The unchanging Church teachings which you must not cite

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 22, 2015

In a Bloomberg interview, retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick cautiously agrees with the premise that conservatives are mounting “resistance” against Pope Francis. How? “Citing past pontiffs’ positions.”

Later in the same interview, Cardinal McCarrick speaks about the nature of papal authority: “As bishop of Rome, he is not authorized to change church doctrines, but to defend them.”

So if each Pope proclaims the same Church teachings, how can it be an act of “resistance” against one Pontiff to quote his predecessors?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: feedback - Sep. 23, 2015 4:15 PM ET USA

    The Truth is neither "conservative" nor "liberal," so that rhetoric must be put aside. Last year's Synod on Family resulted in so much confusion and painful controversy precisely because it appeared to be "reinventing the wheel" from scratch, fundamentally ignoring the vast teachings of the Church already contained in St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and many other Magisterial teachings. The upcoming Synod will have no other choice but to repair the damage.