A clear and present danger to Catholic doctrine, practice, identity

JuggernautThere is a clear and present danger to Catholic doctrine, practice, identity which has already risen over the horizon and which looms larger as the weeks pass.

The exaltation of “conscience”, no matter what.

We are not talking about properly formed consciences, in the Catholic sense.

The ambiguous Amoris Laetitia “Communion for those who are in the state of mortal sin and who lack a firm purpose of amendment” controversy heralded the danger.

We’ve now seen different conferences of bishops, and different individual bishops, come up with diametrically opposed interpretations of Amoris.  Look, friends, that’s just a fact, and its coming from Amoris, which is polarizing us.

As the horizon darkens, Cardinal Kasper continues to press his agenda.

Not long ago Kasper opined in a TV interview (HERE) that:

“In some cases, I think so, as they share the same faith in the Eucharist, it is assumed, and if they have the inner state, they can refer to their conscience to go to Communion, and this, I think, is also the position of the current pope. “

If you have a family or couple, “you can not divide them at the altar,” said the chairman emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

There are cases in which the diocesan bishop is able to grant admission to the Eucharist by a non-Catholic.  However, it is the diocesan bishop who makes that determination.  What Kasper intimates is that the bishop has no role.  Instead, non-Catholics should simply receive if they want to.  That’s what the cant about “conscience” means.  He also had told the newspaper of the Italian bishops conference Avvenire that inter-communion is only a matter of time.   HERE

That would, of course, lead to an increase in sacrilegious Communions.  Msgr. Bux is right.  HERE Of course reasoned arguments and reference to the Magisterium means less and less these days.

What is it that we are seeing these days?  It looks as if the doctrine of the Eucharist is being undermined at an alarming rate.

Some will now leap to point out that Kasper said, “In some cases” and “they share the same faith”, etc.   Sure.   That, however, avoids the problem of how that is discerned.  In fact, Canon Law can. 843 provides for these situations: the diocesan bishop makes the determination.


Sure, it could happen that the diocesan bishop is squishy, permissive, and negligent.  Still, the buck still stops on his desk.  He will answer to the Lord for his decision.  At least there is a way to verify, however thinly, that the non-Catholic in question “shares the same faith” in the Eucharist as the Church (and not the same faith as her hubby, who might himself have only a vague notion of what Communion means).   Instead, the “conscience” of the individual becomes the ultimate arbiter and lawgiver.  And we all know about human nature, don’t we.   What starts as “in some cases” will turn into religious indifferentism.

What to do?

Most of us can do nothing about this, in the activist sense.  In worldly terms we are pretty much helpless in the face of the juggernaut.  Right now, the great lib carriage is crushing opposition beneath its wheels.

However, we can nevertheless do our part.

First, I suggest thorough examinations of conscience… there’s that word again… with brutal clarity, followed by making good, regular confessions.


Thereupon, make good, pious, devout Holy Communions, offering them also for specific intentions.

Moreover, you can pray and you can offer mortifications such as fasting.  Join prayer and fasting to performing works of mercy, offering any and all discomfort or inconvenience to God for the sake of turning the tide in whatever way God might choose.

Finally, as good solider-pilgrims in this vale of tears, in this Church Militant, during the day in times of rest or in times of repetitive tasks and chores, offer brief prayers to sanctify your work and to make even in a sacrifice pleasing to God.

The moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. olh says:

    Once I realized that the world as a whole has always been under a “religious deception” it put the paragraph in a different and darker light.

    CCC 675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.

  2. CradleRevert says:

    The silver lining of all these current events is that it provides a great assurance of Faith that the Church really truly is the Bride of Christ. What these prelates seek already exists; it’s called Protestantism. If these people had any honesty, they would formally apostatize to one of these ecclesial communities and be done with it. Yet, they continue (knowingly or unknowingly) to do the bidding of the Evil One , and instead choose to attack the Church, the one and only refuge against evil.

  3. Ann Malley says:

    Go to confession is always good advice. But, increasingly, it is necessary to go to Confession armed with the truth of what a sin is and not accept the dismissal that can come from he who is tasked with absolving.

    Being told in the confessional that my sins were not sins is what sent me bolting from my diocesan parish. Not because the priest didn’t have the power to absolve me. But because that intrusion of confusion represented a clear and present danger not only to my soul, but those of my children.

    Go to Confession, but be armed. Wise as serpents, but innocent as a dove.

  4. Mark says:

    On his blog from January 30th, Cardinal Wuerl stated, “The ancient and received teaching of the Church includes the recognition of the condition of the person, the ability of the individual to even understand the regulations of the law, the necessity of pastoral outreach and engagement, and the inviolability of individual conscience, even when it is erroneous.” Really? Is he saying that we can not stop a person from going against their conscience even if it is erroneous?! Maybe I’m misreading it. I must be, because that makes no sense. Is he saying that we can’t stop a person from murdering if his erroneous conscience says it is acceptable? Can someone help me understand what he is saying, because that statement seems extremely illogical to me. His whole post can be found here:

  5. ShenValleyLewis says:

    In addition to prayer, fasting, acts of service, and regular confession – it is helpful to remember these wise words of the Little Flower:

    “Even when alone be cheerful, remembering always that you are in the sight of the angels.”

    By the way, is anyone aware of the source of this quote? I wonder if it is from the Last Conversations.

  6. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Recognizing the validity of what you have written, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, about prayer, fasting, devout reception of the sacraments and such, I find myself with two unanswered questions:

    Intellectually speaking, should we recognize the truth mixed in with all the lies which are, like a camel’s nose, trying to seek acceptance, and grant to our interlocutors whatever they manage to get right, or should we pitch the battle on first principles?

    As the father of five boys, is it my obligation to filter statements from His Holiness, and from those claiming his support; to refuse to read the stuff when children are around; to hold up for ridicule those obviously wrong-headed comments which have come and will come; to open for discussion the errors?

    Do you have any advice for keeping balance, that is, for cultivating the intellectual equivalent of the virtues, rather than veering off course to the vices which await us?

  7. Benedict Joseph says:

    Was not Cardinal Wuerl the individual sent to Seattle to reign in Bishop Hunthausen back in the ’80’s?
    That too, speaks for itself.
    Oh what a web we weave.

  8. Ann Malley says:


    +Wuerl seems to be attempting to paint all and sundry as mental deficients who are so damaged in the brain that teaching certain concepts is impossible. Truth is, however, even a child with Down Syndrome could see through the transparent attempt to pretend that mankind is inviolably dumb.

    So, as one wouldn’t execute a mental deficient or a crazy person for the crime of murder they didn’t understand was wrong, all men and women are granted the benefit of being incapable of learning the Faith.

    It’s manufactured “invincible ignorance” – wink wink – the clever clerics way to make the job so much easier as teaching and admonishing become passe. Especially when the cadre of ignorant are smart enough to denounce any teaching as cruelty to animals.

  9. Jeannie_C says:

    “In some cases, I think so, as they share the same faith in the Eucharist, it is assumed,…” Lest we forget the word “assume” makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Jesus was quite clear in His teaching. That’s enough for me.

  10. Mike says:

    Lex orandi, lex credendi:
    If you have access to the Traditional Latin Mass, attend and support it, and be ready to tell people why.
    If you don’t know why, learn about it. You’ll be eternally glad you did.
    If you don’t have access, you can ‘assist’ remotely (though it won’t count for your Sunday obligation) at livemass.net.

  11. thomas tucker says:

    @Mark- good questions, which I asked in a comment on his blog. I asked if I should follow my own conscience, instead of Church doctrine, on matters of racism and theft. He never responded or posted my comment. But they are relevant questions. why is that it is only matter of sexual morality in which we are told to follow our conscineces, even if misinformed or erroneous?
    In the meantime, I wonder how long this state of confusion will go on in the Church; I pray not for long, but I fear that it will be a very long time. The most difficult part, for me, is intructing my children in the Faith, and yet teaching them that not all bishops and priests seem to even know the Faith, and not to listen to their falsehoods. Very confusing for children.

  12. Mark says:

    Ann Malley,
    Given that, is he seriously saying we, as individuals or as a church, can not stop a person from acting on their conscience even if their conscience is wrong? Clearly that is wrong, as I state in my example of a murderer with an erroneous conscience.

  13. TWF says:

    All this focus on the liberal Lutheran churches of Europe…whose numbers are declining. The conservative Lutheran bodies in North America would absolutely refuse Catholic communion until such time as full communion is restored. And really, if looking at global Protestantism…in terms of numbers the high church Lutherans and Anglicans pale next to the ever expanding groups of Evangelicals and Pentecostals who have no concept of a sacramental eucharist whatsoever.

  14. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    I don’t understand Card. Kasper’s logic. If spouses “share the same faith,” wouldn’t they both be Catholic (or Lutheran or whatever)?

  15. Nineveh 90


    Pray fasting mortification

  16. Clinton R. says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf : “There is a clear and present danger to Catholic doctrine, practice, identity which has already risen over the horizon and which looms larger as the weeks pass.”

    There is no doubt we are experiencing an unprecedented assault of the teachings of the Church, especially considering these attacks are not from the outside, but within, by those who are supposed to uphold what has been handed from Christ to the Apostles.

    Popes Pius IX and Saint Pius X attempted to root out heretics from the ranks, but they went underground, not to return to the surface until the Second Vatican Council gave them the opportunity they needed to rebel against the Church and her doctrines, teaching, praxis and especially the Holy Mass. Now they are given free reign to prowl like a lion, seeking to devour.

    As a result, we must prepare and fortify ourselves with prayer and fasting. Those who love Christ and adhere to the Catholic Faith have been, are now, and will be persecuted. The men who are entrusted with teaching sound doctrine now mock it. Those who are responsible for the souls of the faithful have become gravely derelict in their sacred duties. We live in a bizarro world, where right is wrong, up is down, and the Faith the Saints lived by and often were martyred for is no longer relevant and is seen as a relict of the “dark ages”; a time valued only by the “ultra conservative” and those stricken by “rigidity”.

    If indeed what we are witnessing is the beginning of the end of this age, then we must indeed GO TO CONFESSION, as Father urges. We must be like those virgins who were prepared to meet the Bridegroom. His return draws nigh.

  17. Serviam says:

    If anyone wants to receive Holy Eucharist, do what I did, and join the Catholic Church!!

    While in the state of grace of course;-)

    Which means…..confession first!

    Thank you Father Z.

  18. thomas jd says:

    It seems that we are witnessing Cardinals & Bishops interpreting the Popes thoughts and acting on them . If this is left unchallenged authority will become subjective in a very short time through-out the church.

    Go to Confession every two weeks if possible!
    First we need these Graces and second to make Reparation for those who do not go to Confession!

  19. Ann Malley says:


    Yes, I do believe that is exactly what +Wuerl is attempting to say. With the mental reservation of excluding those sins for which “he” has drawn the line: murder, child abuse, theft, etc, whatever. (Insert what’s currently not fashionable.)

    Although the child abuse could also be floated as a somewhat of a grey area considering the USCCB’s past performance and perhaps what they currently allow. (Keep in mind, we don’t know the sins of those in positions of authority. And if this idea of malformed consciences allows for absolution without amendment, well, that opens the door wide for repeat offenses within the clergy, no?)

    The level of discourse I’ve had with priests, religious, and one secular scholar in particular who is the academic dean at a Seminary in New York (I’m tempted to name names, but won’t.) has left me very guarded in every confessional – and with every priest. Not out of malice, but for the just cause of self preservation.

    Priests are being intentionally malformed. Right along with the people. And if Truth rears its head, it is firmly slurred, shut down, marginalized and rigorously shamed.

    It’s sad. But we do have the Truth. And that is what sets us free, even when we’re in the presence of wolves.

    @Thomas Tucker

    I had a similar experience. Loaded to the gills commentary of ambiguous modernism being unchecked because the combox filters out anything that calls out the rancid error.

  20. michael de cupertino says:

    The “conscience” canard has been luring Catholics into self-confirming sin for some time. We had some college friends (both male) who decided to get “married”. I had lunch with them and was dumbstruck when they claimed right of conscience. They’d been led to believe that whatever conclusion they came to on their own could not be criticized or corrected by anyone. According to them, forming one’s conscience to the Church’s teaching “denies free will.”

    Some demons can only be defeated by prayer and fasting.

  21. bibi1003 says:

    I was so happy to read your post. I’ll be attending a Choral High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Martin of Tours in Louisville, KY this weekend. It’s an hour drive from home, but I can’t go back to my home parish anymore, for reasons that you can probably guess. I haven’t gone to Mass the last two Sundays. I’m mired in sin. Would you please pray that I make a good confession tomorrow? Thank you. God bless and keep you.

  22. Joseph-Mary says:

    ps: ROME, February 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis has stated that the rise of new religious institutes that attract numerous religious vocations “worries” him because they often promote “rigidity.” Francis denounced new traditional religious orders as “Pelagians,” who want a return to asceticism and penance.

    As faithful clergy and institutes are being crushed, the faithful laity must return to prayer, penance, and asceticism! These are the weapons to fight evil! So why would the pope not want them?
    The Nineveh90 initiative from Fr. Hielman is a good place to start. https://www.nineveh90.com/

  23. jschicago says:

    What’s next? Maybe if Anglican and Episcopalian clergy “share the same Faith in the Eucharist,” they can have valid orders to say Mass? To heck with Apostolicae curae. Maybe if women “share the same Faith in the Eucharist,” they may be ordained? … As mortar joints erode, the damage spreads locally; eventually, damage will accelerate rapidly to surrounding areas of the brick wall.

  24. Kathleen10 says:

    These mere men have no desire to be Protestants. They’ve got their comforts, they aren’t about to leave them.
    There is no doubt any longer about what their goal is. They are thus far very successful, and may be for quite some time for all we know. There is a reasonable hope for an imperfect council, but the person who would probably call it is being persecuted openly, so who knows. The response to what we have seen is possibly worse than the wreck-o-vation we have to watch every day.
    But this is the year of Fatima, and we know anything can happen. Prayers. Prayers going up to heaven like incense. That is what we need.

  25. arga says:

    Fr. Z omits from his advice any indication that we consider discreetly speaking out against abuses by clerics — liturgical or pastoral or in the teaching of doctrine. I occasionally write courteous e-mails in attempt to correct gross malpractice. Sometimes it has actually been effective. Remember how it came out that child sexual abuse often continued despite widespread suspicion among parishioners who were too respectful of clerical authority to say anything? Aren’t they at fault, to a certain extent? Wouldn’t we be at fault today if we stay silent in the case of gross liturgical malpractice, say? I am not talking about nit-picking.

  26. Rosary Rose says:

    Amen Fr. Z. Confession, prayer, fasting, mortification, works of mercy. These are not little weapons, these are powerful. Our fight is against principalities and powers.

    We must not think our efforts are in vain. Prayer, fasting, mortification are powerful. Be in a state of Grace, have courage, keep praying. The enemy wants us to be disheartened, weary and stop. We must continue our prayers even when we see no result. Don’t be discouraged if you miss a day. Just start over. Christ knows how hard this world is. He will reward your efforts! You are like David, and your efforts are the stones that will slay the giant confusion in our Church today. Your efforts are like Jakob and Aaron holding up Moses’ arms so the Israelites will be successful. Pray without ceasing. Fear not.

    Our most powerful weapon, second only to Mass, is the rosary. Our Lady of Fatima asked us to pray it daily. When we pray it daily, and meditate on the mysteries, we see a pattern – there is joy, light, sorrow, glory…joy, light, sorrow, glory….we think about Christ, His mother, how He loves us, how He died for us, how she is in Heaven and is Queen over all the earth and Heaven, and how the angels answer to her. If we spend 15 minutes a day focused on the mysteries, we see that horrible things happen (sorrowful mysteries) but Christ has won the battle (glorious mysteries), Christ loves us beyond our imagination, Mary loves us, even now, in 2017, in this confusion, our prayers are heard.

    We are all here this day on purpose by God.

    Pray with Nineveh 90! You are not alone.

    Pray for our Leaders. God bless Fr. Z!

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