Tagged: Mike Lewis

Humanae Vitae and Me

Back in May, my family went to Mass in another state because we were visiting my in-laws. The kids were in rare form. Our 4-year-old daughter repeatedly tried to go under the pew, and protested loudly whenever my wife or I pulled her back and picked her up. Repeated attempts to shush her, bribe her, and punish her were fruitless. Our 1-year-old had kept us up most of the night, and was fussy and cranky...

Is it really confusion?

When I read Pedro Gabriel’s excellent exegesis of Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia last week, I was impressed by how thoroughly and definitively he had affirmed what the exhortation says about the reception of Holy Communion for those in irregular situations. His piece also established a clear link from Amoris Laetitia to the Buenos Aires guidelines. After reading Pedro’s piece, no one should ever be able to insist on alternative interpretations to that aspect of...

Not a sidestep, but an affirmation

For two years, critics of Amoris Laetitia have pointed to Poland as a celebrated example of a national bishops’ conference upholding their view of “orthodoxy.” Beginning in 2016, when a senior Polish bishop vowed to never allow communion to the divorced and remarried under any circumstances, the common view was that the Polish Church rejects the pastoral model that Pope Francis laid out in chapter 8 of the document and further clarified with the affirmation...

Marcel Lefebvre: Father of Traditionalist Dissent

I have long argued that the rebellion against the Holy Father is at its core the same rebellion staged by the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)  and other extreme traditionalists since the 1970s. A recently released transcript of a meeting between Pope Paul VI further confirms my position, that radical traditionalists long ago cast aside any convincing pretense of respecting papal primacy, and demonstrates that the same line of argumentation used against Pope Paul...

The shock of developing doctrine: A response to Fr. Dwight Longenecker

“We cannot determine whether a professed development is truly such or not, without some further knowledge than an experience of the mere fact of this variation. Nor will our instinctive feelings serve as a criterion. It must have been an extreme shock to St. Peter to be told he must slay and eat beasts, unclean as well as clean, though such a command was implied already in that faith which he held and taught; a...

Fundamentalist Catholics and Ecclesial Catholics

The division among certain Catholics that began with the election of Pope Francis and became pronounced upon the public release of the four cardinals’ dubia continues to widen. Catholics, many of whom were close allies during the pontificates of St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, find themselves looking across an unbridgeable and widening canyon between two dramatically different ways of how to understand the Church. What appeared at first to be a debate...

Critics of Pope Francis, What’s your End-Game?

In the debate over the doctrinal soundness of Amoris Laetitia — and of the orthodoxy of Pope Francis’s teaching in general — is one area where papal critics cannot provide a single clear or compelling answer: how this ends. While they can be quite clear in explaining where they think they are right and Pope Francis is wrong, there is a lack of clarity about when or how they think Francis’s “errors” will be corrected,...

Who should “Joe Catholic” listen to?

It’s fairly evident that the debate over Amoris Laetitia has mostly stayed within the domain of a very small subset of Catholics: those who follow Vatican affairs closely, those who consume EWTN and other Catholic media, and those who enjoy reading papal encyclicals and theological writing. The typical practicing Catholic, thankfully, is quite unaware of the civil war that’s raging in academia, within the walls of the Vatican, and (perhaps most intensely) on social media....

Urban Legends and Conspiracy Theories: A Hallmark of Papal Critics

Yet another conference headlined by American Cardinal Raymond Burke and Kazakhstan Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider was held in Rome on April 7. With the succinct title, Catholic Church: Where are you heading? Only a blind man can deny that there is great confusion in the Church, the presenters spoke on topics related to the limits of papal authority and potential courses of action that Catholics might use to try to repair the damage supposedly inflicted on...

Raymond Arroyo: Derision over Truth

Image (from left): Fr. Gerald Murray, Robert Royal, Raymond Arroyo Why are we listening to young people, who really haven’t experienced a lot of life, or God, frankly? — Raymond Arroyo Note: This is the second post in a series on longtime EWTN host Raymond Arroyo. Last week’s first part, “Policy over Fidelity,” explored how Arroyo uses his program, The World Over Live, to promote a political agenda that is often at odds with Church...

GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE: Reaction Roundup

  Introducing: Gaudete et Exsultate from Catholic Church (England/Wales) on Vimeo. Today, at noon Rome time, Pope Francis released Gaudete et Exulsate, a new exhortation on the universal call to holiness. In it, he reminds us that holiness is not just for priests or nuns or those who have led a virtually sinless life. Living a life of holiness is a call we should all respond to, regardless of our past and our state in...

Closeness is the Key to Truth

Since the first Holy Thursday of his papacy, when he moved the Mass of the Lord’s Supper to a youth prison on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis has used this day to paint a portrait of his vision for the Church: a Church that goes out to the margins and encounters, evangelizes, and serves others. Much has been made over the controversy from Francis’ decision to wash the feet of women and non-Catholics (and...

Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord?

As we progress through this Holy Week, turning our minds toward the great Paschal Mystery and the Passion of our Lord, I would like to share and reflect upon one of the moments that struck me deeply during the early part of Francis’s papacy. It was April 13, 2014, on Palm Sunday, when a subdued Francis decided (after the Passion narrative had been read) to abandon his prepared homily, and instead spoke from his heart....

The Mystery of Benedict’s blurry text

What I am about to propose, for those of you who might be interested in a plausible explanation, is a hypothetical scenario that might explain the missing paragraph from the original news reports on Pope Emeritus Benedict’s letter, as well as the deliberately blurred text in the accompanying photograph. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already read a more than a handful of papal critics claiming that this is “proof” that there’s a conspiracy...

The Franciscan papacy at five years

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam It is hard to believe that five years have passed since Pope Francis stepped out onto the loggia at St. Peter’s for the first time, looked out on the vast crowds in St. Peter’s square, waved simply with his right hand, and spoke his first public words: “Buona sera.” Today, I would like to offer a brief reflection on Pope Francis and on the continuity between his and Pope Emeritus Benedict...

A Faith that Needs to Grow

“A faith that does not trouble us is a troubled faith. A faith that does not make us grow is a faith that needs to grow.” -Pope Francis on TwitterFebruary 1, 2018 Coinciding with the launch this week of Where Peter Is, these words of Francis could not be more providential. This message perfectly encapsulates the challenge that the gift of his papacy presents to Catholics around the world. In my introductory post for this...