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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 »

Homeless

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump together are likely to end this primary season with a majority of all votes cast. Add the votes for Republican bad boy Ted Cruz, and the vote total for anti-establishment candidates may reach 60 percent. This represents a stunning repudiation of the existing political . . . . Continue Reading »

The Other Footnote in Amoris Laetitia

Pope Francis’s recent Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia is, for the most part, a beautiful presentation of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family. But its eighth chapter strikes many readers as problematic. This chapter attempts to identify the patterns of reasoning by which a prudent . . . . Continue Reading »

Marriage is Not a Social Convention

In a Web Exclusive article today, I elaborate problems that I see in Amoris Laetitia. Here on First Thoughts, I want to discuss the parts of Amoris Laetitia that are especially helpful for an engaged couple. The document offers an excellent diagnosis of why marriage can be difficult in our time: . . . . Continue Reading »

Amoris Laetitia and the Words of Christ

The first paragraph of Amoris Laetitia states that “the desire to marry and form a family remains vibrant, especially among young people.” Throughout my engagement, however, my desire to marry has sometimes been less than vibrant. To paraphrase my archbishop Cardinal O’Malley, I long for . . . . Continue Reading »

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