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In light of Michael Voris' recent exclusive revelations about now-laicized Theodore McCarrick's possible recruitment by Soviet Communists, Church Militant spoke to Dr. Julio Loredo, president of the Italian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and an expert in liberation theology, the destructive Marxist-rooted theology that seized the Latin American Church in the 1960s. Loredo coordinated the participation of the TFP in the silent protest against "the Vatican's policy of silence about homosexuality," organized by international lay alliance Acies ordinata.
Church Militant: Thank you for your participation in the international coalition Acies ordinata. As far as I am aware, the demonstration was kept secret until the last minute. Was it because of the possibility of backlash? Did the organization consider a possible interference from Vatican authorities who might try to hinder the protest?
Julio Loredo: This is a question you will have to ask Prof. Roberto de Mattei or Dr. Giuseppe Rusconi, the main organizers of the demonstration. Although I was well informed about it a couple of months ago and even helped to coordinate the arrival of the Polish and Slovakian delegations of the TFP, I did not participate in the organization in Rome.
CM: Once I heard about the demonstration, I hoped this could mark the beginning of a bold resistance in Italy. Do you think the Italian laity will finally start to react to the moral wickedness plaguing the Church? It's baffling that Italian Catholics aren't fuming with indignation while watching male prostitutes describing orgies with the clergy on national television. Why are Italians so apathetic to these issues? Do you think our closeness to the Vatican could actually trigger real change, more than any other Catholic people ever could?
JL: To call it "the beginning of a bold resistance in Italy" is misleading. This resistance has been going on for quite a while. I can mention the "Filial Appeal to Pope Francis" promoted in 2015 by TFP, flanked by other Catholic organizations, which garnered almost 1 million signatures. I can mention the "Declaration of Fidelity to the Church's Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline," promoted by TFP in 2016.
I can mention two books published by the Italian TFP criticizing aspects of Pope Francis' pontificate: Una revoluzione pastorale (2016) and Cambio di paradigma (2018). These books were presented in public conferences throughout Italy. I can mention my own book Teologia della liberazione. Un salvagente di piombo per i poveri, published in 2014 and promoted by the Italian TFP. In it, I strongly criticize Pope Francis' penchant towards liberation theology — not to speak of more authoritative initiatives, like the cardinals' dubia, Bp. [Athanasius] Schneider's manifestos, Abp. Viganò's letters and so forth. Last week's demonstration in Rome was merely the last act of a series.
This said, it is obvious that Italians have been rather apathetic in confronting the crisis in the Church as compared to other peoples. It is difficult to give a comprehensive explanation, as it would have to include many factors, some psychological, some sociological. One reason is the intimate relations between the Italian state and the Vatican. The Church in Italy basically depends on the state.
With Pope Francis, liberation theology has made a comeback.
This creates a "don't rock the boat" mentality in the high clergy that permeates to the priests and the faithful. A typical example is abortion. Italy is the only country in the world in which abortion was introduced by Catholics, in 1978. Since then, the Italian bishops have constantly opposed any attempt to overturn the 194 Law.
In this sense, Pope Francis' pontificate has been an eye-opener for many. He has gone so far out that finally some reaction is beginning to occur. The declining participation in his public audiences in St. Peter's Square is a telltale sign. I just hope this reaction grows and proceeds to its last consequences. I also hope it does not tarnish the veneration we should have for the seat of St. Peter, which transcends individual popes.
CM: You're an expert in liberation theology, whose influence on the Church worldwide is very underestimated, especially considering that many Catholic intellectuals and Vatican watchers ignore liberation theology’s powerful grip in Latin America. How important is liberation theology today? How should Catholics recognize it and combat it?
JL: The overall importance of liberation theology had waned after Pope John Paul II condemned it in 1984 and, particularly, after the communist utopia that guided it ended in disaster. With Pope Francis, liberation theology has made a comeback. It has officially "entered the normal life of the Church," according to then-Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi.
Father Gustavo Gutiérrez, the founder of liberation theology, has been honored in the Vatican, as have other representatives of the current. Leonardo Boff, the defrocked Franciscan condemned by John Paul II, flaunts his friendship with Francis and his participation in writing the encyclical Laudato Si.
Already in 1980, in a world congress held at the Maryknoll headquarters in New York, liberation theologians had decided to distance themselves from old Marxism — identified with a political era already declining — and move forward towards more radical horizons.
Thus they began to explore the new frontiers of revolution, spawning new doctrines like feminist theology, gay theology, black theology, Indian theology, ecological theology and so forth. Just as they had participated in the communist revolution, they now participate in these cultural revolutions, purporting to give them a "theological" meaning and, thus, to muster Catholic support.
CM: Two days ago, Church Militant broke the news that disgraced Cdl. Theodore McCarrick may have been clandestinely trained by Soviet Communists in Europe to infiltrate the Church in the United States. Would you be able to explain to our readers, in this particular moment in the history of the Church, what's the correlation between liberation theology (a disinformation strategy used by the KGB to infiltrate the Catholic Church) and the rampant acceptance of homosexuality in the highest ranks of the Church?
JL: First of all, let's make it clear that liberation theology was not created by the KGB, notwithstanding the claims of Soviet General Ion Mihai Pacepa. It is the outcome of a centuries' long process that began with liberal Catholicism in the 19th century, continued with modernism at the outbreak of the 20th century, became nouvelle theologie in the mid-20th century and finally resulted in liberation theology in the 1960s.
That a pope has had to convoke a bishops' summit to discuss sexual abuse in the Church is already a clear sign of just how far the moral crisis has gone.
Revolutionary infiltration in the Church began with the Renaissance, reaching a climax during the French Revolution with the so-called "Constitutional Church." It is by no means a KGB invention.
Soviet analysts did perceive the importance of these revolutionary developments inside the Church and created a specialized department within the Soviet Academy of Sciences in order to promote them. This department worked both inside Catholicism, especially in Latin America, and inside Protestantism, particularly through the World Council of Churches.
One main figure of the Soviet infiltration in the churches was the current patriarch of Moscow, Kirill, a KGB agent who, by the way, supported liberation theology.
The driving force of all the revolutionary currents, including liberation theology, is the craving for an all-encompassing "liberation" from any constraint.
In old Marxism, this meant the liberation of the proletarians from an oppressive system created by the bourgeoisie. In the new theologies, this means liberation from any situation perceived as oppressive. In this broad sense, a homosexual is a "proletarian" in need of liberation. In other words, acceptance of homosexuality and liberation theology go hand in hand, they both stem from the same revolutionary mentality.
CM: Last but not least, we welcome any of your personal observations on this sex abuse summit and on what you think is the role of the Catholic laity in the resistance against the inner undermining of Catholic morality.
JL: That a pope has had to convoke a bishops' summit to discuss sexual abuse in the Church is already a clear sign of just how far the moral crisis has gone. I'm very worried with its outcome. I doubt that it will offer any solution. First, because of the refusal to deal with the cause, which is the acceptance of homosexuality. How can we speak of pedophilia and close our eyes to the fact the upwards of 80 percent of the cases of pedophilia are episodes of homosexuality?
Second, because of the refusal to address the root of all these problems: the permissive mentality introduced in the Church, way before Vatican Council II. It's an egalitarian and libertarian mentality that has infected everything, from theology to morals to liturgy. Either we address this mentality, proposing a fundamental conversion — that is, a U-turn — or we will always be stuck with its consequences.
Finally, because I perceive a certain reluctance to proclaim in a clear and loud voice the opposite of all this moral mess: purity. I close freely quoting from an article by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira:
In order that morality be restored in the Church, it is necessary to restore in the souls the desire for seriousness, austerity and mortification. This, and something more, which can be expressed by the word, sweet like a honeycomb, perfumed like a lily, and nonetheless, explosive like a bomb. That word is purity. And it is closely followed by two sisters, no less sweet, no less suave, and with no less power. They are virginity and honor.
Until this happens, how can we hope to solve the present situation?