Tag Archive: Pope Francis

Apr 19

Churches shouldn’t endorse candidates, even if the law allowed

In wake of the impending repeal of the Johnson Amendment, the question of Priests or Churches endorsing candidates takes on new light. I present arguments against endorsement on Crux today. A new tax bill working its way through Congress might change the way religious institutions can engage in politics. President Donald Trump, at the National Prayer …

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Mar 06

Pope Francis and his conservative critics are both right… if you accept their principles

I wrote a piece today on Crux. Ever since Pope Francis’s election, and especially since Laudato Si’ and Amoris Laetitia, there have been clear tensions between the pontiff and some more conservative Catholics. I think we need to examine both from within the framework of what they believe the Church needs. I will discuss their …

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Feb 22

Mercy in Stories

A few months ago I received a free book on mercy from an associate professor of religious studies at a Catholic university. I was expecting a very technical explanation of what mercy was – a theological treatise. Instead,  it was a collection of personal stories. Even though the year of mercy that inspired such a …

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Feb 10

What if we’ve been wrong about ‘Amoris’ all along?

I published this on Crux. Ever since it came out in April 2016, there’s been an avalanche of debate in Catholic circles about Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s document on the family. At least in English, both sides seem to agree that it permits Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried who continue relations in some …

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Nov 21

A quick summary of pope’s letter ending the Year of Mercy

I wrote a summary of this letter for Crux: As the Year of Mercy ended, Pope Francis signed an apostolic letter imploring us to continue being merciful called Misericordia et Misera. This letter continues key themes of Francis. The title refers to the mercy with misery Jesus grants the woman caught in adultery. I intend …

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Aug 01

The Church Just Did for Movements What She Did for Religious in 1978, Only Better

The Church does not rush to judgement, but reflects and ponders clearly to ascertain what is God’s will. This can take years, even decades. Vatican II renewed many aspects of Catholic life: the sacramental character of a bishop’s consecration, the lay vocation to holiness, the religious life, and the structure of the Church. All of …

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Jul 07

When Pope Francis goes off the cuff, think Latin America

Several times, Pope Francis has said things that have really shocked a number of North American Catholics.  Yet if we put the comments in the context of Catholicism in other countries, often we’ll be shocked by the situation in those countries, not by the pope. Pope Francis is Argentinian and, save a few years of …

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Jun 22

Amoris Laetitia Study Guide

I produced a study guide for Amoris Laetitia for RCSpirituality.org. I have questions for every chapter so an ordinary Catholic in the pew can discover what Francis wants to teach us all. I also made notes where needed to avoid misunderstanding. You can read it there. If you want a teaser, here are the first paragraphs: …

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May 02

Clearing Our Heart for Love by Remembering God’s Mercy

Remembering God’s Mercy is one of those rare books that combines personal testimony, theological insight, sound psychology, and prayerfulness all-in-one. Along with reading, I used this book for meditation for a week or two. It’s an amazing book that has to be comprehended as by whole chapters and not by lines. When I read a …

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Apr 09

The Hermeneutic of Continuity vs. the Hermeneutic of Suspicion

Today there is a lot of confusion about what Pope Francis wrote yesterday in Amoris Laetitia. I think a lot of it goes back to a principal that was best explained by Benedict XVI in his 2005 Christmas addressed to the Roman Curia, the hermeneutic of continuity. This is the hermeneutic to view all the Church’s …

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Apr 08

Key Quotes from Amoris Laetitia: About Every Family Not Just Divorced and Civilly Remarried

News reports focus on a few paragraphs of Francis’s new document, Amoris Laetitia, namely 242-243, 250, and 298-305, yet this is but a small part of the document. Instead, I want to give you a medium-length summary of the whole document using quotes and paraphrase. Amoris Laetitia doesn’t seem to have any radical new ideas …

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Feb 10

Pro-Life or Social Justice: a False Catholic Dichotomy

Right after the March for Life, the USCCB organized the Catholic Social Ministries Gathering. As one of the few who attended both events, I saw many people who were both pro-life and pro-social justice but I also saw a false dichotomy between the two in some. Unfortunately, some at the March for Life show inadequate care …

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