Tagged: Pope Francis

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Does Amoris Laetitia contradict Familiaris Consortio?

When trying to prove that Amoris Laetitia contradicts established doctrine, papal critics will usually refer to Familiaris Consortio as proof of this “self-evident contradiction.” Familiaris Consortio was a post-synodal apostolic exhortation issued by Pope St. John Paul II in 1981. It is interesting that papal detractors will sometimes try to undermine Amoris’ authoritativeness by invoking the low magisterial weight of a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, while at other times assigning a definitive, infallible nature to the...

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The doctrine of mitigating circumstances

As we have showed several times in our blog, Amoris Laetitia’s new sacramental discipline is all about mitigating circumstances. In fact, the exhortation’s Chapter VIII has a full segment named “Mitigating factors in Pastoral Discernment,” immediately preceding the one where footnote 351 is inserted. In other words, the sacramental discipline laid out in footnote 351 is done in the context of a discernment that is contextualized by the doctrine of mitigating factors. This means, if...

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To save the Church, my will be done

What must be done? Perhaps we should create another Church for things to work out? Well, that experiment has already been undertaken and has already failed (…) The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the Church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign. But a self-made Church cannot constitute hope. — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s essay on the abuse crisis...

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Dr. Peters’ deer & hunter: death penalty & the inversion of roles

In June 17th, Cardinal Dolan posted the following on Twitter: Link: https://twitter.com/CardinalDolan/status/1140621061211529217 This tweet (as accurate as it is) prompted a wild discussion in social media, since there are many Catholics who are unwilling to assent to the recent Catechetical revision on the Death Penalty, from which this tweet flows. In this context, Dr. Edward Peters has chimed in with this article, where he claims the Cardinal’s tweet to be ill-advised, because it might contradict...

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Death penalty – The Gen 9:6 objection

One of the most common scriptural arguments used by death penalty dissenters revolves around Gen 9:6. In fact, the most foundational book for their position, written by notable death penalty counter-apologist Edward Feser, borrows its title from that biblical quote. This biblical excerpt refers to the so-called Noahide Laws, given by God to Noah after the flood as an “eternal covenant.” According to this specific law, the killing of a human being would demand retribution...

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You Will Not Become Like the Roots

There is a trend in Pope Francis criticism that makes a big deal about the fact that “anything [the pope says] can be made to sound orthodox”. I’ve seen Feser and now Dan Hitchens bringing it up as if it were a profound point. In an article called “Pope Francis Forgets” Hitchens says: practically any statement can be reconciled with Church teaching, if you try hard enough. Give me a minute, and I can probably...

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The Harmony of Amoris Laetitia and Veritatis Splendor

You often find the charge among critics of Pope Francis that his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, is opposed to Pope John Paul’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor. The differences between the two are exaggerated in order to set these two documents of the papal magisterium against each other; Amoris Laetitia against Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II against Pope Francis, Pope Francis supposedly against tradition. Veritatis Splendor, according to this narrative, is the strong, bold, defense of...

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Our Father

For the past week, and up until just a couple days before Pentecost, the Gospel readings for daily Mass are from John’s recounting of the Last Supper. Here Jesus repeatedly speaks about, and prays to, “the Father.” I want to step back and reflect on that for a minute. God is completely and utterly beyond us. Take a second and try to imagine something, anything, that isn’t bound by space, time, and matter. We can’t...

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When I know better than the pope

During the papacy of Saint Paul VI, both traditionalists and progressives made the same mistake: they thought they understood things better than the Church. The former said that Pope Paul VI shouldn’t have changed the liturgy because they couldn’t square his teaching with they believed to be true. The latter said that Paul VI should have changed the ban on contraception because they couldn’t square his teaching with they believed to be true. As Catholics,...

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Christ Is the Path to True Manliness

In recent years, there have been several movements and programs designed to appeal to men’s innate desire for authentic masculinity, but have they been truly successful? In their desire to lead men from their enslavement to sin to true freedom in Christ, are they focusing too much on the external manifestations of “manliness”? One of these new programs is Exodus 90. It was produced by Those Catholic Men, an organization “with a passion for men’s...

What to make of Benedict’s essay on the crisis?

This Thursday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI published an article in a German newspaper about the sexual abuse crisis. In it, the Pope Emeritus takes some hard stances against the decline in sexual morality that took place following the 1960s in general, and the Second Vatican Council in particular. Francis’ detractors, unsurprisingly, have read it as a vindication of their claims that the root cause of the abuse crisis is the Church’s sexual decay. They see...

The Remnant: it is not what you’ve been told

From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges (…) And so it seems certain to me that...

Christus Vivit: Calling All Young People

“Young people can help keep [the Church] young,” says Pope Francis in his new Apostolic Exhortation, Christus Vivit.  “Young people can offer the Church the beauty of youth by renewing her ability to ‘rejoice with new beginnings, to give unreservedly of herself, to be renewed and to set out for ever greater accomplishments’.” (Paragraph 37) This brief survey of the document is not meant to replace a full reading. Do not be deceived by the...

Kiss the person, not the office

“Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying: This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men” — Mt 15:7-9 (DRV) As Mike Lewis noted yesterday, during a pilgrimage to Loreto, Pope Francis made a beautiful address about the significance of family, based on the traditional understanding of marriage as a union between a man and a...

Six Years of Francis: Giving Thanks for Division

I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and...