Saturday 23 May 2015
The Irish Referendum -updated after the vote
If the Irish people vote “Yes” to same sex ‘marriage’, will anyone be surprised? I don’t think so. Whereas Ireland once prided itself on being a Catholic nation it has, in recent years, shown a tendency to follow the rest of the Western world by turning from the teachings of the Truth (Christ) to the teaching of the liar (Satan). Why have they done this? They have done it for the same reasons every other Western Country has done it: they preferred the teaching of Marx, Freud, Jung and Rogers to the teaching of Christ; it made life easy, and allowed hedonistic pleasure of all kinds. They have done it because -with rare and notable exceptions such as Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Pell, and Bishop Schneider; Archbishop Cordileone, Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Sample in the USA, and Bishop Egan and Bishop Davies in the UK- Catholics have had and continue to have weak, faithless priests in the Presbyteral and Episcopal ranks. They are weak in that they have courted the popularity of the world; they wanted to appear ‘informed’; ‘wise’, ‘compassionate’ in the eyes of the educated faithless. Instead they betrayed Christ and became slaves to teachings that tickle the ears. They are those of whom scripture says “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2.Tim.4v3); they are faithless in that they have allowed themselves to be seduced (pun intended) by the attractiveness of sin and popularity. Indeed, few priests from Rome down to local parishes seem concerned with holding fast to what we have received: “stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you” (2.Thes.2v15), but are eager to abandon it in order to avoid being criticised or attacked or to appear to be the embodiment of Christ’s mercy. Yet they known darn well that nowhere in the Gospels did Christ receive sinners without adding “go and sin no more”, which today’s priests are unwilling to do. They would rather appear to be merciful while all the while allowing souls to continue in ways contrary to the ways of Christ and salvation. We probably all know priests of this kind, and we must pray for them. By ministering alongside them I know them to be men who mean well; it’s just that their emotional nature will not allow them to cause emotional pain to others.
The sad thing is that in 1985, many of the Bishops saw the doctrinal mess the Church was in following the Second Vatican Council and called, at the 1985 Extraordinary Synod, for a Catechism to be promulgated. A work of the entire episcopate and of theological advisors worldwide, Pope St.John-Paul II promulgated the requested Catechism in 1992 as a sure norm for the teaching of The Faith. Why then, did many of the Bishops of the day and thereafter allow doctrine to continue to deteriorate in the seminaries, schools, parishes and Diocese? Perhaps because they had already been overcome by the spirit of the world and did not want to be restricted by the Catechism (or by Canon Law). Each Bishop became his own Pope: infallibility belonged to each Bishop they decided, and could determine what was to be taught without reference to the teaching of Scripture, Tradition or Rome. And so it has continued to this day, despite their public avowal of loyalty to Scripture, Tradition and Rome.
A cleric I know said to me recently that those priests who stand up for Truth are called theologically backward and pastorally bad, and often called to give account of themselves to their Bishops. But isn’t that easier than what the Bishops will face? They will have to account to God for the souls they have endangered and the faithful priests they have persecuted. Who would want to be in the shoes of many a bishop today? The Bishops who allow all sorts of nonsense to be taught in their Diocese and all sorts of liturgical irregularities to go uncorrected because they are done by well-liked priests; that is, by priests who are well-liked because they give Holy Communion to all and sundry and never speak about the evils of contraception, remarriage after divorce, homosexual practices, intoxication and the like. How easy it is to be a well-loved priest...
And yet being faithful to teaching and liturgical rubrics is all I personally can offer the Lord, for I am not a man without sin –who is? We are going to have to account for our sins, be they the detracting tongue, short temper, conversational innuendos, laziness etc. Only if we can offer a spotless soul to God as regards personal sin should we dare to add the sins of doctrinal and liturgical disobedience to our list. Doctrinal and liturgical faithfulness may be all we can offer Him with clean hands and heart. And honestly, how hard is it really to say what is true in our pulpits and our pastoral letters? How hard is it to follow a simple rubric such as ‘facing the altar the priest says...turned toward the people the priest says’...? It is only hard if we are focused on pleasing the people; on tickling their ears and eyes, rather than pleasing God.
I pray the Irish have said ‘No’ today, but I doubt they will. They have had little or no real guidance or example from their clergy.
The Irish voted ‘Yes’, to no one’s surprise. The Bishops and the Pope now have the opportunity to clearly and firmly decry the move towards co-called homosexual ‘marriage’, and an opportunity to restate clearly that while homosexuals persons must never be victims of violence, abuse or oppression, yet the homosexual ACT can in no way be approved of; that it is a turning away from Christ and His Gospel of salvation. The hierarchy have the opportunity to learn from the failure to publicly profess The Faith over the last few decades; an opportunity to call us all back to the Divine law. If they fail to do so we shall know which side of the fence they stand on (either by design or by (culpable?) ignorance. Some have already demonstrated their failure to recognise the lies of Satan by failing to clearly and consistently denounce contraception, abortion, and (now) of same-sex ‘marriage’.
Have no Fear though: society as we know it will fall apart in the next two or three centuries as evidence of the harm today’s secular ‘morality’ causes is acknowledged. There will then be a turning-back to traditional morality. It cannot be otherwise, for Satan’s hundred years as foreseen by Pope Leo XIII are probably coming to an end, and repair work will begin under the inspiration and power of the Holy Ghost. We just need good Popes, Bishops and priests aided by sound and faithful laity who are what Vatican II declared them to be: the leaven in the world a declaration woefully ignored in the last few decades so as to promote lay ecclesial roles (to avoid accusations of clericalism). With good clergy and sound laity the repair work will begin. Those of us who uphold traditional teaching in the face of odd-ball comments from Bishops and laity may well be in the minority, but “Have no fear, little flock, for it has pleased the Father to give you the kingdom”. (Lk.12v32)