By the same token, the new and stringent Ultramontanism on the Catholic Left - in which even the mildest questions about how things are working in this pontificate are denounced as treasonous disloyalty - is an affront to the open conversation for which the pope [FRANCIS] has called.
Ideas have consequences and bad ideas can have lethal consequences.
The most enduring of the false narratives is that the signature phrase of the early pontificate - "Who am I to judge?" - was a matter of the pope jettisoning millennia of Catholic moral teaching. It was not. It was a specific response to the circumstances of a man who had repented and was trying to live an upright life.
In the Church the transformative power of the Eucharist is experienced through the dignified celebration of Holy Mass, and people are empowered for mission because of that.
Be the Church - that is, be an evangelical movement that tells the world of God's passionate love for humanity. That, not institutional maintenance, is what the Church is for. When the Church is that, and does that, it flourishes.
Optimism and pessimism are mere matters of optics, of how you look at things, and that can change from day to day, or with a new prescription for your glasses - or with a new set of ideological filters.
History is driven, over the long haul, by culture - by what men and women honor, cherish, and worship; by what societies deem to be true and good, and by the expressions they give to those convictions in language, literature, and the arts; by what individuals and societies are willing to stake their lives on.
As a friend at a major American newspaper said to me when I complained about this tendency in his own paper, "You know how these media narratives are. They're like bamboo." Meaning, once they start growing, you can't kill them.
The job now is to institutionalize all of that [Vatican finances], and I wouldn't bet against Cardinal [George] Pell, who hasn't shied away from contact sports since his days as an Australian-rules football star.
Democracy is always an unfinished experiment, testing the capacity of each generation to live freedom nobly.
Last Update: 24 September 2022
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