Friday, 25 October 2019
Staying Sane Re. The Amazon Synod
If reports are correct -and we have no reason to think they are not- the ordination of women as deacons and the ordaining of viri probati, as well as the adding of pagan ceremonies to the Sacred Rites, are all proposed by the Fathers of the Amazon Synod. If those suggestions are accepted by Francis we will be in a situation worse than at the time of the Protestant Revolt, for Luther, Zwingli, Henry VIII, at least had the integrity to establish their own communities distinct from Christ’s Catholic Church rather than deface it. In my lowly opinion, if Francis’ follow-up document does follow the false lights presented by Lucifer and his minions (and as yet we can still hope and pray he does not), we do not -and should not- follow it, because we do not have to follow error and/or deviations from the Deposit of Faith.
Since it is generally accepted that Pope Francis was validly elected, does that mean he must be blindly followed< No. Why? Because a pope is as much bound by Sacred Tradition as we are –if not more so, for he is supremely called to defend and promote it. To act in such a way as to suggest that all his predecessors were wrong and he is right would be to demonstrate an arrogance of diabolical origin. After all, the gift of infallibility is granted to the holder of the papacy for the holy performance of his office -the defence and promotion of the faith: “the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might make known new doctrine, but that by His assistance they might inviolably keep and faithfully expound the Revelation, the Deposit of Faith, delivered through the Apostles” (Pastor Aeternus #6). If a Bishop of Rome uses his office to alter the Church in her teachings, disciplines and worship to his own tastes rather than to defend and promote the Faith of the centuries, he is not doing his job and as such, and cannot access the gift of infallibility given by God for the right use of the office, which is to “inviolably keep..the Deposit of Faith delivered through the Apostles”. We do not have to accept any teachings of a pope, synod or Council if they deviate from the faith of the centuries -just as the Church did not have to follow Liberius. Francis will not doing his job if he allows pagan worship to be adopted into the liturgy, or allows the destruction of the key sacrament for accessing the sacraments (Holy Orders) by ordaining women and viri probabti, and we do not need to follow him on such a path.
Where does all this leave us? Can we simply elect another Pope and forget about Francis? Not at all; he remains our supreme pastor on earth. But we don’t owe him unquestioning obedience: we obey our superiors obedience “in all that is not sin” (cf. USA Baltimore Catechism #3, Answer 1259, and UK Penny Catechism Answer197) and it is surely sinful to allow pagan rites into worship and to alter the divine constitution of the Church in the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
It seems clear that Francis himself accepts that we are not obliged to follow him if he (or anyone else) teaches contrary to the Deposit of Faith, for he says false teachers “separate themselves from the community”: (Amoris Laetitia #297, “Naturally, if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal, or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches, he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; this is a case of something which separates from the community (cf. Mt 18:17). Such a person needs to listen once more to the Gospel message and its call to conversion” [italics mine]. What is the way forward if a pope himself deviates from the Faith and thereby separates himself from the community? One can only make some suggestions.
First, pray for his recognition of Christ the True Light and his ability to recognise Lucifer’s false lights for what they are, for if/when he impose[s] something other than what the Church teaches, he can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; he needs to listen once more to the Gospel message of conversion. That message is not altered by a God of surprises”, for God is unchanging and has no surprises up His sleeve: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb.13v8); “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change..” (Jas.1v17); "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it" (Deut.12v32). There is no God of surprises; that is a ruse to have us accept new teaching contrary to what was handed on from the beginning “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind” Num.23v19. “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it” (Deut.4v5)
Second, give the pope what we might call a ‘discriminating obedience’ in his changes to doctrine, liturgy and discipline for we have a moral right to refuse obedience to that which is sinful. By such ‘discriminating obedience’ we do not enter into formal schism, so we shall not be cutting ourselves off from the Vicar of Christ and Holy Mother Church. If the worst happens and we fall into material schism, we can remember that it is schism from a Church defective in its teaching and disciplines, while we remain in Communion with Holy Mother Church throughout the ages.
Third, wait patiently for God to give Holy Mother Church a shepherd after His own Heart; a new Elijah to fight against idolatry, and a new Josiah; a new Deuteronomic reformer of discipline and worship to re-form the law and liturgy according to what went before the emergence of Modernism and its resurgence and empowerment in the middle of the 20th Century.
Fourth, learn your Faith from the documents and Catechism of the Council of Trent. For children use the Baltimore Catechism in the US and the Penny Catechism in the UK.
Five, try to attend the Traditional Form of Mass where the liturgy is free from Father’s (or the liturgy committee’s) idiosyncrasies.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Protector of the Church, pray for us.
Saint Boniface, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.