The Problem with Secret Information about Pope Francis and the US Catholic bishops – CHS 67


A recent trend has emerged among certain lay Catholics with substantial online internet followings. In their social media feeds and various media productions, they are making various claims about Pope Francis and US Catholic bishops on the authority of their unnamed “sources.” From claiming that Pope Francis, according to their sources, will resign in the year 2019 to claiming that US Catholic bishops are doing absolutely nothing to address the moral scandals within the clergy, these Catholic lay leaders are making numerous assertions about what is happening in the Catholic Church and what will happen on the authority of anonymous sources. In this episode, I liken this recent phenomenon to the Gnostic claims of the first three centuries, which in various ways asserted unverifiable insider knowledge about Christianity, the fundamental ignorance of Catholic bishops and the unassailable veracity of Gnostic claims. Join us this week as we look at the striking parallels between the rhetorical strategies deployed by these Catholic lay leaders and the Gnostics of the first three centuries.


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