Author of "The Dead Sea Conspiracy: Teilhard de Chardin and the New American Church": Liberal Catholic's "'Scientific Paganism'... calls for an 'Inversion of Worship & the Judeo-Christian Worldview'"
Denial of Sin
By James K. Fitzpatrick
(This article originally appeared in the Catholic weekly The Wanderer. To subscribe call 651-224-5733.)
In a column on the clerical sex abuse scandals rocking the Church, I speculated about how the priests involved in these acts could justify their behavior to themselves in their private moments. One possibility I raised was that they may have bought so totally into premises of the homosexual revolution that they actually felt no shame for what they had done.
Fred Martinez, staff religion editor of the Conservative Monitor and a regular contributor to the San Francisco Faith, a northern California newspaper, forwarded a column of his that appeared on Newsmax.com on April 18th. In it, he speculates that the problem may be even more deep seated.
Martinez holds that we are witnessing the impact of the successful infiltration of Catholic “publishers, seminaries, even convents and monasteries” by a “scientific paganism” that calls for an “inversion of worship and the Judeo-Christian worldview.” He says that we are looking at an outright “denial of original sin and personal sin” by clerics who reject the “basic Christian assumption that there is a need for forgiveness from God. Instead, they believe there is no sin, only selves needing to reach the fullness of themselves”; that this is what lies “behind the headlines of the Boston catastrophe and other dioceses.”
Martinez holds that these views were introduced into our seminaries and workshops for priests, brothers and nuns through the “human potential movement” and humanistic psychology of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. The goal of Maslow and Rogers was to promote an approach to education that would be “values-free,” one that would stress that there is no right and wrong, no objective truth when discussing religious or moral issues.
Thus, says Martinez, the Christian understanding of a “fallen and sinful world with persons needing God the Father to forgive them so they can return to be His sons and daughters” was replaced with a “therapeutic starting point,” where what “is needed are not God and His forgiveness, but a therapist assisting a self to reach the fullness of self.” The ideas of Nietzsche, Freud and Jung supplanted in our schools and seminaries the teachings of St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal Newman.
Martinez makes sense to me. Anyone who has sat through a “values clarification” exercise in one of our public schools knows that the purpose of these exercises is promote a “non-judgmental” view of life, an “I’m okay, you’re okay” relativism, a “different strokes for different folks” attitude that purportedly will encourage a spirit of tolerance in our multicultural world. If these views have become part of the training of our priests and religious, it would not be hard to picture how active homosexuals could reconcile their behavior with their priesthood. They are being true to themselves.
We must remember that even though these priests accused of sex abuse are often older men, they are likely to have gone through the seminary at the height of the counterculture influences of the late 1960s and 1970s. The rise of the counterculture was over 30 years ago.
I remember those years. I was teaching at a Catholic high school in the Bronx in the late 1960s. One of the things that struck me was how the nature of retreats changed during those years. During the time when I was a student at a Catholic high school, in the late 1950s, the purpose of a retreat was to encourage a personal rejection of sin and a willingness to submit to the word of God as expressed in the Gospels and the teachings of the Church.
By the late 1960s, things had changed dramatically. The goal seemed to be to remove a sense of guilt and anxiety about sin and promote a sense of psychological well being instead – to make the students “feel good about themselves,” no matter where they “were coming from”. Stress was placed upon the “good news” of the Gospels and God’s love for us and upon our duty to love our neighbor as ourselves for the love God.
In some ways, this change was for the good. Love and redemption are at the heart of Christ’s message. But Christ’s message is more. The men about to stone the women taken in sin are warned that only those without sin should cast the first stone. And the woman was forgiven for her sins. But Jesus also told the woman to “Go and sin no more.” Forgiveness requires repentance and conversion.
If that part of the equation is forgotten, we end up with people who are convinced that their behavior is acceptable if it is in accordance with their personal and unique search for meaning in life. We get relativists, existentialists, multiculturalists – and maybe even priests who can engage in sex with youthful parishioners without feeling guilty about it in the morning.
James Fitzpatrick's new novel, The Dead Sea Conspiracy: Teilhard de Chardin and the New American Church, can be ordered directly from Winepress Publishers — 1-877-421-READ (7323); $12.95, plus S&H. You can email Mr. Fitzpatrick at Jkfitz42@cs.com.
Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis's Amoris Laetitia.
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He wants you to do now and next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost - Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice. By doing this you are doing more good than reading anything here or anywhere else on the Internet.
- Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:
"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)
Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."
- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html
- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html
- If Francis betrays Benedict XVI & the"Roman Rite Communities" like he betrayed the Chinese Catholics we must respond like St. Athanasius, the Saintly English Bishop Robert Grosseteste & "Eminent Canonists and Theologians" by "Resist[ing]" him: https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/12/if-francis-betrays-benedict-xvi.html
- LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:
The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"
- On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:
"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."
- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:
"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.
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- Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times "Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003": http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/will-us-be-venezuela-ex-cia-official.html