Category: Uncategorized

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...

Links of interest (week Dec 30, 2018 to Jan 1, 2019)

A letter from Cardinal Ouellet has shed new light on the events happening before the Vatican block of the US bishops voting on measures against abuse in the American Church. This block has been used by the usual quarters to attack Pope Francis as an enabler of this scourge in the Church. This letter, however, validates the legal concerns the Vatican had with some of the proposals, and how the measures were presented to the Holy See without...

Pope Francis and Flying Plates

In his Sunday Angelus this week, Pope Francis returned to a topic that he’s discussed many times, one that hasn’t received as much attention as more “controversial” subjects related to doctrine and moral theology, but is central to his papacy nonetheless: handling problems in the family. Indeed, while Francis has convened two synods on the family, traveled to two World Meetings on the subject in Philadelphia and Dublin, and written an apostolic exhortation on the...

Links of interest (Dec 23rd – 29th)

Christmas time has arrived! Therefore, Pope Francis addressed his flock in the traditional papal blessing Urbi et Orbi. “What does that Child, born for us of the Virgin Mary, have to tell us? What is the universal message of Christmas? It is that God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters. This truth is the basis of the Christian vision of humanity. Without the fraternity that Jesus Christ has bestowed on...

Links of interest (week Dec 16-22)

In a speech to the Curia, Pope Francis issues strong words against those in the Church involved in the sexual abuses scandals, in preparation for the universal meeting in February on the same topic: “Let it be clear that before these abominations, the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has commited such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously...

Links of interest (week Dec 9 – 15)

Pope Francis sent a message to the participants in the International Conference “Human Rights in the Contemporary World: conquests, omissions negations“. In this message, the pontiff invokes several groups of human beings deprived of their basic human rights, namely the unborn child: “I am thinking, among other things, of the unborn children who are denied the right to come into the world; to those who do not have access to the indispensable means for a...

Links of interest (week Dec 2 – 8)

Pope Francis kicks off the Advent season, by also kicking off a campaign from the charitable foundation Aid to the Church in Need: the “Candle for Peace in Syria” initiative. Said the Pope: “May these flames of hope dispel the darkness of war (…) Let us pray and help Christians to remain in Syria and the Middle East as witnesses of mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation (…) May the flame of hope also reach all those who...

Links of interest (week Nov 25 – Dec 1)

Some dissenters have tried to wiggle their way out of obedience to Pope Francis, by arguing that Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was invalid and, therefore, the latter is actually the legitimate pontiff. Mark Mallet wrote a thorough and interesting refutation of that claim here (WPI’s tripartite series “Was Pope Benedict forced to resign?” may also be helpful and can be found here, here and here.) Notable Francis apologist Stephen Walford masterfully dissects and analyses Amoris Laetitia once more in...

Are we really talking about “Vatican censorship”?

Although we are still awaiting the official English translation of the final document of the 2018 Synod, journalists and other commentators have been publishing translations of individual sections with their commentary. One of the passages that has been receiving a great deal of attention is paragraph 146, on the need for the Church to contribute fruitfully to digital culture and to create new tools and systems for evangelization and encounter. The document also suggests that...

A Church at odds over Viganò’s “core charges”

As the drama of the Viganò testimony continues, two competing interpretations have developed regarding whether Viganò’s most important accusations have been discredited or substantiated. Since the initial document was released on August 22, Viganò has released two additional “testimonies,” and Cardinal Marc Ouellet issued an impassioned response with papal approval on October 7. Catholic pundits seem to be at odds over whether Viganò’s core allegations hold up against the factual record, and whether Pope Francis...

Why does Pope Francis pick on “rigid Christians”?

Be careful around those who are rigid. Be careful around Christians – be they laity, priests, bishops – who present themselves as so “perfect,” rigid. Be careful. There’s no Spirit of God there. They lack the spirit of liberty. And let us be careful with ourselves, because this should lead us to consider our own life. Do I seek to look only at appearance, and not change my heart? Do I not open my heart...

Printable Rosary Guides – Full Page and Wallet Sized

As those who have been following our site know, Pope Francis has called for all to pray the Rosary every day during the month of October, as well as the Prayer to St. Michael and the Sub Tuum Praesidium. For those who would like to join in this prayer with the Holy Father but might be a little out of practice with praying the rosary, I’ve laid out a few printable resources that can assist you...

Perspective on the China/Vatican deal

On Saturday, September 22, a long-anticipated “provisional agreement” between the Chinese government and the Vatican was announced regarding the process of appointing bishops in the Catholic Church in China. Officially, this agreement puts an end to the decades-long division between Chinese Catholics who worship in state-sanctioned churches whose bishops are appointed by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), and the “underground” Church whose bishops have Vatican approval. In reality, the situation is much more complex....

The Heart of Francis

The modern western world claims to be thoroughly empirical, so it is a wonder that our culture still clings to fanciful concepts like the “heart.” In this case, I don’t mean “heart” in any biological sense, of course, but rather in its more spiritual connotations.  A pop singer on The Voice might talk about “giving their heart” or “protecting their heart”.  And how can we forget that Black Eyed Peas hit, “Don’t Phunk with My...

Episcopalis Communio gives the Synod Of Bishops teaching authority

Wake up and smell the newest apostolic constitution from the Holy Father: Episcopalis Communio. Released Tuesday morning, it re-writes some of the rules for the Synod of Bishops. The stand-out feature is that it for the first time invests the Synod with formal teaching authority. Instead of simply submitting recommendations to the pope (usually but not always publicly), the Synod will produce a final document, co-signed by the pope, that will of itself constitute “ordinary...

Fake news and seething contempt for Pope Francis

Some Catholics disagree with much of what Pope Francis says and does — this is undeniable. Believe it or not, I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with criticizing a pope on prudential matters, at least when done thoughtfully and when consideration is given to the context and circumstances around the pope’s decision or action. In recent months, however, I have noticed that some papal critics appear to respond immediately to anything he says...

Out of the Garden

To live in the freedom of Christ is to live in hope, peace, and joy. Yet, during our earthly life, our Christian freedom is constantly in danger, through our own sinfulness, the temptations of the world, and our own human weaknesses.  Some can have confidence, through various signs, that their lives are permeated with the grace of God, but all risk creating in themselves attitudes of self-assuredness through pride. We cannot claim to “possess” what...

Polarized over the pope, Viganò style

More than two weeks after the release of the sensational “Testimony” of former US apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in which he calls for the resignation of Pope Francis, the Church finds itself in a period of intense polarization that’s difficult to assess. First, if you haven’t read it, I wholeheartedly recommend Greg Daly’s recent piece in the Irish Catholic, in which he heroically attempts to parse out what we know and what we...

Yes, the background is relevant: Behind Viganò’s “Testimony”

Two important stories broke on Saturday night (or Sunday morning, depending on where you are), and journalists and commentators around the globe have weighed in from all angles. There’s the story, and then there’s the story of the story. The first story is the most readily obvious: an 11-page “Testimony,” authored by retired Archbishop and former US Nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò, was released on the eve of the closing Mass for the World Meeting of...

Walford presents Francis with a Southampton football jersey.

Interview with Catholic author Stephen Walford, Part 2

(Click here to read Part 1) Today we continue our interview with Stephen Walford, author of the upcoming book Pope Francis, The Family and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy, which will be released by Paulist Press on August 28. In part 1 we discussed the abuse crisis, Walford’s background as a musician and a writer, and began to discuss the division in the Church that has followed Pope Francis’s teaching on marriage and the...