This post from The Motley Monk’s Omnibus blog confirms that the sinister course of erosion of Catholic teaching under the present leadership looks set to continue:
Why? Marx believes it’s “difficult to say from the outside whether someone is in the state of mortal sin.”
That’s true. After all, Jesus did teach his disciples:
You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. (Luke 16:15a)
Consider this case:
- A Catholic spouse has been physically and emotionally abused by her husband. Nothing she has suggested or done has helped. Traumatized after five years of suffering abuse, the wife civilly divorces her husband. Several years later, she falls in love and marries–without the benefit of an annulment –a kind and loving gentleman who has helped her heal from the trauma. Now in the 10th year of a civil marriage to her second husband, she goes to Confession and tells her story to the priest. He reminds the penitent that she is living in an state of objectively serious sin and that, short of receiving an annulment of her first marriage, if she wishes to receive Holy Communion, she must live with her husband as brother and sister.
This case pinpoints the problem the Church has been confronting for centuries:
- “Mercy.” One side–today including Cardinal Marx–asserts that the pastoral situation calls for mercy. The “existential facts” of the woman’s life history indicate the second bond isn’t seriously sinful but, in fact, God has blessed it because the chaos of with the first bond has been replaced by the order of the second bond. Only hardhearted, blind rigorists would disagree.
- “Justice.” The other side–today including Cardinal Raymond Burke–asserts it must be established that, before the fact, there was no bond in the first marriage (thus, deserving of an annulment) and then to convalidate (sacramentalize) the second civil bond. Short of that, the woman and her second husband in the second civil marriage are living in a state of objectively serious sin. If the woman wants to receive Holy Communion, she and her husband must live as brother and sister. These are the only two options for resolving this dilemma because this is what Scripture and Tradition teach.
Public opinion characterizes the former approach as “caring and pastoral” and the latter as “unfeeling and uncharitable.”
But, it must be asked, “What about the more difficult, virtuous way–the narrow way–about which Jesus taught his disciples? He said:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Important as all of that really is (and it is!), what’s extremely important about this particular interview is that Cardinal Marx included not only men and women in what are called “irregular situations” (like the case above) but also those in very irregular situations, namely, homosexual relationships. Applying the same principles to the latter as he did the former, Marx opines that there must be “respect for a decision made in freedom” as well as for the voice of “conscience.” Marx adds that this requires considering an individual’s “concrete circumstances” as well as “one’s own responsibility in light of the Gospels” which includes “listening the voice of the Church.”
That’s what it means for the Church to jettison “blind rigorism”?
How about jettisoning Scripture? After all, after Jesus said “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.” But, Jesus also happened to add:
What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:15b)
Perhaps taking his cue from Cardinal Marx, the Vice President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, is once again calling for discussion concerning “blessing” homosexual relationships. Believing that “silence” in this matter isn’t helpful and there’s “much [that is] positive” in them, Bishop Bode is proposing that the German hierarchy now reflect “upon a blessing [of homosexual couples], which is, however, not to be mistaken as a wedding.”
Of course not.
But, why? In Bishop Bode’s carefully considered estimation, political reality dictates a “marriage for all” that’s different from the Church’s understanding of marriage. He asks: “How do we do justice to them?” Adding: “How do we accompany them pastorally and liturgically?”
Not only that. Bishop Bode proposes reconsidering whether active homosexual relationships are gravely sinful. He said:
We have to reflect upon the question as to how to assess in a differentiated manner a relationship between two homosexual persons. Is there not so much positive and good and right so that we have to be more just?
Let’s be clear: This is secular progressivism. It’s aimed at co-opting and undermining Scripture, Church teaching, and worship with the objective of legitimizing a political agenda within the Roman Catholic Church. That’s not bigotry but fact: The secular progressives within the Church want to remake Her in their ideological image and likeness. Anything short of that is due to bigotry, they assert.
The simple and straightforward truth is: That’s not Roman Catholicism.
Let the discussion begin…