Where Peter Is

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Dubious Suspicions: My Journey Back to Pope Francis

I offer here a sketch of someone caught in the eddies of our time. A sketch because it is not complete; I am still in the midst of confusion and uncertainty. But something of an outline is taking shape, and Where Peter Is is providing that form, however hazy it still is to...

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For Pope Francis, dialogue isn’t relativism

Pope Francis’s third encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship, is a gift to the Church and to the human race. Building on previous social encyclicals, including his own Laudato Si’ (2015) and Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate (2009), it covers a wide range of themes, including the injustice of capital punishment,...

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An invitation to the Wedding Feast of the Lord

A reflection on the Mass readings for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time. At my parish, I am currently leading an eight-week series on St. John of the Cross. John’s poems are all brilliant, but the ones that are the most beloved, The Spiritual Canticle, The Dark Night, and The Living Flame of...

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Pope Francis Delivers TED Talk on Climate Change

Today, Pope Francis stepped out onto the virtual TED stage for a second time. In his first TED talk, given in April 2017, the pope made his famous call for a “Revolution Of Tenderness.” This time, his talk was entitled “Our moral imperative to act on climate change — and 3 steps we...

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Which Pope said this?

“”He who has the goods of this world and sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?” Everyone knows that the Fathers of the Church laid down the duty of the rich toward the poor in no uncertain terms. As St....

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The inanity of CTRL-F criticism

“This document has 43,000 words. 43,000 words. So that’s a lot. This is—I believe this is his longest encyclical. I didn’t compare it, but it feels like the longest. And I’m going to throw something up on the screen that I find rather offensive. I’m not the first one to notice this. So...

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“Digital connectivity is not enough to build bridges”

The pandemic has revealed how inadequate our virtual lifestyles are for sustaining strong communities. Yes, the lockdowns, capacity limits, and other precautions were necessitated by a charity towards others in our society, especially the elderly and other vulnerable populations, and surely many lives were saved thanks to these measures. But even though the...

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Opening our Hearts to all Our Brothers and Sisters

On Sunday, Pope Francis promulgated his third encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship. His timely assessment of the state of our world touches on issues including war, extreme inequality and economic disparity, environmental degradation, and the fractured global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. His entire encyclical centers on love for our...

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The Gospel of Peace

This reflection is written against the backdrop of the release of Pope Francis’s third encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti,“ on Oct 4, 2020, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. The focus of this encyclical is “fraternity” and “social friendship.” In his encyclical, where the Good Samaritan is a key figure, Pope Francis decries violence...

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Fraternity: A dirty word?

In his new encyclical Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis warns about how the word solidarity, “is not always well received; in certain situations, it has become a dirty word, a word that dare not be said.” (#116). I believe something similar has happened with “fraternity,” especially in some corners of the Church. This accounts...

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Key Quotes from Fratelli Tutti

The highly-anticipated encyclical Fratelli Tutti was released today. It is available here on the Vatican website. Be sure to join us for our live “first look” at Fratelli Tutti (register here). It will be from 5-7 pm Eastern It is a very wide-ranging document, touching on many themes. It’s difficult to do the...

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Which Pope said this?

“It must be stated that Vatican II is upheld by the same authority as Vatican I and the Council of Trent, namely, the Pope and the College of Bishops in communion with him, and that also with regard to its contents, Vatican II is in the strictest continuity with both previous councils and...

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New Evangelization, New Media, New Ventures

Where Peter Is · New Evangelization Media In this episode of Peter’s Field Hospital, DW Lafferty and I wrap up our discussion with the Catholic host of “Conversation on Tap,” Jose Rodriguez. Next, I catch up with Catholic speaker Mike Tenney, talking about his new show, “Pop Culture Catechism,” as well as his...

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Live Event this Sunday! Fratelli Tutti: A First Look

Just a reminder that we’re teaming up with Smart Catholics this Sunday to offer our first ever live online event! We’ll be discussing Pope Francis’s new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. Join us this Sunday, October 4th, 5:00-7:00pm Eastern, 2:00-5:00 Pacific I’ll be hosting two discussions on the highlights and major themes of the encyclical:...

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Vatican II and “weaponized ambiguity”

It has become common among critics of the Second Vatican Council to use the expression “weaponized ambiguity” to describe certain conciliar teachings. This expression assumes that language in the Vatican II documents is ambiguous, in the sense that teachings can be interpreted both in an “orthodox” way and at the same time in...

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Charismatic Community or Cult? Discerning the Signs

Given the recent heightened interest in charismatic communities, especially in Catholic groups involved in the charismatic renewal, I wanted to share my own experience as a member of one such group, years ago. The community was called the Intercessors of the Lamb, a religious community based in Omaha, Nebraska, whose charism was influenced...

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A First Look at Fratelli Tutti – Online Event!

Smart Catholics and Where Peter Is are collaborating to offer a two hour live conference to celebrate the pope’s upcoming encyclical on human fraternity, Fratelli Tutti. Join us this Sunday, October 4th, 5:00-7:00pm EST. We will be having two live panel discussions, hosted by Mike Lewis, covering major themes of Francis’s new encyclical...

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Francis’ Vision of a Fraternal Economy

Pope Francis is signing a new social encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, this weekend. The Holy Father has spoken about human fraternity throughout his pontificate, so it’s not a surprise that he chose this topic for an encyclical. In preparation for this document I want to briefly reflect on one aspect of fraternity that the...

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Catholics Are Losers

American Catholics should embrace losing.  It’s not as if we haven’t had ample opportunity over the last several years. We should know by now that U.S. Catholics often find ourselves among the least respected groups in modern society, particularly for our “backwards” views on marriage, sexuality and life issues. True, we have certainly...

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