Vatican Spokesman Tries to Rationalize Fiducia Supplicans with Ratzinger CDF Document

Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication, has claimed that a distinction made in a 2000 document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith serves as an “important precedent” for Fiducia Supplicans, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s recent declaration on the pastoral meaning of blessings. In 2000, the … 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

Vatican Cardinal Breaks Ranks with Ghana’s Bishops on the Criminalization of Homosexual Acts

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Ghana-born Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, has broken ranks with the bishops of Ghana, who have praised Parliament for passing legislation that criminalizes homosexual acts. “My position is contrary to what has just been passed, to criminalize anybody, if you are able … 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

Cardinal Cupich Lauds Cardinal Bernardin’s Discredited ‘Seamless Garment’

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has given prominent coverage to a speech by Cardinal Blase Cupich at Fordham University, praising the “consistent ethic of life” championed by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, in his famous “seamless garment” speech forty years ago. Cardinal Cupich praised his predecessor for suggesting that “the spectrum of life cuts across … 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