Bp. Schneider: Schism Is Already Here

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 7, 2016   

Compares widespread confusion today to the Arian crisis of the fourth century

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PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) - Bishop Athanasius Schneider is denouncing the "anti-gospel" of liberal prelates who are "interiorly the true schismatics" in the Church.

"[W]e are witnessing today a strange sort of schism," the bishop of Kazakhstan remarked in a December 4 interview on the French station TV Libertés. "On the surface, a number of Churchmen maintain formal union with the Pope, at times for the good of their career, or from a kind of papalotry. And at the same time they've severed their ties with Christ, the Truth, with Christ, the True Head of the Church."

He continued, "On the other hand there are Churchmen who are denounced as schismatics, in spite of the fact that they live in canonical peace with the Pope and remain faithful to Christ, the Truth, by assiduously promoting His Gospel of Truth."

 
Schneider condemned "those who are interiorly the true schismatics" for making use of "calumny for the sole aim of silencing the voice of Truth by absurdly projecting their state of interior schism ... ."
 
In late November, Abp. Fragkiskos Papamanolis, president of the Greek Episcopal Conference, issued a strongly worded condemnation of Cdls. Raymond Burke, Joachim Meisner, Carlo Caffarra and Walter Brandmueller, who had sent a letter posing a set of questions, or "dubia," to Pope Francis seeking doctrinal clarity on ambiguous points in "Amoris Laetitia," the Pope's apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family.
 
"Before publishing the document," Papamanolis wrote, "you should have presented yourselves to Our Holy Father Francis and asked to be removed from the College of Cardinals." He went on to charge the cardinals with "apostosy" and "heresy," as well as causing "the more serious sin of scandal."
 
Multiple prelates, including Cdls. Reinhard Marx, Walter Kasper and Blase Cupich, as well as Bp. Robert McElroy, among others, have interpreted "Amoris Laetitia" to offer the possibility of opening Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried, using watchwords like "mercy" and "accompaniment" to make their case.
 
Schneider slammed prelates like these for promoting an anti-Catholic agenda.

All these Churchmen who want another gospel, meaning a right-to-divorce gospel, a gospel of sexual liberty — in short, a gospel without the God's Sixth Commandment — these Churchmen make use of every evil means, that is to say, ruses, deception, masterful rhetoric and dialectics, and even the tactic of intimidation and moral violence, in order to attain their objective of re-admitting so-called remarried divorcés to Holy Communion, without the latter fulfilling the condition of living in perfect continence, a condition required by divine law.

He denounced this as "an anti-gospel, a gospel according to this world, even if such a gospel were cosmetically embellished with words like 'mercy,' 'maternal solicitude' or 'accompaniment.'"

Commenting on the confusion surrounding the last two Synods on the Family and the publication of "Amoris Laetitia," Schneider compared today's times to that of the Arian crisis in the Early Church.

"[W]e are witnessing in our own times an ambiguity of such scope only comparable to the general confusion of the Arian crisis of the fourth century" — an era when the vast majority of bishops denied the divinity of Christ. The matter was only settled after invoking an ecumenical council at Nicaea, which gave the Church the Nicene Creed affirming Christ's divinity.

When asked what will happen if the Pope fails to answer the four dubia submitted by the cardinals, Schneider answered that "the bishops must preach indefectibly the unchanging gospel concerning the divine doctrine of the morality and perennial discipline of marriage."

Schneider, along with Burke, Caffarra, and other high-ranking prelates as well as thousands of world leaders and dignitaries, recently signed a Declaration of Fidelity to the Church's teaching on marriage and the sacraments. The preamble reads:

Errors about true marriage and family are widespread today in Catholic circles, particularly after the Extraordinary and Ordinary Synods on the family and the publication of "Amoris Laetitia."

In the face of this reality, this Declaration expresses the resolve of its signatories to remain faithful to the Church's unchangeable teachings on morals and on the Sacraments of Marriage, Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and to Her timeless and enduring discipline regarding those sacraments. 

The Declaration has garnered more than 11,000 signatures.

In his interview he went on to remind the faithful that "the Pope is not a dictator," quoting Scripture on how leaders are to act as servants to the people rather than lording their authority over others. He went on to ask the faithful to pray for the Pope so that he can fulfill his divine ministry in leading the Church.

"Amoris Laetitia" is not meant to be magisterial, Schneider clarified. "The magisterial authority of the apostolic exhortation 'Amoris Laetitia' is determined by the intention of its author, Pope Francis."

"The Pope said: 'I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the Magisterium. I thought it appropriate to prepare an apostolic exhortation as an aid to reflection, dialogue and practice,'" quoted Schneider. "These are the Pope's words."

"[H]e made clear he did not have the intention of putting forward his own magisterial teaching," he added.

 

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