Francis Poses as Scientific ‘Expert’

“The stakes could not be higher,” Pope Francis said on May 16, speaking to participants in an international conference on climate change. But actually the stakes could be higher; they could involve human souls rather than polar ice caps or, for that matter, scientific models. There was a time—any time, really, before 2013—when one would … Read more

Bishops: Time to Resist the ‘Gender-Affirming’ Juggernaut

Your Excellencies, you certainly “cannot encourage” gender-altering surgery, because it is an offense against human dignity. But you could forthrightly oppose it. And you didn’t. The horror stories are going to multiply: A troubled girl says that she would like to be a boy, or a boy says he wants to be a girl. The … Read more

The “Queer” Pastoral Care of the German Bishops

The story is appalling, yet I can’t help finding a comic aspect to the German bishops’ announcement that Bishop Ludger Schepers “will be the representative for queer pastoral care.” On first reading that announcement, I assumed that the phrase “queer pastoral care” was an awkward computer translation. But no, the German original uses the term … Read more

The Imprudent Pope

Back when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio declined a journalist’s request for an in-depth interview. He explained that he did not feel comfortable expressing himself in an interview format; he suggested anyone who wanted to understand his thinking would be better served by reading his written works. But that was a … Read more

Fiducia: The Defense of Incompetence

One more thought on Fiducia Supplicans, and then I’ll turn to more pleasant topics. (And nearly everything short of the bubonic plague is a more pleasant topic.) If you draft a statement to affirm X, but then you realize that many (most?) people will take the message to mean Not-X, you don’t release that statement. … Read more

A Vatican Document That Undermines Itself

True, today’s declaration from the Vatican does not change Church teaching. Fiducia Supplicans earnestly insists on a distinction between giving a blessing to a homosexual couple and blessing their relationship. Good luck conveying that distinction to the world. Anyone can ask a priest for a blessing; that has never been in question. But when two … Read more

Cardinal Gregory and the ‘Dominant’ Rite

“Tradition dies a slow death, sometimes a bloody death,” said Cardinal Wilton Gregory told an audience at Catholic University earlier this month. Well, if tradition dies, so too does the authority of Cardinal Gregory. Think about it: What authority does any bishop have, apart from the fact that he represents the sacred tradition of the … Read more

New Papal Document Puts Climate Change Before Faith

Laudate Deum, the new apostolic exhortation released by the Vatican on October 4, is an astonishing document, in which Pope Francis uses his authority to make definitive judgements—not on questions of faith and morals, but on scientific and political questions that are still under debate. In the Galileo controversy, some Church leaders unwisely sought to … Read more

Hey Bishops: It’s Time for a Papal Intervention

For many years—during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI—worried Catholics like me wished that the Holy See would intervene to fix the damage caused by liberal American bishops. Now the roles are reversed, and I pray that our bishops, joining with bishops of other countries, will step in to guard the universal … Read more