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, November 18, 2016

Chaput v. Farrell and the Great Divide.

A move was (is?) under way to effect "decentralization" in the Church, whatever that means. Perhaps the advocates of decentralization mean "division"?

What could go wrong with national conferences of bishops pontificating, so-to-speak, on living the Faith in their respective domains? Henri du Lubac warned us of the dangers
when a local church tries "to align the universal Church with its own particularities. The somewhat arrogant conviction of having attained a degree of culture superior to those of other human groups, more particularly to that which reigns at the center of the Church, thus provokes a kind of fever of religious imperialism."
We are right to be suspect of national groups of bishops "going it alone", especially when they wander into heterodoxy and risk dragging the rest of us into their cesspools of error. Some groups or individual bishops have, however, proven to be reliable witnesses to the Faith and should not be included among the heterodox.

An American bishop whose orthodoxy is unquestionable, unquestionable except to those faithless progressives masquerading as Catholics, has chosen to guide his flock in the way of the Catholic Faith. However, a meddling Roman Cardinal-designate, one Kevin J. Farrell, has criticized one of his former American brother bishops, i.e, Archbishop Chaput, for doing what bishops should do, can do and must do to protect their respective flocks from wayward ideas regarding, for example, eligibility to receive Holy Communion.

If one holds that bishops are successors of the Apostles, then bishops are entitled to exercise their legitimate authority in their own dioceses with binding force within the limits determined by canon law. However, it would seem that Cardinal-designate Farrell, contradicting the avenue which Pope Francis is paving, i.e, that of decentralization, seems to think that bishops may exercise their authority only when progressives deem it supportive of an agenda which, as The Four have reminded us in their letter to Pope Francis, is ambiguous and is causing "error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage" (Familiaris Consortio) among the faithful.

Is Archbishop Chaput committing "religious imperialism" by proclaiming the Faith once delivered? No, not by a longshot. Quite the reverse is true. Archbishop Chaput is calling Catholics to abide by the teaching of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. By doing so, Chaput is calling the Church and the Bishop of Rome to discover the true mercy of God, not some Jesuitical nor some faithless German bishops' hack attempts at undermining true collegiality and the universal teaching of the Church.

So who is right?

Farrell objects:
Chaput responds:

This blogger's "guess" would be that Chaput, not Farrell, is in the right, as are all those who understand and believe that the clear and constant teaching held everywhere and always by the Church has been and continues to be that teaching of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to which, as a saintly pope has reminded us, all faithful Catholics, and even unfaithful (c)atholics, are always and everywhere bound.
The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.—Pope St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio.
Chaput, the orthodox, has spoken for Christ. Other bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, would do well to learn from his example.

Amoris Laetitia, the highly problematic document issued by Pope Francis but written in large part by a surrogate, in part fosters rebellion against the teaching of Jesus Who, in no uncertain terms, made clear the will of God regarding marriage. What part of 'no to adultery' do certain bishops not understand?

Catholics have the absolute duty of not deviating from nor watering down the true Faith. As Pope Saint John Paul has made clear, in black and white no less, not the tepid grey of Amoris Laetitia,
(i)t is a fundamental duty of the Church to reaffirm strongly, as the Synod Fathers did, the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage. To all those who, in our times, consider it too difficult, or indeed impossible, to be bound to one person for the whole of life, and to those caught up in a culture that rejects the indissolubility of marriage and openly mocks the commitment of spouses to fidelity, it is necessary to reconfirm the good news of the definitive nature of that conjugal love that has in Christ its foundation and strength.—Familiaris Consortio 20.
To those whose stubborn pride causes them to promote error and false mercy which they see the ambiguous Amoris Laetitia enabling, i.e., a mercy not seen as error but as permissible, a brief reminder:
to profane the Holy Eucharist by receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ while knowingly living in mortal sin will result in the corruption and possible damnation of one's soul.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord.—1 Corinthians 11:27.
Any man—pope, bishop, priest or layman—who facilitates the profanation of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ would do well to recall the teaching of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.—St. Luke 17:2; St. Mark 9:42; St. Matthew 18:6.
Trust that Jesus Christ is watching over His Church, the Church that He founded upon Peter. No pope, bishop, priest nor any layman can bring it down. The Holy Spirit will act, perhaps at the eleventh hour, to prevent the Office of Peter from destruction.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit is permitting the current occupant of the Chair of Peter to lose his mind—have you read the Holy Father's recent response to the dubia (doubts) raised by Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Raymond Burke, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner?—so that the faithful may see that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, and that we, all of us and each one of us (omnibus et singulis) have a duty to keep inviolate the Faith and to oppose error with charity and fortitude.

The Holy Father needs our prayers. He also needs to put aside his pride (and perhaps misplaced loyalty to errant friends?), one could gather from his recent comments, that is dragging Catholics into confusion.

Even though the Bishop of Rome is answerable to no one but God, the four Cardinals who have requested a clarification of Pope Francis would be entirely justified by issuing a formal correction of the Holy Father should Pope Francis avoid his duty to preserve and protect the Faith from distortion. Note—bear in mind, a failure to oppose error is distinct from consciously and actively promoting error, even though the result—i.e., the spread of error—might very well be the same. Pope Francis' "error" would seem to be one of omission more than commission. The question is, did Francis knowingly promote error? There is some doubt about his culpability because he expressed a lack of knowledge regarding the inclusion of a questionable footnote attached to Amoris Laetitia. Regardless, Francis allowed Amoris Laetitia to be published with its weaknesses included. He gave it his authority and has done nothing thus far to correct its weaknesses.

Unfortunately, Pope Francis has undermined his authority somewhat by apparently contradicting the magisterium of previous popes, most obviously the magisterium of Pope Saint John Paul II. Where (if?) Pope Francis' teaching diverges from that of the magisterial teaching of the Church, Pope Francis' teaching must be repudiated. No error can be tolerated. If he refuses to rescind or amend Amoris Laetitia, well then,... folks, we might very well have an anti-pope in our midst, and, as it has in the past, that may take time and a great deal of energy and many casualties to correct.

God can use whomever He so pleases (a certain Pope-emeritus or a group of cardinals perhaps?) to call people, laymen and even popes, to a more fervent obedience.
One can only imagine the judgement that God places upon His vicar on earth. Pray that God will be merciful to the Bishop of Rome, even if that includes or means an early natural death to prevent Francis (or any pope, for that matter) from dragging the Church into error. Though it may sound harsh to speak in such stark terms, the timely natural death of the current pope would not be the first time God has intervened to spare His Church from the lame witness of a pontiff.

The Lord will act, however, in His time and in His way so that the greatest number of souls will be saved. Fiat voluntas Dei.
Spare us, O Lord Jesus Christ, from the machinations of evil men. Save Your Church, most merciful Redeemer, and guide her through Your orthodox bishops and all faithful witnesses to Your Truth. Bring to submission all those who, knowingly or unknowingly, promote error and who lead people astray. Help us to shed the evil skin of error masquerading as Your teaching. Drive from us the wickedness of lies and deceit. Call Your people to fidelity and to an unfailing embrace of Your commandments so that we may be grow in love for You and each other and thus, keeping Your commandments, we may be known as Your disciples. Amen.
Fast and pray for the Bishop of Rome and the entire college of bishops.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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