Amazon Synod

The Navy Gets Woke

The popular resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has compelled academic institutions and corporate America to make a public pledge to root out systemic racism and promote justice, equality, and diversity within their ranks, lest they face the cold-blooded mob for inaction. Internationally famed companies, including Ben & Jerry’s, JP Morgan, and Airbnb, released [...]

Celibacy Is a Gift to Priests—and the Laity

Few books have caused so much controversy even before they were published than did From the Depths of Our Hearts, a new defense of clerical celibacy in the Roman Church by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah. On January 14, Benedict’s private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, told the Italian news agency ANSA that, [...]

Francis vs. the Deep Church

Does the Vatican have a General Directorate for Personnel? This is, perhaps, the most boring question ever posed by a writer in Crisis Magazine. And yet, as we fumble for an answer, we also come a little closer to understanding one of the most confounding papacies in 2,000 years of Christian history. Last Friday, the [...]

The Pope Is Still Catholic

Yesterday, the Holy Father did something completely unexpected: nothing at all. In his long-awaited exhortation on the Amazon Synod, Querida Amazonia, we find the clearest insight into Pope Francis’s thinking on the vocations crisis, both in the Amazon and across the Western world. His solution is not to do away with clerical celibacy. It is [...]

God’s Money Doing the Devil’s Work

They say the homosexual scenes in the new Elton John biopic are the most titillating ever in a mainstream movie. They make Brokeback Mountain look like Bringing Up Baby. Less discussed, perhaps, is the fact that ordinary Catholic pew-sitters paid for it via their Peter’s Pence donations to the Pope. The cash came from a [...]

How the Modernists Made ‘Ecumenical’ a Dirty Word

It is important to have a clear understanding of the meaning of a word before we use it. The word ecumenical is a case in point. Throughout history, until very recently, its meaning was connected to its etymological roots in Greek (oikoumene), in which it means literally “the inhabited (world)”, or more generally “the whole [...]

Liberalism and Idolatry Go Hand in Hand

“Considered in itself, idolatry is the greatest of mortal sins.” So begins the old Catholic Encyclopedia’s entry on the topic. I was surprised to read that this is the greatest of all mortal sins. Was it worse than murder? Worse even than the sexual abuse of minors? “For it is, by definition,” the entry continues, [...]

Abandoning Apostolic Celibacy Would Be a Mistake

In the eighteenth-century comic poem Cúirt an Mheán Oíche (“The Midnight Court”), the narrator expresses frustration at her lack of marriage prospects, berating the young men of her day for their scheming, selfish ways. In spite of an abundance of attractive young women eager to marry and start families, these lazy men would rather chase [...]

What Will Francis Choose: ‘Expert’ Opinion or Orthodoxy?

Nobody was under any illusions about the stakes at the Synod on the Amazon. Ostensibly, the synod was convened to help the Pope address concerns about the Amazon in consultation with Amazonian church authorities. It was evident from the very beginning, however, that the synod would serve instead as a staging-ground for progressively-minded bishops to [...]

Newman Among the Pachamamas

What would Newman say about the Pachamamas? That’s not actually a question which anyone who studied Newman carefully would ask. It reflects a lack of understanding of the workings of practical intelligence, which Newman took great pains to delineate—as if one could take a proof text out of Newman, and that would give you the [...]

The Church Is Not a Democracy

The Amazon synod touches directly or indirectly on many issues that will have repercussions far beyond the river basin. Among them is democracy and its relationship to the Church of Rome. The current Vatican regime claims that the principle of “synodality” in ecclesiastical government is both legitimate and valuable. Bishops are in closer contact with [...]

Cardinal Hummes’s Radical Bedfellows

The faithful laity had reason to be wary of the Amazon synod before it even began—if only because a well-known ally of liberation theologians like Cláudio Cardinal Hummes was appointed first to the pre-synodal council and then as relator general of the synod itself. And yet, at least outside Latin America, such concerns have focused [...]

A Thomist’s Perspective on the Church in Crisis

Editor’s note: in this far-ranging and prophetic interview with Crisis Magazine, Josef Pieper discusses the vocations crisis, the failure of catechesis, liberation theology, feminism, and something very much like the Benedict Option. The interview originally appeared in the March 1990 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. Crisis: Some people claim that St. Thomas is [...]

The Amazon Synod Revives the Myth of the Noble Savage

“These liberation theologians are promoting the idea that the Indians who still live in a primitive way are very happy, living in paradise,” said Macuxi tribal chief Jonas Marcolino Macuxí, referring to bishops at the pan-Amazon synod. “But that’s not true.” He’s right. The myth of the noble savage is alive and well at the [...]

At Least the Borgias Had Good Taste

The raid by Vatican police on the Holy See’s Secretariat of State and its Financial Information Authority on October 1, followed by the alleged dismissal of five Vatican employees, made headlines around the world. An official statement from the Holy See issued on the same day declared that the Vatican chief prosecutor Gian Piero Milano [...]

The Amazon Synod Has Begun, and Pandora’s Box Is Opened

The Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is off to an ominous start. Each day, as more bizarre, jarring, and revolutionary developments emerge, I keep coming back to a line from Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor: “When the cardinals elected Bergoglio they did not know what a Pandora’s box they were opening.” Shortly before the synod started, [...]

What Does the Amazon Synod’s Working Document Really Say?

Much ink has been spilled debating the merits and even the orthodoxy of the Instrumentum Laboris (or working document) of the Amazon Synod, which begins on October 6. We’re now less than one week out from the main event and, curiously, there has been no close reading of the Instrumentum itself. So, let’s begin with [...]

The Courage of Bishop Schneider

Bad bishops are hardly a novelty in the history of the Church. Historians estimate that, when the Arian heresy rocked Christendom in the fourth century, four out of five bishoprics succumbed to apostasy. When Henry VIII ordered England’s bishops to swear the oath of succession, all of them complied—all, save one. For his refusal to [...]

Five Ways to Prepare for the Amazon Synod

You’ve read the Amazon synod’s neo-pagan, pantheistic Instrumentum Laboris, relishing Pope Francis’s “mantra” that “everything is connected” (n. 25).  You’ve reread Laudato Si, letting yourself be pierced by “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (n. 49).  But you still want to delve deeper into the spirit of the Amazon synod. [...]

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