ROME, May 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – As the battle for the very soul of the family and all its members intensifies around the world with the push for sexual anarchy veiled as “education,” the undermining of what is truly masculine and feminine in the name of “gender rights,” and the destruction of marriage masquerading as “equality,” a spiritual leader who has suffered under the terror of a communist regime has laid out a survival plan for Catholic parents who find themselves in a secular, relativistic, and hostile environment but who simply want to raise their children to become future citizens of heaven.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview earlier this month that Catholic parents must take seriously their “first duty” of raising their children in the faith if their children are to overcome the negative and even hostile influences that are pressing in from all sides and seeking to destroy.
In a wide-ranging interview that covered his experience as a Catholic boy growing up under communism, his thoughts on what it means to be a Catholic family today, his thoughts on education, bad parishes and dioceses run by agenda-driven priests and bishops, as well as his views on how faithful laity should address concerns about Pope Francis, the bishop laid out twelve steps that he said Catholic parents must take to safeguard their families and their children.
Bishop Schneider said that to survive in a heretical wasteland, Catholic parents must:
See persecution as a grace from God for becoming purified and strengthened, not simply as something negative.
Become rooted yourself in the Catholic faith through study of the Catechism.
Protect your family’s integrity above all else.
Catechize your children as your first duty.
Pray with your children daily, such as litanies and the Rosary.
Turn your home into a domestic church.
In the absence of a priest and Sunday Mass, make spiritual communion.
Withdraw your family from a parish spreading error and attend a faithful parish, even if you have to travel far.
Withdraw your children from school if they are encountering immoral danger in sex-ed.
If you cannot withdraw your children, establish a coalition of parents to fight for that right.
Fight for parental rights using available democratic tools.
Be prepared for persecution in protecting your children (see first point).
The bishop said that being a Catholic “family” in the truest sense of the word is the key to survival.
“From my experience of the time of the persecution, the vital importance is the family, the integrity of the family, and that both parents are deeply rooted in the faith. This is then transmitted to the children. I would like to say that the children have to receive the faith with the milk of the mother. And then the first task of the parents is to transmit to the children the purity, the beauty, the integrity of the Catholic faith in a simple manner.”
He said that parents need to rise up to the responsibility of creating an environment within the home where children can flourish spiritually.
“I think this is today the main task for families: To establish a culture of domestic churches,” he said.
If children are being poisoned outside the home, such as in school, through hedonistic and nihilistic sex-education programs, then parents have the “obligation” to withdraw their children.
“You cannot expose your children to an immoral danger. It is impossible. Catholic parents, in defending their children from this immorality, have to be even ready to suffer, yes, to suffer consequences,” Bishop Schneider said. If a country’s laws make it impossible for withdrawal, he added, then parents should band together and fight for the right using whatever democratic means are available.
If children are being poisoned from the pulpit, the same logic applies and parents must find a faithful parish, he said, calling unfaithful priests and bishops “traitors of the faith.”
“When pastors or members of the hierarchy contradict the teaching of Christ, the teaching of the perpetual Magisterium of the Church, of the Catechism, you have to withdraw your children from these churches, and not to go to them, even if you have to travel 100 km [to a faithful church].”
Bishop Schneider recounted how his parents were overjoyed to move to a location in the Soviet Union where there was a Catholic Church within 100 kilometers.
“I think that in the Western world, in the United States, you will find a Church maybe closer than 100 kilometers where there may be a good priest. So, avoid these churches [where error is preached]. [Such places] are destroying the faith of the people. These churches are destroying. We have to avoid them. [Such people] are traitors of the faith, even when they have the title of priest or bishop,” he said.
The bishop went on to give advice regarding how faithful Catholics, who love the Pope and do not wish to harm the papacy, might express themselves in raising concerns about Pope Francis.
The Church is not run like a “dictatorship” where no one can “contradict the dictator,” he said, adding that the Holy Father is “our father” and Catholics must not be afraid to voice their cares and concerns to him over his governance of the Church.
He ended the interview offering LifeSiteNews and its supporters his blessing. “God bless you and continue your holy and very precious work for family and marriage and for the Gospel and the Church,” he said.