|Bishop Athanasius Schneider|
Topsy: (Putting the goodies down on the kitchen table she gives her friend a good morning hug.) I just had to come by so we can discuss Bishop Schneider's statement on the Instrumentum Laboris (IL) for the Amazon synod. He reminds me of John the Baptist calling out "that fox" Herod.
Tuptim: (Ruefully) We sure have a lot of Herod look-alikes among the clergy today, a bunch of foxy-locksies aiming to gobble up the gingerbread people in the pews.
Topsy: Thank God for the remnant of faithful men like Bishop Schneider. We can always count on him to speak the truth! And we sure have plenty of Herods. I sure hope he doesn't get his head cut off.
Tuptim: Or his tongue cut out! (Spreading cream cheese on a bagle half) These look good. You know, I'm so sick of propaganda. The false voices from wicked bishops like Erwin Kräutler, need a response.
Topsy: Absolutely! And Bishop Schneider gives a strong one! He begins his statement directly confronting him. Oh...and remember, Bishop Kräutler, is the one who doesn't believe in converting the indigenous people and says he wouldn't baptize them.
Tuptim: What a pathetic example of a missionary! His real mission is women priests! The synod is just one stop on that road to hell.
Topsy: You got it! He calls the lack of Mass in the Amazon a "scandal." But Bishop Schneider identifies the real scandal. Wait... I'll read it. (Rummages in her bag and pulls out the document.) He begins by addressing the idea that people have a right to the Eucharist and then goes on to the failures in missionary activity:
One should rather speak of a scandal when one considers the fact that, during the last decades in the Amazon, intensive pastoral initiatives to foster vocations were not launched....One of the most effective means in order to foster solid priestly vocations, also in the Amazon, are missionaries who lead a life as true men of prayer, as true apostles....Those that Bishop Kräutler and many of his clerical fellow travelers now demand are, rather, caricature-priests in the form of aid workers, NGO employees, socialist syndicalists, and eco-specialists.Tuptim: Wow, he sure pegs that! The synod will be like the funny papers with a bunch of cartoon characters blathering on and on.
|Hey, Erwin, what's your guesstimate on our getting women's ordination?|
Do you think a couple more synods will do it?
But this is not the mission of Jesus Christ, of the Incarnate God Who came to give His Life at the Cross in order to redeem mankind of the greatest evil. That is to say, redemption from sin, in order that all men may have the divine and supernatural life, and that they also have it abundantly (see John 10:10)....
If, over a long period of time and due to the lack of priests, Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion, then one should instruct them to practice spiritual Communion which has a great spiritual strength and effect. The Desert Fathers, for example, have lived for years without the Eucharist and have reached a great union with Christ. My parents and I myself for years were unable to receive Holy Communion in the Soviet Union. But we always practiced spiritual Communion, which gave us much spiritual strength and consolation. When then a priest would come, and we were able to confess ourselves, to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive Holy Communion sacramentally, then it was a true feast for us and we experienced in a very deep and joyful manner how precious the gift of the priesthood and the gift of the Eucharist are.Tuptim: Wow! Spoken from lived experience. His family really suffered under Communism. (Thoughtfully) How many Catholics approach the Eucharist with any kind of reverence or in the "very deep and joyful manner" recognizing the "precious gift" of both the priesthood and the Eucharist? How many even believe Jesus is really present when they receive Communion?
Topsy: Our deacon gave a sermon on that last Sunday. The statistics are dismal. Most Catholic think the Eucharist is nothing but a symbol. And that's the way they treat Jesus? They come to church in flipflops and cut-offs. Our parish church after Mass is like a free-for-all. Can those folks laughing and chatting really believe? I don't think so!
Tuptim: Hmm...Do you think Bishop Kräutler believes?
Topsy: (Shrugs) He believes in his and Pope Francis' agenda to remake the Church in their own heretical image, that's for sure! Bishop Schneider, on the other hand, is a real sign of contradition! He suggests a strategy for the Amazon that is practical and beautiful. You can tell how strongly he believes in God's providence and the fact that God will answer the prayers of the faithful for priests:
One should build up in the Amazon a well-organized system with wandering missionary priests who should go to the individual places – even if only a few times a year – in order to hold a truly spiritual feast with good confessions and with Holy Masses which are celebrated in a dignified manner. They then could also leave Jesus in the tabernacle so that Catholics could adore Him, and one could instruct them how to hold Eucharistic Adoration and how to pray the Rosary with the prayer intention for good indigenous unmarried priests and good Christian families. Then God would give them, without doubt, this grace. One should also make a world-wide request to invite priests to come to the Amazon in order pastorally to assist the people there. One can also ordain married deacons or, in exceptional cases, give tasks to acolytes or to faithful Catholic women who expose the Most Blessed Sacrament and lead the prayers.He gives a lot of history in his statement. This one is kind ironic, because it refers to the return of the Jesuit missionaries to Japan after 200 years. (She laughs.) They be wise to
There is one single example in the Church's history when the Japanese Catholics, without priests, maintained the Catholic Faith over the course of more than two hundred years. Today, Japan has a sufficient amount of indigenous priests, who are of course celibate. Even though, at the time, the pagan culture of Japan rejected a celibate priesthood, the Japanese Catholics held in such high esteem the celibate priesthood that it became a sign of identification for Catholics. That is to say, when in the 19th century Christian missionaries again came to them – among them married Protestant preachers – they rejected them for this very reason. But when then Catholic priests came, and when the Japanese Catholics asked them whether they were married and they responded in the negative, they were then welcomed by these faithful as priests of the true Church of Jesus Christ.
|The lay and religious martyrs of Nagasaki (1597)|
The Church thus could have brought up in the 19th century the same arguments as today the Amazon Synod will do, in order to ordain indigenous married priests, because at that time, many parishes in some missionary regions also could only have the visit of a priest a few times in the year.And then he goes on to chastise the so-called "missionaries" acting in the Amazon today:
Without doubt, in the Amazon in the 19th and 20th century, there were heroic and holy missionaries: bishops, priests, religious sisters. In the last decades, however, some missionaries in the Amazon have turned away from the true spirit of Jesus Christ, of the Apostles, and of the holy missionaries; they, instead, have turned to the spirit of this world. They do not preach anymore, with full conviction, the unique Redeemer Jesus Christ and they do not make sufficient efforts to transmit His Supernatural Life of Grace to the people in the Amazon in order thereby to lead them to eternal life, to heaven, and thus even unto the sacrifice of one's own life. Often, the opposite happened. By abusing the name of Jesus and of the holy episcopal and priestly office, missionaries and even bishops have preached in the Amazon mostly a gospel of earthly life, a gospel of the stomach, as it were, and not a Gospel of the Cross; a gospel of the adoration of nature, of the forest, of the water, of the sun, a gospel of the adoration of this so brief earthly material life. And this they did, even though the people in this region, are also in truth themselves thirsting for the sources of divine, eternal life.Tuptim: Gosh, he really pegs all the abuses in the IL with that paragraph. The organizers want to the Spiritus Mundi to evangelize the Amazon instead of the Holy Spirit.
Topsy: That reminds me of Yeats poem about the "beast slouching toward Bethlehem to be born." Yeats was prophetic. He said the beasts' hour had come. That was the early 20th century right after World War I's devastation. In fact, it was published the year my mom was born, 1919.
Tuptim: I remember that poem. I memorized it once for a poetry contest. (She ponders and then begins reciting):
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Isn't that exactly what we're seeing? Moral anarchy? The "blood-dimmed tide" of human sacrifice through abortion and other atrocities? The innocent under attack everywhere especially with the sexualization of our children? Zealous heretics like the nuns on the bus and the Amazon planners and a magisterium asleep at the switch? (She sighs.) It's disheartening.
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Topsy: Yeats embraced the occult so he knew the beast personally! And now the beast is slouching toward the Amazon. Bishop Schneider isn't one of those who "lack all conviction." He exposes the false missionaries. (She reads.):
Such a way of missionizing the Amazon is a betrayal of the true Gospel and this betrayalIn the next part he tells us what a priest of God should look like.
has been perpetrated during the last decades throughout vast parts of this region. And now, some wish to legitimize – with the help of a synod of bishops on the international level – this same betrayal of the true supernatural evangelization in the spirit of Jesus and of the Apostles...Bishop Kräutler uses as a justification for the priestly ordination of women for the celebration of the Eucharist a reference to their female “empathy.” Here, it is obviously about another understanding of Church and Eucharist, another understanding of priesthood and diaconate. “Empathy” is not a solid theological criterion, but the will of God is such. God's Church is not a corporation, not a party, not a club, nor a human institution where human efficiency and empathy come first, although admittedly such qualities certainly are useful.
Tuptim: Hmph...Certainly not like the bishops organizing this travesty of a synod!
Topsy: (Nodding) Nope! They show us all what clerics should NOT be! Listen:
The criteria for the office of the Apostles and their successors in the episcopal office – and below in the priestly office, and then also in the diaconal office – have to be the same ones which Christ gave to us and which the Church has always preserved: first of all, they are men, and then they have to be suitable in their morality and character. They have to be men of Faith, filled with the Holy Spirit, prepared to live in celibacy; men who put in the first place prayer and the proclamation of Christ's teaching; men who are willing to be true shepherds and to give their lives for the salvation of immortal souls, for those people who have been entrusted to them; men who are the true fathers of all the faithful and not merely of a limited personal family dynasty; men who are true bridegrooms of the Bride of Christ, the Church, and who are thus, as such, unmarried fathers and bridegrooms.Bishop Schneider doesn't mince any words about the racism coming out of these European bishops:
The truth of the matter is that those who defend a married Amazonian clergy with the help of the ruse of the elegantly formulated motto “proven men” (“viri probati”) consider the Amazonian peoples to be inferior, because they assume from the onset that they do not have the capacity to give to the Church, from out of their own midst, celibate priests. In the course of 2,000 years, all peoples and even barbarians were capable to raise their own sons, with the help of Christ's grace, to a celibate priesthood according to the example of Jesus Christ. The calls for married priests for the Amazonian peoples – which comes precisely from clergymen of European descent – contain in themselves a hidden racism. To put it to a point, one could say it this way: “We Europeans, i.e., we white men are indeed capable of a celibate priesthood. But for you Amazonians, this is a little bit too much!”He goes on to point out the real agenda of the German bishops who are the primary organizers of the synod:
The defenders of a married Amazonian clergy who are really nearly all of European and not of indigenous descent, are finally not interested in the true spiritual good of the Amazonian faithful, but in the implementation of their own ideological agenda which aims at having a married clergy also in Europe and then throughout the entire Latin Church. For, everybody knows that, after the introduction of the first regionally limited married clergy in the Amazon, there will be, with the help of the domino effect and within a relatively short period of time, a regular married clergy of the Roman Rite also in other parts of the world. Thereby, the apostolic heritage of a celibate priesthood according to the model of Jesus Christ and His Apostles would be effectively destroyed in the whole Church.... One should not abuse the Amazonian peoples for the sake of one's own decadent ideologies and theological heresies which have been fabricated in Europe.Tuptim: Yup! It's all about ending the celibate priesthood and then moving on to ordination of women.
Topsy: And he points out exactly how much the German bishops organizing the synod resemble "that fox," Herod:
They thereby wish to implement, in an easier fashion, priestly marriage and female ordination. The true Catholics of the Amazon and of other parts in the world, however, will recognize in it the picture of the fox, and they will not consider it to be the picture of Jesus Christ the King.Here's what these guys want. (She pulls up a video on her phone.)
Tuptim: (Laughing ruefully) They're sooooo ridiculous! I think I'm going to be sick! I'm hyperventilating. (She picks up the bagel bag and begins breathing into it. After a minute she continues.) Nothing about this synod gives us the Face of Christ the King in glory. Instead, we see these Judases scourging Our Lord and driving the crown of thorns into his scalp. Let's go over to Eucharistic adoration and pray the rosary that the Queen of the Clergy will intercede for real missionaries to evangelize the indigenous peoples of the world.
Topsy: And for the defeat of these evil men. We need to listen to Bishop Schneider He urges people to gather around the tabernacles in adoration to pray for the Lord of the harvest to raise up workers for the vineyard. The Amazon synod aims to give the indigenous people a bowl of pottage instead of their birthright. God help those bishops, those foxes, when they face the Lord of life! St. John the Baptist, please pray for us!