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Recently I heard of an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist who, during visits to a nursing home, was offering the Holy Sacrament to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. She claimed that Jesus loves and welcomes everyone, and offering the Eucharist to any and all is an extension of that love. When some friends disagreed with her, she presented an article from a Catholic publication that cited various comments from Pope Francis to support her position. Though I did not see the article in question, I’m inclined to think it deprives various pontifical statements of their immediate contexts, and presents an interpretation of our Holy Father beyond his actual words. Whatever the specifics of the pope’s statement, many a Catholic—even those eager to interpret Francis as charitably as possible—have, since 2013, often scratched their heads trying to decipher what, exactly, the Holy Father means.
Dr. Eduardo Echeverria, professor of philosophy and systematic theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, is one of those Catholics. In 2015 Echeverria published a book entitled Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II, which offered a careful, scholarly evaluation and defense of our Holy Father in light of some of Francis’s earliest pontifical controversies (e.g. the infamous “Who am I to judge?” comment). Echeverria, four years later, has revised and expanded this text into a second edition that dramatically alters his thesis regarding Francis. This is an arresting development. Echeverria explains: “I have now come to accept that Francis has contributed to the current crisis in the Church—doctrinal, moral, and ecclesial—due to the lack of clarity, ambiguity of his words and actions, one-sidedness in formulating issues, and a tendency for demeaning Christian doctrine and the moral law.”
Echeverria - Offers - Analysis - Francis - Bewildering
Echeverria offers detailed analysis of Francis’s most famous bewildering utterances. These include his criticism of those adhering to “hostile...
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