It is believed that, at the Council of Nicaea, St. Athanasius said “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops” regarding the Arian heresy. One can only sit back and wonder what this great saint would say to the current hierarchy of our days. With everything from cocaine-fueled homosexual parties in the Vatican, to the encouragement of sacrilegious Communions for the divorced and remarried, those living in sinful cohabitation, and homosexuals. It is not just St. Athanasius who is rolling over in his grave.
Mid-January 2018 has seen an increased push towards encouraging these sacrilegious practices, especially in Germany; but before we start to dig into these news items, let’s first lay some foundations for any of our readers who, perhaps, have not been following these controversies.
Saint Thomas Aquinas says in the Summa Theologica, II, II, q. 33, a. 4, “It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly.”
Canon 212 § 3 of the Code of Canon Law states: “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which [the faithful] possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals."
And finally, canon 1752 states that “the salvation of souls … must always be the supreme law of the Church.”
With these texts in mind, and with a heavy heart, I must report yet again on this deep crisis in the Church. I’m sure for some of my online readers that it must seem as though I take delight in calling out the hierarchy of the Church, but in truth it is one of the most burdensome and difficult things to do. We shouldn’t have to live this way day-to-day, and I encourage you to spend as much time in prayer for these poor “shepherds” of Christ’s flock as it takes you to read this article.
The first item of news comes to us from Gloria.TV where it is reported that Archbishop Jorge Ortiga of Braga, Portugal has published a set of sacrilegious guidelines, following the lead of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia in the worse way possible. These new guidelines state that divorcees living in a “second liaison” may undergo a six-month-long program that will consist of a type of “catechism” as well as meetings afterward. From what I gather, it is like a hybrid of RCIA classes mixed with Alcoholics Anonymous.
According to Gloria.TV, Archbishop Braga allows these people to receive Holy Communion in direct contradiction to Christ’s own words: “But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife… maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.”
The second condition set forth by Archbishop Braga is that the adulterous couple must have been ongoing for five years, which this poor bishop seems to believe shows some sort of “stability” to these liaisons. It wasn’t too long ago that such bigamists would have been considered by the Church to be “hardened sinners.”
These guidelines of Archbishop Braga seem to fall completely into conformity with Chapter VIII of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, which has caused not only the presentation of the “Dubia” by Cardinals Burke, Caffarra, Brandmüller, and Meisner (which still remain un-answered) but also the presentation of a “Correctio Filialis” which has now been signed by 250 bishops, theologians and various priests who rightly see the Pope’s actions as gravely problematic and severely damaging to the faith and the souls of Catholics everywhere.
In a world where love and marriage have been de-valued by an omnipresent acceptance of divorce and remarriage in protestant sects as well as the secular world, and further cheapened by popular culture, television, Hollywood, and a near ubiquity of pornography, it is truly sad to see God’s Holy Church going along with these social trends, instead of bravely taking a stand and fighting for the Truth of our faith to the death.
These grave errors all stem from a reversal of the purpose and nature of Matrimony. The 1917 Code of Canon Law states in canon 856: “The primary object of marriage is the procreation and education of offspring; the secondary purpose is mutual assistance and the remedy of concupiscence.”
The new Code of Canon Law of 1983 (after Vatican II) states in canon 1055 §1: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring…”
To make this point absolutely crystal clear, Catholic doctrine states that the primaryfunction of marriage is the procreation and education of children, and secondarily for the mutual help and love of the spouses. What the new Code of Canon Law does is raise the secondary objective of matrimony to the level of the primary, or at least makes these two objectives of equal import. This, of course, can be interpreted to mean that if marriage is about love, and mutual help, with children as only an afterthought, why are we so sure that homosexuals cannot “celebrate” this sacrament? If the education of children is not the primary objective, then there should be no problem with allowing married couples to shatter their relationship, leaving the children to grow up in a broken home, without any true and moral demonstration of what marriage is supposed to look like.
This, of course, is exactly where the German bishops are picking up. In recent news, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück has made more than just comments about homosexual unions.
“I'm concerned with fundamental questions of how we deal with each other; although 'marriage for all' differs clearly from the Church's concept of marriage, it's now a political reality… We have to ask ourselves how we're encountering those who form such relationships and are also involved in the Church, how we're accompanying them pastorally and liturgically."
This comment from Bishop Bode comes after the first gay weddings were conducted in German churches, following a vote by the German parliament allowing full blown same-sex “marriage.”
Despite the fact that canons 1055-1057 of the new Code of Canon Law state clearly that the matter needed for this sacrament are both a man and a woman, this German bishop is asking questions like “Shouldn't we be fairer, given that there is much that's positive, good and right in this? Should we not, for example, consider a blessing -- something not to be confused with a wedding ceremony?”
According to the National Catholic Reporter, Bishop Bode has called on the Vatican to form a commission to explore these possibilities, as well as the possibility of ordaining women deacons to supplement for the decline in vocations being experienced not only in the German church, but in the Church all over the world since Vatican II. Bishop Bode said, “This commission is very much exploring tradition, but I think we shouldn't just start there…”
According to OnePeterFive Bishop Bode went on in his January 10th interview: “We have to reflect upon the question as to how to assess, in a differentiated manner, a relationship between two homosexual persons. […] Is there not so much positive and good and right so that we have to be more just?”
In an interview conducted by katholisch.de, Professor Benedikt Kranemann, a liturgy scholar at the Catholic Theology department at the University of Erfurt, and adviser to the German Bishops’ Conference, said: “There has not yet been a real theological discussion in the Catholic Church about in what ritual form such a salvific promise [sic] from God – because that is what a blessing stands for – could be expressed for these [homosexual] couples.”
Clearly the days of recognizing sodomy as a sin crying to Heaven for vengeance are gone. In fact, it’s difficult to find any Novus Ordo priest that will recognize the basic and immutable Church teaching that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil; even according to the new Catechism numbers 2357-2359. Furthermore, the Church only teaches and shows us ways of life that are good for all, for the salvation of all, and if everyone became homosexual, humanity would cease to exist, since homosexuals cannot procreate.
Professor Kranemann continued:
“I consider it to be theologically problematic if one denies such a blessing to people who consider it to be necessary for them. People also have the right that the grace of God should be extended to them…”
The only thing theologically problematic is people mis-representing, mis-interpreting and twisting the Holy Religion of God towards their own sick and disordered ends.
But such is life in the modernist church, where everyone is their own pope, declaring what is good and right for themselves, according to their feelings. Remember, this all stems from an erroneous understating of truth. Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us that truth is the adequation of the intellect to objective reality; whereas Maurice Blondel, one of the primary modernist theologians, said that truth is the adequation of the mind to life. This, of course, is a totally subjectivist view of truth stemming from vital imminence: the idea that God lies within us, and that we must reflect in our own hearts to discern what God wants us to do, instead of adapting our behaviors and actions to a morality that exists outside of ourselves.
Finally, according to reports from the National Catholic Register, there is a “major conference” being planned in Rome, due to take place in April, to discuss all of these errors and more. The conference was the last wish of Cardinal Caffara (one of the prelates who presented Pope Francis with the Dubia on Amoris Laetitia).
According to the Register:
“…the conference is expected to explore the limits of papal infallibility as well as seek ways to overcome the division in the Church, exacerbated by what many see as pastoral and doctrinal confusion on key moral issues.”
Considering that as yet, the Dubia and the Correctio Filialis have gone without comment from the Pope, I wouldn’t hold my breath that we will see Francis affirming Catholic doctrine at all, but nevertheless we must pray, and make it known that no matter what, we will not defect from the faith of our fathers. Whether it be the soft persecution of liberalism, or the inevitable persecution of blood, we will take our stand with Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church, ‘til death do us part.