Politically Correct Catholicism


Quite a few years ago Ronald Reagan said something to the effect that at the heart of conservatism is libertarianism.

Having once fallen prey to the libertarian paradigm myself, I can attest to the fact that the progression out of that oversimplified and heretical worldview can be quite difficult.

Those whose knees remain stuck while genuflecting before the altar of liberty typically end up worshipping classical liberal economists like Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand as demigods.

In a similar way, young, impressionable neoconservative Catholics – all of whom oddly respond “John Paul II” when asked “who is your favorite Pope?” – are held captive to modernist-tainted theological views and Americanist-tainted political beliefs with help from men like Robert P. George (pictured above).

Once hailed by the New York Times as “The Conservative-Christian Big Thinker,” George, who teaches at Princeton and who has garnered worldwide acclaim from not only those who reject Christ as the Messiah, but also from those who despise Traditional Catholicism (aka Catholicism), is the poster child of the postconciliar Church.

When you listen to Professor George speak, or read his writing, you first notice his mild manner and clear style of communication. In a certain way, he comes of as the secular equivalent of Bishop Robert Barron.

One has to ask themselves: could this really be the man secular progressives so fear?

Indeed. And he, just like Bishop Barron, is someone Catholics should also fear. Why? Because he presents his ideas as if they are Catholic teaching, when in reality they are laced with poison.

Several weeks ago Professor George, who identifies as “an orthodox Vatican II Catholic,” spoke at the Legatus Summit in Orlando, Florida.

In his speech, George pointed out the obvious: “it is no longer easy to be a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, an authentic witness to the truths of the Gospel.”

But what does it mean to “witness to” the “truths of the Gospel,” an equivocal statement if there ever was one?

LifeSiteNews reported it this way:

Professor George added that people can still safely identify as “Catholic” as long as they don’t believe, or will at least be completely silent about, “what the Church teaches on issues such as marriage and sexual morality and the sanctity of human life.”

You can read the rest of the Professor’s remarks here.

In essence, what he said was the same he said, almost verbatim, at the 2014 National Catholic Prayer breakfast: Christianity is politically incorrect in our time. We will be persecuted for proclaiming it. If we don’t proclaim it, we will be at peace with the world. But we cannot call ourselves followers of Christ if we do that. We must fight.

Now, to the neo-Catholic mind, Professor George comes off as a sort of prophet, calling out progressives for persecuting social conservatives while invoking high-sounding, but inexact terms like “the Gospel” to call us all to action in the culture wars.

Pretty simple, right?

In reality, things area bit more complex.

In a follow up interview with Ethika Politika regarding the 2014 prayer breakfast, George was asked to clarify what he meant when he said the days of “comfortable Catholicism” are over:

I mean that actively and publicly witnessing to moral truths proclaimed by, among other traditions of faith, the Catholic Church—particularly truths about the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions and the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife—is no longer welcome, or in some places even tolerated, by those occupying the commanding heights of culture.

It can be difficult to detect where the error is here. But Thomas Storck, a well known Catholic writer, caught wind, and in the comment box, spoke up:

Does anyone else find it odd that instead of focusing on the evangelical duty of preaching the Gospel in its fullness and converting people to the true Faith, he focuses on a subset of moral truths – even if they are important moral truths? The Apostles did not conceive of their mission as the moral reformation of pagan Greco-Roman society. They understood it to be the conversion of that society, after which the moral reform would certainly follow. Our Lord said, Go forth and preach the Gospel and baptize.

Storck is absolutely right.

The intentional, and it is intentional, focus on “a subset of moral truths” instead of preaching the Gospel in an effort to convert people to the Catholic faith is a direct result of George’s embrace of Liberal Catholicism. In other words, his embrace of politically correct Catholicism.

You see, at the heart of “the Gospel” are some pretty bold, dare I say “politically incorrect” claims, claims George himself, like Holy Mother Church, has shelved in order to have a seat at the table of modernity.

christ20king1For instance, instead of preaching the politically incorrect truth that Christ, the prince of peace, is King of all nations and that even the United States must recognize this, “orthodox Vatican II Catholicism” says man has a natural right to reject Christ as King and that “Judeo-Christian” values and a general understanding of the natural law will bring about a lasting peace.

Instead of proclaiming the politically incorrect truth that Christ is the way, the truth and the life and that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation, “orthodox Vatican II Catholicism” says non-Catholic sects are “means of salvation” that possess a right to spread the “special value” of their false beliefs in public.

Instead of proclaiming the politically incorrect truth that when Christ prayed that “all may be one” he desired all men to be united, supernaturally, in the same sacraments and the same doctrines under the same Pontiff, “orthodox Vatican II Catholicism” says all men are children of God and should form a naturalistic brotherhood.

And, lastly, instead of preaching the politically incorrect truth that the Jews nailed Christ to a tree (see Acts 2:36) and called down His blood upon their hands and the hands of their children, “orthodox Vatican II Catholicism” says everyone was complicit in Christ’s death.

When you get down to it, George’s “orthodox Vatican II Catholicism” is already a politically correct creature, one sewn together by men who wanted to create an institution that would pave the way for the Masonic-inspired, One-World Church warned about by St. Pope Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique.

In his speech at the Legatus Summit, George asks:

“Will we seek to ‘fit in,’ to be accepted, to live comfortably in the new Babylon? If so, our silence will speak.  Its words will be the words of Peter, warming himself by the fire:  ‘Jesus the Nazorean? I tell you, I do not know the man.’”

Odd, isn’t it, to hear George speak of Peter’s denial of Christ when we have a Pope who thinks proselytism is “solemn nonsense” and who oversees a Church that just weeks ago said followers of Judaism need not accept Christ, the King of the Jews, as the Messiah.

Talk about “not knowing” Christ!

The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

Look, the fact is that the Church decided to “live comfortably in the new Babylon” when, at Vatican II, it opted to go silent on the unique theological claims given to it by Christ himself. Granted, its teachings on birth control, divorce, etc. made it the ire of global elites, and, thankfully, still does, but, as Yves Congar once said of the Second Vatican Council, the Church had undergone “peacefully, its October Revolution.”

And this, my friends, is the faustian bargain Liberal Catholicism necessarily makes. It is the bargain Professor George, a Liberal Catholic, has made. The rationale goes something like this:

Things will be better so long as we aren’t so severe. Let’s focus on what we have in common, and not on what we disagree about. The truth will win out but only if we speak winsomely and in a language men of our age can comprehend. On Sunday we can preach fire and brimstone but during the week we must be reasonable. Only when the world understands what motivates us will it respect our views and recognize our freedom. We must not anathematize nor can we seek the return of the ancien regime. For those days are long gone. 

Anyone who has ears to hear and eyes to see knows it was this approach that got us into the mess we are in. And it is precisely because the Church in the 20th century failed to listen to the papal condemnations of Liberal Catholicism in the 19th century that the culture wars are now largely over.

Again, it’s not because Catholicism failed, but because Churchmen in the 50s and 60s – namely John Courtney Murray and Jacques Maritain – believed they could improve upon her doctrines. Such men, seemingly ignorant of spiritual warfare, grace and original sin, foolishly thought that the battle with darkness was more or less a numbers game, and that the more “men of good will” they got on their side a sort of “integral humanism” would emerge and, eventually, stem the tide of irreligion.

In essence, what happened was that the Catholic Church at Vatican II, unlike Christ, agreed to the devil’s second temptation and threw itself off the temple, believing that if it could just be “free” in the liberal ordo the strength of her teachings would come to her aid and prevent her from being harmed.

Oh, how intellectually proud those men and their progeny were! And oh how much God has punished His Church for following their errors!

What is needed now is not more vague talk of “the Gospel” but more preaching about the Kingship of Christ. What is needed now is not more “dialogue” with false religions but more denunciations of the errors of those religions. What is needed now is not more complaining about how hard it is to be a political conservative but more proclaiming of the supernatural truths of the Catholic religion.

Put another way, what we need today is not more Robert George-inspired, politically correct Liberal Catholicism but more Saint Pope Pius X-inspired, politically incorrect Traditional Catholicism.

Stephen Kokx is the host of “Church & State with Stephen Kokx” on Magnificat Radio, which airs Fridays at 11am, 2pm, 6pm and 9pm EST. Follow him on twitter @StephenKokx

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