Anglican Professor: Is Francis a Liberal Protestant?

Anglican Professor: Is Francis a Liberal Protestant?

Gerald McDermott asks on First Things (November 15) whether Pope Francis is a liberal Protestant.

A professor at Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, USA, he questions Francis’ faith, “which seems, if not weak, at least different from that of the Catholic tradition”.

McDermott reminds that Francis claimed that Jesus’s multiplication of the loaves was not a miracle but a sort of sharing (2013), that lost souls do not go to hell (2015), that Jesus begged his parents for “forgiveness” (2015), or that God was “unjust with his son” (2016).

According to McDermott “those days when there was a clear beacon shining from across the Tiber” are gone, “Rome itself has been infiltrated by the sexual revolution.”

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4 comments on “Anglican Professor: Is Francis a Liberal Protestant?

  1. Küng Fu: Modernism the Legend Continues

    Master Po: What is troubling you, Grasshopper?

    Kwai Chang: I am confused, Master.

    Master Po: What has confused you, Grasshopper? Are you wondering why Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Judge Roy Moore are being run out of town while Bill Clinton is still protected by the mainstream media and cultural elite?

    Kwai Chang: That is confusing, Master. But I am actually confused by something else.
    I am wondering… is Pope Francis a liberal Protestant?

    Master Po: Strange are the ways of the cycle of karma in the realm of illusion when searching for the flow of the Tao , are they not, Grasshopper? For who can know the way to San Jose? If a frog is being boiled slowly in a pot when can he know when to turn on the air conditioning?

    Kwai Chang: I cannot be certain, Master.

    Master Po: Why can you not be certain, Grasshopper?

    Kwai Chang: I thought that the Pope had forbidden the use of air conditioning.

    Captain Kirk: That’s a good point, Mister Spock. Analyze, using your usual superior Vulcan logic which we no longer call “superior” in public discussions in order to avoid being accused of neo-Pelagian triumphalism and excessive rigidity by sensitive liberals and progressive modernists who might be less familiar with Aristotelian logic due to changes in curriculum from the Land O’Lakes conference and who, therefore, might view displays of logic as triggering events and microaggressions …

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, yes, we should avoid triggering unnecessary microaggressions.

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. The Holy Father did warn about excessive reliance upon air conditioning in his encyclical on climate change. However, there was no specification whether this admonishment applied to frogs in danger of boiling.

    Captain Kirk: What about suggestions that the Pope is a liberal Protestant?

    Spock: His progressive spin on divorce, remarriage, and the reception of Communion for adulterers does depart from traditional Catholic teaching, Captain. There is additional evidence that he has read the writings of the modernist theologian Hans Küng, who also shares many similarities with liberal Protestants.

    Hans Küng: I would like to address that…

    Captain Kirk< .B>: And these new teachings on marriage pose problems for conservative and traditional Catholics?

    Spock: Technically, Captain, yes.

    King Henry VIII: If you give me a son, you can have any abbey or monastery you want. On the other hand, if you cross me, I’ll have to send you to the Tower.

    Dr. Strangelove: Zat ist ze genius of ze liberal Protestant attitude toward marriage und sex, ja.

    Max Weber: Let me just add a few observations on this…

    King Henry VIII: What if I let you teach a seminar on Bultmann, Schleiermacher, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and John A.T. Robinson at Cambridge?

    Professor Bultmann: I have no objections.

    Albert Schweitzer: I would like to be included, if that were possible.

    Bishop Pike: I didn’t see my name on the list.

    Professor Jürgen Habermas: There should be a vote.

    Bishop Spong: Let me say this about the current Pope and liberal Protestantism…

    Rev. Billy Graham: You’ve had your chance, smart guy.

    Kierkegaard: As long as we discuss Angst and existential self-estrangement….

    King Henry VIII: Off with their heads! And bring me the women!

    Reverend Neuhaus: That’s my opening….Forgive me for interrupting again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, but speaking as a semi-recovering former Lutheran familiar with the pitfalls of eliminating reason and logic from discussions of religion, this might be a good time to discuss the Naked Public Square in modernity, Max Weber’s concept of disenchantment in modern culture, and Professor Taylor’s secularization theories….

  2. [If Francis is a liberal Protestant, then here is the epitome of liberal Protestantism]

    The Unitarian Example: A Cautionary Tale

    On the failure and influence of Unitarianism; there are few of them, but they paved the way for the sexual revolution.

    David Carlin
    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017

    I live in Newport Rhode Island, which was the birthplace of William Ellery Channing, often called “the father of American Unitarianism.” His childhood home is nine-tenths of a mile from my house. If a knife that has had its handle replaced and then its blade is still the same knife, then Channing’s childhood home, after numerous reconstructions (one of which it is undergoing at the moment), is still standing.

    Decades ago, in a second-hand bookstore, I stumbled across a big fat volume of Channing’s collected essays. I think it was printed about 1880. I read and enjoyed many of the essays, especially his Baltimore sermon of 1818, which has often been spoken of as “the Unitarian Declaration of Independence.” In this sermon Channing outlines the principles that characterized the Unitarian movement, a movement that from the beginning of the century had been driving Calvinism out of its strongholds in Boston and eastern Massachusetts generally.

    The “hard” belief system of Calvinism had been psychologically suitable for those who settled the New England wilderness in the 1600s. But by the 1800s, Boston was almost as far from being a wilderness as were London and Paris. It was a prosperous city dominated by a class of rich merchants. By then, the “soft” creed of Unitarianism was psychologically more suitable.

    Channing’s Christianity was as sincere as it was unorthodox. He believed that by getting rid of certain old-fashioned Christian beliefs – for example, the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, and Original Sin – the Unitarians were getting back to the religion of Jesus. They were completing the work that had begun at the time of the Reformation. In breaking from Rome, the Reformers had eliminated some of the accretions to pure Christianity that Catholicism had introduced. Now the Unitarians would eliminate the remainder of these accretions. It is hilarious to think that the early Unitarians thought that Jesus embodied a wisdom of the nineteenth-century Boston Brahmin type. But so they did.

    Studying Channing and the early Unitarians gave me a clue to understanding liberal Christianity in general, the Unitarians being the first liberal Protestants in America. Unitarianism did what liberal Protestantism always does: it attempts to blend Christianity with a form of unbelief that happens to be fashionable at the moment.

    Now the fashionable form of anti-Christianity in the latter 18th and early 19th centuries was Deism. And so the Unitarians said to themselves: “Too bad the Deists reject our beautiful Christian religion; but still, we have to admit that they make some good critical points.” And then Channing and his colleagues blended what they thought to be the best of Christianity with the best of Deism, the result being Unitarianism.

    Later in the 19th century, liberal Protestants tried to blend the best of Christianity with the best of agnosticism. And in the last quarter of the 20th century, they tried to blend the best of Christianity with the best of the sexual revolution. It’s always, needless to say, an incoherent blend that results because you cannot really blend unblendables.

    When you do this liberal “blending” you have to drop, of course, certain elements of old-fashioned Christian orthodoxy; and as time goes by and you get more and more liberal, the Christian content of your blend gets thinner and thinner; until finally your Christianity is a ghostlike thing, barely distinguishable from atheism.

    This downhill slide from Christian orthodoxy to virtual atheism was especially rapid in the Unitarian case. Channing had barely established Unitarian orthodoxy when the Transcendentalists came along – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Parker, and others. And they, inspired by the liberal principle that you should feel free to drop orthodox beliefs in an attempt to realize a better and purer religion, dropped Unitarian beliefs.

    Emerson, who started his professional life as a Unitarian minister, soon became a pantheist, not a Christian, even though he still attended a Unitarian church. And from pantheism to atheism is but a single step. I hate to blame Emerson, whom I greatly admire in several respects, for contributing to the de-Christianization of America. But facts are facts.

    There is a Unitarian church here in Newport named, fittingly enough, the Channing Church. It is located just across the street from an old stone tower that some Newporters believe was built by the Vikings. The church has a rainbow flag out front, the LGBT flag.

    The Unitarian-Universalist Association (for the Unitarians and Universalists merged more than a half-century ago) no longer calls itself a Christian denomination, and it no longer officially believes in God, though in a characteristic spirit of tolerance it tolerates theism in its members and even its ministers. It is now little more than an ethical culture society, but it still tries to embrace whatever form of anti-Christianity is currently fashionable.

    So it comes as no surprise that this morning (I’m writing on Monday of this week) our local newspaper has a big front-page story about Sunday’s service at the Channing Church. It had a service for Transgender Remembrance Day. Of course. It was some consolation to me that a photo in the paper showed attendance at the service to be sparse – even more sparse than the very sparse weekend Mass attendance at my own Catholic church.

    Why should we Catholics care about any of this? Because the Catholic Church in the United States is increasingly flooded with many persons who would like to “blend” Catholicism with today’s fashionable form of anti-Christianity. What is that form? The ideology of sexual freedom. We have in our ranks many persons – including more than a few priests and even bishops – who are “soft” on fornication, “soft” on unmarried cohabitation, “soft” on abortion, “soft” on homosexuality, and “soft” on transgenderism.

    You can spot these “softies” not just by what they say, but also by what they don’t say. Their silence, their very eloquent silence, gives consent.

  3. [The quick (two-year) results of liberal Protestantism in a formerly thriving “Evangelical” Prot church, which is becoming a former church. The same is happening at a slower but quickening pace in the Catholic Church.]

    Nashville Floundering “Megachurch”: There’s Nothing Like A “Progressive” Christian

    NOV 17 2017
    Posted by Mundabor


    Very ugly, not-so-mega “church” now on sale.

    If you make an internet search for “GracePointe”, you will find a lot of articles about the leader of this supposed (and soi-disant) “megachurch” “embracing” the satanic values of the XXI centuries and accepting, or welcoming, or whatever that rubbish is, sexual perverts [i.e., sodomarriage and the LGBTQUEER agenda].

    Fast forward two years, and the Proddie outfit is rapidly unraveling. And I do not mean merely that they are stagnating or have some attendance problems. I mean the halving of the attendance in just two years and the necessity to sell the church, move to rented space and reduce other expenses merely to stay afloat.


    This is a rather remarkable work of destruction accomplished in merely two years. I think this supposed “pastor” deserves the compliments of every atheist and enemy of Christ in the Country, as he has successfully shown out to take a (even if wrong) Christian organisation and shred it to pieces.

    Unfortunately for the atheists, though, the success is only apparent. There is no evidence that even one person lost the faith because of this disgraceful “pastor”. Rather, it appears that half of this Proddie community discovered, once seriously challenged, that they are Christians after all and will not put up with this rubbish. As things go in life, it is more likely that this will generate more interest in serious Christianity in those who left this already progressive “church” rather than make them drift outside of Christina worship.

    The truth is that there is nothing like a “progressive Christian”. Christianity does not “progress” at all and is, therefore, the very essence of conservatism. Fashionable adjectives do not hold sway over the truth, merely over the confused minds of half-witted conformists and social cowards.

    Some people, who have clearly lost their faith, may try to be loved by the world and embrace its sins and perversions. But it will backfire rapidly. This “pastor” had the only effect of forcing his sheep to choose between Christ and the world. Half of them woke up already, others will do so in future. Those who remain will be those who hate Christ for condemning sin.

    Who knows: some of those who went away might, in their quest for sound Christianity, end up by converting to Catholicism. Sadly, this is more likely to happen because they encounter sound Catholicism on the Internet and in books, rather than because of the work of some diocese around them.

    If the Catholic Church had remained strong, these would have been decades of miraculous catches of faithful. The Only Church would have cleaned up as many of these Proddie outfit surrendered to the world and the desire to be seen as good not in the eyes of God, but of their relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues. Alas, the Church’s nets are in a lamentable state of disrepair, and the catch will be meager.

  4. [“Better late than never”: More details on the Anglican theology prof’s analysis of the possible liberal Prot Pope]

    Now an Anglican Theologian Warns: This Pope Isn’t Catholic

    Written by Christopher A. Ferrara

    “Oh, please! Don’t be such a promethean neo-pelagian Anglican.”
    At this point in the Bergoglian Debacle, the recognition that Francis is a threat to the integrity of the Faith has become so well established in mainstream commentary that even an Anglican theologian, writing in First Things, has sounded the alarm.

    “Is the pope Catholic? For at least a century, this was the way we Anglicans joked about anything that seemed too obvious to state,” writes Gerald McDermott, holder of a theology chair at Beeson Divinity School. But, he continues: “Now we must ask in seriousness whether the pope is a liberal Protestant.”

    McDermott cites numerous examples of the endless torrent of oral and written heterodoxy Francis has generated over the past four-and-a-half years. Remnant readers are well familiar with them all, and there is no need to recapitulate them here. Like concerned Catholics, McDermott focuses on the crowning insult of this destructive pontificate: Amoris Laetitia and its stupefying attempt to introduce situation ethics into Catholic moral theology.

    McDermott notes that John Finnis, the renowned Catholic legal philosopher, and the equally renowned moral theologian, Germain Grisez—both figures of the “conservative” Catholic mainstream who can hardly be labeled “radical traditionalists”—have charged that “according to the logic of Amoris Laetitia, some of the faithful are too weak to keep God’s commandments, and can live in grace while committing ongoing and habitual sins ‘in grave matter.’” To which McDermott adds: “Like (Episcopalian) Joseph Fletcher, who taught Situation Ethics in the 1960s, the exhortation suggests that there are exceptions to every moral rule and that there is no such thing as an intrinsically evil act.”

    “For decades,” McDermott continues, “orthodox Anglicans and other Protestants seeking to resist the apostasies of liberal Christianity have looked to Rome for moral and theological support. Most of us recognized that we were really fighting the sexual revolution, which had coopted and corrupted the Episcopal Church and its parent across the pond. First it was the sanctity of life and euthanasia. Then it was homosexual practice. Now it is gay marriage and transgender ideology. During the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, we non-Catholics arguing moral theology could point to learned and compelling arguments coming out of Rome and say, in effect, ‘The oldest and largest part of the Body of Christ agrees with us, and it does so with remarkable sophistication.’”

    But no longer, says McDermott: “Those of us who continue to fight for orthodoxy, in dogmatic as well as moral theology, miss those days when there was a clear beacon shining from across the Tiber. For now, it seems, Rome itself has been infiltrated by the sexual revolution. The center is not holding.”

    These observations are historic in their significance, as is the open letter to Francis by Fr. Thomas Weinandy, one of the most prominent Catholic theologians of the Novus Ordo mainstream. McDermott finds hope in the “brave and principled stand” Weinandy has taken against a wayward Pope like no other before him. Expressing my own sentiments, McDermott concludes: “Tom Weinandy reminds us that God raises up prophetic lights when dark days come to his Church.”

    When even an Anglican theologian is publicly appalled by the liberal Protestantism of a Roman Pontiff, no Catholic of good will can continue to deny the obvious. But where is the neo-Catholic commentariat in the midst of this great awakening? Committed as ever to their programmatic defense of the indefensible, lest anyone suspect that those radical traditionalists might have been right all along about the direction in which the Church has been heading since the Second Vatican Disaster, and that the neo-Catholic “normalist” narrative has been spectacularly wrong, if not outright dishonest, from the beginning.

    As for the bishops and cardinals who must know this Pope is a menace to the Church, they continue to cower in obsequy or, at best, protest again and again that Francis must “clarify” what he has already made perfectly clear. Or, like Bishop Barron—elevated to the episcopacy by Francis—they complain that the crisis Francis has precipitated with Amoris Laetitia is all the fault of Catholic bloggers and that the bishops should “seize control of [the] process,” because these nefarious bloggers “are forcing people to read this document in a particular way.” That Francis himself reads his own document in that particular way, and applauds its disastrous implementation accordingly, must never be mentioned. Rather, the truth must be hidden by “seizing control” of the narrative, replacing statements of the undeniable truth with flowery praise for what Barron calls “an extraordinarily rich document.”

    Would that the leaders of the Church spare us from “rich documents” and give us the faith of our fathers. But there is no counting on them now. The laity and their sensus fidelium are the primary bulwark of the Faith at present, assisted by the grace of the sacraments and the good priests, like Father Weinandy, who remain true to what God has revealed through His Church, despite the consequences they will suffer under a pontificate that represents a dictatorship of theological relativism, sustained only by raw power and the fear of reprisal, which the dictator dares to call “The Spirit”.

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