While We’re At It

♦ Early in July, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia issued a set of guidelines for implementing Pope Francis’s ­apostolic exhortation on marriage and family, Amoris Laetitia. The document urges the Church’s pastors to recognize that Catholics ­today are often profoundly misled by the prevailing . . . . Continue Reading »

A Distinction without Discipline

If Crosby’s reform were enacted, priests would have to judge the souls of their flock. The remarried would be divided into those whose lives have a Dostoevskian tragic resonance, and those who are merely “common adulteresses.” This cruel charade would collapse before it began. Continue Reading »

Creeping Infallibility

Any sort of “creeping infallibility” that would attach the same level of authority to every papal utterance or document must be avoided. To fail to draw appropriate distinctions—whether between binding and non-binding documents of the ordinary magisterium, or between the development and the evolution of doctrine—is to dim the light of the Petrine ministry and impoverish the faithful. Continue Reading »

Catholics Face a Choice

Will Catholics uphold the Church's teaching that the divorced and remarried cannot be admitted to communion, or will they reject it? Pope Francis has brought this question before the Church, though he refuses to formulate it so starkly. Continue Reading »

Francis’s Argentine Letter and the Proper Response

The real problem with the Argentine norms is their deviation from this larger and more fundamental principle: that grace truly sanctifies and liberates, and that baptized Christians are always free to fulfill the moral law, even when they fail to do so. Jesus Christ holds us to this standard in the Gospel. It is presumptuous of Francis—however benign his intentions—to decide that his version of “mercy” trumps that given by God himself. Continue Reading »