Category: Tradition

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Growth Requires Strong Roots

America is a melting pot of various cultures and traditions. As American Catholics, we have a unique perspective on both the benefits and the challenges that this can bring as we seek to evangelize in our schools and communities. Multiculturalism, as Pope Francis describes it in several different speeches and letters, can help to bring people together in a new, enriched harmony but Francis acknowledges that it very easily can create a feeling that one...

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TFP Ideology, Part One: The Revolution

You may have heard of an ultra-conservative Catholic group called Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), which has been involved in various efforts to oppose the initiatives of the Francis papacy. As Christopher White from Crux recently reported, Alexander Tschugguel, the man who stole the famous “Pachamama” statues from the Roman Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina during the Amazon synod, credits the ideas of TFP for changing his life when he was a teenager, most...

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The Motherhood of God

“The Breasts of His Own Tender Love” Motherhood needs a cultural reboot. Perhaps no institution is as roundly mocked, belittled, and discounted as motherhood. Our society neglects mothers and discards them when it finds them burdensome. There’s an urgent need for a renaissance of the mom. Above all, we need a rebirth of faith in the Motherhood of God. Some think seeing God as our Mother will  undermine the fact that he is our Father,...

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Truth and Myth

In my post on “Tribalist Catholicism,” I mentioned, in passing, the French political theorist Georges Sorel (1847-1922). As a follow-up, I’d like to say something more about Sorel, whose thought is particularly useful for understanding this moment in the Church when social media and popular resentments have formed a particularly toxic mix. Georges Sorel was a retired engineer who, at around the beginning of the twentieth century, became a political analyst, polemicist, and proponent of...

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The Power of the Half-Truth: Cardinal Müller’s Latest Statement

As much as I try to dismiss and ignore it, I must admit that Cardinal Müller’s endless pontificating often causes me pain. While it never undermines my trust in the Holy Father, it hurts me to think that it may be having that effect on others. Some, I know, actually find the sheer force of his absolutist rhetoric convincing, at least on an emotional level. In his latest statement, published on LifeSite News on October...

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...

In-Flight presser from Romania: Francis on Tradition and Benedict

UPDATE 6/3/19 CNA has published an English translation of the entire press conference. Here are Francis’s comments in fuller context. On ecumenism: I always have this idea: Ecumenism is not reaching the end of the game, of the discussion. Ecumenism is walking together, walking together, praying together… The ecumenism of prayer. In history, we have the ecumenism of blood. When they killed Christians they did not ask: Are you Catholic? Are you Orthodox? Are you...

Showing mercy towards traditionalists

“Respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued” — Pope St. John Paul II Ecclesia Dei, #6.b Semina verbi It is undeniable that much of the resistance to Pope Francis’ magisterium, reforms, and pontificate comes from some Church quarters with a certain traditionalist leaning. In fact, one must also acknowledge that this resistance...

When Heresy pretends to be Tradition

The following exchange is a real dialogue that truly happened between a high-profile Catholic theologian, disgruntled with the Pope, and an archbishop trying to set him again on the path of obedience to the Church: “Archbishop: Let us now begin to work again for our Holy Church. Theologian: Indeed, for the Church of old. Archbishop: There is only one Church, that is neither old nor new. Theologian: They have made a new church.” The theologian...