synodality

A Nation That Can’t Forgive Is Doomed

On October 2, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murdering Botham Jean in his own home. Guyger claims she entered Jean’s apartment by accident (she lived on the floor above) and, mistaking him for a burglar, shot him dead. Jean was eating a bowl of ice cream. Following Guyger’s sentencing, Jean’s 18-year-old [...]

What Kind of ‘Believers’?

This past June I was in the Munich area for four days, giving a public lecture on Evangelical Catholicism and doing a lot of media interviews. My hosts were exceptionally gracious, but it was also obvious that the Catholic Church in what was once Germany’s most intensely Catholic region is in terrible shape. The numbers [...]

Looking for Schism in All the Wrong Places

Pope Francis boldly declared last week that he’s unafraid of “pseudo-schismatics”: a clique of (mostly American) rigorist prelates and journalists whom Francis regards as a kind of loyal opposition to his papacy. But why should he have been afraid to begin with? A pseudo-schismatic is, by definition, not a schismatic. Pontiffs need no more fear [...]

Beware the Pitfalls of Curial Reform

A structural reform of the Roman Curia has been one of the goals of Pope Francis and a reason why he was elected pope. Even some in the Curia support the idea. The last two major reforms were made by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, yet many think what they did no longer [...]

Francis Allies Reveal Their Plans for Revolutionary Change

On March 3, 2013, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor—an alumnus of the St. Gallen mafia—met with then-Cardinal Bergoglio over risotto and wine. It was the evening before the pre-conclave general congregations—as Murphy-O’Connor recalls in his memoirs—and the old friends were discussing “the sort of person we felt the cardinals should elect.” A day earlier, an anonymous cardinal [...]

German Bishops Debate Who Can Receive the Eucharist

Protestantism comes from Germany, its original spark with Martin Luther, and its earliest excesses with the Anabaptist rule over Münster; the latter crushed finally by the prince-bishop’s army, the former however enjoyed enduring success. From Germany, Reformation ideas spread to other European countries, and from there into the whole world, creating new epicenters of Protestant [...]

The Man Who Was “Ante-Pope”

Before his death in 2012, Cardinal Carlo Martini eerily called himself an “ante-pope,” a “precursor and preparer for the Holy Father.” Martini was the leading antagonist to Popes John Paul II and Benedict—a Jesuit famous for groaning that the Church was “200 years behind.” In Night Conversations with Cardinal Martini, he cringed at the “major [...]

What Not to Learn from Eastern Orthodoxy

Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortaiton, Evangelii Gaudium, raised eyebrows within and beyond the Catholic world for what the Sovereign Pontiff had to say on things economic. Considerably less attention was paid to the document’s other discussions which range from the so-called New Evangelization to matters of Church governance. On this latter point, the Pope suggested, in [...]

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