Here Comes the CTSA Conference!

If you plan to attend The 73rd Annual Convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America in Indianapolis next week, be sure to look us up. We’ll be showcasing our latest— and our most influential— books that we’ve published in the last five years.

Romero & Grande coverWe do believe that Grace is at Work in the World, and attempt to show this in the titles that we publish. Whether exploring the grace of recent saints—St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) and (soon-to-be Saint) Blessed Oscar Romero—or the impact of Pope Francis, or topical themes of Evangelization or the Creed or Eternal Life, we bring the best of Christianity and Catholicism to parishioners, students, and scholars.

We salute Sr. Ana María Pineda, Oscar Romero scholar and Lectio author, on her recent election to co-lead the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, West Midwest Community. You won’t want to miss hearing Ana María as a panelist discussing the Theological Witness of Oscar Romero on Friday (June 8) 2:30 in the Lincoln Room.

Stop by our book table to say hello!

Does Pope Francis Really Approve of Homosexuality?

Pope FrancisIn May 2018 news headlines around the world went something like this: Pope Francis tells gay man ‘God made you like this and sexuality does not matter.’ The Pope’s comments were immediately embraced by the LGBT community and downplayed by the Vatican which neither confirmed nor denied the remarks because the Vatican policy is not to comment on the pope’s private conversations. Yet the media raged on and confusion was the word of the day.

We were reminded that Dr. Robert Royal wrote the Foreword to Eduardo Echeverria’s book Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II, published by us almost exactly 3 years earlier in March, 2015. It bears repeating today. Here’s Dr. Royal’s opening paragraph…

“Of the making of books there is no end, as was already evident millennia ago and is even more so today. Given the sheer tidal wave of texts of all sorts amid which we live today, most current books need to offer some justification—if not an outright apology—for why they were written. This very valuable volume is not one of them. Shortly after the worldwide enthusiasm that met the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy, with the name Pope Francis, there followed what can only be called an equally global confusion about various things that he has said and done. Non-Catholics and even many Catholics believe he is a pope of “rupture,” one about to jettison the demanding Catholic moral tradition, especially on sexual matters. Others see him as a figure of mercy and compassion who is perhaps artless, at times, in his spontaneous, off-the-cuff remarks, but deeply committed to the traditional doctrines. Papa Bergoglio himself has expressed surprise on several occasions that people are confused by what he’s said, done, and written—pointing to what he thinks is a clear record. But people are confused”

The Foreword goes on to point out that Professor Echeverria’s “careful study of the pope’s record and insights” could not be more welcome, and reminds us of the Pope’s own words after his notorious—and misunderstood—remarks: “Who am I to judge?”

“My attitude toward the world should be fundamentally the same as toward my own sins, toward the disordered and sinful roots in myself: keen awareness and aversion! From this attitude alone springs the desire for conversion. [This], in turn, over time, forges in us the faculty that is so solidly Christian: the capacity to judge. The “yes, yes… no, no” [Matt 5:37] that Jesus teaches us implies a spiritual maturity that rescues us from the superficiality of the foolish heart. A Christian needs to know what can be accepted and what must be condemned [1 Thess 5:21-22]. We cannot sit down and “dialogue” with the enemy of our salvation: we need to meet him head on, ready to combat his every intention. [Emphasis added.]”

cover: Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II

Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II

This “essential book” offers a deep glimpse into Francis’s firmness along with his tenderness and is recommended in order to fully understand him.

“Eduardo Echeverria, one of the liveliest and most insightful thinkers practicing the ancient craft of theology in the United States today, sheds new light on the Catholic Church and Pope Francis at this challenging moment in history.” —George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

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Proselytism vs. Evangelization

Dr. Eduardo EcheverriaIn today’s edition of The Catholic Thing, Dr. Eduardo J. Echeverria authors an article on Pope Francis and proselytism. He begins…

In a recent interview arranged by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., the editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, prior to the trip to Sweden for an ecumenical gathering anticipating next year’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Pope Francis expressed something that he has voiced several times during his pontificate: “to proselytize in the ecclesial field is a sin.” He added: “Proselytism is a sinful attitude.”

This is strong language and deserves careful attention, because many think the pope is saying the Catholic Church should no longer evangelize other Christians. That’s a large question that would take extensive treatment. Here, I’m going to limit myself to the “ecclesial field,” in the pope’s phrase, of ecumenical dialogue. Unfortunately, Francis did not define what he means by proselytizing, and did not distinguish it from evangelizing. He simply states that proselytism as such is a sin. But he doesn’t tell us why. Nor does he distinguish between unethical and ethical means of proselytizing. Read the entire article »

Dr. Echeverria has authored for us a scholarly book entitled Pope Francis, The Legacy of Vatican II (256 pages, $29.95). Learn more, download sample ePub, or buy now »

You may also like Fr. Leon Strieder’s recent publication, Evangelization: Building and Rebuilding the Kingdom: Issues of Language, Culture, and Conversion (492 pages, $46.95).
Learn more, download sample ePub, or buy now »

After the Pope’s Final Farewell, First Things

First Things EcheverriaOn Thursday, October 1, after the Pope has bid America farewell, the staff and friends of First Things will enjoy a lecture and book signing with Eduardo J. Echeverria, author of Pope Francis—The Legacy of Vatican II. According to his hosts, among the questions Echeverria will raise are: What is the textual basis in Pope Francis’s pre-papal and papal writings where we discover a theological mind that is grounded in the authoritative faith of the Church? How does Pope Francis stand with respect to the legacy of Vatican II and his illustrious predecessors St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI— two great interpreters of Vatican II?

There’s little doubt that theologians and others who are intrigued by this Pope—but often annoyed at the media’s coverage of His Holiness—will find the lecture a consoling conclusion to the Pope’s U.S. visit. If you happen to be in the New York City area, join the lecture; books are available at the event, on the Internet, or on our book page.

Lectio is is a young, creative publisher of scholarly books for academia and for a spiritually thirsty world. We welcome your inquiries and manuscripts.

Pope Francis Causing a Buzz

The country is abuzz this month with the impending visit of Pope Francis. Timely to say the least, although we certainly believe it to be on the merits of the book—our latest title, Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II by Eduardo Echeverria, was recently featured in two reviews.

Fr. C. John McCloskey, the Opus Dei priest better known as “the convert priest” for having helped a number of high profile people convert to Catholicism, and currently a Research Fellow of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. reviewed the book for The Catholic Thing, Sunday, August 16, 2015. In this article, Fr. McCluskey refers to Pope Francis as “misunderstood” by a secular media “stoked by the Internet” and constantly portraying him as somehow intending to “change the fundamental teaching of the Catholic Church.” He refers to the author, Eduardo Echeverria, as somewhat of a beacon — shedding new light on the Catholic Church and on Pope Francis himself at this particularly challenging time in history and showing that this Holy Father is truly a man of the Second Vatican Council and faithful to its teaching.

And again, as the Pope’s visit to the U.S. draws near and the whole world watches, Mgr. Dr. Gerard de Korte, Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden, from the Catholic Association for Ecumenism refers to Echeverria’s clarity on the pope’s history with Vatican II to argue that some Catholics, troubled that the pope seems to create confusion on ethical issues, may not understand this pope. His article, Pope Francis: rupture or continuity—a Review, is written in Dutch; using your browser’s translation feature this is the English version.