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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Luther’s Revenge: The Neo-Catholic Surrender to Protestantism Featured

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Pope and lutheran lady bishPope Francis embraces Lutheran "Archbishop" Antje Jackelén in Lund, Sweden

At every stage in the ecclesial crisis that followed the Second Vatican Council, the Mensheviks of the Neo-Catholic Establishment (NCE) have been there to defend the Bolsheviks of the post-conciliar revolution as they foisted one destructive novelty after another upon the Church.  The NCE has found a way to defend or excuse the New Mass with all its officially approved abuses (including Communion in the hand and John Paul II’s approval of “altar girls”), the New Ecumenism, the New Dialogue, the New Interreligious Dialogue, the New Bishops’ Conferences, the New Collegiality, the New Seminaries, the New Convents, the New Ecclesial Movements, the New Evangelization, the New Synodal Church, and now, with Amoris Laetitia (AL), even the New Catholic Morality, which declares that God does not expect obedience to the negative precepts of the natural law, including the Sixth Commandment, if one feels unable to attain the “objective ideal” given the “concrete complexity of one’s limits” (cf. Amoris Laetitia, ¶ 303). 

In short, the NCE has defended the implantation of Neo-Catholicism itself within the framework of the visible Church: a rapidly mutating infection of the Church by Modernist viruses (e.g., reckless and destructive “reforms” of virtually every aspect of ecclesial life, pseudo-doctrines such as “ecumenism,” “dialogue,” “accompaniment” and “discernment,” and empty, subversive slogans such as “what unites us is greater than what divides us” and “the God of surprises”). The NCE defends with inexhaustible ingenuity and ever more elaborate sophistry the practical triumph of Modernism, which Saint Pius X called “the synthesis of all heresies,” over the Church’s immune system, producing the worst, most far-reaching malaise the Church has ever suffered.

Surrounded by the resulting ecclesial debility, including an incredible “collapse of the liturgy,” to quote Cardinal Ratzinger, and now even a collapse of the Church’s moral edifice in many places thanks to Amoris Laetitia, the NCE still professes to wonder what all the traditionalist fuss is about. And, like wranglers on the range, they now labor to drive what remains of the Catholic herd into the corral of Bergoglianism—the last roundup of the post-conciliar revolution.  With Pope Bergoglio we are witnessing a pleiotropic mutation of Neo-Catholicism that would effectively reduce the human element of the Catholic Church to a Protestant sect headed by a pan-religious, environmentalist guru who happens to reside in Rome, where he announces the latest auguries of the God of Surprises via the Apostolic Press Conference, the Pontifical Homespun Homily, the Palaverous Apostolic Exhortation, and the Ponderous Papal Manifesto on any subject that strikes him as important no matter how little he knows about it, including such burning issues of the day as the level of atmospheric CO2 emissions, the use of air-conditioning and the fate of the mangrove swamps.

Yet, as even certain mainstream commentators now admit that “the current Pope’s leadership has become a danger to the faith,” the NCE as a whole continues to maintain, with maniacal consistency, that nothing is too terribly amiss.  Indeed, if Antichrist himself were to occupy the papal throne and Enoch and Elias were to descend from heaven to oppose him, the NCE would desperately look for a way to defend the words and deeds of Antichrist while denouncing Enoch and Elias as “prophets of doom.” That my hyperbole barely qualifies as hyperbole should indicate the gravity of our situation, the likes of which the Church has absolutely never witnessed before, not even during the Arian crisis, which, after all, involved only a single Christological heresy. 

Consider the always useful example of that NCE flagship organization, Catholic Answers (CA).  CA is deeply embedded in the thoroughly infected Diocese of San Diego, where a “gay-friendly” bishop, Robert McElroy, and his “gay-friendly” auxiliary bishop, John Dolan, are spearheading the emergence of Gay Church in the United States according to the Gospel of Who Am I to Judge. CA cannot, of course, say boo in opposition to the Bergoglian debacle for fear that McElroy would declare, by his episcopal authority, that Catholic Answers can no longer use the word Catholic in its name because it has “wounded ecclesial communion.” So did the Archbishop of Granada declare when removing Josef Siefert from his philosophy chair for stating the obvious about AL’s apocalyptic attempt—already succeeding in places—to introduce situation ethics into Catholic moral theology.

CA has long been a laughably Janus-faced operation: meticulously refuting the many errors of Protestantism out of one mouth, while declaring out of the other that those same errors are of no grave consequence given the advent of “ecumenism” and “ecumenical dialogue,” the utter novelties CA must defend against all criticism in order to protect its brand from the embarrassment of being shown up by traditionalist candor respecting the true state of the Church. Thus do we see CA’s “Senior Apologist” Jimmy Akin gamely defending, in a recent article, the perfectly insane idea that Catholics, led by the Pope himself, should participate in a “commemoration” of the “Reformation” with faux Protestant clerics, including loony lady “priests” and “bishops,” who reject not only foundational Catholic doctrines and dogmas but even the natural law respecting marriage, procreation and sexual morality in general.

I refer the reader to Chris Jackson’s able reply to Akin for the details of Akin’s nonsense.  I will confine myself to a few additional observations:

First, even to refer to the “Reformation” uncritically as such is to undermine the integrity of the Church that CA’s “Senior Apologist” purports to defend against a vast swarm of Protestant errors, which errors emerged precisely and only from that same “Reformation.”  Luther and his progeny reformed nothing but rather deformed everything they touched, setting in motion an ineluctable process of doctrinal and moral decay, both individual and societal, whose early manifestations Luther himself lived long enough to lament (without, of course, assigning his own errors any of the blame).  As Luther complained in the midst of the turmoil his own rebellion had provoked, the charity of once Catholic men, now informed that good works were irrelevant to their salvation, had already grown cold:

I own, and others doubtless do the same, that there is not now such earnestness in the Gospel as formerly under the monks and priests when so many foundations were made, when there was so much building and no one was so poor as not to be able to give. But now there is not a town willing to support a preacher, there is nothing but plundering and thieving among the people and no one can prevent it. Whence comes this shameful plague? (Grisar, Luther, Vol. 6, p.54)

Luther’s query to himself is perhaps the most laughable thing he ever wrote.

Second, Akin, a Protestant convert, seems to have no understanding of the disastrous effects for men and nations of the operation of the false principles animating the Protestant revolt. Luther, the greatest religious demagogue of all time, incited and then led the rebellion that would destroy the unity of the Mystical Body in what was once Christendom, producing vast political as well as religious consequences that could only have been tragic.  In and of itself, Luther’s principle of private judgment unbound by the infallible Magisterium has wreaked not only religious but sociopolitical havoc for half a millennium.

Moreover, Luther’s heretical notions of the total depravity of man, the denial of true inward regeneration by the grace of justification (as opposed to a mere external imputation of righteousness), salvation by fiducial faith alone, and the denial of free will respecting man’s cooperation in grace and his eternal salvation, contributed to the destruction of the Greco-Catholic tradition of the virtues, with ruinous results for both religion and politics. As Hartman Grisar observes in his landmark study of the heresiarch’s life and destructive work, Luther “did away with the olden doctrine of virtue, and without setting up anything positive in its place.”And, by denying any “distinction between natural and supernatural goodness, essential as it is for forming an ethical estimate of man,” Luther “practically destroys both.” (Ibid., Vol. VI, 1071-1072 [Kindle])

Check out Chris's regular column in The Remnant's Print/E-edition. 

Even Luther would be horrified by the moral depravity of the Protestant ministers with whom Akin proposes to “commemorate” the “Reformation.” But these ultimate heretics, and their political counterparts, are indubitably the progeny of the religion Luther invented and unleashed upon the world, whose essentially anti-Catholic dynamic was essential to the emerging practical atheism of the modern state system.  As if to demonstrate its own two-faced approach to the “Reformation,” CA itself observed a day after Pope Bergoglio’s scandalous visit to Lund, Sweden on Halloween 2016 (but without mentioning the visit or the scandal) that “It is no accident that a straight line can be drawn from Protestantism through the Enlightenment to today’s secularism.”

Akin Neo catholicHomo neo catholicus, ca. 2017 A.D.

Third, Akin’s argument that a commemoration of the “Reformation” is not a celebration of it borders on deliberate deception. Akin cites favorably “From Conflict to Communion: The Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.”  This deplorable piece of trash, which portrays the destroyer of Christendom and his fellow “reformers” as laudable Christians who “had no desire to found a new church,” was produced jointly by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, which would more aptly be named the Pontifical Council for the Prevention of Christian Unity. The LWF’s member sects are so doctrinally and morally debased that the more conservative Lutherans want nothing to do with the organization or its feckless “ecumenical dialogue” with the Vatican.  In that document, we read the following:

Lutherans also realize that what they are thanking God for is not a gift that they can claim only for themselves. They want to share this gift with all other Christians. For this reason, they invite all Christians to celebrate with them. As the previous chapter has shown, Catholics and Lutherans have so much of the faith in common that they can—and in fact should—be thankful together, especially on the day of commemoration of the Reformation.

At Lund, Pope Bergoglio accepted precisely LWF’s invitation to celebrate with them the Reformation, with female pretend clergy included in the appalling spectacle.  In addition to participating in a joint “liturgy” with pro-abortion, pro-sodomy Lutheran lay people in clerical costumes, Bergoglio lent the prestige of the papal office to a Joint Declaration which states: “we are profoundly thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation,” followed immediately by the lie that “we also confess and lament before Christ that Lutherans and Catholics have wounded the visible unity of the Church.”  Catholics did not wound the visible unity of the Church by remaining members of it, nor by opposing the heresies of the “Reformers”—which, absurdly enough, CA also claims to be doing at the same time it minimizes the same heresies to the point of irrelevance so that Bergoglio’s antics will seem defensible.

Then again, in one sense it is true that Catholics have “wounded the visible unity of the Church.” From the conciliar Popes on down, they have done so via the folly of an “ecumenical movement” that denies in practice the necessity of holding the Catholic faith in order to be saved and thereby encourages Catholics to become de facto Protestants, picking and choosing the Church teachings to which they will adhere.  For after all, if Protestants are now to be regarded as their “brothers and sisters in Christ,” with all doctrinal and even moral differences to be bracketed as mere subjects for endless “ecumenical dialogue” in favor of what Akin calls a “common witness” amounting to a lowest-common-denominator form of Christianity, why should Catholics feel any compulsion to shoulder the specific burden of adhering to everything the Church teaches that Protestants reject?  

Akin defends Bergoglio’s participation in the travesty at Lund by arguing that he had no alternative.  The Pope could hardly maintain “a frosty silence” during the quincentenary of the “Reformation,” says Akin.  Really? What’s wrong with a little frosty silence?  Nor, Akin maintains, could he have responded to the request for the “joint commemoration” with “firm denials.”  Really? But nothing could be more appropriate than the firm denial of an invitation to cause immense scandal by a Pope “praying in common” with sects that condone not only contraception and divorce but mass murder in the womb and sodomy, not to mention innumerable heresies infallibly anathematized by the Magisterium as threats to the salvation of souls.

Akin scoffs that the Pope could hardly declare that “The Reformation was a horrible tragedy and Martin Luther was an arch-heretic and a historical villain of enormous proportions…” That is, according to Akin, the Pope can no longer proclaim the simple truth the Magisterium did not hesitate to proclaim in excommunicating the worst heresiarch in two millennia and infallibly anathematizing his many errors.  But here Akin should consult the other side of CA’s Janus-faced operation, which, in the article cited above, uttered this truth the day after Bergoglio debased his office and disgraced the Holy Catholic Church at Lund:

There never was a need for the Reformation. There was a need for reform, and the Reformation—despite its name—was not a reform but a revolt. It did not make the Church more of what it should have been. It made the Church into something else by making new churches.

Even within the four corners of the same article, however, CA tries to have it both ways in an effort to defend the Bergoglian scandal without mentioning it: the “Reformation” was bad, writes the unidentified CA staffer, but “to a certain extent remains, a powerful historical force, one that we should keep in memory by commemorating it—but not by celebrating it. The difference is crucial.” The difference, obviously, is meaningless, as Bergoglio himself demonstrated. He went to Lund to keep company with, to praise, to confirm the standing of, and to worship in common with ultra-liberal Lutherans who were there to celebrate Luther’s catastrophic rebellion against the papacy he hated and the Church he wanted to destroy—the same Church these Lutherans have no intention of joining and Bergoglio has no intention of ever asking them to join.

But the Pope, says Akin, just had to go to Lund because he had “to find a way to encourage Christian unity.” And how did Bergoglio “encourage Christian unity” by confirming the utter disunity of heretical and morally decrepit Lutheran sects that even more conservative Protestants view with horror and with which they rightly refuse any relations? What Akin really means is that, for the sake of the worse-than-useless “ecumenical venture,” Bergoglio had to promote the false appearance of unity with ecclesial lunatics with whom no real unity is possible, given the covens of heresy and immorality they refuse to abandon. In fact, the false appearance of unity where none exists is the very essence of “ecumenism,” which programmatically ignores the truth upon which Pope Pius XI insisted in forbidding any Catholic participation in the nascent “ecumenical movement” that was itself yet another Protestant error: “the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.”

Just whom does Akin think he is kidding?  The “Senior Apologist” defends with one voice the very Faith he undermines with the other voice of CA’s Janus-headed configuration as a neo-Catholic enterprise whose survival depends, first and foremost, on the defense of novelty rather than integral Catholic tradition. And so it goes with every other element of the NCE’s defense of the indefensible.

Fourth and finally, Akin declares that a “joint commemoration” of the “Reformation” is good and praiseworthy because it involves “our joint profession of the Christian Faith” and the invocation of “our common Christian patrimony.”  If it is possible to profess “the Christian Faith” together with radically liberal Protestants who reject even the precepts of the natural law, not to mention numerous propositions of divine and Catholic faith, then what remains of “the Christian faith” after “ecumenism” is done watering it down? And what urgent need has anyone for “Catholic Answers” to questions about the “Christian faith” we now supposedly “commonly profess” with people who reject the most basic teachings of the Gospel? “Catholic ecumenism” has long since revealed itself to be what it was meant to be from the moment the Protestant sects initiated the “ecumenical movement” Pius XI condemned: a vehicle for the Catholic Church’s validation of liberal Protestantism and thus for the practical dissolution of Catholicism itself.

If any further proof were needed, Akin’s attempt to defend the insane Catholic “commemoration” of the “Reformation” provides it. Despite the bare validity of sacraments and the good faith and piety of Catholics who have never known or have no access to anything outside the Novus Ordo, neo-Catholicism is, objectively speaking, a corruption of the Faith that would not be recognized as Catholic by any Pope before the Second Vatican Council, not excluding John XXIII. The neo-Catholic polemic seeks always to conceal the reality that Monsignor Klaus Gamber, with the future Benedict XVI’s approval, recognized some 25 years ago—long before the Bergoglian Debacle brought the ecclesial crisis to the final stage of what the future Pope himself called “a continuing process of decay” back in the 1980s. Wrote Gamber:

A Catholic who ceased to be an active member of the Church for the past generation and who, having decided to return to the Church, wants to become religiously active again, probably would not recognize today’s Church as the one he had left.  Simply by entering a Catholic Church, particularly if it happens to be one of ultra-modern design, he will feel as if he has entered a strange foreign place.  He will think that he must have come to the wrong address and that he has ended up in some other Christian religious community….

[I]n the past there has never been an actual break with Church tradition, as has happened now, where almost everything the Church represents is being questioned.  (Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, p. 107, 109)

Largely defended by Protestant converts within the Church, the neo-Catholic regime of novelty, now headed by a dictatorial Pope whose pursuit of novelty can only be described as fanatical, is rightly viewed as a liberal horror by conservative Protestant evangelicals. The Orthodox churches, with which a true reunion might actually be possible, want no part of a Church whose concocted, abuse-ridden new liturgy they regard as a blasphemous joke. And, irony of ironies, the most conservative Lutherans, such as those of the Missouri Synod, reject as subversive of the Gospel the same “ecumenical movement” Akin shamelessly attempts to portray as a movement for “Christian unity.” Accordingly, the Missouri Synod Lutherans are “not associated with ecumenical organizations such as the National Council of Churches, the National Association of Evangelicals, the World Council of Churches or the Lutheran World Federation.” Yet those same corrupt organizations are the Vatican’s principal “dialogue partners,” along with the utterly degenerate “Anglican Communion” from which conservative Anglicans are fleeing in droves.

Akin unflinchingly defends the Vatican’s incessant foul intercourse with sects that he has to know are diabolical perversions of Christianity. But such is Catholic Answers, a neo-Catholic enterprise that must unflaggingly engage in a defense of the indefensible in order to maintain its good standing within an ecclesial establishment, riddled with doctrinal and moral corruption, that is presiding over the worst crisis in Church history.

The question presents itself: Why should Catholics support an organization that, at one and the same time, purports to defend the Faith against Protestant errors while also defending subversion of the Faith by much of the Church’s own leadership, which not only refuses to oppose those same errors but on the contrary embraces their proponents as “brothers and sisters in Christ,” with whom they pray in common and respectfully “commemorate” the 500th anniversary of the catastrophe of the Protestant revolt?

In Roman mythology, Janus is the two-faced god who looks backward to the past and forward to the future.  In the Catholic Church, there is no place for such a time-bound deity. The Church is ever ancient and ever new because her Tradition, her ritual and her observances are timeless, being the earthly reflection of the God who exists outside of time. Neo-Catholicism would give us a time-bound Church, whose orthodoxy and orthopraxis evolve according to the will of a Pope who functions as the Oracle of Rome and whose auguries must be heeded no matter what madness they propose. That is not the unchanging Faith of our fathers. And when all is said and done, Catholic Answers is no real defender of that Faith.  Rather, it has pitched its tent on the shifting sands of the decadent post-conciliar ecclesial status quo, where its professed mission must be subsumed to the demands of mere expediency.

This article appears in the latest print edition of The Remnant.  To see what else the issue offers, PREVIEW THE NEW REMNANT PRINT EDITION HERE

 

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Christopher A. Ferrara

Christopher A. Ferrara: President and lead counsel for the American Catholic Lawyers Inc., Mr. Ferrara has been at the forefront of the legal defense of pro-lifers for the better part of a quarter century. Having served with the legal team for high profile victims of the culture of death such as Terri Schiavo, he has long since distinguished him a premier civil rights Catholic lawyer.  Mr. Ferrara has been a lead columnist for The Remnant since 2000 and has authored several books published by The Remnant Press, including the bestseller The Great Façade. Together with his children and wife, Wendy, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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