Christ stilling the waves

The Trumpeteer

  • The Great Tragedy of A Collapsing Church

    I do not believe that, in the history of the Church we have had a Pope quite as strange as Pope Francis, and even odder, a Pope who is in the process of apparently dismantling the Church. I am sure that he thinks he is simply renovating it, restoring it or, given his schoolmasterly tendency, simply reforming it. He is a like some blinkered German professor utterly carried away with an idea, which everyone is saying, won’t work, and no matter what the cost, he will take no advice, because he is right, and he will continue to the bitter end, and I fear it will be truly bitter. Now if what is happening at present in the Church were an Ealing Comedy of the late 40’or early 50’s, or the Thin Man series with Myrna Loy and Dick Powell in the 30’s, or nearer the mark, Frank Capra’s film version of “You can’t take it with You” it might have a certain charm, but the tragedy being played out before our eyes is one of high ranking clergy indulging in duplicity, craftiness and goodness knows what else, under the bizarrely benign view of the Pope

    Given the extraordinary behaviour of some Cardinals, bishops, and priests at the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which resulted in Cardinal Pell slamming his fist on the table and demanding that the rights of the Synod Fathers be heard, which the steering committee headed by Cardinal Baldisseri were riding rough shod over, the Pope’s behaviour was even more extraordinary when he wanted to keep those texts in the final document of the 2014 Synod, which the Fathers had voted against. This is a typically Jesuit way of doing things; a heavy hand and absolute and unquestioning obedience on behalf of the subject. (This recalls the rather strange tale of Fr. Roger Charles, an English Jesuit who was forbidden, by the General of the Jesuits, to publish his book on the Jesuits’s failure, in recent times, to keep their Fourth vow of obedience to the Pope. Nothing could be as strange or ironical as this!)

    In a very disturbing article for OnePeterFive, Maike Hickson reports something so mad that one is left reeling. I will quote the section which is about Hans Kung.

    Therefore, it is important to report on the second important event of the last week: the encouragement of the progressivist, Father Hans Küng, who was removed in 1979 from his teaching position as a Catholic theologian under Pope John Paul II for his heterodox teaching. For now, it seems, his hour in the spotlight has at last come. As the National Catholic Reporter first reported, Hans Küng has now received a personal letter from Pope Francis in which he is encouraged to discuss – and thereby effectively to question – the Dogma of Papal Infallibility itself! This story has now been reported also by the official Vatican website in German, on Radio Vatikan, as well as by the official website of the Swiss bishops. The pope’s encouragement comes in response to an open letter to the Holy Father written by Küng in March of 2016. In it, he requested an open discussion of this settled dogma. He also explained rather explicitly why he wanted to question this Dogma: namely, because Papal Infallibility is now is a barrier that makes impossible the further reforms of the Church in many other fields. Küng wrote:

    The themes [of reform that came up in recent times]were: agreements among the different confessions; mutual acceptance of the offices and of the celebrations of the Last Supper; questions of divorce of marriage and of the ordination of women; concerning forced celibacy [sic]and the catastrophic lack of priests; and, finally, and especially, concerning the leadership of the Catholic Church.

    This proposed agenda for further reforms shows that the essential parts of the Catholic Faith are already under attack by the notably heterodox Swiss theologian. And now, it seems, he continues his assault with the support of the Vicar of Christ, who has been put in his office for the express purpose of defending the irreformable Deposit of Faith!

    I can only conclude from this that at best Pope Francis never really agreed with John Paul II, and worse did not like him. As Hans Kung was so unpleasant about John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, then one can only presume that Pope Francis feels the same way as Hans Kung. Why should we be interested in the musings of an heretical Octogenerian revolutionary like Kung. In fact why we should we be interested in any of these Octogenerian revolutionaries, Cardinals Daneels, Kasper, and Murphy O’Connor to name but a few? They are yesterday’s men though they know it not. Admittedly you have younger Cardinals who are following their lead like Cardinals Schonborn and Nichols, but do any of these men really understand or love the Church?

    Also if the Pope accepts Hans Kung’s plans for the Church and the Papacy, and Pope Francis decides that he is not infallible, then surely he has taken the carpet from underneath his feet, and his successors’ for that matter. When one denies something that has been held with at times exaggerated enthusiasm as a Cardinal Manning and other ultramontanists then the reaction will be every bit as dreadful, when the Tridentine Mass went out and the the New Mass came in. All Hell will indeed be let loose. The Papacy above all, precisely because of its great claims to supernatural sovereignty, has to exercise the greatest, prudence, and discretion. Benedict XVI was a model in this regard. Pope Francis is rather like a man who has won the lottery, and its “spend, spend, spend.” There must be some Catherine of Siena waiting in the wings to help this man, who has so many wonderful qualities, but is, as far as I can see, getting dreadfully carried away, and losing all sense of proportion and proportion is what we so desperately need at present.

    It is of great important to realize that what we are witnessing is a re-run of Vatican II. At the beginning of the Council Cardinals Ottaviani and Siri and the orthodox prelates were caricatured as reactionaries. Cardinal Suenens led the supposedly new dynamic Church, but I should say Enlightened because He, Yves Congar, and Kung saw themselves as French revolutionaries, and it was these men along with the sadly very flawed but lovable Helder Camara, who led the progressive wing of the Church, and who won the day (I remember when I was a liberal Catholic, and only just 20 years of age going in 1972 to hear Helder Camara talk in London. I really did think he was a saint, but to say he was a maverick is an understatement. When he was ordained as a young man, he was a fervent Nazi, and after the war he was ardently pro-Communist, and then insanity seems to have set in. Francesca Romana in an article in April 2015 in Rorate Coeli leaves one aghast with the following: “The restless Archbishop also asked loudly for the sacerdotal ordination of women. Addressing a group of bishops during the Second Vatican Council, he asked with insistence: “Tell me, please, if you can find any effectively decisive argument that impedes the admission of women to the priesthood, or is it [just] a male prejudice?”

    And it didn’t matter that the Second Vatican Council subsequently precluded this possibility. According to Camara. “We must go further than the conciliar texts where it is in our competence to interpret them”. Yet, the yearning didn’t stop there. In a conference held in the presence of the Council Fathers in 1965, he stated: “I believe that man will artificially create life, and will arrive at the resurrection of the dead and (…) will achieve miraculous results of reinvigoration in male patients through the grafting of monkey’s genital glands.”) One is left either crying or laughing at such unbelievable insanity, surely a gift for comics, but this was the man who was the supreme net worker during the Council. I do wonder sometimes if many of the higher clergy lose all sense of humour, when the mitre is placed on their heads. So with people like Kung and Camara one can see why Ottaviani, Siri, and the tragic Marcel Lefebvre were so concerned. So in many ways a new Church was forged, God willing it was not the false Church foreseen by Blessed Anna Catherine Emmerich.

    Today we see in Cardinal Muller another Ottaviani, and in Cardinal Burke another Siri, and they like their forebears are honourable, good and holy men, but they have no battle plan, for the left is always revolutionary and wanting change, and it knows how to organize, and it does it brilliantyl. These Cardinals, Archbishops and their entourage want to forge a Church according to their designs, taste and dictates, and it is a great shame that there is no Catherine of Siena to call them to order, no Hildegard of Bingen, to rebuke, and no Bridget of Sweden to thunder. We need strong women who will call the men, and the feminists to order, if they do not then most of the Church will wither away into heresy, and the Church will be very small indeed!

    The Fathers of the Church interestingly see the descendants of Cain as suffering under his curse. They live farther away from Eden, which could still be seen in those early days. The descendants of Seth are under a blessing and live close to Paradise, and it is they whom the majority of the Fathers see as being “The Sons of God.” What leads to the downfall of the descendants of Seth is that the men of this race lust after the daughters of Cain, and then the daughters of Seth become wanton and lust after the sons of Cain, and the result of all this is The Universal Deluge.

    And so yet again we find ourselves moving towards unbelievable catastrophe, and we are being led into it by Cardinals, bishops, religious, and that terrifying specimen, the modern liberal laywoman theologian, who sadly, walking in the footsteps of Eve, is hungry for knowledge, usually the wrong type of knowledge, and as with all the liberal endeavours its principle actors are charming, urbane, utterly reasonable, incredibly persuasive, and totally and disastrously wrong.

    We must pray for the Pope, who may or may not know what he is doing. As Peter failed and denied his Lord, there is no reason that Pope Francis will be immune from doing the same. He is after all in a grand tradition, and some of the disastrous popes have, in many ways, been admirable men like Urban VI, and Paul IV, but they have blundered their way during their time of office; they are after all only human. Let us pray that the Pope listens to wise and holy people for if he does not then truly we will find ourselves acting in drama so terrifying and awe inspiring that we will need all the courage that we can muster.

    However moving away from the contemporary crisis in the Church, let us cast our eyes to the Mount of Olives all those centuries ago, and with Our Lady, the Apostles, and all the disciples, which includes those wonderful women disciples, hear Christ’s majestic words reverberate down the ages. Let us feel the strength of his glorious Divinity fill us with his Divine Grace, and let us do all we can to come to the aid of the Church, our Mother who suffers so much from the infidelity of so many of her children, and let us exercise that great virtue of Hope, in which we are in such grave need, in these perilous and truly terrifying times.

    “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold two men stood by them in white robes, and said “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1: vv.7-11)

    Since the Ascension Jesus, as Christ and Lord, God and Man is everywhere in this World and throughout the Universe. He is King of All Creation, and he is omnipotent. He has everything in hand, despite appearances to the contrary, and he will laugh his enemies to scorn, so pray that we will be among his friends.

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