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In Case of Schism, Break Glass

If and when the time comes, what will you do? Will you go along, stay silent, or speak out?

That is the question that confronts me and has confronted me since the day Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation. For better or for worse, I chose to speak out in opposition to that unprecedented action and was roundly criticized for it. Again, for better or for worse, I made the decision to occasionally speak out during this year of living ambiguously and for this decision I have made no friends.

For these decisions I have been called a reactionary, a pompous jerk, unmerciful, and even a sedevacantist. That's ok.

The 'reactionary' thing is probably the most common pejorative used against most who have voiced concerns over events of the last year or even the last 50 years. When something happens and you 'react' to it in a negative way, you are branded a reactionary. That is the nature of the beast.

So I thought I might approach the problem from a different angle so that everyone can understand that a decision to 'react' is not necessarily reactionary. Rather it is a difficult conscious decision, but perspective is needed to see that.

In order to avoid the 'reactionary' label, let us take the react out of it. Let's look together at a possible future scenario and ask yourself how you would choose to behave and why?

Say, for the sake of hypothetical but plausible example, the outcome of the Synod on the Family on the question of admission of divorced and remarried to communion follows the suggestions of Papal advisers Cardinals Marx and Kasper. That the remarried are admitted to communion after some pastoral counseling and the annulment process is moved from tribunal to pastor. In this case, the Church does not change its immutable teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, but the newly implemented pastoral praxis dramatically alters the landscape.

Let's leave the predictable liberal cheering of such moves aside for the moment and focus on those orthodox Catholics who rightly understand the dangers associated with such change in praxis. For such as these, I see three options, go along, stay silent, or speak out.

The first group will go along. They principally see orthodoxy as simple adherence to the current magisterium. They are generally unconcerned with whatever prior teaching and practice might have been. In essence they are magisterialists and view orthodoxy through this lens. If this is what the Pope and Bishops say today, then that is what orthodoxy means today. That the Pope and the Bishops have practically and pastorally erred historically and allowed schism to develop and harden is of no consequence. The Bishops must have their reasons and we are not to question them. They will be the most vocal critics of any that do not share their magesterialism.

The second group will stay silent. They recognize in part the dangers that such a break from tradition represents and that such practices risk undermining the doctrine itself. Yet, they will focus almost entirely on the simple fact that the Church has not formally changed her teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. If they talk about it at all, they will focus on that aspect, the Church has not changed its teaching so there is nothing to get upset about. They are generally orthodox Catholics who seek to remove to the castle keep only the immutable doctrine, no matter the losses of souls and tradition that occur outside the walls.

The last group will choose to speak out. They recognize that such a a change in praxis is a complete contradiction. That the very idea of readmission goes against all tradition and undermines the doctrine to the point of irrelevance. Further, they recognize that moving the annulment process to pastors would defacto make for quick and easy Catholic divorce.

Those pastors who resist it would be pilloried as merciless and Catholic divorce seekers would simply find a more agreeable pastor. They would rightly understand that such changes in praxis undermines the whole understanding of marriage and can lead to other worse woes such as those openly hoped for by the Bishop of Middlesbrough, Terence Drainey when he says that the synod should " call[ed] for a “radical re-examination of human sexuality” that could lead to a development in church teaching in areas such as contraception, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage and cohabitation and the role of women in the Church."

This group would realize that this current magisterial 'praxis' is not infallible and is in direct contradiction to all the tradition that came before it that sought to uphold the critical and immutable understanding of marriage. Recognizing the danger to doctrine and souls, this group would feel compelled to speak out and actively oppose the implementation of this praxis. The also understand that if such initiatives become rooted, there is genuine danger of real and lasting schism within the Church on these issues.  I say schism because one assumes there may be Bishops, priests, and lay people who refuse to go along and as such will be seen as separate.

As such, this group will choose to speak out even though they will likely be pilloried by liberals and the magisterialists. But nevertheless, they feel compelled to support and restore the traditional understanding and praxis that support the doctrine.

So if something like this was to happen, which group would you be in? What would you choose to do? Would you agree that the latter group above are merely reactionaries and that their intransigence hurts the Church?

I would ask you to think about it. For my part, I have made my choice. In the case of schism, break glass. We can clean up the mess later.

*subhead*What will you do?*subhead*

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83 comments:

Patrick Archbold said...

Thank you for a thoughtful analysis of the Roman Catholic Church today. I will join you.

Patrick Archbold said...

Those who are calling you a "reactionary" because you "react" to things aren't using the word properly. "Reactionary" is a political term, and it refers to someone who sees a return to an earlier order as desirable.

Patrick Archbold said...

You're absolutely right, Patrick. Relegating the determination of the annulment process to the parochial level would be very dangerous, for the exact reason you indicate. Well said! Now, if only we could sneak you into the Synod on the Family as guest speaker.

Patrick Archbold said...

I am a reactionary as defined by Peregrinator and I do react to things as well. Unfortunately, where do I complain about such a decision. Who will take my rants seriously? Unlike you I have no blog on which to expound my ideas. If I write to the USCCB, will they take me seriously? Where does the common person put forth their views in a meaningful way?

Patrick Archbold said...

We are not called to be successful, only to be faithful.


Writing the Pope probably would have no positive effect: but we ought to do it anyway.

Patrick Archbold said...

"The Bishops must have their reasons and we are not to question them."
-------------------
This first group really doesn't adhere to such practices. In their mind, when they say "we" are not to question the Bishop they mean everyone else but themselves. For them it's simply "different." Their criticisms are just "different."


It's a similar pattern in all things with this group. For instance they will decry anyone who dare bring up the notion of a "clown Mass" maintaining that such things, while easily found on the Internet, are quite rare (and I agree with them on that). However, they will scour the most obscure pages of the very same Internet to find examples of their "reactionary bogeyman" that is by their reasoning, most definitely a part of every traditional-minded parish in the United States even though they themselves admit to not attending such parishes.

Patrick Archbold said...

Patrick, I understand what you're saying about this and I agree. But, on the other hand, my parents have at different times in the last 20 years sought to have their marriage annulled. They married in the '70's because mom was pregnant with me. My father, 20 years ago, began the process but was put off by the cost ("All the Church cares about is money") and he is now remarried to my Methodist stepmother and they worship in an Episcopal church. My mother sought an annulment about 7 years ago. She had two of her three witnesses back out of writing their affidavits and now her case is stalled and is likely never to move forward. Would my father have left the church anyway? Perhaps. But it's interesting that a man raising three kids alone who sacrificed to put us all through Catholic school and made sure that our family went to Mass every Sunday stops going to church altogether after the annulment meeting with our parish priest. I agree that "Pastoral concerns" is really code for wishy-washy nonsense, but we ARE talking about real people- our brothers and sisters in Christ.


As for my path if teaching on marriage is weakened? There's a beautiful Geek Orthodox parish close by...

Patrick Archbold said...

Patrick,


I am with you completely on the need to speak out. We have certainly heard during this pontificate, from a variety of sources within the Church, that there is a need for more lay involvement in leadership matters. Now while I don't necessarily agree with that sentiment, or at the very least I would be reserved in implementing such measures, the fact remains that if lay leadership and opinion is desired, then speaking out is part of that.


That being said, on this particular topic, do we really fear that such a far-reaching change will take place? Seems to me that this is exactly the kind of thing that the Holy Spirit does jump in and take control of the "stick and rudder" contrary to the plans of men and their "solutions."

Patrick Archbold said...

I have stated many times that the annulment process can be improved. But for all that, it is irrelevant to the point I am making above.

Patrick Archbold said...

"That being said, on this particular topic, do we really fear that such a far-reaching change will take place? Seems to me that this is exactly the kind of thing that the Holy Spirit
does jump in and take control of the "stick and rudder" contrary to the
plans of men and their "solutions.""

Like with contraception? The Holy Spirit does not make the Church disaster proof. If the last 50 years have proved anything, it proves that.

Patrick Archbold said...

The Protestant reformation largely began as a dispute over pastoral practices linked to strident criticism of the Papacy. But of course once the early "reformers" decided that maintaining unity with Rome was less important than stubborn fidelity to their own ideas of what the Gospel demanded of them they began to go off the rail doctrinally in a process that continues to this day.


You are playing with fire.

Patrick Archbold said...

The Church got the teaching right. Execution is different story. I don't foresee divorced and remarried Catholics being readmitted to the Eucharist all while they are still committing adultery.


I see fixes to the annulment process coming out of this and that is it. They hype never lives up to reality.

Patrick Archbold said...

I have also made my choice!

See you on the battlefield.

Vox Cantoris (www.voxcantor.blogspot.com)

Patrick Archbold said...

With the topic at hands, isn't the situation a bit reversed. It's the "reformers" who are talking about reintroducing divorce as a viable path. It's like we are regressing back to when Moses allowed it because of the harness of our hearts. Who is being stubborn in that case?

Patrick Archbold said...

Anyway, my point is not that this scenario will play out as above. As stated, it is merely a hypothetical meant to elicit thought on what a reactionary is.

Patrick Archbold said...

Noted.

Patrick Archbold said...

The Protestant reformers had legitimate criticisms of the way in which indulgences were granted pastorally (as evidenced by the fact that the Church eventually reformed these very practices to guard against Simony) and legitimate criticisms of the corruption of many late medieval popes (and Thanks Be to God that in the modern era we have been blessed by mostly personally Holy Popes).


But the willingness to break Communion with Rome, coupled with the willingness to suggest that the pastoral shortcomings of the Papacy in a given era calls into question to doctrinal trustworthiness of the Church, is what led a legitimate protest movement into schism that ultimately led to doctrinal corruption.


Many of the great Saints of the Church spent their lives reforming pastoral practices and/or protesting against corruption in the Church. But the reason we talk about Saint Francis but not Saint Martin Luther is that the former had the humility to remain a loyal Son of the Church while the latter had the hubris to start thinking that his own (again - largely legitimate) beefs with Rome justified separating himself from the authority of the Bishops. Once you start believing that you quickly talk yourself into all sorts of heresy.

Patrick Archbold said...

"I don't foresee divorced and remarried Catholics being readmitted to the Eucharist all while they are still committing adultery."


I see this every week and I'm sure that our parish isn't the only one. Part of the problem is the Pastor has no idea it's going on since it happened long before his time in the parish. But he would only need to compare and contrast a recent photo parish directory with older ones and there would be different adults in some of the families.

Patrick Archbold said...

Christ promised, with the Holy spirit, to protect the Church against error.

If the change in Doctrine is not allowable by God, the Holy Spirit will see to it, in some way, the change is unsuccessful.

If the Church successfully attempts to change doctrine, then there are 2 options:
1) The change, as articulated, is allowable by the God & Holy Spirit
2) Jesus lied and there exists no God

Thus, Patrick, you may rest easy in your Faith.

Patrick Archbold said...

With all due respect, that is silly.

Patrick Archbold said...

I think we have to be careful about our assumptions. You know that civilly divorced and remarried Catholics (with no annulment of the first marriage and no Catholic marriage of the second) are approaching Communion every week? Further, you know for a fact that the couple is not at least attempting to live as brother and sister? You know such intimate details of their marriage and their sex life?

Perhaps you do know these details, but if you don't you are in no position to judge.

Patrick Archbold said...

I think allowing divorce is beyond pastoral.

Patrick Archbold said...

Completely on the money Patrick.
BTW, blessed feast day!

Patrick Archbold said...

I hardly deserve respect, so none needed, but I do not care about silly, I care about logic. Please tell me where my statement is illogical?


Thank you.

Patrick Archbold said...

I am in no position to judge what? What the Church teaches? I have to know the intimate details of people's lives to judge the impact on doctrine? Don't be silly.

Patrick Archbold said...

God will bring forth individuals who will heal the Catholic Church. St. Joan of Arc, Saint Catherine of Sienna, St. Dominick, Saint John Bosco. We have them, but their work is undisclosed.

Patrick Archbold said...

I will adhere to the unchanging and unchangeable One True Faith. It has cost me a lot; I expect it will cost a lot more. Thank you for standing for the unchangeable deposit of Faith and morals. More and more people are being silenced or otherwise persecuted for holding true to the Faith. As Robert de Mattei commented after he was axed from Radio Maria for speaking the truth: motion speeds up as it nears the end (can't remember Latin adage). Palmaro RIP and Gnocchi were axed before him. Deacon Nick Donnelly's blog is being suppressed because he exposed the scandals of our leaders in the Church who were leading their flocks away from the truth of the Faith and morals. The dissenters and heretics, apostates, are given centre-stage in the Church. As St Catherine of Siena said - The road to hell is paved with the skulls of priests and bishops. Blessed Michael protect us in battle ...

Patrick Archbold said...

I keep hearing People saying they will go Orthodox. Umm, do those people not realize that the Orthodox have a long tradition of allowing divorce and remarriage?

Patrick Archbold said...

Beethoven,
History is replete with examples in which heresy ruled and ruined the day. I never claimed the doctrine itself would change, but that praxis would dramatically undermine it. See artificial contraception. The Holy Spirit does not protect us from folly.

Patrick Archbold said...

I would speak out, but not leave. I would suffer if necessary. At some point they would realize that a mistake had been made in discipline and begin to reform. It would be unpleasant for the liberals, but it would happen eventually. Church history points to such examples in the past. I don't think it will come to that though. I don't think they will do what the liberals want.

Patrick Archbold said...

How about, we pray and fast, take our worries to the Blessed Sacrament, and ask the Holy Spirit to be on those who meet, on those who speak, on those who listen, on those who write, on all who hear, and trust that the Holy Spirit will help preserve the Bride of Christ, even from bad policy, bad procedure, etc.

To be Catholic is to be revolutionary, but in that we are always shining or salt, and as such, we illuminate or reveal true flavor.

Patrick Archbold said...

As Kipling said in a different context, "Rome's race, Rome's pace."
Civis Romanum sum.

Patrick Archbold said...

You should speak to your pastor about this. Sounds like he's dropping the ball and running a communion factory rather than a parish. He should know who is in his church.

Patrick Archbold said...

I'm speaking of what the Church allows by law, not what happens in specific cases. I'm quite confident that people receive the Eucharist all the time when they shouldn't. Heck, I'm quite confident that I have probably been objectively guilty of this too at some point in my life.

Patrick Archbold said...

That had me scratching my head too.

Patrick Archbold said...

I do know. They have children. They are up near the altar every Sunday.

Patrick Archbold said...

Good point. I wonder why the 'reactionary' tag is applied to those Catholics that adhere to the teachings of Jesus and the Catholic Church. After all they are One and the Same. Should not the 'reactionary' tag be applied to those who do not want to follow Jesus and His teachings or want them to change in order to conform to one's political ideology?

Patrick Archbold said...

Thank you for taking the time to respond! I understand your point of clarification.


However, when you raise the specter of a 'schism', this to me presupposes a split in Doctrine. Conversely, would you 'schism' with the church over praxis?

To be fair, I think we may need to define and refine terms, et al. And I suspect, ultimately, you and I would agree.



Let us together keep our eyes on Heaven and evangelize like madmen!

Patrick Archbold said...

Motus in fine velocior

Patrick Archbold said...

I was responding to JFK's comment, not your post generally.

I'm saying that we generally shouldn't try to judge the state of other people's souls or their worthiness to approach Communion. Public and notorious sinners or heretics are one thing, but the average but in the pew is another. Unless we have intimate knowledge of a couple's life together, we can't really know whether they should be receiving Communion or not.

Patrick Archbold said...

So you know that they sinned in the past. But you need to know about those intimate details about their life *now*. Being able to draw a logical conclusion based on what you can see - even if it is entirely likely - doesn't give you the right to pronounce judgement.

Patrick Archbold said...

"For my part, I have made my choice. In the case of schism, break glass. We can clean up the mess later."

What does this even mean?

When discipline inadequately aligns with dogma and doctrine, we have both the right and the duty to speak up. And that is what would happen if the Church were to revise her annulment process such that it became too watered down, discipline and doctrine would be out of proper alignment. We have the right to speak up for the sake of our brothers and sisters, but it is also good to speak up in case we are wrong and in need of fraternal correction.

But why even mention schism? Are you planning to go into schism if the Church were to make this (poorly conceived) disciplinary change? Are you saying the Church would be going into schism with the "true Church" if she did (a common Protestant and schismatic traditionalist claim)? The label "reactionary" may not be entirely useful, but language like this does not aid your point, does not make you sound like the loyal son of the Church we all know you are. This kind of language sounds like it is seeking out the deep end.

Patrick Archbold said...

You are being obtuse. There is no point in even responding to you.

Patrick Archbold said...

So "judge not lest ye be judged" is obtuse? Good to know.

Patrick Archbold said...

Curious how those who are accused of 'protesting' VII are treated more harshly by the ones you speak of than those who protest the teachings of Jesus and the Church that He founded (protestants). With the latter we are lectured that we must be ecumenical.

Patrick Archbold said...

I'm on the verge of heading over to the Orthodox. Yes, they have major jurisdictional arguments with each other; in the long run, those are minute matters. Eastern spirituality is stable and trust-worthy. Western Christian spirituality is constantly fluctuating and hard to pinpoint. The Catholic Church is not the place in which I want to raise my unborn child. The Western Church, I believe, doesn't even believe in its own narrative. For me, it has be a depressing and emotionally destructive journey. God bless to men and women of good will and faith.

Patrick Archbold said...

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Worldwide-Adoration-for-Family-Synod/666098776782916?notif_t=page_new_likes

Patrick Archbold said...

When one is granted an annulment and gets married again, what is that considered? I'm genuinely confused about the annulment issue.

Patrick Archbold said...

Why not ask what might happen should a Pope, whose election occurs under no strange circumstances and with no canonical questions (as there are none in this case), formally and publicly teaches that Jesus was in no way God? Or why not ask what might happen should Jesus return, but as a Muslim? The answer to both questions is FAITH. You either have it, or you don't.


By the way, it is entirely possible that some past Popes have firmly intended to teach some heresy but, to put it gently, their positions were terminated by their Boss. Popes have free will, just like the rest of us, but for none of us does that mean that everything we intend comes to pass.

Patrick Archbold said...

I hate the term reactionary and have told certain well known Catholics at their sites to stop using this term to anyone who dares simply to give their opinion. I would be among those who would speak out because there is such a thing as sinning not just commission but also OMISSION.

Patrick Archbold said...

If one is granted an annulment, it means his marriage never existed; by virtue of some deffect, it was not a marriage at all, but mere cohabitation. So, the "new" marriage is actually the first marriage.

Patrick Archbold said...

You're not paying attention. The Greek pastor is the one who determines annulment and it isn't as cut & dried as with the Catholic Church; people can get married up to three times. The Priest is also an employee of the parish council which changes things too.

Patrick Archbold said...

They use various translations of the liturgy, are fine with divorce and contraception and do have innovations such as the manner in which they receive Communion.

Patrick Archbold said...

The reasoning is that the Orthodox were right all along, and that Rome is not trustworthy.

Patrick Archbold said...

I've seen traditionalist Catholics describe NFP as Immoral. NFP is used by Catholic couples to space children purposefully, if they choose to do so.

The Orthodox reject abortion and abortive contraception., from what l've read.

Patrick Archbold said...

I'm already a catechumen in the Orthodox. *thumbs up*

Patrick Archbold said...

They do reject those Ben.

Patrick Archbold said...

Your discription is a little confusing, and it is this kind of "simple" explination that causes problems. An annulment is not a declaration that the couple "co-habitated." An annulment declares that at the time of the marriage ceremony there was something lacking in the union which caused the sacramental aspect of the marriage to not occur. This is significant because it assumes the couple vowed in good faith, even though they were not capable. The couple did not sin (as a cohabitating couple does) nor are any issue drom their union seen as born out-of-wedlock (again, as the would in a cohabitating couple. An example that might illustrate this is that a marries couple going through RCIA would have their marriage validated, but no confession of fornication would be needed. A cohabiting couple would? However

Patrick Archbold said...

A cohabiting couple, however would need to confess BEFORE being married in the church. (Stupid phone keys are too close together!)

Patrick Archbold said...

What you don't understand about the Orthodox Church is that it isn't as cut and dried as it seems; the different churches have slighly different rules and it all comes down to pastoral care so if you approach your pastor and talk to him about pregnancy, it comes down to your circumstances, not to a cut and dried rule.

Patrick Archbold said...

Good post. In my view, since Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, the Church has been crumbling. With Pope Francis it is just speeding up to overdrive.

Patrick Archbold said...

With respect, a schismatic cannot be a traditionalist.

Patrick Archbold said...

I'm trying to remain positive, so I haven't given much thought to: What if? This is the time for everyone to storm heaven with prayers.

Patrick Archbold said...

The removal of the annulment process to the parish level strikes me as an incredibly dumb idea. The clergy involved in the annulment process need to be objective about the couple involved, and I fail to see how a parish priest can be objective about a couple who he knows day in, day out. Also, doesn't a parish priest have enough duties on a daily basis? I fail to see how he would have enough time to devout to something as complicated as the annulment process with out neglecting his regular duties.

Patrick Archbold said...

So there are grounds besides adultery for an annulment/divorce in the Catholic Church? If that is so, that is also the Orthodox position.

Patrick Archbold said...

My instinct says group three. Having said that, I would listen carefully to anyone who thinks that group two is more perfect. Life is short - one could argue that any dissent, however well grounded, wastes time and energy that could be spent promoting the good, which ultimately is what drives out evil. That's not my instinct, but I would take this view seriously.


I have less respect for group one. Any act of obedience involves a judgement that a particular instruction is fitting with the authority's fundamental goal. Making the opposite judgement - that an authority's decision undermines their fundamental goal and should be resisted - is perfectly normal. A good secretary knows when to ignore an instruction from a boss who is in a bad mood. This doesn't make her wilful or disobedient - on the contrary, she is protecting her bosses integrity. Saying yes sometimes involves saying no.

Patrick Archbold said...

The entire point of my post is that it is necessary sometimes to speak out to AVOID schism.

Patrick Archbold said...

Thank you, Father! I must try not to forget it. I've a feeling itll be used a lot more.

Patrick Archbold said...

It's quite a situation to be found in. I only became a Catholic last year, because of what was going on in the Protestant churches. Then I discovered the hard-line Traditionalists, who reminded me most of protestants, and yet now I find i might have to side with them (insofar as someone ok with V2 and the revised liturgy can do) against the very same downgrade of doctrine and practice I escaped in the protestant churches. I know where i would make my 'Here I stand, i can do no other' (to coin a phrase), but I'm not sure if many others where I live would do the same, or even be aware of the need to.

Patrick Archbold said...

You should probably be aware that the last person who used that "judge not" phrase was jolly Timothy Dolan in his infamous Meet the Press interview the other day. He used it in just the same inaccurate way as most do who brandish it about.

Patrick Archbold said...

I understand, Ben, exactly where you are coming from, and I understand the attraction Orthodoxy has for those who watch the Catholic Church crumble before our eyes, but I would also ask you, in all sincerity and meaning no ill-will towards our Orthodox brothers, that you read and study the infallible declaration of the Church, "Cantate Domino", decreed by Pope Eugene IV. It is to some a hard dogma to listen to, so hard that some have tried to ignore it or twist words into making seem non-infallible. But infallible it is and should be read carefully and prayerfully by those Catholics who are heading towards a schismatic Church.

The dogma is too long to quote here but a Google search will find it, or you can read it is depth here: http://catholicism.org/cantate-domino.html

With every good wish...

Patrick Archbold said...

You may be surprised - and perhaps distressed - to learn that it is the Orthodox model of marriage, divorce and remarriage these progressive bishops and cardinals wish to copy.

Patrick Archbold said...

PLEASE! Are you seriously advancing the notion that couples live as brother and sister in an age when Catholic spiritual discipline has all but disappeared from mainstream Catholic life?

Get real.

If this was a reality then we would have evidence of it, in a variety of ways...not the least of which is that discussion of it would have appered on the Internet by now by those Catholics seeking to overcome the obvious obstacle presenting itself to those trying to live in this manner.

Got concupiscence?

Patrick Archbold said...

I recommend reading this commentary by Phil Lawler which clerly outlines the process by which the breakdown of Church teaching occurs through the back door of "normalization."

I recognized immediately that his model is absolutely ion the money, because we've not only seen it in the Church but in the secular political/cultural arena as well.

What is described is incrementalism par excellance.

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?id=1024

Patrick Archbold said...

I don't beleive Patrick is stating his intention to be on the side of schism which departs, but rather, by refusing to be silent the issue is forced so that inevitably the "reformers" are the ones who leave.

What makes this turn of events trickier is that the reformers have the upper hand in the form of positin and momenturm.

I for one intend to speak out and refuse to leave, accepting the consequences whatever they may be

But I .

Patrick Archbold said...

Wrong.

Patrick Archbold said...

I don't want anyone to leave and want to avoid schism at all cost. That is why I think it i necessary to speak out, to avoid schism in any direction. There are souls at stake.

Patrick Archbold said...

Actually, adultry is not grounds for annulment. Annulment deals only with the understanding of the couple at the time the vows are spoken. If both couples intend to stay faithful when they speak their vows, then the marriage would still be valid (s hould say "could").
Reasons for annulment general are things such as the vows were spoken under duress (this is one reason many Catholics do not push for marriage when a woman gets pregnant out-of-wedlock), a spouse conceals an impediment to marriage ( for instance a woman knows she is sterile and doesn't tell her husband) and inability to fully understand the commitment you are making (most seemingly solid marriages are annuled for this reason since recentlysome people, even priests, have argued that Iin our culture today NO ONE can fully understand the marriage commitment, which I personally feel Iis an insult to marriage but that's another soap box :) ).

In short (not my forte) the annulment tribune examines what the intent and understamding of the couple was on their wedding dau only. Any actions after that can be seen as evidence (ie if a man is abusive from the wedding nig ht on, there is a good probability the vows were under duress, or at the least, he didn't understand the concept of marriage), but not cause

Patrick Archbold said...

Would you consider the SSPV to not be traditionalist or to not be schismatic?

I know that you could define traditionalist in such a way as to require orthodoxy. But my own experience has brought me into contact with far too many people with an affinity for traditional Catholic praxis who are schismatic or who hold material or even formal heresies to find that way of defining traditionalist useful.

Patrick Archbold said...

I think, in general, traditional folks can begin to see why the Orthodox had such visceral reactions to Western alternations in the bread and filioque, issues we mostly consider moot today.

Patrick Archbold said...

To not be traditionalist because they have moved away from regular union with the See of Peter. I won't deny they celebrate older rites and hold onto traditional-sounding interpretations of dogma and traditional-sounding forms of catechesis, but isn't a gentle and loving communion with the Bishop of Rome and Pope one of the most necessary and traditional parts of being in the Catholic Church, especially for a priest? The sacraments were given to the Church under the care of the Apostles, especially Peter, and anything away from that is incredibly pointless. I also believe to hold onto a warped and rigid neo-Scholastic expression of catechesis, common to those in a precarious or broken union with Rome, is one of the least traditional things possible on that end.

Patrick Archbold said...

Good point, I stand corrected. Is there a name for the couple's condition during the null marriage? Or are they simply single?

Patrick Archbold said...

First off lets not fall into the error of those who call these Catholics, "divorced and remarried." How about calling them what they are "adulterers" or "fornicators."
We are in an unprecented era in the Church. It has been bad before but for a number of reasons this is worse and unlike any past era. Are we in that era when the Mystical Body of Christ will have to go through its passion and death just like Jesus did? I think you can make a good case we are. So what then are we called to do? Are we to run around like Peter drawing a sword and cutting off ears? That was part of Judas' problem too, he thought Jesus should be doing something different. He wanted his will to be done. He thought maybe he could get Jesus to "come to His senses" if He was turned over to the Sanhedrin. Of course that didn't go well. And we all know how Jesus reprimanded Peter by telling him that if was God's will he could send an army of angels...But that was not His will, the Passion and Death were necessary. In essence what did Jesus want Peter to do? Stand by Him, comfort and console Him in his trial. Be a witness to the Faith.
I too am offended and outraged by the nonsense that is going on in the Church, by the actions of those who ought to know better. And if I have a problem with it, wouldn't it it seem that the Holy Trinity is much more offended than I? And yet God is allowing it to happen for a reason, either that and I am totally wrong and He is happy with the "evolution of doctrine" idea.
So I will remain silent, ready to fight if and when called upon. But in the meantime I will keep my sword sheathed and live my Faith as it has been handed down to me. As I see it we can deal with Cardinal Kasper in one of two ways. We can blog and tweet and curse and worry about what will happen to the Church if he gets his way or we can spend that same amount of time we would spend criticizing his actions in prayer and penance for him. Which effort do think God is more likely to bless? So the next time you are ready to break glass and clean up the mess later think about Peter and his actions in the Garden, then ask Jesus if He wants you running around making a mess.

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