Has Rome moved to Moscow?
By The Hermits, Nov 6 2015 11:49AM
With the Pope being unable to call to task the heretical cardinals, bishops and priests during the recent Synod on the Family, and for his supposedly confusing remarks to Eugenio Scalfari, founder of La Repubblica paper, a definitely secular newspaper, which would seem to indicate that the Pope wants everyone to receive communion, who was divorced and remarried, one cannot help saying “What next?”.
The Pope is indeed the Pope of Surprises; no doubt he has been unduly influenced by Fr. Gerry Hughes who wrote “God of surprises”, which was very popular in the late or 80’s or 90’s, but which I never read. Fr. Gerry was the spiritual father of the boys at Stonyhurst when I was 13 back in 1966, and he was a very fine preacher, but not much help to myself, who was a very confused adolescent. I know that he was very keen on giving non-Catholics communion, and disagreed with Humanae Vitae. Why this desire for everyone to have communion who are not entitled to it? Has the Church become like those dreadful mothers who give their children whatever they want, and as a result destroy the children that they supposedly love. Are Catholics all rushing off to have Anglican communion, Church of Scotland Communion, or Methodist communion? The whole thing is ridiculous, but no-one can see it.
However we now have a refreshing and robust defence of Christian morality from the Patriarch of All Russia, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who received in audience none other than Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham who is the head of The Billy Graham Evangelical Association. The meeting dealt with the persecution of present day Christians in the West who defend Christian morality. The Patriarch likened such Christians to the great St. Maximos the Confessor (He died in 662 AD), who had his tongue cut out and his hand cut off, by the Byzantine Emperor Constans II because he refused to accept the heresy of Monothelitism, (The heresy that says that Christ had only one will, a Divine will.) and he was also a great supporter of the Papacy , which is rather ironic given the present circumstances in which the Catholic Church finds herself. Kirill noted that today’s confessors were suffering from repressions.
The Patriarch said: “Today, Christians who uphold the intransient importance of Christian moral values had to become Confessors of the Faith, living under various kind[s] of pressure, including the mass media……This gives a sign of hope: there are people among Western Christians akin to us in ethical principles, sharing them with the Russian Orthodox Church.”
Now though you could have heretical Emperors like Constans, you could also have great Emperors like Constantine who called the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea, and Charlemagne who was always working for the good of the Church, and Sigismund the Holy Roman Emperor who kept the Council of Constance on track. Unfortunately Charlemagne forced the “filioque” into the creed, and onto the Catholic Church. Unfortunately the Pope reluctantly accepted it, which was not a good thing, and only hastened the schism between East and West. However Constantine, Charlemagne, and Charles V were able to help the Church through difficult times, and break deadlocks. This is, on one level, dangerous as it can stop the exercise or Papal rights, but on the other hand it can defend the Church. It also shows lay involvement, no more so when it is a woman who is involved. The Emperor Theodosius’ sister, Pulcheria, who on his death became Empress, married the senator Marican who, on becoming Emperor, calls the Council of Chalcedon at the request of Leo the Great. (Theodosius refused to call the council as he was supporting the heresy of Monophysitism which said that Christ had only a Divine nature.) Again we see the rather blood thirsty Empress Irene triumphing in the Iconoclastic Controversy which wracked the Eastern Church for sixty years by calling the Second Council of Nicea.
In later times, and on a smaller scale, we see how Caterina Cibo, Duchess of Camerino enabled the Capuchin Reform to start, and how Vittoria Colonna the great friend of Michelangelo prevented the reform from being suppressed. In our own time, I have read somewhere, how the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate were nearly suppressed, but for the intervention of a woman, who was a friend of the Pope. They possibly need another doughty champion after their recent sufferings at the hands of the Capuchin visitator, who then died at the height of the fairly savage visitation. Such are the ways of God.
Never has the Church been so clerical as it is now. There may be a lot of talk of the laity, and we are battered with such slogans as “This is the age of the laity” and “The Pilgrim People of God”, but this is really an elevated form of window dressing. Can you imagine the Fathers of the Church coming out with such things? They dealt with heresies in a hard headed fashion. They were not overwhelmed with sentiment, they were fired with the truth.
It was certainly not the age of the laity at the recent synod in Rome. There were wonderful advisers like Dr. Maria Cernea the Romanian doctor who really should have told the Bishops what they should be doing and weren’t doing. Quite why Popes have to call synods to write Apostolic Exhortations, I really do not know. Leo the Great wrote his great “Tome” from the well springs of his Faith. He relied on the Holy Spirit and not on a whole lot of bishops, many of whom do not now appear to know their faith, which is nonsense when you have a Catechism which can inform even bishops of what they are meant to believe.
However returning to the importance that the Laity play in the Church, I would suggest the following whimsical scenario.
Given the fact that the one great power that is showing fidelity to Christian morality, regarding homosexuality, and the whole mad LGBT nonsense, is Russia, and that President Putin is devout in a similar way to a Charlemagne, or a Constantine, then perhaps he should do something quite extraordinary and call an Ecumenical Council of the East and West to heal the crisis in the Catholic Church, and bring about the union of the Latin West and the Orthodox East. I realize that this, is on one level, pure fantasy, but perhaps it is not quite so fantastic. The Final Great Council of the Church, according to the ancient prophecies, will be the work of the Grand Monarch, and what seems to be the last Pope.
Let the bishops listen to the Faithful Laity, and not patronize them.