Here’s the link to OnePeterFive and the article: “Let’s Clear The Air”. The topic is a set of three articles by Steve Skojec, editor and founder of OnePeterFive on his personal struggles with the Catholic Faith and the Pontificate of Pope Francis.
Skojec talks about his anger at religion: “I’m angry because I’ve spent my life trapped within various ideological subsets of Catholicism that subvert autonomy, critical thinking, and reason itself.” [Against Crippled Religion] He talks about the damage that is done when those with power in religion misuse that power. He recounts some of his personal sufferings caused by bad religious leaders and by ideological groups that claim to be Catholic but fail to live up to Christianity (my phrasing).
I would like to say to Steve that I’m sorry he was harmed by various Catholic leaders, who are not really imitating Christ. And he is right in his criticisms of religious authority being misused. The clericalism that he describes results sometimes in spiritual abuse, as he says, but it also is the reason for other types of misuse of religious authority. Those who have power from religion think that they are above the requirements of the Faith. No matter how badly they behave, they have so many people who praise and support them. It’s easy for clergy to go astray in this situation.
I must also point out that Steve Skojec is harming many souls gravely by the influence that he has through OnePeterFive. As much as he is entirely right to complain about his own mistreatment, he is the founder and leader of a blog that encourages the faithful to reject the teachings of Pope Francis. His website accuses the Pope of heresy (“our heretical pope”), issues rash judgments against the Pope (e.g. that Francis’ death penalty change to the CCC is supposedly heretical), and publishes the harmful writings of Peter Kwasniewski (e.g. Papal Lapses and Far Spent). His website generally sows distrust of Popes and Councils by proposing that they have frequently gravely erred and often have departed from the true faith by heresy.
Skojec misuses his religious power and influence. His website readily accuses Popes and Councils of the gravest errors, while he and his contributors are above reproach for their manifest grave acts of schism and heresy. He frequently publishes the words of Bishops Vigano and Schneider, both of whom publicly severely reject the authority of Pope Francis, and accuse him of grave failures of faith.
I’m sorry, Steve; but you are misusing your position of influence over the faithful. You should be defending the dogmas of Vatican I and the ordinary universal Magisterium on the Roman Pontiff. Your website should reject articles by schismatics and heretics, rather than giving them a platform to harm souls. And the result is that you find yourself very unhappy in the Church, because you do not live the Catholic Faith, but rather an heretical schismatic version of it.
Important Catholic dogmas: the Church is indefectible; the Roman Pontiff has the charism of truth and never-failing faith; the Apostolic See is unblemished, unsullied, unstained, etc., never wanders from the path of truth, mends all dangers to the faith, never succumbs to heresy, etc.; the First See is judged by no one; there is no one to whom one can appeal the decisions of the Roman Pontiff; subjection to the authority of the Roman Pontiff is from the necessity of salvation; Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head of the one Church; where Peter is, there is the Church.
These dogmas on the charisms given to the Church and the Roman Pontiff are the perennial teaching of the Church. It is a matter of FAITH. Put your Faith in Christ by means of His Vicar and His Church, and do not seek to understand and explain everything. These “ideological subsets” offer an easy explanation for the Faith by oversimplifying it and by usurping the authority of the Church. That is not faith.
No Pope has ever taught or committed heresy. No Ecumenical Council has ever erred gravely on doctrine or discipline. There is only one true faith, and that is the faith taught by the Popes and Councils. Skojec and many other “leaders” in online Catholicism are teaching a fraudulent version of Catholicism which is contrary to the teachings of the Pope and the body of Bishops, who are the successors to the Apostles. The true Church is APOSTOLIC. That means a few Bishops who oppose the Pope and who oppose the Apostolic College (the body of Bishops) are not the Church. Breakaway sects claiming to preserve “tradition” are not Apostolic, so they are not the Church. What the Popes and the body of Bishops, in Councils and dispersed in the world, teach is the true Faith.
The Church is made one and keeps the same faith universally by means of the one Roman Pontiff, the successor to the Apostle Peter. All the Popes have the same charism of truth and of never-failing faith, as well as the other charisms described above. And if you cannot put your faith in that one holy catholic and apostolic Church, then you are not Catholic.
For the Perennial Teaching of the Church confirms that the Apostolic See never leads the faithful astray. The teaching of Vatican I further confirms the same teaching as dogma. Those who reject these dogmas are not in the Church.
“The Pope is the guardian of dogma and morals; he is the depositary of the principles that form honest families, great nations, holy souls; he is the counselor of princes and peoples; it is the head under which no one feels tyrannized, because it represents God himself; he is the father par excellence who in himself brings together everything that can be loving, tender, divine.
“It seems incredible, and it is also painful, that there are priests to whom this recommendation should be made, but unfortunately we are in our days in this hard unhappy condition of having to say to priests: love the Pope!”
“And how is one to love the Pope? Non verbo neque lingua, sed opere et veritate. [Not in words only, but in works and in truth. (cf. 1 Jn 3:18).] When you love a person you try to conform in everything to his thoughts, to carry out his wishes, to interpret his desires. And if our Lord Jesus Christ said of himself: Si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit [If anyone loves me, he shall keep my word], so to show our love for the Pope it is necessary to obey him.”
“Therefore when one loves the Pope, there is no discussion about what he disposes or demands, or how far obedience must go, and in what things one must obey; when one loves the Pope, one does not say that he did not speak clearly enough, as if he were obliged to repeat in the ear of everyone that clearly expressed will many times, not only verbally, but with letters and other public documents…”
“…his orders are not questioned, citing the easy pretext of those who do not want to obey, that it is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him; the field in which he can and must exercise his authority is not limited; The authority of the Pope is not preceded by that of other people, however learned, who disagree with the Pope, who, if they are learned, are not saints, because whoever is holy cannot disagree with the Pope.”
“This is the outlet of a grieving heart, which I do with deep bitterness not for you, dear confreres, but with you to deplore the conduct of so many priests, who not only allow themselves to discuss and review the Pope’s wishes, but are not ashamed of to arrive at the impudent and blatant disobedience with so much scandal of the good and with so much ruin of souls.”
Which Pope gave the above speech to priests? Pope Saint Pius X. But the papal accusers do not listen to the Popes, not even to Pius X.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.