Quick Hits: reading the Pope’s intentions; censored PP video; packing College of Cardinals

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 26, 2017

  • At Crux, John Allen has a profile of Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, the new president of the Italian bishops’ conference. That’s interesting enough in itself, but Allen adds a good deal of spice by explaining how, on his visit to Genoa this weekend, Pope Francis “may accent the impression in some quarters that Francis is trying to ‘roll back’ the legacy of his predecessors.” Look for the clue near the end of Allen’s column; it makes sense.

  • Despite a gag order, David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progess have released a new video of Planned Parenthood partners callously discussing their grisly business of selling fetal body parts. When Live Action posted the video online, YouTube took it down, citing a violation of its policies. Although no graphic images are included, the video certainly does contain some graphic, revolting language. It’s in bad taste, apparently, to describe what Planned Parenthood does. The people who dismember unborn babies for profit are respectable; those who describe the butchery are the ones who violate community standards.

  • Only rarely do I agree with Father Thomas Reese, but his column for the National Catholic Reporter, on how Pope Francis is packing the College of Cardinals, is both informative (with lots of background about the College) and sensible. The Pope is promoting prelates who share his outlook, rather than representatives of the largest archdioceses in the universal Church. Father Reese shares the Pope’s outlook, but has reservations about the prudence of this approach:

    Progressive Catholics are undoubtedly cheering the pope on as he chooses new cardinals, while conservatives are gnashing their teeth. I must remind my progressive friends that every change has unintended consequences. If by chance, a conservative pope regained the papacy, he could do the same things Francis is doing now.

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: Randal Mandock - May. 28, 2017 10:18 AM ET USA

    The strongest legacy that distinguishes Pope Francis from his predecessors is his predecessors' embrace of absolute morality and absolute truth. You will find no shades of gray in their moral instruction, no condemnation of rigid adherence to the moral truths the Church has lived by always and everywhere. To reject moral truth is to reject absolute truth. To reject absolute truth is to relegate Catholicism to a "denomination" that changes doctrines with the times. Reject truth = reject Christ.

  • Posted by: feedback - May. 28, 2017 12:53 AM ET USA

    About Fr. Reese: public Revelation ended with the death of St. John the Apostle, and the Church is the guardian and the herald of that Revelation. This makes the Church "conservative" by nature, with no one in the Church endowed with authority to tweak the Revelation. Unlike politics, authentic Catholic Faith leaves no room for any kind of "progressivism" towards "new and better" Revelation. And, unlike in politics, in the Church it is possible to "progress" so far as to become a heretic.