I normally do not like to focus on the negative news in the Church on this blog. In recent years I have tried to make this an educational blog concerning many topics pertaining to the Catholic faith so that readers can be enriched and inspired by the riches of the Catholic Church. I intend to continue in that direction. But as we are experiencing odd times in the Church, I thought I would write another post concerning the synod and the issues concerning Church teaching on the family. As the news websites and blogs continue to debate the synod on the family, it seems to me that the majority of these people are missing the point. The liberals out there are harping on the fact that the Church needs to change her teaching on moral issues, while other groups insists that the Church is going to do no such thing and no one need not worry about the Church. In this post I want to focus on the latter group, those who are becoming known as Neo-Catholics.
For example, journalist Dr. Robert Moynihan recently released one of his letters about a recent meeting in which Cardinal Kasper and friends spoke about the recent synod. Moynihan was all too happy to report that Kasper and company had sincerely expressed that they had no desire to change the Church's teaching on marriage. I guess that report was supposed to make his readers feel at ease, and they could now go on as if everything was in the Church was now just peachy. Even worse, Neo-Catholics like Mark Shea continue to usher Catholics to move along, "nothing to see here folks!" For those of us who know the history of the Church, especially that of the past 60 years, we understand that a Pope, a synod or Magisterial document does not have to officially "change" Church doctrine to cause havoc in the Church.
This lackadaisical idea that all is well as long the Pope does not change Church teaching is utter nonsense. We should know and understand that the Church, which belongs to Christ Himself, cannot formally err in official doctrine. The Pope cannot teach heresy from the Chair of Peter or he would in effect, cease to be Pope. What people seem to miss is the fact the those in the Church, and in her hierarchy can completely ignore and teach a false Gospel which can mislead millions of people into a lukewarm faith, or worse, into practicing sacrilege. Bad practices in the Church can indeed erode away the faith and lead people in a direction opposite from the teaching of the Church. There need not be any "change" in doctrine. As they say, actions often speak louder than words. Let me give a few examples.
Pope Francis completely ignored the rules established for the Good Friday liturgy. He washed the feet of Muslin women. Our Neo-Catholic friends, snug in their neat little boxes would argue that the Pope can change whatever he would like in regard to the practice of the Liturgy, not understanding that the Pope is still prudentially bound to obey the liturgical laws of the Church. The Pope must responsibly follow the proper form to change these rubrics of the Liturgy. Usually in the past, this would have been well thought out and planned, and it would have included an explanation for the particular change. This would have been accompanied by a theological explanation as well. With Pope Francis we did not receive such an explanation, nor did we see him follow any formal protocol for liturgical change. Instead what Pope Francis demonstrated was a rambunctious attitude toward the liturgical tradition of the Church. This action in turn has given other bishops and priests the idea that they too can tinker with the rubrics and laws of the Church. Also as a result we get armchair hack theologians like Jimmy Akin making up excuses for the Pope so that their whole perfect world doesn't come crumbling in around them.
Likewise, we can have poorly written documents in the Church, which although may not "officially" change any Church doctrine, they do allow for erroneous interpretations. This allows many in the Church hierarchy to preach a false Gospel, either by their words or their actions. They in effect, hide behind the sloppy text of these documents which use new terminology to undermine traditional theology and philosophy, yet without directly opposing official Church teaching. When left without any stern correction and disciplinary action from the Pope, this all results in the loss of faith. The Mass of Paul VI gives us a perfect example of how a loosely constructed liturgy can be used to destroy the faith of millions. Sure the Mass of Paul VI is valid, but the composition of the Mass is not well constructed, and easily allows for theological error to creep into its execution. For example, a lack of rubrics promotes laxity and individual improvisation of the priests during Mass. The omission and changing of some of the most important prayers of the Mass have moved the focus off of man's sins and his redemption through Christ, to a focus on man himself. The Sacrificial aspect of the Mass is still on paper and yet, the average Novus Ordo Mass does not convey that Sacrifice in its practice. Instead it conveys the community of the people above the Sacrifice. Newsflash! It took no official change of doctrine to move the focus of the Mass off of the vertical, The Sacrifice of Christ, to the horizontal, a focus on man and the community. Theologians such as Father Gregory Klein have won the day in capitalizing on the weakness of the Novus Ordo and the subsequent weak texts on liturgy that have followed it since. Fr. Gregory Klein writes in his book, 'Pastoral Foundations of the Sacraments', page 86, the following, “Eucharist begins with the assembly, the people gather in the name of Jesus Christ. While the details of the environment in which the people gather, the occasion on which people gather, and the manner in which people gather are not unimportant, eucharist is about people.”
The same thing can happen with these synods on the family. All it will take are some ambiguous, shoddy constructed documents using new terminology to be ushered in by the modernist clergy, while the Pope and the rest of the clergy stand around voicing no opposition. If this happens we will see more hellfire and damnation spread throughout the Church. There will be no need to change doctrine because a majority of those in the Church will practice something contrary to Church teaching all the while keeping the official doctrine on paper. This is certainly already happening in the Church to some extent, but we have seen nothing to what will happen if this agenda gets pushed through to water down the moral teachings of the Church concerning the Natural Law and the family. This is exactly what all of the modern Popes up until John XXIII warned us about. They told us that modernism would destroy the faith from the inside of the Church. In reading many of the documents written by these Popes, it seems clear to me that they had no real worry about the Magisterium ever really changing the Church teaching. In fact, they believed that this would never happen. But what they did worry about were theologians in the Church going unchecked promoting modernism, which would slowly erode the faith of the Church. It is more like a poison gas attack than a nuclear bomb. The buildings still stand while the poison kills everyone inside. This is why Pope Pius X warned us that this was the synthesis of all heresies, and a noxious error. It was a heresy that needed no official changing of Church doctrine to destroy the faith of millions in the Church and put a stop to salvation of souls.
Its time for the Neo-Catholics to wake up and realize they are being played like Satan's golden fiddle. Every time the cog in the modernist wheel is moved forward it is harder and harder to move it back. It is like a ratchet, once it clicks over a notch it is extremely hard to snap it back into place. Those who are concerned with this synod on the family and our current Pope's negligent actions are not over reacting. We are concerned for the state of the Church and the state of people's souls. Those Catholics who are going on and on about the Pope not "officially" changing doctrine are completely missing the point. Let us be reminded of the gravity of the situation in the Church, as recorded by Saint Pope Pius X in Pascendi. The scary part is that we are experiencing the dire consequences of what Pope Pius X warned us about. In our day these enemies are no longer hidden, and perhaps this is God's plan all along.
Gravity of the Situation
2. That We make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church's open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man.3. Though they express astonishment themselves, no one can justly be surprised that We number such men among the enemies of the Church, if, leaving out of consideration the internal disposition of soul, of which God alone is the judge, he is acquainted with their tenets, their manner of speech, their conduct. Nor indeed will he err in accounting them the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For as We have said, they put their designs for her ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain, the more intimate is their knowledge of her. Moreover they lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fires. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt. Further, none is more skilful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious arts; for they double the parts of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and since audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance. To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for the strictest morality. Finally, and this almost destroys all hope of cure, their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.