Are Pope Francis’ most recent appointments non-ideological?

When it comes to “culture wars about issues of sexual morality,” Pope Francis reserves the plum posts for men who not only fight the culture wars, but fight them from the wrong side.

Pope Francis leads a meeting of his Council of Cardinals at the Vatican Feb. 21, 2022. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

A recent National Catholic Reporter (NCR) piece points out that due to retirements and other factors, “Pope Francis faces chance to radically reshape US Catholic hierarchy.”

Most of the experts interviewed by NCR predicted that Francis’ picks would be “pastoral” but not “ideological.” Fr. Mark Massa, S.J. of Boston College said “I have been stymied to try to figure out what Francis’ agenda is. I think it’s simply to appoint pastoral bishops, and he’s less concerned about where they are ideologically.”

Is that accurate? Does it correspond to the evidence? What do we actually find when looking at key appointments by Francis?

Take his appointments to the Council of Cardinals—the cardinals who are his closest and most important advisers. Recently, Francis added five new members to the nine-member council to replace five who are stepping down for various reasons.

Do Pope Francis’s appointments—past and present—to the C9 favor the pastoral over the ideological? And what to make of the fact that the majority of his picks there have been marked by scandals both financial and sexual in nature?

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston is one of the remaining original members of the Pope’s council. He is undoubtedly one of Francis’ better choices; he is not an ideologue and there are no scandals attached to his name. In fact, he has a record of cleaning up and resolving clerical sex abuse cases in several different dioceses. In short, he possesses the kind of expertise that other members of the council—past and present—have been sorely in need of.

What about Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay? He is another of the remaining original members of the council Francis created in 2013. Although the Cardinal himself has not been accused of abuse, there are allegations that he covered up or failed to report several cases of clerical sex abuse. Cardinal Gracias has emphatically denied the claims and, thus far, there seems to be no resolution of the allegations.

Of course, many cardinals in recent memory have been accused with covering up abuse, and the cardinals, past and present, who have served as Francis’ chief advisers are no exception. Moreover, an accusation is not proof. The late Cardinal George Pell, who served for four years on the C9, spent more than a year in an Australian prison on charges of molesting two altar boys, but he was eventually acquitted of all charges. The scandal in Pell’s case is not that he did anything wrong, but that he may have been set-up by some in the Vatican who feared that he was about to expose their financial misdeeds.

The topic of financial misdeeds brings us to Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. Maradiaga, a close friend and ally of Pope Francis, chaired the council of nine since its inception. At age 80, he is now stepping down, but not necessarily for reasons of health. Most of his time these days is spent fending off charges of massive financial malpractice.

An exposé of Cardinal Maradiaga’s misdeeds appears in Sacred Betrayals, a book by Martha Alegria Reichmann, a former friend of Maradiaga who began to see a “dark side” to the Cardinal after he persuaded her and her husband to invest in a financial scheme that led to the loss of her entire life savings. Moreover, Reichmann contends that the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa had been turned into a cash cow by Maradiaga for his personal benefit. According to the National Catholic Register, “the cardinal received around $ 500,000 a year from the university from 2004 to 2015 without having to present any documentation to justify the destination of the funds.”

Cardinal Maradiaga is also accused of disregarding widespread homosexual activity at the major seminary in his archdiocese. Among other things, he appears to have ignored evidence that seminarians were being sexually abused by his friend and close collaborator Auxiliary Bishop Juan Jose Pineda who, according to the National Catholic Register, was “reported to maintain a string of …intimate male friends in Honduras and abroad.”

Bishop Pineda might be described as the McCarrick of Latin America were it not for the fact that there are many other South American and Latin American prelates who are candidates for the title.

For example, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz. In 2018 Errazuriz was subpoenaed by Chilean prosecutors as “part of an investigation into the country’s sprawling sex abuse and cover-up scandal.” Errazuriz was accused of protecting predator priests in at least ten cases including that of the notorious Father Fernando Karadima.

Cardinal Errazuriz also happens to have belonged to the exclusive club of advisers to Pope Francis, known as the Council of Cardinals. He was appointed by Francis in 2013 and served until his departure in 2018.

One of the four remaining members of the Council of Cardinals is Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State. Can he be trusted to give good advice? Here, according to The Catholic Herald, is what Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired bishop of Hong Kong, told Pope Francis: “He [Parolin] has a poisoned mind. He is very sweet but I have no trust in this person. He believes in diplomacy, not in our faith.”

Elsewhere, Cardinal Zen is quoted as saying “Parolin knows he himself is lying. He knows that I know he is a liar. He knows that I will tell anyone that he is a liar.”

In addition to his mishandling of the Vatican-China deal, Parolin is also accused of mishandling the funds of the Secretariat of State on a scale that even Cardinal Maradiaga would find impressive.

The scandal revolves around a decision to invest 200 million euros in an upscale London property—a deal which seems to have left the Vatican holding the bag, but not the property. According to The Pillar, it seems likely that Parolin “relied on the advice of crooked advisors and didn’t understand what he was getting the Vatican into.” In short, one of the pope’s chief advisors was getting his own advice from high class con men.

The Pillar sums it up this way: “the picture which emerges…is a Secretariat of State riddled with dysfunction, unfit for purpose, and staffed by a rogue’s gallery—all on Parolin’s watch.”

The NCR piece suggests that Francis favors prelates who are pastoral. Yet, appointees such as Parolin and Maradiaga seem more political than pastoral. Of course, it’s true that Parolin’s main duties are not pastoral. Nevertheless, one wonders how many hundreds of millions of Church funds were diverted away from its pastoral mission in order to fund Parolin’s dubious real estate dealings.

The same can be said of Cardinal Maradiaga. He drained huge sums from the Catholic University of Tegucigalpa that were intended for educational purposes, but seem to have been used for purposes of personal enrichment. Moreover, one wonders how much money was left over for the poor and needy of Tegucigalpa once the archdiocese had finished paying the legal fees necessary to defend wayward priests against charges of sexual misconduct. Cardinal Maradiaga and his friend Bishop Pineda acted more like parasites than pastors.

The NCR article also suggests that Pope Francis prefers to elevate non-ideological bishops. Does that hold up to scrutiny?

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, one of the original members of the advisory council was recently removed from the council, but the reasons for his departure are not clear. Marx has long challenged Church teaching on sexuality and marriage. Last March, for example, while celebrating a Sunday Mass for the “Munich Queer Community,” Marx said that Church traditions “that once had a meaning are now disturbing” because they no longer reflect “what was actually intended by him [Christ].” On another occasion, he said that homosexuality was not a hindrance to becoming a priest.

But Marx’s removal probably had little to do with ideological issues. If that were the case, why would Marx be replaced on the council of advisors by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich—a man whose position on sexual matters is, if anything, even more extreme than that of Marx’s?

Hollerich has rejected Catholic teaching on homosexuality as “false,” is in favor of same-sex blessings, and is open to the ordination of women. Despite his heterodox views on a number of issues, Francis seems to have great confidence in him. Two years prior to appointing Hollerich to his advisory council, Francis named him as the Relator General of the Synod on Synodality, making him one of the most powerful prelates in the Church. A true progressive, Hollerich said that critics of the Synod on Synodality were afraid of a “Church on the move.”

Moving where, exactly? A common theme is moving toward the loosening or complete changing of Church teaching on sexual morality. And that, it’s safe to say, would be a move over the cliff into outright schism, confusion, and the jettisoning of even more Church doctrine. And Pope Francis’ most recent picks don’t instill much confidence that they will do any better. They seem to have the same lemming-like attraction to the cliff.

Take Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Canada. According to Rome correspondent, Edward Pentin, Lacroix believes Francis “is a prophet,” and is “bringing the Church to where it needs to be.” Cardinal Lacroix took part in the 2015 Synod on the Family and was much impressed. “I love that way of discerning,” he said. But that’s not very reassuring when one considers that for “progressive” Catholics, the word “discerning” means figuring out in what direction the world is headed, and following suit. So, when Cardinal Lacroix says “this is really going to change the Church forever. It’s a new world,” it’s reasonable to think “brave new world.”

Another new appointee to the C9 is Cardinal Sergio La Rocha of Brazil. La Rocha was the general relator for the 2018 Synod on Youth whose final document, according to the Register, has been called “remarkably LGBT-positive.” But is it really so remarkable? It would be more remarkable at this point if Francis were to promote someone to high office who was not LGBT-positive, never mind someone openly upholding Church teaching about sexuality.

Another new member of the C9 is Cardinal Juan Jose Omella y Omella, from Barcelona. Papal biographer Austen Ivereigh describes him as a “classic Francis pick”. And sure enough, Omella believes in a “Samaritan Church” which will “accompany” the suffering, realize that moral issues are “not all black and white,” and is all-inclusive “so that no one feels cast aside.” But none of this liberality seems to extend to critics of Pope Francis. “Obedience to the pope means walking with him”, said Omella. “Walking with him?” “Accompany”? “All inclusive?” But this is the same kind of ambiguous and heavily therapeutic talk that Francis himself employs.

But isn’t it reasonable to think that the purpose of a council of advisers is not simply to agree with the advisee? To offer him new perspectives and even to challenge his policies and the assumptions they are built on? But Francis’ circle of advisers seems content to walk to the cliff. And over it as well?

To all appearances, the Church is already in some sort of free fall. During the pontificate of Pope Francis, weekly Mass attendance of U.S. Catholics declined from 25% to 17%. In addition, more than 1,000 parishes were closed. Catholic marriages and baptisms also declined sharply.

Dr. Larry Chapp, in a recent CWR essay about the agenda of some of the promoters of the synod on synodality, said that “what is going on is nothing short of a hostile takeover of the Church, seeking to impose a non-Christian ideology of change and development on the Church’s traditional understanding of those realities”—that is, Catholic beliefs about “hot button” issues such as homosexuality, female priests, and contraceptives.

Again, the National Catholic Reporter piece assures us that Pope Francis’s appointments are not shaped by any ideology or agenda at all. Rather, according to NCR, his selection of bishops to date shows that he “eschews divisive culture wars about issues of sexual morality.”

But anyone who has been paying attention can see that when Francis makes appointments, he does so with an eye toward ideological conformity. And when it comes to “culture wars about issues of sexual morality,” he reserves the plum posts for men who not only fight the culture wars, but fight them from the wrong side. Bishops such as Marx, Hollerich, Cupich, Tobin, Gregory, and McElroy long ago aligned themselves with the culture wars’ anti-Catholic forces.

Catholics in the U.S. should not let themselves be lulled to sleep by the reassurance that when the pope gets his chance to further reshape the American hierarchy, he will choose wisely or without a problematic litmus test.

If his past appointments are any indication of who he will choose, Catholics can expect the free fall to continue.

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About William Kilpatrick 79 Articles
William Kilpatrick is the author of several books on religion and culture including Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West (Ignatius Press) and What Catholics Need to Know About Islam (Sophia Institute Press). For more on his work and writings, visit his Turning Point Project website.


  1. Among the useful takeaways from this excellent report is confirmation of the long-established fact that the National (non-)Catholic Reporter is a perfect reverse oracle.

    Whatever they say, be assured that the opposite is true.

  2. read recently about papal response during ad limina last fall with Belgian bishops; the papal response to Belgian pre-synodal preparation seemed to center around whether the bishops were in agreement; agreement matters not, if what is proposed is contrary to orthodox Catholic teaching; the papal response here is truly shocking.

  3. IF this interpretation is accurate, THEN we might recall that a “hostile takeover”—invented in the 1980s by academia’s Harvard economists—means cannibalism…

    In the business world the dominant species lists as its own “collateral” (!) the assets of the target enterprise. And then once the innovative predator consumes its prey, it discards the outdated components. Initially a new business-within-a-business! Or, a church-within-a-Church—as with innovator Batzing’s “still Catholic but in a different way…”

    “Different” as in branding the perennial Catholic Church as “bigoted, rigid and backward” and then cleaning house and even shedding TLM?

    “Different” as in a start-up industry to groom and sexually abuse targeted individuals; and now other fancy word games to textually abuse an entire target institution? The Scandal butt with an even bigger future?

    Different as in the supposedly “non-synod” Der Synodal Weg still given the podium at the synodal European continental assembly (!), and in October at the global Synod on Synodality?

    Be fully awake when a cannibal invites you to dinner, or even a continental breakfast! The LGBTQ/gender theory “paradigm shift” and end game…the Church itself as McCarrick’s beach house writ large?

    Culturally, in centuries past, the new academia assumed pretentious plumage by cross-dressing in the vestments of the “backward” and discarded Church…Today, is Secularism’s long-term hostile take-over nearly complete?

  4. We can never forget that the Scholastics gave us a blueprint for a more complete understanding of things material through the process of abstraction. We build our understanding of things from abstraction through a direct encounter with things material. I don’t understand why things of a sexual nature have to be so different – because they cannot be abstracted intellectually without a strong pleasure component? Perhaps. This might fog the mind(?). Nonetheless, this is why all the Medieval Masters securely locked the material/efficient causes with the FORMAL/FINAL causes. Sex, simply put, can never be understood without its fullest context which will always include, not a mere nod; but a profound bow to its final end: the creation of children. Whenever we stray from a more complete understanding of our sexual nature and its divinely ordained telos (co-creation), into the particulars, of pleasure or personal fulfillment, we ALWAYS suffer a reduction in the spiritual/formal aspect of our sexuality. If anything, we need an authentically Catholic PASTORAL approach that evinces the fullest TRUTHS regarding our sexual nature. We do NOT need a gaggle of men, well-intentioned or not, who are unable (or, God forbid, unwilling) to prompt us to see our sexual nature myopically or outside the context of the widest (wisest) possible understanding and most meaningful end/purpose. Modern man does not need to be accommodated – he requires old-fashioned SALVATION. To that end, every action of a true Pastor will be directed.

    • Spousal sexual intercourse has a two-fold conditioning, a procreative action or design and a unitive meaning or purpose. We find this in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2363, 2369 (inter alia). We hear things but do not reflect concretely; this reflecting part requires a lot of effort and dedication. It’s not necessary to have sexual relations to understand the two-fold aspect of sexuality or the weakness in reflecting. The word for this overall duty/discipline, is the human virtue of chastity.

      Mark Tabish, this particular sentence doesn’t make sense in itself or in the conclusion -:

      ‘ We do NOT need a gaggle of men, well-intentioned or not, who are unable (or, God forbid, unwilling) to prompt us to see our sexual nature myopically or outside the context of the widest (wisest) possible understanding and most meaningful end/purpose.

  5. While our author demonstrates his thesis in regard to the Council of Cardinals, he failed to give examples of the “Francis touch” in the US episcopate. And the reason is simple: The ideal “Bergoglian” episcopal candidate is almost impossible to find among our presbyterate. The normal pool of candidates would be priests between the ages of 55 and 65. Those men were ordained during the pontificate of John Paul II and came into their own during that of Benedict XVI. Indeed, the US episcopate as a whole is probably the most “conservative” in the world, after Poland’s. Just look at the leadership of the USCCB! No “liberal” has stood a chance of election for years now. Which is a major reason why Francis has such an animosity towards us.

    • I usually enjoy reading Father Stravinskas comments and articles, but I have to question what he has to say here – “Indeed, the US episcopate as a whole is probably the most “conservative” in the world…” Conservative equaling Orthodox?

      They caved in what they did during Covid, basically no fighting back on the TLM issue, the Eucharist problem is to be delt with by means of a program (Eucharistic Coherence), only a small handful of bishops have pushed back on the Cardinals pushing LGBTQ and changing the Catechism on sexual morality, etc.

      I am reminded of Pope John Paul’s response to a bishop on one of his early visits to the USA. The bishop told the pope that we had the most educated laity in the history of the Church. The pope responded with, “Then I expect they are having a tremendous effect on society.” Are these conservative [orthodox] bishops having a tremendous effect on society? I’m sorry, but except for a small handful I don’t see it.

  6. Personnel is policy.
    Apostasy reigns.
    May the Beloved One have Mercy on His suffering Church.
    The Bride of Christ staggers along a new Via Dolorosa.
    The maddened blood lust of the mob curses her and exults in her suffering.
    All Truth is denied and unTruth is celebrated.
    Golgotha beckons.
    Who are the few to gather at the foot of the cross?
    Will a drop of precious blood drip down upon your head bowed in reverence and remorse?

  7. This not new. Popes always choose their men that think and act like them. Just like in any human organization, leaders select their lieutenants who are like them and can be personally trusted so the leader’s work can be done smoothly and efficiently. It is also not new that Popes get to choose unworthy men who should never have been chosen in the first place. Homosexual and financial misdeeds of Cardinals and bishops did start during the current papacy. During the papacy of Saint Pope John Paul II, homosexual predators were made Cardinals like Theodore McCarrick, and also equally explosive like Scotland’s Keith O’Brien and Austria’s Hans Groer. Saint Pope Paul VI made Rembert Weakland Archbishop of Milwaukee, and Saint Pope John Paul II made Anthony Apuron Archbishop of Guam. Both bishops were found guilty of homosexual predation and cover-up through financial misdeeds.

    • Weakland was not made Archbishop of Milwaukee by John Paul II but by Paul VI, who effectively removed him from his post as Abbot Primate of the Benedictines because of the damage he was causing the Order. The old principle: Promoveatur ut removeatur!

    • You failed to mention the Italian Francesco Coccopalmerio made Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI who was forced to resign by Pope Francis after he and his priest secretary and other priests were busted by the police as they were having a clergy gay drug and sex orgy in his Vatican apartment. Vatican’s damage control made it appear that only his secretary was apprehended by the police although Vatican insiders say they and the Pope know that the Cardinal was present and was the host of the party.

      • And the preferred target of “moderate” Catholic pundits will be VII critics who are correctly concerned with how VII documents downplayed original sin in the human condition rather than targeting the degenerates within the Church who seized the new lax attitudes towards sin and now do more harm than to just their own souls but also undermine the Church’s public witness having the effect of such things as, well, lets just say for example, aiding and abetting the abortion holocaust.

    • The disease afflicting the US Congress is corruption by power accumulated by lifelong politicians. Who can stand against 5 years of fawning, ingratiating and well-paid lobbyists and special interests? Now multiply that by 6, 7 or 8 times. Our Congress is contemptable for not stepping down in reasonable intervals. Then again why should they? How do lifelong prelates hold out?

  8. I agree…we are in freefall…as a new catholic I would read many catholic publications expecting true and orthodox articles….boy was I mistaken…yes stay clear of NCR ans especially America magazine if you want to hold on to your faith….I do fear for the hierarchy of our church….but have faith our Lord will clean it up in due time…when the fullness of sin and corruption is complete then the hammer will drop…may God turn their hearts while they have time…

  9. Christianity is about obedience to Jesus. It is emphatically NOT about “obedience to the Pope,” which which is the obedient marketed by “Eminence” Omella, cited above.

    The phenomenon of the self-styled “Catholic-men-of-the-left” and their newly-emergin-in-2013 “yearning-that-Catholic-people-obey-thePope” is quite an amuding reversal to behold.

    Unfortunately for them all, people who abide in Jesus out of submission to Jesus as God, will opt for obeying the commandments of Jesus regarding sexual identity and morality, and they will not obey any man who preaches or teaches anything other than the commandments of Jesus, which are very strict.

  10. I always laugh when I hear about Francis complain how “ideological” American bishops are. To think that Gomez and Dolan qualify as “rigid” conservatives in his mind is hilarious.

    The five American Cardinals named by Francis, on the other hand, encapsulate the hallmarks of this papacy perfectly: corruption and scandal, doctrinal heterodoxy, political leftism, vindictiveness, and intellectual mediocrity. Despite his best efforts, some of the appointments made in second-tier dioceses have turned out to be relatively decent.

  11. It’s quite clear that the purpose of bishops like the Pontiff Francis and “his circle” is to have what faithful German Catholics warn against: a “dirty-schism-Church,” where the minority of faithful Catholic people are pushed down and pushed out, by the apostate-post-Christian hierarchy and their lifelong concoction: the sprawling neo-pagan-ecclessial-bureaucrat-network.

  12. Come soon Lord Jesus!

    Revelation 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

    Titus 2:13 Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,

    2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

    Blessings to all who put their trust in the Lamb of God.

    • Proudly Protestant Brian Young: Focus more on asking God to help you and all of your fellow Protestants to convert to the One True Faith: Catholicism.

      While you are at it, spend much more time on Protestant websites and much less time spreading heresies on this Catholic website. In Protestant websites, be sure to point out how you and your fellow Protestants should abandon your pride and give up your ignorant heresies, and also give up the modernism that is infecting more deeply the 30-plus thousand Protestant denominations* than it is Christ’s One True Church.

      Proudly Protestant Brian Young: Since it is unlikely that you, at least in the foreseeable future, will give up your inane heresies, your time would still be better spent focusing more of your attention on your Church of England (however attached to it you remain) concerning such things as it recently voting to approve the blessings of same sex couples. And don’t worry about commenting less and less and hopefully stopping altogether in the CWR comboxes. All of us Catholics in the CWR comboxes will be much, much, much, much better off without you trying to poison us with your Protestant heresies.

      *There are some 30,000 plus Protestant denominations throughout the world, all or most proclaiming that the bible alone is the sole rule of faith, and faith alone is all that is needed to virtually compel the Lord to grant them a place in heaven after they die.

      As absurd as the above realities are, perhaps what is the most absurd reality of all as it pertains to the noxious heresy of Protestantism is that each of the 30,000 plus heretical denominations claim the Holy Spirit as their infallible guide, and so in some things or many things, all of these people like Proudly Protestant Brian Young put the Holy Spirit into an impossible position of having 30,000 plus different views, many of which contradict each other.

      And yet, Proudly Protestant Brian Young absurdly and arrogantly presumes that it is quite alright for him to push some of his poisonous Protestant heresies in a website dedicated to defending and promoting the Catholic Faith.

      Now for a beautiful selection from Catholic Scripture:

      (Note: The epistle of St. James contains lots of good advice, and to the honest reader of James under the guidance of the Catholic Church, it is recognized that James provides a necessary explication of/addition to some of the writings of St. Paul. St. James does not contradict St. Paul, nor does St. Paul contradict St. James, but many Protestants try to spin St. James into being something it isn’t so they can push St. Paul’s statements above St. James’ statements. Super heretic Martin Luther even tried to get rid of the St. James epistle altogether, calling it an ‘epistle of straw.’ Luther knew from the get-go that the epistle of St. James destroys the “faith alone” obtuse heresy that he was pushing, but later Protestants to this day keep the epistle of James while utterly butchering its interpretation to do virtually the same job that Luther ultimately wanted.)

      James 2:14-26: 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

      18 But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.
      Lastly, let us recall the wisdom of the Council of Trent that directly confronted and refuted the errors of the so-called Reformation. Among many wise canons regarding the topic of justification, consider the following that directly repudiates a proud heresy still embraced and preached by Protestants:

      CANON XXIV.-If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.

  13. It seems to me that the threshold issue is the question “What is the Church. Most would presumably respond that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. It is not necessarily Rome, the Papacy and the Hierarchy. We all hope and pray the Mystical. Body of Christ would include Rome, the Papacy and the Hierarchy. But there have indisputably been certain times and periods in history when tragically this has not been the case. When one reads in this article about some of these prelates in the Council of Cardinals and considers other friends of Uncle Ted like McElroy appointed by Pope Francis and when we hear of Francis contradicting Scripture by demanding that priests grant absolution in the absence of repentance (perhaps what he means by “pastoral”), and his welcoming and praising pro abortion politicians, etc., etc., then we have to question whether we too have entered one of those tragic historical periods.

  14. I hope Mr. Kilpatrick will resume his columns warning of the danger of Islam to Christian society. The problem is getting worse and hardly anyone inside or outside of the Church is raising the alarm. In fact, the strident demands for increased levels of immigration and accommodation of Muslims from the Vatican and other Church bureaucracies have only intensified.

    • Tony: Dr. Kilpatrick has never stopped writing such articles. Go to his website “Turning Point Project” to read more of his articles on the ‘dangers of Islam’…along with other topics that may also be of interest to you. CWR does not publish all of his articles, but in addition to TPP, other websites also feature some of his articles.

  15. The derisive label “ideologue” is the Buenos Aries code-word for “not-being-sodomy-positive.” It was assigned to Archbishop Chaput by the Pontiff Francis.

  16. As a convert, I had to learn a lot about Catholicism from reading, not from formal instruction. I have yet to figure out the meaning of the word “pastoral”. Judging entirely from context in the thousands of times I’ve come across the word I can only surmise it means: go and commit lots and lots of sins with my blessings.

  17. Consider: Is it good to be ‘men of the left’ or ‘men of the right’. If being a ‘progressive Catholic’ isnt desirable then shouldn’t identifying as a ‘conservative Catholic’also be renounced? I want to say and do believe that I can be Catholic and Christian. Why does the drive for social identity and party spirit constantly urge some other label?

    Also I want to say about Pope Francis that when I read him I discern real differences between him and some of the men he has promoted. I want to beware of even the shadow of evil speaking and erring thoughts about the Successor of St. Peter.

    Thank you for your consideration.

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