Daily Archives: September 25, 2011
I have written in the past about the Austrian heresy, a shame for the entire Catholicism that has gained a pretty high place in my list of links (basically, after the Blessed Virgin alone).
We write today the 25 September and whilst there has been no substantial change in the matter – the internet site with the call to disobedience is still there, but the Archbishop doesn’t care about such minutiae like more than 300 of his priests and deacons openly calling to heresy – the Archbishop’s language is, as expected, slowly becoming more aggressive. If you have followed my previous blog posts in the matter, you know that the Archbishop is forced to quench the revolt in order to keep his job, but wants to do so by giving as many Austrian as possible the idea that he would be on their side, if he only could.
We have now some small movement in the matter as after the anticipated “discussion” with the heretics, the Cardinal has given several interviews to Austrian radio and television, basically announcing an escalation if the revolt continues.
Let us see how Reuters reports his words:
“If in our diocese here I would step out of line with the community of the Catholic Church then I would lead our diocese into a schism. I am not ready for this and I think no Austrian bishop is ready for this,”
This is, as expected, 100% Schonborn. He imagines a possibility (“If I were to”) that clearly implies a possibility of him doing so. The Cardinal doesn’t say “this is absurd and therefore I won’t do it; the proposers are heretics and they must give a full abiura or be defrocked”, which he should have done months ago. He says instead : “If I do it this will lead us to a conflict with Rome”. This is fully in line with the previous declaration of the Cardinal, where not once have I seen him on record saying that their requests are simply doctrinally wrong. His problems have always been: a) unity with Rome, and b) obedience. By doing so he clearly shows that he “gotta do what he gotta do”, but doesn’t say that the heretics are wrong in the matter. If this is a shepherd, I am a giraffe.
Still, slowly but surely the Cardinal must start to initiate some kind of escalation; then his ignoring the revolt (which continues to grow, albeit more slowly now) can be fatal for his own position.
The problem is well-known and I have dealt with it in my previous posts. Schonborn must quench the revolt, but at the same time he wants to give the vast number of church tax paying Austrian Catholics supporting the heretics the impression that he would so much like to be on their side. He doesn’t care two straws for the confusion that he engenders among the faithful, for the danger of contagion to Germany and Switzerland, or for the reputation of the Austrian Church. What he wants is to save the money coming from the dissident, by at the same time saving his own job.
Read all the story in this light and you will have a very clear picture of what is happening. Yes, one day he will quench the revolt. He will simply have to. But not one day too soon, and not without having done all he can to show the Austrian wannabe Catholics that he is obliged by his office to follow those dinosaurs down there in Rome.
The direction of things seems to be that the heretics will continue to be heretic, but will claim not to be such; they will lose face whilst claiming not to, and the Cardinal will keep his job whilst claiming to have been “sensitive” to the “instances” of the heretics. Dialogue, discussion, and bla bla.
On their Internet-site a newsletter (number 10) has appeared making clear that whilst the title “Call to disobedience” will remain notwithstanding the criticism they have received, they consider their disobedience (let us remember here: doctrinal disobedience, this is no SSPX!) in the sense of ….. being obedient to the Church. Jeez, these people should become Anglicans!
I also notice that the number of new priests and deacons adhering to the initiative starts to stagnate as the day of reckoning slowly approaches. Basically, more and more of these wannabe modernists (more than seldom with Freundin or even Freund, one would think) start to understand that they are nothing more than the Cardinal’s useful idiots, helping him to show to the Austrian dissenters how sensitive to their plight he is whilst sacrificing the rebels on the altar of his job. They had it coming, one must say, but this doesn’t make the Cardinal’s behaviour any more acceptable.
The Cardinal needs our prayers. He needs to be removed, too. This scandal has gone far too far, for far too long already.
The CNA reports Pope Benedict’s observations about the German Church with the following words:
Using Catholicism in Germany as an example, the Pope said that while the German Church was “superbly organized” it was perhaps lacking in a “corresponding spiritual strength, the strength of faith in a living God.”
Having lived in Germany more than some years, I can only confirm the analysis. Whilst no one can deny that the German Church is very well organised – besides the German penchant for organisation, this is an extremely wealthy Church – during my German years I could never escape the impression that for all German Christian organisations (the Only Church as well as the Protestant ecclesial communities) God is an embarrassment that can be safely mentioned only in the most innocuous of circumstances, that is: in conjunction with “feel-good” issues like world peace, or social justice.
This is why the Holy Father’s words are important: the Pope is telling his bishops that an important reason why the Germans are getting more and more distant from a healthy approach to life – the critic of the Western secularism is here clearly aimed at the specific situation he is dealing with – is that “the faith in a living God” is lacking in strenght in his own shepherds.
I see the same happening here in the UK of course, though I find here in the UK examples of spotless orthodoxy that would be probably more difficult to find in Germany. But the message is clear: if the shepherds don’t have a strong faith, how will they be able to give a strong faith to their sheep? As always, the fish stinks from the head down.
When we ask ourselves, though, who has appointed the present German hierarchy, two names come to mind: Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. My suggestion to the Holy Father would be – if I were ever be asked to give one – that if he wants that the German Church has a strong faith it might help to appoint bishops who have it, rather than failed social workers obsessed with popularity, and with the Kirchensteuer.
Another interesting observation of the Holy Father concerns the difference that people coming from other countries see in the individual attitude of Westerners: the obsessive self-centredness.
Even coming from Italy – a partly secularised country, but where traditional values still have a stronger hold than here in the North – I was rather shocked at seeing how here in the UK and in the USA the pursuing of one’s every whim has become a religion in itself. A married couple informing their friends that they are going to split will be inundated with messages of “support” and wishes of “happiness”, reinforcing the idea that the pursuit of the individual happiness of the two be more important than the godly institution they have just decided to bomb. Not so in Italy, where la famiglia, exactly as la Patria – and, alas, often even more so – has rights on the individual that go above his own pursuit of an anyway largely illusory personal happiness.
This in Italy, a partially secularised country. I can imagine the shock of people coming from African countries, where not many think twice about walking for hours every week to go to Mass, and the Christian commandments are different from their Western counterparts “be nice”, “don’t judge” and “provided no one is harmed, it isn’t a sin”.
I heard with my ears a Catholic priest say that he didn’t know the Ten Commandments by heart, and wasn’t interested in learning them.
I don’t think you’ll find many of those outside of the West.