Satan Is Shaking The Church To Her Very Foundations
What follows is the complete text of a letter written by Father Brian W. Harrison, O.S. from St. Louis, Missouri.
The letter appeared on Catholic Family News’ blog. Emphases in bold. Comments in red.
Dear Dr. Moynihan,
In your latest Letter from Rome, commenting on the new appointments to the College of Cardinals, you report rather nonchalantly that “[Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig] Müller is also known for having said that the Church’s position on admitting to divorced and remarried Catholics to the sacrament of Communion is not something that can or will be changed. But other German Church leaders, including Cardinal Walter Kasper, have recently gone on record saying the teaching may and will be changed.”
Your brief, matter-of-fact report on this controversy reminds me of the tip of an iceberg. It alludes to, but does not reveal the immensity of, a massive, looming threat that bids fair to pierce, penetrate and rend in twain Peter’s barque – already tossing perilously amid stormy and icy seas. The shocking magnitude of the doctrinal and pastoral crisis lurking beneath this politely-worded dispute between scholarly German prelates can scarcely be overstated. For what is at stake here is fidelity to a teaching of Jesus Christ that directly and profoundly affects the lives of hundreds of millions of Catholics: the indissolubility of marriage.
The German bishops have devised a pastoral plan to admit divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion, whether or not a Church tribunal has granted a decree of nullity of their first marriage. Cardinal-elect Müller, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has not only published a strong article in L’Osservatore Romano reaffirming the perennial Catholic doctrine confirmed by John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio; he has also written officially to the German Bishops’ Conference telling them to rectify their heterodox pastoral plan. But the bishops, led by their conference president and by Cardinal Kasper, are openly defying the head of the CDF, and predicting that the existing doctrine and discipline will soon be changed!
[We see a standard German pattern here: first the abuse, then the retroactive approval of what is now a fait accompli. The German bishop will get into the Synod in a state of de facto revolt, practised by hundreds of priests already, wished by many more, and demanding that the new situation be recognised. Ways to safe the Vatican’s doctrinal face will be found in spades. They’re not interested in that].
Think of the appalling ramifications of this. If German Catholics don’t need decrees of nullity, neither will any Catholics anywhere. Won’t the world’s Catholic marriage tribunals then become basically irrelevant? (Will they eventually just close down?) And won’t this reversal of bimillennial Catholic doctrine mean that the Protestants and Orthodox, who have allowed divorce and remarriage for century after century, have been more docile to the Holy Spirit on this issue than the true Church of Christ? Indeed, how credible, now, will be her claim to be the true Church? On what other controverted issues, perhaps, has the Catholic Church been wrong, and the separated brethren right?
[The way I have seen it, many German bishops are interested in downplaying any difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. They would, in fact, read the statement above with pleasure, and draw the conclusion that both the Catholic and the Protestant side have made their mistakes, no side was ever fully wrong or fully right, etc. ]
And what of Jesus’ teaching that those who remarry after divorce commit adultery? Admitting them to Communion without a commitment to continence will lead logically to one of three faith-breaking conclusions: (a) our Lord was mistaken in calling this relationship adulterous – in which case he can scarcely have been the Son of God; (b) adultery is not intrinsically and gravely sinful – in which case the Church’s universal and ordinary magisterium has always been wrong; or (c) Communion can be given to some who are living in objectively grave sin – in which case not only has the magisterium also erred monumentally by always teaching the opposite, but the way will also be opened to Communion for fornicators, practicing homosexuals, pederasts, and who knows who else? (And, please, spare us the sophistry that Jesus’ teaching was correct “in his own historical and cultural context”, but that since about Martin Luther’s time that has all changed.)
[Our brave Mini-me Luthers will adjust this in a way that appeases their easily persuaded sheep: a) we are merely being pastoral, so yes, in a way you are, oh well, quasi, so to speak, if we are truly literal, sinning; but come on, life has changed so much; everyone knows there was no Internet in Jesus’ times…. b) Adultery is sinful, I am just being pastoral. Now, take your communion… c) the Holy Spirit is guiding us to the new Time of Mercy; Francis has said so much, nicht wahr?].
Let us make no mistake: Satan is right now shaking the Church to her very foundations over this divorce issue. If anything, the confusion is becoming even graver than that over contraception between 1965 and 1968, when Paul VI’s seeming vacillation allowed Catholics round the world to anticipate a reversal of perennial Church teaching. If the present Successor of Peter now keeps silent about divorce and remarriage, thereby tacitly telling the Church and the world that the teaching of Jesus Christ will be up for open debate at a forthcoming Synod of Bishops, one fears a terrible price will soon have to be paid.
[Yes, Satan is shaking the Church. This is not the smoke of Satan anymore. This is an entire barbecue party.
I always wondered how Paul VI is nowadays considered a courageous Pope for daring to state the obvious, once in 15 years of Pontificate. And then remaining so shocked at the effect caused by obvious statement, that he never wrote other encyclicals for the remaining eleven years of his pontificate. I am glad someone, and a priest at that, gives a better picture of the matter].
Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S.
St. Louis, Missouri
Three Hail Mary for this brave priest are in order, surely?
Posted on March 19, 2014, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged Adultery, Cardinal Kasper, communion for adulterers, Extraordinary Synod 2014 synod. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.
Two quick points: 1) Imagine that there was one man (possibly someone who resides in Rome perhaps) who was capable of laying waste to heresy by putting his foot down and crushing ANYTHING or ANYONE that railed against the teachings of the Catholic Church so we wouldn’t have to deal with this craziness? 2) With all respect to the good Father (and this is a serious point), annulments sadly are now nothing more than Catholic divorces; the Vatican 2 abomination has no respect anymore for a valid marriage and the numbers back it up.
Too many people are wrapped up in the whole issue of un-annulled, re-married people being allowed to receive the Body of Christ….this will never matter as it will always be a sacrilege (mortal sin). The more serious issue is people attaining totally bogus annulments in the first place; this may be perhaps Vatican 2’s most horrendous failing: the total disregard for the sacrament of marriage and the destruction of the family after it occurs.
On the recovery
Difficult to say where it will come from. I mean, from the Blessed Virgin of course, but who known in which way. Perhaps inner conversion of this, or another Pope. We must pray for the Pope also in order to collaborate with Providence, as the Church has given so much power to one man.
On the annulments
whether a marriage is validly annulled or not is not for me or you to say, it is for the competent Church authority.
If we accept that a marriage can be considered null and we can object to it, then we must accept that an adulterer considers null his Catholic marriage.
If any canonical judges abuse of the power given to them, they will reap their reward. But we undermine the sacrament if we question the legitimate instance to decide about it; the instance which we are just fighting to keep as the one which has to decide, and of which the Church says they have to decide.
“If anything, the confusion is becoming even graver than that over contraception between 1965 and 1968, when Paul VI’s seeming vacillation allowed Catholics round the world to anticipate a reversal of perennial Church teaching.”
Graver? More complete, perhaps, but this new chapter in the book of apostasy only builds on the previous one, which set up the arguments and self-serving justifications. The trajectory is all of one piece. We wouldn’t have arrived at this point without the widespread embrace of the contraceptive mentality. Sterile, uncommitted sex is now the norm.
After October Synod , it will survive only the Mystical Body of Christ .The institutional Church ,
as it existed for two thousand years ,shall little by little disappear except for a seemingly insignificant Remnant , and will de facto excommunicate itself , become a Protestant ‘Church’ ( in reality there will be nothing to protest against anymore ) and at the end of the day it will be an atheist institution , like Father Reto has with elegance said. Jesus and his followers will be hated with a supernatural hatred. But He will test the faith of the Remnant , then he’ll allow to unleash a persecution never seen before by the forces of an (THE ? ) Antichrist, united with the World’s ones ( or is it the same already now ? )It will be much worse than a second Arian revolt . After the’ invasion of Poland’ the internal war will be fought with far deadlier arms . The man hunt ,prepared so far only verbally -with the exception of F.F.I.’s example – shall widespread like wildfire .After the test ,Jesus will take other decisions . Very tough decisions,I’m sure. I had never esteem for most of the eschatologist ramblings , but in the next years something will definitely happen .Now it’s time to strenghten our faith ,with prayers and deeds , and above all to try to save all the souls we can save.
Boy, you’re an optimist! 😉
I want to hope that, if this mess happens, the majority of the priests outside of the West will refuse to even consider allowing public concubines to receive communion with whatever ritual or strange procedure the Synod will provide for the scope; and the synod will not be able to force them to do anything more than it can, say, force them to absolve sins in the confessional now.
Certainly, many priests will go to hell; certainly, many adulterers will go to hell. But we are talking here of people already on their way to hell, and who would only burn (in many cases) the bridges leading them to salvation.
The Church will remain; the rules will remain; Christ’s Kingship will remain. It will be a huge tragedy for the souls involved, but I can’t imagine everyone of us having to travel two hours every Sunday to find a half decent priest celebrating a valid Mass.
As imperfect as the annulment process is, it gives pause to the parties involved that they cannot simply be admitted to the sacraments without a representative of Holy Mother Church making an assessment of the situation. Better this, than no process at all. I shudder to think of the eternal fate of members of various tribunals who granted annulments to so many public, seemingly unrepentant jerks. But again, it is not for me to make the formal assessment.
If this travesty of admittance of public adulterers to the sacraments without due process becomes reality and the teachings of the One True Church, for all intents and purposes are no longer relevant, I don’t understand how the Gates of Hell are not prevailing. It would be the Pope himself who endorses such nonsense. What is the status of those who cannot abide with these changes? Vilified outcasts of the institutional church it seems. Has this ever happened before?
The Pope will – I think we can be confident on this – not define the principle that ecclesiastical tribunal are superfluous. The worst that – I think – can happen is that the usual “individual cases” will be left to the discretion of the priest.
Result: reprobate priest will go to hell with their reprobate adulterers. Something they would have done anyway.
There is, after all this, no reason whatsoever for you to believe that the Pope is not the Pope, the Church is not the Church, the Commandments are not the Commandments, and the Sacraments are not the sacraments.
Not one iota can change of Truth.
Confessors who have abused of their faculties to absolve their mistresses have always been there, either.
This will not be the generation that invents sacrilege, for sure. In case, it will be the one that makes of it a rather popular sport in some countries. I don’t think it will still be as bad as under Liberius, when the Creed was forbidden in church because it was “divisive”, and those who refused to acquiesce were excommunicated. I would still say in Liberius’ time the crisis was much graver, because it was more or less directly endorsed by the Pope on a purely dogmatic level.
Francis will never touch the Creed to accommodate the Jews, for sure.
The gates of Hell will never prevail. Jesus said so. There’s nothing to understand.
Thank you for letting me into your “living room”. I stumbled upon it via PewSitter reading about the so-called “popewars”.
More to the point, it seems to me that virtually all the Sacraments are ‘melting away’. Along with Marriage what about Baptism?
The Bishop of Rome (aka Pope), I’ve read met with the Rabbis of Rome and told them they do not have to be Baptized to get into Heaven (words to that affect). Well are Jews the only ones that can get to Heaven without being Baptized. Why does anyone have to be Baptized? Are Jews the only people without “original sin’? The invented the concept – No? The whole Adam and Eve thing.
I’ve recall similarly an American Cardinal said the same thing to American Jews.
So there go two sacraments.
What about “Reconciliation’? That’s been reduced to a mental act of “Gee I’m sorry Lord”. No need for a priest and all that stuff.
Seems to me.
PS Great Living Room you have here, hope I can come again.
Welcome to the Living Room! 😉
I reply to you on the same line of another reply yesterday: please let us stop undermining the Sacraments.
They are not “melting away”. They are not going anywhere.
If Francis were to begin to distribute consecrated hosts to cats, dogs and pigs, he would commit unspeakable sacrileges, but this would not change a iota in what Sacraments are, or why we must participate to the sacramental life.
Sacraments are establishes by God, not by Popes. Popes can damage themselves by behaving in a sacrilegious way, but they can never make the Sacrament lose validity or sacredness.
Let us pay attention when we use words like “so go the sacraments”, because people out there – perhaps less instructed than us; or perhaps thinking of conversion – could well mean it in the sense that, well, they have gone and there is therefore no need to go to Mass, or to confession, etc.
Let’s say I am taught by one Pope who is the Vicar of Christ that “x” may not be done, but along comes another Pope who is the Vicar of Christ 1000 yrs later or so and suddenly given legalese that makes “x” alright to do – & I’m just a follower of the Church, going to mass, living my life, when one Sunday I see my neighbor who’s been divorced suddenly showing up in the pew, getting the Eucharist. Some would argue its similar to the Prodigal Son parable.
That’s my problem! Everything now is relativistic. There are no hard and fast rules. I’m not a theologian. I count on the priest to tell me the right way to live. So will it be held against me as a sin if I follow the Church’s representative when he tells me what to do, according to the new interpretation? He’s the Vicar of Christ and whether he says anything emphatically or by silence, my local priest is going to start homilies trending to this, counseling on this, etc. I can’t merely swim against the tide when the whole river has moved.
You mean “divorced and remarried”, or “divorced and living with a concubine”.
Yes, your local priest is going to be under a huge pressure to, at least, not go against the “time of mercy”. But if he is a strong priest, or simply a priest afraid of hell, I am sure he will find a way. The Synod will never mandate that public adulterer receive communion, such a thing is simply logically impossible. Therefore, every priest will always – whatever the stupidity and cowardice of his superiors – be able to act as eh should.
I would say next year will will begin to realise how many priest really believe in God. Only a priest who has lost the faith can pretend the Holy Ghost has changed his mind about whether public adulterers can receive Communion.
Reblogged this on Mundabor's Blog.