“It’s Now Open Civil War in the Catholic Church”

“It’s Now Open Civil War in the Catholic Church” December 1, 2023

The title of this article comes from a post at FromRome.Info

SOURCE: Spencer / Pixabay

Revolution, anyone?

In his motu proprio, Pope Francis called for a “cultural revolution.” From the way he has taken to firing bishops and cardinals, it is clear that he is intent on a reign of terror. And the world has taken notice. My mother just called to say that the pope was on the front page of The Los Angeles Times. According to the bit she read, the story documents the shooting war that has erupted among the Church’s shepherds. Consider the following:

  • Pope Francis followed up his sacking of Bishop Joseph Strickland with the stripping of Cardinal Burke’s Vatican privileges.
  • Fr. Gerald Murray, a canon lawyer stated that the Strickland firing violated canon law because Pope Francis denied Strickland’s due process rights by not giving Strickland recourse to appeal.
  • Bishop Athanasius Schneider called the pope’s actions against Strickland “a huge, blatant injustice.”
  • Bishop Robert Barron criticized the synodal final report for recommending that the Church’s sexual morality be revised in light of scientific research. Here’s what he said:

Bishop Barron:

A final point—and here I find myself in frank disagreement with the final synodal report—has to do with the development of moral teaching in regard to sex. The suggestion is made that advances in our scientific understanding will require a rethinking of our sexual teaching, whose categories are, apparently, inadequate to describe the complexities of human sexuality. A first problem I have with this language is that it is so condescending to the richly articulate tradition of moral reflection in Catholicism, a prime example of which is the theology of the body developed by Pope St. John Paul II. To say that this multilayered, philosophically informed, theologically dense system is incapable of handling the subtleties of human sexuality is just absurd. But the deeper problem I have is that this manner of argumentation is based upon a category error—namely, that advances in the sciences, as such, require an evolution in moral teaching.

Told Ya So!

If you have been following my blog and podcast show here at Patheos, then you know that I predicted that this would happen at the synod. And now we have Bishop Barron, a voting member of the Synod on Synodality, confirming that I was right. I’m not going to rehash those arguments here. Suffice it to say that the Pope Francis–led Synod is advancing the exact same heresy originally formulated by Charles Curran. Pope John Paul II fired Curran for his denigration of the moral authority of the Bible. Pope Francis deserves the same for promoting this heresy.

In Bishop Barron’s complaint about the final report, he never uses the “H” word.  He does, however, recognize that the language of the report, in its praise of science, gives a huge helping hand to the cause of the German Synodal Way. Regarding the German Synodal Way agenda, Barron concludes with these words:

“This…must be resisted.”


Barron’s words certainly point to a major conflict brewing among the Church’s shepherds. And he’s not the only prelate to admit this. I leave you with the words of Bishop Athanasius Schneider in an interview he gave to the Catholic Herald. The good bishop clearly pins all the blame on Pope Francis. My book and many articles and interviews concur in that opinion.

Bishop Schneider added: “At the same time he (the Pope) is not removing, and in some cases is promoting, cardinals and bishops who are publicly distorting or undermining the faith … those bishops who openly promote LGBT ideology, he is not touching them.

“It is an evident sign and demonstration that he has another intention – an intention to silence and to stop those communities and bishops in the Church who are still faithful and attached to the faith and the tradition of the Church and her liturgy.

“It is a kind of internal persecution of faithful bishops and priests in the Church by the Pope. We have to state this. We cannot be silent about this. It would be dishonest. We have to be honest.”Catholic Herald

About John Gravino
John Gravino is the author of The Immoral Landscape of the New Atheism, which was the topic of a health and spirituality seminar at Duke Medical School. He continues to explore the intersection of health and religion and the other big questions of life right here at Patheos. You can read more about the author here.
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