The circus comes to town

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 22, 2017

There was a circus performance at the Pope’s audience today.

No, really. It’s true.

There was a juggler so skillful that he could balance six different interpretations of Amoris Laetitia. And a contortionist who could reconcile the German bishops’ interpretation with constant Church teaching.

Okay, that last part isn’t true.

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 See full bio.

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  • Posted by: steve.grist2587 - Feb. 23, 2017 5:49 AM ET USA

    Through the centuries, one of the great beauties of our Church has been clarity of thought. Clarity is beautiful, in part, because it is a great kindness, especially in a world that embraces confusion. After so many perplexing remarks and pronouncements, it appears our Church also values confusion. Accordingly, a great call to prayer for our Pope is appropriate and necessary. (We were spoiled because Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict both spoke with great clarity).

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 22, 2017 7:08 PM ET USA

    In a three-card Monte trick, no one can spot the right card except for the few insiders. Church documents must be clear as daylight to everyone.