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Catholics have always understood that the Church teaches eternal verities. It goes like this: Jesus Christ was, and is, God; he founded the Church on Peter the rock (Matt 16:18): and gave the Church the gift of infallibility, the protection against error on matters of faith and morals.
Throughout the first 265 popes, there has been development and “change” in the sense of accidental or external change, but the papacy of Pope Francis seems to be very different. The changes appear to be more substantial than accidental: the controversial inclusion of “climate change” in the encyclical Laudato ‘Si in 2015; the confusion contained in section 8 and footnotes of Amoris Laetitia, the Apostolic Exhortation of 2016; the controversial inclusion of “climate change” as though it were settled science in the encyclical Laudato ‘Si i 2015; and scandal after scandal, like the Vatican Bank financial battles, the Chile bishops’ fiasco, and the revelations of the letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò—about which Pope Francis refuses to comment.
New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat sat down to talk about all the above. His new book is titled, To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism.
How has this pontificate affected your daily life, if at all?
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