One year ago today, Where Peter Is went live with a post by Paul Fahey entitled “Love the Pope” In the year that followed, we’ve posted 269 pieces by thirteen authors spread across three continents.
Our audience has continued to grow, and if the messages and emails we’ve received from readers are any indication, our presence has provided a voice that’s been lacking in much of today’s Catholic media: a strong, faithful, intelligent voice that is both faithful to the Magisterium and supportive of the Holy Father.
This project began as an initiative of a small group of Catholics who met through social media and formed a connection through a shared love of the faith, the Church, and Pope Francis. We realized that the way Francis’s message was presented by both secular and social media was warped and incomplete. Furthermore, we were dismayed at how the arguments in support of his teachings seemed to be far outnumbered by dissident voices accusing him of promulgating doctrinal errors, spreading confusion, and even teaching heresy. A warped view of papal primacy and magisterial authority had become widespread and was trying to undermine the papacy.
Where Peter Is has been our response to these distortions. We’re adding our voice to others who have stood up for Francis and his faithfulness. Along the way, we’ve tried to share his message with others: a message of courage, fidelity to Christ, social justice, and mercy. As Joe Dantona wrote earlier this week, we plan to continue to share that message. “As 2019 progresses, expect more from us on the current efforts of the Holy See on issues like climate change, defending human life, aiding the poor and marginalized, and spreading the joy of the Gospel in everyday life.”
We are deeply grateful to our readers, our commenters, and those who have shared and promoted our work. Thank you.
I’ll close with the story of our site’s name.
Many of you recognize “Where Peter is” from the famous quote by St. Ambrose, “Where Peter is, there is the Church. Where the Church is, there is no death but life eternal.” This quote certainly was the original source for the title. But there is a second meaning that inspires this website, one that is central to the message of Pope Francis.
In January 2015, Pope Francis visited the Philippines, and at the closing Mass of the pilgrimage, Cardinal Luis Tagle addressed him with the following words:
“Tomorrow, you will go. Every Filipino wants to go with you. Don’t be afraid. Every Filipino wants to go with you – not to Rome – but to the peripheries.
We want to go with you to the shanties, to the prison cells, to hospitals, to the world of politics, finance, arts, the sciences, culture, education, and social communication. We will go to those worlds with you to bring the light of Christ.
Jesus is the center of your pastoral visit and the cornerstone of the visit. We will go, Holy Father, with you where the light of Jesus is needed.”
Our mission is to inspire Catholics and other Christians to go “where Peter is” — not just to follow his teachings from Rome, but to be led and inspired by his message to go to the peripheries and shine the light of Christ to the entire world.
Mike Lewis is a writer and graphic designer from Maryland, having worked for many years in Catholic publishing. He’s a husband, father of four, and a lifelong Catholic. He’s active in his parish and community. He is a founding editor for Where Peter Is.