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PopeWatch: A Firebell in the Night

Sandro Magister is sounding the alarm:

 

 

Attention. The conflict that has exploded in Germany for and against communion for Protestant spouses should have exceeded the threshold of alarm for the unity of the whole Church, to judge by the warnings issued in recent days by several cardinals to the pope. Warnings of a severity that has no precedent, in the five years of the pontificate of Francis (in the photo, on the set with Wim Wenders).

The backstory can be found in this post from Settimo Cielo of May 2, just before the encounter between the opposing parties when they were called to Rome by the pope:

> One Cardinal, Seven Bishops, and Four New “Dubia.” This Time on Intercommunion

The meeting between the German cardinals and bishops and the Vatican authorities took place on May 3 in the offices of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. But it concluded without any sort of decision. In the evening, a laconic statement simply revealed that “Pope Francis values the ecumenical efforts of the German bishops and asks them to find, in a spirit of ecclesial communion, a unanimous result if possible.”

And it is precisely this deflection – backed by the pope – to a further encounter among the German bishops, to be resolved by a vote, that has unleashed the reactions of some of the highest ranking cardinals, absolutely convinced that questions of faith cannot be resolved by vote and without the universal Church being involved.

*

The first of these is Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht.

“The response of the Holy Father is completely incomprehensible,” he wrote in no uncertain terms in a commentary published in the United States on the “National Catholic Register” and in Italy on “La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.”

And he explained:

“The Holy Father has informed the delegation of the German episcopal conference that it must discuss again, and try to find unanimity. Unanimity about what? The practice of the Catholic Church, based on her faith, is not determined and does not change statistically when a majority of an episcopal conference votes in favor of it, not even if unanimously.”

And again:

“The Holy Father should have given the delegation of the German episcopal conference clear directives, based on the clear doctrine and practice of the Church. He should have also responded on this basis to the Lutheran woman who asked him on November 15, 2015 if she could receive Communion with her Catholic spouse, saying that this is not acceptable instead of suggesting she could receive Communion on the basis of her being baptized, and in accordance with her conscience. By failing to create clarity, great confusion is created among the faithful and the unity of the Church is endangered.”

Eijk is referring here to the tortuous response – yes, no, I don’t know, you figure it out – that Francis gave to that Protestant woman and that can be viewed in this video from Centro Televisivo Vaticano, in the original language with an English translation:

> “La domanda sul condividere la cena del Signore…”

And here is the dramatic conclusion that the Dutch cardinal reaches, citing an unsettling passage from the catechism:

“Observing that the bishops and, above all, the Successor of Peter fail to maintain and transmit faithfully and in unity the deposit of faith contained in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, I cannot help but think of Article 675 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: ‘Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth’.”

Go here to read the rest.  Heresy from Germany tore the Church apart five centuries ago.  The Catholic hierarchy in Germany is commemorating this tragedy by attempting to repeat it, with the sly and secret endorsement of our Pope.  God help our poor Church and all faithful Catholics.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

7 Comments

  1. In asking the German bishops “to find, in a spirit of ecclesial communion, a unanimous result if possible,” I am pretty certain the Holy Father knew that he was asking the impossible; the battle-lines between the majority and the minority are too entrenched.

    However, the attempt will be a far from fruitless exercise, for it will draw out the rival theological principles that underlie their divisions on the particular issue.

    I think it was masterly.

  2. I think it was masterly.

    No, it was frivolous. Masterly would be to blast Germany’s bad bishops with both barrels – every sanction Canon Law allows. If they want to walk off with Church property and join the skeevy Old Catholic sect, let ’em. They’re gangrenous. So is the current occupant of the Chair of Peter.

  3. The faithful Catholic spouse of an unbeliever receives the Sacred Species for his spouse in the one body of matrimony. The free wills, the souls, always remain separate to follow their destiny and worship God in their calling. The soul of the faithful Catholic and the soul of the unbeliever always remain in their body as individuals, while their bodies become one in the Sacrament of Matrimony.
    This initiative, of all things, violates the belief of Martin Luther who believed that the Consecrated Sacred Species ceased to be the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ when received by a non-believer. As it is, the Sacred Species received by a non-believer who refuses to believe remains the Sacred Species and a sin of desecration occurs.
    It is the vocation of our priests, bishops and cardinals to consecrate and share the Sacred Species. The Sacred Species cannot be shared with non-believers. God does not remove a non-believer’s free will to refuse to believe. Why would our prelates want to force a non-believer to receive the Sacred Species when they refuse to believe?

  4. Art Deco wrote, “Masterly would be to blast Germany’s bad bishops with both barrels – every sanction Canon Law allows.”
    And then what? Don’t forget that in 19 of the 27 German dioceses, the bishop is chosen by the Cathedral Chapter. What is the likelihood of any new bishop would be an improvement on one deposed?

  5. What is the likelihood of any new bishop would be an improvement on one deposed?

    I’ve already answered your question, Michael. I do not give a rip about the German episcopate or the property under their control. It’s a business with those slugs and they accomplish not one thing. There’s a remnant of Catholic laymen in Germany who can be placed under the supervision of new territorial bishops or aspatial authorities allowed under canon law. The German laity and parish clergy can sign up with the program or sign up with the German bishops. This, of course, would require that the Holy See wasn’t controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.

    Clear lines, please.

Comments are closed.