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).

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Central Committee of German (c)atholics.

You may have heard about the Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken, the ZdK. In English, the Central Committee of German Catholics. The ZdK is, by-the-way, an organization funded by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Germany.

Now, if ZdK sounds to you like a Soviet era communist outfit, you wouldn't be alone in that thought. Their behaviour does resemble that of a (not so benevolent) dictator.
May 9th, the ZdK called for the admittance of “remarried” divorcees to the sacraments, for an acceptance of all forms of cohabitation, for the blessing of homosexual couples, and for a “reconsidering of the question of contraception.”
And this is a Catholic group? How?
The first bishop to denounce the ZdK’s “very troubling” document was the 49-year-old Bishop of Passau in Southern Germany, Stefan Oster who posted his opposition to his FaceBook page. “The approval of the requests of the ZdK would mean a dramatic change of much that has been held to be valid concerning marriage and sexuality,” he said. “The Church believes… that lived sexual practice has its only legitimate place within a marriage between a man and a woman, both of whom are open to the procreation of life and both of whom have made a bond that lasts until the death of one of the spouses.” He noted that God binds the relationship and makes it “indissoluble.”—ibid., LifeSiteNews.
Bishop Oster has spoken like a pastor of souls:
Bishop Oster warned that “sexual practice outside of marriage is either fornication or adultery” noting that there are “very dramatic consequences to come for those who partake in it.”—ibid.
Adolescent German (c)atholics (who are not the same as Catholic Germans... and yes, there is a big difference) rebuked Bishop Oster in typical heterodox fashion.
Bishop Oster’s criticism garnered a strong rebuke from the ZdK, however it was followed with a public show of support from five German bishops, the majority 60 and under (Where were the rest of the German hierarchs?).—LifeSiteNews.
Bishops Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg, Gregor Maria Hanke of Eichstätt and three other bishops supported Bishop Oster's challenge to the ZdK.

LifeSiteNews notes that the five supportive bishops are all younger. That is, they do not belong to the cadre of German Dissenting Dinosaurs who reared their ugly heads at the Synod On The Family and tried to impose an agenda of a go-along-to-get-along pastoral practice on the Church of God.
History of Dissent. It should be noted that in May 2015, the "Central Committee of German Catholics voted in favour of blessing of same-sex unions in (former) Christian churches."—LSN.

The wholesale abandonment of Jesus' teaching on marriage among Europeans is an indictment of the quality of the catechesis that so-called Christians have received from the pulpit for the last 50+ years. A recent conversation with a 70-something woman who grew up in the United Kingdom and who recently converted to Catholicism captures the shabby formation people are still receiving in RCIA and parish catechetical programs. She, the mother of a son who chose to enter into a sinful lifestyle, spoke passionately about her love for her son while ignoring the distinction between loving the person and (dis)approval of his sinful behaviour. She dismissed any such distinction by appealing in an off-handed way to her role as a parent. Which is to say, her emotional bond trumped the truth of the Gospel and the objectively sinful behaviour of her son.

Sadly, the woman's son has passed away, having received the approval of his parents who waved his transgression as acceptable because the relationship was, as the mother stated, "between two consenting adults".

The parents' decision, their readiness to retain their son's approval by avoiding the difficult conversations, has created a conflict in their minds as to the state of his soul in the afterlife.

Perhaps catechists can find additional ways of providing parents with a better vocabulary that enables them to communicate love and respect for the person, which necessarily includes an objective appreciation of a child's behaviour, and which gives parents the language that helps them provide fraternal correction of a child or sibling or friend or neighbour whose behaviour is risky for both body and soul.

The faithful disciple knows that the eternal welfare of the soul of a child trumps approval of a sinful lifestyle. To the modern European ear—and North American ear, and so on—the Lord's teaching concerning who are the sons and daughters of God sounds harsh and uncharitable. The Lord made clear that those who keep His commandments are the ones who love Him authentically. His commandments exclude the blessing of sinful relationships.
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
No one is saying the Christian life is easy. Christianity is a narrow gate (St. Matthew 7:14). Groups such as the ZdK are a sham. They embody the spirit of Antichrist because they teach and practice lifestyles that contradict the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. The ZdK promotes teachings that rob people of the grace to live heroic lives of virtue, that rob people of trust in the Lord.

God gives to all who ask the grace to live the Gospel. By surrendering to the voice of a culture that substitutes worldly (temporary) approval for God's path to life, the concerned parent must then contend with the doubt created in their minds for having blessed a child's wayward choices instead of risking the tough love of a parent who is concerned with the eternal destiny of their child's soul.

A child who is not provided the healthy boundaries of the Gospel, even an adult child, will follow other "rules" that unhinge the mind and heart and leave it vulnerable to worldly values that rob the person of his or her dignity. A timid parent who resorts to the sophistry of 'Oh, we don't want to impose our values on our child... we want her to discover things for herself' are only demonstrating a sly indifference. Current times are saturated with parents who do not know better and have no inclination of wanting to know better to help their children grow into adults capable of loving authentically another person and capable of sustaining a lifelong commitment.

Lest this post seem detached from the charity of the Gospel, listen to the words of Saint Paul to the Galatians:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel—not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one (the ZdK?) is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.
Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. (Letter to the Galatians, 1:6-10).
Any normal person of sound mind and goodwill would most likely say that he or she is devoted to the well being of her or his family members. A Christian, however, has his or her priorities rightly ordered, first, to the will of God and, second, to his or her earthly family.
The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.—St. John 1:6-10
Blood ties bind tightly. The bonds of friendship in Christ bind tighter, much more so that any earthly relationship. To substitute the truth in order to get along with one's peers, siblings, children or parents is to surrender to an unnecessary dichotomy that the world forces upon us. "Embrace me as I am," says the obstinate sinner. "Do not expect me to change who I am!" The Christian says, "God loves you, and so do we. You are more than the sum of your actions. We love you too much to leave you stuck in your sins. If you persist on the path you are on, you are inviting misery. We love you."

For the person united to Christ, for the person whose priority is Christ first, all other relationships find meaning because they are grounded not in the avoidance of peer pressure and family quirks but in the love of God. To the one who trusts in God and seeks first His will and conforms his or her life to His commandments, God showers grace, peace and joy in abundance. Trust in God always!

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