Palm is a thoughtful convert to the Catholic Faith from an Evangelical background, who is widely published in such Catholic apologetics venues as This Rock, The Catholic World Report, and Coming Home Network Journal. In this article Palm gently but firmly overcomes his own resistance to face the fact of confusion emanating from the hierarchy of the Church itself. Examining positions that the Vatican has taken on such matters as the death penalty, the question of universalism (whether all are saved), honoring heretics, praying with pagans, and rewarding liturgical abuse, Palm draws some painful conclusions:
Truly, these are confusing times in the Catholic Church. I have tried to clarify that the source of at least some of this confusion is found in a place that many orthodox Catholics have been unwilling to examine. Until relatively recently, I shared this resistance. I expect there will be those who proclaim that this is all just "Pope bashing." It is not. Any annoyance with what I've written should at least be tempered by a realistic evaluation of the concrete examples that have been presented (and, unfortunately, a great many more could be).I would very much like to see our good friends at The Lidless Eye Inquisition and other related weblogs devoted to responding to "traditionalist" concerns take up the issues raised by Palm in a spirit of fraternal concern. While I personally have little doubt that nearly every dubium raised by Palm could be met with some plausible justification or rationale-- from the Pope's willingness to pray with pagans at Assisi to the introduction of female altar servers-- I nevertheless share Palm's profound concern that (1) clarity is being lost, (2) without clarity there can be no conviction, (3) without conviction there can be no vision, and (4) without a vision, people perish.