I saw an interesting juxtaposition of churchy news items.
First, from the SSPX site DICI:
Europe: The churches are closing
That isn’t news, really. We have been seeing this everywhere. How the decades of reform have worked!
Next, from SSPX.org, we have some preaching from SSPX Bp and head Bernard Fellay at the consecration of one of their new churches. A taste:
…Let us ask God to help us understand this mystery a little better and understand that despite all human misery, despite the fact that even a pope is now saying unbelievable things on morality and trying to tell us that sin is the state of grace – what we are hearing today is unbelievable, unheard of! – well, despite that, this pope can still accomplish actions that sanctify and save. God has not taken from him his power to bind and to loosen (see Mt. 16:19). He can do good and he still does. It is the same with the bishops. These are great mysteries. It does not mean that we approve the evil that is done; far from it, we reject it and guard ourselves from it. But at the same time we recognize that in the Church there is something stronger and greater than the things we see: there is God, the infinite God, infinitely holy, infinitely good. There is one path that has been given to us for our salvation, for there is no other. If we wish to go to heaven, we have to go through the Church, the Roman Catholic Church; there is no other path. We can try to invent whatever we want: it is all to no avail. It is the only path. So we must not leave the Church.
There are scandalous things that happen these days, it is true, for what we see now is a situation of growing confusion, a more and more chaotic situation. You ask one bishop what he thinks, you ask another bishop what he thinks and they give contradictory answers, even on the essentials: the Faith, what we must do to be saved. So it is extremely serious. And as time goes on, the situation spreads.
And at the same time, we see how God works in His Church. At the same time we see that, especially among the youngest, there is starting to be a reaction, even high up in the hierarchy. There are cardinals and bishops who are starting to say: “This is too much.” They are starting to speak out. I would say that we are no longer the only ones protesting and reacting; there are others. This is new.
At the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) we see their glee over the remarks of German Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, who was presided over the decline of the Church in Germany as president of the bishops conference from 1987 to 2008.
He complains that his team are not getting their candidates for the episcopate through. Imagine my sorrow. Get this:
However, Lehmann said he believed the nomination process was being disrupted by people “focused on a strict church policy allowing no deviation” and who had “knowledge of how things work in Rome.”
[Hold on….!] “Much greater attention should be given to an episcopal candidate’s theological competence than his formal orthodoxy,” said Lehmann. “There’s an urgent need for clarification — otherwise, the whole appointment process will come into question.”
Get that? When picking bishops…
Much greater attention should be given to an episcopal candidate’s theological competence than his formal orthodoxy.
So… they should be really smart, like him and Card. Kasper and not so much mired in all those dogmas and creeds and formulas. I mean, they have to know those things, but they don’t really have to be attached to them. Sure… there’s formal orthodoxy… clinging to those old formulae and teachings and stuff… and then there’s the really heady stuff that frees us from the rigidity of the “institutional” ossification of the spirit-filled blue-skying that has been such a success in Germany over the last few decades.
Sorry… I’m ranting. I’ll let you all get back to reading your Rahner.