LOS ANGELES (ChurchMilitant.com) - A California prelate is suggesting that archdiocesan seminarians displeased with Pope Francis should become Protestants.
"I'm incensed and I need to give voice to why I am angry," said Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Edward Clark recently in a social media post. "I recently learned that there are seminarians at our archdiocesan seminary who are vocally anti-Pope Francis."
Clark was referring to St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California, where he received a master's degree in religion in 1972.
His post continued:
They [the seminarians] criticize faculty members who are loyal to the pope and they refer to our seminary as a FFZ — Francis Free Zone. Catholics who stand in opposition to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, are really Protestants at heart and should find a Protestant church where they can be happy. Priests who voice opposition to the Holy Father are disloyal to the vows of their ordination.
And seminarians who speak against the Holy Father should do the Church a favor and forget about becoming a priest. They are disloyal to the priesthood of Jesus Christ and are a source of division in the community of apostolic faith that Jesus prayed would always be one.
But many seminarians see the situation differently than Clark.
Church Militant's Michael Voris regularly speaks with seminarians from across the world — and especially in the United States.
"In summary, they are sick of the gay network and see themselves as the vanguard for restoring real concern for souls, liturgical regularity and doctrinal purity," he said.
"It will take time," Voris added. "Faithful Catholics should pray for their fortitude."
"A bishop like Clark is the prototypical enemy of Christ and His teachings and is correctly perceived as such," he lamented.
Clark floods social media with his animosity toward President Trump.
In a post from August, Clark noted it "is a constitutional right to support, oppose, agree or disagree with, or criticize elected officials, including the president," adding "[w]ell-founded positions deserve respectful debate and should not be simply dismissed as unpatriotic."
In September, the bishop commented on the first presidential debate: "One man [Joe Biden] acted like a president but got sucked down the rabbit hole. The other [Trump] acted like the bully he is. Disgraceful, repugnant, disgusting, embarrassing, humiliating — and to think the whole world was watching."
Clark shared a post by pro-gay Jesuit James Martin who said, "I'm seeing more priests saying that voting for Joe Biden is a mortal sin. It is not." Clark also posted Martin's invocation at the opening of the Democratic National Convention."
In praising one of Trump's pro-life measures, the bishop also took the opportunity to bash the president.
"The president has done something good — he signed today the 'Born Alive Executive Order' that legally prohibits what is called 'post partum abortion' as well as 'natal neglect,'" he said.
But then he changed course, saying, "Good as this is, and it is very good, it is really very little from the man who calls himself the 'prolife president.' He promised much more and has delivered very little."
Revealing a misunderstanding of how American government works, Clark posted "President Trump claims he has kept all his campaign promises, but abortion is still the law of the land."
Clark's understanding of politics is connected to his embrace of seamless garment theory, the lumping together of intrinsic evils such as abortion with social justice issues. This approach, meant to confuse Catholics, was popularized by the late cardinal Joseph Bernardin, an alleged satanist and homosexual sympathizer who helped set up a pipeline from South America to ordain practicing homosexuals — many of whom now spout heretical teaching within the Church, including in support of pro-death Democrats.
"There is no political party that fully agrees with Catholic teaching," he posted. "Nor is Church teaching on abortion, significant as it certainly is, the litmus test for being a faithful Catholic. Other Catholic teachings must not be left in the dust."
Hinting at this approach, Clark said in another post, "I'm skeptical of one-issue Catholics when there are so many issues that need a Christian response."