In what is arguably still the most influential mainstream publication in the world, The New York Times, Catholic columnist Ross Douthat -- who days ago had had his very ability to speak and to have his views merely published questioned by the ubiquitous Liberal Catholic establishment -- not only does not back down, but he doubles down this Sunday. He welcomes the war brought to him, he identifies the main players (and the main player above all, Pope Francis), and he welcomes all contenders to the battlefield.
The grotesque hold of Modernist heretics has suffocated American Catholic life for 50 years since the Council. Like a cancer, they have metastasized from universities to seminaries, from chanceries to parishes, from convents and monasteries to schools and to the inside of each family, destroying the faith of tens of millions of faithful, sending countless to hell (in which, of course, they do not believe -- if they believe in God at all.) They resisted and grew during the Wojtyla and Ratzinger years, and they believe their age has finally arrived. The age of Catholic "adulthood", the age of "something other than Christ". No wonder their struggle now is against the very words of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the very issue that defines the essential relationship between man and woman, that begets new Catholics. On both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond, they must destroy, they must dominate, they must disrupt, they must divide. Heresy is the absolute opposite of Catholicity, including in etymology, and that is what they have always struggled for.
Douthat was right to identify them as heretics.
[N]either is Catholicism supposed to be an esoteric religion, its teachings accessible only to academic adepts. And the impression left by this moving target, I’m afraid, is that some reformers are downplaying their real position in the hopes of bringing conservatives gradually along.What is that real position? That almost anything Catholic can change when the times require it, and “developing” doctrine just means keeping up with capital-H History, no matter how much of the New Testament is left behind.As I noted earlier, the columnist’s task is to be provocative. So I must tell you, openly and not subtly, that this view sounds like heresy by any reasonable definition of the term.Now it may be that today’s heretics are prophets, the church will indeed be revolutionized, and my objections will be ground under with the rest of conservative Catholicism. But if that happens, it will take hard grinding, not just soft words and academic rank-pulling. It will require a bitter civil war.And so, my dear professors: Welcome to the battlefield. (source)
Congratulations to Mr. Douthat on his crystalline clarity.
Note: By the way, Douthat is also correct to stop the age of obfuscation in American Conservative Catholic opinion writing, and clearly identify the position of Pope Francis in the fundamental question of his pontificate: he is the one moving the Church towards this crisis in favor of sacrilege.
There really is a high-stakes division, at the highest levels of the church, over whether to admit divorced and remarried Catholics to communion and what that change would mean. In this division, the pope clearly inclines toward the liberalizing view and has consistently maneuvered to advance it.
Why? Why is the Pope doing this?