Category: Pope Francis

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Thanksgiving and thinking with the Church

Today we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving in the United States. Although this is a national holiday, for those of us with Catholic faith, “thanksgiving” takes on a special significance, because we know that all gifts and blessings come from God, and that the word we use for our ultimate gift, Eucharist, literally means “Thanksgiving.” The Catechism teaches: 1359 The Eucharist, the sacrament of our salvation accomplished by Christ on the cross, is also a...

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Almost everything will pass away

As the liturgical year winds down, the readings at Mass and in the Divine Office reflect on the end of days. In his homily at the Mass commemorating the World Day of the Poor on November 17th, Pope Francis reflected on how our earthly life is temporary and that ultimately all that will remain is rooted the Love of Christ. In the Gospel reading, the apostles showed their admiration for the temple in Jerusalem, but...

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Who Jesus Saw

“Where many saw only a sinner, a blasphemer, a tax collector, an evildoer or even a traitor, Jesus was able to see apostles. Such is the beauty that his gaze invites us to proclaim, a gaze that transforms and brings out the best in others.” –Pope Francis, today in Thailand, speaking at St. Peter’s Parish of Wat Roman in the village of Tha Kham In his final day in Thailand, Francis delivered a stirring message about evangelization to...

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Catholicism in Thailand and Japan, By the Numbers

The Vatican press bulletin recently published a series of statistics about Catholicism in Thailand and Japan in the lead-up to Pope Francis’s visits to those countries. These statistics clarify some points that were long unclear (I’ve seen estimates of the total number of Catholics in Japan ranging from 100,000 to 5 million; the Vatican pinpoints it at 536,000). They also imply some interesting things about the specific forms that Catholic religious life is taking in...

Image Credit: Osservatore Romano 0

Ivereigh’s Wounded Shepherd: Revealing the essence of this papacy

Life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data. In and of itself, reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different. So how can we begin...

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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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Is Cardinal Burke an enemy of the pope?

This weekend, the New York Times published portions of a lengthy interview of Cardinal Raymond Burke by columnist Ross Douthat. Before going any further, I would like to acknowledge that in this interview, Cardinal Burke answered the question I posed in my September 24th post, “Does Cardinal Burke think Francis is an antipope?” Douthat: You believe Francis is a legitimate pope? Burke: Yes, yes. I’ve had people present to me all kinds of arguments calling...

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A missionary Church: where everyone’s wounds are healed

Pope Francis recently sat down with journalist Gianni Valente of Fides (the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples) for a lengthy interview on some of his favorite topics, including evangelization, what it means to be a missionary, and witnessing to the Gospel. It was published on November 5 in Italian as a book entitled, Without Him, We Can Do Nothing: a Conversation About Being Missionaries in Today’s World. Hopefully an English...

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Still Worried About Pachamama? Read Laudato Si’

I know that papal documents are not easy reading. I also know we all have lots on the go, and it is hard to find the time to sit down and read and think for a couple hours. But this is crucial: if you are Catholic and worried about paganism having infiltrated the Church through the Amazon synod, but have not yet read Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’, please read it as soon as...

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Vatican’s Secret Archives aren’t secret anymore!

According to a new Motu Proprio issued by Pope Francis, the Vatican Archives has changed its name to something a bit less… mysterious: From now on the present Vatican Secret Archive, without prejudice to its identity, its structure and its mission, should be called the Vatican Apostolic Archive. Reaffirming its active desire to serve the Church and culture, the new name highlights the close link between the Roman See and the Archive, an indispensable instrument...

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The lie behind rigidity

Picking up on what the pope said last month about rigid Catholics as well as the parable of the the Prodigal Son, I want to highlight a homily that the pope gave back in 2016. In that homily the pope draws our attention to the older brother as an example of someone who is rigid, and in doing so he also articulates the cause of rigidity: “he had only ever seen his father as a...

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On the Need For Dialogue

On the Need For Dialogue Therefore, let us not be provoked with these men, let us not use anger as an excuse, but let us talk with them gently and with kindness. Nothing is more forceful and effective than treatment which is gentle and kind. This is why Paul told us to hold fast to such conduct with all the earnestness of our hearts when he said: “The servant of the Lord must not be...

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Paganism in the Vatican? Hermeneutic of suspicion at its peak

[Note: this article has been updated. See here] On Friday, October 4th, a ceremony took place in Vatican gardens in preparation for the Synod on the Amazon. This ceremony was not organized by the Vatican itself, but by the Order of Friars Minor, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, and the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network. Here is Vatican’s press release issued before the ceremony. A video of the entire service can be seen below. The high point...

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Pope Francis’s true message to priests

Following up on yesterday’s post about saturnos and rigidity, especially after reviewing the comments, I’d like to address a narrative that’s been advanced through much of his papacy: that he likes to “insult” priests, especially those who embrace orthodoxy, tradition, and Latin liturgy. One critic of Francis has received widespread publicity for publishing “The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults.” The well-known American priest, Msgr. Charles Pope wrote an open letter to Pope Francis on...

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When a hat isn’t just a hat

Hats are radical; only people that wear hats understand that. —Philip Treacy Last week, I highlighted a beautiful response from Pope Francis on his spiritual life, which he gave in a Q&A session with 24 local Jesuits in Mozambique during his pilgrimage to Africa early last month. Social media and reactionary Catholic outlets, however, decided to focus and provide criticism on other responses in the meeting. A number of priests on social media took to...

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What Is Mottramism?

Critics of Pope Francis on social media use many terms to describe his defenders, including “papolator,” “ultramontanist,” “pope-worshipper,” and “bergoglian.” A more clever but less-frequently used name is “Mottramist.” Mottramism is a reference to Rex Mottram, an extremely unsympathetic character from Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Brideshead Revisited. It’s an intriguing allusion; however, the way the term is used betrays a serious misunderstanding of the point of the character and of Waugh’s novel as a whole....

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Grief and Miscarriage

We just lost our baby. At 22 weeks. Grief is one of those primordial human emotions, along with shame, that was born in the darkness of sin. Like shame, grief has its positives and negatives. I truly and deeply feel the loss of our child; the pain and emptiness is pervasive and life-altering.  But I must ask myself, why am I grieving? Just as shame can only exist in reference to a true good–that is,...

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Pope Francis: “I have never been asked this question before”

Pope Francis’s travels receive a great deal of media coverage. From his public celebrations of Holy Mass to his audiences with world leaders; to his visits with the local sick or imprisoned; to his comments aboard the airplane and his famous and free-wheeling in-flight press conferences, nearly every aspect of his voyage is covered and analyzed in great detail. One of the most interesting yet underappreciated parts of Pope Francis’s apostolic pilgrimages, however, are the...

The road to schism isn’t a one-way street

In the last several days, many Catholics have been discussing Pope Francis’s comments about a potential schism in the Church, specifically in reference to a movement (in the U.S. Church and elsewhere) that is highly critical of Francis and his teachings. In his comments, Francis described the causes of schism, suggesting that they occur when: Ideologies enter into doctrine and when doctrine slips into ideology that’s where there’s the possibility of a schism. There’s the...

The Synthesis of All Catholic Conspiracy Theory (Part 1)

Dan Burke, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., along with his wife Stephanie, recently interviewed Dr. Taylor Marshall, popular Catholic podcaster and author, about his book Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. The interview took place on the August 23, 2019 episode of Divine Intimacy Radio—Resources Edition, which is produced by spiritualdirection.com and Sophia Institute Press, the latter of which is the publisher of Infiltration (under their Crisis...