This article was previously published by The Lepanto Institute
According to some reports, the final version of the Synod document calls attention to the need for “certification systems for Catholic websites, to counter the spread of fake news regarding the Church.” Apparently, this certification will be a form of a denial of approval from some Vatican official or other. Juan Perón, the Argentine dictator that was once the hero of Pope Francis, would have approved of such measures while rubbing his palms and smiling, as it was his custom. During his reign in Argentina in the pre-television age, he exercised total control of all newspapers and radio.
Imperatives drive policy
It is obvious that there is a portion of the Vatican curia that feels threatened by the influence of a growing Internet commentariat. Among the many authors writing in blogs and websites, there are many that are theologically informed and capable of guiding the public honestly. Among the Catholic authors, some are priests or religious with inside information not normally accessible to Catholic laity or the general public. Truthful and honest information coming from such sources do not threaten the eternal truths or the mission of the Catholic Church. The truth threatens the power of those groups that have infiltrated the high circles of the hierarchy. Truth uncovers the narratives that those groups try to impose on the Church at large. The ungodly goals of those powerful groups currently steering the Church are: to force the Church to approve the principles of the so-called sexual revolution, and the acceptance of Marxism through the teachings of the Theology of Liberation.
The Church has always dealt with fake news. In former times we call them heresies. Are those groups that so obviously oppose the permanent, orthodox teaching of the Church going to put the “fake” label on someone who tells the truth? Now hold that thought, because many of us have seen that happen in the political realm. Political correctness began exactly in that way. The cultural Marxist first projects his own fault towards the opponent —i.e. the Marxist’s own blatant racism—and then labels his opponent as a “racist” to gain the high moral ground. From that moment on, the Marxist will be the judge of everyone’s actions, labeling that person racist, that other a “sexist,” the other a “homophobic,” and so on. The process starts with a Freudian projection and ends with a label on some poor chap’s forehead. That technique is meant to divide people. People are more easily dominated if they are divided while the unscrupulous leader controls the political narrative.
No longer informed by truth
Too many leaders of the Church have abandoned the truth of the Gospel. Ever since the days of Vatican II, ambiguity and theological novelties have taken precedence over the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20.) The consequences of that mistake are now evident.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful enough to gradually move believers to live according to the truth. The mission of the Church is to constantly give witness to Christ, shepherding souls towards salvation. If truth takes a second place, the message of the Church loses force and it has to be replaced with raw power. Benedict XVI expressed that clearly: “Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present.” (Caritas in Veritate 5.)
Some wise soul left us this wonderful counsel: “The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.” In times past, when ideas were disseminated either by public speech or books, the Church wisely maintained an Index of heretical books, saving the faithful the time and expense of reading such heresies. That Index became impractical as the world gradually entered the information age. Like that proverbial lion, the truth of Christ prevails very well on its own devices, not because of the power of the Church to censor heresy.
We have to conclude that this idea of labeling Internet sites is an intent to sustain (by force) the narrative of certain postconciliar currents of the Church. In the absence of Divine Truth, raw power has to be exercised.
Dialog with the world?
It seems to me that our present crisis began when the Great Commission was replaced by a misunderstanding, a new imperative to “dialog with the world.” Benedict XVI warned us: “Truth, in fact, is lógos which creates diá-logos, and hence communication and communion. Truth, by enabling men and women to let go of their subjective opinions and impressions, allows them to move beyond cultural and historical limitations and to come together in the assessment of the value and substance of things.” (Caritas in Veritate 4.)
Pope Benedict wisely places communication before communion because the Church is not seeking to find the truth through dialog. Why? Because the Church has received the fullness of the truth in Christ: “And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:22 NRSVACE.) When we communicate the Gospel, we avail ourselves of the power of Christ to fill souls with his life, like the ocean waters that can easily fill an empty cup. The filling of that soul with the truth of Christ is what we call communion. For that simple reason, communion can never precede communication. We cannot foolishly enter into a two-way communication with the world intending to find the truth.
Christ instructed the Church to go and preach the Gospel. (Matthew 28:16-20.) That is to teach to others what we have received. The Church has received the whole truth necessary for the salvation of mankind. That truth is unchangeable; it is part of nature itself. Neither a Pope nor a council of the Church can change it. Since Christ came into this world, nothing can be added to the truth; nothing substantial can be appended to our faith.
The Church is both a mother and a teacher of truth. Error has no right to stand before truth. There is no valid dialog we can sustain with error or darkness. “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NRSVACE.)
New voices for an ancient message
The new electronic media caught many by surprise. Huge media enterprises like leading radio and television networks, newspapers, and news organizations are still trying to adapt to the new reality. So far they have reacted with all the agility of an elephant trying to catch a fly. The forces that are currently trying to steer the Church away from her God-given mission are no exception. The myriad of pages, blogs, email and social media aggregates of faithful Catholics who know their faith well are constantly pointing at their mistakes and the mediocrity of their message. The postconciliar “church of nice” leaders have managed to silence the truth to some extent but they could not dumb down the entire Church. With the arrival of the Internet, many new voices are asking the obvious questions: “Isn’t homosexuality a grave sin?” or “Didn’t Jesus himself say that those who divorce and remarry are guilty of adultery?” just to mention two examples out of many.
As the Synod of Young People progressed, those Internet warriors of truth were able to expose the efforts of the postconciliar heretics to cover up the crimes of the infiltrated homosexual priests. The revelations of complicity among those in the higher echelons of the Vatican curia flew around the world at the speed of light when Monsignor Viganó revealed them to … faithful Catholic bloggers!
Truth is indeed like a mighty lion that can no longer be kept behind bars in the Roman zoo. It is roaming the streets of the Holy City and soon will devour those who wanted to suppress her. All we have to do is set her free.
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.” Words of St. Paul in 2 Timothy 4:1-5.