Action Alert!

Quick hits: the truth about Islam, how AL affects children, and is Francis really the Pope?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 28, 2017

Three short essays—unrelated, but all well worth reading—that appeared online today:

The unstoppable Father James Schall explains “Why I Believe in Islam” for Crisis magazine. No, he hasn’t left the faith. But he does serious Muslims the courtesy of assuming that their faith is what they say it is, rather than what we outsiders would like it to be—or worse, what secularists think it should be. The failure to recognize Islam on its own terms is dangerous, Father Schall explains: “We will continue not to grasp what Islam says of itself, so long as we designate any effort to understand it as ‘hate language.’”


Psychologist Paul Vitz, writing for The Catholic Thing, delves into a question that has too often been neglected in the discussion of Amoris Laetitia: When the Church reaches out to divorced-and-remarried Catholics, what is the impact on their ex-spouses and their children? He argues that:

… the omission of any serious pastoral concern for the many victims of divorce in the adoption of a policy of reinstating a divorced individual to full communion will certainly undermine the idea that the Catholic Church is truly committed to avoiding abuse of children. It will also undermine the doctrine that marriage is a sacrament that is permanently binding. These are very serious issues. And unless they are addressed the likelihood is that for every divorced Catholic reinstated to communion, there will be many others driven away from God and the Church.

At a minimum, Vitz suggests, if Catholic pastors intend to welcome divorced-and-remarried Catholics to the sacraments, they should take one more step: “arrange interviews with the prior spouse and children before granting any full communion.”


Finally, if you have heard arguments that Pope Francis isn’t really the Pope, because Pope Benedict was pressured into resignation or because of alleged violations in the preocedures of the conclave, read this analysis of the relevant canon law by Edward Peters, who demolishes the arguments. Whether or not the charges of skullduggery are true, the Pope is the Pope.

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: james-w-anderson8230 - Sep. 30, 2017 12:20 AM ET USA

    Paul Vitz highlights an overlooked flaw in AL that demands to be addressed.

  • Posted by: FredC - Sep. 29, 2017 6:19 PM ET USA

    Fr. Schall is absolutely correct. The U.S. government has a policy that states that religion cannot be considered in its strategies to combat the enemy. I have argued unsuccessfully with top Pentagon officials about this policy, stating that we are doomed if the policy is not changed.