Storm Over the Vatican: Pundits Stoke Fires of Dissent
“Things are different under Francis.”
—Editorial Headline, National Catholic Reporter
The National Catholic Reporter tells us: “In Francis we see a great deal of discontinuity with Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II. And it is about time.”
Lest we failed to read what it said already, the Reporter tells us again, and with emphasis: “Things are different under Francis, who seems far more comfortable applying pastoral theology first and consulting the moral texts and canon law later. If that’s a mistake, the church has survived far worse.”
What is the Reporter claiming? Are they claiming that the pastoral theology of a Pope can trump both canon law and the moral law? If so, then it’s a radically new interpretation of our Faith, our Church, and the moral law.
Of course, the Reporter is not the first journal promising revolutionary changes in the Church; nor is it alone. Almost daily now, I hear news of others trumpeting a new dawn of “freedom” in the Church, while still others (as the Reporter rightly notes) do cringe when they hear those same trumpets.
Responding to editorials like this one from the National Catholic Reporter and from other such journals is like trying to wrestle an octopus: you don’t know what to grab first; and whatever you do catch hold of is so slippery you can’t hold on to it for long.