Showing posts with label Doctrine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doctrine. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2015

Letter From the Periphery: "First Comes the Pastoral Schism, Then Comesthe Doctrinal"

Edit: this doesn't appear in Chiesa yet, but we're impatient so here it is.
(Rome) The Vatican expert Sandro Magister has published the thoughts "of a non-Italian prelate, whose name deserves confidentiality."

Using a Case by Case Pastoral Instead of Preaching is a Dangerous Game

from ***
After the Synod  some bishops and cardinals that the Church declared they should "be attentive to", "discerning of" and "accompany" the Church.   The "art of pastoral care" and "inclusion" with a pastoral style is sought, which is not only unapparent in the final document of the Synod, but also many comments from representatives of the ecclesiastical world.
A sensitive access to the people of our time is being looked for. Personally, I am glad that the priest in the confessional takes every effort to understand my particular situation, rather than to slap me with the Catechism. But is this also a suitable access to the mass media? What happens if the non-confessional but the public communication is dominated by a case-by-by-case mentality? Can talking about the concern about the single individual replace the Christian message? Does the basic tension between liberals and conservatives perhaps have something to do with the imminent danger that the proclamation of the doctrine is  evaporating more and more?
Today's media system with its myriad digital networks represents a major challenge. The globalization of communication through interactive platforms has changed the process of the formation of public opinion. The attitude of the Church towards this reality requires a different point than the local pastoral.
If a very good shepherd of souls, to the man of good will, tells  a homosexual in a direct conversation that he does not want to condemn him, then that's a good thing.  But then in the case that this good shepherd of souls is located in a plane, and says the same thing to the journalists around the world, we are dealing with two completely different levels. In the latter case, the words are incorporated directly into the commercial and political space of the medial field.
Almost all the Western media are characteristically secular or agnostic  and interpret the religious themes in the horizontal plane, that is, in the political, historical, sociological, but not on their corresponding vertical plane toward God. What about the transcendent dimension of a message? The original sin? No, that does not count for anything. The only thing that matters is the media sensation. The reader or the viewer wants a story that causes a sensation: "The Church condemns homosexuals no longer." That's a message! And the next chapter? "The church has changed its sexual morality". And then: "The validity of the Ten Commandments depends on the decision of each person in his own conscience."  The durability of the value of such messages is only but brief. The media system always requires a new blockbuster. If the pastoral discourse replaces the teaching of doctrine, then the  result will be an erroneous media presence in the Church.
But some shepherds understand these mechanisms very well. Perhaps they also understand the difference between communication in counseling and communication in the mass media. Maybe they are just afraid of the media. They are afraid of internet bullying, in a martyrdom in the circus of the published opinion.  Most desirable is a pastor who condemns no one. This can go so far as some flirt with the press or on TV or even develop a "Stockholm Syndrome" to ally with  his own kidnappers. Is that not ultimately the desire of a Church that finds broad support: a privileged Church?
Whatever the reasons may be, the proclamation of  doctrine has now receded into the background. It does not explain more what the Church has always declared true and good, or what She has always declared wrong and bad. One is content, however, upon merely  explaining  that not all cases are equal. What consequences will this have? What will that mean for the unity of the Church and the pastoral practice? What about evangelization? Among the faithful who remain faithful to the teaching of the Church, it will be the cause  of confusion and discomfort. One can already find in many countries, that progressivist circles are benefiting in the meantime from the lack of a binding proclamation,  to relativize the teaching and to require an adjustment to the time. This is a dangerous game. It can lead to a schism in the Church: first in the pastoral practice and even in teaching.
What would the Apostle Paul do? He didn't speak upon the Areopagus to the Gentiles  with a situation-dependent pastoral care. He also didn't speak  immediately of Christ, but first of the culture which he had found  there. He pointed to his listeners that he had seen their gods and their sanctuaries in Athens and that he understood their world. He knew that the better he understood their world, the better he would be understood.
Undoubtedly, today we have to show that we have understood the idols of the 21st century, such as the optimization of worship, hedonism or the technologisation, to show that we have  better on offer.  Firstly, however,  we must yet realize that we can't do that  only on a  Case-by-case pastoral care. In order to succeed, we must first declare the Church's teaching, and make it suitable for the media, but not adapted to the media. Faithful to the faith, but not with the communication style of the past.

Jesuit Antonio Spadaro on the issue: Is Communication Style of Pope Francis Condemned to Misunderstandings?

As far as the letter from the periphery. Sandro Magister points to an Aleteia interview with the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro from the Civilta Cattolica on the communication style of Pope Francis last April. Father Spadaro is one of the closest confidants of the pope, as particularly demonstrated around the Synod of Bishops. In the interview the question was asked whether the communication style of the Pope does not entail the risk of misunderstanding in itself. Here is the question and answer of Spadaro.
Aleteia: "Is there a danger of being misunderstood? Some pastors complain, the faithful who are divorced and remarried come at them, putting them in the role of the 'evil one,' with the statement, "the Pope said ''?
Father Antonio Spadaro: "There is a danger of misunderstanding concerning the words of the Pope  and is part of their communicative ability. The communication, if it is real, is ambiguous. If it is, however, only from press releases from formulas and lessons, the word is clear, but does not communicate. The Pope has a clear choice: to favor  pastoral care and to talk to people. Certainly this is ripe for  possible misunderstandings, but at the same time it moves, it moves, the people of God to appeal to their shepherds. The pastors are called today to re-read the Gospel, to explain it to the people better, to be shaken by the words of Francis. The word of the Pope is not the last, is not definitive, it lacks judgment, but the Word  is able to move the people of God and to initiate processes. This is a key to understand Bergoglio. He is a Pope who does things, but one who initiates  processes. "
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Settimo Cielo / MiL
Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cardinal Piacenza: "If the Church Does Not Maintain Doctrine, It Will Not Progress"

(Rome) The  Cardinal Grand Penitentiary of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, exhorts the Church: "If the Church does not maintain doctrine, it can not progress".
In an interview with Vatican Radio about the Synod of Bishops a priest consecrated by Cardinal Giuseppe Siri Cardinal still says: "The Church must constantly pay attention to two areas in particular. On one hand, it must keep the people in the faith and strengthen them that they remain in a state of grace, so they are inside, and on the other hand  it must always go to the outside. If it were not strong within, it could not go out."
And further: "Often we see this dichotomy in the media, unfortunately, sometimes by Church representatives: as if the substantive issue, the doctrinal aspect is portrayed as something grumpy compared to a laughing picture, 'Is open to ... '"
"If we had no healthy people if the doctors were not be healthy, they could not heal the sick. Therefore, always   remember that you can not the one if you lose the other," said the Grand Penitentiary.
"The priority", to always realize, "is to be found in preserving the deposit of faith, unchanged through the centuries and millennia," said Cardinal Piacenza. From this position, "the doctrine is that which is not an abstract truth, but a person, Jesus Christ, always and above all else."
The Cardinal of Genoa was the first Prefect of the Congregation of the Roman Curia, who was not confirmed by Pope Francis in office. On September 21, 2013, the Cardinal was added to the honorary post of Grand Penitentiary. Since 2011, Cardinal Piacenza has been President  of the foundation of pontifical right, Kirche in Not.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: laperfettaletizia
Trans: Tancred

Friday, October 3, 2014

"We Will Always Reply to Those Who Question Us About the Reasons For Our Fidelity to Tradition"


Cardinal and Bishop Fellay Müller
(Menzingen)  Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX) has today addressed the press service of the SSPX  about the meeting on 23 September 2014, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller. In some ways there is nothing new to report, "the doctrinal differences" would continue, says  Fellay. This had already emerged in the context of formal talks between the SSPX theologians and a delegation of the CDF in the years 2009-2011, which led to the rejection on the part of the SSPX of   the signing of the doctrinal preamble.
At the same time the situation had also changed. So there is a new pope and a new Prefect of the Congregation. The conclusion of the talk  two and a half weeks ago makes it clear "that neither they nor we want a break in relations". Both sides also insisted  "on the fact that the doctrinal issues must be resolved before a canonical recognition". Because of the ambiguities in the doctrinal preamble it is impossible for the SSPX, however, to sign.
Fellay also pointed to the "intensification of the Church Crisis"t, which was initiated by Walter Cardinal Kasper. To the concerns expressed by a number of cardinals in criticism of Kasper Fellay said: "Since the criticism of the two Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci in the Short Critical Examination of the New Ordo Missæ in 1969, Rome has never seen the like. But what has not changed is that the Roman authorities take no account of our criticisms of the Council, because they seem to them secondary or even to be illusory in view of the acute problems that arise in the Church today. These leaders recognize the crisis, which has rocked the Church up to the highest level  - even among the cardinals. But they do not see that the Council could be the disproportionate or even the main cause of this crisis. "
Cardinal Kasper had proposed in his speech on the occasion of the consistory in February, "to do again what has already been done at the Council, namely to reaffirm Catholic doctrine, but at the same time,  offer an opening for the care of souls." This idea confirmed by the Cardinal is more widespread, such as in interviews: "He recalled that the doctrine could not change in the theory, but he also introduces the idea that there would be situations in concrete reality, where the doctrine can not be applied." For the SSPX Kasper is not the cause of this evil: "For our part we accuse  the council of making this artificial distinction between doctrine and pastoral care before, because the care of souls must necessarily flow from  doctrine. Due to various openings in the pastoral area, major changes were introduced in the Church and  her teaching was affected thereby.  This took place during and after the Council, and we denounce the same strategy, which today is applied to marriage morality. "Nevertheless, it was in the Conciliar texts," where there were major changes" in terms of doctrine, such as religious freedom, ecumenism and collegiality .
As to the question whether the recent discussions were good,   the dialogue from 2009 to 2011 have brought nothing, Fellay said, but that they wanted to follow the example of the founder of the Society, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, "who has never refused the invitations the Roman authorities. We always reply to those who question us about the reasons of our faith. We can not escape this obligation, and we do it in the spirit and with the commitments that have been defined by the last General Chapter. "Tradition is the answer to the current crisis," said the Superior General.
Text: Benedict M. Buerger
Image: forum

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cardinal Brandmüller Complains of "Chaos" in the Catholic Church

Ignorance of Catholic doctrine among bishops and theologians is in the opinion of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller the main reason for the current "chaos" in the Church.

Rome ( / KNA) Ignorance of Catholic doctrine among bishops and theologians is in the opinion of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller (photo), the main reason for the current "chaos" in the Church. Given the internal Church debate on marriage and family the "unadulterated Catholic doctrine" is in danger, said the German cardinal and ecclesiastical historian of the Italian newspaper "Il Foglio" (Thursday).

Under bishops, preachers, catechists and "especially among moral theology professors", there is  often prevails an absence or lack of  clarity about the doctrine, complained Brandmüller. Adding to the resulting confusion are bishops who claim that the Catholic moral teaching is not up to date.

 Brandmüller also identified statements by Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier to a renewal of moral and sexual education. Ackermann might be right if he meant that believers are more motivated to live a life according to Catholic doctrine, and this needed to be better explained. He could, however, be wrong, if he wanted to have said that the Catholic doctrine no longer fits the times, says the cardinal. Ackermann told "Mainzer Allgemeine" early February declaring in an editorial interview with the that he saw the need for a change of morality and sexual ethics of the Church. It is no longer appropriate, to refuse divorced and remarried   admission to the sacraments permanently and consider premarital sex in general as a grave sin. At the same time Ackermann stressed he  is not about making fundamental changes in teaching. 

 The Augsburg Church Historian Brandmüller had been President of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences from 1998 to 2009. He has belonged to the College of Cardinals since September of 2010.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cardinal Burke: Catechism of Pius X is Also Today a Sure and Indispensible Reference Point

"St. Pius X saw with clarity how religious ignorance not only leads individual lives, but also to the decay of society and a lack of balanced thinking in the most serious problems," said Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura at event surrounding the Catechism of St. Pius X 100 years after its publication, by the Kulturkreis of John Henry Newman on the 24th of May.  It was organized in Seregno.
In his "extraordinary and brilliant lectio" says Catholic writer Cristina Siccardi,  Cardinal Burke maintains of Saint Pius X (1835-1914) that "ignorance of Christian doctrine is recognized as the main cause of the decline of faith and therefore  sound catechesis is of paramount importance for the restoration of faith. It is not difficult to see how current the observations and conclusions of St. Pius X are. They are really recognizable in the motives that has led Pope Benedict XVI. to proclaim the year of the faith. "
The observations and conclusions of Pope Sarto were the result of his long and deep experience as a shepherd. He described the effects of lack of catechesis in the spiritual life of Christians with a very specific words and also the dangerous consequences for their salvation:
"In fact, the actions that the heart of the Christian people nowadays are very many who need to go live in complete ignorance of the salvation of knowing, and this is generally not unjustified. We understand Christian people not only the quantity or the members of the lower class, the ignorance of this can often be somewhat excused by the fact that the strict and obedient service to their masters can be left them no time for themselves. Also in the circles where it is not lacking in spirit and form, so here most of all, providing you with ample Although secular science, but lives very measured and kenntnislos in religious terms there. "(Encyclical Acerbo nimis of Pius X)
Cardinal Burke recalled  Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) in this context, who in his autobiographical masterpiece Apologia pro Vita Sua , in a discussion about the true teachings of the Catholic Church, took up the Eighth Commandment, specifically, mainly on the question of whether it is morally allowed to say the wrong thing:

"And now, if Protestants wish to know what our real teaching is, as on other subjects, as did one of lying, let them look, not at our books of casuistry, but at our catechisms. Works on pathology do not give the best insight into the form and the harmony of the human frame, and, as it is with the body, so is it with the least The Catechism of the Council of Trent that drawn up for the express purpose of providing preachers with subjects for their Sermons, and, as my whole work has been a defense of myself, I may say here I did rarely preach a sermon, but that I would go to this beautiful and complete Catechism to get both my matter and my doctrine. "((Since my German edition of the Apologia pro Vita Sua just is not available, the original quotation from Cardinal Newman's book, as it was presented by Cardinal Burke.))

 The core message of the talk by Cardinal Burke was to emphasize the practical importance of the Catechism published in 1912, which is not merely a religious artifact, which now belongs to the past. The Catechism of St. Pius X, the cardinal said, was a safe and indispensable reference point today. 

Text: CR / Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Corrispondenza Romana
Trans: Tancred

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