Oh em gee*! Francis is going to change Church teaching!

* the “gee”, of course, stands for “gosh”

No he is not. But maybe I got your attention. And maybe some other news outlets have also gotten your attention today, along similar lines.

It is being reported breathlessly (I am not even going to link to the offending sites) that a questionnaire has been sent to all Bishops in advance of the next big meeting of Bishops in the Vatican (i.e., the “Synod of Bishops”, later next year). Among the questions asked, there are those that concern the status of divorced and remarried people and their reception of the sacraments. It also talks about gay unions and other hot topics.

The short version: a lot of people are reaaaalllllllly hoping that the Pope, with the support of the Bishops, is going to throw out 2,000 years of Church teaching and suddenly discover moral loopholes on these and other questions!

Rorate Cæli has a good post up on this: bottom line, it is nothing new. Before the last Synod (under Pope Benedict) questions were sent out also. This is normal, standard operating procedure. Really, all of this is not news.

Except that, as I have mentioned a few times now, there are those who want to frame this pontificate in a certain way: they want Pope Francis to be the anti-Benedict, the one who is going to change everything, the one who is going to move the Catholic Church beyond… Catholicism.

Such people are in some sort of weird wonderland. But they are having a field day.


Be extremely careful about any and all Church reporting done by the secular news media. Think critically about it and seek to find the sources. Find reliable web sites and publications with reporters who understand the Church and her teaching and try to have their reporting reflect that, and aren’t merely trying to advance their pet projects and agendas.

Most of all: pray daily for the gift of faith!

* * *

References: The Narrative, Media Reaction to Pope’s Interview, Where Pope Francis Lives

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