In a Church With No Leader, Two New Protests From Bishops and Faithful

In a Church With No Leader, Two New Protests From Bishops and Faithful

Sandro Magister – 4/7/18

An anxious Easter, at the top of the Catholic Church. Over the span of a few days, two of the most revolutionary turning points of the pontificate of Pope Francis have been contested with as many public declarations on the part of cardinals, bishops, and members of the Christian people.

They are the two watersheds that admit to Eucharistic communion both the divorced and remarried, and Protestants.

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With regard to communion for the divorced and remarried, already in 2016 four cardinals had spoken out against the “openness” of Francis, submitting to him their “dubia” and then asking him by letter to be received. Without ever getting any response from him.

But now two of those cardinals, the German Walter Brandmüller and the American Raymond L. Burke, have again come forward and together with all the participants in a conference held in Rome today, Saturday April 7, have published a “Declaratio,” a profession of faith, which reaffirms the key points of Church doctrine brought into doubt by the onslaught of innovation begun by the current pontificate.

The text of the “Declaratio,” in multiple languages, is presented on this same page, further below.

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As for communion for Protestants at Catholic Masses, seven bishops of Germany, including the cardinal of Cologne, Rainer Maria Voelki, have made an appeal to the Holy See against the decision to allow it, made by the German episcopal conference.

This decision – which is presented in the form of an “orientational aid” – went into effect on March 22 at the end of a meeting of the episcopal conference, where it had been approved by a majority vote after a lively discussion.

The bishops who contested this decision maintain that it touches on a question that is too significant, one that endangers the doctrine and unity of the Catholic Church, to be left to the judgment of individual national Churches or individual bishops or priests. And precisely for this reason they have made an appeal to Rome, asking for a clarification from the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which has as its prefect the Jesuit archbishop Luis Ladaria, and from the pontifical council for Christian unity, which has as its president Cardinal Kurt Koch.

Their initiative was covered in the April 4 edition of the German newspaper “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.” The seven signers of the appeal, in addition to Cardinal Woelki, are Ludwig Schick, archbishop of Bamberg, Konrad Zdarsa, bishop of Augsburg, Gregor Maria Hanke, bishop of Eichstätt, Stefan Oster, bishop of Passau, Rudolf Voderholzer, bishop of Regensburg, and Wolfgang Ipolt, bishop of Görlitz.

Whether the Holy See will respond or not, and how, will naturally depend on what Pope Francis will decide.

Who, when he was questioned once by a Protestant woman who asked him if she could receive communion at Mass together with her Catholic husband, answered with a whirligig of yes, no, I don’t know, you figure it out, precisely in this manner opening the way to a great variety of decisions, all of which he has depicted as possible. As Cardinal Walter Kasper afterward confirmed, confidently attributing to the pope the idea that “if two spouses, one Catholic and one Protestant, share the same Eucharistic faith and are inwardly disposed, they can decide in their conscience to receive communion.”

But if a response comes from Rome on this question, it will appear even less justifiable that the pope has kept such a stubborn silence concerning the “dubia” on the other crucial question of communion for the divorced and remarried, this too concerning the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist, “source and summit” of the Church’s life.

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Getting back to the “Declaratio” published by the participants in the conference in Rome on April 7, it must be noted that this is not formulated as a request for clarification – although it incorporates some of the questions raised in the “dubia” – but as a testimony of faith that rises from the Christian people at a moment perceived as being of “grave danger to the faith and unity of the Church,” because of “contradictory interpretations” of the apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.”

It is no coincidence that the conference was entitled “Catholic Church, where are you going?” And its subtitle was this statement from Cardinal Carlo Caffarra: “Only a blind man can deny that in the Church there is great confusion.”

The speakers were cardinals Brandmüller, Burke, and, from Hong Kong, Joseph Zen Zekiun, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the philosopher and former president of the Italian senate Marcello Pera, the canonist Valerio Gigliotti, the bioethicist Renzo Puccetti. There was a replay of a talk given by Cardinal Caffarra in defense of the encyclical of Paul VI “Humanae Vitae,” now under reconsideration. And Cardinal Burke also raised his critical voice in an extensive interview published just before the conference on La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and in English on LifeSite News.

But perhaps the most original element of the conference, developed by Cardinal Brandmüller and incorporated in the “Declaratio,” was the reference to a text by Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) on the key role of the faithful in bearing witness to the true doctrine of the Church: “On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine.”

Newman published this text anonymously in the English Catholic magazine “The Rambler,” of which he had been the editor. At the time it raised heated controversy. It was republished in 1961 just before Vatican Council II and since then has become a classic.

In it Newman reviews the moments of the Church’s history in which the orthodoxy of the faith was lost by many of the bishops and saved instead by many of the ordinary baptized. And he gathers from this that on matters of doctrine listening to the voice of the faithful  – not to be confused with public opinion, but to be verified in its fidelity to the tradition of the Church – is not only desirable, but a duty.

A lesson of history more valid now than ever, and one to which the “Declaratio” gives voice. In the hope that it may be heeded even by him who sits on the chair of Peter.

In addition to Italian, English, Spanish, and French, the text of the “Declaratio” is available on “Settimo Cielo” in German, Portuguese, and Polish:

> “So also bezeugen und bekennen wir…”

> “Por isso, testemunhamos e confessamos…”

> “Dajemy świadectwo i wyznajemy…”

While on theese other pages one can read, in Italian and in English, the talk given at the conference by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller:

> “On consulting…”. Sulla consultazione dei fedeli in materia di dottrina
> “On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine”

On this other, that of Cardinal  Raymond L. Burke:

> La “plenitudo potestatis” del Romano Pontefice nel servizio dell’unità della Chiesa

And again on this other, that of Bishop Athanasius Schneider:

> The Apostolic See as the cathedra of truth

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TitoloEN

Final declaration of the conference “Catholic Church, where are you going?”
Rome, April 7, 2018

Due to contradictory interpretations of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia,” growing discontent and confusion are spreading among the faithful throughout the world.

The urgent request for a clarification submitted to the Holy Father by approximately one million faithful, more than 250 scholars and several cardinals, has received no response.

Amidst the grave danger to the faith and unity of the Church that has arisen, we baptized and confirmed members of the People of God are called to reaffirm our Catholic faith.

The Second Vatican Council authorizes us and encourages us to do so, stating in “Lumen Gentium,” n. 33: “Thus every layman, in virtue of the very gifts bestowed upon him, is at the same time a witness and a living instrument of the mission of the Church itself ‘according to the measure of Christ’s bestowal’ (Eph. 4:7).”

Blessed John Henry Newman also encourages us to do so. In his prophetic essay “On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine” (1859), he spoke of the importance of the laity bearing witness to the faith.

Therefore, in accordance with the authentic tradition of the Church, we testify and confess that:

1) A ratified and consummated marriage between two baptized persons can be dissolved only by death.

2) Therefore, Christians united by a valid marriage who join themselves to another person while their spouse is still alive commit the grave sin of adultery.

3) We are convinced that there exist absolute moral commandments which oblige always and without exception.

4) We are also convinced that no subjective judgment of conscience can make an intrinsically evil act good and licit.

5) We are convinced that judgment about the possibility of administering sacramental absolution is not based on the imputability of the sin committed, but on the penitent’s intention to abandon a way of life that is contrary to the divine commandments.

6) We are convinced that persons who are divorced and civilly remarried, and who are unwilling to live in continence, are living in a situation that is objectively contrary to the law of God, and therefore cannot receive Eucharistic Communion.

Our Lord Jesus Christ says: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8: 31-32).

With this confidence we confess our faith before the supreme pastor and teacher of the Church and before the bishops, and we ask them to confirm us in the faith.

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4 comments on “In a Church With No Leader, Two New Protests From Bishops and Faithful

  1. Despite recourse to V2 and Newman, whom Cd. Manning called “the most dangerous man in England” because of Newman’s Liberalism, even those references are relevant and useful, taken in the context Cd. Burke et Al provided.
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    Thus, this “reasonable effort” may yet go down in history as a significant moment in what one hopes will become a wider uprising to clean out the Motel 6, room by room, along with every last queer and pro-serial adultery cleric, from Rome to Berlin, from Chi-town to my town, and all the way down to Tierra del Diego.
    /
    (Andale!! Arrriiiba! Buy those men a keg of Dos Equis! Andale! Viva Christi Rey! 😎)
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    Note: #1 in the list of confessions should be enough to send Der Furor right into the Bunker. May the round-the-clock shelling commence!

  2. Louie V, ahem!, has a vituperative take on Cd. Burke et al.
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    His BLEEEP! readers have filled the combox, taking no prisoners. To Louie & Co., The Remnant is as useless as Burke.
    /
    Disomfiting reading, indeed.

    • Cardinal Burke, the Remnant: Each part of the problem
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      Louie April 7, 2018
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      Cardinal Raymond Burke is back in the headlines, and is likely to remain there for at least the next few weeks thanks to his recent interview with the Italian daily La Nuova Bussola, his appearance at this weekend’s conference in Rome, and an upcoming appearance scheduled to take place on April 21 in Philadelphia.
      /
      Over at the Remnant, Christopher Ferrara commented on the Nuova Bussola interview; recapping what he considers the most noteworthy – no, make that praiseworthy – “highlights.”
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      Unfortunately, neither Cardinal Burke nor Mr. Ferrara provided readers with anything remotely resembling a traditional Catholic approach to the current ecclesial crisis; the latter being the more disappointing of the two, though not entirely surprising given the Remnant’s decidedly “neo-conservative,” Americanist, editorial slant.
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      According to Mr. Ferrara:
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      The Cardinal finally presents the matter squarely as what it always was: the imperative of direct opposition to a Pope who is spreading heresy throughout the Church.
      /
      Let’s now take a look at some of the evidence Mr. Ferrara offered, in the form of select quotes from Cardinal Burke, in support of his positive reaction:
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      Many people who were baptized in a Protestant ecclesial communion, but then entered into the full communion of the Catholic Church because their original ecclesial communities abandoned the Apostolic Faith… perceive that the Catholic Church is going down the same road of abandoning the faith.
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      Setting aside for more important matters the laughable idea of “full communion”….
      /
      An authentic traditional Catholic reaction to Cardinal Burke’s ludicrous statement is to condemn, in no uncertain terms, the utterly false suggestion that the “Protestant ecclesial communions” ever had “the Apostolic Faith” in the first place. By definition, the Protestant heretical communities are founded upon the abandonment of said Faith!
      /
      Look, I realize that many among us have become numb to this sort of neo-conservative nonsense, but let’s not fall into the trap of complacency, which is truly nothing less serious than the sin of compliance with evil.
      /
      Though not unexpected, it is absolutely shameful that Cardinal Burke – a man to whom many sincerely ignorant persons are looking for Catholic clarity and conviction – is dispensing such poisonous ideas.
      /
      Every bit as shameful as well, however, is the fact that the Remnant – a publication that boasts of being America’s oldest traditional Catholic newspaper – is offering this dreadful quote to readers as evidence that Cardinal Burke is finally living up to his duty to address the present situation plainly.
      /
      God forbid a sincere neo-Catholic, who is sufficiently disturbed by the Bergoglian menace to actually read the Remnant, should come away believing that Mr. Ferrara’s take is representative of traditional Catholic thinking.
      /
      Mr. Ferrara went on to quote Cardinal Burke, again, uncritically:
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      This whole situation leads me to reflect more and more on the message of Our Lady of Fatima who warns us about the evil — even more serious than the very grave evils suffered because of the spread of atheistic communism — which is apostasy from the faith within the Church. Number 675 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us…
      /
      I’m going to cut the quote short here, just as Mr. Ferrara (who probably knows more about the Fatima message than I ever will) should have.
      /
      The Catechism of the Catholic Church is nothing more glorious than a user’s manual for those who wish to dwell in the church-of-man according to the false precepts of the Second Vatican Council, which is precisely the “apostasy from the faith within the Church” that Our Lady of Fatima forewarned us about!
      /
      I can hear the whine of the weak now:
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      Yes, but if we criticize the Council at every turn, the neo-conservatives will never hear us!
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      Nonsense. Not that long ago, I was a neo-conservative. In time, by God’s grace, I did hear the voice of traditional Catholicism as it consistently condemned the very Council that I once hailed in parishes and dioceses around the U.S.
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      Had those voices of tradition sounded like the Remnant does today, I’m not sure where I’d be at this moment in time.
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      And make no mistake about it:
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      A neo-conservative reading Mr. Ferrara’s article is hearing something alright; namely, that Cardinal Burke, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the almighty Council can be trusted, and what’s more, they are compatible not only with “traditional” Catholic thought, but with Our Lady’s warnings as given at Fatima as well.
      /
      The headline to Mr. Ferrara’s article reads: Cardinal Burke, Alluding to Fatima, Calls for Hierarchical Opposition to the Errors of Bergoglianism.
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      Opposition? Hardly. Here is what Cardinal Burke calls for:
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      In such a situation the bishops and cardinals have the duty to proclaim true doctrine.
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      Folks, this is just more conciliar rubbish; namely, the dangerous notion that it is enough to simply repeat what is true apart from condemning, loudly and clearly, what is false, as well as calling to account those promoting it.
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      In truth, the bishops and cardinals have the duty to proclaim true doctrine in every situation; the present situation calls for something more.
      /
      Cardinal Burke even had the audacity to say (as quoted uncritically yet again by Mr. Ferrara):
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      The great canonist of the thirteenth century, Henry of Segusio, also known as Hostiensis, facing the difficult question of how to correct a Roman Pontiff who acts in a way contrary to his office, states that the College of Cardinals constitutes a de facto check against papal error.”
      /
      Yes, this is the same Cardinal Burke who has failed to deliver the promised “formal act of correction” that he promised well over a year ago.
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      Perhaps he is taking refuge in the idea that it falls to the entire “College of Cardinals” to “correct a Roman Pontiff;” thus exempting himself from his own individual duty.
      /
      Whatever the case may be, is it too much to expect Christopher Ferrara and the Remnant to point out Cardinal Burke’s sheer unadulterated hypocrisy?
      /
      Apparently so.
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      Mr. Ferrara offered other quotes from Cardinal Burke that I won’t subject you to here. You may read them at the Remnant, and can voice your own opinion in their comment section (even though it may be subject to deletion).
      /
      In conclusion, Mr. Ferrara, who is apparently finding it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that man-of-the-Council Burke isn’t a Catholic superhero after all, stated:
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      Perhaps, given the attendance of Burke and two other Cardinals at that meeting, we will see at last, from at least some members of the College of Cardinals, a formal correction of the most wayward Pope in Church history.
      /
      This is a reference to this weekend’s Roman conference; the same one that Michael Matt – publisher of America’s oldest… (you know the rest) – suggested is being guided by Cardinal Caffarra from Heaven.
      /
      If by chance there are any here who still imagine that the Remnant is making a real contribution to the cause of Catholic tradition, the following should put an end to that fantasy once and for all:
      /
      Just weeks after President Donald Trump signed into law the omnibus spending bill that grants yet another half-a-billion taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, guaranteeing that the abortion mill can continue slaughtering human beings by the hundreds of thousands for at least another year, Michael Matt, rather than voicing the outrage one should expect from every person of good will – never mind a self-identified traditional Catholic – wrote:
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      The effort to defund Planned Parenthood is still a work in progress … And although the omnibus spending bill which President Trump severely criticized, was a disappointment to pro-lifers, there is still a lot going on proving that this is far from over.
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      Severely criticized? He signed it into law!
      /
      Mr. Matt then went on to provide readers with ten reasons why “the Left is in a panic,” ultimately concluding:
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      “Nice work, Mr. President!”
      /
      Yes, you read that correctly.
      /
      Bottom line, the Remnant isn’t just useless in a neutral sense; it is part of the problem and, frankly, downright dangerous.
      /
      Yes, I know that I may be inviting the weak among us to whine about “circular firing squads” and “in-fighting,” but if that’s the way you feel – leave these pages until you grow strong enough to digest solid food. This isn’t the blog for you.
      /
      For those still here who may be inclined to ask:
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      OK, other than pointing out that there’s a problem in so-called ‘traditional’ Catholic media, what are you going to do about it?
      /
      All I can say is stayed tuned. The answer is coming very soon.

  3. Note: To distinguish my “reasonable effort” characterization from the more incendiary reactions by Louie V’s peanut gallery, it meant not that I saw Cd. Burke as a polemical counter-revolutionary as he has never been such. Rather, he did add momentum to “conservatives” by apparently increasing the stakes, which “conservatives” have shied away from.
    /
    Since traditionalists are rarer than hen’s teeth, if an uprising ever took place it would take much greater support, that would include “conservatives”, to bring the crisis to a head. In other words, even “conservatives” would need to play some role in cleaning out the Augean stables.
    In that capacity, Burke could help.
    /
    Besides, laics have no authority to do any more than wield torches and handy polemical pitchforks.
    /
    The Rise & Fall of the Weird Reich under Der Furor, its Maximum Leader for Life, will prob’ly take awhile. But it is good to see even luminaries in Niceville are now less resistant to calling Revolutionaries out (up to a point). Every little bit helps.
    /
    A trusted friend mentioned some time ago that an SSPX cleric theorized about BLEEPS!!! and what makes their raucous membership tick. It’s all psychological and I don’t pretend to have grasped just what the priest’s theory meant in toto. I just know I’d never heard of ’em 11 years ago, before joining AQ, but what AQ members had to say about the disorder has never been disproven, with only two exceptions, in my experience. Yikes! 😱

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