Monday 3 November 2008

Abortion- and our crisis- how many Catholic bishops are automatically excommunicated- we need to admit this and replace them!

(Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Recently a close friend of mine mentioned he had joined the SSPX. We always talk about coming out of the closet, it is something gay people did (My friend is perfectly strait)- probably with bad connotations, but I don't think this friend was coming out of the closet, he had been wrestling with it for a while now, and it seems he finally gave in. The Latin was important to him, and there have been monkey games in South Africa- he traveled all the way to Pretoria for a final meeting on setting up the Tridentine rite here, and the priest suddenly withdrew- probably under the influence of South Africa's more liberal bishops, or possibly for personal reasons. In essence, I think my friend had had enough. He is right, to a degree at least, but not to the extent of his choice- I personally see- Vatican Two allowed for some use of English- but for a Latin Norm, and for the use of English which is by churches to be supplemented in every mass by some Latin. In other words, I do not disagree that many leaders of the church are not applying the actual recommendations in this section, of Vatican II.

The problem in his stance also lies in canon 1372 of Canon Law- in that if we appeal to a council of the church in opposition of an act of the pope- we are to be punished with a censure- that is to say- that while I for instance believe that Latin may have huge benefit, should I say the Vernacular is not valid- and quote a council to do so- I am in fact violating Canon law.

Jesus said- it is impossible for any person to convert, but that what is impossible is not impossible to God. This is to say that if we focus so much on livening up the mass, or making it understandable- we lose the battle, because we are trying to save the world on human, not divine resources. In my archdiocese- 9 out of ten catholics do not attend mass on Sunday, and the Protestant population is probably worse off. We have a serious issue, and instead of going back to God's recommendations at the Holy Council- we are trying our own human ways to save our church, this said- the stance of the current church is valid, and what I say is not in opposition to the union of bishops- in that Latin is of benefit, but also we must remember Canon 1372. The church is a sacrament, through which all sacraments are gained. The Sacrament is the name given to the Roman Empire's military pledge of allegiance, it is a word which appears in the Bible, when Saint Peter (I Peter chapter 3 verse 21) says that it is not the water of baptism, but the Sacrament of a good conscience to God which saves us. Basically- the Sacrament is the pledge- the acting which happens in two plains, our plain where actions happen, and the spiritual, where God accompanies these loyal actions with grace. At the heart of Sacramental Theology, Catholic Theology- is the idea that obedience gets grace- and only obedience and faith can save us.

The problem my friend has yet to address- and the argument above is mine, not his- is that the SSPX are in an irregular canonical position- because their bishops broke canon law, and were automatically excommunicated. I myself believe that no small amount of disobedience can save- I believe in subsidarity- that we obey God in obedience to the church, but where God demands we act against it so be it- but God placed the liturgy in the hands of the papacy.

He appointed the bishops to safeguard the church, even if they disobey him. Saint Peter certainly did, when he chose to sit with the Jews apart from the gentiles for the sake of their cause. God himself would one day reduce utterly the amount of Jewish converts- and Saint Peter was not aiding the cause of the church- in fact, Saint Paul heavily rebukes him. He says- you hypocrite. Saint Paul knew that the essence of the gospel was at stake, and attacked Saint Peter's actions, actions which were not infallible, but human, and popes are human, even as at certain times they yield to the divine by asking to be clear of moral and doctrinal error in their words.

What Saint Paul did not do is join an irregularly positioned order of the church, no- he challenged the first Pope as a hypocrite- and worked to change things from within, but he did not join any odd group within.

Now, saying this- I must approach another issue- EWTN notes it softly on their website, but I note it as loudly as possible. Those who support abortion- through action, or silence, who vote for a party which does or is likely to support abortion, who allow this plague strength in our nations and cultures, in any way as to allow even one additional abortion- are excommunicated from the Catholic church.

Recently, when a bishop stood against abortion and the Democrats, who in 1992 caused the current financial crises, a group of nuns wrote the papers, apposing the bishop- in support of Obama. These nuns, in this action are no longer Catholics- they excommunicated themselves. The Canadian bishops who participated in a pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality march, the Catholic Women's league in Canada's leadership who did, and the bishops who did not appose this stance in Canada- are also automatically excommunicated under canon law, and so are many bishops, and media persons in South Africa, and America and Australia and around the world. It is not simply a fight for the culture of life- any Catholic who aids and abets the cause of abortion- is excommunicated.

The Bishops of SSPX, are also excommunicated by an automatic excommunication- via the appointing of bishops against the express objections of the Holy See. Summorum Pontificum, was actually initially the brain-child of Pope John Paul the Second, not Benedict XVI. The act of schism by the bishops of the SSPX, was it seems unnecessary. In fact, it could be why we face so much opposition today in the church to the Latin Mass, asked for by Vatican II, and Trent, and used for all ages until now, and by Pope Benedict XVI, when he says mass.

We however have a dual problem, the church has been wise in noting that the SSPX bishops are excommunicated, they have been unwise in not replacing also- the bishops who are excommunicated on the other fringe- for support of the intrinsic evil of abortion. It is no wonder these bishops and priests also push for gay marriage, and women priests. They have already been cut from the vine of the Catholic church- they no longer are Catholic bishops, but simple administrators, who need to be replaced, because they have left the flock via excommunication. Perhaps the crisis with vocations- and the opposition to the Latin Liturgy of the ages- and the open opposition by many to our Pope, Holy Father- Benedict XVI- lies in the fact that these bishops, priests, nuns, monks and others, including laymen- now operate from outside the church. These people who have given up their lives for Christ and service to the church- are no longer of her flock, and those not of the flock are not worth listening to on matters of doctrine and morals, for Catholics.

Our salvation, and the salvation of the church- lies non in schism, for the bible directly says "Schisms are evil" (Paul writing to the Corinthians), but rather- it must come through obedience, through obeying the letter of Canon Law- as many Charismatics, Traditionalist, and Liberals- have forfeited, for the sake of evangelization- also forfeiting from God- the grace needed and vital to carry this out.

Let us follow the example of Josemaria Escriva', let us be utterly Orthodox, but do it within Canon law, and within the church, but also- our leaders need to clarify and replace those bishops who have either supported one extreme or the other. Those outside the church must no longer pretend to govern her provinces. The sees of those who have supported abortion, and not returned to the church, are empty. This said, just like with SSPX, one is not excommunicated by attending mass in a diocese where the bishop should be replaced. This also said- we are discouraged from attending SSPX masses, this is considered an occasion to sin, and occasions to sin we promise to avoid every confession. Yes, if our life is at risk we may attend it, but not simply to get our daily Latin. The same applies to these excommunicated priests and bishops- we are not lifted of our Sunday obligation, but we should attend masses where the priest is against abortion, and the church, is in fact obligated by morals and conscience, I truly believe that they should take the same steps against these bishops and priests as they did against the SSPX. They need to replace them, and inform them and the world, that these people no longer represent the Catholic church, and full the empty sees, whether by repentance on the part of these bishops, or by replacing them. Something needs to be done, for the salvation of souls.

We have enough Orthodox bishops to survive, and perhaps this small loss in numbers- will bring much in ways of salvation. Once again we need to trust God, and admit to ourselves, and the world- the Truth, about what is and isn't true, and what is and isn't Catholic. What I love about Catholicism, is that I doubt these excommunicated people get any reprieve in obeying every other regulation of the church. Even in mortal sin, every small evil we do- allows for more evil in our self, and world. Let us obey our bishops, and love them for who they represent.

Surely- God created a church for a reason- we may appeal for changes- but we must never despise, nor lead others to despise the authority of our valid bishops, and our pope.

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