Betrayal From Within

Betrayal From Within

“Woke” Christian leaders persecute the faithful.

Joseph Hippolito

As the nation descends into civil disorder, attacks against Christians by the left-wing "woke" have increased dramatically. Those attacks range from the prohibition of singing during services to arson and assault.

Yet the most despicable attacks that faithful Christians face come from their own authorities, who subordinate the faith to the left-wing "woke" narrative.

Two of those Christians are Melanie Diodati, a Catholic graduate student in theology, and Episcopal Bishop William Love of Albany, N.Y. Both were targeted for rejecting the LGBTQ agenda.

Diodati used her Twitter account to oppose Villanova University's commemoration of "Pride Month" in June. Meanwhile, Love faced canonical trial for refusing to allow same-sex marriages in his diocese. Love is the only Episcopal bishop to take such a stand.

Front Page Magazine's readers first met Diodati in the article, "The Vatican vs. Trump," which discussed what Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano called the "deep church." That article included Diodati's concern, expressed on Twitter, about Villanova abandoning its Catholic identity for "woke" ideology.

On June 22, Villanova's athletic department inadvertently proved Diodati's point by issuing this tweet:

"Love is Love. Happy #PrideMonth. We are proud to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community."

The flag in the tweet is the movement's six-striped rainbow flag, with a chevron at the hoist featuring the transgender movement's colors.

Diodati responded the same day. 

"Villanova is proud to be an ally of the LGBTQ community and ashamed to be Catholic so I'm ashamed to attend here and that's that," she tweeted. "I'm sorry (but) I want a Catholic university to uphold Catholic belief.

"I'm tired of Christians having to be the ones to look the other way while secularization runs over their morals."

In the ensuing Twitter exchange, Diodati explained her views.

"Fact is, the Church does not support LGBTQ because it follows a lifestyle explicitly against what Jesus taught. We can be sympathetic and loving to those in the community without aligning ourselves with them...."

Among the reactions was this one from @ALlorarYPerrear, a Catholic who describes herself as an "Anti-Imperialist" and uses the hashtag, #FreePalestine:

"Find out who this girl is and bully her please."

Despite such threats, Diodati refused to delete her comments or lock her account.

Villanova's theology department was not amused.

On June 26, Diodati met with her advisor, Professor Jennifer Jackson, ostensibly to discuss the fall schedule. Instead, Jackson pressured Diodati to return to Twitter and affirm her support for the university and its pro-LGBTQ position. Otherwise, Diodati would risk losing her scholarship, her academic reputation, her ability to make professional contacts and her entire professional future.

"In other words," Diodati tweeted, "if I want to survive at this Catholic institution, then I need to lie; lie on Twitter and tell everyone that, in fact, my Catholic beliefs are wrong, and I am in full communion with the stance the school has taken.

"That's called corruption. And I will not stand for it."

Diodati told Jackson that she will transfer to another Catholic university.

"I will no longer associate myself with a university that betrays Catholic teaching," Diodati tweeted as she exposed the hypocrisy of the "woke." 

"Villanova and the Theology department love to claim that they are all about 'unity' and 'embracing diversity,' " she tweeted. "They've made this embrace clear when it comes to liberalism. They've made this embrace clear when it comes to the LGBTQ community."

But when it comes to Diodati's traditional views, "my diversity will not be embraced," she tweeted. "Instead, it will be threatened."

Love faces a bigger threat -- excommunication -- for being the only Episcopal bishop in the United States who opposes same-sex marriage.

The Episcopal Church, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, allowed same-sex marriage in 2015. Two years ago, the church in the United States passed a resolution allowing any same-sex couple to marry even if the local bishop opposed the practice. All the couple would need would be permission from any other bishop, who would perform the ceremony in the local bishop's diocese.

Love -- the only bishop at the convention to oppose the resolution -- responded by forbidding the priests in his diocese from performing any same-sex marriages. In an eight-page pastoral letter he issued in November 2018, Love cited both the Bible and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer to explain his position.

The church "is attempting to order me as a Bishop in God's holy Church to compromise 'the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints' and to turn my back on the vows I have made," Love wrote, "to accommodate The Episcopal Church's 'new' understanding of Christian marriage as no longer being 'a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God.'"

Love not only called the resolution "a blatant attempt to silence theologically conservative and orthodox bishops," he wrote. He even described its advocates as false prophets.

"The Episcopal Church and Western Society have been hijacked by the 'Gay Rights Agenda' which is very well organized, very strategic, very well financed, and very powerful," Love wrote. "Satan is having a heyday bringing division into the Church over these issues and is trying to use the Church to hurt and destroy the very ones we love ... by deceiving the leadership of the Church into creating ways for our gay and lesbians brothers and sisters to embrace their sexual desires rather than to repent and seek God’s love and healing grace."

Two months later, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who governs American Episcopalians, rescinded Love's authority to adjudicate the issue in his own diocese. Last August, the church announced that Love would face a canonical trial for breaking his vows to "conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church."

At that trial last month, Paul Clooney, the denomination's counsel, said that Love "failed to conform to the worship of the church as he promised to do when he was ordained," and that his position concerning same-sex couples "impacts their well-being as people of God" and "their loved ones, their fellow congregants and their friends."

In defending Love, Rev. Chip Strickland said the church "failed to prove" that the bishop broke his vows, since he relied on both the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer for his stance. More importantly, Strickland said, the Book of Common Prayer retains the traditional definition of marriage. Moreover, he added, the convention that passed the resolution declined to revise that definition. Therefore, Strickland argued, the resolution has no force as church discipline.

When asked whether he took action to address the pain that same-sex couples experienced, Love said he had no problem with two men or two women living together and serving as proxies for financial reasons, since "God loves all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation," he said. Nevertheless, he added, sexual intimacy must be reserved for a man and a woman married to each other.

"I do know how difficult it is for all of us and my heart is breaking for all of us," Love said. "It's breaking for the church."

But Love values his faith over his emotions.

"He is doctrinally opposed to same-sex marriage," Strickland said. "That will not change. At the same time, he is sworn to (the) doctrine, discipline (and) worship of the church. If those things change, then he'll have to make his decisions."

Love might have little time to make those decisions. A church representative said the ecclesiastical court would need several weeks to make a ruling.

If adherence to "woke" ideology means changes in doctrine, discipline and worship, they would be the ultimate consequences of neo-Marxist philosophical influence. Neo-Marxism, which Front Page Magazine briefly examined last month, emerged from the Frankfurt School in Germany.

Donald Sensing, a United Methodist minister, explained the pervasive nature of neo-Marxist influence.

"The education and social milieu that our clergy and laity have been raised in since the since the 1930s or so have been increasingly inculcated by the Frankfurt School," Sensing wrote, "and overturning that basic orientation among them is probably past the point of impossibility."

Reinforcing that influence is the materialism seducing churches.

"The majority of mainline churches today are run mainly like country clubs that have member benefits," Sensing wrote. "Most of the denominations' hierarchy is quite okay with that because at least that keeps the money flowing."

As Love and Diodati illustrate, devout Christians increasingly will have to fight the demand by "woke" church authorities to succumb to bureaucratic corporatism. Sensing, who said his own church "is in the process of committing hara-kiri," is not optimistic.

"We are headed for a new Dark Age of political oppression and conflict," Sensing wrote. "On purpose. By design."

And with the nation's churches appeasing the oppressors.