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).

Sunday, November 6, 2016

There is a strange end coming.

Some months ago, July 27th to be precise, Pope Francis lobbied the Polish hierarchy. The topic? Decentralization. A way of saying 'You get to decide what's right for the divorced and remarried (who want to receive Holy Communion)'.
In more recent days, Pope Francis appears to be making good on his or the alleged ghostwriter of Amoris Laetitia Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández's teaching suggesting that divorce-remarriage/communion policies might vary from nation to nation. No doubt, some policies enacted by some precincts (i.e., the Germans) would almost certainly contradict the unchanging teaching of the Church.
U.S. canon lawyer Father Gerald Murray called the (problematic) passage (in Amoris Laetitia) a “dangerous statement” in that it indicates that there could be different and even contrary laws in different countries regarding, for instance, who can be admitted to the sacrament of communion.
We've seen a similar play... or is that ploy?... before.

An indult is given to a regional group of bishops to play loosely with the Mass, for example, and communion in the hand and Mass facing the people enter into practice. Soon enough, practices spread, practices that do not accord with the liturgical theology of the Roman Church. Abuse enters through the back door, abuse which some people think is the teaching of the Church because it is common and acquiesced to.
The Polish people and hierarchy have been, far more than most, faithful to the Magisterium. They implemented a coherent plan to communicate the actual teachings of the Second Vatican Council. The catechesis of faithful Poles saved a nation from the scourge of communism. God gave us a Polish pope. Indeed, a great pope. Was that gift of a saintly pope a sign of blessing because of the faithfulness of the Polish people?

Did Francis' scratch at the Poles serve to test his vision of transferring certain pastoral decisions to national conferences of bishops? There are few possibilities as to why Papa Francis would attempt to engage the Poles. One that comes to mind, if you'll forgive the slightly jaded viewpoint, is that by taking his vision to the most faithful of the faithful, i.e., the Polish people, were that bulwark of truth to slip even a bit, the rest of the world would tumble into Pope Francis' vision or version of mercy (for couples living in an adulterous relationship).

The devil has been trying to take down the Church since its beginning. Christ's promise that the gates of hell could not withstand the assault of the Church reassures us that God will raise up the necessary defences to drive away the demon and his allies. We must be willing to join the ranks of faithful soldiers to defend Holy Mother Church from attacks both foreign and domestic, so-to-speak.

Communism didn't fool the Poles. It's highly unlikely they will tolerate the dispersion of Petrine power. The Poles probably know all too well the consequences associated with having one province of the Church teach one thing about Holy Communion and another province teach something different. For instance, the Germans, by and large, favour certain practices which are, to put it mildly, as stupid as giving Holy Communion to a dog. Do not laugh! Some protestant communities have done exactly that.
Ok—the Anglican eucharist is not valid because they do not have valid holy orders. Still, the thought of giving something that is considered by well intentioned Anglicans as holy to dogs... .

What is the strange end that is coming?

Might one be forgiven for accepting Pope Francis' comments at face, i.e., that Pope Francis has seen his own end? He commented to pilgrims in the wake of WYD 2016 that he would likely not be around for the next World youth Day. How many times does the Holy Father need to make statements which amount to 'Hasta la vista, baby', before we start to believe him?
Looking ahead by looking back.

The world needs,... well, forget the world for a moment,... the Church needs a pontiff who is clear-headed and well spoken. Authentic, as in 100% Peter the Apostle, à la Pope Saint Leo the Great. When Cardinals are forced to utter doctrinal corrections because a pope carelessly tacked on to an interview a poorly thought out comment—thanks be to God for Cardinals Sarah, Burke, Müller, Brandmüller, Pell, and others... Archbishop Athanasius Schneider as well—the Church has entered a period of strange and unusual circumstances.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit wants to rescue us from the tyranny of ambiguity? Perhaps the Holy Spirit is sending us prophets such as Burke, et al, to offer fraternal correction to members of the People of God who really need correction lest they fall into a vat of their own theological dung and drown. Perhaps the teachings provided by Sarah, Burke, Müller, Sample, et al, are life preservers tossed into churning waters to rescue those tossed overboard by self righteous sounding priests (ahem, a certain Canadian media moghul?) for zealously defending the mother ship?

Throughout this current pontificate, the faithful have been plastered with cheap slogans, impromptu meanderings, goofball affirmations of slippery heterodoxy by ambitious underlings, and so on and so forth. How long, O Lord, must we endure the sound of an uncertain trumpet?

This blogger, who is not alone in the conviction that Christ protects His Catholic Church, remains convinced that the Office of Peter will endure regardless of a pope's cockamamie personal thoughts about, for example, terror-religion in the Middle East. In past centuries, the Office has suffered much worse and still remains.

The Office of Peter is protected from theological error. Any pope's or bishop's teaching that contradicts the unchanging teaching of the Church will place him among charlatans and thieves. Anyone who defends such a pope or his error will follow him into the shadows of history.

After thought.

Pope Francis recently gave a lucid response to the question concerning the ordination of women. His response?—no, never. As in, women cannot be ordained. Pope Francis is capable of providing the clarity that believers require. We must continue to pray for the Pontiff and all members of the hierarchy.

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