Quick Hits: Schisms and Fear of Schisms, by Phil Lawler 

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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, July 20, 2021

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org.


Horrified by today’s blockbuster story from Pillar, the ubiquitous Father James Martin, SJ, worries that if Catholic journalists are going to investigate cell-phone usage, we should all be worried. Why? If you could obtain my cell-phone records, you’d find them mighty boring. Why would someone assume that there’s damaging information in anyone’s private records?

But that’s just one quick thought, on a day when I set out to catch up with some of the more interesting commentary from other outlets:

  • These are undeniably contentious times in the Catholic Church. Some people—including critics of the Catholic Culture enterprise—argue that loyal Catholics should not focus on the difficulties within the Church. “We are told to hide our blemishes because bad news doesn’t evangelize,” writes Eric Sammons in Crisis. “However, hiding blemishes isn’t evangelization, it’s marketing.” Sammons asks, rhetorically, why so many people seem to think that the Catholic Church is a house of cards, vulnerable to instant collapse if one supporting piece is removed. A confident Catholic—confident not necessarily in himself, but in the power of the Holy Spirit—should not be fearful of exploring the truth. “The strongest organizations are ones that are anti-fragile,” Sammons reminds us. “The Catholic Church is inherently anti-fragile: she has seen crisis after crisis and has weathered them all.” …

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