After his most insightful article diagnosing the roots of American Catholic polarization, Robert Christian addresses its possible remedies:One critical way to reduce enmity is for American Catholics who are publicly dissenting from Church teaching to be honest about their dissent. Catholics should not overstate their knowledge of Church teaching or their commitment to it. They should not distort it—intentionally or through neglect. And they should never downplay it or undermine it by making it seem optional by twisting concepts like intrinsic evil or the need for prudential reasoning. They should describe Church teaching in a way that is clear and fair, having examined it with the desire to fully understand and accept it.(…) The Catholic press should likewise set such standards for those who wish to write in Catholic publications or appear on a Catholic television network, if they publish or broadcast dissent. Efforts to hide dissent undermine trust. Dishonesty generates hostility. To reduce animosity, American Catholics should approach public dissent with honesty and integrity.” A must read!

Many times, critics like to point out the ways the Church has failed in adequately addressing the criminal nature of sexual abuse in her midst. But so many times we fail to report on when the Church actually acted properly. This article from a secular news source shows a case where the Vatican provided crucial information that aided the investigation of a sexual predator abbott.

Greg Daly provides another excelent commentary on the Pope Emeritus’ essay about sexual abuse: “what’s important here is how Benedict delves into questions of how traditional sexual morality was destabilised in the 20th Century, how this effected the formation and lives of priests, and how the Church might respond.Crucially, he’s not trying to do everything here – that would be an impossible task, given that he was writing a 6,000-word essay, not a book (…) Instead he’s homing in on the question of why Catholicism didn’t prevent abuse. Why did priests who presumably had objectively rich sacramental lives do monstrously wicked things? Why did bishops and others tasked with overseeing such priests endanger the innocent by not preventing such priests from harming children? How could anybody who purports to be Catholic have committed and facilitated such crimes?

The best article I’ve read about the Notre Dame fire, really cutting through the true heart of our Christian religion: “But, our mourning cannot become hopeless. Those who see the burning of Notre-Dame as some sign, metaphor, or parable for the loss of Catholic culture, an icon of a lost era, have forgotten the central mystery of Christian faith—the death and resurrection of Christ. During Holy Week, we remember that love enters into the darkest of spaces, those spaces seemingly most desolate, and bears new life.

Pope Francis condemns the Easter terrorist attacks against the Christians in Sri Lanka and expresses his “heartfelt closeness to the Christian community [of Sri Lanka], wounded as it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence

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Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.

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