Tuesday 23rd July 2019

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Is Pope Francis Bypassing The German Bishops?

July 13, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By SHAUN KENNEY

Pope Francis writes a letter to the “people of God” in Germany as the Amazon Synod warms up for its October meeting. One topic of interest that Francis continues to draw attention to is the twin errors of Neo-Pelagianism and Gnosticism, both of which are concerns drawn from the work of Pope Benedict XVI.
The distinction is drawn from an emphasis on faith and rules. Too much emphasis on rules, and one falls into the trap of Pelagianism. Too much emphasis on faith, and one falls into the trap of gnosis or hidden knowledge.
It is easy for folks to put either Neo-Pelagianism or Gnosticism in the traditional roles of the right or the left, with those rules-based traditionalists squaring off against those sandaled progressive hippies with their guitars and tambourines.
Yet the disease can transition to the other side. Consider the ossified bureaucracy that seems to swarm around every Catholic charitable institution with its miasma of political leftism masquerading as Catholic. If there is anything more emblematic of the Neo-Pelagian mindset, it is the “but this is how we’ve always done it!” mentality that plagues the Church.
Similarly, we can see Gnosticism among our own tribe when we find ourselves looking for a Catholicism that becomes a museum of saints rather than a hospital for sinners. These are the folks who hush crying babies in the pews who have just as much a right to be there as we do.
I can recall a time one Sunday evening when a gentleman, dressed in suit and tie, scolded a Hispanic gentleman who showed up to Mass in paint clothes. The priest at the time overheard it, waited for the suit to leave, and calmly talked to the painter. Afterward, the priest explained to us that the painter worked two shifts to provide for his family, and that he came as he was — forced to work on a Sunday by guys like that man in the suit. It made me feel ashamed to think of how we treat Sunday as a day of rest by going to Walmart, restaurants, and so forth — relaxing at the expense of those who must work?
Francis emphasizes that the tension between rules and faith is relaxed by grace, and it is within the idea of synodality that grace and the direction of the Holy Spirit prevail. Not with a sense of uprootedness, but rather with an openness to grace.
Would that every member of the synod were actually of that spirit! Francis too seems concerned about the potentiality for the hijacking of the synod in this letter, again specifically written to the “people of God” in Germany, where the bishops have been the most insistent upon the introduction of married priests within the Western Rite. To this point, Francis levels the charge of Gnosticism, or rather that entrenchment that insists “we” have it right and “they” have it wrong. Thus the Gnosticism of the German bishops seems to be the target of Francis’ concern, that rather than synodality there is a more political element at play.
It has been mentioned before that the German bishops are frightfully concerned about the Kirchensteuer — the “church tax” that fuels the Catholic Church in Germany in lieu of donations. This tax is apportioned by the German people as they register as either Catholics, various Protestant denominations, or none of the above. As the politics and “reform” of the 1970s has produced a counterfeit Catholicism, future Catholics have rejected the counterfeit almost entirely. No small wonder why these same relics of the 1970s would continue to use the very methods that produced the crisis in the first place, if for no other reason than it is the only trick these ponies know.
Thus Francis is left trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube, so to speak. Having bet on the goodwill of those who have expressed very little in exchange, Francis is trying to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit will preserve this or any other synod from error so long as men of good will and right intention participate in the experiment.
The problem, of course, is that we do live in the world. We are plagued by heresies, Neo-Pelagian and Gnostic alike. Some of those mistakes are hidden even from our own hearts. Yes, grace does supply where our intellect fails, but we should be wise enough to understand that the political religions of the postmodern era are not content to leave Catholics be. They are, in a word, totalitarian — and they have the hearts and minds of our laity, our priests, and even some of our bishops.
All the more reason to pray mightily for the Church during such times. Pope Francis, in bypassing the German bishops, is half-cautioning and half-pleading his case. If the synod goes sideways, then Francis’ radical bet of the good will of his brother bishops will fundamentally shake his notion of synodality. Alternatively, if the synod reaffirms the celibate priesthood, then Francis will reaffirm 1,600 years of tradition.
Who wins? Let’s hope the Holy Spirit does, because we have been down this road once before in the time of Martin Luther, and Christendom certainly let the Holy Spirit down that time.

A Transient Place

“I hope you hugged your kids last Tuesday.” Which isn’t the way you ever want to start a conversation that begins with, “What happened in such-and-such part of the world?” Yet there it is.
When I was a young man of the age of 12, I picked up a book from the shelf in the middle school entitled Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. While I don’t remember much of the book itself (other than that it was good enough to capture my attention), I do remember the opening chapters. Two brothers raised in Florida listen to the same pastor every Sunday, a fire and brimstone character who appends much of his fulminations with the catchphrase “Alas, Babylon!” before condemning the enemies of God to everlasting perdition.
Later in life, one brother stays home while the other becomes a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. The two of them agree on a pre-established code for impending doom: the words “Alas, Babylon” in remembrance of their preacher’s doomsday predictions.
Of course, the book begins with a telegram from one brother to another with those precise words, and shortly after the telegram a nuclear war erupts. The community survives only to discover that the United States won the nuclear exchange only to be utterly reliant on Third World countries such as Brazil and Venezuela.
In moderately unrelated news, Vice President Mike Pence’s plane was abruptly turned around from an event in New Hampshire a few weeks ago. President Donald Trump abruptly stopped a bombing campaign that was 10 minutes away from starting a war with Iran a week before that. In Murmansk, we have Russian submarines catching fire and killing 14 after an American submarine (more accurately, a drone) was reportedly scuttled in the exchange. Russian President Vladimir Putin also abruptly changed his schedule at the same moment Pence was turned around.
One mentions all of these things not to alarm anyone, but to remind us that the world is a transient place. We are pilgrims in a strange land as Catholics, and for those of us who remember what it was like to grow up with a Soviet Union, it is a strange reminder that we really are still a few minutes to midnight every day — and unlike the Cold War, we live in a world that is just as tense and far more unpredictable.
“Behold, I have come as a thief in the night,” reminds Christ, “Blessed is the one who watches and keeps his clothes ready, so that he may not go naked and people see him exposed” (Rev. 16:15).

Why You Believe

Some good news with regards to my friend who continues to struggle with alcoholism. Yes, he is in treatment and has been for the last four weeks with the Veterans Administration, with another two weeks to go.
At the moment, he is getting to the root of his dependency issues. One of the things he mentioned specifically was that core values — truly core values — are something that the psychiatrists typically target in any sort of treatment program. Not just why you believe what you believe, but why you believe the “why you believe” and so forth.
It all seems rather intense. That’s the sort of breaking down of a person that one might see in dystopian science fiction novels or Chinese internment and re-education camps. Or, in another sense, for those of us more familiar with religious forms, a confessional.
Still, I have a great deal of hope that this is going to turn out for the best. For that, I have you to thank, because I truly am convinced that your prayers have been the difference between this path and something much darker. So if you ever wonder whether prayer works? Why yes…it most certainly does.
St. Louis de Montfort and Venerable Matt Talbot, pray for us!

Write To Me!

First Teachers encourages readers to submit their thoughts, views, opinions, and insights to the author directly, either via e-mail or by mail. Please send any correspondence to Shaun Kenney c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 or by e-mail to svk2cr@virginia.edu.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

The deposit of faith has not been guarded, instead it has been fragmented & corrupted especially in the areas of marriage, family & sexuality. I pray that bishops & all Catholics will return anew to this font of revealed truth & pray for cleansing & renewal in God’s life & grace.

Load More...

Tucker Carlson: big business is now at war against your family

July 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The first thing to note about Tucker Carlson is that when he’s on stage and riffing on his irritations, he is hilarious. He began his keynote speech at the National Conservatism conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday…Continue Reading

Teacher sues Catholic school for firing her over pro-abortion posts on social media

BERKELEY COUNTY, South Carolina, July 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A former teacher filed a wrongful termination suit against a South Carolina Catholic school that fired her for championing legal abortion on social media in violation of long-settled, well-known Catholic doctrine.…Continue Reading

Bombshell Claim: Scientists Find “Man-made Climate Change Doesn’t Exist In Practice”

A new scientific study could bust wide open deeply flawed fundamental assumptions underlying controversial climate legislation and initiatives such as the Green New Deal, namely, the degree to which ‘climate change’ is driven by natural phenomena vs. man-made issues measured as…Continue Reading

Cineplex explains decision to screen Abby Johnson’s ‘Unplanned’ in Canada

July 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-life film Unplanned, which tells the true story of pro-life activist Abby Johnson’s conversion from the abortion industry, will be shown in Canada after all thanks to a decision by film distributor Cineplex. Unplanned tells the…Continue Reading

Viganò criticizes Pope Francis’ handling of abuse allegations

Vatican City, Jul 5, 2019 / 02:47 pm (CNA).- Recently published remarks from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano take aim at two situations described by the former nuncio as “allegations of offenses against minors during Pope Francis’ tenure.” In fact, in…Continue Reading

U.S. Bishops Approve the Pope’s Capital Punishment Ban

Sæva indignatio. Few writers in the history of English letters could express “savage indignation” at human folly as did Jonathan Swift who wrote those words for his own epitaph. Our times give ample opportunity to empathize with him, and that is…Continue Reading

Due to backlash, Pell to live in ‘secure compound’ if appeal succeeds

Sydney, Australia, Jun 25, 2019 / 12:03 am (CNA).- While Cardinal George Pell of Australia is appealing his sexual abuse conviction in court, he and his supporters are making arrangements for a “safe hideaway” for the cleric, should his conviction…Continue Reading

Forced abortion decision overturned on appeal, according to reports

London, England, Jun 24, 2019 / 11:03 am (CNA).- A controversial UK court decision to force a disabled woman to have an abortion has been overturned on appeal. In a decision reportedly reached June 24, the English Court of Appeal, consisting…Continue Reading

Rosary Rally in Reparation for Homosexual and Transgender Grooming of Kids in “Drag Queen Story Hour” at Public Library in Md

A small group ranging from ten to 15 LGBTQ-obedient bots danced and played loud gay anthems like “YMCA” and “We are Family”, and holding a sign which read “Toleration is Godly”, sequestered behind yellow tape on one side of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Rosary Rally Sunday to Protest Maryland Drag Queen Story Time for Kids

Personhood Maryland is asking pro-life Christians to gather at the Lexington Park Library for a peaceful prayer vigil on Sunday, June 23rd from 3:30-5:30 pm Eastern to stand against the Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) and Drag 101 event scheduled…Continue Reading

Supreme Court rules WW1 Peace Cross memorial is here to stay

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 this morning in favor of a nearly 100-year-old World War I memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland, known as the “Peace Cross,” allowing it to remain standing.…Continue Reading

Vatican’s doctrinal office expected to release document on gender theory

Vatican City, Jun 14, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s doctrinal office is preparing a document which will address Church teaching and the anthropology of the human person in the context of so-called gender theory, according to a Vatican…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Google censored video on Ten Commandments, conservative producer tells Congress

July 19, 2019 (Daily Signal) — Google denies viewers access to educational content on its YouTube subsidiary without explanation, radio host and commentator Dennis Prager testified Tuesday at a Senate hearing. “Google, which owns YouTube, has restricted access to 56 of our 320 five-minute videos and other videos we produce,” Prager, co-founder of Prager University, told the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. In prepared testimony, Pr

Nancy Pelosi claims churches helping her encourage illegal aliens to break the law

July 17, 2019 (American Thinker) — Presumably, a nation’s top lawmaker would care a bit about rule of law. Not House speaker Nancy Pelosi. She’s out advising people whose very first act in America was to break the law — how to avoid any consequences for that act, not at the entry point, not during the lengthy court process, but well after the courts have processed every claim and appeal, and still found them deportable

Vatican’s former doctrine head criticizes Amazon synod working doc for ‘false teaching’

July 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The cardinal who was tasked by Pope Benedict with defending the doctrine of the Catholic Church has criticized the Pan-Amazon Synod’s working document (Instrumentum Laboris) for its “radical u-turn in the hermeneutics of Catholic theology” and for its “false teaching.” Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), said the “main problem” with the working document is that “key terms are not being clarified.” His statement…Continue Reading

2 priests, 2 pro-life activists arrested trying to save babies inside New Jersey abortion center

MORRISTOWN, New Jersey, July 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Catholic priests and two lay pro-life activists were arrested this morning for entering and refusing to leave an abortion facility, offering red roses to the women inside and encouraging them to choose life. At least one woman turned away and didn’t go through with an abortion, Red Rose Rescue spokeswoman Lisa Hart told LifeSiteNews. The woman’s mother was forcing her to have the abortion.

Vincent Lambert, France’s Terri Schiavo, dies after 9 days without food and water

July 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vincent Lambert, the disabled man a court ordered to be starved to death in a French hospital, died this morning. After nine days without food and fluids, showing a remarkable will to live despite the cruel death of thirst that doctors had prepared for him, France’s Terri Schiavo departed from this earthly life at 8:24 a.m. on Thursday, July 11. He died of heart failure induced by the malfunction of his kidneys…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Trump Fuels A Tribal War In Nancy’s House

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN President Donald Trump’s playground taunt July 14 that “the Squad” of four new radical liberal House Democrats, all women of color, should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,” dominated headlines the morning of July 15. Yet those headlines smothered the deeper story.…Continue Reading

The Pope Vs. Pop Culture

By DONALD DeMARCO The late Antonin Scalia, speaking at a prayer breakfast in 1998, made reference to America’s consistent belief in God, but one that is not a national belief in a particular religion. His address has been reprinted in First Things (April 9, 2019) on the occasion of its inclusion in On Faith: Letters…Continue Reading

One Federal Department Now Spending $100 Billion Per Month

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate, www.creators.com, distributes his column.) + + + For the first time in our nation’s history, there is now a federal department spending an average of more than $100 billion per month. No, it is not the Department of Defense,…Continue Reading

In Troubled Times… Be Open To The Divine Assistance Of Heaven

By REY FLORES As I was developing ideas for this week’s column, it occurred to me that there are countless current events to write about, be it the political chaos, the recent Jeffrey Epstein child sex-trafficking case, yet another local Catholic parish shutting down in Chicago — all dismal. I figure that we have enough…Continue Reading

Sage Advice… On Winning The Continuing Struggle For Souls

  By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON Every day the media bring new stories of the depravity that is permeating our nation. There are two dozen announced candidates for the Democratic nomination to run for president. Each one, including those who claim to be Catholic, supports federal funding for abortions to the moment of birth. An increasing…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Celebrating Life On The Moon: But Here?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Media through news and commentary are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the first landing of a man on the moon this month, a great achievement indeed. Neil Armstrong’s great feat proved that we could travel into the solar system and see new places beyond planet Earth. The possibility of human life on the moon and…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am a senior citizen who has a collection of old prayer books, holy cards, leaflets, and pamphlets, as well as large-size holy pictures that are nicely framed. I will be moving soon and our local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store is no longer there. Can you help me to find some person or organization who would be…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen Warns Pope Francis . . . Vatican Directives For Church In China May Lead To “Death Of True Faith”

By BREE A. DAIL HONG KONG (LifeSiteNews) — The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong has spoken out forcefully against the Vatican’s newest “pastoral document” for the Chinese Church which gives reasons for why priests should register with the Communist government. Joseph Cardinal Zen presented nine criticisms to Pope Francis and Pietro Cardinal Parolin on a recent trip to Rome, July 1,…Continue Reading

Serve Others With Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Gen. 18:1-10a Col. 1:24-28 Luke 10:38-42 In the Gospel reading today, we hear about Martha welcoming Jesus and serving Him. Martha became burdened with the task of serving and asked the Lord if He did not care that Mary, her sister who was sitting at the feet of…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Sexual Immorality Begins With Teaching Failures

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. “But you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Sts. Louis And Azelie-Marie Guerin Martin

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Lord sends the Church the men and women who are needed to keep her holy in times of trouble. Among these are: St. Francis of Assisi, St. John of the Cross, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Faustina, and the first married couple ever to be canonized together: Louis and Azelie-Marie (Zelie) Martin. Their feast day is…Continue Reading