Where Peter Is Blog

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10 Essential Quotes from Querida Amazonia

1. The title “Querida Amazonia” is Portuguese / Spanish for “Dear Amazon”–as in somebody’s female beloved, or the salutation of a letter. Oftentimes (not always), a papal document with a title in a vernacular language is meant to speak to an immediate, specific socioeconomic or political problem–see Pius XI’s anti-fascist encyclicals Non abbiamo...

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The New Americanism, Part One: Americanism and Traditionalism

In an effort to counter the anti-Catholicism of nativists in the 19th century, the Church hierarchy in the United States made great efforts to assimilate waves of Catholic immigrants into the culture. Organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas showcased the positive union of American and...

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The Crucified Church: tensions with the flavor of the Gospel

“What’s at the root of this temptation is to think that, given so many problems and deficiencies, the best answer would be to reorganize things, make changes and especially “patches”, that would order and synchronize the life of the Church by adapting it to the logic of a particular group. Through this path,...

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Living in the World

“Jesus invites us not to be afraid to live in the world even if in it one sometimes runs into conditions of conflict and sin. In face of violence, of injustice, of oppression, a Christian can’t close himself in himself or hide in the security of his enclosure. The Church also can’t close...

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Which Pope said this?

“The Church well knows that it is difficult to mount an effective legal defence of life in pluralistic democracies, because of the presence of strong cultural currents with differing outlooks. At the same time, certain that moral truth cannot fail to make its presence deeply felt in every conscience, the Church encourages political...

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Making things right

One of the criticisms I heard about my article on the papal hand-slapping controversy was that I was trying to excuse Pope Francis of his wrongdoing. Of course, I was very clear in my article that the Pope had not reacted well, and that he had apologized, so this criticism doesn’t really stick....

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Religious Liberty, Neglected by Christendom, Restored in Vatican II

In the first few centuries of Christian history, Christians found themselves persecuted simply because they were Christian. While there are debates about the number of Christians that were actually tortured or killed, the fact remains that early Christians were tortured and killed, and Christian apologists wrote to authorities — from local governors to...

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Which Pope said this?

“[T]he other face of the same vice is the Pelagianism of the pious. They do not want forgiveness and in general they do not want any real gift from God either. They just want to be in order. They don’t want hope they just want security. Their aim is to gain the right...

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Confusion in the Church is not caused by the pope

Throughout the history of Christianity there have always been people who read Scripture, Patristics, Magisterial documents and other things and used the conclusions they drew to argue that the Church—whether through the teachings of Pope or Council—had gone wrong and, to get back in the right, needed to adopt their own interpretation of...

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Love, even when it’s difficult

On the day he found out he had an aggressive form of leukemia, my father received the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time in 53 years. Many faith traditions place an emphasis on atoning for wrong done. In the Catholic Church, we believe in confessing sins in Reconciliation to be absolved of...

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The False Authority of Personal Interpretation

Certain Catholics who oppose the decisions and teachings of Pope Francis (or other recent popes) proudly announce their “orthodoxy” by citing certain Scripture and Church documents—the latter frequently from the time of St. Pius X—in order to argue that the more recent statements they dislike must be heretical. Their behavior is very much...

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The Pandora’s Box of Catholic Antisemitism

My great-grandfather, Pawel Turowsky, came to the United States from the Russian Empire in 1907. Two years before, the failed Russian Revolution of 1905—harbinger of the successful Revolution twelve years later—had been brutally crushed by the Tsar’s forces. A wave of state-sponsored violence against Russia’s Jewish population, scapegoated for the rebellion, soon followed....

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Which Pope said this?

The Day for Life (…) every year highlights the value of human life and the absolute duty to defend it, from conception to its natural end. (…) That’s why the defense of life has as its fulcrum the welcoming of those who have been conceived and remain inside the maternal womb, sheltered by...

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Grief and Hope: A Pro-Life Message

My son was due to be born this week. For a few months now, I’ve been driving by the cemetery where we buried him, occasionally visiting him, each time a reminder of that life that was and could have been. As we commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and we remember all...