Deacon James. H. Toner: The Sacred Church and the Secular Church

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By Deacon James. H. Toner, Crisis Magazine, Feb. 5, 2021

Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, a former U.S. Army officer, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books.  …

Deacon James H. TonerToday there is a sacred, orthodox Catholic Church, and there is a mundane or secular Catholic church. Today’s secularized Catholic “church” is not precisely a parallel, nor is it an ersatz, religious institution. This secular church is a profane perversion, a sacrilegious caricature, attempting not just to substitute for Christ’s Church but to hallow pan-sexualism, polyamory, neo-Pelagianism, socialism, and syncretism. It is the chaff amidst the wheat.

It is, in fact, a “knockoff”: an inferior if superficially similar version of the “real thing.” Like the specious seamless garment argument, ostensibly permitting sham Catholic politicians to support abortion because of their progressive stands on other issues, the secular church also offers a kind of cover: Catholics morally embarrassed by their faith or worried that they will lose favor or prestige by promoting and practicing orthodox Catholic teaching may repair to the “doctrinally progressive” secularized church, where there will be Holy Communion–and pablum-filled sermons–for all.  …

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