LifeSiteNews has just done a great piece on Fr. Thomas Rosica’s recent interview of excommunicated dissenter Gregory Baum. Socon or Bust first broke the story a couple of weeks ago.
The words that came out of Fr. Rosica’s mouth during that interview shed the clearest insights to date on what the CEO of Salt and Light envisions for the Catholic Church.
First off, he said the following to Gregory Baum, the excommunicated ex-priest who endorses contraception, same-sex “marriage” and fornication:
“I’ve certainly admired very much your theology, your writings but also your love of the Church, your love of Christ, and you helped to keep alive not only the spirit of the Second Vatican council, but also the authentic teaching of the Council.” (Source)
A key facet of Baum’s theology has been to portray Vatican II as an abrupt rupture from the past, almost like a revolution, on matters related to moral doctrine and the authority of the Holy Father. For Baum, Vatican II was like a giant Reset button that granted leeway to cast aside 2000 years of consistent moral teaching and embrace the moral standards of modern society. Not surprisingly, all faithful bishops and the Popes have fought hard to dispel this distorted theology for the last 50 years. Pope Benedict has been particularly vocal on this matter. But Baum has obstinately persisted in fighting to keep alive his version of the “spirit of the Second Vatican council.” So it’s very telling when Fr. Rosica applauds Baum by saying “you helped to keep alive not only the spirit of the Second Vatican council, but also the authentic teaching of the Council.” What does that say about Fr. Rosica’s views on what Vatican II really meant?
Then there’s this tidbit:
During the interview, Fr. Rosica also sets up a dichotomy between what he calls those like Baum, who in his terms engage in “great theological search”, and those he calls “crusaders of orthodoxy.”
Baum’s idea of “great theological search” at the Council was to be free from Magisterial authority to be able to approve behaviours like contraception, same-sex “marriage” and fornication. That’s why, for example, he dissented from Humanae Vitae and was a catalyst in the adoption of the disastrous Winnipeg Statement in 1968. He also discouraged Marian devotion. Look, a Catholic theologian cannot take these positions without making some serious theological and logical blunders. Over the last 2000 years, many men and women like Baum have tried to make a theological case for these moral depravities, but they have all been debunked by the Saints and Doctors of the Church. Why? Because ultimately these attempts are merely rationalizations of sinful inclinations rather than honest reflection. So what does it tell us about Fr. Rosica when he lauds Baum as having engaged in “great theological search?” And who would those “crusaders of orthodoxy” be, if not the faithful bishops and the Popes?
This interview has provided some new insights into Fr. Rosica’s thinking. It’s not a pretty picture.
While it’s true that Baum has done tremendous damage to the Church in his life, I’m personally not too worried about him doing much more damage going forward. He doesn’t have the same popularity as he once did and he’s not as active. Besides, let’s be frank: the man is quite old and doesn’t have too many years left.
What is most disturbing here is that Fr. Rosica appears to be fanning the flame of Baum’s old views so that they don’t die out.