Special Report: Devil in Rome premieres Monday, Aug. 22 at 8 PM ET
The Catholic hierarchy is becoming ever more divided over the Church's perennial moral teachings and the binding doctrinal disciplines rooted in them. The faithful may draw some comfort from knowing that this division was foretold in 1973 by the Blessed Virgin Mary during her Church-approved apparitions in Akita, Japan.
On October 13 of that year, Our Lady of Akita revealed to a pious nun this impending crisis in the Church:
The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals and bishops against other bishops. ... The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the devil will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.
This prophecy is currently being fulfilled at an ever-increasing rate. Clerics are not correcting the erroneously formed consciences of errant Catholics. They're allowing Catholics, who are living in an objective state of mortal sin, and even their non-Catholic spouses to receive Holy Communion. Such a change in Church practice is being heralded as "revolutionary" by the archbishop of Chicago, Cdl. Blase Cupich, and lauded as a "paradigm shift" by the Vatican's Secretary of State Cdl. Pietro Parolin.
In January, Cdl. Parolin voiced approval for the opening of Holy Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried. The cardinal described such a change in Church practice as a "paradigm shift," which exalted primacy of conscience over Catholic moral teaching. Two weeks later, Cdl. Cupich expressed solidarity with Cdl. Parolin by also calling the move to disregard the perennial ban on Holy Communion for those living in objective mortal sin a "paradigm shift" that was "nothing short of revolutionary." The erroneous positions of these cardinals were publically corrected by the former prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cdl. Gerhard Müller, who countered that such a revolutionary shift "constitutes not a development but a corruption" of Church teaching.
The division amongst prelates over leaving erroneously formed consciences in ignorance has now resulted in German bishops admitting even non-Catholics to Holy Communion. Last week, Cdl. Muller denounced the decision by German bishops of admitting to Holy Communion the Protestant spouses of Catholics, calling it a misinterpretation of canon law. The cardinal said local bishops have no authority to establish disciplines that contravene Catholic teaching.
Watch the panel discuss a divided hierarchy in The Download—Bishop Against Bishop.