March 15, 2015

An Open Letter to Cardinal Tagle

Your Eminence:

I am writing in reference to the article that was printed in The Telegraph of March 9, 2015 and quite frankly, I am astounded at what you believe constitutes a grave pastoral crisis within the Catholic Church. According to the article, you say you are concerned for "...the suffering that these people underwent..." and yet the Catholic Church does little for those truly suffering from the effects of unwanted civil divorces, except to turn a blind eye towards the tragedy left in its wake. What of the concern for those who have chosen to remain Faithful to their vows, who never wanted a divorce, let alone an annulment, but who were nevertheless thrown under the civil-divorce bus by a disaffected spouse and there left to fight - alone - for their family and the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony against all comers - including the Catholic Church via the Tribunal courts? 

To be perfectly frank, I have to ask: why are you and the Catholic Church so enamored with divorced and remarried and/or cohabiting Catholics who have willingly and with full consent of their Free Will, chosen to violate the 6th and 9th Commandments, Church teaching and the Catechism of the Catholic Church? You act as if they are the only "lost sheep" left to be gathered! Why is the Church suddenly trying to allow these Catholics to continue in their sinful ways simply because of a belief there is some "...authentic family values or at least an inherent desire for them". This "authentic family value" is rooted in error and deceit and in direct violation of God's Commandments and you are simply and quite openly adding salt into the already festering wound that afflict innocent spouses and their children by essentially condoning the breakup of a Catholic family, are you not?

It is these same Catholic spouses who have been raped - yes RAPED! - by the secular divorce courts, who not only took their children away from them, but in some cases confined the respondent spouse to near-poverty in paying unjust support amounts that their salary simply could not sustain. How can you - and the Catholic Church - allow such travesties to continue and yet, fawn and fondle over those who openly defy the very words of Christ and His Father concerning marriage?

The Catholic Church understands divorce is evil and that there are inherent dangers to innocent Souls that stem from it. The secular world apparently recognized the inherent harm and evil of divorce, and have for decades cared enough for the children of divorce to at least openly attempt to ease their pain and sorrow in the transition from nuclear-family to broken-family. But it nevertheless doesn't care about their immortal Souls. That is the Church's responsibility, but one would think the Church doesn't care when you consider (1) their tacit approval of civil divorces, (2) their ignoring of Canon Laws concerning spousal reconciliation and (3) the total 
lack of enforcement of Canon 1692. 

Any sane Catholic would ask "Why?" My own bishops response was to simply say that my marriage was "irremediably broken", without ever once asking me whether I thought it so. The word of only one Catholic spouse and an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of white paper with DIVORCED! stamped on it was all the good Bishop needed to make that assumption and which forever more consigned my children to a statistic and to a still extant parental estrangement for God knows how long.

The article speaks of the lasting harm done to gays and the divorced and remarried (and single Mothers? When did this group come into the picture?) But what of the lasting harm, Your Eminence, done when the Catholic Church routinely tosses Souls into the dustbin of the secular world of Divorce and then forgets about them? And then many of these Souls are further tossed into the "Arena of Specious 
Annulments", left to languish until death in that Never-land between a-marriage-that-never-will-be and a-marriage-that-never-was, and all with the Catholic Church's tacit approval no less! Mercy, you say?!!??!!

It is said that we Catholics are to hate the sin and love the sinner, in imitation of what Our Lord did on many occasions, most notably with St. Mary Magdalene. He did not tell her to "go, and continue in your sin and I'll overlook your past indiscretions because you have finally found an authentic, adulterous relationship, which these hard-of-heart old men simply don't understand, but which you and I know is beautiful, loving and complete (even though it violates My Father's Commandments, but, Hey...I'll talk with Him.") No, what He said was - and I quote -
"... Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee? Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more." 

So, then, why does the Church seemingly want to tell divorced and remarried Catholics the opposite, that they can continue in their sin and thus, by extension, if they die in this state unrepentant, they will still share in the Beatific Vision? The rest of the Catholic world, meanwhile, will still go to hell if they die while in an adulterous relationship and still validly married to their first spouse. I see a distinct dichotomy here, don't you?

If every other Catholic in the world will still go to Hell if they die in Mortal sin - a teaching that has never been abrogated as far as I know - then Justice alone demands that you speak of this Truth of the Catholic Faith to all the divorced and remarried Catholics as well. They are no different than me, and must follow the same Commandments, teachings and laws of the Catholic Church. They face eternal damnation if they die in unrepentant mortal sin, just like I would. They are bound to restitution for their offenses against God, Spouse and Family, just like I would be. And they can be assured of the Beatific Vision only if they follow all of God's Laws, make use of Confession when they fall and of frequent reception of Holy Communion for the needed strength and fortitude to keep fighting and hopefully achieve what has been promised to us. 

Hate the sin and love the sinner...urge the sinner to repentance, restitution and forgiveness, isn't this correct? And that includes returning to bed and board (where possible) of the first spouse, and if not possible, then live in complete continence with the second. That is what I have read and been taught, anyway...has something changed in my 60-plus years?

Please remember that we all are sinners and all need mercy and forgiveness, along with justice here on earth to lessen the justice required in Purgatory.

If you want to ease the pain and suffering of the divorced and remarried, then start with a sincere effort to preserve Catholic marriages in trouble before they hit the divorce court and stop routinely advocating annulment as the cure to troubled marriages, especially from parish priests. Remember that when you tacitly approve civil divorce and give spouses unfettered freedom from Church Laws to pursue it, you also are giving them the unfettered freedom to dispose of a spouse, a family, a vocation and a vow they willingly spoke of their own Free Will before priest, spouse and Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Please make sure that what is applicable to the laity in general, is equally applicable to a particular sub-set of the laity. What you change for one, must change for all. What you allow for one, must be allowed for all.

Respectfully In Christ, 

David Heath

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

MUNDABOR:The Novus Ordo And Us

Mundabor has an excellent post everyone should read, of which a small part is excepted below. Clarity is this bloggers trademark. Black and white Catholic commentary is at its best here, and this post shows why... [Ed.]

The Novus Ordo And Us

Inferior to wine. Not poisonous at all.
Inferior to wine. Not poisonous at all.

Please take the comparison below only as drink comparison. That wine is used in the Consecration is not relevant here.
With V II the Church gave us, together with many other mistakes, a second-class Mass. Second-class, not sinful. Second-class, not something that would be even a grave matter to attend.
Speaking of drinks (and letting aside the sacramental aspect at the Mass) we were accustomed to wine. One day,  the Church told us wine is a drink for stuffy old people, and Coca Cola is the new drink the Church gives to you: bubbly, fizzly, young, dynamic, in tune with the new times, good for young and old, and apt to have many more people get at the table.
Coca-Cola is sugary, superficial, vastly inferior to wine in everything, pretty much of a child’s drink compared to it. But it can never be a sin to drink Coca-Cola; particularly so, when the Church gives it to you as the standard drink.
I have never made a secret of my position. I have stated very often on this blog that I attend the NO mass regularly. I even tour the land attending at Masses here and there to get the temperature of average Catholic parishes out in the V II wasteland.

Copyright 2015 David Heath - All Rights Reserved