A report – translated by Rorate here – about the way German priests (and deacons) see themselves and live their faith makes for shocking reading. Yours truly finds that this merits a little rant.
I thought every priest was supposed to recite the prayers of the Breviary every day, in all their parts. Turns out many of these unworthy men cannot even manage to pray every day; a feat of which children of only one or two generations ago would have been ashamed at the age of six; no, make it five.
Almost as shocking – but then, necessarily flowing from the above – is that many go to confession once a year or less; and I wonder how they can have have zeal for their work as confessors, if they themselves think it too much to do more than the bare minimum themselves. This, apart from the fact that I thought the factual expectations on a priest were more like once a month, or more often. My bad, of course.
I am tempted now to go to confession next time I am in Germany, and ask the priest when it was the last time he went to confession himself. Should be fun.
It goes on. Priests who do not believe in priest celibacy (about half!), or suffer “loneliness” (perhaps they thought a mistress would be found?), or have various problems of “immaturity” with their sexuality; which, whatever that means, isn't good in a priest, at all.
This is a huge scandal, as it shows to what extent a big part of the German clergy – at the roots, not only at Kasper level – has become the world. Not only these people have lost any pretence that they are the enemy of the world; they actually complain that they cannot be enough like it.
I pity and despise them, because a priest who has chosen the habit and finds himself whining about his “loneliness” whilst he does not even have the time or the guts to be with Christ in the confessional, and in prayer, and in the life of sacrifice he is supposed to live is one who has betrayed the flag a long, long time ago, and is now unable to even remember how it looked like.
May the Lord have mercy of these poor bastards, living a huge lie as they enjoy their financial comfort and can afford the luxury of whining about their “loneliness” (a luxury I have never found in good priests). They have made their bed.
I have never seen a good priest that looked lonely in the least. Their vocations and their love of the Lord fills their life; they are surrounded by the esteem and love of many parishioners of all ages; they have a busy life because they don't skimp their duty concerning prayer or sacramental life; and their spiritual dimension fills and completes their earthly life to the point that they must, in most cases, find the idea of “loneliness” not only absurd, but a luxury for priests with too much time, and too little faith.
I pity and despise these German caricatures of priests. A man is supposed to make his choices like a man, and live with them as a man should. They have chosen to be priests. No one promised them a harem.
Wimps. Cowards. Sissy boys. Complaining – probably with grey hair – about their “loneliness” instead of being ashamed of a life of betrayal and scrounging at the cost of the Church, a life of betrayal of some of the most fundamental duties of a priest, to the point of not praying! Is it a surprise these people do not care for the Sacraments?
How do these people find the face to appear in front of their parishioners? I tell you how: by becoming their allies in the desire to make the Church wordly and sold to the world, so that their betrayal may not be noticed as they march toward a comfortable retirement. A retirement in which, no doubt, they will whine about their – comfortable – loneliness.
A priest made his choice, and made this choice in a definitive way. He chose to die to the world, to be Christ's soldier, to live and die in His shadow. That he now should not even find the time to pray, complain about his own – comfortable – life, and not even find the time to go to confession is despicable beyond words.
And they ruin others as they ruin themselves.
They ruin others as they ruin themselves.
When I was born, in my Country by most marriages – Canonical and civil at the same time: the so-called matrimonio concordatario – the annulment of a marriage through the Sacra Rota led to the annulment of the civil effects of the marriage. In short, this meant that upon annulment the spouses were rid of any major direct obligation toward each other. This clearly made sense: once the marriage is understood primarily as a sacrament with civil recognition, if the marriage never took place the civil effects between the non-spouses are non-existent, too. It was more complicated than that – for example concerning the children, who were obviously still legitimate children of a now annulled marriage – but you already get the gist: broadly speaking no alimony, and no splitting of assets. Again, this makes sense: the two have never been married. If they have patrimonial arrangements they want to settle between them, they can do it anytime with normal civil contracts that are nothing to do with the sacrament – say: donations, creation of partnerships, endowments, & Co. – but once the marriage has never taken place, it has… never taken place as regards the mutual relationship of the couple.
Both these, alimony and asset splitting, are now in place – by many marriages at least; it is possible to ring-fence one's assets from the spouse, and alimony is rather more limited than in the US – in Italy and, interestingly, in Germany, where it is to be feared a tsunami of “pastoral annulments” might now be on its way.
One wonders how many Germans, or Italians come to that, would be ready to claim that they never wanted to marry, and that their marriage must be declared canonically void, if the annulment were to extend to the civil law part of the marriage and have heavy consequences on the payment they can expect. They would probably say that they were never married when it is convenient to make communion, but actually they were always married when it is convenient to get the money. Having one cake and eating it, I would call it.
Of course, you will say in most Western countries a marriage is a civil law contract fully separated from the sacrament, and which will remain in force irrespective of the destiny of the sacrament. But you see, interestingly enough this was not the case in Italy, because the marriage was seen to such an extent as a sacrament first and foremost, that it was utterly natural to link its civil effects to the validity of… the sacrament! An understanding of life that has now all but disappeared from our secularised societies. And yes, it wasn't easy to obtain an annulment; and yes, the courts of the Church (the Sacra Rota) decided about the validity of Italian civil law transactions.
What a beautiful thinking. What a truly Catholic Weltanschauung.
Just a thought, of course…
Brilliant homily yesterday, as the priest pointed out briefly but sharply that those clergymen asking for “changes” in the way the Church understands marriage and adultery are asking the Bride to betray the Bridegroom, and are committing adultery in their heart as they condone and even justify the adultery of others.
Short and sweet. Very well thought, and very well said.
There are still smart and faithful priests in this now disgraced Kingdom.
In the last weeks the interventions of prelates have multiplied, demanding that the Church be “pastoral” in the sense of bending the rules.
In another post I have asked whether Francis is evil or stupid. It appears to me the same question applies to many other prelates.
Ed Peters has a ruthless examination of the extremely worrying (and provocative, and heretical) words of Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri. The latter is the new Secretary General of the Synod of Bishop, and thus one of the key people of Francis in the huge mess that is brewing.
Following the barrage of “pastoral sensitivity” started from “who am I to judge”-Francis – who suggested on the famous aeroplane some kind of “solution” would have to be found for public adulterers; for the record, he did not mean that they stop being public adulterers… – and after the vocal vomiting of German prelates and Maradiaga's ominous slogans about “less Rome”, Archbishop Baldisseri is the latest one to shell Catholicism with arguments of such stupid naïveté that one has no doubt he has the ear of Bishop Francis.
Please visit the link, and realise that what is going on here – not merely being vaguely imagined, but being executed as we speak, by creating a climate of impending, inevitable “change” – is the demolition of sound Catholic doctrine under the pretext of pastoral sensitivity, to be applied in every desired “particular” situation.
“Pastoral sensitivity” can't make what is wrong right, otherwise it's simply heresy. The idea that rules only apply in a theoretical sphere of lofty sermons, whilst the individual circumstances allow to de facto ignore them – very recognisable in ++ Baldisseri's words – is, asEd Peters points out, pure Antinomianism; that is, the belief that in the end God's rules don't count.
Baldisseri is also a typical Modernist in that he confuses the gullible Catholics (an awful lot of those) into believing that as the doctrine of the Church isn't being officially changed everything must be fine, and we are merely being “pastoral” and evaluating the “individual circumstances”. Deception, confusion, and claim of orthodoxy in the thinking whilst aggressively pushing heresy in the concrete action is the very mark of the Modernist. Francis, Marx, Voelki, Maradiaga, Baldisseri, & Co. all bear this mark and make of it ready use.
That in this way the rules become an optional, and the entire edifice of God's Church merely a collection of suggestions to be followed in ideal conditions, the gullible – again: the vast majority of them – will not see. They will sing their stupid sugary songs and thank God he has – as they believe, being rather stupid – given us Francis, the man so humbly massacring 2,000 years of Catholicism.
I fear the worst. Not the worst in the sense that the Pope will (try to) proclaim an heretical dogma, or the like; but rather in the sense that he will give licence to single Bishops' Conferences to do as they please under the guise of being “pastoral”. The constant public messages from people near the Pope (Marx, Maradiaga, now Baldisseri) and the announced extraordinary Synod make it very probable the Synod will allow the local churches to have that kind of autonomy that, even if it is not officially doctrinal, is certainly free to instaurate a praxis going against the doctrine.
“You all know the rules – Francis will say – but please feel free to be pastoral in the ways more fitting to the particular circumstances in which you operate”. No more than this is necessary to devastate the Church not only concerning communion for public adulterers – the first step, that will be immediately taken by the German, Swiss and Austrian bishops to save the proceeds from the Kirchensteuer – but one day in many other matters, following the ruthless logic of heresy. If communion is allowed to adulterers, why should the “blessing” of their “union” denied to perverts? If the blessing, why not the sacrament? Is communion not given, they will say, to the divorced and remarried?
The greatest wave of Modernism since its inception will, if you ask me, assault the church not in the form of doctrinal innovation, but of “pastoral care”. Demolition on the sly, and whilst being very humble.
May God have mercy on this bunch of despicable saboteurs and fifth columns.
Pray for the Pope, that he may come to his senses.
And pray God that He may soon free the Church from him if he doesn't.
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.