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Bishop Schneider: Church in the midst of Her fourth existential crisis June 9, 2014

Posted 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.”

————-End Quote————–

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.



1. Magdalene - June 9, 2014

Two things: Athanasius contra mundum!

And, secondly, he notes in the Pope’s “official” homilies, he has not spoken heresy. Off the cuff, the Holy Father dances on the edge on some issues. Naturally every true Catholic wants to live the Pope and put the best possible light on what he says or does. It can be difficult at time…

2. Dismas - June 9, 2014

Bishop Schneider may be the best one in the fight (apart from those who are in “imperfect communion”, whatever that means) and this could be regarded as either good news or bad news. He does consistently come up just short. Maybe he needs to. We are no longer in the days (unfortunately, by my reckoning) when St. Nicholas can punch Arius in the schnoz. We hold out a lot of hope, but it has to be said that the best the “full communion” bishops do not take the elevator all the way to the top floor.

3. maggycast - June 9, 2014

Awesome post…you nailed it. Although my opinion (only my opinion here) is that material heresy may be in the mix for the post V2 popes…not formal of course. But I’m just a little lay woman. Sitting atop a Church going crazy in apostasy, heresy, sodomy, and countless abuses while doing next to nothing about it? Kissing a Koran? Not formal heresy…no…but possibly material. We need a true Athansius to fight against this scourge…a true man of God who will call out the evil from within the Church and set things aright with no compromise and crystal clear truth that includes the council and the popes. Only truth will set us free:+) Yes, let us pray for our Pope and bishops…priests too. God bless~

Tantumblogo - June 9, 2014

Well, to clarify, I’m just saying I’m not the guy to make that claim regarding heresy. I see things that give me great pause, but who am I? I think it is not beyond the realm of possibility that someday, in some future time, theologians and historians may make that claim. But it’s beyond me.

4. skeinster - June 9, 2014

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.

Look, I know this is a phrase that people use often. But stop a minute and think about how it sounds.
Basically, what you’re saying is “never mind about the folks in the hinterlands- give them the less than sterling clergy- they don’t deserve better.”

Or, “what a shame really good clergy are wasted on the folks in the hinterlands”.

Neither of which I think you mean.

Unless the Church is a corporation in which one has a career, then anywhere you serve is the right place. Irregardless of the motives of whoever sent you there.

Providing the sacraments to the faithful is not punishment.

Tantumblogo - June 9, 2014

Eh…….there is a point to be made. Kazahkstan is not one of the more influential points in the world or the Church. It is not a see with a great deal of influence (re: money). Certainly those souls are very blessed to have such an auxiliary bishop, but speaking of the broader Church – my obvious point – I think whether he continues to serve there or moves on will say a great deal.

Dismas - June 9, 2014

For what it is worth, I was just unable to draw any meaning from the posting that suggested short shrift to a particular location. Is this not a process we see with some regularity? Anyone heard about the great Archbishop Ranjith lately? Anyone been down to visit Fr. Rodriguez, to bring the point closer to home?

Tantumblogo - June 9, 2014

And that’s very much the point. While it is wonderful that Fr. Rodriguez can serve some few dozen souls who craved his kind of spiritual care, there are hundreds or thousands more craving the same care in other places. While Bishop Schneider can serve tens of thousands of souls in Kazahkstan, in Italy or some other place he could lead and serve millions.

My most defeating moments in blogging always come from the comments.

skeinster - June 9, 2014

Okay, I admit I may have missed something.

When I hear/read “Fr. Y was sent to Podunkville to punish him” the message I receive is Advancement in the Church = Success.

Your point about numbers reached makes good sense. In our economy. But we’re dealing with God’s economy here, so we just don’t know.

LaGallina - June 10, 2014

I’m sure the comments must make blogging really difficult. But just so you know, the combox was one of the main things that kept me reading this blog. In general the comments feel more like a conversation between friends who may not always agree on everything, but have much of the important stuff in common. The fact that you, Tantumblogmeister, are a big part of the conversation makes the combox that much more interesting.

In general other Catholic comboxes that I have read tend to be knock down drag out fights between extremes who don’t understand each other at all (such as Mr. Happy Clappy Neo-Cat vs. sedevacantist), or you have the holier-than-thou commenter or blogger who just generally trashes Tradition. Or you get a lot of mediocre, milquetoast, sensitive New Age commenters.

Here there is always a good conversation, but very little blood. There is also often quite a lot of support or helpful information between commenters. Generally I don’t bother reading the comments at other blogs.

Tantumblogo - June 10, 2014

I just like to whine. Don’t take me too seriously.

5. Baseballmom - June 9, 2014

Very encouraging to see this post. We are headed for either schism or a great falling away of nominal Catholics. A smaller, much more Faithful Church. But, in a certain sense, we are already there…

Tantumblogo - June 9, 2014

We’ve been there for some time, I think. Most people made their choices decades ago. I do feel very bad for the young people today brought up not knowing any better. They are like lambs for the slaughter.

Dismas - June 9, 2014

Problem is, given that the inmates are in control of the asylum, it is the faithful, orthodox Catholics that have been and will continue to be declared schismatic. Which, interestingly, brings us right back around to the topic of St. Athanasius, the namesake of the great Bishop Schneider.

Tantumblogo - June 9, 2014

I don’t want to blindly speculate, but I’m sure you can envision situations where he could play a decisive role in the future restoration of the Church. I certainly can.

But it would require admitting some things he has been reticent to admit thus far.

6. Boniface - June 9, 2014
7. Lisa M. - June 9, 2014

Excellent article and your last comment too. Let us hope that Bishop Schneider knows what he’s not saying and why, that perhaps there is a reason for his stopping short.

8. Steve - June 10, 2014

Why does Bishop Schneider have to wait for the Pope to “clarify” Vatican II?

The Vatican II document Christus Dominus (1965) declared that bishops, via the Holy Spirit, “have been made true and authentic teachers of the faith.”

As a bishop of the True Church, God has commanded Bishop Schneider to teach, govern and sanctify the People of God.

Therefore, Bishop Schneider has the duty and authority to teach the Holy Traditional Catholic Faith.

From 1962 A.D. to date, our Supreme Pontiffs have insisted that Vatican II documents have contained the unchanging and authentic Catholic Faith.

Therefore, should he present the True Faith via Vatican II’s documents, then Bishop Schneider could not possibly veer from the true path.

Bishop Schneider could, so to speak, force the issue in regard to “clarifying” Vatican II in that if Bishop Schneider teaches error, then Pope Francis would have the duty to clarify Bishop Schneider’s teaching.

Pope Francis has exhorted Catholics to “shake things up”…well, here is Bishop Schneider’s chance to do so.

9. Steve - June 10, 2014

Pope Francis’ early interviews/press conferences contained certain points of confusion and/or unsettling remarks.

But I believe that things in that regard have settled down.

Pope Francis’ recent press conference during his return airplane flight from the Middle East failed to generate controversy via the news media and/or Catholic Traditionalists.

Pope Francis seems daily to reference (as he did yesterday) the existence of Satan.

Have not Traditional Catholics longed for a Pope who would present strong teachings and warnings in regard to Satan’s existence?

Pope Francis has preached strongly the realities of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.

His Holiness has preached strongly and repeatedly in favor of Traditional Catholic morality, particularly in regard to families and the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony.

Via words and clear actions, His Holiness has promoted repeatedly Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Let us recall the holy and powerful manner in which Pope Francis, during his special universal call to prayer, fasting and penance in regard to Syria, turned to the Blessed Virgin Mary,

How unfortunate it was that one Dallas Diocese parish after another failed to promote Pope Francis’ initiative in question…Prince of Peace in Plano was an exception as they united themselves in holy and powerful fashion to Pope Francis and his initiative.

Pope Francis has condemned abortion in powerful terms. He even took part in Rome’s March For Life.

In fairness to him, countless news media outlets failed to present in context Pope Francis’ famous “who am I to judge” remark.

As far as confusion, real or imagined is concerned, I don’t perceive any differences among the reigns of the Vatican II Era Popes…Francis, Benedict XVI, Saint John Paul II, John Paul II and Venerable Paul VI.

Conversely, with the exception of Pope Venerable Paul VI’s 1972 Smoke of Satan remark, I believe that Pope Francis’ has confronted Satan’s very real existence more powerfully than any Vatican II Era Pope.

That, in turn, has girded us well as we confront in holy fashion the Culture of Death.

I believe that the good that he has delivered to the Church and world via his Pontificate has offset any negatives, real or imagined, that have surrounded Pope Francis Pontificate.

10. Kurt - June 10, 2014

“Pope Francis’ recent press conference during his return airplane flight from the Middle East failed to generate controversy via the news media and/or Catholic Traditionalists.”

Oh yeah. Common prayer with the Jews and Islamists in the very shadow of St. Peter’s is just peachy keen. Sure the media saw no problem with this show of indifferentism. Are we not lucky to have for the first time in history the Muslim call to prayer chanted in the Vatican?

11. Mariano - June 10, 2014

Re: Mohammedan prayers in the Vatican: When the global economy collapses, the Church will royally deserve it.

12. Steve - June 10, 2014

Kurt, I am not a fan of such ecumenical and interreligious activities.

But in fairness to Pope Francis, he did not participate in common prayer with Jews and Islamists. That was made clear by the official statements of the Apostolic See.

For better or worse, in 1947 A.D., Pope Venerable Pius XII launched the Church into the Ecumenical Movement. Popes have the authority to loose and bind…therefore, prior restrictions against certain activities associated with ecumenical and interreligious gatherings were cast aside decades ago.

Now, to return to my point in regard to Pope Francis’ recent press conference…unlike his past interactions with the news media, Pope Francis avoided controversy.

To his credit, His Holiness took care to prevent the news media from having twisted his words…as was the case during last year’s press conference.

Branch - June 10, 2014

Steve brings up an important question here. What does it mean to loose and bind? Traditionalists take a theological view that the present is always to be measured against the past, no? But what if what was once bound in the past is now loosened? Is that something that can realistically occur without it being heresy or dissent or modernism?

TG - June 10, 2014

I’ve also wondered about the “loose and bind” power of the church. It seems that statement could allow the church to change some things that aren’t in scripture.

Tantumblogo - June 10, 2014

I’m trying to avoid commenting in this thread for a variety of reasons, but I think given the history there is going to have to be an extended period of no controversy before we can say this papacy has really settled down/taken a new direction/whatever.

Pre-conciliar ecumenism was radically different from that after the Council. It was very discreet and low-key, and still ordered primarily towards “the outdated theology of return.” There have always been contacts. I don’t think Pope Pius XII introduced anything radically new, and what he did introduce had much to do with the political situation in Italy and much of Europe after the war, where it suddenly became rather important to form coalitions of all Christians against communists. That worked well in the short term, but probably set many bad precedents in the long term.

Dismas - June 10, 2014

Are the answers not nicely summarized in The Syllabus of Errors? I think that some of the statements we are seeing here were precisely addressed there. I think we were warned that we would be hearing this stuff and admonished to recognize it for what it is. And the Syllabus is really that…a convenient compendium. We have been warned about this stuff repeatedly in numerous allocutions.

If we can “loose” things that are fundamental to the Faith, then what can we count on other than what comes out of the Vatican today? Few things, if any, remain stable. Reminds one a whole lot of protestantism, or even New Age.

So now we will hear that these things are not really fundamental, or some other sophism that explains away the clear meaning of what we see before us. Or that we only think it is clear. Round and round we go.

I sure don’t mean any offense to anyone and I’m perfectly content to let someone go on their way believing that these things are subject to change. I wish everyone the best, and Godspeed. Meanwhile, I’ll just go on believing that what documents like The Syllabus (and numerous others) bind is not subject to change and suggesting the same to anyone willing to hear.

Tantumblogo - June 10, 2014

Very good comment. Thank you. Said what I tried to say but much better.

Scott - June 10, 2014

For better or worse, on December 20, 1949 A.D., Pope Venerable Pius XII approved the document entitled “On The Ecumenical Movement.”

That document opened the door to Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement…as well as common prayer with our separated brothers and sisters.

Contrary to anybody else’s interpretations, the Holy Catholic Church has determined that prayer said in common with non-Catholic believers is not opposed to the fundamentals of the Faith.

The Holy Catholic Church, via the declarations of Her Supreme Pontiffs, has determined that such activities as those conducted last Sunday by Pope Francis are not opposed to the Catholic Faith.

The Holy Father did not pray with Jews and Moslems.

Pope Francis did not violate the current teachings and disciplines of the Catholic Church.

Again, whether the loosening of certain disciplines has benefitted Holy Mother Church is debatable.

But the undeniable fact is that beginning in 1949 A.D. with Pope Venerable Pius XII, the Roman Pontiffs opened the door to Catholic participation in ecumenical/interreligious activities.

Laymen don’t interpret/teach the Catholic Faith.

That is the role of Pontiffs and bishops.

Tantumblogo - June 10, 2014

I don’t think I indicated otherwise. Simply that the Catholic participation was very much different than it is now, and had an overwhelmingly political context due to the very close-run communist attempt at takeover of Italy. But there were many Catholics disconcerted even at that time, when Catholic parties were abandoned in favor of the “Christian Democrats,” which rapidly metastasized into socialism and indifference.

And I haven’t mentioned the recent prayers at the Vatican at all.

My problem is with that indifference which has crept into the Church since the Council, and much of that is manifested in the current ecumenical efforts.

13. Steve Scott - June 10, 2014

It is dangerous whenever Catholics take the attitude that regardless of what this or that Pope has loosened or bound, they will continue to adhere to “X” old document or teaching/discipline.

Like it or not, our Popes has the authority to loosen and bind.

For example, Pope Venerable Pius XII, beloved by many Traditionalists…but not all…used his authority to loosen the hours in regard to the Eucharistic Fast…

Said Pontiff opened the door to Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement.

Pope Venerable Pius XII loosened and bound in regard to Holy Week liturgical practices.

Early Church Popes loosened certain stringent penitential disciplines.

Certain Popes loosened long-standing fasting and abstinence practices.

Whether such things have benefitted Holy Mother Church is open to debate.

But please, let’s be careful…very careful…whenever we determine that this or that act of loosening and binding is at odds with a perceived fundamental of the Faith.

Tantumblogo - June 10, 2014

We should be equally careful that novelties do not separate us from the Faith.

You are very much conflating disciplines and dogma. Ecumenism treads very closely to the latter. Lessening rules for fasting is strictly a discipline. Proclaiming prayer with other churches really touches on dogma. It is also very unclear the degree of assent that Catholics must give to this ecumenical movement. Am I in mortal sin if I do not partake of group prayer with protestants? Don’t laugh, such an accusation has been broached before.

There is a vast difference between rejecting something, and having grave concerns about it. Even cardinals of the Church disagree strongly over the degree to which various documents of Vatican II bind on conscience. Much of this is open to debate. Simply because a pope launched an effort does not mean it is infallibly declared or requires the assent of faith.

I don’t think it’s open to debate, ecumenism has been a disaster for the Church and for souls.

Dismas - June 11, 2014

Tantum I have to come down on this the same way you see it. Again, I have been at all of this long enough that I’m not too interested in arguing things about which I am no expert and about which even the “experts” disagree. But if people read the great encyclicals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, if they reach the same conclusion I do – a conclusion supported by a whole host of experts from an admittedly healthier time in the Church – I think they will see that this stuff we are discussing is not discipline at all.

In fact, the conflating of discipline with dogma is something we are expressly warned to watch out for.

If you want to gain a quick understanding of how the sodomite lobby gained so much power so quick, read After the Ball. If you want to understand how the hopee-changee crowd operates, read Alinsky’s books. If you want to get an understanding of how the modernists subvert even well-meaning Catholics, read Pascendi Domini Gregis.

We should be very careful that dogma does not become discipline in our minds.

14. Steve Scott - June 10, 2014

Thank you for your post/clarification..

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