Last week, the Founder of Catholic Answers, Karl Keating, posted a lengthy Facebook comment in response to the image below. To be more precise, it wasn’t so much a rejoinder aimed at the meme’s self-explanatory message as it was a biographical essay, largely accurate, on yours truly.
Keating also took the opportunity to pose some questions which, though rhetorical in nature, deserve an answer. I considered responding right then and there, but it occurred to me that it may perhaps be useful to do so here for the benefit of readers who don’t frequent Facebook or perhaps know little about my (hopefully informative) history.
Please note: Moving the conversation to this space is by no means an effort to muzzle my interlocutor. In fact, I intend to pose a few questions of my own. If Mr. Keating feels compelled to offer a response, I will gladly publish it.
As mentioned, Keating’s commentary is rather lengthy. Below I will quote its most noteworthy parts, but readers can view it in full on Facebook (HERE).
Louie, for years you’ve been on a trajectory. Where is it taking you? Does it have an end point? Each year you seem to be a few steps further along, abandoning something of what you had accepted the prior year.
It wasn’t all that long ago that you toured the country promoting and explaining Vatican II. You gave that up, having had a change of heart or mind. First you adopted a modestly adversarial position toward the council, but the adverb was dropped as the years went by. Your adversarial position no longer could be called modest. It became strident. You came to reject the council root and branch and used all the power in your rhetoric to make that clear.
The “end point” for which every human being must strive is Heaven, the purpose for which we were created. As the Baltimore Catechism states:
To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world. We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who teaches us through the Catholic Church.
This encapsulates, if not my precise “trajectory” at any given moment, the impulse behind it. By the grace of God, I intend to remain engaged in a lifelong effort to avail myself of that which Jesus Christ teaches us through the Catholic Church. In other words, I am ever in search of authentic Catholic answers.
Are you, Mr. Keating? If so, where are you seeking them? Do you consider the pre-conciliar Magisterium and the approved theologians who expounded upon it relevant in our own day, or do you imagine that one can find the truth in post-conciliar offerings alone?
To this point in his commentary, Keating seems to have my bio down pat. In the early to mid 2000s I authored and published a conciliar document study series – endorsed by such well-known figures as Cardinal Pell – and was selling them to parishes and individuals in English speaking countries all over the world. I was invited to speak in defense of the Council in parishes, dioceses and conferences around the US. I even appeared on an hour long program on EWTN.
In 2010, I developed a program for parishes to introduce their faithful to the Novus Ordo Third Edition of Roman Missal [sic] and traveled the US delivering live presentations on the same topic.
My intentions were good. I honestly believed that it was not only possible, but absolutely necessary, to interpret all things conciliar in accord with the Church’s immutable tradition.
But then, by the grace of God, after much effort on my own part, I came to realize that the Council contained more than just a little leaven of error, making the “hermeneutic of continuity” both fruitless and dangerous. I began to recognize the harm it is doing to innocent persons, and worse still, the degree to which it is an affront to the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King.
At this point, there could be no question about rejecting Vatican II “root and branch,” as Keating put it. What reasonably well-formed Catholic in the same position could possibly fail to recall the words of Our Lord?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. (Matthew 7: 17-19)
I also came to discover that the Novus Ordo isn’t just a truncated version of the Traditional Roman Rite but rather is a non-Catholic rite, replete with doctrinal errors embedded in its official text!
I eventually came to realize, therefore, that neither of these evil offerings – the Council nor its liturgy – could have possibly been dispensed to the faithful by the hand of Holy Mother Church. Obviously, this made it necessary to admit, and publicly so, just how misguided my efforts had been.
So, as Keating puts it, I gave all that up.
Did doing so invite ridicule? Indeed! Today, where once I was invited to speak at SSPX, Fatima Center and other such conferences, I am no longer welcome in so-called “traditional” circles. I’ve sacrificed friendships, income, and popularity, but make no mistake, I do not count this as loss, rather, it’s merely the small price that we all have to pay, in some way or another, for staying the course.
He that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. (Matthew 16:25)
Keating went on to point out that my treatment of Jorge Bergoglio (best known for his role as The God of Surprises) has followed the same pattern.
You did similarly with the papacy, at least the current papacy. Each year your position against Pope Francis has become more pointed, more volatile, more mocking, and now you’re saying that he not only isn’t pope but knowingly is in league with demonic forces.
Partially correct. I have been plainspoken about my belief that Bergoglio is under demonic influence; his words and deeds testify to that fact beyond any reasonable doubt. Do I believe that he is knowingly dancing with the Devil? This judgment belongs to God.
That, however, does not mean that ordinary laymen (like Keating) are unable to identify demonic forces and evil operations. With this in mind, one might reasonably ask of him:
Do you not realize, Karl, that the World Economic Forum is an evil organization, its “Great Reset” being directly opposed to the rule of Christ the King? Or what about the roster of pagans, socialists, eugenicists and their enterprises with which Bergoglio is clearly in league?
Keating went on to say that “every Catholic bishop in the world, without exception, acknowledges that he [Bergoglio] is pope.”
Really? How exactly does “every” single bishop “acknowledge” as much? Does selectively rejecting his magisterium (as most notable with respect to Amoris Laetitia and, more recently, Tutti Frutti) reflect an authentic papal superior-subject relationship, or does this amount to an acknowledgement that the man most certainly is not the pope? Do you even know what constitutes a Catholic disposition toward the Roman Pontiff and his teaching?
If I may, what Keating evidently means to point out is that he is unaware of any (so-called “full communion”) bishop with the wherewithal to state the obvious publicly: Bergoglio does not meet the criteria for membership in the Church as taught without ambiguity by the Church and, therefore, he cannot possibly be the head of the Church. This truth is objective; i.e, it is not contingent upon the results of any survey.
Now, on to Keating’s big question:
Something is keeping you from severing ties with the Church that you are inches away from denying is the Church. What is it? The whole tenor, the unrelenting rancorous tone, of what you’ve been writing, for a long time now, points toward the Exit sign. Why haven’t you gone through that door?
Prior to this, Keating pointed out that I can’t be making a living from the remains of my one-time apostolate, and so no one can accuse me of writing and publishing “just for the money.” He’s got that right! Now, back to his question.
To be perfectly clear, by “Church,” it is obvious that Keating means to speak of the humanistic society that presently occupies the Vatican and operates under the headship of Jorge Bergoglio. As I’ve made plain in numerous writings, I adamantly deny that this institution is the Catholic Church, rather, it is an imposter, the likes of which have been long ago prophesied. For the sake of clarity, let us call it the “conciliar church,” the name given to it by Cardinal Giovanni Benelli in 1976.
At this, I can do no better than to quote Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
We are suspended a divinis by the Conciliar Church and for the Conciliar Church, to which we have no wish to belong. That Conciliar Church is a schismatic Church, because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship, all already condemned by the Church in many a document, official and definitive….
In other words, I passed through the exit door of the conciliar church long ago, and for the simple reason that I desire to be, and to remain, Catholic.
In conclusion, I must say that I am genuinely unsure about Keating’s motives in taking the time to write such a lengthy essay. By this I do not mean to suggest any ill-will on his part; in fact, having barbed with him in the past, I’ve never detected any raw personal malice in his words, in spite of some vehement disagreement.
What I mean to say is simply this: While the reader might view Keating’s critical observations as a quasi-defense of his own firmly held opinions, it seems just as likely to me that he is growing increasingly unsure about what he considers to be true. Probing the destination of my “trajectory,” in other words, may really be an effort on Keating’s part to shed light on where his own personal journey is leading.
For his sake, let’s hope that this is true.
[NOTE: Karl Keating is correct, defending Catholic tradition is by no means lucrative. Rather, it is costly. Even so, it must done, and we need your help.]