In a response to The Remnant’s Chris Ferrara (“An Open Letter to Bishop Athanasius Schneider“; May 10, 2016), Bishop Athanasius Schneider has not backed off of his existing criticism of Amoris Laetitia, but rather, has encouraged further resistance to it:
In using our reason and in respecting the proper sense of the words, one can hardly interpret some expressions in AL according to the holy immutable Tradition of the Church.
In AL, there are of course expressions which are obviously in conformity with the Tradition. But that is not what is at issue here. What is at stake are the natural and logical consequences of the ambiguous expressions of AL. Indeed, they contain a real spiritual danger, which will cause doctrinal confusion, a fast and easy spreading of heterodox doctrines concerning marriage and moral law, and also the adoption and consolidation of the praxis of admitting divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, a praxis which will trivialize and profane, as to say, at one blow three sacraments: the sacrament of Marriage, of Penance, and of the Most Holy Eucharist.
In these our dark times, in which Our Beloved Lord seems to sleep in the boat of His Holy Church, all Catholics, beginning from the bishops up to the simplest faithful, who still take seriously their baptismal vows, should with one voice (“una voce”) make a profession of fidelity, enunciating concretely and clearly all those Catholic truths, which are in some expressions of AL undermined or ambiguously disfigured. It would be a kind of a “Credo” of the people of God. AL is clearly a pastoral document (i.e., by its nature of temporal character) and has no claims to be definitive. We have to avoid to “make infallible” every word and gesture of a current Pope. This is contrary to the teaching of Jesus and of the whole Tradition of the Church. Such a totalitarian understanding and application of Papal infallibility is not Catholic, is ultimately worldly, like in a dictatorship; it is against the spirit of the Gospel and of the Fathers of the Church.
Beside the above mentioned possible common profession of fidelity, there should be made to my opinion, by competent scholars of dogmatic and moral theology also a solid analysis of all ambiguous and objectively erroneous expressions in AL. Such a scientific analysis should be made without anger and partiality (“sine ira et studio”) and out of filial deference to the Vicar of Christ.
This is an important letter, and one for the history books. Bishop Schneider stands alone among the episcopacy in his assessment that portions of Amoris Laeitia exist in opposition to the Church’s “holy immutable Tradition”, and that this post-synodal apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis contains “a real spiritual danger, which will cause doctrinal confusion, a fast and easy spreading of heterodox doctrines concerning marriage and moral law, and also the adoption and consolidation of the praxis of admitting divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, a praxis which will trivialize and profane, as to say, at one blow three sacraments: the sacrament of Marriage, of Penance, and of the Most Holy Eucharist.”
Please pray for this courageous bishop, and for those theologians who are, even now, composing “a solid analysis of all ambiguous and objectively erroneous expressions in AL”. I am aware of some such efforts, for the time being shrouded in secrecy, but a document of this moment demands faithful opposition, against all odds.
We are far from out of the water on AL. Look for more analysis here in the near future.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.
Amoris Laetitia contains statements which directly contradict the authoritative teaching of the CC & further statements that undermine it, without directly contradicting it. This was done deliberately, as jokingly verified by Archbishop Bruno Forte. When will it dawn on the Hierarchy that these continuous heresies issuing forth from PF are not in accordance with the Deposit of Faith & Tradition as handed down by the First Apostles but directly opposite. As no valid Pope can preach heresy when are they going to declare that he is not a valid Successor of St. Peter but an anti-pope?
Bishops Schneider needs our prayers & support as does Veri Catholic and anyone else with a bit of clout that is prepared to actively pursue PF on Amoris Laetitia & his other heterodox teachings. This Hierarchy will rue the day when they weren’t prepared to stand up and fight for the Truth as handed down by the First Apostles & their faithful successors until Vatican II.
As to a pope preaching heresy and becoming a heretic, that is possible according to St Robert Bellarmine. We would know an antipope definitively if Francis “dogmatically ” declared that women could be deacons or something like that. No true pope could claim error infallibly as that is against the infallibility dogma. We’ll see what Francis says in Sweden during his apology to Lutherans.
…as if Obama’s nearly eight year worldwide apology tour was not enough…
I have a severe case of “Pope-itis.”
Yeah, Obama likes Francis. Two communist peas in a pod.
This Relativist Papacy gets around their heretical teachings by saying they are not changing Doctrine, only the pastoral approach. However, when pastoral contexts shift “doctrinal formulations” (the relativist expression of Doctrine) also shifts and with so many NO Bishops around the world already getting into gear to implement Amoris Laetitia, it will be a done deal well before Lund.
Recall Cardinal Muller saying that separating pastoral practice from doctrine is a subtle Christological heresy. We should see the schism soon from whatever disasters result from AL.
Discerning Pope Francis’ true motives is going to be very difficult. Ultimately, only God knows. It’s taken me going on three years to be able and willing to say this. Personally, I don’t believe he is a formal heretic. I see no evidence of that. I still say he has the true faith. However, he is a complex man psychologically but spiritually shallow, and the best impression I can arrive at is that he believes everything he says and does is the Will of God for His church. In other words, he is deluded. Or to put it another way, he is a material heretic.
He infuriates me. And I’ve made many excuses for him, his ambiguity and his insufferable smugness which he seems to believe is biblical humility. It’s inconceivable to me, knowing how easily I can deceive myself, that he appears to have no self-doubt about the awesome consequences of the responsibilities he carries before God as Supreme Pontiff of Christ’s Church.
However, I still say it’s too easy, too spiritually easy to label him a formal heretic or worse an anti-pope.
The strategy being used by these Modernists is extraordinarily cunning. They know Canon Law but they have found away around being formalised as heretical. To us laymen though it is necessary to see through their ploy especially at this critical stage in Church history and demand an end to this dual papacy, material or formal heresy notwithstanding.
This situation has been going on since Vatican II and there seems no end to the amount of support PF & coterie have so, if not stopped, it could continue for many decades yet. If PF was a heretic before election or if his election wasn’t valid due to canvassing by St. Gallen Group, or if he or any of his supporters should have been excommunicated previously for their lack of faith & Modernist beliefs, then this would make his election null & void. Nobody in the Hierarchy is calling for this information which should be publicly available. Secrecy led to the Child Abuse Scandal & hid (& still is hiding) countless enablers. We must be strong & support Bishop Schneider & any other cleric that will speak out against this apostasy.
Exactly right. We have seen enough. These men are vastly powerful, they have power and they know it. They are now extraordinarily bold and one could say, even aggressive in their use of power and influence. They laugh contemptuously at faithful Catholics and leaders, because they rightly know right now they can do whatever they want. They are bringing relentless attacks now, as we see they are never satisfied with one assault, they find more and more, now it never ends, because they can never have their fill. Every day will bring a new outrage, and new way they can poke faithful Catholics, the faith, Jesus Himself, in the eye. Hence we now have an unprecedented opening for women priests via the deaconate. There was no large hue and cry over this, even the heretics who want it understand the door was closed, but this group, this evil group in the Vatican, they opened it to give new encouragement to this lot. So the women were given tickets to the Papal Mass (unprecedented) and permission was given for the first time for them to protest there. Now, incredibly, there will be a newly commissioned (and surely expensive) “study” of this issue, that was not long ago studied by a commission and found to be a dead issue, it cannot happen.
The men that the pope has surrounded himself with are an evil lot, dissidents and heretics almost to the man. The heretics are his counselors and who he has chosen to place in his inner circle. He has made statement after statement that faithful Catholics intuit or can see outright as cunningly walking that fine line, ever so careful not to go over it, but there has been more than enough said to inform a formed conscience what he is doing, dismantling the faith. This man does not even bless the crowds or people, he does not genuflect. I don’t even recall him making the sign of the cross. To this faithful Catholic, he is a nightmare from which I would like to awake.
How long, O Lord.
Yes, he is a nightmare but what is even worse is the silent support of the Hierarchy who are comprised of Theologians & Canon Lawyers in the main. There must be some way found to get around the question of legitimacy. So many people have confirmed that he was no different in Buenos Aires & despaired when he was elected Pope it could be possible that he had lapsed in faith long ago. Why isn’t this aspect being looked into?
Too much emphasis on unquestioning obedience and not enough on the character of the person to whom we are required to be obedient to. If that factor cannot be determined to the satisfaction of clergy & laity then the CDF should request a new conclave. With Lund coming up I certainly hope that this problem will be dealt with beforehand.
Since you say Francis is merely a material heretic because of delusion, isn’t it incumbent upon him to correct the ignorance through omission of his duty to learn the truth? Let me use your logic example using AL: Francis says that adulterers (using a different phrase) can receive Holy Communion because of ignorance, or even knowing full well the law but not accepting its value. Applying your logic to adulterers, then they too believe via delusion and should then receive Holy Communion. If you don’t agree that adulterers should receive Holy Communion, then how could a pope, much more responsible than lay people, be given a pass but not the adulterers?
That’s the sad truth about “delusions”, Or self-deception. They work. They are effective in blinding us to truth about our wounded condition. What does it mean??
The Catholic Church teaches that Original Sin has seriously wounded our interior integrity. We don’t know ourselves. Our spiritual lives of intellect and Will are weakened and are in conflict with each other. Our bodies rebell against our spiritual wills. Hence we are in rebellion against God and His Will for us. This is the consequence of our loss of Original Innocence and Integriy due to the Sin of Pride of our First Parents.
We are no longer God centred. We are self centred.
So how does this apply to Pope Francis and to all of us, whether we buy into the heresy of Modernism or not??
Like all the popes since Vat ‘ll, he has been seduced by the heresy of Modernism. And he does not see it very clearly. What does that have to do with delusions?? Instead of seeing Modernism for what it really is, his wounded intellect lies, justifies, rationalizes, believes things that contradict Church Teachings, and his wounded Will acts on the intellects understanding, since the Will needs the intellect to direct it’s actions. Thus he is blind to the inherent contradictions in his positions.
But, does Pope Francis INTEND to reject Church Doctrine?? It’s not like Cardinal Kasper/Marx who openly reject Church dogmas. We can accept that they are formal heretics. But Francis!! Because of his ambiguity and Modernist influences, the only thing I’m willing to say is that he is a material heretic. At this point only God knows his true intentions. The incident that was a turning point for me was his response to the Lutheran women who wants to receive Holy Communion with her husband. Because of this Modernist/Ecumenical nonsense influence in his soul, he twisted himself into a theological pretzel to accommodate her. Instead of just telling her the blunt truth. If she desires Holy Communion she has to convert to Catholicism.
It’s doubtful if Francis has much interior clarity due to my comment on self deception. The fact that he is close to the heretics like Kasper does not tell us much either.
What I’m saying agrees with Archbishop Schneider, since he is pretty much demanding clarification of certain paragraphs of AL regarding adulterers and reception of Holy Communion. He has not rushed to rash judgement regarding PF’s absurdities. The difference is the archbishop’s approach is theological and mine is more spiritual.
Does Francis intend to deceive? Of course. As reported by 1P5, Abp. Forte admitted the planned deception and Sandro Magister showed how AL is taken from heretic art of kissing bishop Fernandez writings of 10 years ago. It is even worse when not openly rejecting doctrine but making the appearance of staying faithful yet not really, all through planned ambiguity and footnotes. Francis is worse than Marx and Kasper, multiplying the damage with a higher rank. Not only that, no honest cleric can toss out 2000 years of Tradition and say they didn’t know, rather only that they reject the Church’s teachings. Read Pope St. Pius X on the modernists. The Columbo deception method of Francis (playing dumb) has worked on you, resulting in deficient discernment. I know various little old ladies (literally) who have little education and theological knowledge, but pray many daily rosaries and try to live a holy life. They see right through it when I quote Francis for them. No prelate to date has had the fortitude to accuse Francis of heresy. Some call that prudence. I call it cowardice. But that will eventually come at the schism. Then whose side will you be on – Francis or the true Church?
He is just not fit for the office and he is one of many such popes over the centuries. The Chuch has survived them. Benedict XVI often commented that the principle figures in the Church are the saints. How true that is! Who recalls much about the Popes at the time of St. Bernard, or St. Cathrine of Sienna, or St. Teresa of Avila? However, these and other saints left a lasting and profound effect on the life of the Church for centuries. The difference is that we got used to a whole line of excellent popes during the 20th century. He is imprudent and according to St. Thomas, prudence is the principle virtue of those called to govern. Apparently, he said that being pope was great fun, which shows that he is also frvolours, but that is also part of a lack of prudence. Without the guiding light of prudence we cannot practice any human virtue, according to St. Thomas. He cannot be declared a formal heretic. He seems to be trying to square the circle and get around basic moral principles by menas of “discernemnt, accompaniment” as well as a lack of logic by continually rasing strawman areguments.
Notice how in AL, there is one citation from St. Thomas, and it is twisted, and there is none from St. Augustine. Now, for good reason St. Augustine is Doctor Gratiae, and it should be obvious that nobody can fulfill the commandments of God’s law without the power of grace. St. Augustine is the great doctor who experienced and elucidated it in his controversy with Pelagianism,and he is never cited in AL. It would be hard to find another major Magisterial document without citing these two major Doctors of the Church.
Steve, thank you for promoting this. I saw it at the Remnant when they tweeted it out the other day. To my shock, none of the other blogs nor any of the news services are picking it up. Too hot to handle? https://nonvenipacem.com/2016/06/04/bishop-schneider-ups-the-ante-catholic-news-outlets-fold/
I was just about to say that Vox picked up on this yesterday. I was tweeting about it before it appeared on the Remnant website. I expect others are writing on this subject as I type. This is a letter which requires a well-measured response.
It should receive a vigorous implementation
Sorry, Vox, I missed yours. Though I must say, your Jesuit Bullying post was one for the ages.
I KNOW you did Vox, I am at your site as well daily!;) Yours and Steve’s are the two I do daily;)
I do the Remnant, Catholic Family News, Vox Cantoris and 1P5. EF occasionally has something interesting.
Lifesitenews is good too!
Thanks for jolting my memory. I forgot about LSN. Mea culpa. ?
Nice to see you here, Vox. Keep up the good work!
No shock to me as most Catholic sites are effectively papolators. A guy who puts beach balls on altars has just got to be good.
Thank God for Bishop +Schneider. Another Athanasius contra Mundum!
May God grant him through the Intercession of Our Lady the grace to follow in the footsteps of his holy namesake!
The lightning-flash of your teaching
enlightens those in darkness.
You chase away all false doctrine.
You bore the brunt of battle for the faith,
Athanasius, uncompromised rock!
True shepherd and unshaken fortress of Christ’s holy Church!
Therefore we assemble in your honour,
rejoicing to magnify you, all-praised one!
Vespers for the Feast of Sts. Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria
O Holy Father Athanasius, pray for Bishop Schneider who bears your name!
Excellent and appropriate prayer!
You’re welcome. I made my First Holy Communion on the Feast of St. Athanasius, so he’s one of my favorite Saints.
Saying that AL cannot be interpreted within Church teachings is key. This is the elephant in the living room. At least he is taking a stronger stance now. Of course he is already banished (Kazakhstan) in his remote diocese so he has nothing to loose there. Somehow I don’t think Church Militant will invite Bishop Schneider back for interviews.
Eyes, you are totally correct. To say AL is ambiguous is to imply that is COULD be interpreted in an orthodox manner, if viewed in the light of Tradition. THIS IS FALSE. There are many parts of Chapter VIII which are flat out heretical, and cannot in any way be faithfully interpreted according to previous 2000 years of Tradition.
Let’s here It from CM.
BIG FAT CHANCE…only crickets chirping on CM’s website. CM has gone all out for Francis. No criticism of him or anything he says and/or does.
In my prayers.
I hate to say detrimental things about other “websites”, ahem, Church Militant.com, but NOT one word about Bishop Schneider’s letter to the Remnant Newspaper. CM spoke highly of the good bishop, as well as retired Bishop Rene Gracida (Diocese of Corpus Christi, TX), until both of them threw Francis under the bus concerning AL.
Steve Skojec, keep up the good work and the good fight! You have my full support and prayers!
Now Bishop Schneider has my attention, and this is the first significant example of appropriate response I’ve yet read. Thank you, Bishop Schneider, thank you so much for this. You put it so well, it is as if the Lord sleeps in the boat, and it has been a lonely time for faithful Catholics. It is at the point of being overwhelming and discouraging, I freely admit. There is none who cares in our church today that we are aware of. To the very top there is nothing but silence and reproof, insults and chastisement. Terribly, though simple laypeople can read for themselves and see plainly that this document departs radically from Catholic teaching and tradition, we see our bishops use words like “beautiful” to describe it, or use other adjectives that can only be called a capitulation to error and distortion. They offer no resistance whatsoever to clear and obvious heresy. This is a great scandal and God have mercy on them for their refusal to defend Christ, Scripture, the faith, the sheep. Simple laypeople can see this document for what it is, and yet we must watch our churchmen fold like a house of cards in it’s wake. We understand they have much to fear, we have seen retribution in our beautiful church against those who dare dissent from heresy and defend the truth. What evil doings, these churchmen do. God bless you and help you. We will do our part.
Just for the record, he is only a bishop, not an archbishop, and he is in fact an auxiliary bishop, in a place called Astana, Kazakhstan? Heard of it? Most people haven’t. And that’s probably where he’ll always be, because his brilliance and faithfulness make him a target.
Thank you for the correction. I thought I had read it otherwise. I will correct it. And I knew he was from Kazakhstan. You are right, under this pontificate he will go nowhere, and if a downgrade is possible, he will probably receive it.
Maybe this new ruling that PF has implemented for bishops etc.will be used against our faithful bishops in some way. Watch this space.
Bishop Schneider is a devoted servant of Christ & being so has no interest in titles or self enhancement. He upholds Tradition which has been completely lacking in CC leadership since Vatican II. It won’t matter if he is silenced as a Bishop – he can never be silenced as an individual and will continue in his apostolate in speaking the Truth, for which he was ordained. Would that other prelates would do the same but unfortunately, like many of the First Apostles, they run away to protect their own positions in the CC. They are nothing more than politicians!
Fr Douglas Al-Bazi’s torturers asked him why he wasn’t afraid of death. He told them: ‘For me, death is the beginning. But for you it is the end’
It may also prove to be the end of the St. Gallen Group and this Pontificate. The world is watching and Bishop Schneider is a true apostle.
There is continuity of a sort when it comes to dispensing Holy Communion to Adulterers for the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church has already done that with Usury and nobody objected then or objects now.
We have become inured to the practical pastoral praxis having to do with those engaged in the mortal sin of usury who are permitted to receive Holy Communion.
We cannot forget the outspokenness of Cardinal Burke against AL as well! He said similar things like, AL is not dogmatic and only the Pope’s opinion. Both of these courageous bishops need our prayers for protection. And we should add some for Steve as well. Thank you for your bold and courageous posts!
God Bless the courage, discernment, and clarity of Bishop Schneider.
I wouldn’t say His Excellency stands alone. Bishop Fellay has been critical of AL since its release.
Why was this not said 50 years ago ? If “error” in V2 is tolerated, don’t complain of “error” in AL.