The Gap Between Papal Rhetoric and Action, By Phil Lawler

Take Not the Name of the Church in Vain, by Randall Smith
December 13, 2022
New Ways, Old Sins, by Aidan O’Connor
December 13, 2022

Then-Bishop Joseph Zen in 2002 (Alfredoko/Wikimedia Commons)

By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Dec 12, 2022

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

Pope Francis has asked world leaders to release prisoners, as a “gesture of clemency,” as we approach the Christmas season. The Pontiff’s appeal was a general one; he did not offer specific suggestions as to the identity of the prisoners who might (in his words) “benefit from such a provision.”

May I?

In an appeal to the government of China, the Pope might ask for the release of:

  • Jimmy Lai, the ardent Catholic convert and democracy activist, who has just been sentenced to five years in prison on a transparently phony charge, and faces still stiffer punishment on pending charges that he conspired against the state. Lai—who voluntarily remained in Hong Kong, knowing that he would likely spend the rest of his life in prison—could be exiled; the Western world would welcome him as a hero. …

Continue reading >>>>