As You Sow, So Shall You Reap: Priests’ Revolt Officially Extends To Germany
This is a very good example of what happens when those who are in charge refuse to do their job, and unless something happens fast we must brace ourselves for much, much more of this.
Since last summer, an open revolt has been going on in Austria, with more than 300 priests and deacons clearly and openly espousing heretical positions. Just click on the “Stop” sign on the right hand side if you want to know more.
The man in charge and with the task to stop this mess is their – unofficial – ally, but he is also a personal protege’ of Pope Benedict, so nothing happened to him. Nothing happened, of course, also to the priests themselves, who were simply told they are being naughty, or rather “unhelpful”. Clearly, they feel encouraged to go on – with a distinguo here and a small concession there of course – and are the heroes of their own rebellious parishioners.
When such things happen, either one acts to quench the fire at its beginning, or he must accept responsibility when the fire unavoidably extends. The Church is very hierarchical. It is not that no one is in charge, and it is not that no one is responsible. The man in charge is, ultimately, the Pope, and the Pope has the responsibility to watch that bishops and priests behave. He is there for that. If he doesn’t do it, he is a bad Pope. It truly is as simple as that, and how good the Pope personally is does not count. Unfortunately, we live in an age where the virtuous life of a Pope easily helps to conceal the shortcomings of his work. Until a major heresy explodes of course, at which point history’s verdict will be merciless, and deservedly so.
There is one man in charge, then, and the bucks undoubtedly stops by him. In this case, the man in charge threatened – very vaguely – after many months, and we had hoped that at last the Vatican steamroller would start moving. Alas, this did not happen.
On the contrary, the German clergy – encouraged by such evident lack of action – started to become very nervous, and to challenge the Vatican in a thinly veiled manner to protect the interest of their …. sponsors (or better said: clients), the Kirchensteuer-paying German Catholics, many of them divorced and desirous to have things their own way.
Now it appears not one or two deranged idiots, or one or two deranged theologians, but 150 priests from the second-biggest German diocese, Freiburg, admit to giving communion to remarried divorced Catholics, and Benedict XVI starts to look more and more like Paul VI, without the excuse of V II.
The strategy of the Austrian-German-Swiss (very soon) priests and hierarchy is all too clear: they want the money of the Kirchensteuer and are scared by the growing number of Austrian-Germans-Swiss (non)pewsitter refusing not only to accept Catholic rules (for which clearly said clergymen don’t care two straws) but also to pay the Kirchensteuer (for which clearly said clergymen care a lot). Therefore, the shepherds must show they care for the sheep, and call their cowardice and – if we are honest – prostitution “pastoral care”.
In Rome, things aren’t much better and, actually, they are very possibly worse. The man in charge does pretty much… nothing, and unavoidably encourages (unwillingly, of course) the revolt to spread. These priests aren’t stupid: they know which side their bread is buttered, and can recognise an harmless and indecisive Pope when they see one.
These priests – secretly backed, or openly not strongly opposed, by their bishops – are clearly using the tactics already used with Pope Paul VI: mass revolt first, and what, oh what can a Pope do – if he is a bad Pope, that is – but to make concessions to them? This is, my dear readers, all the difference between a good and a bad Pope: the good Pope acts, the bad Pope first doesn’t act, and then says “how can I act, now?”. Mind, the good Pope always acts: if the disease if more dangerous, the cure he will apply will be more energetic. He would defrock not 150, but 15,000 priests if needs be. This is why generally he does not need to defrock many of them. The bad Pope finds some accommodation, because by admitting he will not act when the revolt is big he admits he can be strong-armed. As a consequence, his Church will become a sort of unofficial priestly democracy, led by the populists and the heretics.
Now as in Pope Paul VI’s times, the heretical priest have recognised the weak Pope and – in this case, also seeing that the Holy Father is increasingly more frail, and approaching death – see a good opportunity to strike hard. This is nothing new: we have seen this with the altar girls, and with the countless abuses and irreverent practices then become accepted. We are now seeing this with the abuse of Holy Communion, and the sheer number of the rebellious priests involved in this unspeakable mass sacrilege from the very altar puts the Holy Father in front of the alternatives between showing strenght or letting the chaos go on. But the Pope seems to have no strenght, so the chaos will – bar pleasant but improbable surprises – go on.
Please note the Holy Father – also here, in pure Paul VI manner – positively encourages the revolt (unwittingly, I think) not only avoiding to take any serious action against the Austrian priest and their unofficial protector and mentor, cardinal Schoenborn, but also – and not more than a couple of days ago – expressing himself in a very mealy-mouthed way about the suffering of the divorced and remarried, as if this suffering had come down from the sky like hail or drought. As always, when you say to people they are oh so suffering without telling them who is the responsible for this, they’ll ask you why you should add to their suffering; and if you don’t have the balls to say what is what, you’re in trouble.
As you sow, so shall you reap. The Holy Father’s lack of action has predictably led to the necessity of acting even more harshly now, and if he does not act – which he probably won’t, besides declaring urbi et orbi how saddened he is – there will be even more painful battles to be fought down the line. Alas, being sad never solved any problem, nor does it substitute in any way the need for action. It merely encourages the heretics to become bolder.
I have to say that, unfortunately, this Papacy has up to now given proof of a rather spectacular incompetence as far as concrete action is concerned, and the increasing frailty of the Holy Father might make the next year or two a remarkably catastrophic phase in the history of the Church. I hope the next Pope is a very strong man, or this post V-II mess will accompany all of us to our grave. A pity, as I for myself had hoped to live long enough to see the end of this V-II madness, as I have seen the end of Communism.
At this point, I think it is fair to say the Church would be infinitely better off with fornicators like Alexander VI, personally immoral but energetic and never a unwitting friend of heterodoxy, than with your typical “modern” Pope: personally very pious, but more or less incapable of managing the Church in a decent way. This kind of Pope confuses millions, and contributes every day to the loss of countless souls. But he is very pious and goes to confession every day, so he should be fine when he dies. I’d personally be less sanguine than that.
We must pray for the Pope that he may somewhere find the courage to deal appropriately with heresy, or to consciously pave the way for a successor hopefully able to do it.
If this goes on, brace yourself for the schism of the century; courtesy of a very saddened Pope Benedict XVI.
Posted on June 10, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged Austrian heresy, Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism, German Revolt, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Paul VI. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.