Progressive Catholics

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 [...]

How to Deal with Secular and Catholic Left Intolerance

Two articles in Crisis in recent weeks provided an opportunity to witness the intolerance of the left—in both its secular and Catholic variants—toward those who challenge its most deeply held beliefs. In “When the LGBT Bullyboys Come Calling,” C-FAM’s Austin Ruse writes about how after he called out the Human Rights Campaign, one of the [...]

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 [...]

Vatican II’s Unpublished Condemnations of Communism

In recent weeks there have been a number of articles regarding the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Bolshevik Revolution—that is, the birthday of a bloodbath. In fact, here at the centenary of communism, the number “100” is fitting, given that 100 million is a good stab at the number of people annihilated by the [...]

Protestantism, Modernism, Atheism

“The reality of the apostasy of faith in our time rightly and profoundly frightens us,” said Cardinal Burke in honor of Fatima’s centenary. In 1903, Pope St. Pius X declared himself “terrified” by humanity’s self-destructive apostasy from God: “For behold they that go far from Thee shall perish” (Ps. 72:27). How much more “daunting,” said [...]

Sense and Nonsense: The Latest Defense of Amoris Laetitia

A brave theology professor at my diocesan seminary, Rev. Gerald J. Bednar, has taken upon himself to defend the ambiguity that exists in Amoris Laetitia against the Dubia famously presented by “dissenters” (i.e. the four cardinals). He wrote an article that appeared in Emmanuel Magazine published by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. A shortened [...]

Does “Climate Change” Cause Hunger?

Though I was born on a farm, I was raised in small-town Iowa. Thus, I was never a farmer, though my grandfathers were. Several of my aunts, uncles, and cousins formed farming families. I remember seeing, due to mechanization, the size of farms that one family could handle pass in size from a quarter-section, to [...]

The Morality of Amoris Laetitia Is Not Thomistic

In a formal address delivered during his recent visit to Colombia, Pope Francis implored his brother Jesuits to defend his embattled exhortation on marriage, which remains haunted by its obscurities and fervent vagueness. In his short discourse, the pope also enlisted Thomas Aquinas in this enterprise by insisting upon the Thomistic properties of Amoris Laetitia. He [...]

Overlooking the Failings of Catholic Democrats

Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig’s inaugural essay as an opinion columnist at the Washington Post critiques the performance of Catholic Republicans in allowing Church teaching to guide their policies. Bruenig presents a tale of Catholic conservatives abandoning Catholic social teaching and respect for papal and episcopal guidance in exchange for a political alliance with evangelical Christians that [...]

Pro-Life Redefined at the Vatican

Fair is foul and foul is fair at the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV). Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the PAV, recently redefined the term “life” for the Catholic Church, stating that the PAV will now refocus its pro-life mission to include issues of migration, arms control, poverty and the environment. He suggested that to [...]

Open Your Eyes Father Martin

Father James G. Martin, S.J., is either a cruel or a foolish man. It does not seem to be the first. But if it is not that, it must be the second, because that alone can explain how a Catholic priest can live in the midst of massive and unprecedented family breakdown, and the chaos, [...]

James Martin SJ Thinks You’re a Nazi

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego wrote a column about James Martin SJ that said Martin’s critics are a cancer on the Church, that criticism of his work is driven by homophobia, a distortion of Catholic moral theology, and is an attack on Pope Francis. This shameful column was applauded by a chorus including Elizabeth [...]

A Fraternal Invitation to Bishop McElroy and Father Martin

As a deacon, only once have I had the privilege of sitting around a table with one priest and one bishop, effectively forming a trio representing the three degrees of Holy Orders during a stimulating conversation about the Catholic faith. I have such an exchange in mind as I write this essay—I see what follows [...]

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 [...]

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