Theological Dissent

Beware of False (Political) Prophets

In Acts 5, we read that Peter and the Apostles have been brought before the Sanhedrin, whose high priest chastises them for preaching in the name of Jesus, which they had been forbidden to do. Peter and the other Apostles respond that “We must obey God, not men” (v. 29). The Sanhedrin, furious, want to [...]

Paradigm Shifts in the Catholic Church?

As one who is in the process of leaving the Southern Baptist church for Roman Catholicism, I say without hesitation and full of love and concern that the Church I fell in love with, the Church in which I found, finally, the full embodiment and expression of truth, goodness, and beauty, is becoming harder to [...]

James Martin S.J. vs James Martin S.J.

Donald Trump might refer to James Martin S.J. as “Slippery Jim.” He is certainly slippery. His latest act of slipperiness is a column he published this week at America wherein he claims to support the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. Keep in mind the Church teaches that the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered” and [...]

A Vulnerable Church Can Not Afford to Forget Its Enemies

The 1960s were extremely hard on the Catholic Church. The damage done by relativism, contraception, abortion, no-fault divorce (summed up as the Sexual Revolution) and Cultural Marxism has resonated for five decades. When dissident priests such as Fr. Charles Curran advocated for a distorted version of social justice in Catholic colleges and universities, the prophetic [...]

Hünermann’s “Way Forward” is a Dead End

The aged German theologian, Peter Hünermann, is no stranger to ecclesial conflict. His name has arisen once again, now in regard to the recent Vatican media scandal, where Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò publicized a fragment of a personal and confidential letter by Benedict XVI to Pope Francis in such a way as to falsely suggest [...]

More Reasons Why “Blessing” Gay Couples Is Scandalous

When the Church “blesses” someone, it usually does so for one of two reasons: to ask God to protect that person from evil, or to confirm that person in the good. Because our spiritual lives are dynamic—at no point are we “holy” enough to rest on our laurels—those two reasons are usually two sides of [...]

An Open Appeal to the Catholic Bishops of the World

After serving five years as a Catholic campus minister in the 1980s, I decided to begin graduate studies in moral theology. This was in the heyday of proportionalism when its founding fathers still held some of the world’s most influential chairs of Catholic moral theology: Richard McCormick at the University of Notre Dame, Josef Fuchs [...]

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 [...]

A Jesuit Philosopher Who Championed Catholic Orthodoxy

Fun Is Not Enough (2017) is the collection of all 125 columns written by the late Father Francis Canavan, S.J., for the monthly catholic eye from April 1983 until November 2008, a couple of months before his death. The book was edited by Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein, Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology at Holy Apostles College [...]

Germain Grisez’s Defense of Orthodox Faith

Germain Gabriel Grisez, 88, died February 1, 2018. Philosophy and Catholic theology in the United States lost a giant in his passing. After Karol Wojtyła, I probably owe my greatest intellectual debt to Germain Grisez and the late William May and their work in ethics/moral theology. Their work in defense of Catholic teaching on sexual [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Tragedy of Commonplace Church Scandals

Despite curbing my online reading, scarcely a day passes without noting some new scandal caused by a theologian, priest, or bishop. It’s true, of course, that small stories from faraway places achieve an immediacy impossible without the web, but, still, the outrages are all too real. I suspect stories come readily to mind: commemorations of [...]

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 [...]

Hearing the Still, Small Voice of Orthodoxy

After his confrontation with Ahab and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, where he called fire down from heaven and killed those prophets, Elijah fled for his life, first to Beersheba then to Horeb (I Kings 18:16-19:18). At Horeb the Lord appeared to Elijah, but before this appearance, the prophet experienced a powerful windstorm, [...]

The Idea of a Catholic University 50 Years After Land O’Lakes

William Inge (1860-1954), Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University and Dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, was frequently in the literary crosshairs of G.K. Chesterton for his anti-Catholic polemics and strident promotion of eugenics. Fortunately, Chesterton also rejected his advocacy of nudism. Given Dean Inge’s eclectic version of progressivism, one is struck by his cynicism about [...]

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, [...]

Teaching Them Better

In “The Preacher,” a 1956 episode of Gunsmoke, a minister who has lost his faith is relentlessly hounded by a bully until Marshal Matt Dillon intervenes. Asks the persecuted preacher: “Why, Marshal, why are men always fighting and hating each other?” Leaving aside the answer that St. James, in his Epistle, gives to that perennial [...]

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 [...]

Why America Has It Wrong About Homosexuality

The Jesuit magazine America carries an editorial in its current issue titled “Unjust Discrimination.” The editorial refers to the alleged injustice committed by church officials when they dismiss employees who formally enter into same-gender civil "marriages." The editorial argues that the Church should not automatically dismiss but rather dismiss only when there was an instance [...]

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