Category: Pope Francis

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The dramatic developments of John Paul and Francis

In yesterday’s post, I explored the hostile responses from many of Pope Francis’s critics over his ecumenical gestures towards Christians outside of full communion with the Catholic Church, and how the outcry compares to their acceptance of similar gestures — not to mention a major change in sacramental discipline — made by St. John Paul II during his papacy. Today, we’ll take a closer look at three issues that are at the center of debate...

7

“When JP2 did it, it was different”

On July 25, the Catholic Herald published a piece by the Canadian priest Raymond de Souza entitled, “The inexplicable transfer of St Peter’s relics to Constantinople,” in which the author offers a litany of objections to Pope Francis’s gift of a reliquary containing small bone fragments (believed to be St. Peter’s) to Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. I pointed out in a Twitter thread on July 3 that radical traditionalists’ objections to popes giving...

3

Does Amoris Laetitia contradict Familiaris Consortio?

When trying to prove that Amoris Laetitia contradicts established doctrine, papal critics will usually refer to Familiaris Consortio as proof of this “self-evident contradiction.” Familiaris Consortio was a post-synodal apostolic exhortation issued by Pope St. John Paul II in 1981. It is interesting that papal detractors will sometimes try to undermine Amoris’ authoritativeness by invoking the low magisterial weight of a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, while at other times assigning a definitive, infallible nature to the...

58

The doctrine of mitigating circumstances

As we have showed several times in our blog, Amoris Laetitia’s new sacramental discipline is all about mitigating circumstances. In fact, the exhortation’s Chapter VIII has a full segment named “Mitigating factors in Pastoral Discernment,” immediately preceding the one where footnote 351 is inserted. In other words, the sacramental discipline laid out in footnote 351 is done in the context of a discernment that is contextualized by the doctrine of mitigating factors. This means, if...

5

NFP Week Roundup

In conjunction with yesterday’s anniversary of St. Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, this week has been designated by the USCCB as National NFP Awareness Week. Humanae Vitae, of course, affirmed the Church’s traditional teaching that prohibits the use of artificial contraception. NPF, as you likely know, is an abbreviation for Natural Family Planning, a catch-all term for the various methods of avoiding pregnancy that are approved by the Church, which rely on tracking a...

21

The Archbishop Doth Protest too Much

On Thursday, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) published an unattributed defense of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, arguing that he did not endorse the ‘testimony’ of Archbishop Carlo Viganò, and that Chaput was a supporter of the Holy Father. In his testimony, the former nuncio accused Pope Francis of lifting formal sanctions on then-Cardinal McCarrick and called on Francis to resign. The CNA article then recounted several other instances suggesting Abp. Chaput is a supporter of...

0

The Rights and Responsibilities of Christians

This past Sunday, Church-goers heard one of the most well-known Christian tales, the story of the Good Samaritan. Like all of Jesus’ parables, each layer of meaning contains a wealth of wisdom about the faith and our relationship with God and each other.  For his part, Pope Francis, in his Sunday Angelus, chose to reflect on one aspect of this story that’s worth highlighting here.  Francis said, “[Jesus] brings about a reversal in regard to...

7

Revisiting Orwell in the Era of Intra-Catholic Culture Wars

In 1945, George Orwell, who was born on this day in 1903, wrote a long essay called Politics and the English Language in which he warned of a growing modern tendency to use English vocabulary to specifically political ends—avoiding evocative language to disguise defenses of immoral practices, using long-winded and needlessly abstract words and phrases to lend poorly-considered ideas an air of being well-considered, and using jargon that can only be understood within the context...

45

To save the Church, my will be done

What must be done? Perhaps we should create another Church for things to work out? Well, that experiment has already been undertaken and has already failed (…) The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the Church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign. But a self-made Church cannot constitute hope. — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s essay on the abuse crisis...

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...

32

Dr. Peters’ deer & hunter: death penalty & the inversion of roles

In June 17th, Cardinal Dolan posted the following on Twitter: Link: https://twitter.com/CardinalDolan/status/1140621061211529217 This tweet (as accurate as it is) prompted a wild discussion in social media, since there are many Catholics who are unwilling to assent to the recent Catechetical revision on the Death Penalty, from which this tweet flows. In this context, Dr. Edward Peters has chimed in with this article, where he claims the Cardinal’s tweet to be ill-advised, because it might contradict...

35

Death penalty – The Gen 9:6 objection

One of the most common scriptural arguments used by death penalty dissenters revolves around Gen 9:6. In fact, the most foundational book for their position, written by notable death penalty counter-apologist Edward Feser, borrows its title from that biblical quote. This biblical excerpt refers to the so-called Noahide Laws, given by God to Noah after the flood as an “eternal covenant.” According to this specific law, the killing of a human being would demand retribution...

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...

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...

31

Savor the Harmony of the Holy Spirit

This morning in his homily on the feast of Pentecost, Pope Francis spoke at length about the work of the Holy Spirit. Excerpt: The Holy Spirit does not bring only harmony within us but also among us. He makes us Church, building different parts into one harmonious edifice. Saint Paul explains this well when, speaking of the Church, he often repeats a single word, “variety”: varieties of gifts, varieties of services, varieties of activities” (1 Cor 12:4-6). We differ in the variety of our qualities...