The Mystery of Pope Francis: Was There a Vatican Coup?

Featured image One thing that that has puzzled a lot of people since the selection of Pope Francis two years ago is how a left-leaning Pope could succeed two very serious conservative Popes—John Paul II and Benedict XVI—who you would have thought had stacked the ranks of the Cardinals with clergy that would perpetuate their theological and philosophical outlook. Was Benedict hounded out of office by some kind of internal Vatican scandal »

Carson and the constitution — Andy McCarthy’s take

Featured image Andy McCarthy has weighed in on Ben Carson statement that Islam is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution and that therefore he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” Like me, McCarthy disagrees with Charles Krauthammer’s view that Dr. Carson’s statement is inconsistent with the Constitution. Krauthammer’s position is based on the idea that the Constitution isn’t just a legal document, it is a “didactic »

Carson and the constitution

Featured image Ben Carson is under attack from both liberals and conservatives for saying “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation; I absolutely would not agree with that.” Dr. Carson’s comment deserves to be criticized. It is too sweeping. Carson recognized as much. That’s why he later said that what he disagrees with is voting for candidates (of any religion) who want a theocracy. But »

Pope Francis: I Was Told There Would Be No Math! [Updated]

Featured image I had intended to critique Pope Francis’s speech to Congress today, but the speech was so vague and so cautious, with a little something for everyone, that I decided it wasn’t worth the effort. The global warming part, for example, was more or less incomprehensible. I do think this point is worth making, however: the Pope is definitely in favor of taking in migrants. Our world is facing a refugee »

What Is This Pope About?

Featured image With Pope Francis now in Washington promoting, willy-nilly, the agenda of the Democratic Party, time to revisit my Forbes column on “How Is ‘Liberation Theology’ Still a Thing?”  from back in May: Pope Francis has an odd sense of timing. Last week he led the Vatican in embracing climate change orthodoxy just as it is becoming weaker than ever. But the real eyebrow raiser is the upcoming Vatican appearance of »

Pope Francis: non-ideologue in Cuba, leftist in the U.S.

Featured image I’m with John when it comes to Pope Francis: I really don’t like him. After reading this editorial in the Washington Post, I like him even less. The Post’s editors point out that here in the United States, Pope Francis will meet not just with the president and other politicians, but also “with those marginalized by our society: homeless people, immigrants, refugees and even inmates of a jail.” They could »

Obama gives Pope Francis the finger

Featured image President Obama has decided that his invited guests for the arrival of Pope Francis next week will include transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, and a nun who criticizes church policies on abortion and euthanasia. The Vatican has objected. It notes that photos taken with the pope might be used to suggest his endorsement of activities he does not approve. I’m no fan of this pope. Thus, I’m »

Kim Davis released from prison, but may be destined to return

Featured image A federal judge ruled today that Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, may leave jail. However, her release is conditioned on not interfering with the deputies who have been issuing licenses to such couples. Davis’ lawyer says she will not adhere to this condition: Nothing has been resolved. She told the court Thursday that she can’t allow licenses to go out »

Live from Des Moines, it’s Ted Cruz

Featured image Nebraska attorney Dave Begley continues his series of reports for us on the appearances of presidential candidate in Iowa. Here is his report on the appearance of Ted Cruz yesterday, covered here by the Des Moines Register: I could not pass up the chance to see the champion college debater and Supreme Court advocate in action, so I drove to see Ted Cruz in Des Moines at the Rally for »

The Road Ahead for Believers: Not So Gay

Featured image I’ll have a lot more to say in here and in several other venues about the status of religious liberty and religious faith in post-modern and post-Obergefell America.  But for now it is worth recalling the observations of Richard John Neuhaus, from his important 1984 book The Naked Public Square: When the democratically affirmed institutions that generate and transmit values are excluded, the vacuum will be filled by the agent »

Unabomber or Unapapa?

Featured image Anyone remember the good old days when you couldn’t tell the difference between the Unabomber’s manifesto “Industrial Society and Its Future” and Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance? There was even an online quiz you could flunk. (Though to remind everyone once again, both owed more to Heidegger.) Well, it’s time to rerun that drill with Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment. Which is exactly what Colby Cosh does in »

Justice Kennedy’s eyes are wide shut on the gay rights assault on religion

Featured image In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Justice Kennedy acknowledged the dangers of ruling that disparate impact analysis applies to Fair Housing Act cases, and he tried to erect limitations that would avoid these dangers. However, as Justice Alito showed in his dissent, the supposed limitations will not constrain liberal bureaucrats and judges. A parallel exchange can be found in today’s ruling finding a »

Playing the victim game in reverse

Featured image In the aftermath of the Charleston massacre, the left, predictably, is looking for racial slights in developments ancillary to the shootings so it can attribute them to “systemic, pervasive racism.” For example, as I discussed here, it complains that Dylann Roof has not sufficiently been branded a terrorist. Two can play this game, and though we are better advised not to, let me try my hand. In 2011, Jared Lee »

The Pope Steps In It Again

Featured image Pope Francis is rapidly convincing me that he is not just a leftist, but a dope. Speaking to a group of young people in Turin, he departed from his script and launched into a rambling denunciation of, among others, arms manufacturers: “It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to »

The Pope’s Encyclical (1)

Featured image About Laudato Si, the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, some preliminary observations: First, although “encyclical” bears some etymological relation to “encyclopedia,” Laudate Si is either too short to be considered an adequate treatment of the wide range of concrete issues and philosophical themes it treats, or too long because it tries to do too much but does it poorly. It raises specific scientific controversies it would have been better to »


Featured image Dylann Roof reportedly told police that he almost didn’t go through with his massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal because everyone was so nice to him. I can believe it. If there is a warmer, more welcoming place than inside a predominantly African-American church, I haven’t found it. Roof is deeply disturbed, so he ignored what he saw and carried out the massacre. The rest of us need to believe, »

Jesus Christ, Climate Scientist

Featured image So the imminent Vatican encyclical on climate change has leaked out, and it sounds from news accounts as though Pope Francis is going all-in with the climatistas.  (If you read Italian, here it is in a PDF.) We’ll wait for the final draft (what leaked may or may not be the final version) to appear in translation for a full verdict, but for now the news sent me running to »