June 11, 2015
June 10, 2015
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IT is a miserable time when a man’s Catholic profession is no voucher for his orthodoxy, and when a teacher of religion may be within the Church’s pale, yet external to her faith. Such has been for a season the trial of her children at various eras of her history. It was the state of things during the dreadful Arian ascendancy, when the flock had to keep aloof from the shepherd (from Newman’s ‘Idea of a University’)
The Vatican announced on Monday that Heiner Koch would be the new archbishop of Berlin. He was one of the bishops who participated in the ‘Shadow Synod’ in Rome the other day which according to one of its participants (and the fact is well-known, in any case, and denied by no 0ne), sought “a pastoral opening on issues such as communion for the divorced and remarried, and the pastoral care of homosexuals”.
In a February interview with a German newspaper, Bishop Koch called for changes in the pastoral care of homosexuals, saying that to “portray homosexuality as a sin is hurtful,” adding that the Church “needs a different language when it comes to homosexuals … I know gay couples who value reliability and commitment and live these in an exemplary manner.”
The archbishop of Berlin knows ‘gay couples’ who live their ‘commitment’ to each other in an exemplary way? Clearly we are not talking here about people who suffer from but resist temptations to unnatural lust, or how could he speak of ‘couples’. I don’t see how any reasonable person can think that Koch accepts the Church’s teaching about the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts. Yet this teaching is infallible in virtue of the ordinary and universal magisterium, and whoever denies it is a heretic.
So, what should Berlin’s Catholics do now? If we read in a history of the Church that some Catholics of the mid 4th century had blockaded the door of a cathedral so that the Arian bishop appointed to that see might not take possession of it, we should admire their initiative and determination. I suggest that it would be a good idea for Berlin’s Catholics to do the same. Not to stand to one side and hold placards; to keep him out. They are soldiers of Christ, in virtue of their confirmation. Let them fight for Him, and against Sodom.
June 6, 2015
The Russian Orthodox Church has broken off ecumenical contact with the Church of Scotland and the United Protestant Church of France. The latter has allowed its pastors to officiate at sodomarriages and the Church of Scotland has announced it will ‘ordain’ clergy who are in same-sex civil unions. Moscow says these are now no longer Christian communities, ecumenical dialogue with them is pointless, they are harbinger of the antichrist and are destined for hellfire. Refreshing. WWJD? This.
We have to face up to the fact that vast numbers of bishops and priests and laity who exercise functions in the church and identify themselves as Catholics and Christians are not. We cannot conduct ordinary church functions (e.g. synods) in such a context. How can one enter into discussions or indeed remain in communion with individuals who professedly repudiate divine revelation? In this sense the forthcoming synod is a trap. Catholic bishops cannot debate with nonbelievers concerning discipline and doctrine. Those members of the synod who profess the Catholic faith must insist that all members of the synod make clear profession of the Church’s teaching on sodomy and adultery and the eucharist before they agree to sit with them in synod. To do otherwise is already to have conceded that such matters are open to doubt or denial.
The irony is that it is Moscow’s own errors on divorce which may well be the concession sought by the Modernist bishops at the synod. Which only goes to show the un-sustainability of any compromise. Jerusalem aedificata est ut civitas, in se compacta tota.
The problem in the Modernist crisis has been that the proton-pseudos – the basic error – has not been clearly identified. This caused serious difficulties in the Arian crisis as well. It took a long while for the homoousion to be clearly seen as the point which distinguished the faithful from the Arians. Many conservative prelates blanched before the stark clarity of this term and sought to find a more nuanced approach. Only when such conservatives had submitted to the Nicene term, come out as Arians or bowed out altogether was it possible to get down to (and so win) a straight fight.
Most of the particular controversies that have devastated the vineyard over the last hundred years are corollaries of the basic dispute, proxy wars for the real conflict. The basic question is this: is faith “a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality” or is faith “a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source”? Or, to put it more bluntly still “can someone be justified after the age of reason without explicit faith in the Trinity and the Incarnation?” If you answer ‘yes’ to that question you are ultimately forced into accepting Modernism, if ‘no’ into rejecting it. This is the homoousion of the Modernist Crisis.
June 1, 2015
…asks Matthew Parris in a terrifying article for the Spectator. The article is billed on the website as “As a Gay Atheist, I want to see the Church oppose same-sex marriage.” He astutely points out that if the Church can in fact change its teaching to reflect social reality then it is merely an instrument of oppression.
But maybe I’m the fool, the one who’s missing something. Maybe there’s a deeper truth behind Dr Martin’s willingness to bend to prevailing mood, a flexibility that echoes Pope Francis’s openness to change. Could it be that the reason for both men’s apparent lack of embarrassment at these convenient shifts is that on some half-conscious level neither ever really believed that morality was absolute or objective anyway — or supposed we really thought they were serious?
Have some of us, in short, made the mistake of taking the church at its word? Was it always, anyway, about going with the flow? Was it always secretly about imposing the morals of the majority on the minority — so all that is necessary is to discover which way the preponderance falls?
May 25, 2015
I was having an interesting ginger gin and tonic thingie the other day in a bar near the Circus Maximus (as one does) when a solution for all the problems of the poor German bishops occurred to me. I would be very surprised if very many of the supporters of the plan to administer communion to adulterers are opposed to sodomariage. I suspect they pretty much all embrace the abomination of desolation with enthusiasm. Then it occurred to me that this solves the entire problem. Mormon baptisms are invalid because, even though they use the right form and matter, they mean something entirely different from the Catholic Church by the baptismal formula. It is widely held that Bishops who attempt the ordination of women demonstrate that their understanding of orders is so defective that they cannot thereafter (without public repentance and repudiation of their errors) validly ordain men. Surely therefore anyone who believes in sodomarriage is ipso facto incapable of contracting marriage.
Can. 1095 The following are incapable of contracting marriage:
2/ those who sufer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted;
Seems clear. German liberals cannot get married. None of their marriages are valid and so they do not need to worry about the ‘first marriage’. All they need to do is desist from fornication, embrace the Catholic Faith, go to confession and they can receive communion. Problem solved.
May 24, 2015
“The God who is enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offence to man. One must deny him for man’s sake, because he claims for himself the dignity and honour that belong by right to man…. We must resist this God, however, not only for man’s sake, but also for God’s sake. He is not the true God at all, but rather a wretched idol. For a God who is only along side of and above history, who is not himself history, is a finite God. If we call such a being God, then for the sake of the Absolute we must become absolute atheists. Such a God springs from a rigid world view; he is the guarantor of the status quo and the enemy of the new.”
May 24, 2015
So, the Irish have chosen madness and the abyss. Another one for the ‘astonishing but unsurprising’ file.
The Irish State has dissolved itself, and this for two reasons. First of all because it has renounced the Catholic faith that until now was enshrined in the preamble to its constitution. St Thomas Aquinas writes:-
It must never be permitted that infidels should newly gain dominion over the faithful, for this would cause scandal and be a danger to the faith. For easily those who are subject to the government of others can be changed by those under whom they live, so that they may follow their rule, unless those who are subject be of great virtue. . . . And so the Church in no way allows infidels to acquire dominion over the faithful.
This would by itself be sufficient to make the official institutions of Ireland henceforth illegitimate. But there is a second reason. The state has officially declared war on marriage and the family, abolishing marriage insofar as lies within its power. But the State is a society of families united under a common rule. By nullifying the family, as far as lies within its power, it nullifies itself; it denies its own reason for existence and so it denies or dissolves itself.
When the Moors swept over Spain, no Spanish Catholic, surely, would have supposed that those Moors who got permanent control over their particular village or town were their legitimate rulers. They were not in the same position as the pagan Roman rulers who held power from God, according to Romans 13. If the Spanish obeyed the local Moorish ruler, it was from prudence, because until a counter-attack could be organised, it was the lesser of two evils. In the same way, from now on the Irish need not obey the ‘laws’ of the ‘State’ out of justice, but only out of prudence. Heretics, apostates and lunatics do not hold power from God over the faithful.
Ideally, the remaining Catholics should officially secede from the evil pseudo-State, and find some promising young army general to help them set up a new State somewhere in Eire. I am serious. Apparently of the 43 constituencies, only Longford and Roscommon-South Leitrim voted to retain marriage. Since these are contiguous, that would seem to be the best place to found it. Maybe Poland or Hungary would help them.