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A Leaven In The World . . . Fr. Weinandy Warns About “Disintegration” of Church

March 5, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Fr. Thomas Weinandy is no wacko. That is why the U.S. bishops at one time appointed him to advise them on matters theological. The bishops are famous for avoiding controversy but, now, in our present upside-down reality, controversy has found them. Weinandy has never been considered extreme or unbalanced. Until now.
In the “Amoris Laetitia World” black is white and white is black. And, as Antonio Spadaro (in)famously said, “2+2=5.” Down the rabbit hole we go.
As you may remember, Weinandy stepped down from that USCCB role shortly after speaking out for the first time in an open letter last year in protest at the “chronic” doctrinal confusion caused by the Pope and his advisers. “The USCCB strongly encouraged me to resign,” Weinandy stated at the time.
He is deeply educated and respected, expresses himself without hysterics, and is considered a man of the Church. He remains a member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission.
That is why now, when we have heard from him again on the crisis in the Church, his words of warning are particularly ominous.
He spoke at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney, Australia late last month and his message was stunning because he describes the Church as in the process of breaking up into something unrecognizable from the identity conferred by Christ the Lord at her creation by Him (see p. 7B in this week’s issue).
His speech centered on the four marks of the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, affirming that they stand or fall based upon our faithful offering and reception of the Most Holy Eucharist.
His speech drew from the Creed and its teaching on these four essential defining characteristics, or marks, conferred upon the Church by her divine Founder and therefore essential to her identity. Weinandy declared that these “four defining ecclesial marks are presently at risk” and the words and actions which put them at risk are coming not only from the Church’s members but “even and regrettably from within Church leadership.”
Weinandy drew from the work of second-century St. Ignatius of Antioch to set the tone for his treatment of the four marks and their threatened status. He said the bishop was “the most prophetically advanced” among others of his time and that his “seven letters” served well for the purpose of the talk as they “embodied the four ecclesial marks.”
St. Ignatius preached that unity was and must be the Church’s “supreme present expression,” in faith seeking unity in God also as its goal. The early bishop emphasized unity with the bishop and with the Church as essential to Christian identity.
Edward Pentin in the National Catholic Register wrote:
“For St. Ignatius, this ecclesial oneness, he (Weinandy) continued, is expressed and enacted within the Eucharist which ‘supremely embodies’ and actualizes most fully the four marks. Therefore only those in a state of grace and ‘co-joined to the Church’ can participate in this ‘supreme sacrament of faith’ and heretics who reject the four marks ‘render themselves incapable of receiving Jesus in communion.’
“With all this in mind, Fr. Weinandy said that for Ignatius heresy is ‘fundamentally destructive’ as it ‘destroys the oneness of the Church.’ It is ‘absolutely detestable’ for the saint, he said, ‘precisely because it abolishes the unity of the Church, and it does so by denying the Church’s one, catholic and apostolic faith.’
“The highly respected American theologian presupposed that Ignatius had never met a heretical bishop as he gives the impression he could never have conceived of one, but were he to have done so, he would have contended he was no longer ‘in union’ with the Church. Based on Ignatius’ teaching, Fr. Weinandy said such a bishop would no longer bear the four marks of the Church and so could not fulfill his ministry as a bishop.
“He therefore believes a ‘robust defense and clear advocacy’ of the four marks is necessary otherwise the Church’s identity ‘will become disordered’ and thus ‘enfeeble’ her ability to proclaim the Gospel. This will not only ‘cause scandal’ but ‘more importantly, demean the Eucharistic liturgy as the supreme enactment’ of the four marks.”
One of the ways in which the Catholicity of the Church is being undermined is as a result of the Pope’s application of synodality, not just to the manner in which bishops come together to discuss the life of the Church, her teachings, and the pastoral care of the faithful, but also now the fact that the teachings themselves are being treated as synodal, or regional, and not Catholic or universal.
“We are presently witnessing the disintegration of the Church’s catholicity, for local churches, both on the diocesan and national level, are often interpreting doctrinal norms and moral precepts in various conflicting and contradictory ways,” according to Weinandy.
The holiness of the Church is under attack by the encouraging of the reception of the Most Holy Eucharist by those not living a holy life. Allowing some faithful to receive who are living in adultery is to treat the holiest gift we have, Christ Himself in the Eucharist, in an unholy way.
When we are not holy, that is, in mortal sin, Christ teaches that we must become holy again through Confession and absolution. This is the meaning of the seven sacraments, one of which is the means of restoring the graces of Baptism and enabling the baptized to return to reception of the Eucharist once again.
God is consistent and so must we also be in receiving the gifts of God.
Pentin also reported:
“He said he hoped that by pinpointing the ‘perilous nature of the crisis’ it would encourage all the faithful ‘to embark on an adequate response.’ That cannot be merely negative, he said, but ‘robustly positive’ by proclaiming ‘the good news of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church’ and defending and promoting ‘a proper knowledge of and love for the Eucharist, for here, as we saw, the four marks of the Church are most fully expressed and abundantly.”
I along with many others have repeatedly asked our bishops to publicly reprimand and stop the scandal of those who are publicly attacking the Lord and the Church by unworthy reception of the Eucharist. True pastoral love would at the same time implore these individuals to cease immediately attacking their own prospects of eternal salvation. Implementation of Amoris Laetitia is being used to publicly encourage unworthy reception and undermines the Church’s witness just as public pro-abortion Catholic politicians do.
Last week Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., publicly declared Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), a heretic who rejects the four marks of the Church, unfit to receive the Eucharist until he publicly repents of his pro-abortion advocacy and voting record. It’s a start.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
@MCITLFrAphorism

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