Francis is a Chemist; Chemists Seek Out Surprises

Not everyone is in love with Pope Francis' remarks at the beatification of Blessed Paul VI, in particular they don't like all that talk of surprises:This is the perennial newness to be discovered each day, and it requires mastering the fear which we often feel at God’s surprises.God is not afraid of new things! That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways. He renews us: he constantly makes us "new". A Christian who lives the Gospel is " … [Read more...]

Good for Voris; Now, About our Tendencies Toward Idols…

Good for Voris. A manful apology and restatement of his mission, and a sound refutation of a contingent of Catholics who are becoming increasingly unhinged toward Pope Francis and vile toward any who will not agree that he is an antipope and a threat to the church. I myself deleted several comments about Pope Francis today, including one calling him "Frank the Fraud", and I dropped a banhammer on someone actively wishing for his death.It is certainly interesting to watch the very people … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: No Commendatore, No Michael Corleone

It may have gotten a four minute standing ovation from his Bishops, but Pope Francis' closing remarks to the synod, which I thought were pretty beautifully wrought, are being praised-but-quietly by others, at least as I am surveying today.It seems to me people aren't really appreciating what Francis said there -- how capably and clearly he let both the "left" and the "right", the progressives and the traditionalists, know that neither side has a corner on the fullness of the faith or the … [Read more...]

“These Africans!”: Kasper Reverses Progressive Dogma – UPDATED

Hey, don't listen to those African bishops! Unless you're an African in Africa...and even then! They haven't the fullness of our light![/caption]Yeah, I am sorry; I try not to get into the politics of the church and all that -- because I hates it -- but Cardinal Kasper is falling victim to the easiest temptation to the ego: to keep talking into microphones when you really should stop. ZENIT: It has been said that [Pope Francis] added five special rapporteurs on Friday to help the general … [Read more...]

Gradualism: Two More Thoughts on its Gravity #Synod14 – UPDATED

Image courtesy of shutterstock.com

I: It is instructive, and a little depressing, to watch Catholic social media come alive with reactions to the synod's relatio text, which -- let's remember -- is going to be revised and clarified in another week, and then studied, thought about and prayed over for at least a year. The secular media is, naturally, trying to drive the narrative to its preferred talking points (and they're making sure to beat up on poor old Pope Benedict XVI, so whisper up a prayer for him).In social media, … [Read more...]

#Synod14 Relatio: Catholics, Fasten Your Seatbelts! UPDATED

The Extraordinary Synod for the Family is only half-completed, and its denouement will not be known until October 2015 or even later, but if the relatio post disceptationem, the mid-term report of this Synod is any suggestion, then, as Vaticanista John Thavis suggests at his blog, it's going to be a bumpy year, Bette; a bumpy year!The relatio emphasized the “principle of graduality” – the idea that Catholics move toward full acceptance of church teachings in steps, and the church needs to … [Read more...]

Collegiality or Papal Unilateralism? Be Consistent Reformers!

From Crux, we learn that Reformers are telling Pope Francis not to wait for the bishops, but to just let 'er rip and "fix" the church, according to their notions, which they assume he shares: In the run-up to the Synod, the group is sending a letter to Pope Francis requesting a review of the arrangements for the summit.One recurrent theme in the meeting was a surprising note for many Catholic liberals, who over the years have called for tighter limits on papal authority. Now, however, they … [Read more...]

Why Francis and Benedict are Right: Proselytizing is Folly

Do you know why, as Pope Francis rightly noted (as Benedict did, before him), proselytizing doesn't work?Because it is not Incarnational. It has nothing in common with the example set by the Word when he condescended to join humanity and "set his tent among us". Not near humanity, but still apart; not above humanity, overseeing it, but among and with and in commonality with us.When Proposition 8 was roiling California in 2008, a group of Evangelical Christians decided to make a weekly … [Read more...]

Burke’s “Exile” to Malta**: What if Everyone is Wrong? UPDATED

The rumors appear to be true, and it looks like Pope Francis is "demoting" Cardinal Raymond Burke from being prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura to “cardinal patron” of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.Burke is only 66 years old; the current "cardinal patron", Paolo Sardi, has just turned 80. That's kind of interesting.There's lots of analysis around, and some odd tweets. Everyone seems to be seeing this as a demotion -- some are using the word "exile", whi … [Read more...]

Hearing Pope Francis With the Ear of the Heart

Over at The Crescat, Katrina Fernandez is puzzling out Pope Francis and the way people react to him.A lot of people have expressed to me the almost schizophrenic spiritual state Pope Francis puts them in. Admittedly, I too have felt this same bit of anxiousness at times. I’ve even heard comments suggesting the Pope is to blame for the divisive polarizing atmosphere between the “traddies” and “trendies”. They feel like he is constantly criticizing while we try and decipher who specifically he … [Read more...]


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