ROME, December 6, 2016
Before a packed room in Rome’s Centro Lepanto on Monday, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan urged the faithful to ardently hold on to the Church’s Magisterium on the indissolubility of marriage within the current state of ongoing ambiguities.
“When Christ preached 2,000 years ago, the culture and reigning spirit were radically opposed to Him. Concretely religious syncretism ruled, also Gnosticism among the intelligent leaders, as well as permissibilism among the masses — especially regarding the institution of matrimony. […] The sole purpose of the Son of God was to reveal the truth to the world.”
With these words, Bishop Schneider opened his presentation in the presence of Cardinals Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmüller and Auxiliary Bishop Andreas Laun of Salzburg, Austria.
Schneider continued with a presentation on the history of the Church’s dealings with marriage and its irregularities beginning from the Old Testament to modernity with specific references to early Christian writings by Henry VIII of England and Napoleon I, and recent discussions.
Regarding the dubia published by the four Cardinals, he told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview today that the Church should always foster a “culture of dialogue.”
“The formulation of dubia, as the Cardinals here have expressed in their own terms, has been a common practice in the Church,” he explained. “We need to be able to ask questions openly without being afraid of repressions.”
Bishop Schneider referred to the numerous attacks that the four Princes of the Church have suffered after their dubia was published. The questions still remain unanswered by Pope Francis.
“The reaction to the dubia is a proof of the climate in which we actually live in the Church right now,” Bishop Schneider said. “We live in a climate of threats and of denial of dialogue towards a specific group.”
Schneider went to say that “dialogue seems to be accepted only if you think like everyone else – that is practically like a regime.”
Schneider brought up his experience in Russia, where he was born in the time of the Soviet Union. His parents were sent by Stalin to work camps, or “Gulags,” after the Second World War. “If you didn’t follow the line of the party, or you questioned it, you couldn’t even ask. That is for me a very clear parallel to what is happening now in the reactions to the dubia — questions — of the Cardinals.”
“This is a very sad experience especially since everybody is speaking about a ‘dialogue of culture’ after the Second Vatican Council. While bishops openly teach heresies and nothing happens to them, that is truly a grave injustice and very sad,” Bishop Schneider added.
“If the Pope does not answer, the next step will be recourse to prayer, to supernatural means,” Schneider said, “to pray for the enlightenment of the Pope and that he will gain courage.”
Schneider speculated about what might happen in the near future. “In Church history, we say that in an extreme case in which the bonum commune of the faith is threatened, then the bishops as members of the college of bishops, and in a truly collegial relation to the Pope with a brotherly obedience to him, must ask him publicly to renounce the misdeed of giving Communion to remarried divorced Catholics, as it is already being done in many dioceses.”
Rebutting the attacks of various persons against the Cardinals, he defended the four. “This situation has already had precedences in saints — not in schismatics or heretics. Hilary of Poitiers, St. Catherine of Siena, and I think this should be possible in the Church without the person being called a schismatic.”
Cardinal Burke has said a “formal correction” might be in order to resolve the situation of uncertainty. “In the language of moral theology, fraternal correction is an act of love — if it is given in obedience and with reason,” Schneider commented. “We have to return to this familiar way of dealing with it.”
Schneider ended his interview with LifeSiteNews by saying: “The Holy Father has to bring clarity and support to his brothers in resolving doubts. … We have to pray for that; only clarity will bring unity. If there is to be an answer from the Pope, then it must be unambiguous. He must say what is the truth.”