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Matthew Schmitz is a former senior editor of First Things. 

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How Not to Misread Pope Francis

From First Thoughts

“When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.” So Pope Francis  said  during his visit to Brazil in the first days of his papacy. After two recent interview with La Repubblica and La Civiltà Cattolica . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Papal Approval Ratings Are Absurd

From First Thoughts

Approval ratings remain high for the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God, . . . . Continue Reading »

Two Generations on Gay Marriage

From First Thoughts

Joseph Bottum has  walked back  the most controversial assertions of his barnburner Commonweal  essay on gay marriage. For this, I’m glad: Several of them were unsupportable. Yet the essay was never about any point of fact so much as it was about a certain mood: one of surprise . . . . Continue Reading »

Are Protestants Bad at Monetary Policy?

From First Thoughts

Christopher Mahoney, former vice chairman of Moody’s, set back ecumenism by several years this week when he charged Protestants with being incapable of understanding monetary policy . His argument, or at least his assertion, was that Protestants refuse to countenance loose money policies even . . . . Continue Reading »