Exit the Pope?

It is not disrespect of papal magisterium to register difficulties with supposedly pastoral recommendations on the basis of prudential criteria. My reading of papal history has lately convinced me that the papacy permits the contradiction of one of the oldest axioms of philosophy: the parts are sometimes greater than the whole. That is especially true … Read more

Former CDF Official Critical of Fiducia Supplicans

I remain amazed and puzzled by how the publication of Fiducia Supplicans is affecting the Church—and by how the responses to it still seem to be under-perceived, downplayed, or ignored. Negative reactions to the document, and against specific contents of the document, have been strong, including those from entire bishops’ conferences and large numbers of … Read more

Rome, We Have a Problem

If ever there were an emergency message to Rome, this is it. It might have been the SOS a year ago as some bishops witnessed large numbers of other bishops using their pastoral canonical privilege to bypass the iron-fisted prescriptions of Traditionis Custodes. But it is certainly the frightened alert in light of the Extraordinary … Read more

Francis Is the Pope He Was Waiting For

In my book Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education, there is a chapter titled “A Pope Away from a Perfect Life for the Jesuits.” The chapter documents in depressing detail the ways in which the Jesuits began to wage war with the pope following Vatican II. It describes how the 28 Jesuit campuses … Read more

Fiducia Supplicans Provide Clarity – Just Not The Clarity They Wanted

Well, the title alone is enough to make you read the article. Now that the dust has surged on Fiducia Supplicans, we should look at the good news about it. It does, as Cardinal Fernández and Pope Francis hoped it would, provide clarity; it just isn’t the clarity they wanted. It doesn’t clarify what the … Read more

There’s Good in Our Catholic Church and It’s Worth Fighting For

It’s been a month since the release of Fiducia Supplicans, and faithful Catholics can be forgiven if that scandalous document put a damper on their Christmas spirit. After all, it’s yet another scandal coming out of a Vatican full of them lately, and it’s easy for Catholics to become demoralized in the face of this … Read more

Cardinal Müller: “The Catholic Church is Not the Pope’s Church and Catholics are Therefore Not Papists but Christians”

I recently sent some questions to Cardinal Gerhard Müller regarding papal infallibility and the Cardinal’s recent words describing Pope Francis as having endorsed material heresy. The Cardinal was gracious enough to answer my questions in the following email exchange. How would you describe the nature of papal infallibility? Under what circumstances does papal infallibility apply? … Read more

Let’s Call Out Dirty Old Men Again

I don’t know about you, but I miss the days when we could freely identify and call out dirty old men. When, without reprisal, we could recognize and denounce sexual deviance and not have to pretend that sexual perversion was normal or good. In fact, back then, we were still allowed to use the terms … Read more

Send In The Clowns

Two recent events in the seemingly endless parade of the bizarre that this pontificate is producing hit this writer all at once. One was of worldwide importance and the other, purely local. The first was the revelation that Cardinal Fernandez had authored some excruciatingly theological hard-core porn and published it some years ago. The second … Read more