Having a Difference of Opinion versus Breaking with the Pope

Ed Condon is a Catholic who's learned opinion I really value and often quote him on my blog. On September 14th he tweeted this:
I didn't get it. He does sometimes write subliminal Tweets, like this one:
Which was clearly a response to Twitter going mad about Fr James Martin's latest trollage:
But this 14th September Tweet seemed to attack people who have expressed concern with Pope Francis. I appear not to be the only one a little bemused, quite a few people asked him what he meant, but he refused to elucidate further. Dr Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the LMS, seems to be really quite annoyed by this and it has prompted him to address it in this excellent and valuable article on Lifesite.

Dr Shaw states:
..our generation has been plunged into a crisis as bad as any the Church has experienced. That in a situation in which the most learned, morally serious, and devout Catholic intellectuals and commentators are (sometimes eloquently) at a loss for words, when we see around us ongoing, and simultaneously, a crisis of demonic sexual depravity and the most profound doctrinal chaos, with doses of financial corruption, infighting, and political influence over the Church, thrown in for good measure: in such a situation, is it just possible that those who disagree with our own nuanced assessment of what we should and should not say from day to day, might be allowed a little slack? And that perhaps they are motivated, not by Protestantism, but by its opposite: a concern for the unity of the visibly manifested Mystical Body of Christ, in which Protestants do not believe, which is being torn into shreds and trampled into the mire before our eyes?
It is not at moments of crisis that we see anyone at his best. Perhaps I am being unfair to focus on Edward Condon, who has striven to serve the Church in his work as a canonist and in his writing, but my charity towards him needs to be extended more widely, and by him and by everyone. This is not the moment to condemn our brothers and sisters as ‘at best, Protestant’ for going farther than, right now, we think is justified. We need, if we can, to reassure them that their, in our view, exaggerated criticisms or conclusions are not necessary — just as we ourselves long to be convincingly reassured that things are not as bad as we ourselves have judged them to be.



  1. Indeed Dr. Shaw has articulated the situation quite nicely. As far as 'challenging' Francis for his 'missteps' and breaking with him, I do believe once we are required to worship and confess our 'sins' to plants and vegetation, as is actually beginning to take place in certain quarters...….I for one am OUTIE!


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