On divorce, Chaput and Francis singing from the same song sheet

From my latest at Crux. In the world of Catholic news, we were almost headed for a lull between the pope’s late June interview on the plane back from Armenia and the early July appointments of Vatican communications experts (two Americans among them, nary an Italian or a cleric).But in between, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia released his pastoral guidelines for the implementation of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the fruit of the two Synods on the family … [Read more...]

3 Sources To Understanding Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si'”

If you're like most of us, you don't have time to digest the almost 200 pages of Pope Francis' new encyclical Laudato Si' right away, certainly not this morning.Here are three sources that I found helpful.First, start with John Allen's latest column, "If ‘Laudato Si’ is an earthquake, it had plenty of early tremors." He gives a good overview of instruction on the environment from Popes Paul, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. It always help to know where we've come from in order to unders … [Read more...]

UPDATE – Creating a Culture of Encounter: The Social Vision of Pope Francis

I'm very excited to announce one of my new projects as Associate Dean of the Augustine Institute's Orange County campus. While we haven't - yet - arranged for Pope Francis to visit the west coast during his visit to the US in September, we are launching a quarterly lecture series with the Diocese of Orange.Dr. Jonathan Reyes, the Executive Director of the USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development will be our first speaker next Thursday, May 21. He'll be speaking on the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis – Still Catholic, Still Pro-Life

 On Saturday, Pope Francis gave an address to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors on the occasion of the organization's 70th anniversary.For those who have been pondering whether the Pope is still Catholic, still pro-life, etc., I recommend it. And it's a good read regardless. In particular, his emphasis that medical ethics is not about religion or philosophy. It's about science: The dominant thinking sometimes suggests a "false compassion", that which believes that it … [Read more...]

3 Things You Can Expect From Synod 14.

Here are three things you can expect from the Synod - Rome is a colorful place, to say the least, and it has certainly left its stamp on the Vatican.Chaos. The Vatican is not Italian. It's Roman. Do not try to impose your standards on it. You want Romans to be in charge of things like food, fashion, all things epicurean and aesthetic. They do bureaucracy well if you think bureaucracy is a good thing in the first place, hence a Vatican that almost everyone acknowledges needs to be … [Read more...]

Pope Francis’ Pre-Synod

Opinions have not been lacking in the lead up to the Synod on the family, which begins in Rome on October 5. And now, as I read a preview copy of Remaining in the Truth of Christ, the response to by five Cardinals and some additional scholars to Cardinal Kasper's The Gospel of the Family, I am more convinced than ever that Pope Francis essentially arranged a pre-Synod.First, there was the survey that was sent out to all the episcopal conferences around the world. It was not an unprecedented … [Read more...]