Bishop Schneider: Church in the midst of Her fourth existential crisis June 9, 2014Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
And by existential, that means, a crisis by which the very life of the Church is threatened. Please, no comments about how the Church will never disappear, certainly, I think all are aware of Our Lord’s promise to His Church, but He did not promise that His Church would consist of billions, millions, or even thousands. The Church will remain, but how large and effectual She is has always been up to men cooperating with Grace.
Is this a bishop with a target on his back? Should he look forward to ministering to souls in one of the most backwater provinces of the Church (and world) forever? Probably so. But thanks to the internet, Bishop Schneider’s words get out to a much larger audience, and apparently he was received with great enthusiasm on his recent visit to Britain. We need many more such wonderfully faithful bishops, with a true zeal for souls and that acceptance of God’s Truth which is the prime way we show we love Him. This is a really informative and revealing interview which deserves to be read. Excerpts below (I add emphasis and comments):
Liberals, collaborating with the “new paganism”, are driving the Catholic Church towards a split, according to Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the liturgical specialist who is carrying on a rearguard fight against “abuses” in the Church.
So serious are the problems, Bishop Schneider said in an interview last week, that this is the fourth great crisis in the history of the Church, comparable to the fourth-century Arian heresy in which a large part of the Church hierarchy was implicated..……["Implicated." That's a very political choice of word. A better phrase might be "....hierarchy was not only deeply involved in error, but was both its source and prime promoter."]
……In his interview, Bishop Schneider said the “banal” and casual treatment of the Blessed Sacrament is part of a major crisis in the Church in which some laity and clergy, including some in positions of authority, are siding with secular society. At the heart of the problems, he believes, is the creeping introduction of a man-centred agenda, while in some churches God, in the tabernacle, really is materially put in a corner, while the priest takes centre stage. Bishop Schneider argued that this situation is now coming to a head. “I would say, we are in the fourth great crisis [of the Church], in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years.” [And I would of course agree. Bishop Schneider has called repeatedly for Vatican II to be clarified, but I think we have to understand that the humanism we find so rampant in the Church today, even to the point where consideration of humanism is paramount over eternal Truth, is a direct product of the Council and the beliefs of the conciliar and post-conciliar popes. I know there are many apologists who will not want to hear this, but it is simply impossible to separate a profound attachment to humanism from any of the pontiffs at least since 1963. Paul VI and Saint John Paul II were both open and avowed humanists, who spoke in radical terms regarding the Church's relation to mankind - as did the Council, which they so greatly shaped.]
How long will it last? “Perhaps God will be merciful to us in 20 or 30 years.” [Do you perceive, as I do, that the much more faithful bishops tend to speak in a radically different manner from the less faithful ones? Their very discourse reveals a huge difference in outlook, from what that is centered on God and His Church, to one that is much more focused on the world and its "wisdom."]
In the autumn, the synod of bishops will meet in extraordinary session to discuss the family, in the light of the questionnaire which Pope Francis invited the faithful to complete, [that's how it was presented in Britain, I'm not so sure that was really Pope Francis' intent] giving their views on marriage and sexuality. Expectations are growing that rules will be relaxed on a range of sexual matters and in terms of divorced people receiving Communion as a sign of “mercy” from the Church.
Such views, according to Bishop Schneider, reveal the depth of the problem. “I think this issue of the reception of Holy Communion by the remarried will blow up and show the real crisis in the Church. The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism and the forgetting of Christo-centrism… [In other words, a disordered humanism. I, too, fear any funny business with this issue of bigamists receiving the Blessed Sacrament will result in schism]
“This is the deepest evil: man, or the clergy, putting themselves in the centre when they are celebrating liturgy and when they change the revealed truth of God, for instance, concerning the Sixth Commandment and human sexuality.” [Bang! Great quote]
Although he says talk of change is mainly coming from “the anti-Christian media”, he sees clergy and lay Catholics “collaborating” with what he calls the new paganism. [Yes, it must be stressed, the trends we are seeing in our decaying culture are not something new, but a return to something very old, and very terrible] Bishop Schneider is particularly critical of the idea that these changes should be made so as to be merciful to those currently barred from receiving the Sacraments. “[This is] a kind of sophism,” he said. “This is not mercy, this is cruel.” [It's the ultimate cruelty, to tell people in grave sin that they aren't sinning. It's sacrilege to allow such people to receive the Blessed Sacrament freely. The natural law will remain, even if some "pastoral" approach resulted in some disastrous change in practice (I really cannot conceive how), so that even if people are told by authority figures in the Church that their sin is not, Tradition, Scripture and the natural law would all indicate otherwise, so great culpability would remain.]
He suggested this was “a false concept of mercy”, saying: “It is comparable to a doctor who gives a [diabetic] patient sugar, although he knows it will kill him.”
The bishop believes there are clear parallels with great crises of the past, when leading clergymen were complicit with heresies. In the Arian heresy, he said, naming them on his fingers, only a handful of the hierarchy resisted. “We [Christians] are a minority. We are surrounded by a very cruel pagan world. The temptation and challenge of today can be compared with the first centuries.” [Indeed. Another very good quote.]
He added: “Unfortunately there were … members of the clergy and even bishops who put grains of incense in front of the statue of the emperor or of a pagan idol or who delivered the books of the Holy Scripture to be burned. Such collaborationist Christians and clerics were called in those times thurificati or traditores.”
And today, he maintained, we also have those who collaborate, our “traitors of the Faith”.
Pope Francis is perceived to be at the forefront of a new liberal attitude coming from Rome. But Bishop Schneider says: “Thanks be to God, Pope Francis has not expressed himself in these ways that the mass media expect from him. He has spoken until now, in his official homilies, very beautiful Catholic doctrine. I hope he will continue to teach in a very clear manner the Catholic doctrine.”
Darn. It was going along so well until that last quote. There is much more at the link, which I encourage you to check out, but I want to discuss this last bit some more.
As much as I admire Bishop Schneider for his clarity on the crisis facing the Church, he appears to shy away from following problem all the way, so to speak. He stops short of involving the post-conciliar popes in the crisis, as if they somehow stand above and apart from it. This is impossible. And this last paragraph is just nonsensical. It is counter to what other orthodox prelates have said – Cardinal Burke in particular has given indications he is either very confused, or nonplussed, by some of the “beautiful Catholic doctrine” spoken by Pope Francis. Which statements have been all over the map, literally.
I don’t want to belabor this point too much, because Bishop Schneider does so much good work, but it must be remembered that the protestant heresy was allowed grow, metastasize, and reach crisis proportions largely due to papal inaction. Pope Liberius – yes, under duress, yes, he was brutally treated, yes, he was extremely feeble and aged – did sign a statement endorsing the Arian heresy (which was retracted, but the fact remains). That is to say, crises in the Church do not just “happen” somehow outside the agency of the papacy. They happen because of profound weakness in the highest authority in the Church, and in the most recent case, because of ideas and actions on the part of recent pontiffs which are truly unprecedented in the Church’s 2000 year history.
This is not to say – AT ALL – that the papacy has fallen into material or formal error. It is to say we are in a very deep crisis, and that we need to pray for our pontiffs, living and dead, very much. It is also to say that we cannot be blind to the fact that the crisis exists and most certainly involves the papacy. We cannot begin to fix the situation until we admit to ourselves its scope and nature.
Thanks to reader MS for the link.