Based on solid arguments, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has issued a timely statement on the Synod of Bishops’ Final Report in which he comments on items 84 to 86. Grounded in perennial Catholic teaching, his considerations are a vigorous warning cry against the contents of that Report and the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property—TFP fully endorses them.
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The 14th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops held from October 4 to 25 of this year, devoted to the theme “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World,” submitted a Final Report with some pastoral proposals to Pope Francis.
The document is only advisory in nature and has no formal magisterial character.
Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana (Kazakhstan) has issued a timely statement on this document for the Rorate Caeli blog site titled “A Back Door to a Neo-Mosaic Practice in the Final Report of the Synod,” in which, using solid arguments, he comments on items 84 to 86 of the said Report.
Grounded in perennial Catholic doctrine, Bishop Schneider’s considerations are a vigorous warning cry against the contents of that Report, and the American TFP makes them its own:
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• The Report gives in to the ideological pressure of the dominant culture that seeks to extinguish the indissolubility of marriage by spreading the anti-culture of divorce and cohabitation;
• Using arguments that tend to diminish subjective responsibility, the Reportomits any rebuke to the divorced and civilly remarried living more uxorio [as husband and wife] for their gravely sinful life and exempts them from the sin of adultery;
• It thus induces people living in irregular situations to remain in such unions and to desecrate the Sacrament of Marriage;
• It scandalizes the faithful and society as a whole by suggesting the admission of persons who publicly violate the Sixth Commandment to exercise functions such as lectors at Mass, catechists, godparents or parish council members;
• By its ambiguity the Report opens a back door for admitting the divorced and civilly remarried to Holy Communion, leading to the desecration of the Holy Eucharist, the greatest of the sacraments;
• It introduces a cacophony, a magisterial and pastoral confusion, in contradiction to the perennial teachings and bimillennial practices of the Catholic Church.
As the zealous auxiliary bishop of Astana rightly said, the promoters of these changes to the everlasting doctrine of the Church – neo-Pharisees – subscribe to the “Kasper agenda” and, like their precursors at the time of Christ, avail themselves of ambiguous formulations to introduce new practices that run counter to God’s Commandments.
Although composed and directed by lay Catholics, the American TFP does not usually take a position on strictly theological, liturgical and canonical issues such as the admission of the divorced and remarried to the Holy Eucharist.
What is at stake in this theological-canonical conflict is the continuing of the Catholic Church as the bulwark of indissoluble marriage and the family. Photo: The Marriage of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Joseph by Giotto Di Bondone, 1304.
However, what is at stake in this theological-canonical conflict is the continuing of the Catholic Church as the bulwark of indissoluble marriage and the family. If the Church were to admit divorce, which is strictly impossible by the promise of her Divine Founder, that would entail the greatest disasters for the temporal order itself.
Consequently, and consistent with the principles that have guided it in defense of the institution of the family, the American TFP invokes the protection of the Most Holy Virgin, whom Sacred Scripture compares to an army in battle array – “ut castrorum Acies Ordinata” – beseeching her to halt this assault on the institution that is modeled on the Holy Family. And, lastly, the TFP wholeheartedly signs on to Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s categorical statement of resistance to those who now seek to adulterate the deposit of faith and evangelical morality:
“Non possumus!” I will not accept an obfuscated speech nor a skillfully masked back door to a profanation of the Sacraments of Marriage and the Eucharist. Likewise, I will not accept a mockery of the Sixth Commandment of God. I prefer to be ridiculed and persecuted rather than to accept ambiguous texts and insincere methods. I prefer the crystalline “image of Christ the Truth, rather than the image of the fox ornamented with gemstones” (Saint Irenaeus), for “I know Whom I have believed”, “Scio, Cui credidi!” (2 Tim. 1:12).
November 10, 2015
The American TFP