Just a few thoughts. Disagree if you wish -I have no charism of infallibility...
The Church is the beautiful Bride of Christ, and the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb the supper to which we are invited (Rev.19v9). In this Church all grace, truth, wisdom and justice are found. She makes heaven available to us on earth in the Mass where we join with the angels and saints singing Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus; She raises souls from hell to heaven in Baptism and Confession and She accompanies us to heaven by the Anointing of the Sick when death approaches. She is the repository and channel of all God’s graces, the mother of our souls and our sure path to God. Sadly She is being ruined by many of Her members today -not as we all do by our anger, pride, gossip, sloth etc, but by their demolishing of her walls and floors as they take apart her age-old teaching on marriage and sexuality, deny Her place as the One True Faith, and turn her worship from adoration and propitiation of God to the affirmation and upliftment of those present. Such folk are attempting to give Her credibility in the eyes of the world, remodelling Her Doctrines and worship in order that She might fit in with and be attractive to that world, when in fact it is a world to which Christ declared we do not belong (Jn.17v14-16; 2 Pet.2v1-2; 1Jn.2v25-19).
One example of this ruination is well-meaning Catholics supporting civil partnerships. We can surely understand the desire to grant next-of-kin status, protect inheritance and pension rights etc, for those who would not have them if no such partnership was available, but since the way these partnerships are constructed today contravenes Biblical teaching, the constant teaching of the Church and the natural law, we would surely sin if we called for them to be retained in law as they stand. The only way we could support them is if -and what a stretch of the imagination this is- if in law such partnerships specifically exclude recognising sexual acts between the two persons, but homosexuals would not want a civil partnership if they had to state that by entering it they were not conferring sexual prerogatives on one another. Thus, to support civil partnerships as we have them today has, I think, serious repercussions for one's salvation, since to support what is forbidden by Scripture and Tradition and contrary to natural law, is to renounce Christ’s teaching as made known via Scripture and Tradition. Indeed, by supporting relationships which contravene God’s law, one is guilty of an injustice against the majesty and sovereignty of God Himself.
Add this situation (wherein the Moral Tradition of the Church is being diminished if not dismissed) to the sanctions taken against the Franciscans of the Immaculate –folk who simply hold to Tradition in their teaching, lifestyle and often (though not exclusively) in their worship- and it looks as if the Church is so hateful of her doctrinal and liturgical past that she destroying herself in the present.
Part of the reason for this, I think, is the perception –pushed by the mainstream media- that Pope Francis is laid back on marriage and sexuality issues, and not concerned with authentic, God-centred worship. If he is concerned with safeguarding the Church’s doctrine of sexual ethics, her Traditions and authentic worship (as indeed he must since as Pope he is caretaker of Christ’s Church but not its CEO much less its proprietor) then his advisers need to advise him better and point out the corollary of his current public image and the effect of his off-the-cuff remarks so that changes may put in place.
We need more voices in the Church and in society decrying the assault on marriage, life and more Catholics decrying the assault on authentic worship. We cannot permit that these treasures of Holy Mother Church are denigrated since by doing so we reject Her past and deny Her a future as THE channel of Truth and Salvation. We have to remember that while we can accept a deeper penetration of doctrine and changes in ecclesiastical discipline, we cannot accept contradiction of doctrine. The reason is simple: God is unchanging: the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb.13v8; Gal.1v8-10), and the Church is but His voice in the world (Lk.10v16., Matt.28v28-29), so it is unchanging doctrine she must proclaim. In the Church, as the one authentic voice of the unchanging God, change in doctrine and worship is not a sign not of life as some too imprudently proclaim, but a sign of self-destruction and impending death; a cutting off of the Church from Her roots, and a renunciation of Her role as the one sure anchor in the life of the Spirit. Yes, we can and ought to accept a deeper penetration of Doctrine, but not contradiction; the former is growth, the latter a tearing down. Sadly it is the latter where we seem to be headed. God help Holy Mother Church. St Michael the Archangel, Pray for us.
Father, I agree with all you say, but I don't think we can blame Pope Francis. Trying to please the world is a problem in the whole in the West.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ellis.Delete
I agree that it is not Pope Francis that is to blame; the whole Church seems to be seeking to appease the world and has been doing so for 40+ years.
Deat Father,yes......but whatever happens in Rome or anywhere else......they cannot take the Faith away from us.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this, Sandy.Delete
You are right -they cannot take the Faith away from us; when this period of turbulence comes to and end the Faith will have survived intact.
But Father, you appear to misunderstand the nature of civil partnership in law. Sexual relationships are not a requirement, or mentioned, in the legislation for civil partnerships. Two people of the same sex simply nominate and therefore endow upon each other certain civil rights. Civil relationships do not have to be consummated as in marriage, nor is adultery possible since fidelity or sexual relations are not a requirement.ReplyDelete
Thank you Marcus.Delete
I am aware that in law there is no sexual requirement, thus the absence of the consummation and adultery applications. My point is that civil relationships ARE SEEN as sexual relationships by the general populace, which is why I think there should be a clause specifically excluding sexual prerogatives. That way we could, in conscience, support them. As I say, we can support the conferral of rights such as pension, inheritance etc.
If no fornication is presumed then why aren't two sisters living together allowed to obtain a Civil Partnership? They defiantly need to protect each other from the greedy hand of the government!Delete
I agree there is no explicit requirement for a particular sexual act to take place for the Civil Partnership to be valid, but it is an implicit assumption that Civil Partnerships are conducted due to amorous (Eros/Sexual Love) reasons to the exclusion of other forms of love.
Thank you, Hallam Catholic.Delete
You underscore my point exactly, and it is a point the Bishops Conference needs to bear in mind when making statements that give support to such partnerships.
Are not civil partnerships just mock marriages. As such they impinge on the dignity of Marriage between a man and a woman as ordained by Almighty God.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Paul.Delete
Civil 'partnerships' were, I believe, introduced to give rights of inheritance etc, as an equivalent to marriage, which I would argue included sexual prerogatives. If this were not the case why would the Government consider converting them into 'gay marriage'?
The laws of Almighty God are not only common sense but written into nature; marriage as a sexual union requires make and female (which is why I will not speak of civil 'unions'). This biological reality cannot be re-written by any Government or pressure group, just as by they cannot write a law that changes gravity or chemistry.
As you may remember, Fr Gary, I was, until recently, a supporter of civil partnerships as a means of protecting legal rights. Your reply to that comment changed my mind. You suggested that a perfectly legal civil CONTRACT could ensure the same ends without the implication of 'homosexual marriage'. Please excuse me if I don't misuse the word 'gay' which is a beautiful word virtually removed from the English language by the homosexual/lesbian minorityReplyDelete
Thank you, David.Delete
I am all in favoir of a civil contract but not the partnerships that we have in current law. I too refuse to use the word 'gay' for the reason you mention, and I will not speak of homosexual 'unions' since you cannot unite a bolt and a bolt, or a nut and a nut; only a nut and bolt.
"Such folk are attempting to give Her credibility in the eyes of the world, remodelling Her Doctrines and worship in order that She might fit in with and be attractive to that world,"ReplyDelete
Yes and the bishops are doing just that by removing our Holy day of Ascension Thursday. Shame on them for being ashamed of the Catholic Faith.
Thank you, Paul.Delete
Ascension Thursday is this Sunday...
The loss of witness to the world and of challenge to the Church's own people in the UK makes the loss of this Holy Day a nonsense. I think the Bishops made a huge error in choosing to cut the Holy Days that are about Christ out of the life of the Church. I suppose Holy Days are a hang-over from times when we were too up-front about the Faith and too sure of ourselves. We ought to be less public and more insecure... (tongue in cheek). Actually, that has been achieved.