Where Peter Is Blog

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Hijacking Legitimate Authority

As I continue to work my way through the dreary Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, I notice a good deal of what I call hijacking legitimate authority. By this I mean that he claimed his interpretation of Scripture was the true meaning of Scripture. Then, when the Church rejected his interpretation, he claimed that the...

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Merry Christmas!

“From the womb of Mother Church, the incarnate Son of God is born anew this night. His name is Jesus, which means: “God saves”. The Father, eternal and infinite Love, has sent him into the world not to condemn the world but to save it. The Father has given him to us with...

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A Vulnerable God

“Lord Jesus Christ, through your Incarnation you accepted a human nature and lived a real, human life. Setting aside the glory of your divinity, you met us face to face in the vulnerability of our humanity.” This is the beginning of Bishop Barron’s beautiful Prayer to a Suffering Church that concludes his book,...

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Pope to Curia: We are no longer living in a Christian world

On December 21, 2019, Pope Francis addressed the Curia in a Christmas message. Unlike many papal homilies, speeches, and addresses that slip silently into the Vatican’s online archives, this address received significant attention from the secular news media. Not surprisingly, these reports contained a mix of helpful factual information interlaced with unhelpful and...

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Loneliness Today, Part II: Youth Un(der)employment

I work as a substitute teacher at a public school district in Western Massachusetts. It’s one of the more cash-strapped districts in a relatively affluent rural area in the Northeast. In this position, I have had the responsibility to, on short notice, fill in across all grade levels and subject areas. Much of...

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Catholicism at the Intersection of Blackness and Self-Discovery

“To be Christian is to be Catholic.” I’m sure there was a time when this was uncontroversially true. Perhaps not now, but it’s a considerable thought to ponder. Even today, to be Christian is to be inextricably linked to Catholicism, like it or not. Historically, theologically, geographically, ministerially, even adversarially—however you slice it,...

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Bizarro World Catholicism

As the antics of some Catholics continue, I am reminded of the DC Comics Bizarro World. The basic concept here is whatever is seen as right, true, and good on Earth is seen as wrong, false, and bad in Bizarro World. It’s played for laughs in the comics, and it works because we know...

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Reporting on the ‘Synodal Way’

There are good reasons to be concerned about the German ‘Synodal Way.’ Many in the Vatican, including Pope Francis himself, are concerned about it. But since it is our duty as Catholics to cleave to the truth, we have to concern ourselves with what is really happening, and what is really being said,...

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Who Art Thou, O Immaculata?

Saint Maximilian Kolbe is world-renowned as the Catholic priest who asked to take the place of another man, a man with a family, who had been condemned to death, as an example to the other prisoners in the deathcamp at Auschwitz.  The Church recognized the Franciscan Friar’s martyrdom as the ‘crimson crown’ he...

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Which Pope said this?

“The enchanting image of the Christmas crèche, so dear to the Christian people, never ceases to arouse amazement and wonder. The depiction of Jesus’ birth is itself a simple and joyful proclamation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. The nativity scene is like a living Gospel rising up...

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Christianity Without Guardrails

Fr. Dwight Longenecker finished reading Rusty Reno’s new book and is now ready to declare that we are heading for World War III. But Longenecker’s article illustrates that a world war, spiritual in nature, is already upon us. Longenecker’s review of Reno’s book details some of Reno’s core arguments. In his reading, there...

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They actually believe this garbage

Today, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, writing from an undisclosed location, issued yet another statement against Pope Francis, summarized by Lifesite News, (another translation is provided by Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican) employing the type of language once reserved for sedevacantist websites and anonymous Twitter trolls: The tragic story of this failed pontificate...

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Ecological sin and the Cosmic Temple

“Equally worrying is the ecological question (…) At the root of the senseless destruction of the natural environment lies an anthropological error, which unfortunately is widespread in our day. Man, who discovers his capacity to transform and in a certain sense create the world through his own work, forgets that this is always...

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Papal birthdays and second birthdays

Today, Pope Francis celebrated his 83rd birthday. According to Vatican News, The Church and the world [are] celebrating together with him in an outpouring of affection. Thousands of e-mails have been arriving, along with letters from children. Millions of people have chosen social networks to communicate their thoughts and prayers beneath a picture...

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Is It Time for US Bishops to Push Back Against TFP?

Over the last couple of months, the Brazilian-born group Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) has landed in the public eye, drawing attention for its hostility to Pope Francis and rejection of the Church’s stance towards those marginalized in society. Despite this attention, the Church in the United States has largely ignored the group....

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Fr. Pacwa and divine signs

I would like to end my series on the controversy around the Amazon Synod carved figure by making a brief commentary on a recent video by Fr. Mitch Pacwa. This video is the source of the “do you think we’re stupid?” canard. This catchprase has been repeated in a mantra-like fashion by those...

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Which Pope said this?

I want to address now, from this land of Cochabamba, peasant par excellence, to you, Quechua peasants, men of the “bronze lineage”, who from time immemorial populate these valleys and are at the roots of Bolivian nationality; that you have given to the world your nutritional and medicinal findings such as potatoes, corn...

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Bishop James Conley Takes Medical Leave of Absence

Today has brought the news that James D. Conley, Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska and successor of the archconservative stalwart Fabian Bruskewitz in that diocese, has taken an indefinite leave of absence from his ministerial duties, due to serious mental health issues. Bishop Conley himself writes: I also want to tell you about my...

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Pope Francis: 50 Years a Priest!

Today is the 50th anniversary of Pope Francis’ ordination to the priesthood. Pope Francis’ vocation to the priesthood and its significance for him is expressed in the motto of his papal coat of arms, “miserando atque eligendo”. The motto is explained by the Vatican in this way: The motto of Pope Francis is...

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Catechesis Is Not the Answer

What figure best shows how dire the Church’s situation is in the West? Is it Mass attendance among youth? Perhaps it is polls of self-professed Catholics that reveal little connection between the Church’s teachings and common practice? We know the Church is in decline, but sadly the Church’s response (and by Church I...