Cardinal Müller: the Faith first – if necessary, priests to disobey bishops…

The German episcopate is divided on the question of granting Protestants access to Eucharistic Communion, and the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reminds priests that they are not obliged to obey their bishops when they order them to commit acts that  go against the doctrine and practice of the Church.

Priests are “not bound by Divine Law to administer Holy Communion to a non-Catholic, and in any case,they certainly cannot be bound by any episcopal order,” declared Cardinal Gerhard Müller on December 11, 2018, in an interview with the information website LifeSite.

This statement from the former prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith comes one month after the bishop of Münster, Bishop Felix Genn, declared on the contrary that no priest has the right to refuse Communion to a Protestant.

Ever since Pope Francis’ visit to the Lutheran church in Rome (November 15, 2015), when in answer to a Protestant woman’s question on the matter, he evasively responded, “I would never dare to give permission for this because it is not in my authority. Speak with the Lord and move forward,” many bishops have rushed headlong into what they believe to be a carte blanche for intercommunion.

Cardinal Müller recalls that there are cases in which a priest has to resist his bishop “just as St. Paul resisted St. Peter,” quoting the passage from the Epistle to the Galatians (2:11). We might add that St. Paul was not only a priest, but also a bishop, and even an apostle, and that he took the liberty of publicly rebuking the first pope “because he was not walking uprightly unto the truth of the Gospel.” Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre did exactly the same thing.

The Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten’s interview with Fr. Davide Pagliarani, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, on December 15, 2018, echoes this position, recalling that it is “inconceivable that the Church was mistaken for two millennia and that she found the truth about these questions only during the years of the Council, between 1962 and 1965.”   Source

Comment:

Before our enemies – or even some well-meaning readers – come racing on to accuse me of posting a misleading headline, because the Cardinal is referring to Intercommunion when he says priests are under no obligation to obey their bishops, allow me to point out that, logically, if a priest may disobey his bishop in a situation where the Faith is being undermined or openly attacked, then it stands to reason that this same “disobedience” applies to each and every instance where the Faith and Catholic Morals are under attack.  Yes? No?  Not sure?  Let’s hear it!  

Church Crisis/Duties of State: how do we make the best use of our time?

Editor writes…

Since the announcement that this blog will close permanently at the beginning of next summer, there has been some interesting discussion (on the

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” (Lord of the Rings)

Christmas thread) about the use of blogging as a means of apostolic action, a challenge, to those responsible for the crisis in the Church and a means of support for the faithful suffering as a result of the scandals. There is also the issue of carrying out our personal duties of state, and of pursuing our own spiritual well-being. How to make best use of the little time available to us, is, really, the issue at the heart of this debate.  Enter St Alphonsus Liguori!

St Aphonsus Liguori teaches… 

SERMON XXIV. THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER. – ON THE VALUE OF TIME “A little while, and now you shall not see me.” JOHN xvi. 16.

THERE is nothing shorter than time, but there is nothing more valuable. There is nothing shorter than time; because the past is no more, the future is uncertain, and the present is but a moment. This is what Jesus Christ meant when he said: “A little while, and now you shall not see me. ” We may say the same of our life, which, according to St. James is but a vapour, which is soon scattered for ever. ”For what is your life? It is a vapour which appeareth for a little while.” (James iv. 14.) But the time of this life is as precious as it is short; for, in every moment, if we spend it well, we can acquire treasures of merits for heaven; but, if we employ time badly, we may in each moment commit sin, and merit hell. I mean this day to show you how precious is every moment of the time which God gives us, not to lose it, and much less to commit sin, but to perform good works and to save our souls.


1. “Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee.” (Isa. xlix. 8.) St. Paul explains this passage, and says, that the acceptable time is the time in which God has determined to confer his favours upon us. He then adds: ”Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. vi. 2.) The Apostle exhorts us not to spend unprofitably the present time, which he calls the day of salvation; because, perhaps, after this day of salvation, there shall be no salvation for us. “The time,” says the same Apostle, “is short; it remaineth that they that weep be as though they wept not; that they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as if they used it not.” (1 Cor. vii. 29, 30, 31.) 

Since, then, the time which we have to remain on this earth is short, the Apostle tells those who weep, that they ought not to weep, because their sorrows shall soon pass away; and those who rejoice, not to fix their affections on their enjoyments, because they shall soon have an end. Hence he concludes, that we should use this world, not to enjoy its transitory goods, but to merit eternal life. 

2. ”Son,” says the Holy Ghost, ”observe the time.” (Eccl. iv. 2 3.) Son, learn to preserve time, which is the most precious and the greatest gift that God can bestow upon you. St. Bernardino of Sienna teaches that time is of as much value as God; because in every moment of time well spent the possession of God is merited. He adds that in every instant of this life a man may obtain the pardon of his sins, the grace of God, and the glory of Paradise. “Modico tempore potest homo lucrari gratiam et gloriam.” Hence St. Bonaventure says that “no loss is of greater moment than the loss of time.” (Ser. xxxvii. in Sept.) 

3. But, in another place, St. Bernardino says that, though there is nothing more precious than time, there is nothing less valuable in the estimation of men. ”Nil pretiosius tempore, nil vilius reputatur.” (Ser. ii. ad Schol.) You will see some persons spending four or five hours in play. If you ask them why they lose so much time, they answer: To amuse ourselves. Others remain half the day standing in the street, or looking out from a window. If you ask them what they are doing, they shall say in reply, that they are passing the time. And why says the same saint, do you lose this time? Why should you lose even a single hour, which the mercy of God gives you to weep for your sins, and to acquire the divine grace? “Donec hora pertranseat, quam tibi ad agendam pœnitentiam, ad acquirendam gratiam, miseratio conditoris indulserit.”

4. O time, despised by men during life, how much shall you be desired at the hour of death, and particularly in the other world! Time is a blessing which we enjoy only in this life; it is not enjoyed in the next; it is not found in heaven nor in hell. In hell, the damned exclaim with tears: “Oh! that an hour were given to us.” They would pay any price for an hour or for a minute, in which they might repair their eternal ruin. But this hour or minute they never shall have. In heaven there is no weeping; but, were the saints capable of sorrow, all their wailing should arise from the thought of having lost in this life the time in which they could have acquired greater glory, and from the conviction that this time shall never more be given to them. A deceased Benedictine nun appeared in glory to a certain person, and said that she was in heaven, and in the enjoyment of perfect happiness; but that, if she could desire anything, it would be to return to life, and to suffer affliction, in order to merit an increase of glory. And she added that, to acquire the glory which corresponded to a single Ave Maria, she would be content to suffer till the day of judgment the long and painful sickness which brought on her death. Hence, St. Francis Borgia was careful to employ every moment time for God. When others spoke of useless things; he conversed with God by holy affections; and so recollected was he that, when asked his opinion on the subject of conversation, he knew not what answer to make. Being corrected for this, he said: I am content to be considered stupid, rather than lose my time in vanities. 

5. Some of you will say: What evil am I doing ? Is it not, I ask, an evil to spend your time in plays, in conversations, and useless occupations, which are unprofitable to the soul? Does God give you this time to lose it? “Let not,” says the Holy Ghost, ”the part of a good gift overpass thee.” (Eccl. xiv. 14.) The work men of whom St. Matthew speaks did no evil; they only lost time by remaining idle in the streets. But they were rebuked by the father of the family, saying “Why stand you here all the day idle ?” (Matt. xx. 6.) On the day of judgment Jesus Christ shall demand an account, not only of every month and day that has been lost, but even of every idle word. ”Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it on the day of judgment.” (Matt. xii. 36.) He shall likewise demand an account of every moment of the time which you shall lose. According to St. Bernard, all time which is not spent for God is lost timeClick here to read St Alphonsus’ entire sermon On The Value of Time (scroll to p.98)

Comments invited…  

A Happy & Holy Christmas Everyone!

 

Wishing bloggers, readers and visitors to this site, all the blessings of the holy season of Christmas. Hopefully you will enjoy the above video presentation,  paying homage to the new-born, long awaited Messiah. 

As an additional treat, our blogger Elizabeth, real name Christine Fletcher, emailed this link to her radio programme of Classical Christmas music, broadcast on Swansbrook Radio  – it’s absolutely beautiful, so enjoy!

As ever you are welcome to exchange Christmas greetings, share favourite carols, prayers etc, as well as stories and jokes in the “good clean fun category.”  Happy Christmas everyone!  

Advent Reflection: Preparing for Birth of Saviour & Second Coming of Christ… 

 

Comment: 

The blog will be closed to comments throughout Advent, to allow us all to prepare spiritually and materially for the Feast of Christmas. 

As we all know, in Advent we prepare firstly to welcome the long-awaited Messiah into the world, in celebration of the first Christmas when He came into the world to save us from sin and eternal death.  Secondly, we reflect on the Second Coming of Christ when He will come to judge the world.  Salvation and Judgment, then, are themes which give us plenty of food for meditation, reflection and prayer during  the four weeks of Advent. 

Again, as we know, and it is good to remind ourselves, Advent, like Lent,  is a time of penance – the “famine before the feast” – so, the Catholic Truth team wishes all of our bloggers, readers and lurkers, a very peaceful and productive Advent.  

The blog will re-open to comments on Christmas day.   

Notice from the Editor…

Advance Notice of Permanent Closure…

As I mentioned some time ago on one of the threads, we have decided to close the blog permanently.  This will take place in the next few months – we’ve not decided on a definite date, but the blog will be deleted, at latest, by the beginning of July, 2019.   When we have a definite date, I will post a notice, but, for now, we seek simply to give sufficient notice to anyone who may wish to copy particular articles or comments for future reference.   

30/11: St Andrew’s Day – Foibles & Fun

Editor writes…

In the video clip below, Ben Shapiro, a young Jewish man, well-known American social commentator, recounts an entertaining story about his one of his wife’s foibles…  

As we approach the Feast of our national patron, Saint Andrew, it’s perhaps a good time to take a break from all the serious debates, and share our stories of the foibles within our own family / circle of friends.  Makes us laugh – if not with family foibles, then with your favourite jokes. Feel free to share your own jokes and stories, favourite music for the Feast day – although don’t feel obliged to treat us to the bagpipes! 

And a word of warning.  It’s just about impossible, I’m very sad to say, to find a Scottish joke that falls into the category of “good, clean fun”.  I’ve found one of the very few, see below, so don’t feel obliged to post Scottish jokes.  Any jokes that fall into our strict “good, clean fun” rule, will be welcomed. Here’s one of my own favourites … although if you struggle to read the Tea-Towel below, you can read a slightly shorter version here  (with apologies to our friends south of the border!) And finally, to mark the Feast, enjoy the  hymn to St Andrew, performed beautifully below by a young girl, Maria, unaccompanied.  I’ve heard it in churches, with rousing organ accompaniment (and sometimes drums as well!) but in this rendition, we hear every word.  A lovely performance.  I’ve posted a comment on YouTube to let Maria, know that we are enjoying her video here.  Happy Feast, Maria, if you visit us! 

Happy Feast of St Andrew, when it comes, to one and all…    

Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Is The Consecration Of Russia Now Urgent?

 

Comment: 

It’s perhaps time to remind ourselves of the fact that Our Lady requested the Consecration of Russia by the Pope and Bishops, as a pre-condition of world peace. 

Is the near panic we are witnessing in the world of politics today, perhaps a sign that this request for the Consecration of Russia, so long ignored by successive popes, is now urgent?