Religion

‘To Change the Church’ with Ross Douthat

Pope Francis during a pastoral visit in Genoa, Italy, May 27, 2017. (Giorgio Perottino/Reuters)

Recorded on February 27, 2018

What do Catholics think of Pope Francis’s changes to the Catholic Church? Ross Douthat explores that question in his new book, To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism. Douthat joins me on Uncommon Knowledge to discuss his new book, his thoughts and critiques of Pope Francis, and the changing conception of divorce under Pope Francis’s ambiguous teachings.

We spend a large portion of the episode discussing the Catholic teachings surrounding marriage, divorce, and communion. We examine the history of Catholicism and divorce, going back so far as to understand the lessons of the New Testament on divorce and how those lessons were radically conservative for the time. We talk about how problematic the terms “conservative” and “liberal” are when used in the context of the Church as the political leanings do not necessarily correlate with moral leanings of religion. We go on to discuss the future of the Catholic church under Pope Francis and how the Bishops can handle all of the changes.

About the Guest

Ross Douthat is an author and New York Times Op-Ed columnist. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 2002. He is the author of several books including, Privilege, Grand New Party, Bad Religion, and most recently, To Change the Church.

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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