Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ECUSAn plague spreads to Rome

Here is part of an article from LifeSiteNews (LifeSiteNews.com)-just when some Anglicans(?) thought it safe to choose the Roman option:

ROME, May 10, 2010 – The Church should "give more consideration" to "the quality" of homosexual relationships, the cardinal archbishop of Vienna said this weekend. Christoph Schönborn told the far-left British Catholic magazine the Tablet that the Church should also consider allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion since “many people don’t even marry at all any longer.”

“We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships. A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous,” Schönborn said.

He also declined to comment when asked if the discipline of clerical celibacy is one of the causes of clerical sexual abuse, saying only that psychotherapists are divided on the issue.

Cardinal Schönborn was for a time a favorite among American conservative Catholics for his involvement in the publication of the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church and his writing defending the Church on Darwinian evolution, but in recent years his statements and actions have taken some of the bloom off the rose. These have included allowing active and unrepentant homosexuals to be “blessed” in his cathedral on St. Valentine’s day.

In addition, in the spring of 2008, Catholics around the world were outraged when the art gallery attached to St. Stephen’s Cathedral held an exhibit of paintings and sculptures featuring the Last Supper of Christ as a homosexual orgy. The artist, Alfred Hrdlicka, a self-described Stalinist-Marxist atheist who died last year, was buried with Catholic rites in St. Stephen’s Cathedral where some of his sculpture continues to be displayed in a side chapel.

The article goes on to say, "[Cardinal Schönborn] presented Pope Benedict with a petition that he called an 'initiative of the lay faithful,' demanding the abolition of compulsory celibacy for priests, the return to ministry of priests who have married, ordination to the diaconate for women, and of married men to the priesthood." It is fascinating that in Roman Catholic culture (or ethos) the issues of homosexuality and of women's "ordination" are on the same level as married men in the priesthood; and sometimes abortion is included on the same list. Their state of mind is so influenced by the failed experiment of mandated clerical celibacy that most of their people cannot separate these issues with clarity.

This indicates yet another problem for the would be Tiber swimmers who think that Anglicanorum Coetibus is a gift from God, the answer to prayer, and the promise that they can have their cake and eat it too. It explains why many of the conservative and traditional forces in the Roman Catholic Church will be just as threatened as the most liberal wing, should large numbers of traditional and somewhat orthodox people join their ranks bringing with them more married men to enter the Pastoral Provisions as expanded in the new constitution.

Also, the fact that Cardinal Schönborn can hold his views and state them publicly, with enough support to be the spokesman for a cause, should make those same would be Tiber Swimmers ask themselves why they are so eager to plunge into an organization that is already infected with modern "Episcopalian" disease. The ECUSAn plague has been spreading among Roman Catholics for just as long as it has been spreading among the ECUSAns themselves, only more covertly. Michael Rose, of course, blew the lid off that story with his book Goodbye Good Men several years ago.

I believe that Continuing Anglicans are in a stronger position to have a good effect on the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), in terms of any potential to help them correct the error of women's "ordination" that is practiced among them, by speaking from the outside rather than entering into a state of communion. And, so we may have a better effect, in the long run, for even the infected portions of the Roman Catholic Church by speaking to them from the outside, maintaining a witness that cannot be swallowed up by their bureaucracy.


Anonymous said...

There is no joy for me in reading of blatant revisionism in the RCC. I really wish I could believe that there is this great wonderful infallible pure Church over there, or just up the street.

My numerous personal contacts with RC's have been consistently positive. But I know that this great spiritual Camelot, "somewhere, over the rainbow," exists only in deluded Anglican or Protestant imaginations.

A few years ago a fine parishioner of mine decided to cross over the narrow stream, because (in her words) "the Roman Church has authorrrrrrity" (trilling the rrrr's). I had to ask, "If it has this wonderful authority, why can it not exercise it." Her response was "We must be patient." I managed not to retort, "I can be patient right where I am."

I have never understood the objection to submission to Rome because of "papal claims." It would be nice to see papal authority being exercised in a constructive manner.

Colin Chattan said...

Very good points, Father. I remember a scene in the film version of Rumer Godden's "In This House of Brede" in which the Benedictine Mother Superior told the novice heroine that the barred gate to the cloister served not to shut the nuns in, "but to keep the world out"! The truth is always valuable for its own sake, but maintaining uncompromising orthodoxy and doctrinal, not to mention intellectual, coherence is also essential for the stability and long-term spiritual health and vigour of the Church. Whenever the Church tries to conform to the world or to make what are ultimately political compromises, she loses, disastrously: witness the results of Anglicanism's embrace of modernism and what to my mind has proven the single greatest spiritual catastrophe in the history of Christendom: the Second Vatican Council. It is as though the Prodigal Son, having finally come to his senses, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son," should get up only to see his father sitting in the next pigsty, luxuriating in pig slops. The wisdom of the St. Louis Continuing Churches' refusal to be sucked into promiscuous, politically motivated ecumenism, is only being confirmed over time.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Joseph Fessio, of Ignatius Press, has an excellent analysis of the Tablet's smear of Card. Schoenbrunn in the current Catholic World Report http://www.catholicworldreport.com/

Fr. James Schovanek SSC

wnpaul said...

Cardinal Schönborn's main problem is his dislike of confrontation -- in that he resembles many bishops in the Anglican Communion.

In his defense, however, a few clarifications:

-- the petition he took to Rome did indeed not come from the bishops or any official church group, but from a dissident movement in Austria, "Wir sind Kirche" ("We are the Church"), so he rightly distanced himself from it. Perhaps he should have told them to carry it to Rome themselves, but that might have involved unpleasantness.

-- he did not suggest that the church should bless homosexual unions, but simply said, which seems obvious, that stable, long-term relationships are better than promiscuity and ever-changing sex partners.

-- he did not say that the divorced and remarried should be admitted to communion but that in view of the fact that more and more young people don't even bother to get married and divorced any more this whole subject needed reviewing. It does take some explaining why someone who has been in a succession of several co-habitations and is now for the first time in a legal and sacramental marriage should be entitled to the sacraments while they are denied to someone who is on his or her second marriage.

-- I see no evidence that he views himself spokesman for a cause.

Deacon Down Under said...

There is little doubt that Vatican 2 was an unmitigated failure and I struggle to see the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in it's outcomes.

Liturgical poverty and the dumbing down of all teaching to the laity. Vandalism with smashed marble altars and statues - worse than the Reformation. A massive loss of vocations to the priesthood and monastic life. Decay, corruption and massive child sex abuse. Lay ministers of the altar and an end to fasting and instead rapproachment with the world.

The ACC may be tiny, but thank God it is standing firm in faith, in clarity of belief and when I look at the modern western Roman Church it is enough to make one cry.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

wnpaul wrote:

-- he did not suggest that the church should bless homosexual unions, but simply said, which seems obvious, that stable, long-term relationships are better than promiscuity and ever-changing sex partners.

Really? Although the Health Dept. would be glad to limit the spread of AIDS, I cannot see your point in terms of morality. How does your point "seem obvious" when we are discussing what the Bible calls an abomination? Is a long term stable abomination better than an ever-changing one?

-- I see no evidence that he views himself spokesman for a cause.

His action on Valentine's Day notwithstanding?

Canon Tallis said...

Father Wells writes that "There is no joy for me in reading of blatant revisionism in the RCC. . .", but what is Rome about from the move of the imperial capitol to Constantinople to present except some degree of divergence from the faith and practice of the primitive Church. Anyone who reads 1st Timothy and Titus and the lives of the saints of the first four centuries knows that the Church had married bishops, priests and deacons. The failure of Christians of all varieties to live up to standard of the first few centuries is something which we all have to live with and we in the Continuum struggle with it every day.

The article indicates that the sins of the ECUSA have spread to Rome, but I am old enough and of sufficient background to know that a good deal of our present troubles spread first from Rome to Anglicanism at the end of the 19th and in the early 20th century. Rome was simply much better at pretending that the rot wasn't there and ignoring its consequences. That is simply a great deal harder to do in this present world.

As simple Bible Christians we all must be torn between our desire to love the sinner as our Lord did and the necessity of instisting both to him (and to ourselves as sinners) that we must make every effort to face, confess and give up our sins. And we must also acknowledge our common obligation to keep personally and preach and extend the Catholic faith as we have received it from the undivided Church of the earliest centuries.

Unlike Father Wells I can not say that my contacts with Roman Catholics have been "consistently positive." We have, however, on the whole to keep them both polite and civil especially those which have involved both our near and extended family. On the other hand they haven't been any worse that what most I know have endured from ECUSA since the mid seventies. I sometimes wonder if I had any idea of what lay ahead if I would have become an Anglican - until I admit to myself that such was precisely what I had always been even before I first came into contact with an Anglican priest, parish or the Book of Common Prayer.

This is not an easy age for any of us and I don't believe it is going to get any better. Our problem, my problem, is to do the very best we can right where we presently are and among the people in whose midst we have been placed. There was no "Camelot" but we do have the promise of the "New Jerusalem which is above."

1st Veriword: chily

2nd Veriword: annesupe

The Shrinking Cleric said...

The statement that I found the most troubling in the complete article was this:

"Schönborn told Vatican Radio that day, 'Despite the fact that I do not agree with some of the initiative's conclusions, frankly I believe that it is important that people in Rome know what some of our laypeople are thinking.'"

What I would like to know is: Which one of the group's concerns DOES he agree with? He says there are some...

Inquiring minds want to know.

Oh, yes, did I mention how thrilled I am that his Eminence's Cathedral is named "St. Stephen's"?

John A. Hollister said...

What puzzles me is why Cardinal Schoenbrunn felt it incumbent on him to inform Rome of what some Austrian citizens are thinking and saying, instead of doing his job and telling the Austrians what Rome is teaching.

He is a Bishop, for Pete's sake (especially where he is a Roman one), not an ombudsman.

John A. Hollister+

Joe Oliveri said...

At Catholic cathedral [in Munich], Lutheran leader calls the Pill ‘God’s gift’ (Catholic World News, 14 May 2010)

'Christ did not die for the sins of the people': Head of German Catholic Bishops' Conference on TV (LifeSiteNews.com, 21 April 2009)

These are indeed sad times.

I am as grateful for cultural and theological allies within the barque of Peter as I am for those without.


VeriWord: consero: Latin, meaning "I connect / bind," or (mil.) "I engage."