Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Quo vadis?

Will you be there with them?
[This is a retitled repost of a piece I wrote almost six months ago at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family. I admit that it was prescient in predicting that the Pope's exhortation would use obfuscation and ambiguity to advance his agenda while avoiding the direct contradiction of doctrine. But of course I was not the only one to foresee this. Pay attention to the excerpt from the Scalfari interview, directly below. I had actually forgotten it, but it deserves another read now: On communion for the divorced and remarried, the Pope allegedly said: "the de facto appraisals are entrusted to the confessors, but at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask will be admitted." After Amoris Laetitia, can anyone seriously doubt that this isn't his goal?

But the real focus of the piece was on how faithful Catholics should respond to this Pope. Hence the new (and I think more appropriate title). Quo vadis? Peter flees Rome to avoid probable torture and death, and on the road outside of the city meets the risen Christ. "Where are you going?" Peter asks Him. "I am going to Rome to be crucified again." Peter gets the message and finds the courage to return. Of course, Peter's question to Christ could also be Christ's question to him.

Where are you going?]     

Rorate Caeli has translated a recent Eugenio Scalfari piece where he reports the Pope's intentions towards communion for the divorced and remarried. Rorate correctly notes that we are long past the point where anyone could reasonably doubt the basic veracity of the Pope's favorite journalist writing in the Pope's favorite newspaper.
It is true -- Pope Francis answered -- it is a truth and for that matter the family that is the basis of any society changes continuously, as all things change around us. We must not think that the family does not exist any longer, it will always exist, because ours is a social species, and the family is the support beam of sociability, but it cannot be avoided that the current family, open as you say, contains some positive aspects, and some negative ones. ... The diverse opinion of the bishops is part of this modernity of the Church and of the diverse societies in which she operated, but the goal is the same, and for that which regards the admission of the divorced to the Sacraments, [it] confirms that this principle has been accepted by the Synod. This is bottom line result, the de facto appraisals are entrusted to the confessors, but at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask will be admitted.
But this is merely confirmation of what we already knew. The Pope's behavior at the Synod should have left no doubts in anyone's mind as to what side he was on. Communion for the divorced and remarried was advanced by a powerful minority, all of whom were close friends or allies of the Pope. Some of them were handpicked by him to attend the Synod at the last minute. A two-thirds majority narrowly approved paragraphs of the final Relatio containing language that will move the heresy forward--the narrow approval a function of his handpicked attendees. And needless to say, far from condemning his heretical allies, the Pope gave a final address where he bitterly attacked those who had attempted to defend Church teachings.

We are still awaiting an official English translation of the Relatio, and sources claim that the Pope himself will pen a concluding exhortation on the matter. My prediction is that the Pope will not directly endorse the heresy--it is in the nature of his strategy and of the heresy itself that it is often not directly endorsed. But it will advance the cause. And communion for the divorced and remarried will become the quasi-official practice within the Church.

I have written many critical pieces on this Pope. I'm not sure whether I have explicitly called him a Modernist--an adherent of the Modernist heresy--although he clearly is one. But like the hyper-evolving alien in that horror movie, the heresy of Modernism itself regularly metastasizes into different forms.

Michael Lofton at OnePeterFive identifies one current form of Modernism as Kasperism--the view that dogma is to be left intact in theory, but may be contradicted in practice. (the name is in honor of Cardinal Walter Kasper, its most well-known proponent). I think that gets it exactly right. And like all forms of Modernism it is disingenuous and slippery, although particularly so in this case.

The Modernists or Kasperites sense impending victory, but they are probably clever enough to not overplay their hand. The idea is to leave enough ambiguity to lull their potential opponents--of whom even now there are many--into continuing silence or inaction. No one wants to stick their neck out first and engage the enemy, for they believe they will merely be accused of creating one. In this way, the heretics believe they will win without a shot being fired.

What to do?

Let me first speak of rank-and-file Catholics. Most faithful Catholics are probably not aware of what is happening or especially and most importantly the Pope's role in it. They are busy simply being Catholics--worshipping God through His Church as faithfully as they can--not reading blogs or debating on Facebook. No doubt they will continue in this until the real fireworks start. I won't address them since they wouldn't be reading this anyway. That's okay, of course.

Catholic journalists, bloggers and interested readers and thinkers are another story, and so I will address them directly: You pride yourselves on being informed, so you cannot now plead ignorance. If at this point you defend Francis and attack his opponents, you are doing the Devil's work and have become collaborators in the destruction of the Church. Whatever it is--an obstinate naiveté, pride, fear, money or an exaggerated fetish for charity, now almost certainly being used as a cover for one of the latter three--get over it. Give it up. You have put yourselves on the path to hell, and your statements and actions will have the effect of helping to bring others along with you. Stop and do the right thing. For your own souls, at the least.

Faithful priests, bishops and cardinals: The Church now needs a public champion. Someone must be the first to rebuke Francis to his face, for without a first there will be no others. It will probably be a thankless task, at least in this life. You will be slandered and vilified, called an "extremist" and a "schismatic". Your name may not go down in human history, at least in any major way, in part because the victory will not be won so quickly. Someone fifty or a hundred years from now may get most of the recognition and applause. But of course, as much as it seems to matter to so many of us, it shouldn't, and you of all Catholics should know that.

For all of us, I think of that van Eyck painting, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (The Lamb of God), which was the subject of today's Feast of all Saints homily at St. John Cantius. All of the saints are there in that beautiful country, adoring the Lamb. There are priests, bishops, popes (a handful), women religious, monks, soldiers (male and female), hermits, philosophers, married men and women, and the unmarried faithful including not a few children.

When the earthly battle is won in fifty or a hundred years, at the same time virtually all of us will be there in that other country, or at least each of us could be there. Nothing is stopping us. Nothing is stopping you. Literally nothing.

Except perhaps you.

Sign, as it were, your own petition to be on the Church's side. Other people will see it. That's the catch. You might lose a few friends. You might even lose money or position.

Someone might call you a schismatic on Facebook.

Facebook (not so long from now) might block your account.

You think that's tough? Tell that to the martyrs in that painting.

But they're pulling for you and praying for you, even now.

Don't let them down.      


  1. What an achingly beautiful post Mr Spalding. Methinks the Church Triumphant smiles, good and faithful blogger.

  2. Aloha Cf.: THE WAR Decodes Star Wars: The Force Awakens. God has revealed/exposed to light their occult [hidden] knowledge. Thanks be to God! I believe the symbolism of the Last Jedi is sufficient for American’s to take back their country and hold their leaders accountable.

  3. Excellent Oakes. You have described the mission of the Church Militant today which is now desperate for more recruits. At this hour in time God is calling for our help. Do you hear Him? If not, pray that you do, it may be the way to your salvation.

  4. Oh, I hope there are faithful clergy who read this and respond by doing just this, calling him out publicly with as much noise and attention as can be brought about. It is disgusting, this obsession with politeness that precludes even those who call themselves shepherds of the sheep from denouncing heresy, falsehood, obfuscation, and errors that will damn souls to hell if they follow it.
    May God sustain the faithful and embolden them.

  5. I think and speak of the Mother of God everyday. I invite the Holy Father to do the same, in public and on airplanes..