This article in the Remnant Newspaper by Christopher A. Ferrara (one of Catholicism’s greatest current thinkers/writers) is excellent, a must–read.
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])