Fr. Murray on the Jesuit-run Boston “Amoris laetitia” Agitprop Workshop

scorpionThe other day I read of and wrote of the recent Jesuit-run Boston College conference on the reception of Amoris laetitiaHERE and HERE  and HERE  In the balance, this confab was really an Agitprop Workshop.  The participants in this closed-door strategy practicum were feed talking points and language useful in uprooting truth and planting weeds.

For example, I remember my initial reaction when I read the statement, uttered during the Workshop, that Jesus “disfavored” adultery.   One of the tactics of the Left will be to replace clear, sane language with slippery weasel words such as that.  Another trick is to describe an adulterous union as an “irregular” union, which shifts the situation out of the realm of sin and morality and into the realm of mere man-made rules or regulations, which of course can be easily changed according to our needs.

My friend Fr. Gerald Murray has a keen sense of smell for this sort of B as in B and S as in S.  He also has a sharp quill.   Fr. Murray take aim at this diabolical assault on the intelligence of Catholics through the Orwellian twisting of words.   You don’t want to miss his piece at The Catholic Thing today.

Here’s a sample:

More Bad Defenses of “Amoris Laetitia”

The claim was widely made during the two Synods on the Family that the innovation of allowing persons living in adulterous second unions to receive Holy Communion, as proposed by Cardinal Kasper and others, was not a change in doctrine, but simply in discipline. [B as in B.  S as in S.] I did not believe this to be true then (or now) and, apparently, neither did many of the supporters of this innovation. [Which makes them duplicitous squared.]

The first evidence of that was the seemingly universal refusal to identify these unions as adulterous in fidelity to Christ’s words: “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” (Lk 16:18) Instead of adulterous these sinful relationships were called “irregular” unions. This tactic reduces Christ’s teaching to the level of a regulation. The use of scare quotes further diminished the stature of Christ’s teaching by casting doubt on whether we should really consider these unions to be irregular at all.

A conference on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was recently held at Boston College. Further evidence of the rejection of Christ’s plain teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery is found in the reported comments of two speakers: Professor Cathleen Kaveny and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J.

Kaveny used curious language to describe Our Lord’s teaching on marital fidelity: “Jesus clearly disfavored adultery.”No, Jesus forbade adultery. One can disfavor things that are good in themselves, but simply do not appeal to one for a variety of reasons. One can never claim as good and right something that God has clearly forbidden.

Kaveny continued: ”It’s clear that he rejects divorce and remarriage as contrary to the original will of God. But nothing in Jesus’ words or conduct demand that the sin involved in divorce and remarriage must be conceptualized as a sin that continues indefinitely, without the possibility of effective repentance.”

Well, the original will of God remains in force unless God himself has indicated otherwise. Jesus clearly reaffirmed the prohibition of divorce and remarriage, harkening back to God’s original plan for man and woman as revealed in the Book of Genesis.

Understanding the sin involved in divorce and remarriage requires making distinctions. The responsibility for the break-up of marital life falls upon one or both parties, depending upon each one’s degree of culpability. The obtaining of a civil divorce is likewise to be evaluated as to the motives and responsibilities involved: is a divorce sought to free one to enter a new union, or is it sought to obtain legal protection of the financial and other interests of the offended spouse and children?

The decision to enter into an adulterous second union, however, is a public violation of the nature of indissoluble Christian marriage, and of one’s wedding vows. It involves the sin of adultery and the public scandal of living in opposition to Christ’s commandments.

[…]

Kaveny adds: “We do not need to disturb Jesus’ teaching in order to refine and develop it in these ways, in ways that moral theologians and canon lawyers have always done.” [Slithery wickedness.] Jesus’ teaching cannot be disturbed, however, but it can be ignored or falsified. The admittance of invalidly married couples to Holy Communion is not a refinement or development of that teaching, it is a betrayal.

One can claim to uphold a teaching by refining and developing it in a way that totally changes its meaning, but such a claim is false. Either adultery is always wrong, or it is never wrong. There can be no middle ground. To redefine some forms of adultery as not adultery is an offense against the plain meaning of Christ’s words. It’s wishful thinking that endorses immorality and would have the effect of destroying the unity of faith taught by the Church.

Fr. Antonio [2+2=5] Spadaro, S.J., who also spoke at the conference, uttered an incredible statement that dovetails with Kaveny’s remarks. He said: “It is no longer possible to judge people on the basis of a norm that stands above all.” This is a direct contradiction of how the Church has always understood Christ’s teaching.  [Poison.]

[…]

Do you see what is going on?

The left is changing language and introducing new labels and terms.  Watch for their linguistic maneuvers.  They are astute and sly.

And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion?

 

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25 Responses to Fr. Murray on the Jesuit-run Boston “Amoris laetitia” Agitprop Workshop

  1. Mike says:

    A priceless (one might even say, eternal) benefit of surrendering one’s attachments to all the neo-Catholic illusions of the past two generations is that doing so allows one finally to stop worrying and just be Catholic.

    Which is hard, make no mistake, but not nearly as hard as chasing shadows.

  2. ex seaxe says:

    I am sorry to be boringly repetitious, but can anybody point me to a reasoned discussion of the different discipline of some Orthodox churches? As I understand it East and West are in agreement about the indissolubility of Christian marriage, but the annulment procedure of the Catholic Church is rejected by the Orthodox, who have a different approach.

    [This’ll do it.]

    US HERE – UK HERE

    Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church

  3. Thomistica says:

    Had been curious where the funding came for this conference. (I hadn’t known this: Chaput apparently sent people.)

    Below, from:

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/what-i-learned-organizing-participating-bostons-amoris-laetitia-event

    With his easy “let’s-get-to-the-point” style, Cupich called me the next day. “Listen, Jim, I want to sponsor a seminar on Amoris at a university. Would Boston College be interested?” he asked. I said yes. I knew the college’s president, Jesuit Fr. William Leahy, would be very interested in supporting the idea, and I had some of the funds to do it as the director of the Jesuit Institute. We would later get support from the Healey Family Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and another donor.

    From the States we invited Boston Cardinal Seán O’Malley; Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin; Houston-Galveston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference; Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, vice president of the conference; and Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. All five were unable to come, but both O’Malley and Chaput sent delegates to the meeting.

  4. mmitchell says:

    From a portion of the first Mass reading of the day.

    Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
    and their senseless minds were darkened.
    While claiming to be wise, they became fools
    and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
    for the likeness of an image of mortal man
    or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

    Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
    through the lusts of their hearts
    for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
    They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
    and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
    who is blessed forever. Amen.

  5. RAve says:

    “They are astute and sly.”

    If by “astute and sly” you mean “contemptuous and contemptible”. [Quod scripsi, scripsi.]

  6. ejcmartin says:

    As one who suffered through divorce as both a child and as adult, I perhaps see this issue with a perspective that others may not have. These bishops, theologians, priests, etc just don’t get it. The sexual “revolution” and all its fruits, including divorce, has created unimaginable pain and suffering for those involved. When will they be “pastoral” and realize that the Church has something wonderful to offer the world in the form of indissoluble marriage? Instead we get situations like the one here where a well known parishioner and EMHC, married with children, all of a sudden one week shows up with a different woman, and just continues on as a EMHC as if nothing happened. As a convert who has seen the other side all too well, I saw the Church as a refuge from the craziness of the sexual revolution, now there are those from within who are trying to pulls all down into the cesspool of the flesh.
    PS mmitchell, I noticed that about today’s reading as well and thought about a certain Jesuit priest.

  7. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I think about the first chapter of Romans a lot these days.

  8. Ave Crux says:

    Thank God, for plain-speaking, unfailingly honest and faithful Father Gerald Murray. His “keen sense of smell” detects a ruse right from the outset. We all need to keep our sense of smell well calibrated, lest we fall little by little into their snares.

    That, precisely, is the devil’s game: confuse and confound us little by little by “changing language…introducing new labels and terms [and]…linguistic maneuvers” so we’re gradually brought to accept new “understandings” on doctrine.

    And THAT is why Rome has now decentralized responsibility for translating liturgical texts. He who controls the language and terminology controls the manner in which the Faith is understood and transmitted to future generations. Lex orandi, Lex credendi.

    If we don’t recognize the enemy has breached the inmost samctuary of the fortress and that it’s no longer possible to accept with blind filial trust each new pronouncement, development, or Motu Proprio issued, then we are naive and unprepared for the reality now facing us: an historically unprecedented assault on Holy Mother Church right from within Her ranks and governing body.

    As the situation unravels in the extreme, it is clear only prayer, self-oblation and entreaties for God’s protection will help us effectively oppose such wily, diabolically clever subterfuge.

  9. chantgirl says:

    I once heard a priest say (in the context of abortion) that when a liberal says “it’s complicated”, prepare for a long-winded lie. Seems like libs use this tactic on a multitude of issues. No black or white, only 50 shades of grey.

    Underneath all of the babble, a very simple commandment is broken- thou shalt not commit adultery. It doesn’t take a doctorate to understand that AL is undermining Catholic doctrine.

  10. Suburbanbanshee says:

    By this crazy progressive kind of reasoning…

    If Sideshow Bob is holding me captive in his basement, raping and torturing me every day, eventually it becomes not a sin anymore. He is just making a lifestyle choice. And I have no right to complain or try to escape my shackles and rack, because it’s just like a regular marriage.

    Phbbbbbbt. It is amazing that these people can sleep at night. The longer a sin goes on, the worse it gets!

  11. Windswept House says:

    This language tactic has been going on in the political/secular culture for decades. Killing the unborn becomes pro-choice and so on……

  12. LarryW2LJ says:

    My dear departed Mom would have asked this question of all these people who continue to defend the ambiguities found in A.L; and to all those who continue to play these games of Mental Gymnastics in order to somehow re-define the plain words of Our Savior:

    “Who are you trying to convince? Me, or yourself?”

  13. Alanmac says:

    Again and again, these people use the Anglican/Episcopalian play book to interpret Scripture. They forget where this approach delivered the Protestant churches of today, over a cliff…

  14. Traductora says:

    I can stand the clergy and authorities hating Christ and rejecting divine law, because over 2000 years, many of them have been doing just that. And as a member of the faithful, you knew which ones were poison, and you avoided them. They were just bad men, bad and treasonous men using the Church for personal advancement.

    But what I cannot stand, and what undermines the whole of Christianity and destroys the Church, is the rejection of fact and reason. When Gerard Manley Hopkins was asked why he became a Catholic, he said it was because 2 +2 = 4. Now that, according to Francis’ bosom buddy Spadaro, it equals 5 or anything else the pope wants it to equal at a given moment, what are we to do and where are we to go to find that 2 +2 = 4? Who will affirm reality now?

  15. Clinton R. says:

    “The final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan will be about Marriage and the Family.’
    -St. Lucia of Fatima

    Thank you, Fr. Murray, for your defense of the timeless teaching of the Catholic Church. There was once a time when orthodox Catholic teaching was a given, but the Father Murrays of the Church are rare.

    By their words and actions, we can see what side of the battle the proponents of Amoris Laetitia are on. I pray for them to be restored to their senses and to cease to oppose God. +JMJ+

  16. Frank says:

    Alanmac, I’ve had that same thought many times. I keep ending up with this: These people are not ignorant, whatever else they may be. Thus I conclude they either (a) are infected with the fairly typical attitude of leftists whereby past failures of whatever they’re selling are waved off with “but it just hasn’t been properly implemented yet”, and of course they are the geniuses who will make it work this time, or (b) know exactly what the results would be of following the “mainline” protestant example, and it doesn’t bother them a bit. I can’t think of another alternative. Maybe someone else can.
    God bless all here. –Frank
    (Twitter @TxTradCatholic)

  17. pannw says:

    “I think about the first chapter of Romans a lot these days.”

    Yes…you’d think the last line would shake these people up a bit. It sure does me.

  18. Charles E Flynn says:

    If Jesus had sold ceramic mugs to help finance his ministry, I am confident that none of them would have borne the slogan “I disfavor adultery.”

  19. Pingback: VVEDNESDAY CATHOLICA EDITION | Big Pulpit

  20. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: Chaput — Of course he sent people. Somebody has to keep track of what the crazy people are up to.

    You notice that, even though most conferences today will record audio or video and make it available to non-participants, these conference runners were not interested in turning light on their cruddy discussions. They wanted word to filter out to their version of the faithful, but they don’t want the rest of us to be able to discuss and respond. Which shows that they know they’re up to no good.

  21. Kathleen10 says:

    These tactics of changing language to change hearts and minds is right out of Saul Alinsky’s playbook, I bet. The reason the Leftists use it is, it works wonderfully well. Without a formed conscience, people are easy prey for Satanic lies. I saw a statistic the other day that said about 68% of Catholics approve of our current pope.
    That pretty much says where we are, and how effective this strategy has been.

  22. Rich says:

    The way these people trying to poorly defend Amoris Laetitia are twisting Christ’s words in Scripture remind me of the principle for scriptural interpretation that “all other senses of Scripture are based on the literal” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 1, 10, ad I; CCC 116).

    They seem to be disingenuously trying to claim that the “original” plan of God for marriage has somehow been modified by Christ, hearkening to Christ’s own reference to “the beginn. Literal interpretation of what it taking place here brings to fore that Christ is modifying the Pharisees view of God’s will for marriage – which included divorce – by referring to the beginning in order to establish law for marriage which was stricter than what the Pharisees practiced.

    If referring to Christ’s recollection of God’s will in the beginning should do anything, it should remind us that Christ did this in order to modify a perception of God’s law for marriage which allowed divorce and, consequently, adultery, in order to clarify that God’s will for marriage does not allow for either.

  23. Rich says:

    The way these people trying to poorly defend Amoris Laetitia are twisting Christ’s words in Scripture remind me of the principle for scriptural interpretation that “all other senses of Scripture are based on the literal” (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 1, 10, ad I; CCC 116).

    They seem to be disingenuously trying to claim that the “original” plan of God for marriage has somehow been modified by Christ, hearkening to Christ’s own reference to “the beginning” (Mt. 19:18). Literal interpretation of what it taking place here brings to fore that Christ is modifying the Pharisees view of God’s will for marriage – which included divorce – by referring to the beginning in order to establish law for marriage which was stricter than what the Pharisees practiced.

    If referring to Christ’s recollection of God’s will in the beginning should do anything, it should remind us that Christ did this in order to modify a perception of God’s law for marriage which allowed divorce and, consequently, adultery, in order to clarify that God’s will for marriage does not allow for either.

  24. OldProfK says:

    Springs from the same poisoned well that gave us the “living Constitution” on the secular side, and with the same ultimate aim.

  25. Semper Gumby says:

    Great article by Fr. Murray.

    Fr. Z, this might be a little over the top…

    _____

    (Here is a brief video of the CNN May 1, 2022, broadcast of “The People’s News.”)

    (A view of the CNN anchor desk and a female anchor.)

    “And next, Jim Baker in California has a report about a new solar and wind power plant. Take it away Jim.”

    “Hi Patty, I’m here this morning reporting from sunny California at the main gate to the People’s Glorious Laudato Si Solar and Wind Farm #4. The workers are now marching through the gates. Let’s talk to a few of them. You, sir, are you looking forward to the day’s work?”

    “You bet I am! After the 2017 Boston Conference some of us workers were formed into Worker’s Shock Brigades. We will ensure the reception of Amoris Laetitia at the local level.” (The man raises his fist at the camera.) “Fortify the reception!”

    “Thank you, sir. How about you, ma’am, how do you like working here?”

    “It’s great! At lunch we have Refining Sessions where we don’t Disturb the teachings of Jesus, we Develop them.” (She waves a pocket-sized copy of A.L. at the camera.) “Regularize the irregularities!”

    “Thank you ma’am. One more. You sir, what is the future of this power plant?”

    “Very bright! Thanks for asking! We just started a Five-Year Plan that will have us workers moving into communes nearby. Saves gas on the commute to work. See those pedestals there?” (Worker points and camera pans to three stones near the main gate.) “Next May 1, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, we’ll have statues of Spadaro, Kaveny, and Alinsky.” (The worker shoves his face into the camera lens and raises his fist.) “All power to the Lived Experience!”

    (The camera returns to a close-up of the reporter.)

    “Well, there you have it. I’m Jim Baker reporting from sunny California…”

    (The cameraman does a wide-angle shot of the facility and the hills beyond. On one of the hills a man and his neighbors are building a boat in the front yard of a ranch house. Several women and numerous children are arranging household goods and farm animals neatly on the front lawn. The cameraman pans back to a close-up of the reporter.)

    “…back to you Patty in the studio and those rumors of a thousand-foot high tsunami in the Pacific.”