Wednesday 22 October 2014
Unwitting Agents of Satan?
I can understand Francis and Cardinals Kasper, Nichols and all the ‘Pastoral Modernisers’ saying we need to stream line the annulment process and that we need a less harsh language: why can’t we substitute ‘misdirected desire’ for ‘intrinsically disordered’ or ‘irregular union’ for adultery? But we must avoid language that suggests we value the sinful orientations that spring from concupiscence and the sinful acts in which people engage, or we are endangering their souls and our own. Be sure of this: leaders in the Church who wish to abandon Church teaching for the sake of ‘compassion’ and ‘mercy’ are placing souls on the road to hell -and they are walking there with them so as to “accompany them and support them in the messiness of human life”.
I come from a 'messy' background: the child of a union not recognised by the Church; a social circle where drunkenness, hard-drug abuse, theft, violence and sex as mere recreation were the ways of everyday life. Coming from such a background, I am not without sin myself, and I know that those in such a social circle had some good ways: mutual support in hard times; protection of one another from violent attack by rivals; the sharing of resources. But some mutual support is actually wrong: while it was good to share resources such as food and compassion when things went awry etc., it was wrong to share resources that meant more places could be robbed or rivals suffer violence. Similarly, it is wrong to give support to irregular situations. Not all support is good support; it is not good when it supports or facilitates evil.
As I said, coming from a messy background I myself am not without sin –who is? But as a sinner I needed the pastors of the Church to accompany me down the road of repentance; I needed their support in becoming the person God is calling me to be. I needed to be picked up after falling and be re-cleansed in the Blood of Christ. What I did not need was for my pastors to lie and say all was well between me and God no matter how I choose to live -I did not need them to affirm and accompany me on the road to hell. They may go there if they so desire, but I don’t want them send or take me (or others) by misplaced, erroneous compassion.
The ‘Pastoral Modernisers’ of today are, I assume, unwitting agents of Satan, but they are doing Satan’s work anyway. One can only ask, with sincere and concerned heart, if these men have not lost their Catholic Faith. They may retain a belief in ‘god’, but it is not in the God of the Ten Commandments, of the Gospel, of St Paul or of Tradition (Revelation). We can know this because the Ten Commandments outlaw sexual irregularities (Ex.20v14); because Our Lord Himself rebuked such irregularities with His own lips in the ‘Gospel of the poor and outcast’ (Lk.16v18); and because the Holy Ghost testifies through St Paul that despite this being the age of mercy (the age of the Good News) those living in the irregularities of fornication, adultery, homosexual activity, thieving, drunkenness or swindling will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor.6v9-10). Pastoral Modernisers are rejecting all of this.
Some, including our faith leaders, have shown at the Synod that they reject the restrictions of the Ten Commandments; refuse the teaching of God-made-man, and reject the teaching of the Holy Ghost through St Paul. For such men, mercy does not mean “Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more”(Lk.7v48); nor it does it mean being saying with St Paul “such, some of you once were” (1 Cor.6v11). No; their Gospel is ‘God loves you as you are, so you may leave your spouse and children; you may reject the life-giving properties of sex; you may lie with members of your own sex, and all is well between you and God’. They are very wrong. There is no scripture reference for their stand; no support in Tradition. All they have to support them is today’s secular, relativist humanism and feelings-focused kindness. I can think of no better advice to give to them than these words addressed to them by the Lord Himself: "I appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but I will hold you responsible for his death.” (Ezeckiel,33v7-8)
I don’t know where the ‘Pastoral Modernisers’ are coming from in calling for the Church to be ‘merciful’: the Church denies love and friendship to no one; all she does is tell those in irregular lifestyles to forgo sex. Are the ‘Pastoral Modernisers’ saying that this is too much to ask of anyone? If so, what can give us confidence that they are faithful to their celibacy? How can we know if Bishop Conry was alone in his waywardness?
By all means find ways of helping the adulterer, the licentious, the active homosexual, feel they are valuable and have a place in the Church of saints and sinners: help them by encouraging them to come to Mass; to seek spiritual Direction; to live and love chastely; to take part in the social life of the parish; to stay involved in charitable works. But do not turn a blind eye to their sin and to the danger they place themselves in by living contrary to the mind of God as expressed in Divine Law, the Scriptures and Tradition.
Post Script: I am not convinced by those who say that if the Pope changes pastoral practices it does not change doctrine. It may not do so today, but in 100/200 years time folk may well say, “The Church has been allowing those in irregular unions to receive Communion so it must be OK; if must fit with our doctrine”, and then doctrine will change to fit with practice. If Francis changes the discipline of the Church it surely won’t affect doctrine today, but it can change it in the future. And therein lies the danger: the devil has a longer-term view and plan than does the blogger or Bishop who says a change in discipline does not mean a change in doctrine. The two cannot be forever at odds.