“The Church of priests is coming to an end.” What’s really going on.

At Settimo Cielo long time vaticanista Sandro Magister posted something that should make everyone stop, breathe for a while, and consider options.

Context: In October there will be a meeting of the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, during which the Church is supposed to learn about spirituality of trees and insects and the ways of tribes in touch with nature.

The Synod will be a pry bar into the core of priesthood.

The fact that there is a shortage of priests is an excuse to overturn the Church’s understanding of priesthood.

Some are straining against the gate, hammers and prybars in restless hands.

NB: It is important to watch carefully what is going on in the Church in Italy.   You find in Italy signals about what is going on behind the scenes in Rome.

Let’s see some of this (my emphases):

In the Amazon Married Deacons Are Already Saying Mass. And the Pope Knows It

For a few days a video has been circulating on the web in which an Italian priest of the highest rank, among those closest to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, says that in the Amazon the celebration of the Mass by married deacons is already a de facto reality, authorized by the local bishops. And Pope Francis, informed of the matter, is alleged to have said:”Go ahead!”

The author of this revelation is not just anybody. He is Giovanni Nicolini, 79, an esteemed priest of the archdiocese of Bologna, which has as its archbishop that Matteo Zuppi whom a few days ago Francis promoted as cardinal.

Fr. Nicolini is currently a national ecclesiastical assistant of the Catholic Associations of Italian Workers, ACLI, and was previously director of Caritas of Bologna, in addition to being a parish priest in the neighborhood next to the prison. A priest of the poor, of the imprisoned, of the immigrants: this is his best-known profile.

But even before this he was a spiritual son of Giuseppe Dossetti (1913-1996), a leading politician in postwar Italy and then, as monk and priest, a protagonist of Vatican Council II along with Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro. [A key player, with Bugnini, in the systematic undermining of the Roman Rite prosecuted in the name of Vatican II.]

In the footsteps of Dossetti, Fr. Nicolini founded in the 1970’s the Family of the Visitation, a community now made up of around thirty monks and nuns and as many married couples, divided between the countryside of Bologna and the archdiocesan missions  in Tanzania and Jerusalem.

Moreover, Fr. Nicolini is connected to that influential progressive Catholic think tank known as the “school of Bologna,” which had its founder in the same Dossetti and has in Church historian Alberto Melloni and in Bose monastery founder Enzo Bianchi its current mainstays and gurus, both of them ultra-Bergoglians. [Bose monastery… see below!]

So here is a link to Fr. Nicolini’s shocking video:

> “Sento l’opportunità di ricordare…”[In Italian]

The video is part of a broader “lesson” by Fr. Nicolini, it too recorded, at the summer school of the political-cultural Catholic association La Rosa Bianca, held in Terzolas, Trentino from August 21 to 25.

And the following is an exact transcription of his words concerning the celibacy of the clergy and the “Masses” that already are said to be celebrated by married deacons in the Amazon, with the authorization of the local bishops and the support of Pope Francis.

*

AND THE POPE SAID: “GO AHEAD!”

I feel it is fitting to recall, together with you, that the Church of priests is coming to an end. Is this a prophecy?

[…]

Let’s connect some dots.

Right now there is a systematic effort on the part of the New catholic Red Guards to slander, intimidate and silence anyone who offers an observation or criticism of any kind whatsoever about the radical changes being made even to Catholic teaching during this pontificate.   This is going on across various language groups, and representatives from various languages are getting more organized.  They are coordinating.

A dot to connect.

Professional self-promoter, bomb-throwing strawman-stuffer Massimo “Beans” Faggioli tweeted”

Bose (Bo-zay) is – sort of – like an Italian Taize.  There is a breathy piece about it at Commonwelt. HERE The community has roots in a post-Conciliar leveling ecumenism which cherry picks elements of different traditions.   I don’t understand their canonical, ecclesiastical status.  They are doing their own thing and, a while back, a bishop said, “Okay.”  Their site says:

The Monastic Community of Bose was canonically approved by a decree dated 11 July 2000 of the Bishop of Biella, Massimo Giustetti, who also approved its statute and the monastic rule that went with it. The present Ordinary, Bishop Gabriele Mana, confirmed the above status of juridical person and approved modifications to the statute in a decree dated 29 June 2010. The monastic rule was approved by Cardinal Michele Pellegrino of Turin on the occasion of the profession of the first seven brothers, 23 April 1973, and was confirmed by his successor, Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero on 6 August 1978.

It seems to me that this community – a private association of the faithful – is all about a version of Christianity that tends toward a “one world religion” with some Catholic elements that they like. It’s generic, a strain of “mere Christianity” somewhat attached to Catholicism and Catholic roots but less intellectually than, say, the Touchstone folks.  It is, perhaps, driven by sentimentalism and a kind of Italian “contempt” for the Church that arises from “familiarity”.  It is a kind of Catholic-lite place, with Eastern touches and a little bit of Woodstock and new-agey Findhorn.  I’m not sure what Protestants contribute.  They have a meaningful bell named after Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “Eucharist” is mentioned on their site, but so sparsely that it seems a purposeful avoidance.  I think it might be Mass, but I am not sure. There are Catholic priests there, so I guess there is Mass. Who receives Communion?  Everyone?  Anyone?

Quite a lot of money circulates around the place it seems.  But all the people in the community seem to work for a living or make things which are sold, which is admirable.  They are making a go of it by work and some sort of prayer.

I would note that Rome seems to embrace this model, but it crushed the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and those sisters in France who took care of the poor because they were too traditional.

This is something that Beans is really into: “I owe so much spiritually and intellectually to the Community of Bose.”

UPDATE:

And minutes before I posted this, Beans tweeted:

A central motivation of the Protestant Revolt in the 16th century and onward was precisely the destruction of the priesthood.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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16 Responses to “The Church of priests is coming to an end.” What’s really going on.

  1. mysticalrose says:

    Honest to God, is there ever any good news in this Church???

    But I guess I shouldn’t be looking for good news in the middle of a war. Sigh.

  2. Thomas S says:

    Married deacons are “saying Mass”? So married deacons are simulating Mass. And the Pope gives his consent to this? If that’s the case, what conclusion can we draw except that the Pope doesn’t believe in the Sacrament of Holy Orders?

  3. Benedict Joseph says:

    Without the Holy Priesthood there is no Church. No priests, no sacraments, no Church. The question might be raised which came first: The eradication of the priesthood or the integrity Roman Catholic theological reflection? Surely the later, so it is in the restoration of authentic theological engagement and the abandonment of personal notions and erroneous spiritualities masquerading as Catholic where the solution is to be found. Apparently there is no impulse for the restoration of Catholic theological reflection but a real hunger for erroneous consolations. This is at the core of the current pontificate.
    What are we to make of this reality when we finally allow ourselves to abandon denial and self-deception, and when will that moment arrive? At the end of October at the conclusion of the theatrics provided by the Synod? When the final paperwork is produced at some suitable moment in the new year? When does this all get called out? By whom will it be addressed?
    We are observing the systematic dismantling , the deconstruction, of the Church of Jesus Christ by individuals who do not believe in the perennial Magisterium of the Church. There is no Christian reasoning to this. This is the action of secular materialism within the Church and the infection developed as the result of an inordinate intimacy between the Church and the secular academy. We abandoned our position and acquiesced to secularism a long time ago. If the course correction does not come soon how will it ever be achieved, how many souls will be lost, and what will be the consequences for human history?
    This ain’t a disagreement in the sacristy anymore. It is a cosmic engagement with the forces of good and evil, and evil had better be recognized and named.

  4. Madzi says:

    This, if true, is canonically impossible. It is nothing less than the sacrament of Holy Communion being stolen from the people of God. What next, deacons hearing confessions? And then, FEMALE deaconesses doing the same? Then, logically, the next step is for priestitutes in Catholicism.

    How long, O Lord? How LONG?

  5. Lurker 59 says:

    Ah yes, I see we continue on our way towards the compiling and production of the Orange Catholic Bible.

    Need it be said that the Pope cannot be head of a sacradotal Church and a non-sacradotal ecclesial community at the same time?

    I know that Pope Francis thinks that time is great than space, but does he understand that plasticity has an upper limit and that if you keep going things snap and you end up on either one side or the other?

  6. L. says:

    “Waking up to the beautiful sounds of the sisters and brothers of Bose Monastery” I always am skeptical of the trustworthiness of anyone connected with the church who uses this phrase; unfortunately, my pastor uses it while saying Mass.

  7. Fern says:

    So, Deacons are offering Mass! That creates a real problem. Either there isn’t a Mass or the men have been “ordained” secretly while maintaining the “name” deacon which is also a problem. Either way, how very sad for the people in the pews!! Will it ever end? I sure hope that the 54 day Novena which thousands are participating in will help. Tomorrow we start on the Thanksgiving portion.

  8. Hidden One says:

    I have to hope that somewhere in this incident was a confusion of terms.

  9. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    My thoughts exactly.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    It’s far worse than we even imagine, most likely. I do not believe this is sheer negativity or pessimism at all, I believe it is grounded in reality and the evidence of our own eyes for the last 6 years. Their goal is so bad and so dark, I doubt most pure hearts here can even imagine it. I certainly don’t know their exact goal, but surely they are going all in for destruction. To our eyes, it may seem they are successful for a while. Whatever these people are wanting, it cannot be called Catholicism. Not content with creating a church in their own image, they are intent on bringing down the one we know and love, changing it forever. Not only that, but Christendom.

  11. Gab says:

    So much for the Canon Law (900.1) that expressly prohibits deacons offering the Sacrifice of the Mass. Where are we headed, Lord?

  12. Laurelmarycecilia says:

    so what’s to keep Bergolio from simply VALIDLY conferring priestly ordination on all deacons? It seems horrific to me; but what do I know….. come to think of it, ordaining every male? Why didn’t the Brazilian bishops simply ordain these deacons. What’s the underlying agenda/issue here?

  13. Susan M says:

    Our deacon, who recently transferred to our parish, gave his first homily with his teddy bear, Gus. Gus is special in his life, for some reason that escaped me since I was busy tearing up my weekly offering. He even kissed Gus on the top of his head and left him sitting on the edge of the pulpit, I thought to perhaps give that thing Holy Communion. He did remove Gus just before the Offering though, presumably because the bear must not have had anything to toss in the basket.

    Anyway, when I heard that deacons are saying Mass in the Amazon, immediately I thought of Gus. I’m sure Gus is perfectly capable of hearing Confessions, propped up on the deacons lap, or if the deacon is busy writing his homily for the next Mass, Gus could just sit in the chair in the Confessional by himself.

  14. robtbrown says:

    No, surprise, this.

    Cardinal Ratzinger spent a lot of time opposing the priestless base communities of liberation theology.

  15. Cincture says:

    Ah, they have foreplanned (at least in one time-bound iteration):
    Once you hold your breath through the repeated concelebration wonders, you get to the question of, if it is not a Chrism Mass, what then??

    Whether it is permissible at the Chrism Mass for deacons to be included along with the priests in renewing the priestly promises?
    ?. In the negative.
    The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in the dogmatic Constitution « Lumen Gentium » clearly affirms: « Priests, prudent cooperators with the Episcopal order, its aid and instrument, called to serve the people of God, constitute one priesthood with their bishop although bound by a diversity of duties. Associated with their bishop in a spirit of trust and generosity, they make him present in a certain sense in the individual local congregations, and take upon themselves, as far as they are able, his duties and the burden of his care, and discharge them with a daily interest. And as they sanctify and govern under the bishop’s authority, that part of the Lord’s flock entrusted to them they make the universal Church visible in their own locality and bring an efficacious assistance to the building up of the whole body of Christ (LG 28) ».
    Moreover, the decree on the ministry and life of priests specifies: « All priests, in union with bishops, so share in one and the same priesthood and ministry of Christ that the very unity of their consecration and mission requires their hierarchical communion with the order of bishops. At times in an excellent manner they manifest this communion in liturgical concelebration as joined with the bishop when they celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice » (PO 7).
    In the Chrism Mass, over which the Bishop presides in the cathedral church and which priests from different regions of the Diocese concelebrate, the very nature of the Church, the body of Christ, organically constituted with various ministries and charisms, shines forth. This celebration is particularly held in esteem « as counted among the special manifestations of the fullness of the priesthood of the Bishop and as a sign of the intimate joining of the priests with him » (Ordo benedicendi oleum catechumenorum et infirmorum et conficiendi Chrisma, Praenotanda, n. 1).
    As is expressed by the questions themselves which are given in the Roman Missal and which the Bishop asks of the priests, on this day, when the birth of the ministerial priesthood is celebrated, each priest renews his fidelity to Christ, his obedience to the Bishop, and his full dedication to ministering to the people of God.
    In this celebration, therefore, it is plainly clear that « The Chrism Mass […] is a sort of manifestation of the communion of priests with their own Bishop in one and the same priesthood and ministry of Christ. Aand to this Mass priests from various regions of the Diocese should be called together to concelebrate with the Bishop and to be his witnesses and co-workers in confecting the Chrism, as they are also his helpers and counselors in the daily ministry. » (Congregatio pro Cultu Divino, Litterae circulars, On preparing and celebrating the Paschal feasts « Paschalis sollemnitatis », n. 35).
    The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council itself, when it speaks of deacons, distinguishes them from priests and specifies their nature, asserting: « At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are imposed “not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service” » (LG 29).
    Therefore, in the Chrism Mass only the priests are called upon to renew their priestly promises, since they participate together with the Bishop in the same priesthood and ministry of Christ.
    http://notitiae.ipsissima-verba.org/ (3/4 down the page)

  16. Seppe says:

    Fr. Z: “Right now there is a systematic effort on the part of the New catholic Red Guards to slander, intimidate and silence anyone who offers an observation or criticism of any kind whatsoever about the radical changes being made even to Catholic teaching during this pontificate. This is going on across various language groups, and representatives from various languages are getting more organized. They are coordinating.” Yes, apparently they are, under the banner of Lucifer’s “Non serviam”.

    The former Paulist priest and now non-practicing Catholic, James Carroll, wrote a June 2019 cover story in The Atlantic entitled “Abolish the Priesthood” with the same coordinated talking points…. “Clericalism, with its cult of secrecy, its theological misogyny, its sexual repressiveness, and its hierarchical power based on threats of a doom-laden afterlife, is at the root of Roman Catholic dysfunction. … If the structure of clericalism is not dismantled, the Roman Catholic Church will not survive, and will not deserve to. … Ironically, the Church, which sponsored my civil-rights work and prompted my engagement in the antiwar movement, made me a radical. I was the Catholic chaplain at Boston University, working with draft resisters and protesters, and soon enough I found myself in conflict with the conservative Catholic hierarchy. It only gradually dawned on me that there was a tragic flaw deep inside the institution to which I’d given my life, and that it had to do with the priesthood itself. My priesthood. … The very priesthood is toxic, and I see now that my own service was, too. … That spirit of resistance is what must energize reform-minded Catholics now—an anticlericalism from within. That is the stance I choose to take. If there are like-minded, anticlerical priests, and even an anticlerical pope, then we will make common cause with them. …
    As anticlerical Catholics, we will simply refuse to accept that the business-as-usual attitudes of most priests and bishops should extend to us, as the walls of their temple collapse around them.” Source:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/06/to-save-the-church-dismantle-the-priesthood/588073/

    Fr. Robert Sirico, Founder of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, wrote a sound response which was, surprisingly, actually published…

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/james-carrolls-cover-story-wrong-about-catholicism/589987/