The Dangers of Liberal Catholicism (Guest: Trent Horn)

April 26, 2024 00:57:29
The Dangers of Liberal Catholicism (Guest: Trent Horn)
Crisis Point
The Dangers of Liberal Catholicism (Guest: Trent Horn)

Apr 26 2024 | 00:57:29

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

For decades "liberal" or "progressive" Catholicism has been dominant in the Catholic Church in America, deeply influencing parishes and parishioners. What are the dangers of this brand of Catholicism, and what can we do to combat it?
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:10] Speaker A: For decades, liberal or progressive Catholicism has been dominant in the catholic church in America, deeply influencing parishes and parishioners. What are the dangers of this brand of Catholicism, and what can we do to combat it? That's what we're going to talk about today on crisis point. Hello, I'm Eric Simmons, your host, editor in chief of Crisis magazine. Before we get started, just want to encourage people to smash that like, button. Subscribe to the channel. You can follow us on social media at crisismagal at different social media locations. Also subscribe to our email newsletter. We'll send articles to you every day right into your inbox. Just go to crisismagazine.com, enter your email address, and it will come to you like magic. Okay, so our guest today is Trent Horn. I'm gonna. I think most people probably know who you are, but I'm still gonna read the bio because I always like it when it's impressive. I like to go ahead and read it. After his conversion to catholic faith, Trent horn somehow found time to get three master's degrees. I was impressed with my one, but whatever. [00:01:08] Speaker B: Work paid for him, so I figured why not just, just go for it. [00:01:12] Speaker A: Well, there you go. Yeah. So theology, philosophy, and bioethics. I didn't know about the bioethics one. That's awesome. [00:01:18] Speaker B: Yeah. So you, Barry? It's a very good program I'd recommend for people who want to look into that. [00:01:22] Speaker A: Where'd you get it from? [00:01:23] Speaker B: University of Mary in North Dakota. And it's, they're all that, they're all online masters. If you want to do that. It's a master's of science degree in bioethics. You can do twelve credits to the National Catholic Bioethics center. You do the whole thing online. You just go for a few weeks in the summer, uh, one year, and then the next year. [00:01:39] Speaker A: Oh, wow. That's great. Very good. So he's a staff apologist for catholic answers, and he's the host of very popular the Council of Trent podcast. He's author, co authored over a dozen books, including the case for Catholicism, persuasive pro life, and why we're Catholic are reasons for faith, hope, and love. His latest book is one we're going to be talking about today, and I think I'm going be to able to get on the screen here, let me try. [00:02:03] Speaker B: There we go. [00:02:04] Speaker A: Confusion in the kingdom. How progressive Catholicism is bringing harm and scandal to the church. And there he has a physical copy. I only have an electronic copy, but there's a physical copy, so it does really exist in real world. Yeah, exactly. So this book is about progressive or liberal Catholicism. And so why don't we just first define our terms? Because the word liberal has a long history of that's meant many different and even opposing things over the years. And so what do we, what do you mean, I should say, when you say liberal Catholicism, I know you say progressive Catholicism in the title, but in the book you say liberal Catholicism as well. What exactly do you mean by that? [00:02:46] Speaker B: Yeah, it's a very difficult word to define. It's one of those things. What was it? Was it the Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart, who was talking about, how do you define pornography? And he said, I know it when I see it. And it's kind of like when you say, well, what is a liberal or a progressive Catholic? I tend to notice two common threads, and that's what I wanted to address in this book, that liberal or progressive Catholics tend to downplay the need to assent to certain kinds of teachings or to create confusion around assenting to more traditional teachings related to life and sexuality, for example. So they are different than those the conservative Catholics might be trying to conserve previous teaching even as it develops and we better understand it, they're not as keen on that to make it less binding, maybe on these issues I go in, in the book, however, there are other issues that align more with political liberalism and modern democratic politics, for example, that they'll try to say Catholics are obliged to support. So I included a quote in the book from Heidi Schlumpf, who is the executive editor for the National Catholic Reporter. When you talk about more liberal Catholics, like the reporter is one that comes off right there. They were the ones that helped to promote the leak related to the majority report related to Humana Vitae back in the 1960s, the theologians that got together and said, oh, the church had changed teaching on contraception, and they were involved in promoting that kind of dissent. And in their publication, they have all kinds of posts from people who are openly dissenting to the church's teaching. And she said, like, well, what's a liberal or a progressive Catholic? And she says, you know, they're the people. They're the women's march march marchers, the Green New Deal supporters, the Black Lives Matter protesters across generations. So it's something, I think for many of us, when we think about it, liberal Catholics tend to have a lot in common where they downplay the importance of certain teachings and then up the importance of saying certain prudential judgments are almost binding on the catholic conscience now, are they? [00:05:11] Speaker A: I mean, are they heretics? I mean, the way you define it? Not really. But, like, I think a lot of conservative Catholics would say a lot of liberal Catholics are heretics. So kind of. Where is that line? [00:05:23] Speaker B: Yeah. And so what I try doing, I try to be very careful with the words and the language that I use. And, I mean, I try to do that in general. I think when you're on the Internet, it can be very tempting to want to throw bombs or tell it like it is, or people will get upset about nuance or overly qualifying things. Just tell it how it is. And there is some truth to that that is important. Just to say things. Let your yes mean yes and your no and mean no. But at the same time, if you're just using words because it feels good to use the word, but the word is being misused, that's wrong. You should not do that as Catholics. When Protestants say, oh, you worship Mary like you worship Jesus Christ, like, no, read catholic theology. We do not give the same worship we give to the Trinity we do not give to Mary. You might feel good saying that, but that's just not true about us, understand where we're coming from. So the word heresy, for example, has a very civic meaning. Just making any kind of theological error does not make you a heretic. It's a very serious charge. It's a grave sin if you're guilty of it. Heresy is the obstinate post baptismal denial of that which must be believed with divine and catholic faith. So if you are obstinately denying a dogma of the faith after baptism, because if you're not baptized, you're not a heretic, yet you're someone who needs to be evangelized. But if you have a priest, for example, saying that Mary gave birth to other children, the church is just wrong on that. Or the eucharist is just a symbol of Jesus Christ, he's not present there. That's heresy. What I'm talking about here in this book, I'm not just going after, oh, here's the clear heretics, people who say the church is wrong. I am addressing something that I find to be more pernicious and dangerous. It's people. Father James Martin would be an example of that. Many of the authors in America magazine or the reporter would fall into this category saying, well, we affirm what the church teaches. We're not denying these dogmas, but have you thought about this? And they'll say, and they'll do things that create confusion around the teaching. So they'll say, well, yes, of course, marriage is between a man and a woman, and the church teaches homosexual conduct is sinful. But is it really so bad for a catholic high school to employ someone in a so called same sex marriage? Isn't that discrimination to say, oh, well, if a catholic high school employs someone, it creates confusion? That's the point I'm getting across here in the book, that they adhere to the letter of the law, but in some of the things that they argue, the prudential judgments they propose, it's far from the spirit of the law or the teaching of the church. And that creates confusion to allow people to more slowly drift away from the letter of the church's teaching. Like in that example I gave about teachers, many catholic high school students would say, okay, well, the church says this is wrong, but my gay theology teacher seems like a nice enough guy. Couldn't be that bad. What I worry about is not just the outright, it's not the outright heretics. It's the people that sow that confusion ever so subtly. [00:08:28] Speaker A: Yeah, so I know, like, in general, catholic answers and you kind of avoid intra catholic fights, so to speak, and really going after other Catholics, it's more a matter of like, going towards Protestants, debating with them, atheists, things like that. Why did you think, okay, I'm actually going to go after fellow Catholics? Because whether or not we think they're good Catholics or they're doing good or not, they are. I mean, they are. I mean, Father James Martin, whether we like or not, is a priest in good standing in the catholic church. [00:08:55] Speaker B: Right. [00:08:55] Speaker A: And he's endorsed by, let's just say, high ranking people in the church. A lot of high ranking people, yes. So why did you feel like, okay, I'm going to write a book, though, that frankly goes after people like Father James Martin and people like that. [00:09:07] Speaker B: Well, I would say it's because no Catholic in the church is above reproach. No Catholic in the church, in any office is above a thoughtful criticism aimed at making sure that the body of Christ is served faithfully. So what I am focusing on now, I don't focus a lot on the members of the magisterium, such as the bishops, for example, though that does come up here, including the bishop of Rome, and focusing more on these lay catholic leaders, these particular priests, Father Martin, Father Rohr, Father Dan Horan, Father Casey Cole, who have a very large platform and create this kind of confusion. Because my job as an apologist is to help people to understand the faith, be able to explain it, to defend it, and help people understand. There are people who cause confusion about it. Now, sometimes those are non Catholics who say, oh, the church teaches this or says this. And I say, no, it actually doesn't. That's a caricature. But there are people within the church, both on the left, the progressive side, and on the right. So more of the. I don't want to. I am actually, Eric, I'll give you a sneak preview here. I am working on another book that will counterbalance this one, but I am hesitant to use the word that traditionalists are the one causing problems, because I think tradition is a great thing. The term I would prefer on the right would be fundamentalists. And what's funny is that, you see, both of them will cause. I thought about almost writing this book, including both elements, but it just didn't fit. So it'll be two books, because I've noticed that sometimes they'll attack the issues from. It's like the horseshoe thing, right, in politics, like, suddenly the two opposite ends of political spectrum will come back together again. So take contraception and NFP. You have people on the far left who will say contraception and NFP are the same thing, and then you have people on the far right who will say contraception and NFP are the same thing. And so they just reach different. So this like a horseshoe. The ones on the far left will say contraception and NFP are the same thing. So treat, uh. So we should treat contraception like NFP. There's nothing wrong with it. And on the far right, they'll say, contraception, NFP are the same thing. So treat NFP like contraception. They're both gravely sinful. So you see that there's plenty of stuff for me to look into that. And that's an objection some people are bound to raise. What about people on the far right? I call them catholic fundamentalists. I don't like using the term. Oh, they're the traditionalist. Tradition is a good thing, but when you clamp onto fundamentalism, that's where things can be problematic. So that's why just seeing that if there are Catholics who are causing you to be confused, and much of this book came from people reaching out to me saying, hey, this confuses me. Father Martin said this, father Casey said that. Help me understand this. Does the church really teach this? Does it really teach that? Does this make sense? It was seeing that need of people coming to me saying, I'm confused, that I felt justified in waiting out there charitably to alleviate some of the confusion other Catholics are causing. [00:12:12] Speaker A: So what would you say, is kind of the fundamental flaw of progressive Catholicism. Like, what is it like at the root that leads them to have these, to really do things that lead people astray? [00:12:29] Speaker B: Well, I would say the fundamental flaw would probably be approaching theological and moral issues from a purely human centered perspective rather than from a properly theologically formed perspective, looking at issues purely from man's perspective rather than from what you would call God's perspective. Now, none of us can see things from God's perspective, because we're not God, but we do have the magisterium, and what is able to do to teach us. And my concern is that among liberal and progressive Catholics, there is a tendency to want to look at issues related to life, related to sexual ethics, and try the best to form that and conform it to merely human intuitions and sentiments about those issues and failing to see them to their logical conclusion, to just operate from a gut feeling of, well, I don't feel good about firing this self identified gay teacher. So this is discrimination. And look at all these other people who call it discriminatory. We need to stand with those who claim to be marginalized and things like that, rather than from saying, well, why don't we look at this? Step back. What's our theologically formed perspective? What are the gravely evil elements of this act? How does the sin of scandal factor into this? And I would say, I'll get to this eventually when I do my book on catholic fundamentalism, that sometimes fundamentalists make the same error, that they will only look at things from their purely human understanding of, say, previous papal documents or the writings of the fathers, instead of listening to the magisterium and what it says on various issues. So I would say have a man centered point of view, maybe, instead of a God centered point of view. [00:14:27] Speaker A: Okay, just as an aside, you really are trying to make it so you have no friends in the catholic church, aren't you? By writing both, you're just gonna be the most unpopular person in Catholicism. [00:14:41] Speaker B: And that. That is. That's. That's okay. Okay with me. Because it's so funny that people will often say to me, because people on the right will say, accuse me of being a. And it's funny. My confirmation name is St. Paul, for example. So I was a. You know, I was somebody in junior high that made fun of christians. I wasn't persecuting people like Paul was, but I was not friendly to Christianity. Uh, then I became Catholic when I was 17. I took the name of. Of Paul as my confirmation name. And it's so funny. And it really, really did stick for me, Eric, because I identify a lot with St. Paul, because I am a, like, 100% melancholic in my temperament. I'm very introspective, analytical. I care about the truth. My wife and I, Sophie, we'll go out. My wife's a, you've seen her YouTube channel. She's a, she's a bubbly. [00:15:30] Speaker A: We miss it, by the way. [00:15:31] Speaker B: I know, I know. But it was, it was, it was a nice piece of art that was put out there that people can always appreciate. That's right. But, but you can tell from her she's really good at, you know, engaging others and being hospitable and all that. And, like, I'll say something that'll put people on edge. She has to swoop in and go, he's kidding. Just kidding. He's kidding. Because I guess for me, as a melancholic, you know, I care about the truth if it hurts other people's feelings. Well, the truth should be what's, what's important here. Uh, you shouldn't just stomp on feelings for no reason. But we should, we should cling to the truth. So Paul, in his writings, people say, you know, he talks about how people accuse me of being a people pleaser. And he is granted his writings with meek in person. And the way he gets kind of grumpy and grouchy with people, and he's just trying to get the facts. And I'm like, I hear you, buddy. I, you know, for St. Paul, pray for me. You know, I have to, you see what I'm going through with, with the, these certain elements. And I think Paul was accused, he was accused of being a people pleaser. So in Galatians, he says, I did not do this to please people. I did not go out there and do any of that. I did not get my gospel merely from human beings. I got it from God. I am not just trying to please others. I am just trying to preach the truth that God has given me. Now, I'm not saying, of course, this book is not what divine dogma God gave me, but I feel like the spirit motivated and led me to try to help clear away this, this kind of confusion. So. But I do think it's important. Yeah, I care. So it's funny. People on the right will accuse me of, you know, being a people please people on the left. This book, many people who are self identified, progressives, there's things they might not like. And if you don't like, if you don't like things I write. That's fine. That's good. I could be wrong. And then I will look at it and examine the criticisms and revise accordingly, you know, when I need to. [00:17:18] Speaker A: So the progressive Catholicism I mentioned at the top, I said that I think it's predominant. I know, like, progressive Catholics think that, like, the Catholic Church in America is so conservative, and they judge that based upon the fact that a few bishops maybe are against Biden or something like that. But to me, it seems like your average catholic parish, just your average diocesan parish, is very much infiltrated. I don't want to use that word. [00:17:49] Speaker B: Like it's a. I just mean, like, trademarked. [00:17:51] Speaker A: Yeah, okay, we're gonna cut that out. No, I won't actually cut that out, but, like, I just mean that it's dominated often by more progressive elements. You see it just by the way that it kind of treats every issue, that it doesn't. Like what you were saying before. It emphasizes, a lot of times, feelings, you know, now I'm gonna bring up Ben Shapiro, whom I'm not a big fan of, feelings over facts that we have. You know, just the idea that we can't say anything against. Like, we have our whole emphasis. Let's just go right. One issue like homosexuality. [00:18:25] Speaker B: Sure. [00:18:26] Speaker A: So in the catechism, it states very clearly, kind of. I don't wanna say both sides of the issue, but in the sense that you treat all people who suffer with same sex attraction, with the dignity that they have as their. As their birthright, as images of God, and you treat them with respect and all that at the same time. It also says, scripture and tradition makes clear this is a disorder. And, you know, the acts are disordered. Right. And so therefore, you know, we have to do that. Well, the vast majority of catholic leaders, and I'm talking about America, probably true in western. In Europe and things like that. [00:19:04] Speaker B: Especially America and Europe. Yeah. [00:19:06] Speaker A: Yes, but it's the emphasis all on. I mean, it's 100% on, we have to treat them with dignity. But how does that. Then, like, what's the problem with that? What's the problem with that kind of unbalanced way? How does that. What problems does that lead to when your whole focus is just, we have to treat them with dignity and you leave everything else out? [00:19:27] Speaker B: Well, the problem is that you fail to recognize the dignity of their immortal souls, and you treat them differently from others, as if they do not stand in need of salvation. And of course, people on the more traditional side can be guilty of this. Like, we should treat all sins in accord with their proper gravity. So you can. To say that all sins are equal in gravity. People on the right and the left can almost make those kinds of mistakes. Uh, so failing to recognize the gravity of sins on. On both sides can deal with this. That if you are, for example, if you're only calling out, like, let's take the. The sin of sodomy, for example. Uh, the. The most. The typical person who engages in the Sid of sodomy is someone who is attracted to people of the opposite sex. Just if we're looking at just straight statistical numbers wise, right? Uh, most, because just numbers wise, when it comes to fornication and. And acts of sodomy, these take place among men and women who are, while at least the male female bond is intrinsically ordered, many of the actions between the two are disordered and need to cease. And if you never call that out and you only focus on people who have same sex attractions, I understand how people could say that that's kind of an unjust sort of discrimination. But on the other side, if you are always calling out the sins of racism and the sins of capitalism and the sins of greed and other kinds and sins of war mongering and war profiting, and all these things are real sins. Now, in some cases, I do think they're exaggerated. Some of them, like, some things are called racists that are not racist. I talk about that in the book. But human trafficking, war mongering, war profiteering, all that kind of stuff that is really bad should be called out much the same way. But if you fail to say, oh, well, you say, I mean, it's funny, Eric. I'll see people all the time who will talk about billionaires in ways that I will see liberal Catholics on X who will talk about billionaires in ways. If you applied that same language to people who are in so called same sex marriages or transgender identity, it would be considered hateful. Like saying billionaires shouldn't exist. Saying, like, oh, do you want a genocide of billionaires? Well, no, they're not saying, saying that. But if someone said transgender identity should not exist, what they'll say is, you want transgender people genocided. No, that's not. That's not what's being said here. So I think that that's something for all of us to understand and look past our biases to really respect the dignity of the person. You respect them by understanding God. They are made in God's image, and you just treat them without, without making it. What's wrong with exaggerating or downplaying how far away they are from God based on how they present themselves. We can't see someone's soul, but they can present themselves to us and tell us where they're at in their spiritual life and their behavior. And it's our job to pastor them and lead them closer to Christ. And part of that is through clear, charitable admonition. And there's many on the left who. They simply won't do that when it comes to things like homosexuality. They think that if we were just nice enough people, then everyone who identifies as LGBT would convert. But I think a lot of cases, it's just they just disagree about the morality of this act, and we need to talk about that. [00:22:57] Speaker A: And isn't there also, though, an actual error? I mean, I feel like something like fellow James Martin and others like him do fall into heretical statements or beliefs or what have you, when they say, for example, that God made them that way, because the catechism makes it very clear that the homosexual orientation itself is disordered. I mean, we all have disorder orientations. We have, but we don't say. I wouldn't say, like, my orientation to be impatient with people is God made me that way. I mean, he made me with certain dispositions, which then, through upbringing, all that stuff, led me to have this. This failing. I mean, it's not like. It's like saying, and so the same way, and actually a little bit more serious then, is when somebody like Father James Martin says and others like him say that, like, God made them that way. Isn't that really. I mean, that's just an erroneous statement, isn't it? That it's more than just kind of undermining it, but it's actually contradicting revelation, wouldn't it? Wouldn't you say? [00:24:04] Speaker B: I think. And you'll. I talk about this in the book. What makes it very difficult with Father Martin and many of the people on the Catholic left when they'll say things, is that it depends how you take the statement and understand it, that you can read it in an orthodox and an unorthodox way. So, for example, and this, I talk about it in the book. I call it the Mott and Bailey Fallacy. All right. I love this. Nathan Shackler, I think was his name, or Shackler was his name, came up with it in 2005. And the fallacy goes like this. So in medieval Europe, little villages, you would have a mot, like a fortified tower you could retreat to in case of an attack, and a bailey. So the mot is a fortified dark dank tower you can go to to protect yourself. If a horde comes around and you don't want to live there, you don't want to live in the Mot. It's dark and dank. You don't like it, but it keeps you safe. The Bailey is the wide open field you want to be in and. But it's very, very difficult to defend against attackers. So. So what you would do, when the attackers come, you run to the Mot. When they go away, you go back to the Bailey. So the mott and Bailey Fallacy is when a person puts forward a controversial view and people attack it. And what you say is. That's not what I meant. I actually meant this. The much more defensible view. So the controversial view that the person really wants is the Bailey. It's. They like it, but it's hard to defend. The Mot would be the less controversial view. They don't really like, and they just go there for protection. And once the storm blows over, they're back in the bailey. So what Father Martin, let's say, if he says, you know, if you're gay, God made you this way. And I think that statement can be taken in a mot one way as a mot, one way as a bailey. The bailey would be, God purposely made you to be attracted to people of the same sex because he finds that beautiful and he wants you to pursue that. You know, he. He made you to be this way. This was his, his ideal plan for you. That's what a lot of people take from hearing God made you this way. That's the Bailey. And when someone comes in to say, no, Father, God doesn't do that. He says, well, I didn't mean that. I'm just saying, look, in the Bible, God says, who made the blind? Who made the deaf? God made all of us with all of our crosses that we bear. And so shouldn't we just, shouldn't we be empathetic to those? So the Mot would then be. Yes, God makes you in the sense that he permits you to have some kind of a deficiency or a cross to carry. And so you say that then when the storm blows over, when you're talking with your friends and those who are close to you, you wander back out into the Bailey. That's what I think happens all the time in these sorts of discussions, that liberal Catholics will say something controversial, they're pressed about it, they retreat to the less, the more defensible, meaning they don't really support, and then they'll go back to the, the more defensible, more controversial meaning. So that's what I've seen time and time again with him and with others. But, yeah, so, like that, like saying, like, if someone said, well, God made me this way, it's, you know, Catholics that do this all the time. It's a yes and no answer, right? [00:27:16] Speaker A: And I think ultimately, people, a lot of people, especially people who may be not well versed in catholic theology or even catechese river, they interpret the statement in the Bailey way, so to speak, and they just go off on their way, kind of accepting that. And it's like, okay, but that. So that's really the danger is then all of a sudden, then, a person who does suffer from same sex attraction does believe that God made them to be same sex attracted, as you said, and that's the way they find fulfillment. [00:27:47] Speaker B: Is like an ideal plan, rather than saying that. Right. The fact that you have these attractions is not something that's because to say God didn't make someone that way, it's not like God is surprised. Like, I had no idea you'd have these attractions. I wasn't involved in that. It's like, well, no, the way God made the world and through his permissive will, he knows through the fall, through concupiscence, through human sin, there are going to be deficiencies in our nature and that all of us will have these. And he places all of these different crosses in our lives while giving us the spiritual strength to be able to respond to his grace, to be able to carry them. [00:28:22] Speaker A: Right now in the book you start off, the main first section is about the life and sexuality issues, which is important. That's kind of the forefront, the vanguard of progressive Catholicism over the past decades. And I think it's important, but I also think it's something that most of all my audience, at least here at crisis, kind of already know. What I was very happy was that you then start addressing a lot of these issues that are. I think they're a little bit less clear on how we defend ourselves. And I think, like, one example is you already brought was his racism. [00:28:55] Speaker B: Right? [00:28:55] Speaker A: Because, like abortion, we know it's wrong, and they're kind of suggesting it's not. And we're saying, no, it is. Same with homosexuality. Racism is wrong. They're saying it's wrong. So obviously that's not a problem because you should say racism is wrong. But the way, it's the way they present it and their solutions to it, often that's where the problem is. So could you, as racism as an example, could you kind of talk about how clearly they're right, that racism is wrong? But what do they get wrong then when they talk about racism? [00:29:31] Speaker B: Ultimately what it's going to come down to is defining the term racism. And that's where I think many liberal Catholics, that's something that we should point out where liberal Catholics will get mad and they'll say, well, you, you more conservative Catholics, you'll immediately say abortion is wrong and homosexuality, not the orientation, but, you know, the homosexual acts are wrong, for example. But why won't you come out and join us and say that, you know, racism is wrong? And my answer is, the problem is for you on, on the left, you can't even define what you mean. Like, we can define abortion, the act of abortion, very clearly, that it is the intentional killing of an unborn child or it is the intentional expulsion of an unborn child from the womb prior to viability with the intent of ending the child's life, whatever it may be. We can put the parameters around it very easy. Or homosexual acts. I'm not going to define it here because I would like to keep you monetized and. Yeah, all of that. But, but we can define what those acts are. It's very, it's very clear. But, but you will have people who will say that the word racism, like, they can't even, they can't even define it. So, for example, in how, in what they will often do, more liberal Catholics, they'll borrow from secular liberalism to try to put these terms in there. They'll take, look, well, the catholic church teaches racism is wrong. Yeah, you're right. But you're borrowing now secular understanding of the term that goes far beyond what the church teaches. And this is something similar. I mean, I've gotten involved in debates recently about antisemitism and that's come up with the Israel Gaza war, things like that. The church teaches very clearly that racism is wrong, anti Semitism is wrong. But it doesn't follow that because antisemitism is wrong. Not, not everything called anti Semitism is anti, I have been called anti semitic for comparing children dehumanized, unborn children being dehumanized by abortion to the dehumanization of human beings during the Holocaust. I've had people call me anti semitic, which is rich because half my family's jewish, you know, so likewise, but of course, the fact that some things are called antisemitic and they're not, there are still truly anti semitic things out there. Likewise, the racism, the fact that something is called racist. So people say, well, the church teaches racism is wrong, and society says this is racist. Therefore, Catholics have to be against it. No, just because people call it racist doesn't mean that it is. You have to define your term. And people on the left, they just really can't define it. So, like, I would say that, you know, racism traditionally is a malice or an unjust treatment towards a particular racial group with the purpose of disenfranchising them or something like that. But some of the definitions, like I have Ibram x Kendi here, he wrote the book how to be an anti racist. He says, racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas. [00:32:33] Speaker A: I thought the first way. You can't define words. You can't use the word in the definition. You use it, like, three times. [00:32:39] Speaker B: Oh, totally. And it gets worse. You have Father Dan Haran, for example. He has a book called the White Catholics Guide to racism and privilege. He says, racism is a culture that justifies inequality and disparity between people identified according to their perceived race. So the idea here is so something is. So people will say, oh, there's a disparity here. Therefore, this disparity is racist, right? Well, no, that doesn't follow. I mean, Asian Americans are more likely to qualify for admission to Ivy League schools, for example. So there's a disparity there. Does that mean that racism is the reason that racial disparity exists? No, of course not. So when people will put that forward, that's where you get the problem. And also the problem, what they'll do with the term, is that you evacuate the term of all. It's mean. That's what really galls me when this happens. And it's similar on the right. Like, if you say every single theological error is a heresy, no matter how minor, well, then the word heresy loses its meaning. It's like the boy who cried wolf. No, he's a heretic. Yeah, you think everybody's a heretic, so nobody cares. And so if everything is racist, then nothing is really racist. So back after the killing of George Floyd, you had Rob McCann. He was the president of Catholic Charities of eastern Washington, put up a YouTube video. I was shocked that he said in the video, I have the quote here. He said that everything related to the death of George Floyd made me realize important things about my own life. I always knew, but never truly embraced the blunt truth. I am a racist. That's the hard truth. I am a racist. How could I not be, as a white person living in America, where every institution is geared to advantage people who look like me, it's seemingly impossible for me to be anything other than a racist. That is just so irresponsible to say. Say that just because you are white, that makes you racist. So there's. So if you're a racist and David Duke from the KKK, he is also a racist, you're both racist. There's a lot of people who, instead of saying, oh, I don't want to be racist, they'll say, well, I guess racism ain't that bad. Everybody's racist. Who cares? Right? No, racism is evil. Don't say things are racist when they are not, when they're just a disparity, for example, or they're just an accusation. So that's where I get concerned, that you would have people saying, well, if you're a Catholic, you have to. You have to support black lives Matter. Well, you have to support the proposition that all human beings lives matter, regardless of race. So black lives matter. Of course they do. But the, but the group itself, you as a Catholic, can certainly be critical. And there are many Catholics who have been critical, especially since many of these social justice groups that liberal Catholics try to align themselves with, they're totally anti Catholic, they're pro LGBT, they're pro abortion. And Eric, the thing that. Really, sorry, I didn't have my venting session with. You can be my little. My therapist. I gotta vent about these things that I see is when you will see, for example, liberal Catholics online, who will. That. If a conservative Catholic has any connection to a person who is racist, no matter how many six degrees of separation between people, him, that guy and Kevin Bacon, you're bad. You're just. You're bad. No matter how tenuous the connection may be, if you are connected to a racist person in any. Or if a catholic speaker has racist views. Oh, even if they're not. Even if they're not Catholic. Let's say you have a Catholic aligned with a non Catholic who would be. Who is racist. Well, clearly that's a horrible, awful thing. You shouldn't do any of those partnerships whatsoever. But these people on the left will have no problem promoting activists who work at Black Lives Matter, who are openly pro abortion, openly defending legal abortion, and saying, well, you know, are we going to. Are we going to protest everybody who's involved in abortion? But they wouldn't say that. Are we going to protest everybody who's. Who's racist? All I want, and I've said this before to other people is. And that's why I'm fine if both sides really don't like me, because my goal is just to treat everyone equally and hold everybody to the same standard. [00:36:55] Speaker A: Yeah, it is a frustration, because I see this all the time, too, where somebody who is anti semitic or something like that might agree with something I say and like, aren't you gonna like that? That's terrible, Eric, can't you see you're wrong? Because I'm like, well, Hitler might have liked apples, and I like apples. Does that mean, like, I'm like, have to stop liking apples because Hitler liked them? I mean, it's like, it's ridiculous. Just because, you know, just to think, just because somebody liked that. I also think that a danger of, like, this, everything is racism. I see it. I think you see it in some younger people particularly. And yes, I am going to sound like the grumpy old man here, and that's okay. And the idea that, like, then, like you said, racism becomes nothing. And so they want to be based. So they will say things that, frankly, are racist. [00:37:44] Speaker B: And it's like, it creates a backlash that if people tell you you're racist, you're racist, you're racist. Right. [00:37:50] Speaker A: Then it's like, well, why not just be racist? Because I'm gonna be called that anyway. [00:37:54] Speaker B: Exactly. Yeah, if you are. If a white person is racist simply in virtue of being white, which is what Robin D'Angelo, the author of White, you know, the guide to white Fragile or, sorry, white fragility. Or her book about how all white people are racist. She has the most amazing grift of all time, making five, six figures, just going and telling white people that they're racist, basically. Uh, which is amazing to me. I would love to find out how much of the money she's made from speaking engagements she's donated to, um, African Americans and people of color. Uh, that's. I'd love to find that. I'd love to. [00:38:26] Speaker A: I mean, that is quite a gig if you can get it, I guess. [00:38:29] Speaker B: Yeah, it's. It's truly amazing to me. But. But you're right. And so I worry, especially among Gen Z, about a thing called irony poisoning. So irony poisoning occurs when you share memes and you're being ironic about it. Like, oh, yeah, I guess I'm racist. Or sharing racist jokes. Oh, I'm based. I don't care if you get mad and at first you start doing it, you're not racist, but you get a kick out of making other people angry. And it amuses you, and it's just ironic to you, but the more and more you do it, the more and more it stops being ironic and you actually start to believe it. So this is called irony poisoning. And I'm very concerned about people who spend inordinate amount of times online, amount of time online, this happening to them. And I think that people, you know, you have people on the, people on the right are wrong if they say racism doesn't exist and people on the left are wrong when they say everything is racist. There's a happy medium right now. [00:39:21] Speaker A: Okay, I'm going to bring back here to liberal Catholicism, and I'm going to bring up the big elephant in the room, and that is the bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. I think a lot of people, and I would be one of them in most ways, would say that Pope Francis is a liberal Catholic, is a progressive catholic, and he engages in a lot of the things that you criticize in this book. Now, you said, like you say very clearly, you don't really bring up bishops or including the bishop of Rome in the book. But the question is, is Pope Francis falling into the problems and the ambiguities and things that you bring up in this book? [00:40:02] Speaker B: Sometimes he does. So, as I was writing the book, I wanted to shy away from, from just poorly chosen words or really imprudent emphases among the members of the magisterium, among the bishops. And the bulk of the book is really an apologetic because it deals with the arguments that the liberal Catholics make to defend their views. So, like, Father Martin will say that can sometimes trip people up. Like, if he says, well, if you believe that someone who identifies as gay should be fired from a catholic high school, do you think every single non Catholic that works there should also be fired, which can trip you up? Like, oh, well, what exactly do I think about that? And help to overcome these different kinds of arguments, or from others who will quote mine from papal teachings and will say, deportation is intrinsically evil, for example, when it's not. So I'm focusing more on, especially priests and laypeople who are putting forward particular arguments that need to be addressed and dismantled. So I'm not focusing as much on the emphases or some of the things that, like, Pope Francis has said. At the same time, though, later on in the book, like, especially in the chapter on climate change, I am critical of some of the things that Pope Francis has said, because one of the problems in liberal Catholicism would be saying that certain prudential judgments, even judges by the magisterium are now, you know, morally binding upon Catholics as if they were teachings of the Church of the magisterium that require the religious assent of mind and will like the idea that, like, every single diocese now needs to get solar panels to combat climate change. That is not a teaching of the church. That is. That's a judgment. And I. You know what? I'll complain more of you because you're fun to complain to. Well, you have. There was a bishop in. It was a diocese back east. Maybe it was Stowe. It wouldn't surprise me if it was Stowe who has just announced they're going to make their diocese carbon neutral in two years or something like that. And my thing is, if you're a bishop, you have authority over your ordinary. Over your diocese. You get to choose what goes on there. And I'm free to say, I don't think that's such a great. To me, I find it to be the silliest kind of virtue signaling, because I do the whole chapter on climate change in the book, that even if you were to actually reduce CO2 emissions by an american diocese, that will have no effect on the common good whatsoever. It will have absolutely no effect, because it doesn't have any effect on just the globe. This is a global aggregated problem. So it's. If it makes you feel good, okay, but it will. It will not accomplish any kind of a good whatsoever. Number two, a lot of these involve, like, carbon credits. You're not. You're still, like, I'm certain those diocese and that. That. I forget which one it was, but it says they live in coal country, that they're going to try to be carbon neutral and they're. And they're. So they're going to try to be carbon neutral and they want to change their transportation. If they make all the diocesan vehicles electric, that's also not going to change anything because you emit CO2 to make electric. The batteries for electric cars. There's no difference there that then the carbon credits the same thing as. It's a scam. It's just a bunch of virtue signaling to me. If you want a virtue signal, I'll roll my eyes. Okay, whatever. But when you cross the line and say, hey, the church teaches that you have to do all this stuff, that's where it's gone too far. That's where it's gone too far. And one needs to step in. So I addressed some of the things that Pope Francis has said. I think there was a part, I should almost read it here because I revised it right after laudate Deum came out his part two of laudato si on climate change. And I said, just flat out in the book, I'm really not sure what Pope Francis is saying here. I try and remember the part, but it was. It was. [00:44:02] Speaker A: That happens sometimes. [00:44:05] Speaker B: Yeah. But there's other things that. That he says. I do quote Pope Francis a lot in here because especially on life and sexuality issues, he's abundantly clear a lot in the book, like father Dan Haran. It seems like he almost gets an aneurysm because. Cause he's very pro transgender ideology. He even encourages people to call Bishop's sister or mister to help them feel the pain of being misgendered, for example. So he was Father Horan. Oh, he was at that St. Mary's catholic college that was an all female school that temporarily allowed transgender women. I saw this online, and I think I might start. It's so funny. I'm gonna be 40 next year, and I think I'm slowly moving away from, like, when I was 28, I was just, like, the nicest, bright eyed, bushy tailed catholic apologist and most sensitive. And now I'm like, I don't care. I have a video coming out next week. Well, yeah, I don't care if people say I'm homophobic. So, like, instead of trans woman, I want to say fake woman. Like, fake woman. It was good. They were gonna admit fake women. Like, I don't want to use the word trans anymore. Like, right. There's women and there's fake women. And then confusing, too, because I can never remember. [00:45:14] Speaker A: When you say somebody's a transgender woman, is that a woman who became a man or a man became a woman? I can never keep a track. Fake woman is good. [00:45:20] Speaker B: I think I might just end up doing that. So it's a balance between honesty and meeting people where they're at anyways. So, yeah. And so he has encouraged that. But. And I read in the book, I talk about his response to Pope Francis, who has said gender colonization is the most dangerous thing in the world today. He says that it's awful, that of children saying that they can be another gender, even dignitatus dignity, infinitus, infinite dignity. And beyond the recent DDF document, I see the Catholic left turning themselves into pretzels over it, what it says about gender ideology. So a lot of that stuff, it is really good there. And I do quote that a lot in the book. The problem, though, does become. I do find it more especially on economics. I will just be honest with you like? I respect Pope Francis. I met him in person in 2013 and my wife right after we got married. I can tell that he has a good heart, and I want to be. I want to give, even to his prudential judgments. I want to give them more respectful consideration than I give to others, because he is the pope. He's the bishop of Rome. But sometimes I will read what he writes in fratelli tati or laudato. Si. On, like, on how to address an economic problem or how to address an environmental problem, and I just. I don't know what solution is being put forward. I'm just, like, baffled. What is it exactly that you want us to do? There's something in fratelli tutti about wanting to improve the economy and make, you know, make sure all the wages go up but employment doesn't go down at the same time. And I'm like, well, but you're asking for two contradictory things right there. Like, I understand what your goal, what you're suggesting, but sometimes the language can just be so flowery. I want to be open to your consideration, your prudential judgment. I just don't know what it is. [00:47:18] Speaker A: Yeah, because it does sound like sometimes the economic suggestions you make, it's kind of like, I want to be able to jump off this tall building, but I don't want to go splat. I mean, it's like, well, you're either going to do one or the other. I mean, it's like if you jump off, you're going to go splat. And it's like some of these economics ideas. Like you said, you want wages to go up, but not unemployment. Well, you raise wages, and it's just like, I mean, just like the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, it's going to then decrease employment just by nature. [00:47:47] Speaker B: Here's what I found. It's what. And this is something. This is what's funny to me, like, with. With the environment, because for me, this is the one where people get. People get mad at me on both sides when it comes to climate change. I debated Tony Annette, for example, who is, I would say, is a more progressive catholic economists, for example. And we had a debate on that not too long ago. And he presented what I would say is the standard progressive view of climate change, that it's this apocalyptic thing that, and we have to do everything humanly possible to prevent it, even if it really decreases the standard of living for human beings. But a lot of people on the right will tell me, like, no climate change is a hoax, not real. And in the debate I just put forward, I said, this is my view. I call it a catholic realist approach to climate change. And I said, look, I can agree that the climate is changing. Humans are, you know, human. This is not, by the way, church teaching, by the way, these are. Things fall outside of faith and morals. But as a Catholic, I could say I'm comfortable saying, yeah, human activity can have negative effects on the climate, and so we are morally responsible for that. And we. We ought, you know, there's things we have to take into account and consider, but it doesn't follow from that that therefore Catholics are obliged to follow every liberal recommendation on climate change. For example, I think to me, the best way to address the dangers of climate change is to shift the power grid to nuclear power. It is a clean, reliable. More people are killed putting solar panels on their roofs than working in nuclear reactors. It's an incredibly safe, reliable, efficient means of providing power. The church has a longstanding goal of nuclear disarmament. Well, we could take the uranium from these warheads and put them into power plants. That'd be amazing. And yet, when I look among catholic liberals, I go among Tony. Tony will just say, nuclear has its place, but it's going to be wind and solar. That's the wave of the future. I'm like, come on, man. When you look at France, gets 70% of its power from nuclear. There is no country that gets. No country that gets the majority of its energy from wind and solar. It's just not feasible. So when I'm reading what Pope Francis saying about climate change, like, why don't you just recommend nuclear power? That country shift to this? And it was hardly in Laudato. Si. America magazine ran a horrible article saying nuclear is bad. In 2008, laudate Deum, he wrote that nuclear waste, he talked about nuclear waste disposal. He called it a grim process that turns homes into graves due to the diseases that were then unleashed. And it just makes it sound like we just bury nuclear waste under, like, elementary schools, which is not what happens. You can throw it down salt mines and we can contain it. And now he says in their Laudat Deum 30, it could be said that this is an extreme example, but in these cases, there is no room for speaking of lesser damages, for it is precisely the amassing of damages considered tolerable that has brought us to the situation which we now find ourselves. And this is what I wrote after it. I confess that I do not understand what point the exhortation is making here, or even if it is referring to nuclear waste disposal, suffice it to say it does not provide a compelling reason to abandon the use of nuclear energy in order to reduce CO2 emissions. I can be perfectly frank there in my, and that I, in my confusion opinion that there's still. There's confusion here, I can't even clear because I don't know what it's saying. So that's why, especially in these chapters on these modern social issues, climate change, racism, gun control, immigration, where liberal Catholics want to say the catholic view demands you take our liberal political view. I try very hard in those chapters to say a Catholic may hold those views. You can. There's nothing in the church that prevents you as long as you don't go so extreme and say, oh, yeah, to protect the environment, we have to help the human race eventually go extinct. You can support, everybody's got to drive an electric car, even though it's not going to solve the problem at all, or you'll make it worse. You just don't have to. And so my concern there is to show that what they consider obligatory is merely permissible. And in the first half of the book on issues related to sexuality, especially in life, what is obligatory? They try to downgrade to merely, merely the permissible. And that's probably even worse. [00:52:15] Speaker A: Yeah. So going forward then, like, for, like, just the average Catholic who has to deal with this in their parish life or, you know, because maybe Father recommends something by Father James Martin or something like that. How do, other than just getting your book, of course, how would an irish Catholic kind of combat the, kind of the influence of progressive Catholic Catholicism? Because I really do think it's kind of seeped into a lot of parish life. So what is kind of the way forward for them to combat that? [00:52:50] Speaker B: Well, I think what's helpful is to always go back to basics. So to say, okay, where does the catechism say that? You know, where, where does the church teach that? And to always go back to what the church teaches. So with the, the big issues like life and sexuality, you can say, well, look here in the catechism that the church teaches that sexual acts outside of marriage are wrong. They're, they're gravely sinful. And then to ask a liberal Catholic, especially, I find the scandal that erupts there, your best bet is to see if they're consistent and show that they do care about grave sin, just not some grave sin. So, like the sinner. So they might say, you'll have liberal Catholics who will say, there's nothing wrong with a pride flag. It's my way of just saying I love people who identify as lgbt. Now, that's disingenuous, because that the pride flag, the rainbow flag, means more than just you love a person. It means what this person believes about sexual behavior is. Is a good thing. It is a flag that says that the sexual. The ideology of the lgbt movement is good for society. That is directly contrary to catholic teaching. So in the book, I challenge that. You know, people like Father Martin saying, well, the pride flag just means that I might ask them, hey, do you think there's anything wrong with flying the confederate battle flag? Because to me, it just means southern heritage is really cool. Southern history. Southerners are made in the image and likeness of God. That's what it means to me. So what's wrong with that? They'll say, ah, but because some people associate that flag, they. Because some people use it for the evil of racism, no Catholic should use it. Okay, you know what? I'm willing to agree with that. Will you agree that because some people use the pride flag to promote the evil of sodomy, none of us should use it? I find what's helpful there with those issues, with the grave evils that are downplayed to say, look, does the church teach this is a grave evil? Are you, now, would you promote another grave evil using a similar confusing or scandalous thing? And if you wouldn't, you're being inconsistent here with the social issues that they try to make obligatory. We'll go back to the basics. Say, well, what does the church teach about immigration? And read the catechisms paragraph. And immigration is great. It balances that. The two extremes, open borders. A state has no right to regulate its nation. It certainly does. It prohibits that. But also it condemns those on the far right who would say there's no right to migrate. And countries have no duty even to like a refugee who is fleeing ethnic cleansing. They have no duties whatsoever. That's also not catholic teaching. There is a right to migrate that has to be balanced with the right of a nation to maintain its borders, to say, look, okay, here's what the catechism says. Where does. Where does the church teach your view that deportation is always intrinsically evil? Or the catechism says we have to be good stewards of the environment. But the church doesn't say that we have to follow this certain policy related to climate change. Can't we debate about where, you know, what policies would be helpful in that regard? In fact, there was a. Oh, here we go. [00:55:55] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:55:55] Speaker B: In laudato si. It even says paragraph 15 that it calls for broader proposals for dialogue and action. And it says in paragraph 61 of laudato si on many concrete questions. The church has no reason to to offer a definitive opinion. She knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts while respecting divergent views. So just say we're right. We agree we should care for the environment. We should help reduce fatalities to gun violence. But do you think we can disagree about the ways to do that? Because Jesus didn't really tell us how to do that. [00:56:30] Speaker A: Right. Okay, I think we're going to wrap it up there. I want to encourage people. [00:56:34] Speaker B: Get the book. [00:56:35] Speaker A: It's confusion in the kingdom. Progressive Catholicism is bringing harm and scandal for the church. I'll have a link to it in the show notes. You can get catholic.com. Also, I'll link to your website, trenthorn.com, just so people cannot kind of know what you're going on, going on with you. I know you're on x so people can follow you there. Of course, your counsel of Trent podcast, which I know is on YouTube. I assume it's on all the podcast networks as well and stuff like that. So people can find out how you're using those three master's degrees to good use for the church. So I appreciate you being on Trent. [00:57:08] Speaker B: Thanks for having me, Eric. [00:57:10] Speaker A: Okay, until next time, everybody. God love.

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