Wanting to Love the Pope

Catholics love the pope, want to love the pope, and Francis deserves their love and fidelity.

But to the degree Catholics also really know their faith, love the Church, and seek to live her teachings, many are also increasingly uneasy. Continue Reading »

A Pope and a Psychiatrist on Transsexual Marriages

The suffering of those who feel themselves to be transsexual can be so great—to the point of making them suicidal—that from the perspective of the Church one can hardly categorically forbid surgical and hormonal measures to reduce their suffering, as a last resort after attempting other measures. The proscription of self-mutilation must here be weighed against the good of reducing suffering. 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 »