Everyone Calm Down and Read

Yes, Pope Francis’ highly anticipated post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, was released on Friday.  As has become the norm, news outlets and social media have been buzzing with reactions, pre-reactions, reactions to the reactions, and on and on.  All these are fed through the speaker’s preferred narrative and thus vary depending, to name the most sweeping divides, [Read More…]

Beyond Yes or No: The Anti-Dichotomy Queen Takes On the Synod

Like my colleague David, I have been following the synod of bishops with interest, with my preferred sources being mainly the refreshingly unfiltered (and often quite detailed) reports from the Vatican Information Service via email subscription, and the incomparably lucid reporting of John Allen and his team at Crux.  Allen does us a particularly valuable [Read More…]

Choose This Day

A few days before Pope Francis’ heartfelt plea for peace in his Sunday Angelus message, President Obama took a break from gearing up for yet another Middle East conflict – audaciously being called a “humanitarian intervention” – to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic March on Washington with these words in tribute to the unsung heroes of the [Read More…]

Is Syria the New Iraq?

“All politicians take their decisions on the basis of national or political interest and explain them in terms of altruism.” –Abba Eban The ongoing crisis in Syria, especially in relation to the mounting speculations and now certainty of U.S. involvement, has been prompting a spate of comparisons to last decade’s debacle du jour in Iraq.  [Read More…]

Soteriology Sensationalized

The pope has spoken – and people act like it’s never been said before. Pope Francis’ May 22 homily, in which he touched on the redemption of atheists, is still generating buzz.  This is due at least as much to a number of virally spreading misquotations as it is to what the Holy Father actually said.  Now, [Read More…]

More Catholic, Less Roman?

Today Pope Benedict is officially elevating six bishops from around the world to the role of cardinal.  When he named the last set back in January, I reflected on concerns that the high ratio of Europeans (especially Italians) to those from other parts of the world appeared to reflect more Romanitas than catholicity.  This time, [Read More…]

A Potential Insight from a Bad Question

The question I want to address, pretending for a moment that it’s a question worth taking seriously, is this: Is the Church conservative or liberal? I find such a question misguided because the Church (magisterially speaking) doesn’t think in these terms, much to its credit.  To answer this question with one of the two options given would be to [Read More…]

As the Church Has Always Taught (Except When it Hasn’t)

Here is an ecclesiological proposition with far-reaching pastoral implications: we need an ecclesiology that accounts for fallibility.  Let me explain. When the Church has recognized the need to confess its own sins, the language of its confessions has been constrained by a sense of doctrinal timelessness, which is tied to a well-established view of the Church’s credibility [Read More…]

Toward a Balanced Assessment of the Recent CDF Kerfuffle

We’ve all heard about it by now: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has done it again, issuing a hotly contested critique of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States.  Hopefully, we’ve all cooled down enough after the initial explosion to begin a more nuanced discussion of the matter (although [Read More…]