Saturday, April 23, 2016

THIS INTERVIEW WITH BISHOP SCHNEIDER EXPLAINS BEING CATHOLIC

Exclusive interview John Henry Newman Center of Higher Education, Hungary, Sümeg, 6 March 2016 It was the first time that Mons. Dr. Athanasius Schneider O.R.C., titular bishop of Celerina and auxiliary bishop of the archbishopric of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan, had visited Hungary as a guest professor of John Henry Newman Center of Higher Education (newman.hu). As reported by Rorate Caeli on 3/10/2016, from 4 to 6 March 2016 the Central-Asian bishop held lectures and celebrated traditional (usus antiquior) Pontifical High Mass with the participation of the faithful in Hungary. On 7 March Athanasius Schneider visited the Hungarian Parliament, met with dignitaries, bowed before the Holy Crown of Hungary. Finally, Bishop Schneider went to see the St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, where he prayed for Mary’s Land, i.e. Hungary, before the Holy Right Hand of King St. Stephen. His Excellency gave an exclusive interview to Dániel Fülep, Director of the Newman Center. About the Synods on the family[1] Mr. Fülep: After the Extraordinary Synod[2] many people were frightened or filled with false hopes. Those who waited for a change in the moral doctrine of the Church were probably disappointed by the content of the final Relatio.[3] But wasn’t it in fact a control experiment to soften basic church doctrine opening the door to serious abuses and similar attempts in the future? How does Your Excellency think about this with knowledge of the Final Report[4] of the Ordinary Synod? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: Well, thanks be to God, the final report of the Synod made clear statements on homosexual behaviour, which is unacceptable in light of Christian morals, and it also contains good and clear words against the gender ideology. Thanks be to God. But as I stated in my analysis of the final report[5], the section of the report about remarried couples remains ambiguous. And so those who promote Communion for the divorced and remarried declared suddenly that the final report would represent an open door, even if not directly, to the access of the remarried to the sacraments. The bishops, however, must avoid such ambiguous statements in official documents. Of course, the final report is not a text of the Magisterium, thanks be to God, only a report. Therefore we have to wait and hope that there will be another official text of the Magisterium which will state the Catholic doctrine clearly. Mr. Fülep: In an interview[6] Your Excellency said about the Extraordinary Synod, that “unfortunately the final Relatio of the Synod also contains a paragraph with the vote on the issue of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. Even though it has not achieved the required two thirds of the votes, it is worrying and astonishing that an absolute majority of the bishops present voted in favour of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, which reflects badly on the spiritual quality of Catholic episcopacy nowadays.”[7] What does Your Excellency think about this bad spiritual quality of Catholic episcopacy? What are the deep reasons for this? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: We have observed for many years that many of the official episcopal conferences predominantly deal with temporal and earthly rather than supernatural and eternal matters although the latter should be considered the most important in the life of the Church. To save souls and to lead them to Heaven: this is the reason why Christ came to save us and founded the Church. Therefore the Church has to lead people to Heaven and transmit them divine truths, supernatural graces and the life of God. This is the main task of the Church. Dealing with temporal affairs is up to the government. So I see here an undue transition of the task of the government, the civil authority to the bishops, the successors of the apostles. Of course, based on her social doctrine, the Church can advise the government so that social life will be more adopted to the natural law. But this is not the main task of the Church. It is a secondary task. The current crisis of the Church is largely due to this: the substitution of the main task with secondary ones. Mr. Fülep: The Ordinary Synod[8] issued a Final Report with some pastoral proposals submitted to the discernment of the Pope. Your Excellency wrote[9] about this that “during the Synod there already appeared those new disciples of Moses and the new Pharisees who in numbers 84–86 of the Final Report opened a back door to the admittance of the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion. … During the last two Assemblies of the Synod (2014 and 2015) the new disciples of Moses and the new Pharisees masked their practical denial of the indissolubility of marriage and the suspension of the Sixth Commandment with a case-by-case approach…” Here, too, the method is the typical ambiguous language of modernism. We find some indistinct or equivocal terms, e.g. “way of discernment,” “accompaniment”, “forum internum”, “orientations of the bishop”, “dialogue with the priest”, “greater integration into the life of the Church”. It seems that in the Final Report (and mainly paragraphs 85–86) conscience overrules divine law. Wasn’t this the very error of Luther? It is related to the Protestant principle of subjective judgement on matters of faith and discipline and the erroneous theory[10] of “optio fundamentalis”, isn’t it? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: Although these paragraphs state that the individual judgement of the conscience of these couples must be made according to the doctrine of the Church, there remains a lack of clarity. Those who promote the Communion for the divorced and remarried, as for example Cardinal Kasper and his group, state openly that while the doctrine of the Church remains, there is definitely the possibility that the divorced and remarried may receive Communion. So they acknowledged the possibility of a contrast between doctrine and practice. This is also the typical position of Protestantism. You keep the theory or the doctrine, the works are not so important and necessary. This is the dangerous principle of salvation only by faith. And the same paragraphs do no state that cohabitation outside a valid marriage is sinful. This is an objectively grave omission. The final report says indirectly that for the divorced and remarried the culpability of cohabitation could be reduced or even not imputed because of some circumstances or the passions they suffer. However, the application of the implied principle to cohabitation outside marriage is completely incorrect. Those who cohabit have the intention to commit the sin continuously, so it is not an instantaneous immoral act. They should have the intention to avoid sexual acts outside marriage. And thus such an imputability of the sin of cohabitation could be applied to the cohabiting young unmarried, too. Admitting such a theory, these bishops annul the sixth commandment of God. And if this principle is accepted, none of the sins against the sixth commandment will be considered a sin anymore. This is in some way the abolition of the sixth commandment. Mr. Fülep: Your Excellency said about the Final Report of the Ordinary Synod that it “seems to inaugurate a doctrinal and disciplinary cacophony in the Catholic Church, which contradicts the very essence of being Catholic.”[11] Can you explain what you mean? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: Cacophony is the contrast of symphony. Symphony means that all the voices combine to produce harmony, proclaiming the same. In cacophony, one of the voices seems incorrect. It’s against the truth of the melody. And so when this Final Report fails to affirm clearly the immorality of cohabitation of divorced people, when it fails to state clearly the condition established by God for the worthy reception of Holy Communion, others will use this failure to proclaim a lie, so their voice will be against the truth, just like a false voice in music is against the truth of the symphony. About the Second Vatican Council Mr. Fülep: At a theological conference in Rome in December2010 you proposed the need for „a new Syllabus”[12] in which papal teaching authority should correct erroneous interpretations of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.[13] What do you think nowadays? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: I think that, in our time of confusion, it is absolutely necessary to have such a Syllabus. Syllabus means a list, an enumeration of dangers, confused statements, misinterpretations and so on; an enumeration of the most wide-spread and common errors in every area such as dogma, morals and liturgy. On the other hand, one should also clarify and positively assess the same points. It will come surely because the Church has always issued very clear clarifications, especially after times of confusion. Mr. Fülep: „Aggiornamento” was the name given to the pontifical program of John XXIII in a speech on January 25, 1959, and it was one of the key words used during the Second Vatican Council. What is the correct interpretation of this phrase? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: For Pope John XXIII, „aggiornamento” was not changing the truth, but explaining it in a more profound and pedagogical manner so that people can better understand and accept it. The pope stressed that „aggiornamento” means keeping the faith in its entirety. It was after the Council that this word was radically misused to change the faith. It was not the intention of John XXIII. Mr. Fülep: Another misunderstood term is „participatio actuosa”.[14] Even according to clerics, it means that preferably everybody should receive a task during liturgy. It’s as if this term referred to hustle-bustle or activism. The idea of internal activity doesn’t even come up. His Excellency Bishop Schneider: The first person to use the expression „participatio actuosa” was Pope Pius X in his famous motu proprio Tra le Sollecitudini [15] concerning sacred music. The pope speaks about „participatio actuosa” and explains that it means that the faithful must be conscious of the sacred words and rites during the Holy Mass, participating consciously rather than distractedly. Their heart and their mouth have to be in accord with each another. Practically, the same meaning can be found in the document “Sacrosantum Concilium” of the Second Vatican Council,[16] we cannot find there any major reinterpretation of the term. And Sacrosanctum Concilium teaches that in practice participatio actuosa means listening, answering, singing, kneeling and also being silent. It was the first time that the Magisterium had spoken about silence as a form of participatio actuosa. So we have to destroy some myths about „participatio actuosa”. About the crisis of the Church Mr. Fülep: Nowadays we have to realise that there is a deep fault line within the Church. The picture is very complex, but simplistically we can say that there is a painful confrontation between modernism and tradition. How can Your Excellency explain this dichotomy of the life of the Church? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: We have already been living and experiencing this dichotomy for 50 years since the Council. On the one hand, there are positive signs in the Church. On the other hand, real errors are spread by some bishops and priests. Such a situation is contrary to the nature of the Church. Jesus Christ commanded the apostles and his successors to keep the treasure of the faith, i.e. the Catholic faith, intact, thus the apostles even died for this faith. Those who have authority in the Church must act against such a situation and correct it. Mr. Fülep: If we analyse the life of the Church, we can realize that we are living in an extraordinary time. Apostasy is general maybe everywhere, and heresies run riot: modernism, conciliarism, archaism etc. Unfortunately, we see the signs of heresy among bishops, too. Historians say that this crisis reminds us of the time of Arianism. If this comparison is correct, what is the similarity between the time of the Arianism and our days? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: The Arian crisis in the 4th century did cause a general confusion in the entire Church. So the heresy or the half-truths and ambiguities concerning the divinity of Christ were widely spread at that time. There remained only very few bishops who opposed openly such a heresy and the ambiguity which was represented by the so-called Semi-Arians. In those days only politically correct clerics were promoted to higher ecclesiastical offices as bishops, because the government of those times supported and promoted the heresy. In a way it is similar to our time. In our time not only one specific doctrine of faith is denied, but there is a general confusion almost in all aspects of Catholic doctrine, morals and liturgy. In our days as well, most bishops are quite silent or fearful regarding the defence of the Catholic faith. Therefore my answer is ‘yes’, there are similarities. Mr. Fülep: Some suggest that it would be important that a new dogma should define the term ‘tradition’ and clearly outline the connections of tradition with papacy, the councils, the Magisterium etc. This new dogma could defend the tradition against e.g. conciliarism or an incorrect interpretation of papal primacy. What is your opinion about this? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: We have a II Vatican Council document about divine revelation Dei Verbum[17] and there are very beautiful statements in it. It says that the Magisterium, the pope is not above the word of God or the Tradition but, as a servant of the written and orally transmitted (= tradition) word of God, he is below it. One should also stress that the pope, the papacy is not the owner of tradition or liturgy but he must preserve them as a good gardener. The pope must preserve and defend the tradition as a faithful servant. I think it would be good to deepen the reflection about the relationship between the Magisterium and Tradition. Mr. Fülep: Today, the Catholic faithful must experience the weakness and the dysfunctions of the Magisterium: without exaggeration I dare say that in the official Catholic media you can hear, read or see gross errors, ambiguities, what’s more, heresies from high-ranking priests, sad to say, bishops and higher church dignitaries, too, almost every day. A significant portion of official utterances – also the highest – is confusing, contradictory, deceiving many faithful. What should the Catholic faithful do in these difficult times? How can we remain true to the faith in this situation? What is our duty? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: In the history of the Church there have always been times of a profound crisis of the faith and morals. The deepest and most dangerous crisis was undoubtedly the Arian crisis in the 4th century. It was a mortal attack against the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. In those times it was practically the simple faithful that saved the Catholic faith. In analysing that crisis, Blessed John Henry Newman said that it was the “ecclesia docta” (that means the faithful who receive instruction from the clergy) rather than the “ecclesia docens” (that means the holders of the ecclesiastical Magisterium) who saved the integrity of the Catholic faith in the 4th century. In times of profound crisis the Divine Providence likes to use the simple and humble ones to demonstrate the indestructibility of His Church. The following affirmation of Saint Paul can also be applied to the internal situation of the Church: “God chose that which the world considers foolish to shame the wise; God chose that which the world considers weak to shame the strong” (1 Cor 1,27). When the simple faithful observe that representatives of the clergy, and even of the high clergy, neglect the Catholic faith and proclaim errors, they should pray for their conversion, they should repair the faults of the clergy through a courageous witness of the faith. Sometimes, the faithful should also advise and correct the clergy, yet always with respect, that is, following the principle of the “sentire cum ecclesia”, as for example Saint Catharine of Siena and Saint Brigid of Sweden did it. In the Church we all constitute one body, the Mystical Body of Christ. When the head (the clergy) is weak, the rest of the members should try to strengthen the whole body. Ultimately, the Church is guided by the invisible Head, who is Christ and is animated by its invisible soul, who is the Holy Spirit. Therefore the Church is indestructible. Confusing and ambiguous video message Mr. Fülep: Pope Francis revealed his prayer intention of interreligious dialogue for January in a video message.[18] The Holy Father states that he prays „that sincere dialogue between men and women of different religions may yield fruits of peace and justice.” In the video we see the Argentine Pope with believers of other religions, including Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, who each profess their faith and together declare that they believe in love. The Pope calls for interreligious dialogue, noting, “Most of the planet’s inhabitants declare themselves believers,” and therefore, “This should lead to dialogue among religions”. “Only through dialogue”, he underscores, “will we be able to eliminate intolerance and discrimination”. Noting that interreligious dialogue is “a necessary condition” for world peace,” the Pope says, “We must not cease praying for it or collaborating with those who think differently.” He also expresses his hope that his prayer request spreads to all people. “In this wide range of religions”, Pope Francis concludes, “there is only one certainty we have for all: we are all children of God”, and says he has confidence in our prayers. In the last picture we can see the Little Jesus among Buddha, the Menorah and a Muslim prayer chain. If we believe that Jesus Christ is the only Son of the God, and the Catholic Church, the acceptance of the faith and baptism are necessary to salvation[19], and we know that the divine filiation is the fruit of justification, seeing this video we get embarrassed… His Excellency Bishop Schneider: Of course. Unfortunately, this statement of the pope is highly confusing and ambiguous. There is confusion because he is putting on the same plateau the natural level according to which all people are creatures of God and the supernatural level according to which only those who believe in Christ and receive baptism are children of God. Only those are children of God who believe in Christ, who are not born of the flesh or the blood, which is the natural level, but who are born from God through faith in Christ and baptism. This is declared by God Himself in the Gospel of John.[20] The above mentioned statement of the pope contradicts in some way the word of God itself. And, as Saint Paul wrote, it is only in Christ[21] and through the Holy Spirit who is poured out in our heart that we can say “Abba, Father”. Based on the word of God, it is absolutely clear. Of course, Christ has shed His blood to redeem everybody, every human being. This is objective redemption. And therefore every human being can become a child of God when he subjectively accepts Christ through faith and baptism. So we must make these differences absolutely clear. Neocathecumenal Way is a Protestant-Jewish community Mr. Fülep: While the tradition is persecuted, there are some new modern movements which are highly supported. One of them is the community of Kiko. What is your opinion about the Neocatechumenal Way?[22] His Excellency Bishop Schneider: This is a very complex and sad phenomenon. To speak openly: It is a Trojan horse in the Church. I know them very well because I was an episcopal delegate for them for several years in Kazakhstan in Karaganda. And I assisted their Masses and meetings and I read the writings of Kiko, their founder, so I know them well. When I speak openly without diplomacy, I have to state: The Neocathecumenate is a Protestant-Jewish[23] community inside the Church with a Catholic decoration only. The most dangerous aspect is regarding the Eucharist, because the Eucharist is the heart of the Church. When the heart is in a bad way, the whole body is in a bad way. For the Neocatechumenate, the Eucharist is primarily a fraternal banquet. This is a Protestant, a typically Lutheran attitude.[24] They reject the idea and the teaching of the Eucharist as a true sacrifice. They even hold that the traditional teaching of, and belief in, the Eucharist as a sacrifice is not Christian but pagan.[25] This is completely absurd, this is typically Lutheran, Protestant. During their liturgies of the Eucharist they treat the Most Holy Sacrament in such a banal manner, that it sometimes becomes horrible.[26] They sit while receiving Holy Communion, and then they lose the fragments because they do not take care of them, and after Communion they dance instead of praying and adoring Jesus in silence. This is really worldly and pagan, naturalistic. Mr. Fülep: The problem may be not just practical… His Excellency Bishop Schneider: The second danger is their ideology. The main idea of the Neocathecumenate according their founder Kiko Argüello is the following: the Church had an ideal life only until Constantine in the 4th century, only this was effectively the real Church. And with Constantine the Church started to degenerate: doctrinal degeneration, liturgical and moral degeneration.[27] And the Church reached the rock bottom of this degeneration of doctrine and liturgy with the decrees of the Council of Trent. However, contrary to his opinion, the opposite is true: this was one of the highlights of the history of the Church because of the clarity of doctrine and discipline. According to Kiko, the dark age of the Church lasted from the 4th century until the Second Vatican Council. It was only with Vatican Council II that light came into the Church. This is heresy because this is to say that the Holy Spirit abandoned the Church. And this is really sectarian and very much in line with Martin Luther, who said that until him the Church had been in darkness and it was only through him that there was light in the Church. The position of Kiko is fundamentally the same only that Kiko postulates the dark time of the Church from Constantine to Vatican II. So they misinterpret the Second Vatican Council. They say that they are apostles of Vatican II. Thus they justify all their heretical practices and teachings with Vatican II. This is a grave abuse. Mr. Fülep: How could this community be officially admitted by the Church? His Excellency Bishop Schneider: This is another tragedy. They established a powerful lobby in the Vatican at least thirty years ago. And there is another deception: at many events they present very many fruits of conversion and many vocations to the bishops. A lot of bishops are blinded by the fruits, and they don’t see the errors, and don’t examine them. They have large families, they have a lot of children, and they have a high moral standard in family life. This is, of course, a good result. However, there is also a kind of exaggerated behaviour to press the families to get a maximum number of children. This is not healthy. And they say, we are accepting Humanae Vitae,[28] and this is, of course, good. But in the end this is an illusion, because there are also quite a lot of Protestant groups today in the world with a high moral standard, who also have a great number of children, and who also go and protest against the gender ideology, homosexuality, and who also accept Humanae Vitae. But, for me, this is not a decisive criterion of truth! There are also a lot of Protestant communities who convert a lot of sinners, people who lived with addictions such as alcoholism and drugs. So the fruit of conversions is not a decisive criterion for me and I will not invite this good Protestant group which converts sinners and has a lot of children to my diocese to engage in apostolate. This is the illusion of many bishops,

No comments: