Cardinal Nichols on pathway for divorced and remarried: ‘It’s their decision’

Good grief.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who is president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said the synod had “quite deliberately set aside the question of admission to the Eucharist, because that had become a yes-no issue. And the very nature of this is that it’s not as simple as yes-no.”

“It’s a pathway,” he added. “And it is not for me or for the priest who is doing the accompaniment to pre-empt or foreclose that pathway.”

Well, can’t say that we didn’t tell you, but we did.  You didn’t listen and instead decided to do this:

How’s that strategy workin’ for ya?

Cardinal Burke: Synod Report Lacks Clarity

As we would expect, Cardinal Burke points out the obvious.  Notable points are highlighted.

 “The entire document requires a careful study, in order to understand exactly what counsel it is offering to the Roman Pontiff, in accord with the nature of the Synod of Bishops, “in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline” (can. 342). The section entitled “Discernment and Integration” (paragraphs 84-86) is, however, of immediate concern, because of its lack of clarity in a fundamental matter of the faith: the indissolubility of the marriage bond which both reason and faith teach all men.

First of all, the term, integration, is a mundane term which is theologically ambiguous. I do not see how it can be “the key of pastoral accompaniment of those in irregular matrimonial unions.”  The interpretative key of their pastoral care must be the communion founded on the truth of marriage in Christ which must be honored and practiced, even if one of parties of the marriage has been abandoned through the sin of the other party. The grace of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony strengthens the abandoned spouse to live faithfully the marriage bond, continuing to seek the salvation of the partner who has abandoned the marriage union. I have known, since my childhood, and continue to meet faithful Catholics whose marriages have, in some way, been broken, but who, believing in the grace of the Sacrament, continue to live in fidelity to their marriage. They look to the Church for that accompaniment which helps them to remain faithful to the truth of Christ in their lives.

Second, the quotation from no. 84 of Familaris Consortio is misleading. At the time of the 1980 Synod of Bishops on the Family, as throughout the history of the Church, there has always been pressure to admit divorce because of the painful situations of those in irregular unions, that is, those whose lives are not in accord with the truth of Christ on marriage, as He clearly announced it in the Gospels (Mt 19, 3-12; Mk 10, 2-12). While, in no. 84, Pope Saint John Paul II acknowledges the different situations of those who are living in an irregular union and urges pastors and the whole community to help them as true brothers and sisters in Christ by virtue of Baptism, he concludes: “However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried.” He then recalls the reason for the practice: “the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist.” He also rightly notes that a different practice would lead the faithful “into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”

Thirdly, the citation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 1735) regarding imputability must be interpreted in terms of the freedom “which makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary” (CCC, no. 1734). The exclusion of those in irregular matrimonial unions from the Sacraments does not constitute a judgment about their responsibility for the breakdown of the matrimonial bond to which they are bound. It is rather the objective recognition of the bond. The Declaration of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts of June 24, 2000, which is also cited is in complete accord with the constant teaching and practice of the Church in the matter, citing no. 84 of Familiaris Consortio. That Declaration also makes clear the finality of the conversation with a priest in the internal forum, that is, in the words of Pope Saint John Paul II, “a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage” (Familiaris Consortio, no. 84). The Church’s discipline provides ongoing pastoral assistance for those in irregular unions who “for serious reasons such as for example the children’s upbringing, …cannot satisfy the obligation to separate,” so that they may live chastely in fidelity to the truth of Christ (Familiaris Consortio, no. 84).”

***

Discernment and Integration

84. The baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried should be more integrated into Christian communities in the various ways possible, avoiding every occasion of scandal. The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral accompaniment, so that they know now only that they belong to the Body of Christ which is the Church, but that they may have a joyous and fruitful experience of this. They are baptized, they are brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit pours into them gifts and charisms for the good of everyone. Their participation can be expressed in various ecclesial services: it is therefore necessary what are the various forms of exclusion currently practiced in the liturgical, pastoral, educational and institutional areas can be overcome. They must not only not feel excommunicated, but they can live and mature as living members of the Church, feeling that she is a mother who always welcomes them, takes care of them with affection and encourages them in the walk of the life of the Gospel. This integration is also necessary for the care of Christian formation of their children, who must be considered the most important. For the Christian community, taking care of these people is not a weakening of its own faith and witness regarding the indissolubility of marriage: indeed, the Church expresses her charity precisely in this care.

85. St. John Paul II offered overall criteria which remain the basis for the evaluation of these situations: “Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.” (Familiaris Consortio, 84). It is therefore the task of pastors to accompany interested persons on the way of discernment in keeping with the teaching of the Church and the guidance of Bishops. In this process it will be useful to make an examination of conscience through times of reflection and penitence. The divorced and remarried should ask themselves how they behaved toward their children when the conjugal union entered into crisis; if there were attempts at reconciliation; how is the situation with the abandoned partner; what consequences the new relationship has on the rest of the family and the community of the faithful; what example it offers to young people who must prepare for marriage. A sincere reflection can strengthen the trust in the mercy of God which is never denied to anyone.

Furthermore, it cannot be denied that in some circumstances “imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors” (CCC 1735) for reasons of various conditions. Consequently, the judgment of an objective situation should not lead to a judgment about the “subjective imputability” (Pontifical Council for legislative texts,Declaration of 24 June 2000, 2a). In specific circumstances people find great difficulty in acting a different way. Therefore, while upholding a general norm, it is necessary to recognize that the responsibility regarding certain actions or decisions is not the same in all cases. Pastoral discernment, while taking account of the rightly formed conscience of persons, must take responsibility for these situations. Even the consequences of the acts carried out are not necessarily the same in all cases.

86. The process of accompaniment and discernment directs these faithful to an awareness of their situation before God. Conversation with the priest, in the internal forum, contributes to the formation of a correct judgment on what hinders the possibility of a fuller participation in the life of the Church and the steps that can foster it and make it grow. Given that for the same law there is no graduality (cf. FC, 34), this discernment can never prescind from the demands of truth and charity of the Gospel proposed by the Church. For this to happen, the necessary conditions of humility, confidence, love for the Church and her teaching, in the sincere search for God’s will and the desire to achieve a more perfect response to it, must be secured.
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/cardinal-burke-final-report-lacks-clarity-on-indissolubility-of-marriage/#ixzz3ph74T0Ce

Kasper says he won

Your Eminence, your line prevailed at the Synod, that is, the possibility of the divorced and remarried being admitted to Communion on a ”case by case” valuation. How would you evaluate the Synod Fathers’ discussions on this theme?

“I’m satisfied; the door has been opened to the possibility of the divorced and remarried being granted Communion. There has been somewhat of an opening, but the consequences were not discussed. All of this is now in the Pope’s hands, who will decide what has to be done. The synod made suggestions. There has been an opening, but the question has still to be resolved in full and needs to be studied more.” (Source)

Indeed. The fact that the second part of Familaris Consortio, 84 was not cited in the Synod .

“…However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.” (Familiaris Consortia, 84)

The omitted text from FC allows Kasper to take this position and advance the agenda.  The insurance of avoiding “scandal” that was inserted into the Synod text is a weak guarantee. Scandal is a subjective element and it depends on the….ding…ding…ding….”culture”.  This whole thing is playing out exactly as I thought it would.

And here is the next chapter that will likely happen:  Pope Francis will not address this issue in his Encyclical or Letter.  He’ll just let the innovators do what they want.  All part of the decentralization attack on the Church.  I pray and hope that that this does not happen, but it’s my fear. PRAY for the Pope.

Church Then, Church Now

Remember when the Church forbade pro-abort or pro-same-sex “marriage” politicians from receiving honours or giving speeches at Catholic events?

Remember when Bishop De Angelis charitably but firmly handled the situation of an open homosexual who served as an altar server?

These are two examples of how the Church addressed and dealt with  persons who, by their actions or words, defied Catholic teaching.

That was then. This is now.

Today, if the Synod’s document is accepted, how can the past approach of “exclusion” be reconciled with the new pseudo directive of “inclusion”  — of walking, sharing, caring, accompanying, and integrating?  Not very well, I should say.

Consider the case of the adulterous priest.  Whether he is straight or gay, he thinks to himself, “Heck, if she can be an adulterous and be lector, why can’t I have my dessert on the side and be a priest?  Will not someone accompany me?  If the Church will tolerate and even integrate one adulterous union, why can’t we do it for everyone?”

The Parable of the Hot Young Man

Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”

So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

He said to Him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

The young man said to Him, “All these things, except committing adultery I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, leave the woman you are currently having sex with, be reconciled to your wife, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

But when the young man heard this teaching, he considered it very exclusionary and hurtful, for he could not leave the hot young woman he has sex with.

He started to turn away from Jesus because he was sad, but Jesus ran after him and said to him,

“My child, do not go away sad or sullen.  Let me accompany you on life’s journey. Let us walk together and discern what gifts you and your hottie can bring to the Church.  Let us recognize the positive elements in your relationship and share them with the sheep among my fold. We’ll integrate you into my Church community so that we can give the perception that what is now currently “irregular” will be a moot point and your relationship will be considered, in time, very regular, and the idea of “scandal” becomes a curious oddity. And who knows? With the power of binding and loosing that my decentralized Church now holds for these pastoral situations, the more merciful of my bishops will allow you to receive holy communion.  Have faith and don’t worry about the pharisees. In time, all will be well.”

Filed under: Things Jesus never said, but which the Catholic Church just effectively did.

The Synod on the Family: The Church’s Winnipeg Statement Moment

Well, folks, the final report of the Synod’s Statement on the Family was released today.  We must stress that this document has no authority in the Catholic Church until the Pope confirms it.  The likelihood, however, that the Pope will change any of the texts substantially is very unlikely, so we are left with this text as the authoritative blue print on how the Catholic Church is going to pastorally handle “irregular” (i.e. adulterous) unions.

First the good news. The Church did not accept the homosexual relations, but offered the modern pastoral line of acknowledging every person’s inherent dignity:

“The Church conforms its attitude to that of the Lord Jesus: that love without boundaries is offered to every person without exception…In respect to families living the experience of having within them people with homosexual orientation, the Church reaffirms that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation, must be respected in dignity and met with respect, taking care to avoid “every sign of unjust discrimination”…We reserve a specific attention to the accompaniment of families in which people with homosexual orientation live.”

Of course, there was no condemnation of sodomy, but we cannot expect that condemnation to appear in our current ecclesiastical context.  However, Fr. Rosica and the rest of the homosexualists have been stopped from advancing their homoheresy.  Because the Church did not proclaim error and this faction was stopped — or at least stalled — we give thanks to God and declare victory for the Church and the Gospel.

That’s where the good news ends, and where the bad news starts.

In regards to the divorced and civilly “remarried”, there are a few problematic parts that need to be exposed for the great danger they pose to the Church.  In fact, we can also say that the semantical gymnastics of the same words meaning opposite things to so-called progressives and the orthodox factions have already begun, with the Progressives using the ambiguous language to ram their heretical views as pastoral options for their flock.  Let’s take a look at the more problematic parts (translation courtesy of Rorate Caeli).  My commentary is in red.

The three paragraphs which received the lowest vote totals were Paragraphs 84, 85, and 86. These paragraphs, on “Discernment and Integration,” deal with “the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried.” Paragraph 84 received 187 “yes” votes and 72 “no” votes. Paragraph 85 received 178 “yes” votes and 80 “no” votes. (Since 177 votes were needed for a two-thirds majority, this also passed, but it was close; though in this particular case, 173 votes were enough for a two-thirds majority of the 258 votes that were cast, as seven Fathers abstained; this paragraph received the lowest percentage of votes given to any paragraph.) Paragraph 86 received 190 “yes” votes and 64 “no” votes. Here are the paragraphs in question, in my own English translation (the official English translation is not yet available).

 

Discernment and integration

 

84. The baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more integrated in the Christian communities in the different ways possible, avoiding any occasion of scandal.  The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral accompaniment, in order that they know not only that they belong to the Body of Christ which is the Church, but can have a joyful and fruitful experience of it. They are baptized, they are brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit pours out into them gifts and charisms for the good of all.

So, how does this work, precisely?  Does this not create two classes of citizens in the Catholic Church?  How does one explain to one’s children that the pastor has decided to encourage and effectively bless an adulterous union, with no stated purpose of amendment or repentance?

But, you may say, there cannot be an occasion of scandal.  And I will say, scandal is in the eye of the beholder. What is scandalous to Cardinal Burke is virtuous to Cardinal Marx .  It’s the subjective pit of hell that we experienced under the Winnipeg Statement and it’s back with a vengeance here.

We explain to our children that this couple is in a state of mortal sin, but although they can be “integrated into the life of the Church”, they can’t receive Communion.  What kind of second class citizenship arrangement is this? And does this not necessarily mean that we are broadcasting a “Plan B” approach to salvation?

Won’t this couple’s “integration and acceptance” not preclude genuine repentance? Will the pastor now feel he has to pull his punches on teaching the truths of the Faith, to consider their feelings and not to hurt them?  How will Jesus’ teaching on adultery be preached on Sunday morning?  Shall he skip it?

Suzzy Q and her new husband are ecstatic of their new integration, and they want to be involved in all ministries of the Church:  “eucharistic ministers”, Sunday school, Lector, etc. etc.  And it’s all good, right? What are the chances that 5 years on in this scheme, the Pastor is going to say…”don’t you think it’s time that you separate or stop having sex?”  Not bloody likely, I’d say.  And all the integration train has done is confirm them in their path to perdition.

And our kids are saying to themselves, “Hey, if my first marriage doesn’t work out, this isn’t so bad.  Plan B is a possibility.”  In fact, Communion might even be a possibility because it depends now on the Bishop’s orientation.  And why stop at adulterous unions?  Why not admit everyone else in a publicly unrepentant state of mortal sin?  Abortionists, Feminists, Homosexualists, Socialists, Masons, etc., etc. Why discriminate? Let’s integrate everyone!  Mercy on the cheap!  And not only that, but all of those dolts who have been slogging it out in a difficult marriage because they heeded the Church’s teaching now find themselves as the real chumps in the new Church order.   I can ditch my real wife, “marry another”. and encourage my pastor to “discern” the spirit better in allowing me to access everything that that poor schmuck in Plan A has.

Or what about that fool who listened to Christ’s commandment and has lived alone because the Church has not granted his annulment all these years?  How do you suppose he’s going to “feel”?  Or do his “feelings” count?  If I were that fool, I’d be going “postal” on these heretical bishops, frankly. 

Their participation can be expressed in different ecclesial services: it is therefore necessary to discern which of the various forms of exclusion currently practiced in the liturgical, pastoral, educational and institutional realms can be overcome.

 

So, here is the text that the heretics will use to grant Communion. On what pretext?  Simply this:  there’s no scandal in Germany or in Quebec or in this or that diocese in South America, etc. with adulterous unions. Capiche? They’re all good with it.  Discernment, Decentralization, Local pastoral solutions is what is required.  “The Africans and the Polish are so medieval in their attitudes towards sex, after all. Ship them a box of condoms with our condolences.”  This is all about the regularization of sin, my friends. It’s about changing good old fashioned “adultery” to “irregular unions” and then integrating these unions into parish life and thereby making them….regular in all but name.  Is that not what the very nature of “integration” is?  Think about it.  And….tada. Nice trick, no?

 

They not only should not feel themselves excommunicated, but can live and mature as living members of the Church, feeling her to be a mother who welcomes them always, who takes care of them with affection and who encourages them in the path of life and of the Gospel. This integration is also needed for the care and Christian education of their children, who must be considered the most important. For the Christian community, taking care of these people is not a weakening of their faith and testimony about the indissolubility of marriage: rather, the Church expresses in this very care her charity.

 

Does this pastoral solution also apply to kids of homosexual couples in Catholic schools. If not, why not? On what OBJECTIVE basis?   Many of you might be wondering now, then what is the solution?  Well, quite frankly, there isn’t one…not unless you put your own souls and that of your own family at risk by being lulled into this fraud.  The correct solution is what it has always been:  keep scandal quiet and work with the person or couple to break their adulterous union or encourage them to live as brother and sister. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jesus said for us to evangelize the world not for the world to evangelize us….which is what is going on with this Synod document. This document is not a document of the Church. It is a document of the world to the Church.

 

85. St. John Paul II offered a comprehensive criterion, which remains the basis for the evaluation of these situations: “Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to discern situations carefully. There is indeed a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have contracted a second marriage for the sake of the children, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous marriage, irreparably broken, had never been valid” (FC, 84).

 

FINISH THE CITATION FROM Familiaris Consortio, 84

“…However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”

So what sort of message do you think this document is sending when it intentionally omits the passage concerning admission to the Eucharist and includes words like, “discernment and integration”?  It doesn’t take a master theologian to figure out which politicians dressed in Roman garb are going to ram this pastoral fraud through in their dioceses, does it?  We’ll see if the last sentence cited above from FC,84 come true.

It is therefore the duty of priests to accompany the people concerned on the way of discernment according to the teaching of the Church and the guidelines of the Bishop. In this process, it will be useful to make an examination of conscience, by means of moments of reflection and penance. The divorced and remarried should ask themselves how they have behaved towards their children when the conjugal union has entered into crisis; if there have been attempts at reconciliation; what is the situation of the partner who has been abandoned; what effect has the new relationship on the rest of the family and on the community of the faithful; what example it offers to young people who are preparing for marriage. A sincere reflection can strengthen trust in the mercy of God that is not denied to anyone. Moreover, one can not deny that in some circumstances “imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or nullified” (CCC, 1735) due to various conditions. Accordingly, the judgment of an objective situation should not lead to a judgment on the “subjective culpability” (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration of June 24, 2000, 2a). Under certain circumstances people find it very difficult to act otherwise than they do. Therefore, while maintaining a general rule, it must be recognized that the responsibility with respect to certain actions or decisions is not the same in all cases. Pastoral discernment, while taking account of a properly formed conscience of the people, must take these situations into consideration. The consequences of acts taken are not necessarily the same in all cases.

And so marriage is now reduced from an objective reality to an arbitrary exercise in “subjective discernment” on whether we should tolerate adulterous unions or not.  Is that not what the above text effectively says?  And the binding mechanism is reduced from the Catholicity of the indissolubility on marriage to the guidelines of the bishop, which will, with absolute certainty, vary wildly from diocese to diocese and country to country.  It’s a scam, folks.  

86. The process of accompaniment and discernment orients these faithful to an examination of conscience regarding their situation before God. The interview with the priest, in the internal forum (“foro interno“), contributes to the formation of a correct judgment on what hinders the possibility of a fuller participation in the life of the Church and on the steps that can foster it and make it grow. Given that in the law itself there is no graduality (cf. FC 34), this discernment will never be able to prescind from the needs of the truth and the charity of the Gospel proposed by the Church. In order for this to happen, the necessary conditions of humility, confidence, and love for the Church and its teaching, must be guaranteed, in the sincere search for God’s will and the desire to achieve a more perfect answer to it. 

“The interview with the priest, in the internal forum (“foro interno”), contributes to the formation of a correct judgment on what hinders the possibility of a fuller participation in the life of the Church and on the steps that can foster it and make it grow.”  — Huh?  What’s there to talk about?  In order to obtain the fuller participation, one has to stop being a public scandal to the Faithful.  The correct judgement has already been pronounced by the Church.  It is not subject to “discernment”.  And what steps would there be to “foster and make it grow”.  Well…er…leave your concubinage.  That’s a start.  After you’re done accompanying such an individual, how do you delicately tell this person to leave the relationship?  Ah yes, here’s one approach.

So where do we stand?  Well, the Church has not officially declared error, so no one can accuse the Church of defecting.  Legally, everything’s OK.  But in reality, this pastoral fraud has been planted and now it will bear its poisonous fruit that will kill many….even though no error has been or will be declared.  That’s quite a move by the devil, isn’t it? Master Chess player, you have to give the devil his due.  Jesus never promised us pastoral protection…and that truth is sadly more evident than ever.

So what now?  What shall we do?

Fight.

Fight at the parish level because that is where this whole scene will take place.  If you find this kind of integration happening, leave and find a parish and a priest who will hold fast to the Faith.  And if they ask you, by what authority do you do these things tell them that you’re going through a process of decentralization….just like they are.

Sham Synod

Folks, I will be providing my opinion on the controversial texts of the Synod document shortly.  Needless to say, it is a very sad day for the Church.  But, we are not a people without hope or courage.  We need to fight.  Let this spur us on to get on with it.  I hope to do just that in the coming months and years…more committed than ever and willing to risk more and more to do it.

Read Voris’ commentary here.