...

4

Everyone’s a Little Bit Gnostic

Have you ever thought that you could convince someone to become Christian or Catholic? Have you ever thought that if you could articulate the best argument for something that people would just have to believe you? Have you ever thought that simply by telling someone a fact that you were adequately showing them the truth? Have you ever thought that apologetics, having the right answers, was all that’s necessary to evangelize someone? Have you ever...

5

St Paul’s Letter Against Pelagianism

Pope Francis appears to to be pretty concerned with something called “Pelagianism.” He has made multiple references to it throughout his pontificate, including his new Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, and recently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a document specifically addressing Pelagianism in the Church today. Pelagianism is a 4th century heresy, a false teaching taught by an Irish monk named, you guessed it, Pelagius. And Pope Francis says that this...

1

The Cross of Truth and Love

There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know Donald Rumsfeld’s famous formulation has been applied to a variety of subjects and topics. It’s universality speaks to the desire to know, the limits of human understanding, as well as the ability of...

2

Chaos and the Spirit

Catholics who are alive in Christ know that “in hope we are saved.” We know and trust that God is working, even in what appears to be chaos, to bring salvation to the world. The beginning of Lumen Gentium contains this beautiful passage: When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify...

0

Understanding Francis: Our Personal Call to Holiness

Gaudete et Exsultate (GE) is a very personal call of the Holy Father to each of the faithful to live holy lives. More specifically, it is a poignant invitation to put ourselves before the Lord, for it is the Lord who calls us and the Spirit who guides us to holiness, which is our happiness (GE 64). Francis addresses the exhortation in several places explicitly to “you” including a whole section entitled “Your Mission in...