If you’ve been following the news on this fall’s upcoming Amazon synod, you know that Catholics are worried. And this tidbit from an NC Register report justifies the angst:
The source close to the Church in Germany said the upcoming synod is “not about rethinking things” as some have wished to portray it, but largely German theologians “activating old material.” The organizers, he said, “are getting old folders out of the cupboard and trying to implement the 1970s thinking within them.”
A couple of things related to this piece of news. First, any journalist covering Pope Francis who is surprised by the idea that a Francis synod would be introducing themes from the1970s hasn’t been doing his job. Life Site News did an excellent piece showing Francis’ praise for twentieth century theologian Bernard Häring. The problem with that praise is that Haring’s ideas were condemned in Veritatis Splendor. But in Amoris Laetitia, those very same heresies are presented as orthodox Catholic teaching.
Which leads to the second important point. The pope’s fondness for heresy is not a rare occurrence. Rather, it has been a key structural feature of the Francis pontificate from the very beginning, as I showed in my new book, Confronting the Pope of Suspicion. Toward the end of my book, I identify several key concepts in Amoris Laetitia that are traceable to the heretical theologies of the late twentieth century. And one of those is cultural relativism. In my new book, I showed how cultural relativism was used by a condemned theology textbook to undermine the Bible’s sexual morality. And I also showed how a key line from Amoris Laetitia may have been plagiarized from that very book, thus indicating that the condemned book may have influenced the ideas in AL. The theory that the condemned textbook may have served as a blueprint for Amoris is further supported by the fact that we find cultural relativism in Amoris Laetitia too. In AL 3, Francis recommends cultural relativism in place of the magisterium for “discussions of doctrinal, moral, or pastoral issues.” This is a clear contradiction of Veritatis Splendor 64, which upholds the Church’s teaching that the magisterium is always necessary for proper conscience formation. Look for this heresy to play a central role in the Amazon synod.
In my book, I identified five distinct heresies from late twentieth century theology that found their way into Amoris Laetitia. Here they are:
Biblical Moral Norms Are Ideals Or Guidelines. They Are Not Absolute.
Universal Inclusion. This means that people in mortal sin should not be denied full sacramental participation.
The Role of Psychology. This was used to justify homosexuality, masturbation, and other sexual sins.
Let me emphasize that my book does not claim that Amoris Laetitia clearly or explicitly commits all of these heresies. But Amoris most certainly does flirt with all five. And in the case of number 2, above, Amoris actually does commit heresy. In paragraph 304, Amoris Laetitia explicitly denies the existence of absolute moral norms.
People more qualified than I have brought such sad realities to the attention of Catholic journalists, but, regrettably, the issue is not receiving a fair hearing in the press. It is a safe bet that if the Catholic press does not act with greater urgency on the current doctrinal crisis, then Francis will take that as a green light to do greater harm to Church teaching at the Amazon synod. Insiders are already predicting that the Church will be changed forever. May God have mercy on us—and on Pope Francis.
Take a look at some 5-star reviews of my new book:
Connects the dots between Amoris Laetitia, Carl Rogers, theological dissent and sexual chaos in the Church. A short but profound read. ~~Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Author of The Sexual State
John Gravino presents here a sober, thoroughly documented and powerfully argued case that the sexual abuse of children became an epidemic among Catholic clergy because relativistic psychology replaced Biblical morality in the training of priests. ~~John Zmirak, Author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism