26 October, 2014

What Francis means for the orthodox

The Pope and the Precipice - NYTimes.com

is charismatic, popular, widely beloved. He has, until this point,
faced strong criticism only from the church’s traditionalist fringe, and
managed to unite most Catholics in admiration for his ministry. There
are ways that he can shape the church without calling doctrine into
question, and avenues he can explore (annulment reform, in particular)
that would bring more people back to the sacraments without a crisis. He
can be, as he clearly wishes to be, a progressive pope, a pope of
social justice — and he does not have to break the church to do it.

if he seems to be choosing the more dangerous path — if he moves to
reassign potential critics in the hierarchy, if he seems to be stacking
the next synod’s ranks with supporters of a sweeping change — then
conservative Catholics will need a cleareyed understanding of the

can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from
self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that
they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from
error only if the church itself resists him.