Scots Priest Responds To Minnesota Bishops’ Decision To Re-open Churches…

Editor writes …

We are blessed in Scotland to have a few sound, traditional-leaning priests, including some who offer the traditional Latin Mass, across the Scottish dioceses.  One of these priests has written to the Bishops in Minnesota to thank them for their decision to re-open the churches in their dioceses in defiance of a state order.   Father is willing to have his name published – in fact, he was initially emphatic that I should do so – but I decided to withhold his name for reasons of prudence, not least because lay people who have approached the Scottish Bishops with pleas to re-open the churches, have not exactly received a sympathetic hearing. This from a reliable source: “I’ve heard, via several sources, that anyone who publicly, via social media, e-mail, letter or otherwise, dares to question the actions and decisions of the Scottish Bishops, gets subtly or at times aggressively pressured into keeping quiet. I understand that many hundreds of people have been in touch to express their deep concerns and to ask for an immediate reopening of Churches.
Thus, better not to risk any episcopal retribution just yet. The day is coming, fast enough, when we will all have to be prepared to stand up and be counted, with not even a courtesy nod to human respect.  For now, though, we give thanks that we do have some priests who are doing their best to keep the Faith alive at this trying time, and at least one who is prepared to speak out. Below, Father’s letter to the Bishops in Minnesota…

Letter from Scots Priest… 

Dear Archbishop Bernard and all Bishops in Minnesota,

Thank you, God Bless you, may the Holy Ghost continue to guide you and lead you for the benefit of the Body of Christ in Minnesota, and I believe, the world, for the feeding of the “sheep”, with the Sacraments/return to public celebration, and so again enabling souls to be nourished by the primary means of their salvation, the Sacraments.

Sadly, most of the shepherds have run from the gate with this wolf/fear driven deceit of the world, and gone along with the powers of the world. By doing so they are treating the Catholic Church and its members as an institution rather than the Body of Christ.

Sorry to be critical, but these Bishops have have failed in their duty to declare themselves for Christ in the presence of men, and so look after their flock.

The re-opening of your Catholic churches in the way you are doing is what is needed, is truly for the benefit of your flocks and, I hope and pray the world, and hopefully will bring other Bishops back to the Truth of how they should be shepherding their flocks.

God Bless you all.
Will be keeping you in my daily prayers.
[Name etc] 

Comments invited…  

Bishop on Unbelievers in Hierarchy

LAST WEEK, Rorate Caeli interviewed His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, one of the most visible prelates working on the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass and faith, on numerous topics.

In this wide-ranging interview, His Excellency thoughtfully expounded on issues critical to the Church in this great time of crisis. Read the entire interview so you don’t miss His Excellency’s thoughts on the current status of the SSPX, women’s participation in the Mass and the washing of women’s feet, whether Russia was ever truly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Summorum Pontificum and anti-pastoral bishops and much, much more. 

For several past generations until our days there reigns in the life of the Church a kind of 'pope-centrism' or a kind of 'papolatria' which is undoubtedly excessive compared with the moderate and supernatural vision of the person of the Pope and his due veneration in the past times. Such an excessive attitude towards the person of the Pope generates in the practice an excessive and wrong theological meaning regarding the dogma of the Papal infallibility.

For several past generations until our days there reigns in the life of the Church a kind of ‘pope-centrism’ or a kind of ‘papolatria’ which is undoubtedly excessive compared with the moderate and supernatural vision of the person of the Pope and his due veneration in the past times. Such an excessive attitude towards the person of the Pope generates in the practice an excessive and wrong theological meaning regarding the dogma of the Papal infallibility.


POST-SYNOD CHURCH & UNBELIEVERS IN THE HIERARCHY

Rorate Caeli: In the recent Synod, we will not know the legal impact it will have on the Church for some time, as it’s up to Pope Francis to move next. Regardless of the eventual outcome, for all intent and purposes, is there already a schism in the Church? And, if so, what does it mean practically speaking? How will it manifest itself for typical Catholics in the pews?

H.E. Schneider: Schism means according to the definition of the Code of Canon Law, can. 751: The refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with those members of the Church who are submitted to the Supreme Pontiff. One has to distinguish the defect in belief or heresy from schism. The defect in belief or heresy is indeed a greater sin than schism, as Saint Thomas Aquinas said: ‘Unbelief is a sin committed against God Himself, according as He is Himself the First Truth, on which faith is founded; whereas schism is opposed to ecclesiastical unity, which is a lesser good than God Himself. Wherefore the sin of unbelief is generically more grievous than the sin of schism’ (II-II, q. 39, a. 2 c).

The very crisis of the Church in our days consists in the ever growing phenomenon that those who don’t fully believe and profess the integrity of the Catholic faith frequently occupy strategic positions in the life of the Church, such as professors of theology, educators in seminaries, religious superiors, parish priests and even bishops and cardinals. And these people with their defective faith profess themselves as being submitted to the Pope.

The height of confusion and absurdity manifests itself when such semi-heretical clerics accuse those who defend the purity and integrity of the Catholic faith as being against the Pope – as being according to their opinion in some way schismatics. For simple Catholics in the pews, such a situation of confusion is a real challenge of their faith, in the indestructibility of the Church. They have to keep strong the integrity of their faith according to the immutable Catholic truths, which were handed over by our fore-fathers, and which we find in in the Traditional catechisms and in the works of the Fathers and of the Doctors of the Church.

Rorate Caeli: Speaking of typical Catholics, what will the typical parish priest face now that he didn’t face before the Synod began? What pressures, such as the washing of women’s feet on Maundy Thursday after the example of Francis, will burden the parish priest even more than he is burdened today?

H.E. Schneider: A typical Catholic parish priest should know well the perennial sense of the Catholic faith, the perennial sense as well of the laws of the Catholic liturgy and, knowing this, he should have an interior sureness and firmness. He should always remember the Catholic principle of discernment: ‘Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus’, i.e. ‘What has been always, everywhere and from all’ believed and practiced.

The categories ‘always, everywhere, all’ are not to be understood in an arithmetical, but in a moral sense. A concrete criterion for discernment is this: ‘Does this change in a doctrinal affirmation, in a pastoral or in a liturgical practice constitute a rupture with the centuries-old, or even with the millennial past? And does this innovation really make the faith shine clearer and brighter? Does this liturgical innovation bring to us closer the sanctity of God, or manifest deeper and more beautiful the Divine mysteries? Does this disciplinary innovation really increase a greater zeal for the holiness of life?’

As concretely to the innovation of washing the feet of women during the Holy Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday: This Holy Mass celebrates the commemoration of the institution of the sacraments of the Eucharist and the Priesthood. Therefore, the foot washing of women along with the men not only distracts from the main focus on Eucharist and on Priesthood, but generates confusion regarding the historical symbolism of the ‘twelve’ and of the apostles being of male sex. The universal tradition of the Church never allowed the foot washing during the Holy Mass, but instead outside of Mass, in a special ceremony.

By the way: the public washing and usually also kissing of the feet of women on the part of a man, in our case, of a priest or a bishop, is considered by every person of common sense in all cultures as being improper and even indecent. Thanks be to God no priest or bishop is obliged to wash publicly the feet of women on Holy Thursday, for there is no binding norm for it, and the foot washing itself is only facultative. 

PRIESTLY FRATERNITY OF ST. PIUS X (SSPX)

Rorate Caeli: A non-typical situation in the church is the Priestly Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Why does Your Excellency think that so many Catholics are afraid of the SSPX or anxious about any association with it? From what Your Excellency has seen, what gifts do you think the SSPX can bring to the mainstream Church?

H.E. Schneider: When someone or something is unimportant and weak, nobody has fear of it. Those who have fear of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X ultimately have fear of the perennial Catholic truths and of its demands in the moral and the liturgical domain.

When the SSPX tries to believe, to worship and to live morally the way our fore-fathers and the best-known Saints did during a millennial period, then one has to consider the life and the work of these Catholic priests and faithful of the SSPX as a gift for the Church in our days – even as one of the several instruments which the Divine Providence uses to remedy the enormity of the current general crisis of the faith, of the morals and of the liturgy inside the Church.

In some sectors of the SSPX there are, however, as it is the case in every human society some eccentric personalities. They have a method and a mindset which lack justice and charity and consequently the true ‘sentire cum ecclesia,’ and there is the danger of an ecclesial autocephaly and to be the last judicial instance in the Church. However, to my knowledge, the healthier part corresponds to the major part of the SSPX and I consider their General Superior, His Excellency Monsignor Bernard Fellay, as an exemplarily and true Catholic bishop. There is some hope for a canonical recognition of the SPPX.  To read the entire, very outspoken interview click  here

 

I consider [the SSPX] General Superior, His Excellency Monsignor Bernard Fellay, [pictured] as an exemplarily and true Catholic bishop. (Bishop Schneider) (Bishop Schneider)

I consider [the SSPX] General Superior, His Excellency Monsignor Bernard Fellay, [pictured] as an exemplarily and
true Catholic bishop.
(Bishop Schneider)

 

Comment:

Bishop Schneider is to be commended for speaking out. Will any UK Bishops follow suit?  If not, why not? 

Irish Laity Challenge Archbishop of Dublin To Support Catholic Teaching on Homosexuality…

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Archbishop Martin of Dublin shocked Catholics recently by using the term “homophobia” (as Pope Francis shocked the world by referring to  “gays”).  

The archbishop has, in the past, shown himself to be sympathetic to and tolerant of the homosexual agenda – click  on the photo to read more and then click here to read about the funeral of the homosexual pop star whose “husband” was publicly recognised by the priest during the funeral service in Dublin. A number of concerned laity wrote to the archbishop about this, including the editor of Catholic Truth, but were ignored. The clergy grapevine say this is not unusual, that Archbishop Martin “never answers letters” even to his priests, apparently. Well, if it’s true, as Belloc claims,  that  “the grace of God is found in courtesy” that tells us a lot about the Archbishop of Dublin.

The invitation to known homosexual activist, Fr Timothy  Radcliffe to address a conference in Dublin, is the latest evidence of the archbishop’s support for the homosexual rights movements. All the publicity surrounding this invitation, with calls for the organisers to withdraw the invitation, were ignored – notably by the person with responsibility for squashing dissent and refusing dissenters a platform – Archbishop Martin.

Happily, one group of Catholic laity decided not to let this latest scandal pass without taking a stand. They are calling on their archbishop to do his duty and unequivocally proclaim the truth about homosexuality. This from their press release:

The Legion of Saint Joseph was responsible for the Rosary protest at Father Timothy Radcliffe’s talk at the Divine Mercy Conference in Dublin on 22nd February.

We are a group of lay people who are fed up of the wishy-washy talk from the majority of priests and bishops. Father Radcliffe has expressed views which are repugnant to Catholic moral teaching e.g. that civil unions are acceptable.

We call on His Grace Archbishop Martin of Dublin, in whose diocese this conference took place, to state in unequivocal terms the constant teaching of the Church, that civil unions are not acceptable nor any other legal instrument which encourages or condones unnatural lifestyles.

We call on other Catholics attached to the unchanging teaching of the Church to make their voices heard and to resist as much as they can, even publicly against those who would undermine the doctrine given to us by Saint Patrick.  END.

Is the Archbishop of Dublin likely to rise to this challenge from concerned Irish Catholics? And what about that prompt to the consciences of fellow laity – will they rise from their slumber to defend the Faith and God’s natural moral order? I know what I think. What do you think?