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Cardinal Maradiaga hails from a “decadent diocese?” January 29, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, religious, sadness, scandals, shocking, Spiritual Warfare, the return.

It beats me……..Honduras is not one of those places that penetrates the cultural consciousness very much, nor do many Central American dioceses tend to have strong reputations in the Church universal.

But that is what top Italian Catholic journalist Antonio Socci claims, in a piece carried by Rorate Caeli.  Socci points to Maradiaga’s many disturbing statements as pointing towards a return to the very dark times of the 70s, when the revolution was in full bloom and the Church suffered immensely.  The Church has not managed to even partly recover from the effects of those terrible years.  At most, under the “conservative” pontificates of JPII and Benedict XVI, the bleeding had been mostly contained, but the wound was still gaping.  But while the faithful experienced great pain in those troubled times, the progressive elements in the Church were in full flower, reveling in their first taste of power.  According to Socci, some want to experience that taste again (emphasis and comments per usual, all mine):

There have been some great popes whose pontificates have been practically discarded by the errors of the clerics in their entourage. This risk is also present for the pontificate of Pope Francis.

In fact, there have been episodes, decisions and “bizarre outbursts” by some prelates that have been quite disturbing. I am thinking of Cardinal Maradiaga and Cardinal Braz de Aviz, who feel they are so powerful in the Vatican that they can ‘use the club’ on both the Prefect of the former Holy Office, Müller, as well as on the ‘Franciscans of the Immaculate.’

The targets of their “club-beatings” (given obviously in the name of mercy) are those who, for different reasons, have been targeted as paladins of Catholic orthodoxy and have had dealings with Pope Benedict XVI.  [Perhaps. They could also be incidental….You can draw your own conclusions based on the arguments Socci makes below]
The real target in fact, appears actually to be him: “guilty” of so many things: from his historical condemnation of Liberation Theology and the defense of correct doctrine, to the Motu Proprio on the liturgy.  [Well, the real target could be Catholic orthodoxy, which Pope Benedict defended pretty well for the most part. In that sense, Pope Benedict would simply be “getting in the way,” if you will, of the real target]
Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga is Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, in Honduras – a decadent diocese. But the prelate, who is running around the stages of the world’s mass-media, [Of that, there is no doubt. I originally thought Maradiaga must have been commissioned by Pope Francis to engage in this worldwide PR blitz – that was Rocco Palmo’s belief, as well – but now I’m not so sure.  He could be free-lancing, but then why no “calling back”?]  recently caused an uproar because of the interview he gave to a German newspaper, where – along with new-age rubbish and third-world banalities – he publically attacked the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Müller, to whom the Pope has just given the cardinal’s hat. This is also scandalous seeing that Maradiaga is the head of the commission which should reform the Curia. [Yes it is, and it is exceedingly significant. It was this highly unusual internecine strife that made me start to think maybe Maradiaga is just a wild bull right now, not acting at Francis’ behest but just running wild]

What had happened? Müller, who was called to that office by Benedict XVI and confirmed by Francis, had reaffirmed in recent months that – even though new pastoral ways may be sought (already indicated by Benedict XVI) – the upcoming Synod on the Family, cannot subvert the law of God with “a false call to mercy” with regard to the man-woman family, which was established by Jesus in the Gospel and which has always been taught by the Church.

Müller, who had already been personally attacked by Hans Küng, has [now] been liquidated by Maradiaga with these words: “he is German and also a German professor of theology. There is only true and false in his mentality. That’s all. But I say: my brother, the world is not like this, you should be a little more flexible.” Words that have scandalized many of the faithful. Above all, because the allusion to “the German professor of theology” inevitably brings to mind that perhaps the target is Benedict XVI, who called Müller to that office. Also because a public attack between cardinals is completely out of order, as if Muller was there to sustain his own personal theology and not the constant teaching of the Church and all of the popes. [It’s a fair point – by lambasting supposedly rigid German theology (again – are you kidding?  Luther, Malencthon, Rahner, etc), that could be taken as a shot at Pope Benedict.  Convincing?]
In the end, according to Maradiaga, it would be wrong to examine reality in terms of true and false – he forgets that Jesus Christ in the Gospel gave this precise commandment: “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is from evil.” (Mt. 5,37).
Does Maradiaga prefer “that which is over and above these” to the proclamation of the Truth? On the themes regarding the family, where [now] we have an ideological attack similar to the Marxist one of the Seventies, various ecclesiastics are ready – as they were then – to cave in shamefully. [And the idea that there can be “pastoral solutions” that somehow preserve doctrine – in theory – while allowing for its complete abandonment in practice are nothing but sophisms aimed at plausible deniability, a shameful tactic for a prelate of Holy Mother Church.]
And they do it with Maradiaga’s sophisms, which state that, yes, Jesus’ words on marriage are binding, “but they can be interpreted” as today there are many new situations of cohabitation and “answers which can no longer be based on authoritarianism and moralism” are needed.  [Cardinal Maradiaga obviously has forgotten his Ecclesiastes……”there is nothing new under the sun.” To pretend there are any new moral situations today that just haven’t been thought through enough by the Church is ludicrous, and simply a pandering attempt to undermine or even reject Doctrine.  And a lot of this garbage thought is rooted in personalism.]
This sentence alone liquidates the entire Magisterium of the Church: evidently according to Maradiaga even Jesus was authoritarian and moralistic since He expressed Himself with great clarity.
But what does “more pastoral care than doctrine” mean? Every great pastor, from St. Ambrose to St. Charles [Borromeo], from Don Bosco to Padre Pio, have been paladins of doctrine.
Maradiaga says that what is needed for the family are “answers suitable for the world of today.” These are empty, elusive words which foster confusion and doubt. And this is the typical way which is spreading in the Church today, to raise questions without providing answers.
Concerning such things, St. Thomas Aquinas had this to say: “Well, these ones are false prophets, or false doctors, inasmuch as, raising a doubt without resolving it is the same as conceding to it.” (Sermon “Attendite a falsis prophetis”). [This is a really effective critique of Maradiaga’s arguments, such as they are. In fact, this analysis is shattering.  In spite of its rhetorical effectiveness, it likely won’t make a whit of difference.]
Today there are those in the Church who prefer the famous questionnaire associated with the Synod (which was sent to all the dioceses of the world and is presented by some as a survey) to the words of Jesus reported in the Gospel – as if revealed Truth should be substituted by the most diverse opinions. [Ouch.  But is he wrong?]

————-End Quote————

There was another part of the article, that dealt with Cardinal Bras de Aziz and the treatment the FFIs have been getting.  I won’t include that because I’ve already stolen enough, and I also got some information yesterday regarding the internal problems of the FFIs that somewhat undermine the “jealous progressives attacking an orthodox order” meme.  I say somewhat, because even if the allegations are true (they may be, but I have seen no other support for them, and unfortunately, I cannot share them), the response has been totally disproportionate to the alleged crime.  What I was told was basically an unfortunate error of excessive zeal, along with perhaps a too great acceptance of certain traditional critiques of the Novus Ordo.  I know some FFIs, and they have never even slightly revealed such beliefs as were related to me.  But, there may be some truth to it, which means there was a problem to be dealt with (which, I think there has been some understanding of that, even on this blog, notorious for its simple-mindedness), but to me it was nothing that required the cruel breaking of an order, the draconian steps taken against it, and its public excoriation as a group absolutely run amok.

Suffice it to say, the “errors” of the FFIs, if they existed, were trivial compared to the rank heresies being promoted – with full approval of ecclesiastical leadership! – at the vast majority of religious orders in the Church today.  Cardinal Bras de Aziz (why, oh why, did Pope Benedict promote him to this office?!?) has seen fit to turn the investigation of the LCWR into a whitewash with absolutely no penalties for even the most far out neo-pagan wicca lesbian saphos worshippers.  Socci notes that religious vocations continue to plummet in Italy, yet the one order that was growing and vibrant gets broken.

Please. All this tells me there were elements lying in wait for an excuse to dismantle this order. And their closeness to Benedict XVI (may God have mercy on him) does perhaps confirm some of Socci’s argument – that what we are witnessing is a progressive reaction against the former papacy, which they made no bones about despising.



1. John Madison - January 29, 2014

I have reached the point of not listening to, or trusting anything that emanates from Rome. Certainly, Francis could rein Maradiaga in. And, again certainly, Francis could confirm Müller’s defense of Catholic Teaching. That Francis has chosen not to take sides is a clear sign to me that he relishes disturbances like this to advance whatever it is Francis believes.
For the first time in my life, the sedavacantist arguments are starting to make sense, and that concerns me.

2. Magdalene Prodigal - January 30, 2014

I would like to see a greater explanation of those ‘internal’ issues with the FFI. I have been close to them for a number of years and I do not know of them. I wonder of the source????

tantamergo - January 30, 2014

I can’t say. Reputed to be solid, but I suspect they allegations might be overblown – not in terms of the problem per se’, but in how widespread it is.

Even if completely accurate, it was still not justification for the actions taken, not nearly so.

3. Branch - January 30, 2014

“Cardinal Maradiaga obviously has forgotten his Ecclesiastes……”there is nothing new under the sun.” To pretend there are any new moral situations today that just haven’t been thought through enough by the Church is ludicrous, and simply a pandering attempt to undermine or even reject Doctrine. And a lot of this garbage thought is rooted in personalism.”

I don’t think this is true in all cases. The Church had to think through the morality of slavery, no? The position developed.

There were similar complexities with the issue of capital punishment.

So, there could theoretically be moral situations which the Church must consider today in a way that She hadn’t before. But it’s true too that some calls for the Church to examine a moral situation is an attempt to have it changed. It’s obvious, I think, when dissent is behind such calls.

In my experience with (some) personalists, what I sense which disturbs me is that the primary emphasis is on human dignity, subjectivity, non-judgmentalism. Their most precious truths are those Gospel statements about removing the beam in one’s own eye and for freedom we’ve been set free, to cite two examples. They are enamored with the human person and tend to look at the Faith through the lens of interpersonal relations.

But I rarely, if ever, hear protests about the dignity of God and how that is so frequently violated. I rarely hear anything about the virtue of religion or devotion. They will make references to how people are in made in the image and likeness of God, but there again, God is only an implicit reference point. Their FOCUS is people, ‘persons’.

And so I do indeed see that for whatever merits it may have, personalism is the at the root of a lot of modern, confused thinking. When you have arguments being put forth to challenge Doctrine based on ‘reality’ or people’s ‘real lives’ or the way things are on the ground in a pastoral situation, and when such factors are in the place of the consideration of Truth first and foremost, I think there is reason to look at personalism with some skepticism.

More practically, if the pinnacle of Gospel wisdom is the inviolability of the human person, then it isn’t hard to see how we have a culture within the Church (at least the Church in the US) which is rarely challenging, bold, willing to be unpopular or ‘offending’ – a PC Church where Catholics can do their own thing without any rebuke.

tantamergo - January 30, 2014

Well, as a friend reminded me yesterday, there is “good” personalism and not so good. Dietrich von Hildebrand was a personalist, but he also excoriated the crisis in the Faith and plainly identified it’s sources. But most of his theological writings were pre-VII, using a much different Magisterium of the person, if you will.

VII introduced such huge changes in the Church’s approach to personhood that it seems to have seems to have sent personalism off into the weeds. I really can’t abide how Miss van Schjeik or whatever constantly re-evaluates PRE-conciliar Magisterial statements in the light of her post-conciliar personalism. Talk about rupture, or re-definition.

As to whether there is nothing new under the sun…..there really isn’t. The Church didn’t have to struggle to understand that slavery was evil or not, it had to decide how and when to fight it. That slavery was more or less taken for granted in the early Church does not mean it was condoned or thought morally acceptable. There is a huge difference between a prudential decision on whether something merits a particular response or approach, and whether it is moral, or not. The Church has under various circumstances tolerated grave immoralities because it did not have resources to deal with them adequately.

Thinking things are somehow so very different today that we just don’t know how to deal with them is the very favorite trick of modernists. I would be highly leery of accepting it on any particular matter – I would instead tend to assume the Magisterium has already spoken volubly on the matter and try to find those statements.

Branch - January 31, 2014

Well, how about this, then: http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350707?eng=y

How can we reconcile this with the notion of there being nothing new:

“During the first centuries the divorced and remarried were pardoned of their sins and given communion, but later this practice was abandoned in the West. Today Pope Francis has brought it back onto the field, while the dueling goes on among the cardinals.”

I understand that marriage is and always will be sacred. That cannot change, and so nothing is new there. But if second or third or…whatever…marriages are ‘accepted’ or were at any time, doesn’t that at the same time undermine the holiness of it (at least in the perception of the faithful)?

The way I see it, if you’ve divorced and remarried, you are not truly ‘married’ in the eyes of God. So to repent and return to Him, you must go and “sell all you have” (rid yourself of your current ‘marriage’) so as to return to Him. You must choose Him over whatever or whomever was the reason for your re-marrying. No?

tantamergo - January 31, 2014

That’s news to me. That hardly means this is some new problem. I would have to wonder about the interpretation of the Council of Nicea. This is different from other statements from Fathers I’ve read that condemn divorce and remarriage. I bet we may see some contradictions of this priest’s claims in short order.

The problem in the modern context is that contraception too was only supposed to be used in “difficult, individual” cases, in close concert with a priest. Has that happened? Changing this now will just confirm the flood of Catholic divorces and Church Doctrine will have been changed.

We also have to understand that there has been development of Doctrine over time. You mentioned slavery, and it’s true, the early Chuch did not condemn it much, either because it was so prevalent or they were just trying to survive (or other reasons). Our understanding of the glory of the Blessed Sacrament, the Mother of God, and other elements have certainly improved. I think the Church rightly came to see marriage as indivisible and – if there was any change at all – came to defend the indissolubility of marriage more rigorously.

We all know where this is pointed. People have always divorced or otherwise split. This will only open the floodgates, or keep the open, and that is the intent. It won’t attract 0.1% of people back to the Church who have left, and the doctrinal integrity of the Church will have been gravely wounded.

Branch - January 31, 2014

But isn’t that to evaluate previous teaching, as you said yesterday, through the lens of a more recent context, even if it only proves to do so more rigorously? I don’t see how the method is different from the personalists’?

tantamergo - January 31, 2014

I don’t have time to take this up till next week. But the definition of the Immaculate Conception had nothing to do with “re-evaluating” Mary in a 19th century context. I had to do with what had become revealed Truth through the working of the Spirit through all the faithful over time.

This is completely different from using a supposedly “modern” lens to look back on past doctrinal definitions and change them into something radically different. And what is that lens? Is it even within the Faith, or is it something that the user applies themselves from the world, the flesh or the devil?

That is the concern. Yes, things can expand or knowledge can improve but it matters totally how it is done. In the case of the IC, that did not change or upend any prior Doctrine. But personalists like KVS use their supposed personal views to radically change doctrine of the past. That is the difference.

Branch - January 31, 2014

I don’t think they’d dispute the IC or think that the definition came about through a modern context.

I do think they’d say that, for something like married couples having recourse to infertile periods so as to ‘space children’, such a practice was once only talked about in the context of grave reasons. They would say that the Church now speaks of it a more developed, richer way, a more compassionate way in fact. They’d say that the Church understands more now, of personal experience, for instance, and that the moral teaching there has been nuanced. Finally, they would see this as a great good.

I’ve had personalists point out to me that Humane Vitae even allows, they say, recourse to infertile periods for concerns of overpopulation!

And then to see your post today on Voris’ video. The confusion in the Church could not be greater.

4. Magdalene Prodigal - January 30, 2014

As to the FFI: I can only think that this unjust persecution will show forth the holiness of many, especially the founders. A number of saints were deposed from their own orders, often because of envy or not liking the direction and so there was ‘internal conflict’ but it was caused by disobedience. Saints deposed from their orders include St. Jeanne Jugan, St. Paulina of Brasil, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. Mary MacKillop. The holy founders of the FFI may have their suffering an obedience as a gem in their crown. But the ones who brought this about….as far as I know, no one who deposed the founder was ever canonized.

As to the founders being ‘authoritarian’, the commissioner is authoritarian on steroids! This Order is faithful to the Holy Father and Magisterium! The founder is a spiritual son of St. Padre Pio who was also persecuted from within the Church and had false allegations leveled against him. Fr. Stefano Manelli is a very holy man and the Order he instituted was a very holy Institute. Yes, there was a breakdown that had been observed over several years but cultivated by only a few and those few have brought this. I know one of them was always upset at not having his way. He has it now.

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