The Two Sides That Are Gaslighting the Faithful

“Of course a man can become pregnant!” A decade ago, a person who said such a thing would not have been taken seriously. However, today, the claim doesn’t seem to raise an eyebrow for many. Why is this?

It is alarming to witness society implode as the radical redefinition of fundamental concepts is seen as justifiable. Case in point, the simple concept of what it means to be a woman or a man has been redefined. Such concepts are no longer reducible to one’s sex but are now expressions of one’s gender. In other words, what it means to be a man or a woman is no longer biological, but is merely an expression. With such terms no longer rooted in the objective realm, they have been subjugated to one’s personal feelings. Consequently, it is no longer nonsensical to say a man can become pregnant.

Similarly, there are some in the Catholic Church today who have redefined what it means to be Catholic vs. what it means to be in schism. Half a century ago, if one said they were a Catholic but refused to submit to the pope’s jurisdiction, one would have been laughed out of the room. They would have been told that their position was schismatic and would not have been considered a Catholic. Yet, these days we have “Catholic” speakers and clergy openly advocating for bishops to disregard the pope’s jurisdiction. Some even publicly promote the establishment of rival altars in the territory of a Catholic bishop, but then claim that such an operation is within the bounds of the church. Simply put, they have redefined what schism means in the very same way that others have redefined what it means to be a man or a woman.

We even see this with those who redefine the term Sedevacantism. Less than one year ago, the term was used to described someone who believed the see of St. Peter is empty – after all, that is what the word means in Latin. However, we are now seeing public figures who claim they are not Sedevacantists, but then explicitly say “the chair of St. Peter is vacant.”

In its most extreme form, there are even those “Catholic” figures who gaslight the faithful by saying the best way to obey the pope is to disobey him. One wonders if such people have ever read Isaiah 5:20 or Matthew 5:37. Nevertheless, for this group, obedience is defined to mean disobedience in the very same way that men can be women.

Oddly enough, the phenomenon of redefining terms is not unique to our age. Martin Luther, though excommunicated from the Catholic Church in the 1520 papal bull Exsurge Domine, believed he was an orthodox Christian until the day he died. How so? Simply put, he redefined what was considered orthodox Christian theology. No longer was it what the Catholic Church, based on Divine revelation, taught definitively. Rather, it was what Luther believed Scripture taught, according to his own private interpretation. Rather than rooting orthodoxy in the objective claims of the Catholic magisterium, Luther opted for his own subjective interpretation of Scripture.

Likewise, many today have abandoned objectivity in their definition of terms – whether it be in the area of gender or ecclesiology, and opt for their subjective interpretation of a term. Ironically, this is why, the radical progressives in today’s society and the radical traditionalists in the Catholic Church are two sides to the same coin that gaslight the faithful and redefine terms to fit their agenda.

Michael Lofton is a graduate of Christendom College Graduate School of Theology where he received his Master of Arts in Theological Studies (Cum Laude) in 2018. He is currently working on a doctorate in Theology with Pontifex University and is writing a dissertation on the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Michael is the founder of the Reason & Theology show, where he has interviewed many of the leading figures in contemporary theology. He has worked with Catholic Answers as an affiliate apologist and also appeared on EWTN, SiriusXM Radio, Radio Maria. He has also contributed frequently to various newspapers and websites.

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