February 1, 2015

A Commentary on the 2015 Synod

It appears the Synod's governing council believes the ordinary Catholic ignorant of their Faith and will simply acquiesce - under obedience - to what is promulgated by them, despite its all too real potential for major moral conflicts.

If the seemingly arrogant and elitist attitude of the Governing Council at last year’s Synod on the Family was in doubt (see here), the upcoming 2015 Synod should cement that notion. Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri has recently laid the groundwork of what we can expect at the upcoming October 2015 meeting of the Synod for the Family. It appears the stacking of the deck has begun; the preparation for the ramification of the neutering of Fidelity and Permanency, the 6th and 9th Commandments and the need for Confession to cleanse the Soul of adultery has been all but ratified. And if it has, the crack in the dike that started in October 1962 (see more on October below) will widen exponentially, the hemorrhaging of Mass attendance may continue, and either one may nigh be impossible to stop. Rome and Christ’s Vicar on earth will have approved of adultery as not-so-big-a-deal, though I have serious doubts about its approval elsewhere.

Every Catholic knows that those who commit mortal sin separate themselves from the Body of Christ and must be absolved of the sin before reception of Holy Communion. One who is in the state of mortal sin and receives Holy Communion without absolution commits real sacrilege and simply compounds the sin. There is – at present, anyway - no way out for the sinner, except through the door of the confessional. However, for the many who now find themselves in the throes of an adulterous relationship, a new way to return to full communion is being proposed that will negate – for them but not, apparently, for others - the need for the traditional confession, contrition and absolution. If this new “penitential practice” is successfully promulgated, the wheels will be placed in motion that will force an unfamiliar burden upon many Catholics - that of having to actually choose which Rome to follow: the Rome ever ready for change and for obfuscating doctrine for the sake of man, or, the Rome that upholds the immutability and clarity of the doctrines of Christ. The proverbial line-in-the-sand will have been drawn and, much like children having to choose which parent to Love in a contentious divorce, I do not envy the position of those who will be forced into making that choice.

Just reflect for a moment on what Cardinal Baldisseri is quoted as saying:

“The socio-cultural context [of the family] is outlined in broad terms in its lights and its shadows.”

“In the contemporary world [the family] presents anthropological conceptions, in many cases entirely new, that affect the understanding of the human and the mode in which he lives his social relations. A change in the self-understanding of man is reported frequently, which, in one way or another, certainly affects the lives of individuals and in the life of the family.”

The understanding of what he said still escapes me and maybe even the average Catholic, as well. No statement could have been better presented, however, that would hide from others what is the true agenda of the Synod. Common sense and reason, however, gives one enough insight to form a logical conclusion as to what the Cardinal was apparently trying to say. My translation of his statements is:

We fully intend to allow the divorced and remarried back into full communion with the Body of Christ by not requiring them to actually confess their sins of adultery to a priest, but simply to perform a proscribed period of “penitential practice”. However, the rest of you that have not been divorced and remarried, but are guilty of adultery within your marriage, still have to abide by the 6th and 9th Commandments and the current requirements of confession, contrition and absolution. Our new requirement will be just for a select clientele, not for the average Catholic. 

There…isn't that refreshingly clearer on what the Synod intends to do? These are words that any Catholic, no matter of which generation, can fully understand. But therein also lies the cardinal (Cardinal’s?) problem.

Your ordinary, Church-going, weekly Mass attending and Communion receiving Catholic is not blind. They know God’s Ten Commandments are still extant and in the clear and concise wording He gave to Moses. They know that the killing of innocent pre-born children is a mortal sin worthy of Hell. Those that are married know the bona of marriage – fidelity, permanency and procreation – and what they mean. They know that any emotional relationship with someone not their spouse could lead to adultery and that any physical relationship with another not their spouse most certainly is adultery. They know that adultery is a mortal sin, just like abortion, and that the only way to cleanse the Soul of mortal sin - any mortal sin - is through Confession, Contrition and Absolution. Basic Catechism 101 stuff. Further, I believe that many are now, or will soon become, quite worried over what may be about to happen within the Catholic Church, but more so of the future choice they may be forced into making.

So, what will they do come October if the unthinkable happens? What will they do if a select group of Catholics in the midst of mortal sin are allowed to return to full communion by simply performing what amounts to community service, under the guise of “penitential practice”? What will they do if that select group is allowed to circumvent the normal process that others are currently still required to abide by – including abortionists - in order to be absolved? (This apparent and unjust inequality in applying “penitential practices” has already been brought out by Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith in an October 2014 article in Catholic Herald.)

And finally comes the question that won't be answered until it happens: Will they continue to support - financially or otherwise - a Catholic Church who has effectively neutered two Commandments, two-thirds of the marriage bona and chopped the legs from under abandoned spouses of a first marriage and their children? I haven’t a clue as to what they might do, but I certainly don't expect any mass (Mass?) apostasy. But I do expect there could very well be a not-so-silent protest - in words and/or actions – from the pews.

Regardless, I suppose all the answers will come this October, the month of Our Lady and Her Holy Rosary. It also happens to be the month of Fatima and of Lepanto, as well as the traditional Feast of Christ the King, who will no doubt be watching the proceedings of His Shepherds who have watch over His flock.

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

The Remnant: The Traditional Latin Mass: A Reenactment of Christ’s Last Days on Earth

I feel duty-bound to post the link to this timely article in The Remnant, written by Father Leonard Goffine over 2 centuries ago, but as relavant today as it most likely was then. When we consider the two forms of Mass available today, it has always seemed to me the terms OF and EF are glaringly misapplied, if for no other reason than Fr. Goffine's conclusion to his commentary:

"At the same time it is seen from this, that those who wish the Mass to be said in their own language instead of Latin, complain unnecessarily, for everyone can unite himself with the priest and make his offering in his own tongue, since with God it does not depend upon the language, and there is in most prayer books an explanation of the ceremonies connected with suitable prayers. The Catholic Church has very wisely retained the Latin as the language of the Mass, as a means of preserving ecclesiastical unity, and Catholics can everywhere recognize themselves as such, when they find in every land the same divine service in the same language.

The holy Sacrifice would, besides, be endangered by the introduction of the different languages of the countries in which it is said, because the vernacular is always subjected to changes, would give rise to false interpretations, diminish reverence for the Most Holy Sacrifice, and might endanger the faith itself, while the Latin language is peculiarly suited to the dignity and majesty of the Mass; for it is truly a royal language, and is the language of the missionaries who subjected the world to the cross.

The celebration of the Mass is not for the instruction of the people so much as for their edification, and this easily results if each of the faithful assists with heart and lips, as best he can, at the Holy Sacrifice, having the sincere desire to share in all its fruits, which our loving Saviour obtained for us on the cross and wishes to bestow upon us. We are enriched by His merits, purified by His most precious blood, nourished and strengthened in the way of virtue by His most Sacred Body, and are changed from children of wrath to children of God, and chosen heirs of heaven."

The entire Remnant article is available here.

Fr. Goffine was seemingly every bit the precursor to St. John Marie Vianney, who was born 67 years after his death and the Patron Saint of Priests:

"...Goffine was a truly apostolic pastor, filled with an untiring zeal for souls, who edified everyone by his word and by his example. The purity of his life, the integrity of his morals, the fervour of his sermons, the pleasing style of his writings, commanded the respect of even the enemies of his religion. From the rudest and most forward of these he had often to endure the bitterest insults, but at these he showed himself the more cheerful, since by them he became the more conformable to those who had the happiness to suffer insults for the name of Jesus". (From his bio linked above)

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved