NRO: The Church’s Crises of the Faith, and Mine

Nothing has changed, they tell us.

But something has changed. Pope Francis, by hand-selecting these six men to issue an unprecedented public report on a discussion in mid-process, is sending a strong if indirect signal about how Catholics and our institutions should respond, practically, to the triumph of the sexual revolution, including its latest phase, gay marriage. The synod report, if adopted by the bishops, will change Catholic witness and teaching either on marriage, or on the Eucharist, or both.

{…}Look, I am a nobody in the broader scheme of things, and I do not relate my personal troubles as if they should be of interest to anyone else, except insofar as they may inform the fathers of my Church what, pastorally, they are doing now in Rome.

The priests who martyred themselves rather than permit powerful men to remake marriage need a public apology and possibly restitution. “We should replace the feast day of St. Thomas More with the feast of St. Henry the VIII,” one wag told me privately. After all, a desire for a child is one of the very good authentic “family values” he displayed.

The faith of millions will be put at risk, and among those millions are the ones who are sustaining the Church, as even Crux noticed. (Crux urges Pope Francis to make some kind of generous gesture to the orthodox Catholic community, as if we are children seeking a pat on the head instead of those whose steadfast faith rests in the belief the Church stands for the unbroken teachings of Christ.)

I hope Cardinal Kasper is wrong. I hope he is delusional, so that I need not fear for my church or his faith, or mine.

But the combined public comments of Cardinals Burke and Kasper make the “nothing has changed, no worries” position of Catholic commenters untenable and disconnected from the truth very publicly now on display.

There is a crisis of faith taking place in public, in real time, in Rome.

When the final synod report comes out over the weekend, we will have a first glimpse of how serious and sustained that crisis is.

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