Tagged: Pope Francis

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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....

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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...

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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...

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5 Myths about Amoris Laetitia

Some Catholic voices and media continue to push unfortunate falsehoods about Pope Francis and his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Here is a brief response to some of the more common ‘myths’ of Amoris Laetitia. 1. Pope Francis never answered the “Dubia” Not directly, but he did make the Buenos Aires directives the official interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, so it reflects his intentions as to its meaning and purpose. Now the Buenos Aires directives #6 states...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...