Thanks for Everything, Pope Francis

When my wife, Elizabeth, and I were married a quarter century or so ago, she was a practicing Christian in a mainline Protestant denomination, and her pastor married us. (N.B.: Neither of our true names, nor anyone else’s, appears in this piece.) I was decidedly non-practicing, a self-described . . . . Continue Reading »

​Getting Augustine Wrong

Injustices are done; imprudent, ill-considered policies are pursued. Brutal, cynical men posture as noble leaders. There’s a great deal about public life that arouses our passions. It is easy to become angry, bitter, fearful, and despairing. There’s another side as well. We can harbor great . . . . Continue Reading »

The Two Faces of Amoris Laetitia

Two completely different—and logically incompatible—arguments in favor of communion for the divorced and remarried have figured in the synodal process that led up to Amoris Laetitia. Despite their incompatibility, both arguments can be found in Amoris itself, at least according to many of the document’s interpreters. Continue Reading »

Discernment of Situation

Reckoning with a pope whose own remarks seem somewhat erratic is one thing. But how are we to reckon with a situation in which the administration of the sacraments, and the theology behind their administration, is succumbing, with his blessing, to . . . . Continue Reading »

The New Jansenism

Whereas the Jansenism of old despaired that anyone could really be loved by God, be good enough to receive Holy Communion, or be saved, its newer version has so little faith in the power of God to change hearts that it presumes God does not care for something so insignificant as the human heart. Continue Reading »