On July 15th, a letter was read out loud at the funeral Mass of Cdl. Joachim Meisner, one of the four so-called dubia cardinals, who have asked Pope Francis to clarify the controversial Amoris Laetitiae, which various bishops around the world are interested in allowing sacrilegious Holy Communions for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. While the letter, read aloud by Benedict's personal secretary was very personal, there was also a very public declaration in it.
Archbishop Georg Ganswein read the letter from Benedict to those at the funeral at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Cologne, Germany. The Pope Emeritus made some very direct remarks, that probably did not sit well with some of the clerics in attendance, like the head of the German Bishops' Conference, Reinhard Marx, one the leading revolutionaries in favor of sacrilegious Holy Communions.
Benedict said, "The Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the zeitgeist (spirit of the age) and who live and think the Faith with determination ..." Pretty safe bet that ol' Marx didn't like that at all, seeing as how he has pretty much led the charge among various Judas churchmen to embrace the spirit of the age or the zeitgeist.
He actually stunned even some heterodox Catholics last week when he said the nation's laws shouldn't be based on morality, mixing religion with politics. Uh, sure they shouldn't. What should they be based on, Your Eminence, the dictatorship of the zeitgeist? Wonder if Benedict had Marx in mind, among quite a few others, when he was writing. Moving on.
Speaking of the final period of Meisner's life, Pope Benedict reflected, "[H]e learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even if the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing." Capsizing? Yes. Capsizing! What exactly could Pope Benedict be referring to? For such a great man, noted for among many things, choosing his words very carefully, that is a shocking statement.
In fact, when we first started saying out loud a number of years ago that the Church was in a crisis, many in the Church of Nice Establishment media heaped scorn and mockery on us, denying there was a crisis. Gradually, over the past few years, they have had to quietly slink away as we are looking at a church not only in crisis but near total chaos.
A telling aspect of the Holy Father's words was that the reference to the need for good bishops, meaning there are too many bad bishops, came so close in his text to the fact that the boat of the Church is capsizing. Notice also that he characterized the need, not just as a need but a pressing need.
Now, there are a hundred ways to dissect and comment and editorialize and expound on Pope Benedict's words, but let's leave it at that and say for all the Church of Nice bishops out there, those of you who, largely through your inaction, who are not being "passionate shepherds and pastors," you are being called out here — called out by Pope Benedict for bringing the Church to the point of capsizing.
He accuses you of not being able to resist the dictatorship of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age and in so failing to resist, you are bringing about the destruction of souls for a capsizing ship sends passengers and crew tumbling overboard where they drown.
And yet, it's easy to imagine that in chanceries all over the Western world, what Pope Benedict said will be paid little attention, perhaps even mocked or chuckled about, right up until the next meeting where the next round of parish closings will be hammered out.
Pope Benedict relayed that Cdl. Meisner's solicitude in his final time came from a deep sense that Our Lord does not abandon His Church regardless of the calamities She faces. That's true of course. We have the divine promise, and God never goes back on His word. But in order to be saved, not abandoned by God, to enjoy the fruit of Him not abandoning His Church, a soul must cling to that Church.
Unfortunately, too many clerics, especially bishops today, do not. And they go out of their way to see to it that others fall overboard with them. For what is a shepherd if not a leader? If the leader goes bad, if the salt loses it flavor, then what? It is simply the case that too many shepherds do not care about the eternal lives of the souls entrusted to them.
You never ever hear them speak like this. You never hear terms like damnation and Hell. Very rarely do you hear the enemy called out by name, who the first pope spoke of very plainly. "The devil is roaming about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
Why is that? Why is everything about earthly and man-centered issues? The answer to that question is the same answer to the question of why a living pope can say, the ship of the Church is capsizing.