Tagged: dissent

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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 these things. This goes back as far as the Gnostic heresies of the First Century AD and continues throughout history to the...

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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 like that of those Protestant Christians who claim to rely solely on the authority of the Bible. The reason I say the...

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The Two Popes and the Crisis of Authority in the Church

The worldwide storm in reaction to news that the French publisher Fayard was releasing a book written by “four hands” — those of the Pope Emeritus and Cardinal Robert Sarah — was provoked not just by its content (confirming that celibacy was a mandatory condition for the priesthood) so much as by the way the anti-Francis Church media sought to make use of it. For years they have been looking for any means to counterpose...

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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 Church was at odds with the Bible when it was really at odds with him. Thus we see in the graphic (from Book...

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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 what is supposed to be right. In the Bizarro-Catholic world, we’re seeing cases of Catholics who are ignorant of past Church history...

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Such May Be Slain But Not Crowned

St. Cyprian was a bishop of Carthage. He died a martyr’s death in 258. His skill in Latin was so impressive that he was considered the Church’s best Latin writer until Augustine and Jerome. Cyprian was key to resolving the Novatianist schism. As such, he had quite a lot to say about the evils of schism. If you doubt whether this man has something to teach you about faithfulness, just look at his final conversation...

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Are You Certain That You’re on the Right Side?

675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in...

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The Ship of Peter

In Gianni Valente’s recent book-length interview with Pope Francis, the Holy Father explained the Church’s mission: that per Our Lord’s command, we’re a moving church, always reaching out into the peripheries. He stated, “The Church is either on the move or she is not Church. Either she evangelizes or she is not Church. If the Church is not on the move, she decays, she becomes something else.” This is in essence what the Church is....

*UPDATED* Does Cardinal Burke think Francis is an antipope?

****UPDATE 11/11/19:  In an interview with Ross Douthat, published in the New York Times on Saturday, Cardinal Burke responded to a question on his position regarding the validity of Francis’s papacy. Douthat: You believe Francis is a legitimate pope? Burke: Yes, yes. I’ve had people present to me all kinds of arguments calling into question the election of Pope Francis. But I name him every time I offer the Holy Mass, I call him Pope...

Cum Petro et Sub Petro

If I had to say what I thought caused the biggest harm to the stability of the Church and acceptance of her teachings, I would say it was the loss of respect and obedience to the Holy Father when he teaches, and the assumption that when the Pope teaches what we dislike it means he must be an idiot or a heretic. In the period of 1968-2013, this behavior was seen in those Catholics who...

Catholics and the Either-Or Fallacy

People have a habit of thinking in a binary manner: Either X or Y. If one doesn’t support X, they must therefore support Y. The problem is, that’s only sometimes true. It’s only true if there are only two possible choices and you must pick one. But, if choosing Z is an option, if rejecting both X and Y is an option, or if choosing elements of X and Y are options, then the either-or...

Preaching the Faith with Beauty

Recently, on Twitter, Steve Skojec described the existence of a de facto schism in which “two different and incompatible churches are occupying the same space at the same time.” He expressed a desire to see this de facto schism declared as such “de jure” or under church law.  Without really addressing the content of the comment itself, it certainly raises the question: why is it so hard for people of the same religion to agree...

We cannot take our faithfulness for granted

Several years ago, I realized that I hadn’t seen a friend of mine for a few months. He and his family were active in my parish. He was a young man with a very lovely wife and a bunch of rambunctious little boys. They could always be found in the narthex during the 11:30 Sunday Mass, working hard to wrangle the kids and doing their best to participate in the Mass. He was active in...

The Real Papolaters

On Monday I wrote a short piece on Pope Francis’s trip to Loreto, where he visited the Holy House that is believed to have been Mary’s home when she was visited by the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation. My piece focused on his address (in which he defended the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage and the family), and the fact that he officially signed his new apostolic exhortation on young people, entitled Christus vivit (“Christ...

Recognize and Desist

In talking with friends who are having trouble accepting the teachings of Pope Francis, I have learned not to discount the serious and legitimate concerns they have. They are torn. On the one hand, they know that the papacy is important and efficacious for Christian unity. On the other hand, they firmly believe that what they are hearing from this Pope is flat wrong. For them, we have headed into uncharted territory for which the...

Amoris Laetitia and avoiding reality

In yesterday’s piece, I explored why most of those who reject Pope Francis’s teaching about sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics in Amoris Laetitia are resistant to the idea that they are dissenting from Magisterial teaching, and why it’s vital for them to see themselves as orthodox. Most of their argumentation centers on the content of the teaching, its possible interpretations, and comparisons of Amoris Laetitia with prior teaching and discipline of the Church. I...

Orthodox dissent?

Much of the content of this website has been dedicated to the defense of Pope Francis and his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. We’ve striven to demonstrate how both Pope Francis and his teaching are consistent with Catholic tradition. We’ve responded to various arguments and critiques of the document, as well as clarified what it contains. We’ve defended papal primacy and authority, and have argued in favor of the orthodoxy of both Francis and his teachings....

The Pianist and the Pope

I feel certain that this book will be helpful to families. I pray for this.” — Pope FrancisPreface, Pope Francis, the Family, and Divorce from the Vatican, August 2017 Back in August, Where Peter Is published a two-part interview with our friend and British author Stephen Walford, as well as a review of his new book, Pope Francis, the Family, and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy (order directly from publisher here, Amazon currently...

Thoughts from a former dissenter

“Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it? But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life (…) And he...