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Stooges for Secularism

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Wherein the hierarchy defers to the state. Donald Trump wants to open up churches more than some church leaders do. No sooner had he proposed that churches be deemed “essential” services than some church leaders began criticizing him. At CNN, Father Edward Beck quickly penned a column saying “Mr. President, we don’t need to open […]

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The Two Popes Problem

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When Pope Francis grants an interview, he makes news by subverting Church teaching. When Pope Benedict XVI gives one, he makes news by upholding it. Therein lies the two popes problem about which the media can’t keep complaining. This last week it ran stories pitting the two against each other after a new book about […]

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The Holy Week Musings of Pope Francis

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Fretting over the fate of Judas wouldn’t seem a high priority for a pope. But it is a subject that gnaws at Pope Francis. In 2014, the Religion News Service ran an article entitled “Pope Francis: Judas Wasn’t So Bad.” It quoted from a sermon in which he said all of Jesus Christ’s disciples were […]

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Closing Churches, Opening Jails

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Thousands of prisoners have been released from jails since the coronavirus crisis hit. “In Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva has embarked on what appears to be the largest U.S. effort to release inmates, freeing 1,700 people this month, or about 10 percent of the population of one of the nation’s largest jail systems,” reports […]

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Canceling Catholicism Until Further Notice

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What happened to the “field hospital” of Pope Francis? Early on in his papacy, Pope Francis likened the Church to a field hospital. But the analogy hasn’t held up amidst coronavirus fears. The diocese of Rome has suspended Masses through April 3. The idea of closing churches during a crisis is a peculiarly modern one. […]

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The Pope’s Slippery ‘Synodal Way’

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His exhortation about the Amazon synod raises more questions than it answers. Typical of a Jesuit,” said Archbishop Bruno Forte in 2016, as he reflected on the deviously indirect style of Pope Francis. Forte, a close aide to Pope Francis, recalled that the pope didn’t want to spell out his support for Communion for the […]