A few months ago, when Taylor Marshall’s book Infiltration had just come out, someone asked me if I intended to write a review of it. I had no such interest, and already knew that Dave Armstrong planned to do so and that he would do a good job. But it occurred to me that it might help to put together, in a concise way, a documentation of Dr. Marshall’s frequent attacks on Pope Francis. (And as it turns out, he goes back in time and attacks every pope from Pius XII forward, as well as Vatican II.) I thought others might find this a valuable resource. I’ll let Dr. Marshall’s words speak for themselves, and only interject now and then.
The following come from Dr. Marshall’s Web site:
- In November 2018, Dr. Marshall and his podcast’s co-host Timothy Gordon interviewed Patrick Coffin. According to Dr. Marshall on his Web site, Gordon & Dr. Marshall “discuss how they each came to swallow the red pill that Pope Francis was not merely unclear but promoting confusion within the Catholic Church.
[To say that the pope is “promoting confusion” is to suggest that it is intentional. The pope, according to Dr. Marshall, acts with malicious intent. It is purposeful confusion.]
- In October 2018, Dr. Marshall hosted Eric Sammons to discuss whether Pope Francis, whom Dr. Marshall labeled a “bad pope,” could be deposed. “Could Pope Francis be deposed,” he asks, “by cardinals, bishops, or anybody?”
- Also in October 2018, Dr. Marshall said that Archbishop Vigano’s accusations against the pope were “credible” and had been unwittingly “confirmed” by Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Vigano’s credibility had “increased,” according to Dr. Marshall.
- In September 2018, Dr. Marshall gave credence to a report that Pope Francis had demanded Cardinal Muller to stop a sex abuse investigation.
That is everything that I find on his Web site when I search the archives for “Pope Francis.” The prior post was from 2016 and was about how Dr. Marshall had met the pope while he was in Rome. In other word, the attacks on the pope, on his Web site, began late last year in the months leading up to the release of Infiltration.
I now turn to his Twitter feed:
- On September 10, 2018, Dr. Marshall shared a tweet that noted the pope’s promotion of Cardinal Jozef De Kesel—“a [Cardinal Gotfried] Danneels protege,” according to the original tweet, “who once placed a priest credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor in charge of a parish, also promotes female ordination, ‘voluntary’ priestly celibacy, and wants the Church to bless homosexual unions.” Dr. Marshall commented: “Ponder that in your heart” [as though to suggest that Pope Francis promoted him in spite of all this, or because he secretly favors it?]
- On September 16, 2018, Dr. Marshall shared another tweet that accused the pope of having an animus against the papal blessing, since he would not give it to a crowd that included non-Catholics. Dr. Marshall noted the “inconsistency” since the pope had once washed the feet of non-Catholics.
- On December 28, 2018, Dr. Marshall said that the “question of our time” is: “What if the pope is speaking theological error non ex cathedra?
By “non ex cathedra,” my guess is Dr. Marshall means “non-infallible.” That is to say, he holds out the possibility that the pope might teach error as part of the ordinary Magisterium. And he suggests that Pope Francis may be doing that very thing.
And the rest are from Infiltration. (I thank Dave Armstrong for reading this book and documenting these, and other, parts of it.)
- Dr. Marshall suggests that Pope Pius XII was overly influenced by “crypto-Modernist” friends: “It’s difficult to understand why Pope Pius XII softened in his later years and how he was ostensibly manipulated by the likes of Father Bugnini. His friends and acquaintances noted a drastic change in his personality beginning in 1954. …Since 1946, Pope Pius XII had fallen under the influence of his chosen confessor and spiritual director, Augustine Cardinal Bea, S.J. … Cardinal Bea would reveal himself as a Modernist.”
- Dr. Marshall attacks Pope John XXIII for doubting the Fatima visonaries. [Note that no Catholic is bound to believe any private revelation.]
- Dr. Marshall speculates that John XXIII had these children in mind when he condemned “prophets of doom.”
- Dr. Marshall says that “most agree” Paul VI brought “monumental confusion” to the Church.
- Dr. Marshall attacks Paul VI’s “eager enthusiasm for ecumenism” and Nostra Aetate. He claims that Leo XIII and St. Pius X would “not have agreed” with the “Freemasonic” Paul VI. [Paul VI was a freemason because of Nostra Aetate!]
- Dr. Marshall claims that the “Freemason” and “infiltrated priest” Bugnini exerted undue influence on Paul VI and Vatican II.
- Dr. Marshall claims that Paul VI “promoted reforms” that “encouraged” the “demonic infiltration” of the Church. He further says that these changes were “detrimental to the laity.”
- Dr. Marshall recycles rumors that Paul VI had a homosexual affair with Paolo Carlini.
- Dr. Marshall attacks Paul VI for maintaining a friendship with Saul Alinsky.
- Dr. Marshall attacks John Paul II for praying with members of other religions, because that presumably set those religions on “equal standing.”
- He attacks John Paul II for “encouraging pagan idolatry in a Catholic basilica. (This had to do with the pope’s “permitting” followers of the Dalai Lama to place an idol of Buddha on top of a tabernacle. There is dispute over whether John Paul II actually permitted this in the first place.)
- Dr. Marshall says that John Paul II was “not what we thought him to be” and “conflicted.”
- Dr. Marshall claims there is a “rupture” between recent papacies (going back to Pius XII) and prior papacies.
- He claims that “nothing binding” came from Vatican II.
- The Catholic Church, says Marshall, has been “infiltrated all the way to the top.” [That would, then, include Pope Francis.]
- Dr. Marshall claims Pope Francis thinks God wants some people to break the moral law. (This claim originally comes from the Filial Correcton charging the pope with heresy, and I’ve refuted it here.) “Hs worldview and phiilosophy,” Dr. Marshall writes, “is essentially that of a member of the nineteenth-century Freemasonic Carbonari.” He claims Pius X would have condemned Pope Francis as a Modernist.
- Then (not from the book) Dr. Marshall claims, in this interview with John Henry Westen (around 12:00 into the interview), that the “Masonic plot” to infiltrate the Church succeeded when the St. Gallen “mafia” successfully arranged for the election of Pope Francis. So Pope Francis is the culmination of the infiltration of the Church which began during the pontificate of Pius XII.
My purpose, at least here, has not been to refute any of these claims—Dave Armstrong has already done so on his blog—but merely to show that, within the past year, Taylor Marshall has started to subscribe to them and publish them (with Sophia Institute Press). (“Sophia” is supposed to mean “wisdom,” by the way.)
Dr. Jeff Mirus also has a critique of Dr. Marshall’s book here. Dr. Mirus writes: “I advised Sophia Institute Press not to go through with publication, but to no avail. It is therefore a very great sadness to me that I can no longer count Sophia Institute Press among those publishing houses with unswervingly sound Catholic editorial judgment.”
The claims that Marshall is making are, make no mistake, fringe claims and conspiracy theories with actors like Modernists and Freemasons and homosexuals. And the problem with Sophia publishing them is that it has the likelihood of making them more mainstream. That will do great damage to the Catholic faithful’s belief that the Church and the Holy Father are protected by the Holy Spirit and that we must be obedient and faithful to their teaching. Instead of looking at the Church as Christ’s bride, they look at it as demonic.
For Marshall does not just attack Pope Francis; he attacks every prior pope back to and even including Pius XII. This says to Catholics that we can not trust the Church or the successors of the apostles, but that we must trust “red-pilled” social media figures to tell us the truth and interpret doctrine correctly. That’s not what Christ wanted for his Church.