Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Pastoral Practice To Take Precedence Over Doctrine? Rubbish.

Cardinal Kasper says we need new language because the language we use now (adultery) “is offensive” (see here). But we already have new language: we speak of ‘irregular situations’. he is right that we should try to avoid offence, but to hide truth by unclear language is to side with the deceiver, the father of lies. There is nothing offensive in the words ‘cohabitation’; ‘homosexual activity’ or ‘irregular situation’. I don't think those in such situations are offended by the language so much as they are offended by the fact that we declare their irregular situation to be wrong, which cannot change no matter what language we use. (Correction: homosexuals are offended by describing the homosexual orientation as ‘intrinsically disordered’. But how do we re-word that? Do we say it the homosexual orientation is ‘of its nature, a misdirected urge’? Will that really satisfy? I don't think so; I think homosexuals want the Church to described it as ‘normal’, and that we just cannot do.

Cardinal Kasper also states that “Doctrine will be unchanged, but practice (application) adapted”. The Doctrine will indeed remain unchanged, simply because it cannot change –and Cardinal Kasper himself has reminded us of that: “We have to be realistic, we have to stick to the Gospel, to the doctrine” yet “apply it to the concrete situation of people who are on the way“ . But can we claim to be holding to the Doctrine while accepting practices inconsistent with it? I don’t think so; it would deprive the Church of any integrity. In this ‘Age of Mercy’ we do indeed have to remember that the core of the Gospel is mercy, but also that it is mercy for the repentant: “Go and sin no more” (Jn.8v11; 5v14). We know Jesus welcomed and ate with sinners (cf.Matt.9) but He described sinners as sick people in need of healing (Mk.2v17); He did not say they were to be left in a state of sickness.

For 'Pastoral Modernisers' to ask that pastoral practice take primacy over doctrine is nonsense: practice is belief lived out. We must live according to what we believe, not formulate belief on how we live, otherwise we could justify every kind of sin: “This is how people have chosen to live; we should find a way to accommodate it”. What rubbish. It is like medics seeking a reason to declare cancer a natural state and tolerate it. That is not merciful to the cancer sufferer, and circumventing Divine Law is not merciful to the sinner.

‘Pastoral practice taking precedence over Doctrine’ is in fact a wicked misnomer for the legitimising of waywardness. It doesn't help anyone to pretend that sin is not sin. And yes, all sin can be forgiven (thank God), but sins (such as theft, detraction, murder etc) are an event; an adulterous relationship is a continuing situation; we can absolve from theft or murder after the fact but not during the act: indeed we would be obliged try and prevent the theft or murder taking place. So too with irregular relationships: we cannot absolve while the situation is ‘in act’ (continues on), only when it has ended and there is a purpose of amendment. Some seem determined to try absolving from sin those in on-going iniquity. It is nonsense. ‘Pastoral Modernisers’ who seek to do this are laughable –or would be if what they propose was not so dangerous to souls -including the souls of those who propose it.

Can we not say that anyone who seeks pastoral accommodation of sinful situations contrary to Divine Law has lost the Faith? How can we not at least say that they have disregard the Ten Commandments in order to accommodate contemporary lifestyles? Are such folk among those who have been advanced to the priestly office and its episcopate? If so, this came about only because those who preceded them had accommodated the world before them, and accepted as their co-workers and successors only those who formed in and convinced by the secular line. This does not seem far from reality given statements reported to be said by some. It is thus that we are left repeating the words of Our Lord: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find any faith on earth?” The answer to which is, “No; not if ‘Pastoral Modernisers’ have their way. There will be a vague belief in ‘God’, but in the name of ‘God’ all manner of sin will be tolerated for ‘pastoral purposes’ and ‘reasons of conscience’”. 

The plain reality is that if we accommodate violations of the 6th and 9th Commandments we will have to accommodate violations of every Commandment. The Holy Eucharist will have to be given to anyone who presents for It. We are, after all, in ‘The Age of Mercy’; we have to stop calling on folk to “go and sin no more”. It seems, according to the mind of today’s Pastoral Modernisers, that it is wrong to say it. Our Lord was wrong to say it, and that we are wrong to imitate Him. To such Moderniserts, we and the Lord are merciless.

I once had a nun from an enclosed convent tell me that their previous preacher, commenting on Our Lord’s words in Mk.10 (“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if a wife divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”), said “It’s a pity Our Lord ever said that”. Why? Probably because it makes a priests life hard; he has to confront people and risk being disliked –and God forbid that!

I believe we should encourage those in irregular relationships to continue coming to Mass; to continue their life of prayer and charity; to be as involved in as much of the social life of the parish as they can. They are excluded from none of this. That I do not seek their admission to Holy Communion is not because I want them punished (woe betide anyone who would want that); it is that I don’t want to put them at odds with the mind of God as expressed in Divine Law. I hope to see them yearn for the sacraments so much that they make changes in their lifestyle (i.e., celibate living); a change which heals their soul. I want to see them make Christ the centre of their life and not their new ‘partnership’, so that they may become heroes of fidelity to Christ. 

Reception of Holy Communion is a serious matter, and is not simply about communion with the Church: it is about communion with the heart and mind of God. If those who have chosen to live contrary to the mind of God are admitted to Holy Communion, they are being told a lie by the Church: “Nothing you are doing is contrary to or impedes your union with, God”. The father of lies may not be physically walking this earth, but he is the prince of this world, and it is to him that ‘pastoral Modernisers’ appear to be listening.http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-kasper-adultery-language-is-offensive-insulting-31791/

18 comments:

  1. Cardinal Kasper's "religion" is not Catholic. It's man-made and man-centred. There is no such a thing as "pastoral" in Christ's Holy Church that is not about teaching, preserving and living according to the doctrine of the Faith.

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    1. Thank you Lynda.
      Yes, indeed. We cannot be 'pastoral' (get around Divine Law) and still be Catholic. The catholic Faith is intrinsically Catholic as being geared towards the salvation of souls by Truth, not by accommodation of falsehood in and erroneous, disintegrated practices.
      God Bless.

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    1. Thank you, for reading and commenting.
      God Bless

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  3. Perhaps the pastoral modernisers have given us a solution to this crisis, Fr. If you are now empowered to absolve sins before I commit them, then please hear my confession before I go and kidnap them all so that they can no longer take part in the synod.

    Sorry to be flippant, but really I do wonder how any sane person can propose what they advocate. These German bishops must make a jolly good living from the Church tax if they can be so desperate to stop their tax base declining further. I suppose changing the faith is easier than actually going out and evangelizing.

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    1. Tank you, D.A.
      There is nothing flippant in expressing where the Modernisers are coming from. They are eradicating the concept of sin by placing the primacy of conscience above all things. No one would ever see there action as sin, thus there is no sin. They have lost the Faith and abandoned the Gospel for worldly philosophies.
      God Bless

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  4. Well said father. The situation in the Church now reminds me of the two cities described by St Augustine. The city of God and the city of man set in the world in history. It is obvious that Kasper and even his pal pope Francis are well in the city of man while a portion of the clergy and laity are in the city of God.

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  5. Thank you, Paul.
    Indeed the Church itself seems to have become one of two cities: one Catholic, the other humanist.
    God Bless

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  6. Thank you Father for your teaching. It is helpful to see truth in language we can readily understand. Most of what comes out of our poor Church these days is such baffle-gab. Most Catholics know there is something terribly wrong with the 'new' teaching but they fear being disloyal above all.

    When Our Lord spoke to the woman at the well, and told her the Truth about her sinful life, she did not get angry and lash out at Him for being unkind. She was amazed, and went to tell all her neighbours that she had heard the truth. She was glad and had a sense that she was free now to live life as it should be lived - in harmony with The Truth.

    The sense of relief when a long-time sinner is shown what joy comes from being in the state of sanctifying grace is amazing - I know because I'm one of those. The struggles are still there, of course. This is real life after all, not a movie. But there is joy underneath the sorrow - and it is only to be found in Confession, Amendment of Life, and Penance.
    Barbara

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    1. Thank you very much Barbara.
      I long for the day when Our Lord will sit with me as He did the woman at the well and tell me who I really am (not as I or others see me but as He seems me) and then heal me because deep down, I know its not who I want to be. Like the woman at the well, I need truth, not platitudes.
      Life is no dream for anyone; for many it is a nightmare, but withholding the truth does not help: if we don't know in truth 'where we are at' as they say, we won't know how to get out of our situation. Yes, it is a struggle, but knowing we are aided by the Sacraments and Holy Mother Church rather than being subconsciously aware that we are sitting in opposition to them, is a healing that brings us that peace the world cannot give.
      God Bless you and yours (and your continuing struggle?)
      Father GD

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  7. Very good, Father! Why aren't you a key speaker at the Synod? I'd rather have Princes of the Church hear you than (1) a wrinkly lay-coupling's sexual experiences sans Viagra (or maybe it IS Viagra) or (2) a wrinkly lay-coupling's preaching to clerics to openly condone Mortal Sin, or at least turn a blind eye to its Hellish conclusion. That this Synod seeks to turn on its head the Sacrament of Matrimony reeks of lack of Mercy and lack of Charity to those innocent spouses sacrificed on the altars of divorce and annulment - like me - who want nothing more than a return to bed, board and spouse AND for Bishops to uphold Canon Law and FORCE errant spouses back to their marriages and vocations. To do anything less is to define the Mercy and Compassion meme of this Synod as worthy only of the few - the divorced and remarried Catholics - at the expense of the many - the abandoned spouses and their innocent children.

    To show Mercy and Compassion to only one select group, which then results in a gross lack of Mercy and Compassion on a vastly larger select group, is a gross misapplication of the Greatest of the Virtues - Charity. And about as un-Catholic as you can get...

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    1. Thank you Dave.
      There are some marvellous couples I know who ought to have been heard much more than I or some of the laity and clergy who have spoken at the Synod so far. I think the positive side is yet to be heard but it will come... it is hindered at the moment by the requirement for 'secrecy', which I find quite disturbing, to be honest.

      I am glad you have mentioned innocent spouses; they are offended twice in all of this: first by being abandoned, and second, by the attempt by some clergy to approve of the abandonment by accepting the illicit union. The abandoned children too are offended twice in justice in exactly the same manner.
      I would be unhappy forcing spouses back to their spouse though; we have a right to remove ourselves from dangerous and damaging situations; what spouses don't have is the right to seek out another union.
      God Bless.

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    2. Thanks Father... none of my comments are meant to cover abusive situations, but only those that fall under the catchall "irreconcilable differences", which comprise the vast majority of civil cases. The only differences that are not reconcilable are those that are chosen not to be, by one or both spouses. Those are the ones that are reflective of my "force" comment. Agape Love demands nothing less than to reconcile any differences, every night of every day if necessary, if not for themselves, then for the children.

      God Bless.

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    3. Thank you, david.
      I did not think your comments covered abusive situations; I was stating a personal reflection of my own linked to your comment. Sorry if my reply suggested you were advocating a return to such situations. I did not read your comment that way.
      God Bless

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  8. U.S. tribunals disregard the canon law, morality, and doctrine regarding the separation of spouses and divorce. Your readers may want to know about this.

    In anticipation of the bishop's synod, I prepared observations comparing the present pastoral practice in the U.S. to the Canon Law and Catechism, that includes a list of 7 questionable practices (see Z. Defense Against Charges of Nullity are Equated with Fighting the Church on page 28). Copies of my 98 page observations have been sent to dozens of bishop's, cardinals, and pro-marriage leaders. They were sent with a recommendation letter by canon lawyer, Fr. Chuck Zmudzinski.

    Full Observations, and Fr. Chuck's cover letter are our website
    http://www.marysadvocates.org/syllabus/140908_SynodObservations_MarysAdvocates.pdf


    If you want to learn more about the problem of divorce, see Stephen Baskerville's piece in Crisis this week. "Cardinal Kasper’s Challenge Distracts from the Real Problem"

    Responses from Bishop's after receiving Mary's Advocates Observations are still coming in

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    1. Thank you for sharing this.
      God Bless you.

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  9. I don't understand all this. Our Blessed Lord is "the way, the truth & the life" that we must follow in order to live with Him in eternity. Why then, if we know what is right from wrong, do some people choose to do what stops them from being with him? It comes down to this: do I want to spend my short time on earth with a second partner, same-sex partner etc., or do I want to keep on seeking to spend eternity with God? Why are some trying to dress up situations so they don’t sound as bad or sinful as they actually are? There's no getting away from the Truth; it just has to be given in charity. God Bless
    SallyAnne

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    1. Thank you, sally Anne.
      We keep on seeking self-interest because we live in the flesh at the moment, so our concerns are often .fleshy'.
      God Bless

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