Tag Archives: Church Crisis

That Amazin’ Amazon Synod!

Yep.  “Amazin'” is the only way to describe the plans afoot for the much-ballyhooed and disturbingly controversial Sinodo para a Amazonia.  Amazonia is a general term for the area encompassing the Amazon basin, which stretches over eight nations covering roughly a third of South America.  The Amazon Synod, planned for October 2019, is an ambitious attempt to address a wide variety of ecological, political, economic, and even religious challenges confronting the inhabitants of that critical–yet troubled–region of our planet.

The working document (Instrumentum Laboris in Latin) for the synod came out a few weeks ago, and it created quite a stir in what Catholic World Report describes as “certainly of the kitchen sink variety. It has all the bullet points: everything anyone could want, and more.”

The document is long. Translated from the Portuguese original, the Spanish version of The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and Integral Ecology comes in at twenty-two thousand words, give or take, footnotes included. It is articulated in three parts: of four, nine, and eight chapters, respectively, over one hundred forty-nine numbered paragraphs. The major divisions are: “The voice of Amazonia”; “Integral Ecology: The Cry of the Earth and of the Poor”; “A Prophetic Church in Amazonia: Challenges and Hopes.”

There is absolutely no doubt that Amazonia–both the region itself and more particularly its indigenous peoples–have been shamelessly and brutally exploited over the centuries.  That the Church should address such injustices seems to us here at CCM to be entirely proper.  But the working document frequently goes off in odd directions.  (So odd, in fact, that Walter Cardinal Brandmüller calls the working document for the Synod “heretical” and an “apostasy” from Divine Revelation.  

As William Kilpatrick says in an essay for Crisis Magazine:

The most ironic thing about this new venture into the primitive is that some of the prime movers are the leaders of the Catholic Church. Take the upcoming Amazon Synod. The working document for the Synod does makes some valid observations about the biological and climatological importance of the Amazonian region and about the exploitation of the Amazonian people. But when it comes to describing the peoples, the “Voice of the Amazon” sounds suspiciously like the voice of Rousseau—or better, the voice of Rousseau harmonized with the voice of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and elevated to the cosmic level.  Thus:

  • A fundamental aspect of the root of human sin is to detach oneself from nature… (99)
  • A cosmic dimension of experience (cosmovivencia) palpitates within the families. (75)
  • It is necessary to grasp what the Spirit of the Lord has taught these people throughout the centuries: faith in the God Father-Mother Creator; communion and harmony with the earth; solidarity with one’s companions … the living relationship with nature and “Mother Earth.” (121)

It’s a sort of 21st Century New Agey re-imagining of Rosseau’s “Noble Savage” construct.  Dwelling overlong on that romantic notion of indigenous peoples tempts one to see them as the teachers, the guardians of profound divine truths that Western civilization desperately needs to learn.  The idea that Catholicism is the legitimate guardian of the divine truths which lead people to eternal salvation has to take a bit of a back seat…at the very least it should zip its lip and listen attentively to “the ancient wisdom of the ancestors.

Another problem the synod will address is that of the priest shortage in Amazonia.  The most practical solution, according to many associated with synod preparation, is to ordain indigenous married elders, presumably using some sort of “fast track” seminary process.  Because these potential priests have wives (who themselves, one must allow, equally well-versed in the wisdom of their culture), these wives could be given some sort of official role in parish life as well…perhaps even as a sort of deaconess or something.

Something for everyone in the Instrumentum Laboris, to be sure!

Here at CCM, we’ll be watching developments closely.  I expect we’ll even have a dedicated section on our home page where our vast readership (all three dozen of you!) can easily keep abreast of each amazin’ twist and turn on the road to the Amazon Synod.

Recognize & Resist: A Strategy Worth Considering

Frustrated by the ambiguous pronouncements coming from Rome?  Worried that this never-ending parade of synods has the potential to play havoc with the true teachings of the Church?  Concerned that Pope Francis might be saying some stuff which simply doesn’t square with two thousand years of consistent Church teaching?

Yeah, us too.  Hank Igitur’s been reading a new book by Dr. Taylor Marshall which does a pretty decent job of putting this whole situation into a long-term historical perspective.  He offers a strategy for prayerfully (and charitably) dealing with this crisis.  Hank’s 100% onboard with this approach and he’s willing to explain it to you in (possibly tedious) detail!

Links Mentioned in this Video:

Infiltration-book-cover-

Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Catholic Church From Within by Dr. Taylor Marshall is available at Amazon.com or through Sophia Institute Press.  The book makes a pretty darn solid case that our present crisis doesn’t have its beginning with the election of Pope Francis, the suppression of the Latin Mass in the late ’60’s/early ’70’s, or even the Vatican II!  The crisis began well over a century earlier.  Fascinating stuff!

The document Hank mentions which can help you cut through some of the confusion when it comes to getting the real deal on Church doctrine is this:  Declaration of the Truths Relating to Some of the Most Common Errors in the Life of the Church of Our Time.”  It’s only eight pages but it gives you an easy to read no-nonsense summary of authentic Church teaching, clearing up some points that might have become, umm, well–a tad murky let’s just say–over the past few years.

Read New ‘Declaration of Truths’ Affirms Key Church Teachings in the National Catholic Register.

Eight Pages Well Worth Reading!

Confused about some of the perplexing pronouncements being issued from press conferences in aircraft or even papal documents?  You’re not alone!

There has been quite a bit of “churn” over the past few years, and the tempo seems to be increasing daily.  What has the Catholic Church always taught about things like divorce, homosexuality, the legitimacy of other religions, or even the death penalty?  If you’re attempting to follow the news coming from Rome (whether through official press releases, established news organizations, or the blogosphere), it’s small wonder if you reach the troubling conclusion that doctrine is “up for grabs” and subject to modernization.

Well, it isn’t.  If you want some reassurance on that point, read on.

It’s only eight pages, but if the last few years have left you feeling confused or uncertain about the true teachings of the Church, you owe it to yourself to read   Declaration of the Truths Relating to Some of the Most Common Errors in the Life of the Church of Our Time.”

Read New ‘Declaration of Truths’ Affirms Key Church Teachings in the National Catholic Register.

 

OK, They Used the “H-Word.” Now What?

Red letters on black background which say "A Question of Heresy." Below that, yellow letters saying "Pray for Holy Mother Church"

They dropped the “H-Word” a few days ago.  It’s effect has been more like an H-bomb.

A group of prominent theologians and scholars (some of them priests) have issued a letter to all the bishops of the world outlining the case that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has committed multiple acts of formal heresy.

This is a big deal.  A terrifying deal.

Accusing Christ’s Vicar on Earth of heresy is one of those things that once said, is extremely difficult to retract.  The people who have done this have effectively ended their careers.  Think of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence:  in so doing, they all but put a British noose around their own necks.  Their signatures sealed their own death warrants.

No, I am not comparing this letter to the Declaration of Independence, nor am I comparing these theologians and scholars with the Founding Fathers of the American republic, so stop what you’re thinking.  What I am saying however, is that the signers of this twenty page letter have taken a step of the utmost gravity, which will have far-reaching consequences for them…and for us.

Back during the Cold War, a group of concerned scientists came up with something that became known as (among other things) the “Doomsday Clock.”  Whenever some incident between the Americans and Soviets served to increase tensions, the minute hand on clock (which was initially set sometime after 11:30 PM-ish) moved another minute closer to midnight, the idea being that once the clock reached midnight, WWIII would start and with it, of course, nuclear Armageddon.

If there is a “Schism Clock” counting down the minutes until a major disaster strikes the Roman Catholic Church, this letter surely must have moved the minute hand a notch or two.

The letter does not read like some sort of tinfoil hat manifesto; far from it.  The people who assembled it cited a series of specific incidents, documented them thoroughly, and provided excerpts from Church Councils, Holy Scripture, and other sources to demonstrate that each incident cited violated one or more critical aspects of Catholic Church teaching/dogma.

Can this document, in and of itself, convict a Roman Pontiff of heresy?  I’m not so sure.  It’s pretty much a given that the pope, being Christ’s Vicar and direct representative on Earth, is subject to the judgement of no man…only Almighty God Himself can sit in judgement of his actions.

And yet, these incidents–most of which I remember having been thoroughly amazed at when they transpired–do seem to directly contradict established Church teaching…or at least muddy them to the point where we laity are thoroughly confused.  A group of Cardinals asked Pope Francis to provide clarification (the famous Dubia of Cardinal Burke, et. al.) on some of the most troubling portions of his document Amoris Laetitia, but rather than providing the asked -for clarity, Francis made a point of completely ignoring them.  That tactic might have been considered a brilliant maneuver in the game of Vatican politics, but it didn’t do much to calm the brewing storm in the Church.  And that storm is reaching typhoon-intensity.

Correspondent Hank Igitur, the “Traditional Roamin’ Catholic,” shares his concerns in the following video, along with a set of recommended resources for those hoping to better understand the crisis which is upon us.

 

A Sign of Spiritual Conflagration

Image of Notre Dame Cathedral burning, crowds praying, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Many things have been said over the past few months concerning the tragic fire which swept through the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  One of the first impressions which hit me was that this could be considered as a type of allegory for the fire which has swept through the Faith since the tumultuous days of the Second Vatican Council.  At the time I’m posting this little article, there has been no definitive determination as to the cause of the cathedral fire.  As for the conflagration which wrecked the Roman Catholic Church herself, more than a few of you consider it a clear-cut case of spiritual arson perpetrated by the “council fathers” and fanned by the so-called “spirit of Vatican II.”

I agree with that assessment as well.

But I’m a lousy writer.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider says it much better (which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the man’s writing).

LifeSite News has a good article on this.  An excerpt:

“According to the auxiliary of Astana, it is also a call to the entire Church to do penance for the spiritual conflagration that has ripped through the Church in the past fifty years.”

““Penance and reparation must also be made for the betrayal of Christ’s explicit command to evangelize all nations without exception,” including the Jewish and Muslim people, he adds.

“God will not indefinitely and shamelessly be mocked by so many Shepherds of the Church today, through their betrayal of the Faith, their sycophantic serving of the world and their neo-pagan worship of temporal and earthly realities,” he says. “To them as well are addressed these words of Christ, ‘I tell you, unless you repent you will all likewise perish’ (Lk 13: 5).””

Read the entire article here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bishop-schneider-notre-dame-fire-sign-of-spiritual-conflagration-in-the-church

Did Pope Francis Wreck the Mass? No!

Three priests at altar performing New Mass. One has clown makeup.

The problems which plague the Catholic Church predate the rise of Bergoglio to the Chair of Peter by a generation at least.  Is the Latin Mass under threat?  Yes.  Is the Novus Ordo Mass beset with flaws and subject to all manner of abuse?  Yes.

Is it the fault of Pope Francis?  Nope.

Check out this very informative video by Michael J. Matt.  He lays out the problem very well…

Swing and a Miss! (Actually, he didn’t even take a swing…)

By CCM Guest Contributor Ivan Opinion

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” [Jeremiah 1:5]

Coincidence… I think not. Today is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Across the Catholic Church in America, our lectionary prescribed for our First Reading, passages from the First Chapter of Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. Our lectionary is set years in advance so today’s first reading was not a ‘reaction’ to recent events.Jeremiah 1-5

Consider the outright assault on the pre-born over the last two weeks. First, New York’s Catholic Governor Cuomo signed into law the most egregious law yet in our nation promoting abortion to the point of infanticide. Then Virginia’s legislature attempted to follow suit; and now Rhode Island’s Catholic Governor, Gina Raimondo is promoting a Bill that would mirror that signed by Andrew Cuomo in NY. And still, our prelates remain largely silent, and we wonder why our collective morality is all but vanished on the issue of abortion.

Today’s reading from Jeremiah presented the perfect opportunity to preach on the holocaust of innocents. It could not have been more perfect, it was tantamount to permitting Babe Ruth to come to the plate and hit from a five-year-old’s tee. He would’ve crushed it.

While our pastor did preach in reference to Jeremiah, he took a completely different angle. I kept waiting for him to make the connection, but he spoke not a word about the sanctity of life relative to life in the womb. I’ve no doubt that had he crushed it like Babe Ruth and hit one out of the park in reminding the flock of the sacredness of life, our local ordinary would have crushed our pastor doubly hard. Sadly, our pastor did not want to upset the apple cart and instead chose to remain silent and allow the flock to continue in ignorance. In light of what Governors Cuomo and Raimondo are pushing, no one should presume Catholics inherently know to protect the pre-born. It simply isn’t preached in most parishes.

Too many of our priests cower in fear of complicit bishops while hoping they do not come eye-to-eye with God on this day to face His judgment. Perhaps they think, tomorrow; yes tomorrow, that is when I’ll teach the hard truths. How far must we fall, before they understand their spinelessness has resulted in a society wrought in moral decay. It is an abrogation of responsibility of such enormity that it exacerbates the crisis in the Church to a point I did not think possible. When Christ ordained the Apostles, His instruction was clear, He did not say to them, only tell the people what they desire to hear, don’t say anything that may upset them.

Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” [excerpts from Matthew, Chapter 10]

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