• Spiritual Ronin

    In two or three decades the Church will be reduced to street stands manned by smiling volunteers of all sexes and giving out lucky wafers for a donation to some charitable cause.

  • ray(O)

    A catchy headline, but little to do with the debate. The final sentence summed it up:- What is catholicism?

    A hierarchical medieval monachy trying to impose its outdated teaching on a 21st century post-modern society?

    Or a church of the people of God who care more for their neighbour than their own selfish lifestyles?

    To call the pope’s The joy of love “…clearly a deliberately destabilizing document…” reflects more the fear of Douthat to a genuine dialogue on what it means to be “catholic”. Francis has begun that dialogue; we wait for the response from the rest of the hierarchy. The people have already made their decisions on the moral questions from the pope’s exhortation.

  • Betty Clermont

    The pope was crystal clear: no abortion – not even to save a woman’s life, no birth control, no same-sex marriage. Nothing about his Church’s sex abuse victims. Same media tricks during this pontificate. Broadcast the traditionalists inconsequential concerns, stay silent about this pope’s multitude of victims around the world.

  • Agni Ashwin

    From the photo caption:

    “…and moderator John Sexton, president emeritus of New York.”

  • Athelstane

    The pope was crystal clear: no abortion – not even to save a woman’s life, no birth control, no same-sex marriage.

    There are a fair number of denominations now that have completely given way on these points. Those keen for such approval of these acts might want to hurry in joining them before they go extinct. Not that I am urging anyone to do so, of course.

    Nothing about his Church’s sex abuse victims.

    But that was not the subject of this exhortation.

    Broadcast the traditionalists inconsequential concerns, stay silent about this pope’s multitude of victims around the world.

    But they are not inconsequential. They go to the heart of the Church’s truth claims. If the Church has gotten these things wrong for its entire 2,000 years, how can it be believed about anything?

  • Athelstane

    While it’s not surprising that Peter Steinfels is pleased with what seems to be a further progressive push in praxis (if indeed not doctrine) that seems likely to result from this whole episode, it *is* interesting that he is so skeptical about the Church’s future prospects in North America. It would have been interesting to hear more in this report about why he’s so pessimistic.

  • Neill Morgan

    Can’t wait for the biology department’s seminar: “Does a bear defecate in the woods?”

  • Budlea

    The “pro-lifers” don’t say anything about the deaths in war. They proffer pictures of fetuses. Where then are the pictures of Priests molesting and sodomizing little boys? Why no extreme sensitivity and outrage about that? Priest with his pants down and little boy with pants down bent over a chair and wondering what the hell is going on. Traumatized for the rest of his lifetime. I can be brutal too. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. …..How come I have never seen a poor little unwed teen aged mother in a Catholic Church? Where are the bleeding hearts then? It is just cold hearted motor-mouthing and holier than thou posturing, which is covering up a deeply detached attitude to other human beings….No, I have never had an abortion.

  • Ignatz

    Actually, the Pope is the one who is the traditional Catholic, and American Conservatives who think Catholicism is a branch of American right-wing politics are the radicals.

  • Ignatz

    The Catholic Churches in NYC are usually pretty liberal, and packed.

  • J Connolly

    The Pope is Catholic. What the Pope is not is an American Catholic. So, the challenge for American Catholics is simple: do they want to finally, convert to the Catholic faith and leave behind their Americanism or do they want to found another faith or do they want to leave the faith. But the key here is not Catholicism. Hence, the key is secular Americanism because that is what American Catholicism has become: a strictly American faith and largely secular at that.

  • hotbabyboomer

    The Pope is a realist. The Catholic church has been hit with hundreds of millions of payouts. 600 million in Boston alone. What to do? Catholics seem to be tapped out so where does a new money stream exist? Catholics that want back into the church seem to be willing to pay. Annulments, once hard to get are going from $1,200 up. Yup, Pope Evita the money keeps rolling in. All wallets are welcome.