The Dangers of Moral Therapeutic Deism

 

Yesterday, Pope Francis tweeted that we must “learn from the meekness of plants” in dealing with the ecosystem and environment. To wit:

I am but a humble Catholic, one of those “rigid” and “inflexible” traditional Catholics who the Pope holds a special and specific ire for, yet I know these truths to be self-evident:

We are not plants. We are human beings made in the image and likeness of God. Plants do not have humanity or consciousness. They can be neither “meek” nor “cooperative” because they lack the ability to do so. And anyone who has spent even a few moments in a garden knows the weeds — if left unkempt and unmanaged — will choke out the good plants and take over. A friend has had to use a flamethrower to rid a yard of kudzu, which takes over all it can.

I should not have to explain these things to the Pope. He should know this.

Yet, he is a Jesuit, and they have gone completely off the rails the last fifty years or so. What the Pope is now professing is what I call moral therapeutic deism; that is — popular culture masquerading as theology in order to make one feel good. It is wholly devoid of Truth and wholly devoid of God. This one has a very thin, cheap Catholic veneer, but it is moral therapeutic deism nonetheless.

Circling back to that special ire the Pope (and some of his bishops) hold for traditionalist Catholics, today I had the pleasure of meeting new families in my parish. Families who make the 90-minute trek from the Chicagoland area, where Archbishop Blaise Cupich has stifled the Latin Mass, to my parish in Milwaukee where the Latin Mass and its community is thriving.

In a world where so much liturgical abuse and questionable theology is tolerated in the name of “diversity” and “cultural expression,” that the Latin Mass is being banned, restricted, and removed from Catholic public life sheds light on a Pope and a hierarchy who are incapable of seeing what their people want and — more importantly — what their people absolutely need.

This is a world where men can be women, women can be men, children can be “transgender.” Up is down, left is right, and right is wrong. People, struggling financially from the recession; struggling emotionally from the fallout of two-plus years of COVID restrictions; and struggling mentally from the endless onslaught of woke nonsense seeking to upend reality, are desperately in need of the Truth. In need of tradition. In need of community, consistency, continuity. They need something that not only inspires with Truth, beauty, and light, but something that is not of this world — something that stands in direct opposition to the many, many things that are going wrong.

The proof is in the pudding:

  • 2% of TLM-attending Catholics approved of contraception vs. 89% of NOM Catholics.
  • 1% of TLM Catholics approved of abortion compared to 51% of NOM attendees.
  • 99% of TLM Catholics said they attend Mass weekly vs. 22% of NOM.
  • 2% of TLM goers approved of “gay marriage” as opposed to 67% of NOM.

Also of note was the rate of giving among TLM Catholics, which was nearly six times the amount of giving (at 6% of income) as NOM parishioners (at 1.2%). TLM Catholics also had a fertility rate of 3.6 vs 2.3 for NOM — indicating “a nearly 60% larger family size.”

There is clearly something not right with the Novus Ordo Mass and the catechesis those Catholics are receiving. This is not to be said that the Novus Ordo Mass is always bad; but when 89% approve of contraception and 51% approve of abortion — both things forbidden by the teachings of the Catholic Church — alarm bells should go off. Yet it is the Latin Mass that is under attack and traditionalists who are maligned, while politicians like Joe Biden can say the Catholic Church supports abortion without repercussion.

Comparing people to plants, urging them to live in “cooperation” and “meekness” with the environmental agenda is part of that alarm bell. It flies in the face of Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the person. It embraces the anti-family, anti-child, anti-life environmentalist agenda. It may sound pretty and feel good, but it — at its core — is rotten and wrong. It is the moral therapeutic deism we should be preaching against, not embracing.

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  1. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    This pope has been a disappointment.  I was raised in the faith, but I’m lapsed.  But I relocated and was looking into the 3 or 4 Catholic churches in the area and one offers TLM, as well as Spanish and English, all at different times.  Now I know which one to check out.  Thanks for the post.

    • #1
  2. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Did the pope roll his eyes back?  An informal poll on self-induced insanity.

    • #2
  3. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    The end point of such thinking–which seems like basically nature-worship with an overlay of hostility toward humans–can be seen in this meme:

    • #3
  4. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Plants are not uniformly meek.  There are plants that are deadly poisonous, plants which have such corrosive sap they could blind you and sear your flesh, carnivorous plants, plants that harm other plants to prevent competition, plants that are parasites of other plants, etc.  This cartoon childish biology is pathetic.

    Nature wants to kill you and eat your corpse.  It is no one’s friend.

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    My new homeboy Tim J. Gordon is fun on this stuff.  Even a Baptist can find him insightful.

    Paging @westernchauvinist.

    • #5
  6. She Member
    She
    @She

    Amy Curtis:

    Yesterday, Pope Francis tweeted that we must “learn from the meekness of plants” in dealing with the ecosystem and environment.

    To wit: https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/1573651713805852672

    Good grief.  I read the Pope’s tweet which, in its entirety reads:

    The plant paradigm takes a different approach to earth and environment. Plants cooperate with all the surroundings environment; even when they compete, they cooperate for the good of the ecosystem. Let’s learn from the meekness of plants!

    And I look in vain for the role that God plays in Francis’s view of the plant kingdom. What is His role in Francis’s ecosystem?

    His botany’s a bit flawed too.  Not all plants “cooperate for the good of the ecosystem.”  Some plants choke out, kill, and take over from, everything in their path.  Others shoot or soak poison into whatever they they see as a threat. Still others are illegally or accidentally transported across national boundaries into different ecosystems whose native plants they invade, overwhelm and destroy.

    The Pope’s not an avid gardener, obvs.

    • #6
  7. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Amy Curtis: We are not plants. We are human beings made in the image and likeness of God. Plants do not have humanity, or consciousness. They can be neither “meek” nor “cooperative” because they lack the ability to do so.

    He has an interesting spin on humility and worth.  Compare with:

    Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither labor nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you?

    To me, these are among the most beautiful words I’ve ever read.

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Haven’t finished reading, but am already in 100% agreement with the theme. Commenting to follow.

    Thanks for the heads up Augie.

    • #8
  9. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    Being a protestant myself I tend to step aside when Pope Francis is getting criticized.

    However I did attend a Latin mass this past month. I was visiting a couple Catholic families that I know. (Average kids: 3.5 per family, though give it a couple months.) First time I’d ever been. They didn’t amplify the liturgy and I was stuck near the back so I caught maybe an occasional syllable here and there, nothing more. One of the guys I was with found me the correct place in the missal, but I was completely lost after that.

    None of that is intended as criticism, by the way, just a description of where I was.

    • #9
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Amy Curtis: In a world where so much liturgical abuse and questionable theology is tolerated in the name of “diversity” and “cultural expression”, that the Latin Mass is being banned, restricted, removed from Catholic public life sheds light on a Pope and a hierarchy who are incapable of seeing what their people want and — more importantly — what their people absolutely need.

    This has been my observation about Francis from the get-go. He completely misreads the signs of the times. 180 degrees. He looks around the world (over a million abortions every year in the US alone, chemical and surgical mutilation of children suffering the social contagion of transgender ideology, his own Catholic people increasingly under state persecution in former Christendom (Houck), . . .) and he puts the blame on the adherents of tradition.  This seems. . . foolish, at best.

     

    • #10
  11. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    What Bergoglio is doing to suppress the TLM is a disgrace. His tweet represents the mush he tries to sell.

    You ought to come join the Ricochet Catholics group @amycurtis

    • #11
  12. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    And speaking of plants – let’s not forget when Bergoglio allowed the demon bowl into St. Peter’s – along with Pachamama.

    • #12
  13. Keith Lowery Coolidge
    Keith Lowery
    @keithlowery

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    This has been my observation about Francis from the get-go. He completely misreads the signs of the times. 180 degrees.

    This is a favorite behavior of evangelical big shots as well.  They are obsessively focused on dangers that are not in evidence, while seemingly blind to the clear and present dangers that are real. I would like to say they are merely stupid, but the actual effects of their abdication are increasingly sinister.

    • #13
  14. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Thanks for this post – I’ve been writing about this disaster of a pontificate for years now. This about sums it up:

    In a recent interview with the Neapolitan newspaper Il Mattino, Pope Francis offered an expansive prescription for the human race. “Planetary injustice,” centered around climate change and Third World debt, must be the focus of the Church, he explained, adding that politics is the “highest form of charity.” Saying that “everything is connected,” the Pope sounded like he was channeling the latest New Age woo-woo philosophy—which in a sense, he is.

    And I always thought the focus of the Church was Jesus Christ.

    • #14
  15. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    In the name of unity, they create division. There was a time in the West when you could attend the Mass in any number of countries and it would be in Latin, just as it was in your own hometown. Call it the Roman Rite Mass if you like.

    There are Eastern Rite Catholic Churches where the Mass is said in Aramiac, or Ukrainian. As an altar boy I learned how to serve Mass in Latin, both the Ordinary Rite, and the Extraordinary Rite on Feast Days.

    All change is not necessarily progress. I suppose one could look at catechisis in two ways. One is to know your faith. The other is to make sure you are commiting the big sins not just the little sins.

    No one lives forever, and that includes the current Pope. There seems to be a fear among those that believe old age will prevent them making all the changes they wish to make in the Catholic Church. They are right. Just pray and wait, their time will pass. 

    • #15
  16. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    From 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-4 (KJV)

    2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    Not pointing a finger at Francis as the man of sin, but there will come a falling away before the day of Christ. Be vigilant.

    • #16
  17. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    In a recent interview with the Neapolitan newspaper Il Mattino, Pope Francis offered an expansive prescription for the human race. “Planetary injustice,” centered around climate change and Third World debt, must be the focus of the Church, he explained, adding that politics is the “highest form of charity.” Saying that “everything is connected,” the Pope sounded like he was channeling the latest New Age woo-woo philosophy—which in a sense, he is.

    And I always thought the focus of the Church was Jesus Christ.

    If you ever hear someone talk about the “focus” or the “mission” of the church, remember the Great Commission!

    Mark 16:15And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

    • #17
  18. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    JoelB (View Comment):

    From 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-4 (KJV)

    2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    Not pointing a finger at Francis as the man of sin, but there will come a falling away before the day of Christ. Be vigilant.

    Yes, I’ve never understood those who say that there will be/is a great awakening/ harvest coming before Christ’s return.  I say, but that’s not what Scripture says, and I never have known where they got that from, other than, I suppose, some popular teaching, seemingly based on wishful thinking.

    • #18
  19. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Flicker (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):

    From 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-4 (KJV)

    2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    Not pointing a finger at Francis as the man of sin, but there will come a falling away before the day of Christ. Be vigilant.

    Yes, I’ve never understood those who say that there will be/is a great awakening/ harvest coming before Christ’s return. I say, but that’s not what Scripture says, and I never have known where they got that from, other than, I suppose, some popular teaching, seemingly based on wishful thinking.

    Many premillenial dispensationalists would say that, also the postmillenialists.

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):

    From 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-4 (KJV)

    2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    Not pointing a finger at Francis as the man of sin, but there will come a falling away before the day of Christ. Be vigilant.

    Yes, I’ve never understood those who say that there will be/is a great awakening/ harvest coming before Christ’s return. I say, but that’s not what Scripture says, and I never have known where they got that from, other than, I suppose, some popular teaching, seemingly based on wishful thinking.

    Many premillenial dispensationalists would say that, also the postmillenialists.

    Yes, true.  I’m not a postmillennialist, and I have suffered, so to speak, for being opposed to dispensationalism.

    • #20
  21. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Obviously, the Pope has never heard of Kudzu.

    Let’s see them put a few plants around the Vatican…

    • #21
  22. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    I’ll skip the theology, but when it comes to plants, he’s full of crap. Plants are chemical factories that manufacture all sorts of poisons to deal with other things that eat them or compete with them. They are no more “good” or “evil” than anything else that wants to survive and reproduce.

    • #22
  23. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Add Pope Francis to the list of people who are increasingly of the opinion that we all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place and that even the trees had been a bad move and that no one should ever have left the oceans.

    • #23
  24. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    This has been my observation about Francis from the get-go. He completely misreads the signs of the times. 180 degrees.

    This is a favorite behavior of evangelical big shots as well. They are obsessively focused on dangers that are not in evidence, while seemingly blind to the clear and present dangers that are real. I would like to say they are merely stupid, but the actual effects of their abdication are increasingly sinister.

    And NeverTrumpers.

    • #24
  25. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Plants are not uniformly meek. There are plants that are deadly poisonous, plants which have such corrosive sap they could blind you and sear your flesh, carnivorous plants, plants that harm other plants to prevent competition, plants that are parasites of other plants, etc. This cartoon childish biology is pathetic.

    Nature wants to kill you and eat your corpse. It is no one’s friend.

    Pine Trees literally poison the ground so they can outcompete with other plants. They are basically necromancers and the Church ought to oppose necromancy.

    • #25
  26. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    David Foster (View Comment):

    The end point of such thinking–which seems like basically nature-worship with an overlay of hostility toward humans–can be seen in this meme:

    Lucifer it might surprise you is pro-human in one important sense. We stared at the Colorado sunset together and he said, “I must admit. In spite of his tyranny I appreciate my father’s art. I’m glad you humans came down from the trees to appreciate it.” Keep in mind this is after he defended himself in Eden quite ably. 

    • #26
  27. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Remember the kerfuffle over the death of Cecil the Lion. The Zebras saw it differently. So much for the benevolence of the Rousseau vision of nature.

      See the source image

    • #27
  28. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    In nature, everything eats other things, until that thing gets eaten by something else.

    • #28
  29. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):

    In nature, everything eats other things, until that thing gets eaten by something else.

    It doesn’t bother me that the Pope knows bupkiss about botany. But why does he assume that he knows something about it?

    • #29
  30. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Amy Curtis: moral therapeutic deism

    I don’t have much of a stake in this, but I just wanted to compliment you on this phrase. Well done – that’s exactly what it is.

     

    • #30
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