Tagged: Pope Francis

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The Living Bridge to LGBT Catholics

Earlier this month I attended a talk by Dr. Mary Healy, professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, during the 2020 Encounter Conference on the topic of Christian unity. Dr. Healy proposed a wonderful image for ecumenism that I’ve been reflecting on since then. (To be clear, I’m recounting her talk from memory, so I will do my best to represent her ideas accurately.) The image that Dr. Healy used to illustrate authentic...

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Benedict, Francis, and ideology – an overlooked continuity

“But there have always been those people who, without any official title, go about disturbing the Christian community with discourses which unsettle souls: ‘Ah, no, what he said is heretical; that cannot be said, not that, the doctrine of the Church is this’. In reality, they are fanatics about things which are not clear, like those fanatics who went about sowing weeds to divide the Christian community. So, this is the problem: when the doctrine...

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It’s Japanese.

I’ve watched the video of Pope Francis slapping–in something of the manner of a YMCA self-defense class; his movements are a standard way in martial arts to break an unwanted grip on one’s arm–a young Asian woman in St. Peter’s Square numerous times now, trying to work out what the woman is saying to him. I recognized the language immediately as Japanese, a language in which I majored in college and which I can still...

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What have we become?

In his New Year’s Day homily, Pope Francis denounced violence against women as a “blasphemy against God, who was born of a woman.” CNN immediately tried to capitalize on this for sensationalistic purposes, by tying his speech to the incident the previous day, when he slapped the hand of a woman who yanked his arm violently in order to release himself from her grip. I admit I was pleasantly surprised, not by the tweet, but...

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The infallibly erring Pope

“Even a stopped clock is right twice a day” — Popular proverb, unknown author One of the criticisms against our website we most often hear is: “you think that everything the Pope does or says is infallible.” Not so. We know full well that a Pope is only infallible when he makes an ex cathedra definition (even though it is also true that the Pope is acting infallibly in a sense when he promulgates a...

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On yanking and slapping hands

Today is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God: one of the holy days of obligation of the Christmas Octave and the first day of the New Year of 2020! So what better way for a Catholic to celebrate and cheer, than to badmouth the Pope? Yes, unfortunately, yesterday and today, Catholic social media has been boiling with a viral video of Pope Francis slapping the hand of a woman. The...

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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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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 great mercy. He has given him to everyone. He has given him forever. The Son is born, like a small light flickering...

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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 based on God’s prior and original gift of the things that are. Man thinks that he can make arbitrary use of the...

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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 of the Holy Father published on “Franciscus”, his official Instagram account. Other messages have been arriving from world and religious leaders, including...

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Tagle: A missionary from and to the peripheries

On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, Pope Francis has named Cardinal Tagle  as the New Prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples. This position (also called “The Red Pope”) is considered a top Vatican post, overseeing mission territories of the Church. He is the second Asian to be appointed to this post and the second Filipino to be nominated Prefect of a dicastery (the first Filipino was the late Cardinal...

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On Capitalism: American Catholics Have a Choice to Make

The debate touched off by Senator Marco Rubio’s recent speech at the Catholic University of America reveals major fault lines within current Catholic thinking in the United States. What Rubio, who is Catholic, pointed out in his speech seemed straightforward enough: capitalism has led to a growing inequality. Many, especially the young, feel left out of a system that primarily benefits only a few and the already wealthy. Unemployment is at a record low, but...

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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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The Motherhood of God

“The Breasts of His Own Tender Love” Motherhood needs a cultural reboot. Perhaps no institution is as roundly mocked, belittled, and discounted as motherhood. Our society neglects mothers and discards them when it finds them burdensome. There’s an urgent need for a renaissance of the mom. Above all, we need a rebirth of faith in the Motherhood of God. Some think seeing God as our Mother will  undermine the fact that he is our Father,...

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George Murry: Advocate of Liberty & Justice for All

As a Catholic in a small Ohio diocese, it is always interesting when our local Church shows up in the national news. This week, my bishop—the Bishop of Youngstown, Ohio—George Murry was elected as the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Religious Liberty. As such, he’ll be tasked with building up American Catholics’ understanding and defense of religious liberty. He’ll also be overseeing the work of empowering local bishops to improve their outreach on the...

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“My power is made perfect in weakness”

When the Church takes up someone’s cause for sainthood, one of the things they look for is heroic virtue. Drawing from Pope Benedict XIV and St. Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic Encyclopedia defines “heroic virtue” as “…a habit of good conduct that has become a second nature, a new motive power stronger than all corresponding inborn inclinations, capable of rendering easy a series of acts each of which, for the ordinary man, would be beset with...

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What Is Mottramism?

Critics of Pope Francis on social media use many terms to describe his defenders, including “papolator,” “ultramontanist,” “pope-worshipper,” and “bergoglian.” A more clever but less-frequently used name is “Mottramist.” Mottramism is a reference to Rex Mottram, an extremely unsympathetic character from Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Brideshead Revisited. It’s an intriguing allusion; however, the way the term is used betrays a serious misunderstanding of the point of the character and of Waugh’s novel as a whole....

The Death Penalty, Doctrine or Personal Opinion?

I’ve seen a lot of confusion in the past year about the Church’s new teaching on the death penalty that was issued last summer when Pope Francis changed paragraph 2267 of the Catechism. One of the key misconceptions I’ve heard is that this new teaching is simply the prudential opinion of the pope and therefore nothing has actually changed and Catholics are free to respectfully disagree. However, I think an attentive reading of the new...

The Synthesis of All Catholic Conspiracy Theory (Part 1)

Dan Burke, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., along with his wife Stephanie, recently interviewed Dr. Taylor Marshall, popular Catholic podcaster and author, about his book Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. The interview took place on the August 23, 2019 episode of Divine Intimacy Radio—Resources Edition, which is produced by spiritualdirection.com and Sophia Institute Press, the latter of which is the publisher of Infiltration (under their Crisis...