Thursday, May 18, 2017 Filed in: Theology
It's no secret that in our days there are many within the Catholic Church who should know better have taken in to novelties and outright heresy. We also know that even from the highest ranks in the Church there is a great deal of confusion seemingly flowing from top to bottom. With the release of Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia, the Church has largely been left in a sort of division. We see Cardinal against Cardinal, Bishop against Bishop, Priest against Priest, and even strife between the laity. In particular, Amoris Laetitia Chapter 8 on 'Accompanying, discerning and Integrating Weakness' has given many in the Church to question if official Church teaching on certain matters have changed. Sadly, many have taken the opportunity to criticize the Pope and clergy primarily because many of us do not understand what it means to recognize authority in the Church. Many forget that it was Christ Himself who instituted the hierarchy of the Church and for that matter, many have forgotten that the Holy Spirit is Always with the Church but Christ NEVER promised those in the Church would cooperate with the Holy Spirit. So moving forward, let's tread fearfully into this discussion and ask God for the graces to maintain a steady devotion to the Church as we work to expose wickedness running rampant in the Church.
Catholics are confused. We are confused and hurt by and large because those who know better know that Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, and the Pope are supposed to be shepherds to us. They of course are still shepherds and validly so but with recent events of scandal, we find ourselves alone in some ways. How is a Catholic supposed to feel when a Bishop gives admittance for those divorced and 'remarried' back to Holy Communion without a need for their conversion from adultery? How are we supposed to feel when the Holy Eucharist is seen as a unity meal rather than the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Well, honestly, we want solutions. We want to see this resolved with the truth! We don't want a Church that is moved by the world but a Church that moves the world! We want THE Church Christ founded and grew by the literal blood, sweat, and tears of the Apostles who carried Christ's words like a priceless treasure throughout the ages. We want a shepherd route the errors out of our parishes and dioceses. We want to put to the test the ambiguous pastoral teachings as to whether or not it belongs in the Deposit of the Faith. This, my friends, is why the Dubia exists.
By now, we know what the Dubia is, it is the work of four Cardinals – C.Walter Brandmüller, C.Raymond Burke, C. Carlo Caffarra, and C. Joachim Meisne. And the work they delivered to the Pope a plea for interpretation of chapter 8 in Amoris Laetitia – which in gravity is a set of five questions the Pope MUST answer because it concerns the grave matter. These questions were formally sent to the Pope on September 19, 2016 and so far Pope Francis has refused to answer. Now this is a problem for more than one reason. Besides the obvious scandal that it looks like the Pope is unwilling to clarify Catholic teaching when called to do so but it also creates an even greater division in the Church. Without the guiding voice of the Pope to usher in clarity, the Church finds itself seeking in each direction for answers. When this happens, even greater scandal is bound to come. However, these five questions have a time limit and eventually these questions will be answered. Cardinal Burke, on an interview with EWTN, mentioned that in the Church there is a procedure that has been used before to 'call to question' the teachings of a Pope for clarification. This DOES NOT mean that the Dubia are trying to fish out Pope Francis and label him a heretic. No, in fact, to get this straight, Pope Francis IS NOT a heretic but his words and actions are a mixture of what is understood to be the truth with what seems to be words that need further interpretation. In this interview, Cardinal Burke was asked, “Are you saying that Pope Francis is a heretic or close to be one?” and his reply was, “No. I am not saying he is a heretic or even close to it. I never said that!” He went on to explain that there is a need to understand what that Chapter means when it says, among other things, “It can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace.” (Irregular situations referring to those who co-habitat, divorced and remarried, etc.) To get an understanding of the nature of this situation, one of the five questions posed to Pope Francis can be understood by simply asking, “Are intrinsically evil acts still considered intrinsically evil?” or more simplified, “Is Sin still Sin?”. We are living in a dangerous time where many who should know better sit silently while chaos floods the Church. We need accountability in the hierarchy willing to lead us to sainthood, not coddle us in our sin and comforted to remain within them. Pray for our Church. Pray for the Pope and all the clergy to be revisited by the Holy Spirit for the renewal of the face of Church. Above all, study your authentic Catholic faith and do not part from it. For all those who love Christ, hear His voice. Amen.