2018: The Year of Formal Schism?

THE REMNANT UNDERGROUND: Headed up by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and two other Archbishops from Kazakhstan, a total of 6 bishops and 1 cardinal have now signed a statement of opposition to the pope-approved interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that non-repentant public adulterers can return to the sacramental life of the Church. This is revolution and counterrevolution in a Catholic Church in total crisis. Plus, looking ahead to October’s Synod of Young People in Rome—will the Church deep six Humanae Vitae? Will the Vatican give the green light to so-called ‘gay unions’? Finally, an old Jimmy Stewart movie, “Call Northside 777”, includes a sobering reminder of what it used to mean to be Catholic–something Pope Francis would do well to consider.

Comments invited… 

87 responses

  1. I don’t agree with Pentin about “the real objective” of Amoris Laetitia being Humanae Vitae. I agree with the earlier comment that it is all about doing away with the Church’s absolute moral authority on matters of human sexuality. Personally, I think it’s all about approving gay unions.

    I’m also puzzled that the video extols the bishops who are now, very late in the day, speaking out but only speaking out up to a point. The promise of a public correction of Pope Francis still hasn’t happened. I doubt that it will happen, so this is one more very good talk about the crisis but no end in sight, still.

    • Fidelis,

      I agree – it’s all about dispensing with objective morality and the Church’s authority to teach, guard and promote the moral law. In other words, it’s diabolical. Of course, contraception is in there as a matter of course, but AL is an outright attack on the Church’s moral authority in sexual matters and there can be no doubt that pushing the LGBT agenda is the ultimate goal.

    • Fidelis,

      Well, isn’t speaking up in interviews and signing open letters actually publicly correcting the pope? I think so. The majority of bishops who are going along without saying a word, are the ones deserving criticism, not Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider etc.

    • Fidelis,

      I think you’re absolutely correct. Humanae Vitae may be an intermediate goal, but the ultimate goal, as you’ve said, is the total acceptance of homosexuality. “gay unions,” and the entire LGBTUVWXYZ agenda. Of course, they will go at it through the back door (pardon me, but how fitting…), but watch this phony Youth Synod approve cohabitation the same way the phony Synod on the Family approved Communion for public adulterers. And the approval of cohabitation will no doubt contain some language approving of “stable” homosexuals unions.

  2. I’m really fed up of waiting for these supposedly courageous bishops to actually do something. Doing interview and signing open letters or whatever is old hat now. I thought Cardinal Burke was going to publicly confront the pope over AL – that’s not happening so I doubt if there will be any formal pronouncement of schism soon, or ever, this year.

    Between his LGBT sympathiser comments and appointments and his shocking statement about not breeding like rabbits, this pope has made it clear he doesn’t believe in objective morality, so Pentin’s words are not anything new.

    • Lily,

      I just answered what Fidelis said on the interviews, etc, that it’s the majority of bishops who are not speaking up who deserve criticism, not the ones who are actually publicly correcting the pope by these interviews. I don’t think we could expect Cardinal Burke to walk up to the pope in a public place and tick him off, in all seriousness.. It’s through public statements, interviews etc. that these good bishops are getting their message across.

      I do agree with your final words about the pope’s meaning being all too clear on moral matters through his Vatican appointments and his own scandalous words. You are totally right there. I think Michael Matt is correct in the video to say that only a full recanting of Amoris Laetitia will do now. Nothing less can be accepted, to end the scandal of this pope seeming to change Catholic moral teaching. It really is shocking stuff.

      • Editor

        I agree with your response to Don. He says he is being “straightforward”, yet his comment is anything but straightforward.

        I second your request for clarification.

        • Athanasius,

          I was just thinking that Don is probably one of these “hit and run” bloggers but now I see that he has returned to the scene of the crime (see below) possibly for one final look around…

          I doubt if we’ll see him again, but hey, as our American cousins would say, dae ye see me greetin’?* Oops, that was downtown Glasgow, not downtown Chicago, as planned, but who’s to tell the difference…

          * tr, “do you see me crying?”

          • Editor

            You’d do well in Chicago with that grasp of the local lingo!

            I hope Don is just ignorant of the true teaching of the Church rather than yet another dead fish that flows with the current.

      • I think the two of you are looking for a comment debate, you will not get one from me. “Amoris Laetitia that non-repentant public adulterers can return to the sacramental life of the Church.” Those who have or are committing a sin should be allowed to re-marry. Let us point to Christ when the prostitute was going to be stoned. We, humans, have NO RIGHT to condemn anyone, that is the job of the Divine. Yes, the family unit is in question, a product of our times, but that new marriage may be the right path, who should condemn that move if the marriage is the right path? Only God has a full say so.

        • Don,

          What about when Christ called adultery a sin and said to the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more”? That’s not an endorsement of Amoris Laetitia, just the opposite.

          Jesus said not to condemn her, but he didn’t say she was doing the right thing, that it was okay to commit adultery. He said the opposite.

          Jesus said clearly that if a man divorces his wife and marries another, he commit adultery. He did not say “unless you decide that the second marriage is better than the first.”

          I don’t know what you mean by “a comment debate” unless you mean explaining why you have said something. But that’s the only way to make yourself understood.

        • Don,

          If by “comment debate” you mean conversation, well, that’s what blogging does to you – makes you communicate with others, albeit by means of the written word. It’s got its advantages – less chance of ending up in the Casualty Department or whatever they call it these days (Accident & Emergency), with a sore jaw! Kidding!

          Seriously, unless you’re joking, you must appreciate that nobody who denies a single dogma of the Faith is morally free to identify as a Catholic.

          Panic not – you can identify as any one of 72 + genders, just not as a Catholic.

          And it is an essential tenet of the Catholic religion that the Church is indefectible and cannot teach error. So, if Papa Francis is right about adultery being no big deal, then Our Lord and every one of the popes, including Peter, up to and including Pope Benedict, got it wrong, and the Church HAS taught error for 2,000 years. Also kind of surprising, don’t you think, that Our Lord also got it so wrong? In fact – shock-horror – He was first to get it wrong!

          To say that the new [adulterous] “marriage” may be the right path is akin to saying that since some local bank robbers moved up the social ladder after their haul, then maybe robbing banks is the “right path” for them, so who should condemn them? Evil, wicked cops and courts still trying to track them down!

          For goodness sake, gerragrip!

          • True to both examples of what Christ taught, but are we taking it out of the true Hebrew sense, example: Hebrew has several other words for sin beyond hata, each with its own specific meaning. The word pesha, or “trespass”, means a sin done out of rebelliousness. The word aveira means “transgression”. And the word avone, or “iniquity”, means a sin did out of moral failing.

            Do we truly have the full meaning of what Christ meant? There are many reasons for the Church to dissolve a marriage. What is the difference if one seeks the Churches approval or just out right leaves the marriage?

            • Don,

              Oh puleeeeeeese! Don’t play the “wrong translation” card – not after two thousand years, for pity’s sake! For two thousand years the Church [guaranteed by Christ not to teach error] has monumentally blundered by mistranslating a key word? Gimme a break.

              To answer your question – yes. We have the full meaning of what Christ meant. Trust me on this…

              Your final sentence – I am presuming – refers to seeking an annulment. If so, then the difference is that, if, after an investigation by a Church marriage tribunal, the marriage is deemed to have been valid and therefore no annulment can be granted, then, that is crystal clear. The couple may separate, even divorce for practical reasons, to arrange the custody of children and dispose of property, but they cannot attempt to enter another marriage. That second union would be adulterous. Crystal clear. If, on the other hand, the tribunal rules that the marriage was not a true marriage and can therefore be pronounced null, that leave the Catholic free to enter into a true marriage. That would not be a “remarriage” but the first true, that is valid, marriage.

              There’s no issue, of course, in simply separating/divorcing. The spouses, living separately, no longer as a married couple, may attend Mass and receive Holy Communion under the usual conditions.

              If, however, they choose to defy Christ’s teaching about adulterous unions, they may, of course attend Mass (that’s a public event – anyone can walk off the street and attend a Mass) but they may not, in good conscience, receive Holy Communion, because that is to live in a publicly scandalous manner, with no intention of repentance. (Canon 915).

            • Don

              I wonder just how many grave sins have been committed against God on the basis of that liberal claptrap. People will look for any excuse to salve a bad conscience rather than go to confession and keep the Commandments.

              The Church’s teaching on marriage is very clear: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder”. These are the words of Our Lord Himself, interpreted correctly for 2000 years until the “smoke of Satan entered the Church” in the 1960s, as Pope Paul VI correctly observed.

              The present universal rebellion against the 2000-year moral teaching of the Church suggests to me that the following warning of St. Paul was written for our time:

              “…For there will come a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but according to their own desires will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indead turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.”

              The mistranslation excuse is one such fable, invented by liberal theologians just a few decades ago to draw Catholics away from divine truth unto Protestant error.

              Take my advice, Don, stick with the 2000-year traditional moral teaching and remain Catholic.

            • Don,

              Here is another straight forward tranlation for you: peccatum mortale.

              There are a few listed below and no liberal claptrap and faulty exegesis will convince otherwise.

              First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthian

              He blames them for going to law before unbelievers. Of sins that exclude from the kingdom of heaven. The evil of fornication.

              [1] Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to be judged before the unjust, and not before the saints? [2] Know you not that the saints shall judge this world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? [3] Know you not that we shall judge angels? how much more things of this world? [4] If therefore you have judgments of things pertaining to this world, set them to judge, who are the most despised in the church. [5] I speak to your shame. Is it so that there is not among you any one wise man, that is able to judge between his brethren?

              [6] But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers. [7] Already indeed there is plainly a fault among you, that you have lawsuits one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? [8] But you do wrong and defraud, and that to your brethren. [9] Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, [10] Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

              In case it escaped your notice people in second marriages are not married, other than their first and so therefore commit the sin of adultery and fornication. It is unjust and hateful not to point that out to them as a spiritual work of mercy..

              • I said that I would not get into a debate, but here I am once again. Are we to turn our backs on those who make youthful mistakes and marry wrongfully? True, we all need to be held accountable for all our actions, we all need to take the words of St. Matthew (Matt.19:4-6) to heart.

                Many of us returned home from battle, serving as our country asked of us, choosing not to run away to our neighbor, Canada. We were young, we were abandoned by our own generation and absconded by our Country. Many of us returning home made mistakes against family, church, God, Country, World, either by retaliation or despair. We entered into relationships that were mentally healing and in many cases physically treating, at that time in space only to move forward and realize that the decision was just a band-aid for that period of time.

                We were scared going off to a foreign country, with no guarantee of coming home. Our words made commitments of “devotion” to another that was true at the time of utterance. Some came home with wounds beyond repair, and those words of devotion came rushing back only to hurt those who spoke them. Once in fulfillment of the commitment, one may have realized that as noble as they try to be, they could not fulfill their obligation.

                Right satan is very good at utilizing a moment in time against us, but Christ forgives those moments in time. Are we, imperfect humans, to be put out waiting at the entrance of Hell not to be excused for emotions that overwhelmed us into a decision of “need?” I hope not. Wasn’t it times like these that the church established annulment for lack of commitment on one or both individuals. Lack of commitment that causes us to “sin” within the relationship? I hope not.

                I love my religion, but I also understand those who come home those foreign countries, who for the rest of their existence will be wakened by horrors within the hell of our minds. I can not speak for those who commit only to seek the monetary exit, rewarding themselves intentionally of financial gain. These individuals have been consumed by hell and until genuinely made aware of our sin and our acceptance of sin, seek forgiveness and true loving acceptance of a mate to travel our remain life’s road, 1Jn 2:1-2 – Lk 18:14.

                Are we not to attempt to act and think as Our Lord did while in the flesh?

                • Don,

                  I’ve known several cases in my own personal circle, when the bad choices made in youth have caused suffering in later life. One friend, whose husband abandoned her for another woman, was thus condemned to a single, celibate life, but that’s not the Church’s fault, that’s her self-centred, irresponsible husband’s fault, and the fault of the selfish female who participated in his sin. We can’t expect the Church to condone sin, just because we felt the need to indulge ourselves ignoring God’s law, in our youth or at any other time in life.

                  For the Church to indulge my friend and allow her to marry another (despite Our Lord’s warning not to do so) would be, among other things, to let the culprit(s) off the hook. At his judgment, that good for nothing scoundrel (and his like) will face his Maker and have to give an account of his scandalous and sinful abandonment of his vows. Ditto his partner in sin.

                  As for attempting to act and think as Our Lord – of course! Quote anything – ANYTHING in any Gospel where Our Lord condoned sin. Just one example will do.

                  By the way, Don, nothing I say is intended to insult you or make you feel ultra-guilty – I have to assume that whatever your situation now, you have sought to make reparation. It is important to note that it is the justification of our sins that most offends God. He does understand our weakness but he cannot tolerate our thinking we know better and thus justifying our wrong-doing. Hope that clarifies things.

        • Don

          I’m sorry, you seem to be confusing the condemnation of sin with the condemnation of sinners. Now that is another tragic “product of our times”, Catholics who no longer have a sense of sin and its gravity. It’s just good old liberal Protestantism disguised as mercy. The devil is very clever!

  3. Nicky

    “I don’t think we could expect Cardinal Burke to walk up to the pope in a public place and tick him off, in all seriousness..”

    Why not? St. Paul did it with great effect!

    This is the problem, too many prelates being too deferential to the person of the Pope instead of doing their duty for the love of the Church and the papacy. The time for semi-official letters and statements is over, it is now time for brave men to step up to the plate for truth and morals and confront Pope Francis fully in public with his grave errors. We need to see some kind of Catholic response from the hierarchy to the scandal of Pope Francis!

    • Athanasius,

      I fully agree. It’s time we saw these bishops “man up” and say plainly that this pope is a heretic and he should resign.

      • Michaela

        I don’t think there is a resignation element built into the papacy, so the prelates would have to first rebuke him publicly with a view to his repentance and correction. If he fails to repent then I guess they would find themselves in unchartered waters, dealing with a formally heretic Pope bent on destroying the faith. There is no precedent for this in the history of the Church.

        But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Barring a miracle, there is no chance of the prelates ever correcting Pope Francis in public. The majority either share his errors or go along to get along. It’s so bad now that only a divine intervention of some sort will bring an end to the treachery in cope and mitre.

  4. And I did Watch full Remnant Video and report . Just getin that bit in first. I personally agree with MMatt that it is the full Buna regarding the Homosexual Thing that all this is leading up to . To tell you the Truth I don’t think anyone on here would be surprised if The Pope said he was getting Married Tomorrow. The only surprise would probably be is it a Bird is it a Plane Man or is it Superwoman. Ok am going off topic but there’s still maybe a Place reserved for him in Lund . Maybe by the Grace of God he’ll go . One can but hope .

  5. Athanasius,

    I agree. But we seem not have someone who will act as St. Paul did. But one thing should be remembered is that prelates, like everyone else must face God’s judgement we die. Then we must give answer to our actions or lack of them.

    • Theresa Rose,

      I’m with you (and the others) on this – definitely we need a modern day St Paul to “resist Peter to his face because he IS to blame” (Galatians).

      Roll on!

    • Theresa Rose

      Yes, it’s a sad sign of the times when the hierarchy follows more the example of Judas Iscariot than St. Paul.

  6. If this might be the year of a formal schism, I am wondering what that would look like.

    Also, it is not encouraging to think that we have 11 more years to reach the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s request to consecrate Russia, i.e. 2029. If that Consecration will be “late,” the question is, how late? I hope not 11:59 PM on December 31, 2028. Editor will have run out of Columbo re-runs by then….and I’ll probably have no teeth left, if I’m still on this side of the grass.

    I am also wondering how long Our Lord will permit this Pope to slash and burn his way through the Church and through the Faith. If this is the Passion of the Church, are we at the Crucifixion yet?

    • From what I’ve read, Sarah is an adulteress, no two ways about it.

      These wicked Modernists are always presenting ridiculous, extreme cases as a justification for changing the Divine Law of the Church. I just wish they would have the courage of their convictions and join a sect.

      • @ Don Bosco and Helen:
        Before her conversion experience, Sarah did choose adultery and absolution cannot be given. But after that experience, when she wishes to live as sister and brother and does not want the children to grow up without both parents at home, (which would be the case if Mohammed carries out the threat of a civil divorce), can absolution be denied? Is reluctant submission (not acquiescence) to Mohammed´s sexual advances to be equated with deliberate choice?

        The Divine law is not being sought to be changed in the slightest. That charge can be made for instance, if we say that it is ok for Sarah to have sex with Mohammed in order to avoid a divorce for the sake of the children. That would be justifying adultery. However, that is not the case with Sarah.

    • JN

      I got bored half way through Sarah’s “case” realising – as others have already (implicitly) said – that she can save up all the food she wants to give to the poor, that doesn’t delete her adultery.

      What if I did that with my (I’m ashamed to say) repeated lack of charity towards others. Suppose (as I do) that I find being charitable just too difficult, when the so & so is obviously a so & so and I need to give vent to my thoughts about the so & so. Is it OK if I continue my lack of charity as long as I make a few sacrifices along the way, give some money to a street beggar or whatever?

      Not if words mean anything. According to Sacred Scripture, I can have faith that moves mountains, speak in tongues, prophesy, give all of my belongings to the poor, you name it, but if I lack charity, then I am merely sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

      So, that’s nice of Sarah to save her food and give it to the poor. Unless she repents of her adultery and gets her life in order (I mean… Mohammed?) she’s heading for Hell.

      By the way, I dislike sites where the person(s) running it are anonymous. No means of contacting the writer(s) so I wouldn’t be visiting again. I don’t know, at a simple skim, if this is a serious case study by some modernist trying to justify AL or some more traditional Catholic trying to show AL up for what it is, a scandalous document which will one day be denounced by Pope Pius XIII !

      It would be good to know what your connection to that blogsite is, JN, hint, hint…

      • @ Editor:
        It looks like there is a misunderstanding: while it is true that acts of atonement can make up in some small way for failings, it is not being claimed that one can engage in adultery/ lack of charity as long as one gives food to the poor. In Sarah´s case, the question really is – does she choose to commit adultery after her conversion experience?

        ¨Unless she repents of her adultery and gets her life in order¨
        She does repent and wants to get her life in order as witnessed by her wish to live as sister and brother with Mohammed and not suffer the children to go through the pain of separation of the parents.

        ¨I mean… Mohammed?¨
        Not sure what to make of that. Surely he (although not his actions) is entitled the respect due as a creature of God? Besides, for all we know, he himself could have a conversion experience…

        Whether I have any connection with the blog or whether a so-called modernist or traditional Catholic is the author are all neither here nor there – what is relevant is whether the case for absolution as laid out in the blog posts is sound. If not, what are the arguments which counter the substance of the posts?

        • JN

          The truth is the website you linked to with it’s Sarah scenario is simply heretical. The entire proposition is based on the purely natural welfare of this woman and her children, not on their supernatural welfare, which is pre-eminent in the eyes of God.

          What came across loud and clear throughout is that people may not trust in God to support them if they do the right thing by His Divine Law. Sarah has to stay in her sinful relationship because she ill otherwise not be able to support her children. Not much trust in God there, eh?

          That website is not Catholic!

          • ´Sarah has to stay in her sinful relationship because she will otherwise not be able to support her children.´
            Not quite. The support of children is secondary. Her primary concern is that the children should not suffer due to absence of one parent from the home (which is what would happen in the event of a civil divorce.) Besides, she also fears that custody of Mohammed´s children would be granted to him.

            • JN,

              Any mother not concerned that her children are living under the same roof with a sex abuser, a mother who, in facts, thinks it’s better than not having him there, is not a fit mother and deserves her children to be placed in care.

          • ´The entire proposition is based on the purely natural welfare of this woman and her children, not on their supernatural welfare, which is pre-eminent in the eyes of God.´
            Not quite again. Sarah wants to protect what she sees as the welfare of the children – i.e., all 4 of them under one roof, with both parents (two children having a foster father and other 2 having their natural father).
            A messy divorce can not only result in one parent missing from the home but also the possibility of custody of two children (that of Mohammed) being granted to him – and once that happens, the chances of Sarah being physically present to influence their supernatural welfare (ensuring they have a Catholic upbringing) are remote.

            • Seems Sarah’s conversion did not include an understanding of Divine Providence. Whatever, she cannot hand herself over as a sex object and think she’s not sinning.

              Is there a police force where she lives?

              And somebody needs to tell her that no court will hand her children over to a man with a history of sexual abuse. That’s a given.

    • JN

      That’s all speculative writing designed to weaken the Church’s teaching, which is clear in matters moral and always has been. I think those musings are best left on the periphery because they’re not Catholic.

      • @ Athanasius:
        Not sure if the writing is designed to weaken the Church’s teaching. If we stick to what is presented, how can the argument in the second post (that there is no obex hindering absolution) be countered? Simply saying that adultery is the obex cannot be sustained because then the question would arise whether after her conversion, Sarah chooses to have sex or chooses to be raped. (In reality, she chooses neither.)

        • JN

          She chooses to continue to live in an occasion of sin and to place Mohammed in the occasion of sin by her presence. Such presumption on her part is more than sufficient grounds upon which to refuse absolution.

            • JN

              No, your response to Helen does not address this aspect of moral teaching.

              No worldly concern can trump the divine law, that’s the infallible moral teaching of the Church. Do you reject that teaching, arguing instead that the divine law is negotiable depending on material circumstances? I hope not.

    • So much inverted thinking in that example! The children are innocent, and suffer because of the actions of the adults in the picture. But to then use the plight of the children to excuse the conduct of parents – impossible! The well being of the children has its own priorities: the spiritual takes precedence over the material; the gravely sinful example of the parents cannot be mitigated by the material evil that could befall the children if the parents separate. What a pathetic spectacle of an argument.

      • @ WurdeSmythe:
        Yes, the children are innocent but then, is their plight being used to excuse the conduct of parents? Mohammed´s forcing himself on Sarah is not being justified. And as for Sarah, she is not choosing adultery (at least after her conversion) and neither is she choosing to be raped. So is it not unfair to say that her conduct is being excused? What conduct? Simply choosing to live with Mohammed for the sake of the children, but only as sister and brother?

        As you know, the Church herself permits a divorced and remarried couple to live as sister and brother for the sake of the children. So simply living under the same roof by itself need not constitute a ¨gravely sinful example¨. The charge of ¨gravely sinful example of the parents¨ can stick only if Sarah deliberately chooses to engage in adulterous acts with Mohammed – which is not the case after her conversion experience.

        • JN

          Ever heard of the Church’s teaching on occasions of sin?

          You know that to live in the same house with a man she has previously had a very active sexual relationship with is tantamount to placing herself in a serious occasion of sin, which is in itself a mortal sin. It is also a mortal sin to place Mohammed in the occasion of sin, tempting him by her continued presence in the same house. He’s not converted so she shouldn’t incite his lust with her continued taunting presence.

          If Sarah was truly converted then she would want to do the will of God, hard as it may be, not make excuses so that she can keep on living with the man with whom she originally committed adultery, especially when she knows he’s not a converted Catholic and still wants his way with her.

          I don’t recognise any of this as Catholic in the Traditional sense, either in relation to the Church’s teaching or in the woman’s action, or lack thereof! This continuation of a so-called “converted” Catholic in a potentially sinful relationship cannot be justified, much less excused with liberal psychobabble. The Divine Law in such matters is perfectly clear, as is our duty in relation to it. There is no best of both worlds in a true conversion.

          The other sin here is the continued sin of scandal she gives to her children by continuing to live under the same roof with a man she is not married to. Much better for her to explain to them that she has done wrong and is going to remedy the situation by separation. She now has the souls of those children to think about. If she doesn’t take the necessary steps to ensure their salvation through the Church then the liklihood is Mohammed will one day whip them off to the Mosque when he has a “conversion experience”.

          The entire business is riddled through with hypocrisy.

            • JN

              No, once again you have not answered my specific objections in your response to Helen.

              Please be good enough to respond to the occasions of sin I have brought to your attention in accordance with the divine moral law.

              You seem to be suggesting that the divine law is negotiable, relative to individual circumstances. If this is what you’re suggesting then I’m afraid you’ve fallen into heresy.

      • Well yes – but may I suggest you take time, if possible, to read the entire post to better grasp the nuances?
        In particular, take note of the response to the following FAQs:
        ´Is Sarah choosing to commit adultery? ´
        ´Is she choosing to be raped? ´
        ´Is it prudent on the part of Sarah to choose a rapist to bring up her children?´
        ´But how can a rapist possibly be a good father?´

        • JN

          A rapist can’t be a good father – I have a feeling that you are waiting for us to give extremely obvious answers to obvious questions. LOL!

        • JN

          I think you have insulted our Catholic sensibilities quite enough. This discussion is now bordering on the idiotic!

        • JN

          “nuances”? Since when have the Ten Commandments and the moral law been subject to “nuances”. What you are preaching here is moral relativism, a heresy.

          • Athanasius,

            On this side of the pond, it’s still January 18th, which on the Byzantine calendar is the Feast of St. Athanasius and St. Cyril of Alexandria. (Both Saints have their own separate feasts too.)

            Happy Feast Day!

            Margaret 🇺🇸

  7. Sorry to upset Sarah, but yes, she is an adultress and needs to change her ways. I’m so sorry for her predicament but there you have it. A sin is a sin is a sin…….

    • Before her conversion experience, Sarah did choose adultery and absolution cannot be given. But after that experience, when she wishes to live as sister and brother and does not want the children to grow up without both parents at home, (which would be the case if Mohammed carries out the threat of a civil divorce), can absolution be denied? Is reluctant submission (not acquiescence) to Mohammed´s sexual advances to be equated with deliberate choice?

      • JN

        This “living as sister and brother” nonsense is a cop out. They are not brother and sister, they are habitually sexual adults who clearly do not understand or respect temptation and fallen human nature. If she were truly converted to Our Lord and sorry for her sins she would get herself away from that situation immediately. The way things stand, she appears to be presuming upon her own strength and the mercy of God. That’s a very bad sign!

        • ¨they are habitually sexual adults¨
          No – she does not wish to engage in sex.

          ¨to live in the same house with a man she has previously had a very active sexual relationship with is tantamount to placing herself in a serious occasion of sin.¨

          In that case, is the Church herself complicit in sanctioning arrangements which entail a serious occasion of sin? That is, why does the Church not only permit a divorced and remarried couple to live in the same house (as sister and brother for the sake of the children) but also grant absolution, knowing – as St. John Paul II taught (See footnote 364 of Amoris Laetitia) – that the possibility of a new fall “should not prejudice the authenticity of the resolution”?

          Which means, if a divorced and remarried couple commit to live as brother and sister, absolution is given, and if they fail in their commitment and come back to the confessional, absolution is still given.

          Why is it that in their case, absolution can be repeatedly given whereas in Sarah´s case, absolution cannot be given even once – despite knowing that Sarah earnestly wishes to live only as sister and brother under one roof with Mohammed for the sake of the children, and that it would be unfair to attribute to her a choice to commit adultery merely because Mohammed forces himself on her? How can such kind of sacramental discipline be justified?

          The crux of the matter is whether Sarah chooses mortal sin – and going by https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ8CDmXYugw – can it really be said she chooses that?

          ¨If Sarah was truly converted then she would want to do the will of God, hard as it may be, not make excuses so that she can keep on living with the man with whom she originally committed adultery, especially when she knows he’s not a converted Catholic and still wants his way with her.¨
          Can it be said that she is making excuses? Making excuses to have sex?

          ¨If she were truly converted to Our Lord and sorry for her sins she would get herself away from that situation immediately.¨
          ¨The other sin here is the continued sin of scandal she gives to her children by continuing to live under the same roof with a man she is not married to. Much better for her to explain to them that she has done wrong and is going to remedy the situation by separation. ¨
          2 problems with that:
          1) A separation can entail a messy divorce and she fears that a civil court may not grant custody of Mohammed´s children to her. Even if custody of all 4 children is given to her, she wants to avoid a situation where the children grow up without one parent in the home.

          2) Merely ´continuing to live under the same roof with a man she is not married to´ by itself need not be a sin of scandal. When the Church herself permits the sister and brother situation, is she being complicit in occasioning scandal?

          ´If she doesn’t take the necessary steps to ensure their salvation through the Church then the liklihood is Mohammed will one day whip them off to the Mosque when he has a “conversion experience”.´

          Yes, but then again, you are presuming that he won´t fight in a civil court for custody of his children and that custody would not be granted to him. Which is what Sarah fears.

          Her fears and anxieties may indicate that she still has a way to go to trust in Providence – but again, the key question is, – does she choose mortal sin and are her actions / non-actions grave enough to refuse absolution?

          • JN,

            Two things –

            1) by living as brother and sister, that means both parties agree to the deal. Mohammed has not and so Sarah has taken it upon herself to speak for him, I presume – I have neither time nor inclination to read all that stuff because….

            2) Church teaching is very clear that we cannot do evil, even with the intention of bringing about good. That is ALWAYS wrong, in the eyes of God.

            As an aside, she is kidding herself if she thinks it’s good for her children to live in that situation, where abuse of various types, psychological, sexual, physical, is condoned by the mother. She needs to get out of the situation asap.

            Finally, she being this wonderfully converted soul, we can presume that she is not taking contraceptive measures to prevent another child?

            Nope? Well, there you go, she is not only committing adultery, disguising it as penance, but she is compounding that sin by abusing her own body through contraceptive use, and so on.

            It’s all so bloomin’ obvious that I fear you are having us on… she said most ungrammatically.

            • ´Sarah has taken it upon herself to speak for him´
              No – she wishes to live as sister and brother but he doesn´t agree and forces himself on her. Can his action be attributed as a mortal sin chosen by Sarah?

              ´ Church teaching is very clear that we cannot do evil, even with the intention of bringing about good. That is ALWAYS wrong, in the eyes of God.´
              Of course. If the argument were: because Mohammed threatens divorce, it is ok for Sarah to choose to have sex for the sake of the children, that would be error. That would be saying, you can do evil with the intention of bringing about good. But that is not the case here.

              ´where abuse of various types, psychological, sexual, physical, is condoned by the mother.´
              Not condoned. She feels trapped. Leaving implies the possibility of one of her fears coming true:
              1) children grow up without one parent at home
              2) custody of Mohammed´s children being granted to him.

              ´In reality she is choosing evil. And, to add to her sin, dressing it up as a penance.´
              ¨she cannot hand herself over as a sex object and think she’s not sinning…´
              That is not what she is doing or choosing. Not only https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ8CDmXYugw but also, not to impose or sound offensive – may I suggest you take time, if possible, to read the actual nuances of the Sarah case?

              ´And somebody needs to tell her that no court will hand her children over to a man with a history of sexual abuse. That’s a given.´
              No. Consider the following lines in that post:
              ´After ´guiding´ Sarah into the belief that it is worth enduring a risky painful legal fight, if things turn ugly and there is a messy divorce proceeding, (with the probable difficulty of proving that Mohammed forces himself on Sarah), while a court may – depending again on the country and the culture – take a dim view of Mohammed’s actions, the probability of a secular court giving credence to a so-called “(Christian) conversion experience” is low. (Sarah may have to point to that experience as the trigger for her wish to live as sister and brother with Mohammed.)
              And any talk about wanting to live as sister and brother may itself not quite cut it with the judge / lawyer for Mohammed, who can wonder: “Why then did you not only marry him – raising legitimate expectation on his part of sexual relations – but also allow him to become the father of two children, only to now expect him to suddenly stop having sexual needs?”
              Moreover, what hangs in the balance is – who would get custody of the children of the second union? (particularly if Mohammed´s lawyer forcefully argues that in order to not let a court be seen as a party to ´imposition of religious beliefs under the garb of so-called conversion experiences´, it would be best, under the circumstances, for custody of the children of the second union to be handed to the father, so that it serves as a warning and deterrence against ´gold-diggers´ like Sarah´)

              ´Any mother not concerned that her children are living under the same roof with a sex abuser, a mother who, in facts, thinks it’s better than not having him there, is not a fit mother and deserves her children to be placed in care.´
              Given the situation Sarah finds herself in, is that really a solution? And is it fair to judge Sarah in that manner? Is it not blaming the victim?

              • “Sarah feels trapped”

                Feelings are irrelevant, you don’t allow yourself to be abused just because you feel trapped or obligated or whatever.

                Courts these days are very open to the rights of women to say “no” including married women. Google to see how many cases there are of men being prosecuted for raping wives.

                Sarah has no excuse. She finds it easier to say with the man – is her marriage even valid if she was married before? Did she get a valid annulment? So, all in all, she’d decided to stay but she can’t have her cake and eat it, she can’t expect God to absolve her from doing evil, whatever her reasons are, IMHO (which is based on the Catholic doctrine of never being permitted to do evil, even for good intentions).

                • ´you don’t allow yourself to be abused´…
                  She does not choose to be abused. She does have fears and anxieties of the probable consequences of speaking up, though.

                  ´ is her marriage even valid if she was married before?´
                  There is no argument being made that the second union is a marriage.

                  ´Did she get a valid annulment? ´
                  It is made clear toward the beginning of the post that a declaration of nullity cannot be obtained because the first marriage is a valid sacramental one.

                  ´she can’t have her cake and eat it, she can’t expect God to absolve her from doing evil,´
                  Implies that she wants to have sex or be abused. Implies that she chooses to do evil. Which is not the case here.

                  ´the Catholic doctrine of never being permitted to do evil, even for good intentions)´

                  Again, if the argument were: because Mohammed threatens divorce, it is ok for Sarah to choose to have sex for the sake of the children, that would be error. That would be saying, you can do evil with the intention of bringing about good. But that is not the case here.

                  Not sure if the nuances are being grasped.

                • ´Courts these days are very open to the rights of women to say “no” including married women.´
                  Yes, but Sarah´s fear is that a secular court may not be all that open to a ´Christian conversion experience´ story and that it won´t want to be seen as a party to endorsing ´imposition of religious beliefs under the garb of so-called conversion experiences – especially Christian conversion experiences!´.

                  • JN

                    She doesn’t need to mention religion, just say she doesn’t want to engage in sex any more.

                    The woman is an adulteress, end of discussion. Any priest who encourages her to stay in such an abusive relationship, is committing grave sin himself by pretending to absolve her.

                    I don’t think I’ve ever read so much nonsense gathered in one place in my whole life, LOL!

                    • ´She doesn’t need to mention religion, just say she doesn’t want to engage in sex any more.´

                      Presumably in a civil court, right? Whether she mentions it or not, Mohammed´s lawyer is quite likely to bring up the subject and make it an excuse to mock Sarah. To quote from the blog:

                      ´Why should this court allow one party to impose her faith on another? Considering your ´track record´, viz., –
                      you said ¨I do¨ to John, then it turned out to be ¨I don´t¨;
                      you said ¨I do¨ to Mohammed and now it looks like ¨I don´t¨ under the cloak of religious convictions,
                      – why should this court grant custody of the children to a woman who can´t seem to make up her mind or provide a stable marital / family environment?´

                      ´Any priest who encourages her to stay in such an abusive relationship…´
                      Again, not sure if the nuances are being grasped. The priest does not encourage any such thing. In the confessional, the priest carefully discerns that mortal sin is not being deliberately chosen by Sarah. The decision to stay with Mohammed is taken in conscience by Sarah – but that decision is only for the sake of the welfare of the children and not to engage in adulterous acts with him.

                      Essentially, the Church suggests the option to divorced and remarried couples to stay under one roof as brother and sister for the sake of the children. Sarah chooses that option in order to avoid the children losing out on the presence of a parent at home (in the event of separation / civil divorce). But when the option suggested by the Church, viz., living as brother and sister is not working on the ground due to non-cooperation from one party, can the other party be said to be deliberately choosing mortal sin?

              • JN,

                She is not a victim! She is choosing – for her own convoluted, anything but Catholic, reasons, to stay in that situation.

                Look. I’m not sure whether you are a poor soul, perhaps a priest, genuinely confused and trying to sort out this fictitious woman’s plight in the light of Amoris Laetitia or a better class of troll than we’ve been used to here 😀 but, whatever, I can’t see how we can be of any further help to you.

                AL is an heretical document – forget about trying to test it out. It’s for the bin.

                Now, I hope to post another discussion topic when I find a few minutes later, but, in the meantime, let’s forget about trying to solve this “Sarah case” because only someone looking for excuses to absolve (literally) Sarah, would be willing to continue the discussion. It’s pointless. Her situation is simple: -woman, living in an adulterous union, with two children to one man and two children to a second man, with whom she happens to be cohabiting right now. We’re told she doesn’t want to be there, but actions speak louder than words, so forgive me if I don’t fall about the place feeling sorry for “trapped” Sarah. My sympathy goes to her children, living with such a confused woman.

                Now, the topic is about whether or not 2018 will be the year of formal schism, thanks to our shocking pontiff.

                What thinkest thou, JN?

              • “…she wishes to live as sister and brother but he doesn´t agree and forces himself on her. Can his action be attributed as a mortal sin chosen by Sarah?”

                Yes. If he doesn’t agree then she should be out of there as fast as her legs can carry her. No point hanging around waiting to become a rape martyr! That’s insanity! No court in the world would accept that tripe as an excuse, yet it’s put forward as an excuse for breaking the law of God.

                “Of course. If the argument were: because Mohammed threatens divorce, it is ok for Sarah to choose to have sex for the sake of the children, that would be error. That would be saying, you can do evil with the intention of bringing about good. But that is not the case here.”

                So what is the case here?

                “Not condoned. She feels trapped. Leaving implies the possibility of one of her fears coming true:
                1) children grow up without one parent at home
                2) custody of Mohammed´s children being granted to him.”

                Better for children to grow up with one healthy parent in a Catholic home than two parents in a house of rape, so that excuse is blown out of the water. Likewise the other, for no court would give a rapist custody of children. This is all so basic.

                “…Consider the following lines in that post:
                ´After ´guiding´ Sarah into the belief that it is worth enduring a risky painful legal fight, if things turn ugly and there is a messy divorce proceeding, (with the probable difficulty of proving that Mohammed forces himself on Sarah), while a court may – depending again on the country and the culture – take a dim view of Mohammed’s actions, the probability of a secular court giving credence to a so-called “(Christian) conversion experience” is low. (Sarah may have to point to that experience as the trigger for her wish to live as sister and brother with Mohammed.)
                And any talk about wanting to live as sister and brother may itself not quite cut it with the judge / lawyer for Mohammed, who can wonder: “Why then did you not only marry him – raising legitimate expectation on his part of sexual relations – but also allow him to become the father of two children, only to now expect him to suddenly stop having sexual needs?”
                Moreover, what hangs in the balance is – who would get custody of the children of the second union? (particularly if Mohammed´s lawyer forcefully argues that in order to not let a court be seen as a party to ´imposition of religious beliefs under the garb of so-called conversion experiences´, it would be best, under the circumstances, for custody of the children of the second union to be handed to the father, so that it serves as a warning and deterrence against ´gold-diggers´ like Sarah´)…”

                The lengths liberals will go to in order to justify sin is quite staggering. What a load of tosh! It seems all reason has now gone completely out of the window.

                “Given the situation Sarah finds herself in, is that really a solution? And is it fair to judge Sarah in that manner? Is it not blaming the victim?”

                No, it’s blaming a woman who is a complete idiot who is unfit to be in charge of children. There are mothers who would sacrifice their lives rather than put their children at risk, yet this selfish bint cohabits with a man who rapes her for fun while claiming that she really just wants to be his sister. Give me a break! She needs committed to the nearest mental hospital.

                Just as well this story is fiction, or rather science fiction. Not the real world!

          • JN

            Neither John Paul II nor Francis can alter the moral law taught consistently for 2000 years, so you must be reading them wrong. As a Catholic you shouldn’t have to be told this, it’s basic stuff. Look up the limits to papal authority!

            What we are dealing with here is a big liberal ruse to justify sinful living, but informed faithful Catholics will not fall for it.

            Sin is never justifiable, no matter how many ifs, buts and maybes are presented by evil men to lead the unwary into compromise with the divine law. The objective is to supplant God’s law with human law on the basis of feigned human mercy. Satan’s hand is clearly all over this.

            For your information, the Church did not get it wrong for 2000 years before Amoris Laetitia. That morally relativist document is the problem. Chapter 8 is clearly at odds with the divine law and that’s why Pope Francis refuses to clarify for those who have asked him. The rubbish he has written in justification to others, such as the Argentine bishops, doesn’t come close to a clarification. It’s all liberal claptrap designed to confuse.

      • JN,

        the woman isn’t married to Mohammed! There’s no “nuance” here! She is living in adultery and there is no true conversion either or she wouldn’t stay because she is participating in Mohammed’s sin, a grave sin in itself.

        I’ve never read such a load of nonsense in my life! The priest in the confessional is a nut if he can’t see what is plainly evident. Woman pretending conversion (even if she doesn’t realise it but there is no true conversion) and leaving her children in the care of a Muslim.

        • I meant to add, all for the sake of keeping up the appearance of a marriage which doesn’t exist in the first place. If this is a real case, then those kids should sue for the damage to their psyche that this stupid woman is doing.

  8. I’ve been watching this exchange from the sidelines (without peanuts or popcorn or a soft drink, I might add), and it seems to me that the introductory premise of these “Sarah” articles is unacceptable right from the get-go. Here is the premise:

    “…an attempt to reach out and arrive at the via media between both sides of the debate on chapter eight of Amoris Laetitia (AL).”

    There is no “via media,” nor any “debate,” between good and evil, nor between sin and grace, nor between Heaven and Hell. Nor is there a “via media,” nor any “debate,” between the Magisterium of the Church and Amoris Laetitia. To presume that there is delivers one into the diabolical hands of “situation ethics.” Therefore, these “Musings from a periphery” are worthless, and whoever concocted this rubbish should be ashamed of themselves.

  9. As to my earlier question regarding what a formal schism would look like, here is an interesting answer from Bishop Schneider (quoted on Fr. Z):

    “We are witnessing today a strange form of schism. Externally, numerous ecclesiastics safeguard formal unity with the pope, at times for the good of their own career or out of a kind of papolatry. And at the same time they have broken their ties with Christ, the Truth, and with Christ, the true head of the Church. On the other hand there are ecclesiastics who are denounced as schismatics despite the fact they live in canonical peace with the pope and remain faithful to Christ, the Truth by assiduously promoting His Gospel of Truth. It is evident that those who are internally the true schismatics, in relation to Christ, make use of calumnies for the sole purpose of silencing the voice of Truth, by absurdly projecting their own state of internal schism on those ecclesiastics who, regardless of praise of rebuke, defend the divine truths. In fact, as Sacred Scripture says, the word of Divine Truth is not bound. Even if a number of high-ranking officials in the Church today temporarily obscure the truth of the doctrine of marriage and its perennial discipline, this doctrine and discipline will always remain unchangeable in the Church because the Church is not a human foundation, but a divine one.”

  10. RCA Victor

    The Bishop makes the point very concisely. Pity there are not more prelates like him, faithful to Christ whether in season or out of season, as St. Paul put it.

  11. From what I read bishop Schneider has said in an interview which was in French, (Mundabor has the interview on his website) that the Pope and all those bishops who agree with him, are in schism from the perennial teaching of the Church and hence, from Christ himself. The schism is already here and it has the Pope as its head. When asked what should happen now, Bishop Schneider said that the faithful bishops of the Church should proclaim the authentic teaching of the Church and show their opposition to this schism.

  12. @ Athanasius & RCAVictor:
    I´m afraid there has been a misunderstanding. Divine law is not negotiable depending on material circumstances. The Ten Commandments and the moral law are not subject to “nuances¨. Situation ethics is not being promoted.

    @ Editor:
    ¨the topic is about whether or not 2018 will be the year of formal schism, thanks to our shocking pontiff. What thinkest thou, JN?¨
    I hope it won´t come to a schism.
    As noted in that blog, ´ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia, ibi Deus.´

    @ all: It looks like our perceptions on the Sarah case differ, and there is no point in stretching this out. I think it may be better for me to refrain from responding. Let us agree to disagree and remember each other in prayer.

    God bless.

    • JN

      There has been a de facto schism for years now, with successive popes defying Christ’s teaching that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation, and pandering to those already IN formal schism, to give the impression that they have no need of the Catholic Church. Now, with Pope Francis, the Faith having been undermined, the morals are under attack and that has wakened up the sleepy heads who previously believed that bad popes were all in the medieval past.

      Where the office of Peter is, there is the Church – but doesn’t mean we can’t, and do, have bad popes. Pope Francis is the worst ever, without a doubt. The gift of infallibility has prevented him from making binding his heresies, but he has come perilously close and thus many people (apparently, your good self included) have been led into the error of thinking that God’s law is flexible, depending on personal circumstances.

      Thank you for your promise of prayers for us – God bless.

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