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False prophets in the Church are trying to hijack the upcoming Synod on the Family and impose an anti-Catholic ideology.
That's the latest warning from Kazakhstan's tradition-minded bishop Athanasius Schneider in another wide-ranging new interview, this time with Ireland's Catholic Voice.
He says the Instrumentum Laboris, the working document for October's synod, pushes "the agenda of a certain clerical pressure group" seeking to change divine law and let divorced adulterers receive Communion, among other things.
Right off the bat, Bp. Schneider rejects the notion, found in the Instrumentum Laboris, that there's a "common accord" among the synod fathers about a special "penitential way" for civilly divorced and remarried Catholics to return to receiving the Eucharist without actually avoiding sin or its near occasion.
The affirmation that there is a "common accord" on the "penitential way" is not correct. The only one public document that would permit to determine the effective opinion of the bishops on this topic, is the "Relatio Synodi" of 2014. There it is documented that 40 percent of the members of the Synod rejected such a "penitential way." When faced with such a result, one can hardly speak of a "common accord." Furthermore, there is no specification as to a concrete definition of such a "penitential way."
Bishop Schneider suggests that the Instrumentum Laboris itself serves as evidence of a certain agenda among a certain faction of the synod's bishops.
In the light of a careful analysis of the facts, one is left with the suspicion that the authors of the Instrumentum Laboris try to push forward the agenda of a certain clerical pressure group in order to change the Divine law of the non-admission the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion.
He then takes on a statement by Abp. Bruno Forte, considered to have been a major influence on the Synod's discussion summaries, who insists that the Synod discussions must heavily focus on whether the civilly divorced and remaried — i.e., remarried adulterers — can serve as godparents, catechists and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion.
Firstly, it is necessary to remember the significance of godparents according to the constant teaching and practice of the Church: A sponsor (godfather or godmother) must help the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must be a Catholic who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on (cf. Canons 872 and 874 § 1, 3). Sponsors and those who take the place of parents are obliged to form the children by word and example in faith and in the practice of Christian life (cf. Canon 774, § 2). When a godfather or a godmother or a catechist conducts a lifestyle that publicly contradicts the Sixth Commandment and the indissolubility of the Christian marriage, then he or she surely cannot be an example of a life of faith. The same is valid for extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. The advocacy for the admission of divorced and remarried to the task of godparents and catechists cannot ultimately be for the true spiritual good of the children, but turns out to be an istrumentalization of a specific ideological agenda. This is a dishonesty and a mockery of the institution of godparents and catechists who by means of a public promise took on the task of educators of the faith. In the case of godparents or catechists who are divorced and remarried, their life however, continuously contradicts their words, and so they have to face the admonition of the Holy Spirit through the mouth of the Apostle Saint James: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1: 22).
Regarding the apparent openness of some bishops to the idea that the Church could ever endorse homosexual civil unions, Bp. Schneider emphatically shuts down the heterodox liberal fantasy.
This can never be an authentic Catholic position because it contradicts directly the words of God, which says that homosexual acts and the homosexual lifestyle are a grievous offense of the will of God (cf. Gen 18:20; Lev 18:22; 20:13; Is 3:9; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jud 7). Committing evil in a long-term and even loving relationship cannot transform the same evil into good. Only true repentance that includes contrition and the firm intention to avoid the evil cancels with the grace of God the evil. It would be absurd to affirm that alcoholism will gain a positive recognition because of the long-term and loving relationship of two persons who established this relationship on the base of their propensity to alcohol. The same absurdity contains the above-mentioned affirmation about same sex unions.
He was just as closed to the ongoing suggestions that the Church needs to tone down its language. Bishop Schneider identified such proposals as the work of a devious ideology.
We have to call things by their real names; otherwise, we will deceive the others and ourselves. To call the things by their names does not mean an intention to create discrimination, provided we speak with respect and pedagogical wisdom. There exist some deficiency symptoms of a bodily or spiritual nature such as fear of heights, claustrophobia, seasickness, shortsightedness etc. No person of common sense will be indignant when we name such phenomena as a deficiency. In fact, the homosexual attraction is in itself a sexual-psychological deficiency symptom, which all civilized human history has considered as a deficiency and called by its name. Under pressure from the new gender ideology, which has its roots in the Marxist ideology, in the 1970s homosexuality was excluded from the International Handbook of Psychological diseases. In such a way, persons who suffer with homosexual attraction were taken hostages of a radical ideology, inasmuch as they are denied the opportunity to receive healing or improvement of their psychologically defective situation. To have a deficiency is not a shame, but it is a fact. Those who effectively encourage deficient persons, in our case persons who are feeling a homosexual attraction, to abuse their deficiency in order to become more deficient and to consequently become addicts, commit a grave injustice towards these persons who need and want to receive help in their spiritual and psychological deficiency.
Departing from the topic of the Synod, Bp. Schneider was then asked what a bishop should do if a Catholic hospital in his diocese decides to comply with abortion legislation and agree to murder unborn babies. Such was the case with Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin.
The duty of a Catholic bishop in such a case is to deprive the hospital the title "Catholic" and remind his faithful that accomplices of the horrible crime of abortion commit a grave sin and are threatened with excommunication. The punishment of excommunication is a medicinal measure in order to prevent the guilty person from committing further crimes and so to ensure his eternal salvation. This was the method of God Himself (the preaching of judgement and punishment through the Prophets), of Our Lord Jesus Christ (the speech of excommunication in Mt 18: 15-18) and of the Apostles (the excommunication realized by Saint Paul, cf. 1 Cor 5: 4-5) and so it has to be also the method of the Church. When the Church desists of this Divine method, she will be no more faithful to God, she will be no more a real mother who punishes her child in order to save it. On the contrary, such a church will be a false mother who disastrously pampers the child to its damage or a stepmother who is indifferent about the child’s salvation. The following words of excommunication pronounced by Saint Paul and inspired by the Holy Spirit, remain valid for all periods of the Church’s history inclusively for our days: "With the power of our Lord Jesus we deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord" (1 Cor 5: 4-5).
Bishop Schneider further commented on the Irish clergy — including one bishop — who directly or indirectly gave the OK for Catholics to vote in favor of the recent referendum in their country to legalize same-sex "marriage."
Those clerics who encouraged the faithful to vote for same sex marriage revealed themselves by this same fact as false prophets, as those who pervert the Word of God. They revealed themselves as public liars, to whom are fully applicable these words of Holy Scripture: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Is 5:20) and: "Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading" (Lam 2: 14). To such priests and bishops the Apostle Paul without any doubt would say today these words: "Such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ" (2 Cor 11:13). In order to remedy this situation it is firstly necessary that faithful Bishops teach clearly and unambiguously the truth of Christ and correct explicitly the teaching of these false prophets.
Finally, the traditional bishop turns to positive ways the faithful can fight the devious agenda to rout the Church.
First, he believes, we must devote ourselves to consistent prayer and ask God to intervene on the behalf of Truth. But he also offers some specific ideas to supplement those petitions.
Furthermore, we have to expose and defend the Divine truth about marriage and family in written and oral forms, exercising hereby the service of the truth as an important gesture of our love for our neighbour. When there exists sure elements of proof one should try to unmask the machinations of the false prophets inside the Church. Saint Peter, the first Pope, wrote in his second Encyclical Letter the following words, which are applicable to those priests and bishops who teach in our days the goodness of the homosexual lifestyle and the legitimacy of receiving Holy Communion by those who live publicly in an adulterous partnership: "There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who redeemed them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." (2 Peter 2: 1-3).
In addition, Bp. Schneider implores Catholics to develop a greater appreciation and knowledge of the saints throughout Church history who have helped spiritually battle evil. Namely, he urges reading about St. Athanasius, St. Gregory VII, St. John Fisher and St. Pius X, as well as lay saints and religious figures like St. Catherine of Siena, St. Thomas More, Gabriel Garcia Moreno and Jerome Lejeune.
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