Church politics

Notes on Amoris Laititia & Filial Correction

Heresy-spotting is not my forte. I have no inclination or talent for it. But the word hangs heavy in the air these days. It is impossible to ignore it. Ballots went out as soon as Amoris Laetitia hit the stands: “Does the apostolic exhortation propagate heresy? Check the box marked Yes or No. Either way, might any other words, deeds, or omissions by the Supreme Pontiff constitute encouragement of heresy? Again, check the box marked Yes or No.” The alternatives have been dueling for two years. Continue Reading
Jesuits West, the Musical

The Society of Jesus explains the recent launch of a West Coast province under the headline: “The Dawning Of Jesuits West.” The caption is too suggestive to have been inadvertent. So let us take the Jesuits at their word and run with the allusion. This glistening new province hints at itself as the final coming of the Age of Aquarius. That grand epoch of astrological hope is really on its way this time ‘round. Peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars. Continue Reading
Cardinal Dolan & The Uses of Fatuity

Over Fourth of July weekend, parish bulletins throughout New York Archdiocese carried “Only in America,” an essay by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. It was a hail-fellow celebration of tolerance and religious liberty. But the meringue had been whisked up by the dialogue fairy, a bewitching crony of resurgent Islam. It began with the cardinal flashing his interfaith credentials. He had just received an award from the New York Board of Rabbis. This prompted one of those strenuously heartwarming reminiscences that are communion breakfast staples. Continue Reading
A Reader's Complaint, Part 1

It sometimes helps to know where something is headed before you get there. So this once, let me begin where the proctors of creative writing would tell me to end. Here goes: When the language of prayer or religious expression is used as a tool of ideology or pragmatic advancement it becomes a profanity. Pressed into service as an instrument of institutional pride, or any other cherished good, it loses its soul. Put to profane purposes—e.g. a means to preempt questions and short-circuit conscientious doubts, or as a bribe to observe questionable devotions—it is an impiety. Continue Reading
A Layman's Petition to Francis

Last week, James Todd, founder of the Catholic aggregator site Pewsitter.com, launched a petition to Pope Francis to clarify the meaning of Amoris Laetitia. Please, your Majesty, what precisely is the status of the divorced-and-remarried vis-a-vis reception of the Eucharist?   The petition reads in part:
Amoris Laetitia has brought confusion to what had been 2000 years of clarity. Because Amoris Laetitia is fracturing the unity of the Church whereby one diocese teaches differently than another on this fundamental tenant of the faith, something must be done. 
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