Pope Francis

On the Strange Function of Absolutes

Most people today “absolutely” maintain that they do not hold or live by “absolutes.” They live by their desires and choices, which are readily changeable. No one is much bothered by the “logic” of his own views. The proposition that “No absolutes exist” is itself an absolute. If it is true, an absolute exists. If [...]

Is the Face of the Migrant the Face of Jesus?

In the face of increasing Muslim violence in Europe, Pope Francis has remained firm in his defense of mass migration. In his Urbi et Orbi Christmas message, he compared migrants to the Holy Family forced to journey to Bethlehem and unable to find a room in the inn. And in his January 1st message for [...]

The Triumph of the People’s Church

Continuing his commitment to a doctrinal vision that prioritizes the lived experiences and insights of ordinary Catholics over the authoritative teachings of the Church, Pope Francis recently affirmed the importance of what he called a “free and responsible” form of Catholic theology—a “creative fidelity”—in the life of the Church. Speaking before a Vatican gathering of 100 [...]

Pope Francis is Only Partly Right on the Lord’s Prayer

Pope Francis was right that the traditional English translation of the Lord’s Prayer is deficient, but his suggested change, and even his identification of which part needs to be changed, is simply wrong, and requires some comment, partly because it is a question so easily answered, partly because others have answered it easily. There is, [...]

Looking at Laudato Si’ in Theory and Practice

Ronald Reagan once said that an economist is someone who sees something happen in practice and wonders if it could work in theory. The new book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society, appears like a team of economists forced to study the encyclical Laudato Si’ in theory and then wonder if it might work in [...]

Heretical Praxis

Reviewing Correctio filialis, I found that I was in substantial agreement about the theoretical problems related to the exhortation Amoris Laetitia, but I regretted that the contradictions of its pastoral implications were not made more explicit. I have two examples of cases that are to the point here. The first is of a couple I met [...]

On Papal Popularity

A new poll shows that among Americans, Pope Francis remains very popular. The Holy Father has a 68 percent approval rating overall, and 88 percent approval among Catholics. Impressive numbers—certainly to be envied by most politicians in the US. But why inquire about the popularity of a religious figure to begin with? We know the [...]

Father Bosco and the Monsters

Last week—amidst the filial correction of Pope Francis for the spreading of heresies—I paused to read about St. John Bosco and the monsters. Father Bosco’s dreams were haunted by them—monsters swooping at boys too “numb” to defend themselves; monsters turning their backs to the Blessed Sacrament before trampling souls; monsters clawing at flowers symbolizing purity [...]

Yes, Holy Father, You Are Right: “Let Us Not Play With Truths”

The position of Pope Francis in regard to homosexual “marriage” has not changed since he became a bishop in Argentina, according to John Allen Jr. on the Crux news site last year. Allen writes that, while the pope is against homosexual "marriage," he is willing to tolerate homosexual acts under the title of “civil unions.” [...]

A Dark-Forces Assault on the Church?

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers … against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12) It’s not easy to discern the role played by the spiritual hosts of wickedness in world affairs. No one knows with any certainty what is going on [...]

Did Pope Francis Put Migrant Safety Ahead of National Security?

On August 21, the Vatican released Pope Francis’s 2018 message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, a commemorative feast established by Pope Pius X in 1914. The message collects some of Francis’s now well-known considerations regarding migration, bringing them together into a four-point program: “to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate.” [...]

Jihad Never Sleeps

Most Catholics in the U.S. are vaguely aware that Christians are being persecuted in the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the Islamic world. Most are aware of the many terrorist attacks in Europe. And most are aware of the major jihad attacks here in America. But if you’re mainly focused on the occasional [...]

Fornicating in Self-Defense

When is fornication not really fornication? Well, if reports are accurate, according to Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, dubbed by some as Pope Francis’ “closest theological adviser,” if a sexually active, unmarried couple lives together, he says it is “licit to ask” whether such sexual activity “should always fall, in its integral meaning, within the negative [...]

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 [...]

How to Think About Luther?

Traditionally, Catholics have viewed Luther as a heresiarch, and the Lutheran break from Rome as a religious and civilizational catastrophe. More recently, in line with current ecumenical and pastoral initiatives, that view has softened. The softening has been quite noticeable during the current pontificate. The pope recently took part in a joint liturgy with the [...]

Amoris Laetitia and the Four Last Things

Hell—St. Teresa of Avila told her nuns to mentally visit the inferno during life so they would not be imprisoned in it after death. St. John Vianney sighed because the saints, who were so pure, cultivated holy fear while “we, who so often offend the good God—we have no fears.” At last month’s Rome Life [...]

When President Trump Met Pope Francis

It was 35 years ago this coming week that a pope and a president met together at the Vatican—and went on to change the world. It was Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan. They met one-on-one at the Vatican Library. To this day, no formal transcript of their conversation has been released. The Reagan [...]

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 [...]

Does History Repeat With Amoris Laetitia Confusion?

The Holy Father actually said to the College of Cardinals: “In a matter of such importance it seems right that Catholics desire to follow one single law propounded authoritatively by the Church. So it seems advisable to recommend that for the present no one should arrogate to himself the right to take a stand differing [...]

Martin Luther: Defender of Erroneous Conscience

Two trials, two appeals to conscience. Trial 1: I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen. Trial 2: If the number of bishops and universities should be so material as your lordship seems to think, then I [...]

Girl Boy Scouts … and 71 Other “Gender” Options

The Boy Scouts of America has announced a major policy reversal, a rather dramatic shift in the foundational policy of the organization. It is now accepting girls as Boy Scouts. Yes, girl boy scouts. That is to say, the Boy Scouts of America is accepting “transgender boys”—girls who are biologically female but are declaring themselves “boys,” or, [...]

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