Progressive Catholics

Hurricanes, Climate Change, Pope Francis, and the Poor

Never letting a serious crisis go to waste, climate change advocates seized upon hurricanes Harvey and Irma as evidence that climate change is real and happening, its effects devastating, and without drastic remedial measures global cataclysm is inevitable. Joining in was Pope Francis. While Irma was hammering the Florida coast, El Papa warned against inaction, [...]

The Perfidious James Martin SJ

James Martin SJ gallivants around the country telling young men and women that their sexual lifestyles are acceptable to the Church, which is not true; that the Church welcomes them no matter what they may be doing, which is certainly true. James Martin SJ tells them that the teachings of the Church will probably change [...]

A Cardinal’s Implausible Defense of Amoris Laetitia

Many of Pope’s Francis’ closest allies have presented vindications of his troubling apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, who is the President for the Pontifical Office of Legislative Texts, stepped forward last year with a booklet concentrating on the controversial claims of Chapter Eight. This guided reading is now accessible in English thanks to [...]

Metaphysical Mischief: The Bergoglio Gloss

Every theology necessarily incorporates a philosophy, for there will always be a natural way of thinking that under-girds the exposition of revelation. Like everyman, popes have philosophies, and although it is not the business of a pope to advocate any philosophy, the philosophy every pope presupposes will influence his representation of the Catholic faith and [...]

Post Mortem of a Religious Order

First, a little statement in the interest of complete transparency: This article touches on the issue of fracking for oil and natural gas. I freely acknowledge that I am very “pro-fracking” and have family members in Oklahoma who work in the industry. The practice has been around since the 1940s, and when done properly, it [...]

A Final Word on Fr. Martin

If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! (1 Corinthians 9:16) Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to experience annual Ignatian retreats at our area’s local Jesuit facility—a rejuvenating experience of [...]

Chaplains to the Zeitgeist

Recently, La Civilta Cattolica ran an article by that journal’s editor-in-chief, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, and by Marcelo Figueroa, the Argentinian Presbyterian minister chosen by Pope Francis to be the editor of the Argentinean edition of L’Osservatore Romano, which subsequently republished the article. Since articles in La Civilta Cattolica are vetted by the Vatican secretary of [...]

The True Ecumenism Spadaro and Figueroa Missed

Jesuit Antonio Spadaro and Protestant Marcelo Figueroa recently published what can only be described as a diatribe against my friends and me. It was highly personal because it was directed right at a coalition of believers who have banded together to advance what a previous pope referred to as a Culture of Life. The column [...]

Orthophobia and the Marginalized QTBGL Catholic

As I survey the current state of the Catholic Church, I believe I can no longer hold back. It is time for me to come out. I am and have for some time identified as a member of the QTBGL community, and I need to explain why I call myself a QTBGL Catholic. For those [...]

Fr. Martin’s Grammar Problem

Sometimes I think all that is needed is a good course on grammar. At least, that is my first thought in reading an article about Fr. James Martin and his book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. (Fr. Martin recently [...]

Fr. Jim Martin “Canonizes” Sr. Jeannine Gramick

When I think of a holy hero who speaks with authority, who reflects my beliefs and values, I think of Pope St. John Paul II, worthy of canonization. When Fr. James Martin, S.J., who was out hawking his new book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship [...]

The Problem of Catholic Pretenders

Catholics always have been taught that the word “catholic” means “universal,” and arguably one of the hallmarks of the Catholic faith is that it recognizes no borders; while there are many rites, of which the Latin is the predominant one, there is one truth, one set of dogma. As I consider this from St. Louis, [...]

New Book’s “Sexual Reality” Bursts LGBT Catholic Bubble

Writer Dan Mattson has bequeathed a lasting treasure to the Church, a spiritual masterpiece titled Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay: How I Reclaimed My Sexual Reality and Found Peace. Might this be over-effusive praise for a book that’s only about homosexuality and identity labels? Not quite. That would be like saying St. Augustine’s Confessions was [...]

The Gospel According to Jim

"I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by grace for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other [...]

When “Accompaniment” Never Names Sin

Here’s a little thought experiment to start your day: Imagine you woke up one morning last week and read this headline in your local Catholic newspaper: “Bishop John Smith Leads Prayer at Contra Catholic Gathering.” In this imagined universe, you’ve heard of these “Contra Catholics”—these are fellow Catholics who have publicly “come out” as using [...]

Debate Continues Over Amoris Laetitia

The ambiguities of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, continue to provoke a lively debate even as we pass its one-year anniversary. Allies of the pope marked the event by rallying to his support as they beseeched the faithful to contemplate this maligned papal document. On the other side of the ledger, orthodox theologians continue [...]

Is Anyone Catholic Anymore?

God is the Most Real Being, so our religion is about what we accept as most real. It’s our basic understanding of the world, to which all our other views must accommodate themselves. That’s a problem. To all appearances, Catholics have pretty much the same basic understandings as other people. Otherwise, our thoughts and actions [...]

Another Progressive Academic Gets Scripture Wrong

Scholarship, like cooking, is as much a function of what one leaves out as much as what one puts in. Luke Timothy Johnson’s recent Commonweal  essay on Scripture and trans-sexual issues is a case-in-point: what he chose to de-emphasize is as important (I would argue even more so) that what he emphasizes. Johnson seeks to [...]

The Thing That Used to be Catholic Apologetics

One of the many reasons I am grateful Crisis is not a blog and that, with the exception of a few months at First Things, I have never blogged, is that columnists have editors who have many functions, chief among them as a kind of safety valve of the id. Editors catch mistakes certainly, but [...]

The “Concern”

A relative recently wrote an e-mail to me in which he made the following off-handed comment: “What do you think of the pope’s recent course change on abortion?” Now, unless I missed something, on this subject the pope has not changed anything. He has, no doubt, indicated that he wanted to downplay its relative importance [...]

Beware of Candidates Who Define Catholicism For Us

Though he has local roots in the Kansas City area, I have never met vice presidential candidate, Senator Tim Kaine. From those who do know him, I understand that he is a very affable and likable person. In the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate, Senator Kaine acknowledged he was blessed with great Irish Catholic parents [...]

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