Well, I find a strange kind of enjoyment in exposing the falsehoods and fallacies so prevalent in modern journalism, so I will be doing a whole article series reacting to them. If there is a specific author, article, or outlet you want me to react to, please email me at the address in my bio and I will definitely do my best to bring you the content you request.
Today, we will be starting with an organization that I have already critiqued: The National Catholic Reporter. Today’s article, though is written by their executive editor Heidi Schlumpf, and it is entitled: “Liberal Catholicism: We’ve Been Here All Along”. That’s an encouraging start! The photo that heads the article is that of a masked Biden family entering a DC church. It’s good to see Joe and his family going to church, but just because someone goes to church doesn’t make them a model Catholic! I wonder if Hunter has gone to confession for his escapades with prostitutes, his drug abuse, his divorce, and the host of other morally questionable acts that anybody who watches the news knows he did. That’s leaving out his business dealings that don’t exactly seem on the level, that’s a different story. Joe’s stance on abortion alone precludes him, by Canon Law, from receiving Communion, but that’s just one issue in that poor, confused old man’s life.
Schlumpf, however, says Biden “actually practices religion, rather than crassly abuses it”. Biden does show some outward signs of piety, but the picture of “practicing Catholic” is missing quite a few colors here. Besides his abortion stance, Biden publicly contradicts Church teaching on same-sex marriage, the death penalty (pre-Francis change teaching, that is), and other important Catholic social doctrines. He went so far as to say that his stance on abortion comes from his devotion to his Catholic faith. Not exactly a statement a devout Catholic would make.
Schlumpf said Biden’s presidency was off to a prayerful start, but the only reasons she could give were because Wilton Gregory and a Jesuit were involved in the inauguration, rather than Cardinal Dolan, who spoke too well of Trump for her liking. All this serves to build up to her main point: because of Biden, the media perceives liberal Catholicism as “on the rise”. Schlumpf approves, but has an added statement: “While I'm sure progressives are grateful for the attention, I also want to say: Folks, we've been here all along.”
As if we didn’t know about the dissidents already, there it is, in black and white. I hate to have to break it to you, Mrs. Schlumpf, but there have always been liberal Catholics. At different times in history, they’ve had more or less of the spotlight, but they’ve always been there. It’s not new for you to announce this. The apostle John knew you existed right from the beginning.
Quoting polls to say that a majority of people do not believe in accord with official Church teachings does not validate your position. This is a logical fallacy known as ad populum, or a misguided appeal to the people. Just because a large number of people are wrong on a specific issue doesn’t make their position right. But I don’t suppose a left-leaning journalist would accept this fact, as it would cause her to have to find the real truth, which might be inconvenient.
Schlumpf closes out her article by saying: “[Conservatives] plan to keep fighting.” She’s right! Conservatives have been here all along too because they are (largely) the ones that have remained faithful to the teachings of the Catholic church. And if the new generation of faithful philosophers and apologists are any indication, we’re here to stay.
God love you!