Some followers of New Walden are already aware that I am about to publish Confronting the Pope of Suspicion in an expanded paperback edition. The new edition contains a 5,000 word postscript that explains why I believe this “Year of Reflection on Amoris Laetitia” is so dangerous for the Church: It is the vehicle for a Great Catholic Reset that is, in truth, a suppression of the Apostolic Faith at the hands of the pope and the hierarchy. It is a mass apostasy. Those who fear that the worst case scenario of the heretical German Synod will be schism are fooling themselves. We are about to see that schism is not nearly as bad as some even darker possibilities. For schism implies that the true Church will actually survive. But the rise of an intolerant and anti-Christian leftism points to something darker—to a communist-style state suppression of the true Church, which, in its beginning stages, manifests itself in unfavorable litigation and legislation. Thus, the immediate future of the Church is Masterpiece Cakeshop and Memories Pizza. What comes later is too horrible to contemplate. I connect all the dots for you in the postscript to the soon-to-be-published expanded paperback edition of Confronting the Pope of Suspicion.
Available for a limited time here at NW is a sneak peek at the postscript, published in three parts. Below is part 1.
Excerpt, Part I
Since Pope Francis declared 2021 to be a year of reflection on Amoris Laetitia, I have decided to release Confronting the Pope of Suspicion (CPS) in a new paperback edition to facilitate this effort. And I have added this postscript in order to comment on the important events that have transpired since CPS was published in the spring of 2019. My first comment pertains to this year of “reflection.” It is nothing of the sort. Pope Francis isn’t calling for a year of objective analysis of his book. He is calling for a year of promotion and praise for Amoris Laetitia. He is calling for a year of implementation. What a disaster for the Church and for souls.
This year of “reflection” kicks off on March 19th, so expect to find programs and retreats dedicated to praising the worst papal publication in the history of the Church. And that’s not hyperbole. As I stated in my book Confronting the Pope of Suspicion: “Francis and his circle of allies were . . . introduc[ing] doctrinal change on the subject of homosexuality.”1
The “December Massacre”
That headline was too hot to print when my book was first published in May of 2019.2 But just seven months later, in December, this “controversial” claim was vindicated in spades. I’ve called it the “December Massacre.” First, the German bishops announced the convening of a synod to reevaluate the Church’s teaching on sexual morality from a more “scientific” perspective.3 And what this new “scientific” perspective presumably demonstrated is that homosexuality is a natural expression of human sexuality—a direct assault on the Gospel and two-thousand years of teaching.4 What was the justification for such a dramatic reversal of Scriptural teaching according to the German bishops? Amoris Laetitia.5 Did the Vatican issue a response? In a manner of speaking. They agreed with the Germans. Only days after the German press release, the Vatican announced the publication of a new book that argued that the Bible was not qualified to teach on certain contemporary moral issues.6 What was one of those
issues? Homosexuality. According to excerpts of the Vatican text, we need “science” to help us understand today’s moral controversies. Understand how radical this is. Within days of each other, the German bishops and the Vatican issued separate statements which agree on the same heretical proposition, namely, that the Bible—the Word of God—no longer has the authority to give us moral commandments, especially in the area of sexuality, and, more
specifically, homosexuality. Did the pope have anything to say? Yes he did. In his Christmas address to the Curia—which also took place in December, 2019—he said that the Church was two- hundred years behind the times and that the Church needed—guess what— to catch up? “SCIENCE.”7
Complete Vindication for Confronting the Pope of Suspicion
In Confronting the Pope of Suspicion, I showed how Amoris Laetitia elevated science while denigrating Scripture and Tradition, just as the Germans are doing today. If anyone doubted that argument in my book, those doubts should have been put to rest by the events of the December Massacre: Instead of condemning the Germans and their interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, Francis agreed with them. Thus, the December Massacre completely vindicated my book.
Confronting the Mass Apostasy in the Church
The December Massacre refutes the naïve theory, bandied about in some prominent journals, that the Germans were acting unilaterally.8 My book showed that these ideas were not unique to the Germans at all. They were decades old and international in scope. The entire Jesuit order worldwide was infected by it. In the United States, these ideas were aggressively promoted through such institutions as the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Catholic University of America. Today, the German bishops themselves argue that their heretical ideas come from Amoris Laetitia. My book showed that the German bishops are right about that. And today, the American Jesuit Fr. James Martin has been quite active promoting the very same message. Thus the conclusion is painful but obvious. This most certainly is not just some crazy German thing as some influential people have tried to characterize it. It’s is a global heresy inside the Church aptly summed up for us by another American, Sr. Jeannine Gramick of the pro-LGBT organization New Ways Ministry. Here’s what she wrote in the Washington Post before Amoris Laetitia was ever written:
Catholic thinking dictates that we should use the evidence we find in the natural world to help us reach our conclusions. Many Catholics have reflected on the scientific evidence that homosexuality is a natural variant in human sexuality, and understand that lesbian and gay love is as natural as heterosexual love.9
As I warned in Confronting the Pope of Suspicion (CPS), the heresy is so old now that its ideas were being taught when the present generation of bishops and cardinals were in seminary. Pope Francis himself, now in his eighties, was ordained in 1969 when these heresies were already in full swing. So we should not be surprised to discover that a great number of priests actually support the Amoris heresy. We should not be confused or incredulous when someone like Fr. James Martin can honestly state that he has the support of many bishops. If you are familiar with the intellectual history of the contemporary Church, which I outlined in Confronting the Pope of Suspicion, it’s easy to understand how the Church came to this tragic place. For decades now, the Church of the Apostolic Creed has been undermined and, ultimately, usurped by a false and illegitimate church of “science” (pseudoscience really). In short, what we have is a mass apostasy in the hierarchy of the Church. And it is being led by the current occupant of the Chair of Peter.
Whom to turn to for leadership? That is the essential question. For the American Church, let me offer a partial answer in the negative. It is not Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles.
Confronting Robert Barron—Bishop of Suspicion
Barron was a keynote speaker at the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin, a Vatican sponsored Amoris Laetitia conference. Despite Barron’s constant evasions, his presentation at the conference hit every major talking point of the sexual liberation heresy. At midway through his talk, he repeated the German heresy found in chapter seven of Amoris Laetitia that sexual morality needs to be informed by science.10 Nowhere in Barron’s talk did he defend the actual teaching of the Church that our sexual morality comes, not from “science,” but from the Bible. Like the heretics, Barron described the Bible’s sexual morality as an “ideal” that not everyone can be expected to live up to.11 This is a direct contradiction of the teaching of Church and Scripture which asserts that sexual morality is not a high ideal but rather a minimum standard for salvation, for a state of grace, and for access to the sacrament of Holy Communion.12
Gay Inclusion Based on Mercy? Or Equality?
But the centerpiece of sexual liberation theology was inclusion, which Bishop Barron also defended in his talk. It is a heresy which rejected the Bible’s minimum standards for a state of grace and access to Holy Communion. Because science supposedly demonstrated homosexuality to be normal, and the sexual prohibitions in the Bible invalid, there was no good reason to exclude persons who did not conform to Biblical sexual norms. If homosexuality is just as natural and healthy as heterosexuality, then, on what basis could one justify excluding gays from Holy Communion? As I described in CPS, a principal goal of the sexual liberationist was to bring gays into full communion and participation in the Church. And that full communion included reception of the Eucharist.13 According to seventies radicals, gay inclusion was the logical consequence of gay equality which science was credited with establishing. As radical as that conclusion may seem, really it was the only reasonable conclusion to draw once one accepted the erroneous premise that science made gay okay.14
In his defense of inclusion, Barron was following paragraph 305 of Amoris Laetitia. It was there that Pope Francis recommended inclusion for persons who do not conform to the Church’s sexual teachings. In a now notorious footnote, number 351, Pope Francis suggested that those living in irregular sexual situations should be allowed to receive Holy Communion. Somehow, this note was translated narrowly to mean that he was permitting the sacraments to couples living in adulterous relationships. Indeed he was. But he was doing so much more than that. He was also opening the sacraments to unrepentant homosexuals.15 Anyone familiar with the sexual liberation heresy should have recognized it immediately in the pages of Amoris Laetitia. And in that context, note 351 was not shocking at all. It was inevitable.
The trick of course was in trying to sell this heresy to a laity that was too smart and too well schooled in the faith, much of the credit for that belonging to the heroic evangelization efforts of Mother Angelica and EWTN. This was Barron’s assignment—to sell these heresies to the orthodox and faithful Mother Angelica crowd. And a Herculean task it was. The key to success would be in presenting a diluted version of gay inclusion. Amoris Laetitia was helpful in this regard. For it offered, not one, but two distinct arguments for gay inclusion: the real argument, which I just described, which asserts gay equality based on “science;” and a fake, watered-down version that was to be used for public relations purposes.
Both Francis and Barron prefer to emphasize the fake version. This version of gay inclusion treads lightly on the subject of full participation in the sacraments; hence the relegation of the suggestion to a footnote (351) in Amoris Laetitia. But it avoids altogether the incendiary assertions concerning science and gay equality which amount to full blown doctrinal heresy. Instead it emphasizes mercy and compassion: We ought to support gay inclusion at our parishes because it’s the nice thing to do—kinder, and more compassionate. It’s what Jesus would do. Then we are assured falsely that none of this amounts to any change in doctrine, but is only a pastoral shift toward a more compassionate and Christian inclusiveness.16 The problem with this narrative is that it’s a big lie. And Mundelein Seminary exposes that lie.