So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Friday, June 24, 2016

Amoris Later

Given the now fading media frenzy to promote what many in the so-called "progressive" camp had hoped to be a change in Church teaching regarding the subject of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, the quest to permit communion in a manner akin to the practice long ago enacted by the national eastern churches has largely been shut down, though it must be acknowledged that without significant effort by faithful pastors and theologians to expose the fecal matter contained within Amoris Laetitia, a cheap attempt to sneak heterodox content past the eyes of the Holy Father and the Church might have gone unnoticed.

Has the Holy Spirit acted to inhibit the damage that could have been done? The curious bits contained within Amoris Laetitia (AL), that is, the bits probably put there by (Archbishop) Victor Manuel Fernández, who according to Sandro Magister is the ghostwriter of said document, have provided orthodox members of the Body of Christ the opportunity to rise up in the name of Truth to offer counsel to the Holy Father. Some have objected to the zealous witness of bloggers lay and ordained who have challenged the promoters of heterodoxy. One media moghul, a fan of limp Christianity lost to his enormously obvious self aggrandizing and defensive if not passive aggressive behaviour, even resorted to the childish act of name calling to attack those who defend the Church and her teaching, referring to faithful bloggers as
obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices (...) very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners! In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people.
Given his antipathy toward the faithful, an antipathy born of the failure of cadre of "enlightened" individuals to convince the wider Church to accept their nifty cafeteria (c)atholicism at the Synod on the Family, it is difficult to imagine anything said by the same individual as anything but irrelevant. His words and actions speak volumes about a problematic generation of which a majority of members have demonstrated a marked propensity to water down the Gospel and make excuses for persisting in sin while crowning themselves prophets. Said prophets, however, are merely promoters of a tired vision that lied its way into the library and language of the Church.
I would now like to add yet a third point: there was the Council of the Fathers – the real Council – but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council apart, and the world perceived the Council through the latter, through the media. Thus, the Council that reached the people with immediate effect was that of the media, not that of the Fathers. And while the Council of the Fathers was conducted within the faith – it was a Council of faith seeking intellectus, seeking to understand itself and seeking to understand the signs of God at that time, seeking to respond to the challenge of God at that time and to find in the word of God a word for today and tomorrow – while all the Council, as I said, moved within the faith, as fides quaerens intellectum, the Council of the journalists, naturally, was not conducted within the faith, but within the categories of today's media, namely apart from faith, with a different hermeneutic. It was a political hermeneutic: for the media, the Council was a political struggle, a power struggle between different trends in the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of those who seemed to them more closely allied with their world. There were those who sought the decentralization of the Church, power for the bishops and then, through the expression "People of God", power for the people, the laity. There was this threefold question: the power of the Pope, which was then transferred to the power of the bishops and the power of all – popular sovereignty. Naturally, for them, this was the part to be approved, to be promulgated, to be favoured. So too with the liturgy: there was no interest in liturgy as an act of faith, but as something where comprehensible things are done, a matter of community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a tendency, not without a certain historical basis, to say: sacrality is a pagan thing, perhaps also a thing of the Old Testament. In the New Testament it matters only that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, in the profane world. Sacrality must therefore be abolished, and profanity now spreads to worship: worship is no longer worship, but a community act, with communal participation: participation understood as activity. These translations, trivializations of the idea of the Council, were virulent in the process of putting the liturgical reform into practice; they were born from a vision of the Council detached from its proper key, that of faith. And the same applies to the question of Scripture: Scripture is a book, it is historical, to be treated historically and only historically, and so on.
We know that this Council of the media was accessible to everyone. Therefore, this was the dominant one, the more effective one, and it created so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents closed, banal liturgy … and the real Council had difficulty establishing itself and taking shape; the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real force of the Council was present and, slowly but surely, established itself more and more and became the true force which is also the true reform, the true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that, 50 years after the Council, we see that this virtual Council is broken, is lost, and there now appears the true Council with all its spiritual force. And it is our task, especially in this Year of Faith, on the basis of this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council, with its power of the Holy Spirit, be accomplished and the Church be truly renewed. Let us hope that that the Lord will assist us. I myself, secluded in prayer, will always be with you and together let us go forward with the Lord in the certainty that the Lord will conquer.
It may be too soon to declare AL's burial beneath the 140 character memory of modern man. Nevertheless, AL's glory has already begun to fade into the background radiation of societies preoccupied with other matters... Brexit, Orlando, jihadi attacks on innocent minority populations, attacks on the sanctity of life, etc.

AL's length contributes to its descent into obsolescence, and we should pray that the problematic bits that have caused confusion and consternation will be expunged entirely from the memory of believers during the pontificate of the next pope so that the Church makes clear that such kooky bits do not belong in a papal document, even one that is more a personal reflection than an official "position paper" of the Catholic Church. To orthodox Catholics, such a reminder is not necessary because, having a knowledge of the Magisterial teaching which preceded AL, the footnotes have a snowball's chance of surviving, especially when exposed to the theological heat of orthodoxy trained on them by Müller, Burke, Schneider and other faithful hierarchs.

We can be reasonably hopeful, too, that faithful cardinals will make every effort during the next conclave to prevent the results from being gerrymandered by heresiarchs bent on conspiring to get someone who they think is their man into the seat of Saint Peter.

Keep praying, brothers and sisters, that God may deliver us from attempts to manipulate Church teaching by badly behaved prelates and their media allies. And pray, too, for the grace to be more effective witnesses to the Gospel. Live fearlessly the Gospel.

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