Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith

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Encore episode: Is Pope’s softer language fertile soil for growth?

In light of Pope Francis’ recent comments about Christians’ needing to apologize to gays, we repeat the April 2016 episode in which three progressive Catholic leaders comment on Francis’ document on the family Amoris Laetitia.

Click below to hear the audio:


Francis DeBernardo

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which serves LGBT Catholics, says Pope Francis’ ambiguous language in his document on the family, Amoris Laetitia (the Joy of Love), indicates he’s restless with a clarity that’s deadening. Francis “doesn’t want clarity; he wants a mess.”


Deb Rose-MilavecDeb Rose-Milavec, executive director of FutureChurch, says the document is a “light years” leap ahead and yet — especially in its insistence on male and female “complementarity,” effectively their being separate but equal — still falls far short of what the Catholic Church needs to do to bring young people into the fold.

MiriamMiriam Duignan, spokesman for Women’s Ordination Worldwide, says Francis “has changed the tone of how women are spoken about” and that his legacy will be the decentralization of church power and the application of common sense.



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Stage and screen episode: some rebel, some convert

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Our LadiesMary Lou AleskieMary Lou Aleskie, executive director of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, talks about Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, running at Yale Repertory Theater in New Haven through Sat., June 25.


OasisMary Claire KendallAuthor Mary Claire Kendall talks about her book Oasis: Conversion Stories of Hollywood Legends.

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The log in Pope Francis’ eye

Jubilee banner

Click below to hear the episode:


The Jubilee for Women Priests, an event hosted by Women’s Ordination Worldwide in Rome last week, was strategically timed to coincide with the Vatican’s Jubilee for Priests. With panels, a citywide poster exhibit, a cocktail hour with drinks named for some of Pope Francis’ less fortunate statements about women’s place in the church, and attendees’ prayerful presence in St. Peter’s Square for the closing Mass, the event brought together feminist thinkers to consider the complex (hopeless?) situation Catholic women find themselves in under Francis’s pontificate, that while no substantive change seems forthcoming, at least there’s more openness to discussion.

In today’s episode, we hear from Father Tony Flannery, a Redemptorist priest who’s been forbidden to serve in priestly ministry until he recants his support for women’s ordination.

Among his comments:

  • “Unless the church fully embraces the full equality of women, it will cease to exist as anything important in the world.”
  • “In Ireland, the priesthood as we know it is particularly dead.”
  • “The collapse of the system has to get much more advanced…for the new model of ministry based on equality” to come about.

At the round table discussion in which he participated, he says one theologian expressed the wish “that Francis wouldn’t say anything about women anymore, that this is really a blind spot with him.”

Also featured in today’s episode is Women’s Ordination Worldwide spokeswoman Miriam Duignan and National Catholic Reporter columnist Jamie Manson. Both agree that the issue of women’s ordination is crucial to the future of Catholicism.

Here is a link to NCR’s coverage of the Jubilee for Women Priests:

And a link to Jamie Manson’s Grace on the Margins column, “It’s Time to be Honest about Pope Francis and Women”:

Plus, some pictures from the Jubilee for Women Priests:


A pop-up phone booth  God calling II

strawberries on the cake - WOW cocktailStrawberries on the Cake — a special cocktail named for Pope Francis’ reference to women theologians