This weekend we celebrate the Forty Hours Devotion, and you would expect me to write on that topic. The homilies for the day, however, I deem sufficient matter for your reflection on the most Holy Eucharist, though there can never be enough said about this magnum mysterium since it concerns the prolongation of the very incarnation of the Son of God, yet in a manner more abstruse than the incarnation itself since, for just one point, in the Holy Sacrament the Lord is bodily present in many places all at once, something beyond what He did when He walked in Palestine.
My principal subject today is a brief digest of a commentary made by the stalwart Bishop Athanasius Schneider on the recent Synod of Bishops. The whole piece is well worth the read, but I bring out a few highlights for those who may be otherwise unable to peruse the entire document. I quote him here freely, stringing various phrases together, without respect to the rigorous discipline now universally imposed on writers in quoting their sources. In your charity, I beg your indulgence for this unpardonable indiscretion!“In our days there exists a permanent and omnipresent pressure on behalf of the mass media, which are compliant with...anti-Christian powers, to abolish the truth of the indissolubility of marriage, trivializing the sacred character of this Divine institution by spreading an anti-culture of divorce and concubinage. ...When Catholics by means of divorce and adultery...repudiate the will of God expressed in the Sixth Commandment, they put themselves in a spiritually serious danger of losing their eternal salvation. ...Those who conduct a married life with a partner who is not his legitimate spouse, as is the case with divorced and civilly remarried, reject the will of God. ...The Final Report of the Synod unfortunately omits to convince the divorced and remarried concerning their concrete sin. On the contrary, under the pretext of mercy and a false pastorality, those (progressive) Synod Fathers...tried to cover up the spiritually dangerous state of the divorced and (civilly) remarried. (Moreover the Final Report) justifies indirectly such a lifestyle by means of assigning this question ultimately to the area of the individual consciences... and gives the impression...that a public life in adultery–as is the case of civilly remarried–is not violating the indissoluble sacramental bond...or that it does not represent a mortal or grave sin and that this issue is furthermore a matter of private conscience. ...(However) the shepherds (bishops) of the Church should not in the slightest manner promote a culture of divorce amongst the faithful. ...The Final Report seems to inaugurate a doctrinal and disciplinary cacophony in the Catholic Church, which contradicts the very essence of being Catholic. ...(It) caused a situation of obscuration, confusion, subjectivity...and an un-Catholic doctrinal and disciplinary particularism in a matter which is essentially connected to the deposit of faith transmitted by the Apostles. ...It is therefore a real shame that Catholic bishops, the successors of the Apostles, used synodal assemblies in order to make an attempt on the constant and unchangeable practice of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage, that is, in the non-admittance of the divorced who live in an adulterous union to the Sacraments. ...Through the solemn promise in the episcopal ordination...every candidate..promised: ‘I will keep pure and integral the deposit of faith according to the tradition which was always and everywhere preserved in the Church.’ The ambiguity found in..the Report contradicts the abovementioned solemn episcopal vow. Everyone in the Church, from the simple faithful to the holders of the magisterium, should say: ‘I will not accept an obfuscated speech nor a skillful masked backdoor to a profanation of the Sacraments of Marriage and Eucharist. Likewise, I will not accept a mockery of the Sixth Commandment of God. I prefer to be ridiculed and persecuted rather than to accept ambiguous texts and insincere methods.’ Now there’s a voice to be heeded! My reaction to Bishop Schneider’s straightforward teaching echoes what was once said concerning the teaching of Christ: “He teaches with authority, and not like the scribes” (Mt. 7:29).Fr. Perrone
P.S. Next Sunday would be the feast of Saint Cecilia, patroness of music. The day, being a Sunday, the Lord’s day, must be celebrated in the breach by lovers of sacred music.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" [temporary link] (Assumption Grotto News, November 15, 2015):