Archbp. Aquila: German bishops promote “cheap grace”

His Excellency Most Reverend Samuel Aquila, Archbishop of Denver, has something to say.

From the NCRegister:

Did Thomas More and John Fisher Die For Nothing?

The idea that Catholics should be allowed to remarry and receive communion did not begin with the letter signed by Cardinal Kasper and other members of the German episcopate in 1993. Another country’s episcopate – England’s – pioneered this experiment in Christian doctrine nearly 500 years ago. At stake then was not just whether any Catholic could remarry, but whether the king could, since his wife had not borne him a son.
As with those who advocate for communion for the civilly remarried, the English bishops were uncomfortable with embracing divorce and remarriage outright. Instead, they chose to bend the law to the individual circumstances of the case with which they were confronted, and King Henry VIII was granted an “annulment” — on a fraudulent basis and without the sanction of Rome.
If “heroism is not for the average Christian,” as the German Cardinal Walter Kasper has put it, it certainly wasn’t for the King of England. Instead, issues of personal happiness and the well-being of a country made a strong utilitarian argument for Henry’s divorce. And the King could hardly be bothered to skip communion as the result of an irregular marriage.
England’s Cardinal Wolsey and all the country’s bishops, with the exception of Bishop John Fisher of Rochester, supported the king’s attempt to undo his first – and legitimate – marriage. Like Fisher, Thomas More a layman and the king’s chancellor, also withheld his support. Both were martyred – and later canonized.
In publicly advocating that the king’s marriage was indissoluble, Fisher argued that “this marriage of the king and queen can be dissolved by no power, human or Divine.” For this principle, he said, he was willing to give his life. He continued by noting that John the Baptist saw no way to “die more gloriously than in the cause of marriage,” despite the fact that marriage then “was not so holy at that time as it has now become by the shedding of Christ’s Blood.”
Like Thomas More and John the Baptist, Fisher was beheaded, and like them, he is called “saint.”
At the Synod on the Family taking place right now in Rome, some of the German bishops and their supporters are pushing for the Church to allow those who are both divorced and remarried to receive communion, while other bishops from around the world are insisting that the Church cannot change Christ’s teaching. And this begs a question: Do the German bishops believe that Sts. Thomas More and John Fischer sacrificed their lives in vain?  [Yes, I think they do.]
Jesus showed us throughout his ministry that heroic sacrifice is required to follow him. When one reads the Gospel with an open heart, a heart that does not place the world and history above the Gospel and Tradition, one sees the cost of discipleship to which every disciple is called. The German bishops would do well to read, “The Cost of Discipleship” by the Lutheran martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. For what they promote is “cheap grace” rather than “costly grace,” and they even seem to ignore the words of Jesus that, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me,” (Mk. 8: 34, Lk. 14: 25-27, Jn. 12: 24-26).
Think, for example, of the adulterous woman whom the Pharisees presented to Jesus to trap him. The first thing he did was to protect her from her accusers, and the second thing he did was to call her to leave her sin. “Go,” he commanded her, “and sin no more.”
Following the words of Christ himself, the Catholic Church has always taught that divorce and remarriage is simply adultery by another name. And since communion is reserved to Catholics in the state of grace, those living in an irregular situation are not able participate in that aspect of the life of the Church, though they should always be welcomed within the parish and at the Mass itself.

[…]

As disciples we are always called to listen to the voice of Jesus before the voice of the world, culture or history. The voice of Jesus sheds light on the darkness of the world and cultures. Let us pray that all concerned will listen to those words of eternal life, no matter how difficult!

This column originally appeared at the Denver Catholic.

Read the whole thing there.

Fr. Z kudos to Archbp. Aquila.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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49 Responses to Archbp. Aquila: German bishops promote “cheap grace”

  1. jfk03 says:

    Spot on. Thank you Archbishop Aquila!

  2. RobS says:

    The Church will thrive in Denver, just as it will fade in Chicago.

  3. Jordanes says:

    Archbishop Aquila has insulted the German bishops! They aren’t pushing “cheap” grace at all. They say grace is costly — you can get it in their Churches for the price of a Kirchensteuer.

    ;-)

  4. The Masked Chicken says:

    Yeah, I was going to quote the German Lutheran theologian, Dietrich Bonhoffer, to the German Catholic bishops last week. What an irony, that he should be more Catholic than they… (not that I can read their hearts, just comment on their words and actions).

    The Chicken

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    The Roman Catholic faith may end up depending entirely on faithful Bishops like yourself, Archbishop Aquila. Thank you and God bless you for following Christ. The Cardinals at the Synod need to do the same, on the floor of the Synod to their confreres and the pope.

  6. The Masked Chicken says:

    I think we should ask the NSA for the tapes of the secessions. Surely, they have the bugs in place, by now :)

    The Chicken

  7. gsk says:

    Prime reason why devolution would be disastrous. German antipathy could dismiss [prior!] British scrupulosity, and each could hide behind “the gene pool option.” Interesting that when most political borders are proving porous, these folks would emphasise nationalism as the last refuge of sinners.

  8. Sonshine135 says:

    Some German Bishops have chosen to serve mammon, not Jesus Christ. I am sorry if that is offensive, but it is true. The only question left is who will follow them in their desire to serve mammon. Woe to them…they are no different than the Israelites that worshiped in the temple, but continued to sacrifice their flesh and blood to the Baals and high places. They were not spared when the Lord’s wrath was poured out. Similarly, none of us will be able to stand the sight of the judgement of these Bishops or those that follow them.

  9. TimG says:

    Another great article Fr Z. Thanks again for sharing and God Bless Archbishop Aquila.

  10. iPadre says:

    I wonder, why did the Protestant revolt start in Germany? Why is it beginning there again? Is it the water or the air?

  11. benedetta says:

    It’s funny the disconnect between the proclamation “We can do it fine by ourselves our own way” and the fine print which says “You will now be doing it the King’s/ the PM’s / the government’s/ the tyranny’s/ the totalitarian…way.” Funny how people style themselves somehow more free than before under such a schema. So far I have found the totalitarian dogma of the state unworkable as an approach to living and it is surprisingly silent altogether on the matter of salvation. Further, I have real concerns regarding what the state and its allies and manifestations deem “a good person” held up for our emulation, or else.

  12. taffymycat says:

    we need to give moral vocal financial support in addition to prayer, to the courageous like acquila, cordileone in san francisco, the africans like cardinal sarah—they must know how we support their courage.

  13. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Archbishop Aquila writes, “King Henry VIII was granted an ‘annulment’ — on a fraudulent basis and without the sanction of Rome.” What if, at any point in the proceedings, Rome had decided that the basis was not fraudulent and granted a recognition of nullity? Would More and Fisher have said, ‘Ah, well, that’s entirely different – if the Holy Father sees nullity, then nullity is all there is or could be, to be seen – so, all you guys were right after all’ ?

    The question arises acutely, because, if I am not mistaken, the possibility of Pope Francis promulgating some kind of devolution, would bring about something analogous to a sixteenth-century Pope concluding ‘ nullity’ after all.

  14. jamie r says:

    Henry VIII was not attempting to divorce Catherine and remarry. He was claiming that the marriage to Catherine was null because the pope lacked the authority to dispense from affinity as between brothers (oddly, he still asked the pope for a dispensation from affinity that arose due to Henry having already slept with Anne’s sister).

    Are the German bishops calling for communion for remarried Catholics out of a misguided belief that the pope can’t dispense from affinity? That would be a really weird set of circumstances that would affect very few Catholics with ostensible remarriages.

    What happened to being “slavishly accurate”?

  15. TNCath says:

    I think the word “cheap” pretty much describes this entire Synod and, quite possibly, this papacy, where standing up for the Faith or even martyrdom in times past is automatically discarded as irrelevant to modern times. My fear is that the outcome of this Synod is a done deal, and the Pope already knows what he’s going to say and do. My hope is that someone will try to stop him before he sells us out.

  16. iepuras says:

    Thank you, Archbishop Aquila!

    I find Cardinal Kasper’s statement “heroism is not for the average Christian” rather offensive. Being a faithful Christian is heroic, especially these days. He diminishes the heroism of our persecuted brethren in the Middle East, Africa and China. Of course, we know how he really feels about people in the “peripheries”. What about the quiet heroism of converts to the faith? Many of us give up relationships with family and “friends” to be baptized. Or the quiet heroism of faithful Catholic parents who seek to raise faithful children?

  17. chantgirl says:

    Now I’m starting to understand why Jesus asked if He would find any faith when He returned. If the Church isn’t going through the Great Apostasy right now, I don’t want to be around for the real one. The woman clothed with the sun in the book of revelation appears to be laboring as we speak.

    I would not be surprised if the Lord allows St. John the Baptist, St. John Fisher, or St. Thomas More to read the judgments of these bishops at the Second Coming. Lord have mercy!

  18. Genna says:

    It’s not cheap grace that’s on offer. It’s no grace at all.

  19. LarryW2LJ says:

    This is hard. I try so hard to not put myself above learned men, but as my grandfather would say, “These people have book learning, but not a lick of common sense.”

    The Church is Universal, with Christ at it’s head. This is what makes us different from the other “churches”. We’re SUPPOSED to have a chief shepherd – not a “committee of shepherds.”

    We’re SUPPOSED to have someone who says “Yes” or “No”. This is not supposed to be a church of wink, wink, nudge, nudge – “Well, TECHNICALLY this is not allowed, but do what you want to do and keep coming to Communion. God understands, and we won’t say anything that may offend you.”

    I am keeping my eyes laser-focused on the Lord, but at the same time, I am scared for what I have known my Church to be.

  20. Lutgardis says:

    RobS, I see exactly what you are saying, but please pray for us in Chicago. There are many people in this diocese committed to growing in holiness and doing God’s work in ways other than setting up energy-efficient buildings. Please, please, we need your prayers.

  21. Sandy says:

    Bravo to this Archbishop, and those others who are just as courageous in our time! As someone noted above in regards to the “decentralization” of authority spoken of by Pope Francis, we see playing out before our eyes what that would do to the Church. Didn’t Papa Ratzinger speak of a remnant Church, smaller but purified? May the Lord and His Mother strengthen us. God bless you, Father Z for keeping us informed with all the things we won’t see written about in very many places.

  22. Orphrey says:

    How can Cdl. Kasper claim that “heroism is not for the average Christian”? Is this not an insult to all the baptized? Doesn’t this contradict the universal call to holiness of Vatican II?

    From Lumen Gentium:

    “Each individual layman must stand before the world as a witness to the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and a symbol of the living God” (38).

    “The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consumator of this holiness of life: ‘Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect’. Indeed He sent the Holy Spirit upon all men that He might move them inwardly to love God with their whole heart and their whole soul, with all their mind and all their strength and that they might love each other as Christ loves them….
    “Thus it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity; by this holiness as such a more human manner of living is promoted in this earthly society. In order that the faithful may reach this perfection, they must use their strength accordingly as they have received it, as a gift from Christ. They must follow in His footsteps and conform themselves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. They must devote themselves with all their being to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history.” (40).

    What does Cdl. Kasper prefer — a universal call to mediocrity? The soft bigotry of low expectations? You see here how the revolution eats its own children. Apparently this proponent of the “spirit of Vatican II” is throwing the Council under the bus to push his agenda.

  23. JKnott says:

    Bishop Aquila is wonderful. Denver is blessed.
    This discussion of language at the Synod is wearisome.
    From that song in “My Fair Lady”: “Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words…”
    That sums it up for me.
    There is nothing in the Gospels that saturates us with “cheap” WORDS like: progressives, dissidents, conservatives, liberals, moderates, traditionalists, etc.. “Words, words, words, I’m so sick of all these words!!!
    Simple: Truth vs heresy and apostasy. Sin. Call it what it is.
    The Germans said they operate autonomously already. Why hasn’t the Church there been put under interdict? Better get moving in the right direction men of the Synod. How about the word REPENT.
    Words, words, words, Christ THE ETERNAL WORD, will vomit you out of His mouth!

  24. Peter Stuart says:

    Sounds as if Archbishop Aquila wants his flock to know and live and be saved by the truths of the Faith, heroically, even. I wish my bishop wanted that.

  25. HyacinthClare says:

    IPadre, I have wondered the very same thing.

  26. Imrahil says:

    Well, Bonhoeffer is a martyr and hero, he is obviously a man of really religious spirit, and as long as the Germans sing Church music they will always be grateful for By friendly Powers wonderfully shelter’d.

    But that doesn’t mean that his theology is acceptable (even judging by Protestant standards).

    So, when Bonhoeffer speaks of “cheap grace”, what he essentially means is that the idea of a popular Church (Volkskirche) is something in itself wrong and that Christianity should restrict itself to a hardened élite. Whereas, of course, the Catholic Church is always, everywhere, and necessarily, popular Church at least in intention. (Which does not mean that doctrine should or may be sacrificed to the realization of this intention.)

    When after the Second World War, others took up the phrase “cheap grace”, they meant something along the lines that now, in the Nazis, we had to deal with real sinners as opposed to all the other sinners that went before them, and they should not get away.

    It should also be born in mind that this is uttered from a Protestant background to which the very ideas of Confession, penance and merit – which neatly solve whatever problem remains, for us Catholics – are anathema.

    Grace is always ultimately free-of-charge, hopefully it is not in-vain (pun on the two meanings of German “umsonst”); it is always priceless in both senses of the word; it is always gratuitous in the sense that we only can thank for it by thanking for it.

    (That is, in more technical terms, “the first grace is always unmerited”, and although other graces can be, and ordinarily must be, merited, they can only be by cooperating with grace, and the fact that they can is itself a gift.)

    As for the statement “heroism is not for the average Christian”, whether we like it or not, it is (possibly unconsciously on Cdl Kasper’s part) a quote of Pope Benedict. (I may look that up some time, but I do remember it.)

    In any case, had Henry VIII not had any more children, the crown would have been inherited by Mary Tudor (just as it eventually was, but without any reason for her to persecute anyone) followed by Mary Stuart (just as it eventually was inherited by her son). The country’s well-being was not at stake, since, as the Romans say: “If one Pope dies, no problem; let’s make the next one.”

  27. Imrahil says:

    Dear IPadre and HyacinthClare,

    well, St. Klemens Hofbauer said, “the Reformation came about because the Germans could not but be pious”.

    They also cannot let sleeping dogs lie, or be satisfied with a modus vivendi; and while they can accept an answer which does not please them (sharing, of course, the general disinclination of fallen Man to do so), they cannot accept receiving no answer at all. And so on.

  28. Kathleen10 says:

    This was just posted on Rorate. It is the last part of a commentary on marriage by a John Lamont. It is very interesting, and the last three sentences seem to capsulize what we are seeing. If one begins to dig a bit into past papacies in recent times, one begins to be unnerved, but the truth is always better than a pretty lie, even if the pretty lie would be far easier to take.

    “There are three points to take away from this discussion. The first is of course that Catholic doctrine on marriage and divorce was taught directly by Christ himself, and it cannot be repudiated in theory or in practice without rejecting Christ and his teaching. The second is that the current debate does not capture Christ’s teaching. He did not say ‘Do not divorce and then remarry’; he said ‘Do not get divorced’. His statements about ‘remarriage’ after divorce were intended to explain and expand on this teaching; they were not the core of the teaching itself. The third thing is that this teaching is established not only by Catholic tradition, but also by secular historical studies. If we reject it, we not only reject the doctrinal authority of the Catholic Church, as the first Protestants did; we have to reject the personal authority of Christ’s words while on earth. This in turn means rejecting the Incarnation, and holding that Christ was a merely human 1st century rabbi, whose teaching was often new and inspiring but was not of divine origin and did not have divine authority. This is in fact what most of the bishops and theologians who are attempting to overturn Catholic theology of marriage at the Synod do believe. This rejection of the divinity of Christ is not new to those acquainted with modern Catholic theology, but it is not realized by the broader Catholic faithful, and is not acknowledged and addressed by the Roman authorities who should be correcting it. This failure to acknowledge disbelief in Christ’s divinity did not begin with Pope Francis; it was the policy under Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We are now paying part of the price for this policy at the Synod on the Family.”

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    From, “The Cost of Discipleship,” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

    “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

    This sounds remarkably Catholic. The idea of a popular church vs. a spiritual elite (cheap vs. costly grace) would not sit well with St. Teresa of Avila, who called all people to advance in prayer. Granted, there was a sense of elitism in Germany during the early 1900’s (and way before that), but the notion of German mysticism espoused by people like Meister Eckart pre-supposed some effort by anyone, even the common man, who wants to go that way. The modern Germans want to give Communion to the divorced and re-married without confession (which would be ineffective and sacrilegious without repentance), which sounds like Bonhoffer’s quoted definition, to me.

    The Chicken

  30. The Masked Chicken says:

    “This rejection of the divinity of Christ is not new to those acquainted with modern Catholic theology, but it is not realized by the broader Catholic faithful, and is not acknowledged and addressed by the Roman authorities who should be correcting it. This failure to acknowledge disbelief in Christ’s divinity did not begin with Pope Francis; it was the policy under Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We are now paying part of the price for this policy at the Synod on the Family.”

    This is nothing more than the offshoot of Modernism. St. Pope John Paul II released the Catechism, Veritatis Splendor, and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to offset these tendencies and to protect the laity. Obviously, he did not reform the seminaries, but progress had been made under his and Pope Benedict XVI’s reign. I don’t agree that it was policy to not acknowledge the influence of Modernism by many modern Popes.

    The Chicken

  31. Imrahil says:

    Well, as in Bonhoeffer the pendulum was, apparently, swinging back from the original Protestantism which emphatically was about cheap grace (“pecca fortiter” and so on), “cheaper”, so to say, than in the Catholic doctrine which always spoke about penance and the concept of merit, it may of course sound quite Catholic.

    Also, “the modern Germans”, whatever their previous faults in Confession discipline, want to distribute Communion without Confession in this case precisely because the way of Confession is barred here.

    (Also, the issue is not about “Communion for mortal sinners”, which, a part from being an obvious sacrilege, would help precisely nothing. The real issue, regrettably barred, I admit, by a whole lot of words in all sorts of directions, is whether the people do remain in mortal sin. They want Communion as an acknowledgment that they aren’t – leastways not if they have repented: of bringing themselves into the situation, not of remaining in it.)

  32. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    The issue is not just with German bishops, but with all bishops who actively promote or passively accept these ideas, which strike at the heart of the Catholic understanding of marriage and family. A recent example from Boston: The Boston Pilot, the archdiocesan newspaper, published an article that spouted the German bishops talking points. A discussion of it here: https://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/cardinal-omalley-please-correct-heresy-and-discipline-your-priest/
    and here:
    https://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/boston-pilot-response-to-garrity-issue-meh/
    The priest who wrote this is the pastor of two parishes in the upscale community of Lexington.

  33. Gerard Plourde says:

    I located the Commonweal interview that is the source of the quote. It seems to me that the scenario that he posits – individuals who have divorced and remarried whose first marriage is valid and must therefore live in Josephite marriages in order to conform to the laws of the Church – are precisely the people who are called by God by this circumstance to a live heroic act. If by “heroism is not for the average Christian” he had meant, for example, that Christians living in a time of persecution should not actively seek martyrdom, I would concur. Even Thomas More did not actively seek the martyr’s crown. But, once convicted through the perjury of Richard Rich, he was unafraid to declare his belief concerning the invalid nature of Parliament’s declaration of Henry VIII’s primacy over the Church in England and consequently sealed his fate.

  34. Is it not a sad commentary on the state of the Church, that a straightforward statement of immemorial Catholic doctrine–such as one might expect of any Baltimore catechism student–is regarded as courageous or somehow remarkable, when made by a Catholic bishop?

  35. The Masked Chicken says:

    “They want Communion as an acknowledgment that they aren’t – leastways not if they have repented: of bringing themselves into the situation, not of remaining in it.)”

    Remaining it in without going Josephite is the problem. If the Greman bishops preached this, there would be no problem.

    Their decision to not allow reception of the sacraments to those who do not pay the Church tax – that is the real scandal. That is all on the bishops.

    The Chicken

  36. thomas tucker says:

    Here is something I have always wondered about- how is it that an orthodox Pope appoints men who apparently hold heterodox views as Cardinals? Why does that happen?

  37. Mr. Graves says:

    Generator Sti Lot raises a great question. What would the English martyrs have done if Henry VIII had gotten a second “annulment” in his suit to leave Anne Boelyn? Fisher and Moore would likely have relied on the judgment of Rome in the matter of the king’s marriage — with good reason (“Roma locuta; causa finita est”). And what does that mean for us with Francis’ proposed “annulment forms”? Hmmmmmm…….

  38. Mr. Graves says:

    Sorry, Venerator. Autocorrect, ya know?

  39. Chon says:

    Lutgardis:
    We also lost Cardinal George when we needed him badly here in Portland, Oregon. For years we prayed, and we now have wonderful Archbishop Sample. Keep your hope strong!

    (It just occurred to me that Cardinal George can help us even more now, as we ask his intercession).

  40. Michael_Thoma says:

    Conpare the German der wirrwarr to the man-who-should-be-Pope (Cardinal “living/future canonized Saint” Arinze: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/exclusive-ten-commandments-are-not-subject-to-national-frontiers-says-cardi

    “The Ten Commandments are not subject to national frontiers. A bishops’ conference in a country cannot agree that stealing from a bank is not sinful in that country, or that divorced persons who are remarried can receive Holy Communion in that country, but when you cross the boundary and go to another country it now becomes a sin,” he told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview in Rome on Saturday.

    “You can see you then, if we did that, we have made the Ten Commandments a matter of decision according to sensitivities in each country. It cannot be so,” he added.

    “In matters of faith and morals, the Catholic Church is known for her unity, a unity which is not invented by the Vatican, is not invented by the theologians. It is Christ himself who said, ‘Teach them to observe whatever I have said to you.’”

    “So, we don’t have power to modify [what Scripture teaches us]. For example, St. Paul says that those who receive Holy Communion should look into themselves because the person who receives unworthily receives judgment against himself. This is Holy Scripture. This cannot be subject to voting at the level of bishops’ conferences or even voting across continental frontiers.”

    “You can see, the Church is not actually a national Church, it is one body in Christ. The Son of God came down from heaven and gave us this way of salvation and prayed that all his followers may be one, as he and his Father are one,” he said.

    Clear, precise, merciful, humble, global south, in-solidarity with the poor and minorities.. !

  41. Joseph-Mary says:

    Grace may be free but it is not cheap! It cost Our Lord His life…
    As a lay person, I feel called to a heroic witness to my Catholic faith. I am called to holiness, and even though far from it, to sainthood. Whether it is currently standing in prayer in front of the modern murder mills where abortion takes place or when having to leave a medical profession for ethical reasons, with God’s grace a heroic stand can be taken.

    Archbishop Aquila is my archbishop! We have had several good bishops in a row: Cardinal Stafford, Archbishop Chaput and now Archbishop Aquila. The result is that the archdiocese is flourishing! There are many apostolates. Our parishes, as far as I know, are doing well and in my town, they have many young and growing families which is a sign of health. I do not have to hear heresy (unless one of the retired priests fill in!) from the pulpit. Our seminaries have many in formation. I even have access to a Traditional Latin Mass! Faithfulness is what is needed, not compromise.

  42. Traductora says:

    For people wondering where Francis got “decentralization” from: He mentioned one of his favorite reads, a book (I’ve forgotten the name) by the horrible, complete failure Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco, published in the late ’90s, that laid out an entire plan for “decentralizing” the Church, including “decentralizing” its theology. This has been a dream of progressives since the time of …well, not just Luther, but even before.

    The bizarre thing is that Francis wants to play it both ways: decentralization, but he personally will have the final say in anything he doesn’t like. I’d say he’s misunderstood this whole papacy thing. Actually, I’d say he misunderstands the whole Church thing.

  43. aviva meriam says:

    I’m confused about the paying of the Church Tax…. Are Priests actually going to deny baptism to a child whose parents didn’t pay the tax? Are they checking the registers? And is there someone with a list checking people off before they receive communion?

    Bonhoeffer actually spent time in Rome and many of his Catholic friends urged him to convert. For a German Protestant he had remarkable sympathy for and understanding of Catholic theology. I doubt he was personally acquainted with von Hildebrandt (due to geography, among other things.) but would love to see a scholarly comparison of the two’s theology… regardless they both believed (and acted upon their beliefs) that Christianity required them to stand against Nazism, and Modernist Nihilism.

  44. gatormom says:

    Kathleen10, I could not agree with you more. This synod is extremely upsetting but my faith and my Religion, my Catholic Religion has been taking blow after blow after blow since I was old enough to notice and I know my poor Grandfather when he was alive was just reeling from the continual horrible and bad changes within the Church. From his time to mine, the Catholic Church went from Communism’s greatest foe to it’s best friend forever. Not only did I not see Pope Benedict XVI or Pope John Paul II stop modernism or error or Communism or freemasonry or cultural Marxism or Luciferianism or liberalism or the most reprehensible name you want to call it, I do not see how this movement could have attained victory after victory without atleast passive permission if not tremendous assistance. I once heard Pope Benedict extol the writing of Pierre de Chardin. I have never ever forgotten that. Even if there is some argument that he was not a heretic or that even though some things he said were heresy, he still said some good things, WHY even put that idea out there for the faithful. People are saved and converted through clear teaching not through total confusion. Even on this site I see people who I am pretty sure are saying something close to good or true but I can’t really be sure because I don’t really understand what the heck they are talking about, (actually only two people.). People get away with sophistry because nobody wants to be the one that says the emporer is naked. You know what, if you do not have a doctorate in theology don’t assume that the guy using lots of jargon and run on sentences isn’t exactly as heretical and blasphemous as he sounds. Why do these people change CCD to PSR, why do they change the words of The Act of Contrition, why do they openly say that they are going to change the language of the Church? Could it be for the same reason that Algore told the children that they knew thing that their parents couldn’t know? They seek to divide us and to confuse us and to what end. Good shepherds do NOT divide and confuse their sheep. Something has been VERY wrong for decades, this synod did not just happen and it just happens to be a really disgusting symptom that draws a lot of attention like if a patient vomits. Unfortunately, even though they are vomiting and that is quite upsetting to all, it could be that their liver is liquefying as well. I don’t know what to think about any of it, totally stumped.

  45. Mjay says:

    That’s my bishop!!

  46. Traductora says:

    gatormom, Teilhard was always a hard case. He said some very beautiful, very mystical and probably very true things. Like all mystics, he wasn’t particularly precise; and unfortunately, like many of them, I think he became a theology unto himself, since he appears to have had no guidance at the end but instead to have been surrounded by a bunch of adorers, mostly female.

    If nothing else, Teilhard did understand the fact that Jesus was the Second Person of the Trinity and not just a great teacher (which is what Francis seems to believe). Sometimes he sounded, and in fact probably was, a bit of a pantheist but at the same time he did seem to have a great vision of the Body of Christ in a cosmic perspective. So I’d say he wasn’t a raving heretic, but simply a mystic who needed a lot more guidance and restraint, and whose thoughts have been misused ever since. Don’t forget that people like Sta. Teresa, San Juan de la Cruz and a host of others all had confessors who were their intellectual equals and kept them on track. I’m not sure that Teilhard, living where he did and when he did, had this check on him.

    But in any case, I wouldn’t condemn somebody for quoting some of his words.

  47. Panterina says:

    Venerator Sti Lot and Mr. Graves

    To my knowledge, Henry VIII’s so-called “annulment” (notice the quotation marks) came from Cranmer, not from the Holy See. (See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07222a.htm).

  48. Gerard Plourde says:

    Panterina,

    You’re correct that nullity was declared by Cramner as Archbishop of Cantrbury. The fact that we omit is that Henry had been made Head of the Church in England through an illrgal act of Parliament (which was doing the king’s bidding) and through this usurpation of power made the grant of nullity a foregone conclusion. While it doesn’t excuse those who went along from their derelection of duty, it could probably be posited that Henry would have deposed and sent to the Tower any churchman who opposed him and would have named a successor who would bow to the royal will. Proof of this ruthlessness would appear later when he dissolved the monasteries and seized church property.

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