As we get into the Third Sunday of Advent, I have a clear feeling this Christmas will see us more optimistic for the future than any Christmas since 2012.
Some of you will have read that Bishops Schneider and some others met in Rome on December 5 and discussed the matter of the Dubia.
The full text of Bishop Schneider’s talk has now been released, and it is a full declaration of war on heresy. I invite you to read this lengthy talk in its entirety.
The main points that Bishop Schneider wants to make are, in my opinion, the following:
- This is not the first time in the history of the Church that weak prelates cave in to the desire of powerful others (Kings and Emperors in the past, Kirchensteuer-payers and public opinion today) to have God’s law set aside. Nihil sub sole novi, cowardice and threats included.
- Faithful prelates will tolerate no compromise with the Heresy of Kasper (and Francis). That door is shut. Francis can forget it just as well as Napoleon had to, though Francis will certainly be able to count on the complicity of many cardinals, just as Napoleon did.
The talk is momentous. There is no way the Four Cardinals do not approve every word, and it is apparent Schneider speaks on their behalf to his audience. The best evidence of this is a lenghty quote from the absolutely brutal statement from Cardinal Brandmueller (one of the Four)
“In the case we have examined, this means that that, regarding the dogma of the unity, of the sacramentality, and of the indissolubility of a marriage between two baptized people, there is no way back if not – inevitable and therefore to be rejected – of considering it to be an error which must be corrected. The way of acting of Nicholas I in the dispute regarding the new marriage of Lothair II, as conscious of principle as it was inflexible and fearless, constitutes an important milestone on the road to affirming the doctrine regarding marriage in the Germanic cultural context. The fact that this Pope, like various of his successors on similar occasions, proved himself to be the advocate of the dignity of the person and of the liberty of the weak – in general they were women – has made Nicholas I worthy of the respect of historiographers, of the crown of sanctity, and of the title of ‘Great.’”
Cardinal Brandmueller makes two points here: the first is that there is no other way out from this situation than for Francis to a) retract or b) be corrected. The second is a contrast between a courageous Pope of the past and a cowardly, heretical Pope of the present.
And concerning the heretical Pope of the present, please look at the tone of Bishop Schneider, who openly mocks the heretics of our day ( for example when he states: “Perhaps they did it for pastoral motives and for advancing the possibility of a pastoral accompaniment and discernment”) in a way that is the nearest to accusing Francis, short of a direct shot.
I can’t see how there can be any retreat from Schneider & Co now. I trust even Francis will have the brains to get that, if it is explained to him slowly a couple of times.
This does not look like an attempt to find a compromise. The terms chosen are such that not acting on them would cause the most grievous loss of face for the party of the Four Cardinals.
If Francis had illusions that this matter may deflate from itself, he can abandon it now.
This comes straight from another century. It makes one’s heart rejoice. It certainly made my day.
Bishop Schneider does not shoot directly at the Pope. However, the Gatling Gun is aimed so near to the Papal entourage, that LifeSite news found it appropriate to ask Father Lombardi about Pope Francis’ position concerning the abuse of children as “agent of change” in the climate hoax.
Predictably, no answer.
In Italy we say that this is talking to the wife so that the mother-in-law may understand. The man does not point the Gatling Gun at the Pope, but the bullets are directed at all that the Pope says.
The other notable fact is the explicit attack to other bishops as “so-called Catholics”. At the moment I cannot recall any such explicit attack from a non-SSPX bishop, though I am sure there have been. But the fact that these attacks are accompanied by (literally) Old Testamentary warnings makes Archbidhop Schneider’s intervention extraordinary.
Battle lines are being drawn. I wish our good bishops (the few remained) were more open in their criticism of all the rubbish coming out of the Vatican these days (largely from Francis), but I can only salute any intervention like this one.
Still: very grave errors were promoted by Pope Francis only days ago. I recall scandalised interventions from countless bloggers and commenters, from some good journalists, from theologians lay and religious, and from some Catholic institution. At the moment, I cannot recall any rebuke from any bishop or Cardinal. We shall see, they tend to be slow.
For today, let us salute what we get: a glimpse of heroic XIX Century Church in the midst of the rubble of the XXI Century one.
Rorate Caeli has interviewed Bishop Athanasius Schneider. The text is here.
What I will do is to report the text in its entirety, adding here and there my own comments. Rorate emphases have been kept, in black bold. My own emphases and observations in red. Some words of comment at the end.
POST-SYNOD CHURCH & UNBELIEVERS IN THE HIERARCHY
Rorate Caeli: In the recent Synod, we will not know the legal impact it will have on the Church for some time, as it’s up to Pope Francis to move next. Regardless of the eventual outcome, for all intent and purposes, is there already a schism in the Church? And, if so, what does it mean practically speaking? How will it manifest itself for typical Catholics in the pews?
H.E. Schneider: Schism means according to the definition of the Code of Canon Law, can. 751: The refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with those members of the Church who are submitted to the Supreme Pontiff. One has to distinguish the defect in belief or heresy from schism. The defect in belief or heresy is indeed a greater sin than schism, as Saint Thomas Aquinas said: “Unbelief is a sin committed against God Himself, according as He is Himself the First Truth, on which faith is founded; whereas schism is opposed to ecclesiastical unity, which is a lesser good than God Himself. Wherefore the sin of unbelief is generically more grievous than the sin of schism” (II-II, q. 39, a. 2 c).
The very crisis of the Church in our days consists in the ever growing phenomenon that those who don’t fully believe and profess the integrity of the Catholic faithfrequently occupy strategic positions in the life of the Church, such as professors of theology, educators in seminaries, religious superiors, parish priests and even bishops and cardinals.[Beautiful first salvo. You are left in no doubt the rot sits pretty high]. And these people with their defective faith profess themselves as being submitted to the Pope.
The height of confusion and absurdity manifests itself when such semi-heretical clerics accuse those who defend the purity and integrity of the Catholic faith as being against the Pope – as being according to their opinion in some way schismatics. For simple Catholics in the pews, such a situation of confusion is a real challenge of their faith, in the indestructibility of the Church. They have to keep strong the integrity of their faith according to the immutable Catholic truths, which were handed over by our fore-fathers, and which we find in in the Traditional catechisms and in the works of the Fathers and of the Doctors of the Church.
Rorate Caeli: Speaking of typical Catholics, what will the typical parish priest face now that he didn’t face before the Synod began? What pressures, such as the washing of women’s feet on Maundy Thursday after the example of Francis, will burden the parish priest even more than he is burdened today?
H.E. Schneider: A typical Catholic parish priest should know well the perennial sense of the Catholic faith, the perennial sense as well of the laws of the Catholic liturgy and, knowing this, he should have an interior sureness and firmness. He should always remember the Catholic principle of discernment: “Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus”, i.e. “What has been always, everywhere and from all” believed and practiced.
The categories “always, everywhere, all” are not to be understood in an arithmetical, but in a moral sense. A concrete criterion for discernment is this: “Does this change in a doctrinal affirmation, in a pastoral or in a liturgical practice constitute a rupture with the centuries-old, or even with the millennial past? And does this innovation really make the faith shine clearer and brighter? Does this liturgical innovation bring to us closer the sanctity of God, or manifest deeper and more beautiful the Divine mysteries? Does this disciplinary innovation really increase a greater zeal for the holiness of life?”
As concretely to the innovation of washing the feet of women during the Holy Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday: This Holy Mass celebrates the commemoration of the institution of the sacraments of the Eucharist and the Priesthood.Therefore, the foot washing of women along with the men not only distracts from the main focus on Eucharist and on Priesthood, but generates confusion regarding the historical symbolism of the “twelve” and of the apostles being of male sex [read here: Francis generates confusion regarding both the Eucharist and the male priesthood]. The universal tradition of the Church never allowed the foot washing during the Holy Mass, but instead outside of Mass, in a special ceremony.
By the way: the public washing and usually also kissing of the feet of women on the part of a man, in our case, of a priest or a bishop, is considered by every person of common sense in all cultures as being improper and even indecent [read here: only a lewd Pope could behave as Francis does]. Thanks be to God no priest or bishop is obliged to wash publicly the feet of women on Holy Thursday, for there is no binding norm for it, and the foot washing itself is only facultative.
PRIESTLY FRATERNITY OF ST. PIUS X (SSPX)
Rorate Caeli: A non-typical situation in the church is the Priestly Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Why does Your Excellency think that so many Catholics are afraid of the SSPX or anxious about any association with it? From what Your Excellency has seen, what gifts do you think the SSPX can bring to the mainstream Church?
H.E. Schneider: When someone or something is unimportant and weak, nobody has fear of it. Those who have fear of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X ultimately have fear of the perennial Catholic truths and of its demands in the moral and the liturgical domain.
When the SSPX tries to believe, to worship and to live morally the way our fore-fathers and the best-known Saints did during a millennial period, then one has to consider the life and the work of these Catholic priests and faithful of the SSPX as a gift for the Church in our days[yours truly says this a lot] – even as one of the several instruments which the Divine Providence uses to remedy the enormity of the current general crisis of the faith [ remember Francis’ claim in 2013 that “the Church never had it so good”, or the like?], of the morals and of the liturgy inside the Church.
In some sectors of the SSPX there are, however, as it is the case in every human society some eccentric personalities. They have a method and a mindset which lack justice and charity and consequently the true “sentire cum ecclesia,” and there is the danger of an ecclesial autocephaly and to be the last judicial instance in the Church. However, to my knowledge, the healthier part corresponds to the major part of the SSPX [ I have said this often] and I consider their General Superior, His Excellency Monsignor Bernard Fellay, as an exemplarily and true Catholic bishop. There is some hope for a canonical recognition of the SPPX.
THE SYNOD AND PAPALOTRY [PAPOLATRY?]
Rorate Caeli: Back on the Synod, while focusing on tradition, does Your Excellency believe that the changes in the Roman liturgy post-Vatican II contributed to the current crisis in the Church, the crisis of marriage, the family and societal morality in general??
H.E. Schneider: I wouldn’t affirm this in such a way [ alas, the Bishop does not take the bull by the horns]. Indeed the very source of the current crisis in the Church, the crisis of marriage, of the family and of the morality in general is not the liturgical reform, but the defects in faith, the doctrinal relativism, from which flows the moral and liturgical relativism [I disagree. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. The rape of the liturgy is what allowed the rise of secular thinking within and without the Church in the first place] For, if I believe in a defective manner, I will live a defective moral life and I will worship in a defective, indifferent manner. It is necessary first to restore the clearness and firmness of the doctrine of faith and of morals in all levels and, from there, start to improve the liturgy [or you can allow the liturgy to help you in your work of reestablishment of orthodoxy]. The integrity and the beauty of the faith demands the integrity and the beauty of one’s moral life and this demands the integrity and the beauty of the public worship.
Rorate Caeli: Still on the Synod, it is clear to those with eyes to see that Pope Francis caused confusion instead of clarity in the Synod process, and encouraged a turn toward rupture by elevating the role of Cardinals Kaspar and Danneels, Archbishop Cupich, etc. What is the proper attitude a Catholic should have towards the pope in these troubled times? Are Catholics obliged to make their views known and “resist” as Cardinal Burke said in an interview last year with us, even when their views are critical of the pope?
H.E. Schneider: [Nota bene! The Bishop does not spend a word to counter the premise: that Pope Francis caused confusion and promoted a rupture!] For several past generations until our days there reigns in the life of the Church a kind of “pope-centrism” or a kind of “papolatria” which is undoubtedly excessive compared with the moderate and supernatural vision of the person of the Pope and his due veneration in the past times. Such an excessive attitude towards the person of the Pope generates in the practice an excessive and wrong theological meaning regarding the dogma of the Papal infallibility.
If the Pope would tell the entire church to do something, which would directly damage an unchangeable Divine truth or a Divine commandment, every Catholic would have the right to correct him in a due respectful form [“evil clown” and “evil ass” are certainly acceptable for Francis], moved out of reverence and love for the sacred office, and person of the Pope. The Church is not the private property of the Pope. The Pope can’t say “I am the Church,”[ Rumour has it Francis went very near to saying just this when he got the conniptions about the “13 Cardinals letter”] as it did the French king Louis XIV, who said: “L’État c’est moi.” The Pope is only the Vicar, not the successor of Christ.
The concerns about the purity of the faith is ultimately a matter of all members of the Church, which is one, and a unique living body. In the ancient times before entrusting to someone the office of a priest and of a bishop, the faithful were asked if they can guarantee that the candidate had the right faith, and a high moral conduct. The old Pontificale Romanum says: “The captain of a ship and its passengers alike have reason to feel safe or else in danger on a voyage, therefore they ought to be of one mind in their common interests.” It was the Second Vatican Council, which very much encouraged the lay faithful to contribute to the authentic good of the Church, in strengthening the faith.
I think in a time in which a great part of the holders of the office of the Magisterium are negligent in their sacred duty [woah!], the Holy Spirit calls today, namely the faithful, to step into the breach [woah, again! Faithful catholics against a great part fot the holders of the office of the Magisterium!] and defend courageously with an authentic “sentire cum ecclesia” the Catholic faith.
TRADITION AND ITS ENEMIES FROM WITHIN
Rorate Caeli: Is the pope the measure of tradition, or is he measured by tradition? And should faithful Catholics pray for a traditional pope to arrive soon?
H.E. Schneider: The Pope is surely not the measure of tradition, but on the contrary.[death blow to all those Patheos-style blogs constantly inviting us to shut up, because the Pope has spoken]. We must always bear in mind the following dogmatic teaching of the First Vatican Council: The office of the successors of Peter does not consist in making known some new doctrine, but in guarding and faithfully expounding the deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles (cf. Constitutio dogmatica Pastor aeternus, cap. 4).
In fulfilling one of his most important tasks, the Pope has to strive so that “the whole flock of Christ might be kept away from the poisonous food of error” (First Vatican Council, ibd.). The following expression which was in use since the first centuries of the Church, is one of the most striking definitions of the Papal office, and has to be in some sense a second nature of every Pope: “Faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith” (First Vatican Council, ibd.).
We must always pray that God provides His Church with traditional-minded Popes.[which, obviously, could not be the case] However, we have to believe in these words: “It is not for you to have knowledge of the time and the order of events which the Father has kept in his control” (Acts 1: 7).
Rorate Caeli: We know there are many bishops and cardinals – possibly the majority – who want to change the Church’s doctrinal language and long-standing discipline, under the excuses of “development of doctrine” and “pastoral compassion.” What is wrong with their argument?
H.E. Schneider:[Again! The Bishop does not oppose with one word the sadly true, but enormous statement that “there are many bishops and cardinals – possibly the majority – who want to change the Church’s doctrinal language and long-standing discipline”]. Expressions like “development of doctrine” and “pastoral compassion” are in fact usually a pretext to change the teaching of Christ, and against its perennial sense and integrity, as the Apostles had transmitted it to the whole Church, and it was faithfully preserved through the Fathers of the Church, the dogmatic teachings of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Popes.
Ultimately, those clerics want another Church, and even another religion: [so: what is the reader to do with the countless invitations of the Evil Clown to ditch the “old rules” and be guided by “the spirit”?]. A naturalistic religion, which is adapted to the spirit of the time. Such clerics are really wolves in sheep’s clothing, often flirting with the world. Not courageous shepherds – but rather cowardly rabbits [though, mind, they do not breed like them…].
ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
Rorate Caeli: We hear a lot about the role of women in the Church today – the so-called “feminine genius.” Women obviously have played a critical role in the Church since the beginning, starting with the Blessed Virgin Mary. But liturgically, Christ made His position crystal clear, as have pre-Conciliar popes. Does Your Excellency believe that female involvement in the liturgy, whether it’s women taking part in the Novus Ordo Mass or girl altar boys, has played a positive or negative role in the Church the last four decades?
H.E. Schneider: There is no doubt about the fact that the female involvement in the liturgical services at the altar (reading the lecture, serving at the altar, distributing Holy Communion) represents a radical rupture with the entire and universal tradition of the Church. Therefore, such a practice is against the Apostolic tradition. [OK. Such a practice would not have been possible without the new Mass, either].
Such a practice gave to the liturgy of the Holy Mass a clear Protestant shape and a characteristic of an informal prayer meeting or of a catechetical event. This practice is surely contrary to the intentions of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council [not really: they all went back to their dioceses and looked in silence as the demolition went on in earnest]. and there is not in the least an indication for it in the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy [very true, but the Bishops tought it best not to say anything about it].
THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS
Rorate Caeli: Your Excellency is well known for celebrating the traditional Latin Mass in many places around the world. What does Your Excellency find to be the deepest lessons learned from saying the Latin Mass, as a priest and as a bishop, that other priests and bishops may hope to gain by saying the traditional Mass themselves?
H.E. Schneider: The deepest lessons I learned from celebrating the traditional form of the Mass is this: I am only a poor instrument of a supernatural and utmost sacred action, whose principal celebrant is Christ, the Eternal High Priest. I feel that during the celebration of the Mass I lost in some sense my individual freedom, for the words and the gesture are prescribed even in their smallest details, and I am not able to dispose of them. [note here: the same libtard who gets all excited when he speaks of exactly the same traits in the highly ritualised, Buddhism-influenced Japanese Tea Ceremony is horrified that the Church should do the same, but with an infinitely worthier purpose] I feel most deeply in my heart that I am only a servant and a minister who yet with free will, with faith and love, fulfill not my will, but the will of Another.
The traditional and more than millennial-old rite of the Holy Mass, which not even the Council of Trent changed, because the Ordo Missae before and after that Council was almost identical, proclaims and powerfully evangelizes the Incarnation and the Epiphany of the ineffably saintly and immense God, who in the liturgy as “God with us,” as “Emmanuel,” becomes so little and so close to us. The traditional rite of the Mass is a highly artfully and, at the same time, a powerful proclamation of the Gospel, realizing the work of our salvation.
Rorate Caeli: If Pope Benedict is correct in saying that the Roman Rite currently (if strangely) exists in two forms rather than one, why has it not yet happened that all seminarians are required to study and learn the traditional Latin Mass, as part of their seminary training? How can a parish priest of the Roman Church not know both forms of the one rite of his Church? And how can so many Catholics still be denied the traditional Mass and sacraments if it is an equal form?
H.E. Schneider: According to the intention of Pope Benedict XVI, and the clear norms of the Instruction “Universae Ecclesiae,” all Catholic seminarians have to know the traditional form of the Mass and be able to celebrate it. The same document says that this form of Mass is a treasure for the entire Church – thus it is for all of the faithful.
Pope John Paul II made an urgent appeal to all bishops to accommodate generously the wish of the faithful regarding the celebration of the traditional form of the Mass [ but he still kept the TLM hostage of every evil bishop]. When clerics and bishops obstruct or restrict the celebration of the traditional Mass, they don’t obey what the Holy Spirit says to the Church, and they are acting in a very anti-pastoral way. They behave as the possessors of the treasure of the liturgy, which does not belong to them, for they are only administrators.
In denying the celebration of the traditional Mass or in obstructing and discriminating against it, they behave like an unfaithful and capricious administrator[hey: who are you to judge?] who – contrary to the instructions of the house-father – keeps the pantry under lock or like a wicked stepmother who gives the children a meager fare. Perhaps such clerics have fear of the great power of the truth irradiating from the celebration of the traditional Mass. One can compare the traditional Mass with a lion: Let him free, and he will defend himself.
RUSSIA NOT YET EXPLICITLY CONSECRATED
Rorate Caeli: There are many Russian Orthodox where Your Excellency lives. Has Alexander of Astana or anyone else in the Moscow Patriarchate asked Your Excellency about the recent Synod or about what is happening to the Church under Francis? Do they even care at this point?
H.E. Schneider: Those Orthodox Prelates, with whom I have contact, generally are not well informed about the internal current disputes in the Catholic Church, or at least they had never spoken with me about such issues. Even though they don’t recognize the jurisdictional primacy of the Pope, they nevertheless look on the Pope as the first hierarchical office in the Church, from a point of view of the order of protocol.
Rorate Caeli: We are just a year away from the 100th anniversary of Fatima. Russia was arguably not consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and certainly not converted. The Church, while ever spotless, is in complete disarray – maybe worse than during the Arian Heresy. Will things get even worse before they get better and how should truly faithful Catholics prepare for what is coming?
H.E. Schneider: We have to believe firmly: The Church is not ours, nor the Pope’s. The Church is Christ’s and He alone holds and leads her indefectibly even through the darkest periods of crisis, as our current situation indeed is.
This is a demonstration of the Divine character of the Church. The Church is essentially a mystery, a supernatural mystery, and we cannot approach her as we approach a political party or a pure human society. At the same time, the Church is human and on her human level she is nowadays enduring a sorrowful passion, participating in the Passion of Christ.
One can think that the Church in our days is being flagellated as our Lord, is being denuded as was Our Lord, on the tenth Cross station. The Church, our mother, is being bound in cords not only by the enemies of Christ but also by some of their collaborators in the rank of the clergy, even sometimes of the high clergy [powerful statement].
All good children of Mother Church as courageous soldiers we have to try to free this mother – with the spiritual weapons of defending and proclaiming the truth, promoting the traditional liturgy, Eucharistic adoration, the crusade of the Holy Rosary, the battle against the sin in one’s private life and striving for holiness.
We have to pray that the Pope may soon consecrate explicitly Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, then She will win, as the Church prayed since the old times: “Rejoice O Virgin Mary, for thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world” (Gaude, Maria Virgo, cunctas haereses sola interemisti in universo mundo).
Summa Summarum, it seems to me that we can say this: the Bishop has given a wonderful witness of Catholic faith, and a clear message to confused Catholics. He has obviously gone so far as prudence would suggest him to go.
However, I miss two important elements that I would have very much liked to read: the mention of the “Syllabus of Errors” concerning V II, an original idea of this very Bishop, and a word of condemnation – polite perhaps, but clear – of light shows, communion given to protestants and blasphemous one wold religion videos. The Bishops seems to make the same mistake of most others: V II good, everythign that has happened from that very moment bad.
A bit like saying: Hiroshima Bomb good, devastation bad.
Still, it’s a good day when an interview like this is published.
We still have Catholic bishops. Let us pray they will have the prudence, and the courage, to fight the battles in front of them in the best of ways.
And it came to pass Bishop Schneider gave a wonderful interview to the Spanish version of Rorate Caeli, stating that the SSPX are not in any schism whatsoever, praising their orthodoxy and wishing that they were brought again (I use Vatican terminology here) in “full communion”. Your humble correspondent reported.
After which, Michael Voris embarrassed himself once again with a series of “improvements” of the Bishop's thoughts. The manipulations and misrepresentations were painful to behold. Your humble correspondent ignored them, and so should you. Spend your time on Rorate, not on Voris' outlet.
Now Bishop Schneider has addressed Michael Voris with a very dry clarification on Voris' misrepresentation of his interview. There are no open criticisms and no emotional tones in the Bishop's answers, but as they say, intelligenti pauca.
Now, if Voris were one of the many wannabe “c”atholic incompetent hacks who go around writing rubbish about Catholicism (or about me) I would, life being too short for hacks, simply ignore the whole thing. But the problem here is that Voris is – and there is no doubt about this in my mind – a good and sincere Catholic soul who has been led on the wrong path, if you ask me, on three issues: the matter of criticism of the Pope, the position of the SSPX, and the shameful attacks to great Catholic writers – and true Catholic men – like Vennari, Ferrara, Matt, and Verrecchio. A great shame, because the man has heart and talent, and he is wasting his credibility away.
I understand Voris has his set opinions on a couple of matters, as I have mine. Reasonable people will also be able to disagree in matters that have no sure answer in the history of the Church. The situation of the SSPX (sidelined for being pure Catholics as the Vatican smears itself with Protestant thinking) and of the actual papacy (too atrocious for words, and absolutely unprecedented in 2,000 years of Church history) are two rather obvious points in case. But when Voris looks at the matter coolly, he will see that he has misrepresented a bishop in a way that moved this bishop to correct him in a very decided way. All this, because his emotional investment in the jihad against the SSPX has now gone out of control, and the man just can't think straight whenever the issue is touched.
I wish Voris would stop embarrassing himself, and free himself from the influence of horrible priests and misleading, if very probably good intentioned, donors. If an interview of a bishop goes against his grain he can, in my eyes, do one of the two: openly criticise the bishop, or simply ignore the matter. He does the first all the time with the other bishops, and he does the second all the time with the pope. Therefore, it should not have been too difficult.
A great pity. We have a very sincere Catholic soul here, misled by people he should do without.
You may think that the title of this blog post is a joke, but it isn’t.
Taking Lessons from Luther is exactly what our heroes, the “Conciliar Fathers”, should have done once come back to their diocese after V II. Luther would have told them that communion must be:
1. kneeling, and
2. on the tongue
That much is what the great Athanasius Schneider has implied in an interview given to Radio Maria Suedtirol (= Alto Adige), in German, and reported by kreuz.net.
In the words of the Bishop:
„Die Lutheraner haben bis vor kurzem und bis heute noch in den skandinavischen Ländern die kniende Mundkommunion bewahrt.“
The Lutherans have preserved until a short time ago, and to this day in the Scandinavian countries, communion kneeling and on the tongue”.
According to him, the idea of communion in the hand in the way practiced today – the article goes in detail about the way communion was practised in the first centuries, and makes clear that the former, infinitely more reverent practice had been completely and, crucially, un-controversially abandoned by the V century – comes from the Calvinists. And even in this case not from the original ones, but from Dutch Calvinists of the XVII century.
This means that even people who did not believe in the Real Presence managed to deal with the host in a more respectful way than the “Conciliar fathers” did once returned to their dioceses.
I do not know whether, when talking about the “Spirit of V II”, mockery or anger is more fitting; but I feel irresistibly attracted toward the second.
I have already written about Bishop Athanasius Schneider here and if you read the blog post you’ll see that Bishop Schneider is not one who takes his role lightly.
Thanks to another excellent comment of Schmenz, I was alerted to this great video from the “Athanasius Contra Mundum” Blog, in which this excellent bishop speaks about communion in the hand.
Many are the interesting issues touched in this fragment of TV interview. The parts which most impressed me are the initial ones, where a young boy (being raised up in a communist regime) is shocked at being informed that in Germany Holy Communion can be received in the hand as if it was a piece of cake. More moving still is the part when the bishop remembers his mother searching for a church distributing communion on the tongue and – after failing to do so – giving in to tears. May God bless these beautiful souls and give them back one thousand times in glory what they had to endure in suffering and persecution.
Imagine for a second a persecuted Catholic family in a communist country – people ready to suffer daily humiliations and discrimination for the Lord – at seeing the Body of Christ casually distributed and superficially received (or I should say: eaten) in a way that to these poor family must have seemed a perfect absurdity and the epitome of shallow and desecrating behaviour. This was in 1973, an age when the older generation had still been properly instructed and had to witness the crumbling of a liturgical world made of reverence and sacredness.
At the same time, the perfect shock of these pious and persecuted people at what they were forced to witness gives the full measure of tragedy of the drunken years following Vatican II, an unforgivable liturgical booze-up whose after-effect is still felt within the Church.
Bishop Schneider gives hope that a new generation of bishops will put things right but at the same time exposes the betrayal of the most elementary sense of the sacred incited, permitted or tolerated by most Western bishops.
Once again, Kudos to Bishop Schneider for his beautiful and moving words. We do need more like him, but why must we go as far as Kazakhstan to hear a bishop talking with such reverence?