The Holy See has announced the establishing of a commission to look at reforming the annulment process. As Rorate Caeli says (here), this ‘somewhat preempts the Synod on this path (the Synod propositions will certainly mention it anyway), leaving the New Kasper Doctrine as a focal point of discussions’. Indeed it leaves the Synod free to focus on debating the nature of marriage and sexuality as its primary focus. With so many bishops and priests currently watering down the Church’s teaching on these by favouring Communion for the Divorced and civilly ‘remarried’, as well by supporting homosexual civil ‘unions’ under the guise of protecting civil rights, the Synod is in great danger of denying the Gospel and Christ.
Though it is becoming increasingly difficult, I am always encouraging people to hope and trust that Francis will not allow the Synod to deviate from the established doctrine that marriage is a permanent union between one man and one woman, exclusive of all others, open to the procreation of life. I encourage this hope because it is a teaching consistently taught by the Church right up until and including the so-called ‘Vatican II Catechism’ (formulated as recently as 1992 by the entire hierarchy of the Church and their theological advisors, and promulgated as the sure norm for teaching The Faith by Pope John-Paul II). If the Synod holds to this Faith, all will be fine. If the Synod recommends allowing Communion to the remarried Divorcee, cohabiting couples, and/or supports civil ‘unions’ for homosexuals even in order to protect their civil rights, then Pope Paul VI’s ‘smoke of Satan’ will have surely entered the Church, because the bottom line is this: if Francis and/or the Synod declare a change to Church teaching on marriage and sexuality they do not actually change the Faith, they actually abandon the faith. It is useless to say the Pope is our Supreme Teacher and that we must give submission of will and intellect to his teaching, because that holds only when he holds himself bound by revelation and defined dogma, of which he is but the custodian, not the originator.
I cannot bring myself to believe that Francis will allow an attempt to change doctrine happen because it would take the arrogance of hell to proclaim that the faithful and the Popes have been wrong for over two millennia, and I am unwilling to ascribe such arrogance to any man. Can we really ascribe it to Francis and our Bishops? And if not, can we ascribe to them simple stupidity, or a faithlessness that has seen them fall into relativism? I hope not.
If the Synod and Francis do attempt to impose a new teaching which contravenes defined teaching, we are at rights to decry that new teaching for as long as it takes to have it declared erroneous -and not only the right, but the duty. Let us hope and pray that what the Synod does is look for the reasons why the world fails to accept the importance of family and natural sexuality, and find ways of addressing that failure so that Gospel Truth can once again be valued by the Church and by the world she is sent to teach.
Bravely and well said father. I hope and pray the Holy Spirit works in their minds and hearts. God BlessReplyDelete
Thank you, SallyAnne.Delete
After the shock of discovering that Cardinal Daneels had been personally appointed to the Synod by the Pope, I went out in the garden (at night) which was lit by a bright moon, cloud and stars. I faced in the direction of the nearest tabernacle and said 'What are we going to do about this Church of yours. Lord?' and the bright sky went completely black for several seconds. I am no mystic and was astonished. If He is willing to communicate with the likes of me, then things truly are 'in a terrible state'.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Lepanto.Delete
I wait to see the light of the Lord shine though the Synod in this 50-year period of darkness...
‘Twas Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II but, simply “Francis” for the Holy Father? Please, Father. Not you as well.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Sonia.Delete
I had not noticed this. Psychoanalysts would claim it demonstrates a resistance to seeing Francis as Pope. If that is the case, one would have to ask why Francis refers to himself merely as 'Bishop of Rome' rather than Pope and ditches so much papal regalia...is he resistant to the fullness of his office? An intriguing line of thought opens up here -if he has not fully accepted the office, is he truly Pope?
Dear Fr. Gary,ReplyDelete
I might regret getting involved, but even when the spouse is still alive and no annulment has been given, the Church still sometimes allows remarried people to receive to the Sacraments, namely: via the Pauline and Petrine Privileges and the Internal Forum Solution. Are you saying the Church has already been in error for so many centuries, including St. Pius X, and St. John Paul II?
Fr. Bill Wilson (yes, that one :) )
Dear Fr Bill,Delete
Thanks for a useful question, and I hope you are well.
I'm not saying the Church has been in error since these 'privileges' apply only to marriages of a natural bond, not a sacramental bond, so the situations are different. its only sacramental marriages that cannot be undon; no sacrament can. i.e., once or a person is baptised they cannot be un-baprtised; once a person is married they cannot be unmarried.
Dear Fr. Gary,Delete
But that is just the distinction you do not make in your article and exactly why we need a fresh look at how we present the faith in its fullness, as I am sure is the purpose of the Synod.
Rhank you again.Delete
I didn't make the distinction because non-sacramental marriages have not been the focus of discussions, but sacramental marriages. and the teaching on the indisolubility of sacramental marriages is clear and unalterable. Now a Commission has been established to look at the annulment process, it leaves the Synod free to be clear about the nature of marriage and its indisolubility which many folk think will be undermined. My hope is that the Synod will simply re-affirm defined teaching and propose it to the world in a new and vibrant way, leaving the Commission to find easier procedures for determining validity/nullity of marriages, if that is possible.
We are indeed living in worrying times but I felt encouraged today while watching a You Tube interview given on the French radio station Europe 1 the morning after Pope Francis' election with the Cardinal Archbishop of Lyon. He said that in his opinion Pope Francis 'a la solidite de la Foi' in other words he is solid in his Faith. How well Cardinal Barbarin knows the Pope I have no idea but I shall try and keep his comment in mind when everyone is speculating on what changes might take place after the synod.ReplyDelete
Thank you Pelerin.Delete
I take comfort too from such affirmations of Francis' Faith from those who have more contact with him than I do.
After the "hype" that has been allowed to develop, by the Pope as well as by others, it is increasingly difficult to see how profound concessions might not be allowed.ReplyDelete
If so, we have a quite new situation in two thousand years of Catholicism. Such changes would be contrary to doctrine as expressed by the Magisterium and would be heretical. They would trigger the increasingly predicted split in the Catholic Church.
Thank you Jacobi.Delete
Yes, the hype makes it difficult to go against the expectations created. That is a danger to be sure.
God's Will be done, we pray!Delete
Cardinal Kasper says that everything he says was approved by Francis. And you can read how Francis praised the theology of Kasper. Wake up sleepy Catholics, as the 'church' will change the teachings after the Synod, thus resulting in a great schism, where the true Church will need to live in the virtual catacombs. Francis is the false prophet, an anti-pope. Recall the approved prophecy of Akita - cardinal against cardinal, bishop against bishop. Happening before our eyes already!ReplyDelete
Thank you for commenting.Delete
I think many see the danger in the Synod; in Kasper's comments and in Francis' support of kasper as a theologian. But I continue to hope that the Holy Ghost will take charge, and if that results in another catacomb period or Athanasian period, so be it. The Church will survive even if that is not in Europe of the USA.
Thank you for your clarity, Father. Much needed at this time when so many are looking through rose-colored glasses and seeing nothing but false realities. Let's hope some glasses start dropping soon...Delete
Thanks for saying it, Remnant Clergy. The approved prophecies of Our Lady of LaSalette, the unrevealed portion of the Third Secret of Fatima, Our Lady of Good Success, are among the many visitations of Our Lady wherein she foretells just what we are seeing now. What is fresh in Father Dickerson's article presented here is the understanding that we must be obedient to the true Faith rather than to any prelate who loses his ecclesiastical authority through teaching heresy. It is now about to happen, I am afraid. Let us stay very close to the Blessed Mother and Her Eucharistic Son.Delete
Thank you for commenting, Barbara.Delete
Today's Prelates seem to have forgotten that they are bound by revelation, and that any adaptation they make must come from God simply because they are prelates. Their authority it simply to defend and develop, and not distort, the Revealed Faith. Many seem to have overlooked that not all development is good; some is cancerous; it can be malignant change.
We already have had numerous examples of development of doctrine in the Church. For example, Vatican II's infallible teaching on religious liberty would never have allowed the burning of Wycliffe or Huss or witches, etc. If Pope Francis and the Synod wish to develop the teaching on marriage, he/they will have ample precedent.ReplyDelete
Thank you for commenting, Willard.Delete
Actually, Vatican II’s teaching on religious Liberty is not doctrinal but pastoral; as such it is not and cannot be an infallible statement:
“the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists [is founded in] in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men... On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it...Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfil their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ. [Dignitatis Humanae #1).
Had Vatican II declared such teaching to be doctrinal it would have been guilty of formal heresy, since the faith can develop in terms of penetration of what has already been revealed, but not in contradiction to what has been Revealed. Thus there is no precedent (and can be no precedent) for changing the faith (any attempt at change would in fact be an abandoning of the faith as it has been handed down to us). As such, neither a Pope, Synod or Council can ‘change’ The Faith; by attempting to do so they abandon The faith. And if they abandon it, we are not obliged to give that teaching our allegiance or obedience.
Thank you for your reply Father but are you stating that it is the current teaching of the Church that heretics could be handed over to the state to be beheaded?Delete
Thanks again, Willard.Delete
oh No! I am suggesting that at all! That was another non-doctrinal measure that is questionable. I abhor the excesses of the Reformation (from both Catholic and Protestants) as much as any man.
"I cannot bring myself to believe that Francis will allow an attempt to change doctrine happen because it would take the arrogance of hell to proclaim that the faithful and the Popes have been wrong for over two millennia, and I am unwilling to ascribe such arrogance to any man."ReplyDelete
Well, as Catholics we were made acquainted with that at Vatican II, were we not? Vatican II: Protestants retain partial communion with the Church - Unitatis Redintegratio #3.
Roman Catholic Magisterium: All heretics are outside Catholic communion and alien to the Church - Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, #9.
Vatican II: Church teaching is sometimes deficient - Unitatis Redintegratio #6.
Roman Catholic Magisterium: The Magisterium is free from all error - Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, #9.
Vatican II: Ecumenism promotes justice and truth - Unitatis Redintegratio #4.
Roman Catholic Magisterium: Ecumenism abandons the religion revealed by God - Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, #2.
Vatican II: The Church aims to suit the Gospel to everyone - Gaudium et Spes #44.
Roman Catholic Magisterium: Heretics hold that the Gospel can be altered to suit the needs of human life - Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, #12.
Vatican II: The Church is always in need of purification - Lumen Gentium #8.
Roman Catholic Magisterium: The Church has no blemish or wrinkle - Pope Hadrian I, Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils.
Vatican II: The rite of Mass should be simplified - Sacrosanctum Concilium #34, #50.
Roman Catholic Magisterium: The rite of Mass should be simplified - Condemned. - Pope Pius VI, Denzinger 1533.
Vatican II: When needed, liturgy is to be radically altered - Sacrosanctum Concilium #40.
Roman Catholic Magisterium: Change of the liturgy is condemned - Pope St. Pius V, Quo Primum.
Denzinger citations above are 30th edition, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, 1955.
So what's the big deal? You will accept a condemned "new mass" but balk at communion to those outside the Church? That too was established at Vatican II. Compared to the camel of Vatican II, this synod is a gnat. Why swallow a camel and strain at a gnat?
Thank you, John.Delete
Many would agree that Vatican II changed the Faith; others would not. I suppose we can only read Vatican II through the lens of Tradition and not as a stand-alone Council.
Father, there's great consolation in thee words of Christ:ReplyDelete
"My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them everlasting life, so that to all eternity they can never be lost; no one can tear them away from my hand."
Surely the Holy Spirit is at work and will restore the Church. Be of good cheer and know you are not alone.
If you haven't already, read these words of inspiration from a true son of the Catholic Church: here and this interview when he visited Britain.