Pope Francis

Stuttgart, Germany, Apr 29, 2016 / 10:49 am (CNA).- Greatly valued as an advisor by Saint John Paul II, a friend of Benedict XVI, and widely held to be the most important German Catholic philosopher of recent decades, Robert Spaemann, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Munich, expressed a distinctly critical interpretation of Amoris laetitia in this interview with Anian Christoph Wimmer, editor of CNA’s German-language edition. Please find the full text of the interview here.

The full interview is carried in Catholic World Report. His interview concludes with, 

What consequences do you see for the Church?

The consequences are already foreseeable: uncertainty and confusion, from the bishops’ conferences to the small parishes in the middle of nowhere. A few days ago, a priest from the Congo expressed to me his perplexity in light of this new papal document and the lack of clear precedents. According to the respective passages fromAmoris laetitia, not only remarried divorcés but also everyone living in some certain “irregular situation” could, by further nondescript “mitigating circumstances”, be allowed to confess other sins and receive Communion even without trying to abandon their sexual conduct – that means without confession and conversion.

Each priest who adheres to the until-now valid discipline of the sacraments, could be mobbed by the faithful and be put under pressure from his bishop. Rome can now make the stipulation that only “merciful” bishops will be named, who are ready to soften the existing discipline. Chaos was raised to a principle by the stroke of a pen. The Pope must have known that he would split the Church with such a step and lead toward a schism – a schism that would not be settled on the peripheries, but rather in the heart of the Church. May God forbid that from happening.    
     
One thing, however, seems clear to me: the concern of this Pope – that the Church should overcome her own self-referencing in order to be able to free-heartedly approach persons – has been destroyed by this papal document for an unforeseeable amount of time. A secularizing push and the further decrease in the number of priests in many parts of the world are also to be expected. It has been able to be observed for quite some time that bishops and diocese with a clear stance on faith and morality have the greatest increase in priests. We must remember the words of St. Paul in the Letter to the Corinthians:  “If the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8).
   
In your opinion, where do we go from here?    

Every single cardinal, but also every bishop and priest, is called upon to preserve uprightly the Catholic discipline of the sacraments within his realm of responsibility and to confess it publicly. In case the Pope is not ready to make corrections, it remains reserved for a later Pope to officially make things right.    

For the whole interview, click here.

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Why Muslims, Pope Francis?

by Steve Ray on April 16, 2016

It is announced today the Pope Francis will bring back 12 Syrian refugees from Greece to the Vatican — all Muslims. Why Muslims Pope Francis, why not Christians? 

Imagine you are a Christian family who has suffered in a Muslim country, suffered horribly for Jesus Christ and the Church. The Pope comes to your refugee camp where your family has lost everything for the Faith. He greets you all and then takes 12 Muslims back to the Vatican, leaving the Christians behind. 

What kind of message does that send to the suffering Christians in the Middle East, suffering under the persecution of Muslims?

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From Catholic World Report:

Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “On love in the family,” has been one of the most widely anticipated papal documents in recent years, following the closely watched and sometimes controversial Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 2014 and the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in 2015. It is also one of the longest and wide-ranging papal documents in recent memory, touching on a host of theological, spiritual, practical, moral, and pastoral questions about family, marriage, children, sexuality, and related matters.

In these essays CWR contributors offer their reflections and analysis of the document, drawing upon their knowledge and experience as married people, priests, theologians, scholars, and journalists.

Francis’ sprawling Exhortation a marriage of profound and muddled | Carl E. Olson

In Amoris Laetitia, who is admonishing whom? | James V. Schall, SJ

The Joy of Love in the Hands of the Clergy | Dr. Leroy Huizenga

The Mystery of Matrimony and Amoris Laetitia | Michael J. Miller 

Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia and St. John Paul II | Eduardo Echeverria 

In Amoris Laetitia, the family is an opportunity, not a problem | Stephan Kampowski 

Make sure you read these passages from Amoris Laetitia, too | Catherine Harmon

The Trending of the Pope | Mark Brumley

The Two Synods and the Exhortation that Followed Them | Mary Jo Anderson

The Shape of Repentance: Reflections on Amoris Laetitia | Adam G. Cooper 

Amoris Laetitia: Another Nail in the “Overpopulation” Coffin | Dr. Samuel Gregg 

Accompanying, Discerning, and Integrating—in the Way of the Master | David Paul Deavel

“Amoris Laetitia’: The Good, the Disturbing, and the Torturous | Dorothy Cummings McLean

First thoughts on the English version of Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia | Edward N. Peters 

The law before ‘Amoris’ is the law after | Edward N. Peters 

First thoughts on Amoris Laetitia | Bishop Robert Barron

Watch: Ignatius Press editorial staff members discuss “Amoris Laetitia” 

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On Cardinal Burke’s Comments on Pope’s Exhortation

April 12, 2016

The world is a flurry with commentary on the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Seems to be understood very differently by different people with differing perspectives and agendas.  Cardinal Burke wrote an interesting piece on the Pope’s exhortation and John Jalsevac wrote an interesting critique of Burke’s column. I post this because it a very good summary of [...]

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The Pope’s New Document “Amoris laetitia” on Marriage. Dr. Ed Peters’ (canon lawyer) first thoughts

April 8, 2016

Traveling home from Israel with no time to read this yet. Here are the thoughts of Dave Armstrong  Below are the thoughts of my trusted friend and canon lawyer Dr. Ed Peters. First thoughts on the English version of Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia. by Dr. Edward Peters There are as one might expect in a document [...]

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Misunderstanding the (alleged) “Congo Contraception” Case

February 22, 2016

Misunderstanding the (alleged) ‘Congo contraception’ case by Dr. Edward Peters, Canon Lawyer, Professor at Sacred Heart Seminary, Advisor to the Vatican Even by the standards of his reign, the presser Pope Francis conducted on his return flight from Mexico has provoked an unusual number of questions. I wish to address only one of those here. [...]

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Jimmy Akins: “Pope Francis Speaks on Hot-Button Issues: 9 Things to Know and Share”

February 20, 2016

[Also see Janet Smith's Article in Catholic World Report also: Contraception Congo Nuns Choosing the Lesser Evil and Conflict of Commandments]  Pope Francis Speaks on Hot-Button Issues: 9 Things to Know and Share During his plane flight back to Rome from Mexico, Pope Francis gave an interview in which he touched on a number of [...]

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Pope Francis, Donald Trump, Nuns Using Contractives, Zika Virus and more on the Pope’s Comments to the Press

February 18, 2016

Seven quick thoughts on the most recent papal presser by Dr. Edward Peters Frankly, I don’t know how he does it. When I fly to Europe I have to sleep all the way over.  Not Pope Francis. Anyway, may I offer some comments on some topics mentioned in the latest mid-air papal presser? 1. Pope Paul [...]

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Quick Summary of Common Declaration Signed by Pope and Russian Patriarch

February 13, 2016

30 Paragraphs that cover a variety of themes. Written on February 11, 2010 by Kathllen Naab Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Pope Francis joyously signed a common declaration today in Havana, following a 2.5 hour meeting between the two. The 30-paragraph statement covers a variety of themes.   Here is a [...]

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Pope Decrees That Holy Thursday Foot Washing Ceremony Can Include Women

January 21, 2016

See story here

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Is the Pope Justifying Condoms?

December 9, 2015

  Not sure what to think of the Pope’s words on the plane home from Africa. What do you think? If his point was that we should solve hunger, exploitation, pure water issues, and other tragedies in Africa then good, I am in total agreement. But, it doesn’t seem wise to me to speak in such [...]

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Watching Rush of Wind and Flutter of Wings over the Vatican

October 23, 2015

This morning  Janet and I are in Rome for a few days awaiting our pilgrimage group as we embark across Italy and then by ship voyaging around Greece and Turkey to follow the footprints of St. Paul and the Early Church. This morning, from the rooftop of our rented apartment as we eat breakfast, we’re looking [...]

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Acton Institute Analyzes Pope Francis’ Address to Congress, after the fact

October 15, 2015

I can’t lie and say I was overly enthusiastic about the Pope’s address to Congress and the United Nations. There was a lot I wish he would have said that was not. However, I agree with the Acton Institute’s assessment of his address to Congress. Given Washington DC’s nature, Pope Francis’s address to Congress was [...]

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100 Converts (including Steve Ray) Call on Synod Fathers to Affirm Catholic Teaching

October 7, 2015

Catholic World News - October 06, 2015  (for the full letter we sent, please click here) Over 100 adult converts to the Catholic faith, most of them Americans, have signed an open letter calling upon the Synod of Bishops to affirm Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. The signatories include an Australian bishop (Bishop Peter [...]

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Synod on the Family: Pope Francis’ Address to First General Congregation

October 5, 2015

Synod 15 – Pope Francis’ Address to First General Congregation “Let us remember, however, that the Synod will be able to be a space of action of the Holy Spirit only if we, the participants, are clothed with apostolic courage, evangelical humility and confident prayer.” By Staff Reporter Vatican City, October 05, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Here [...]

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Trying to Figure out the Pope and his Visit to the USA? What does being a Jesuit have to do with it? (Link Fixed)

October 3, 2015

Sorry the link did not work. Here is the correct link to the interview http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/hes-disruptor-interview-first-things-editor-rr-reno-pope-francis-us-visit Right before he left New York for Philadelphia, “First Things” editor R. R. Reno discussed the Pope as a “disrupter” and discusses his visit to the USA. I found particularly interesting the section about how being a Jesuit has shaped [...]

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