Bp. Schneider: Out of Fear, Some Prelates Did Not Sign Kazakh Marriage Statement

These days, Bishop Schneider is again very active. Next to issuing, together with some other prelates from Kazakhstan, a statement on the relevance of Humanae Vitae, he gave Onepeterfive an interview; then he gave an important talk at the Rome Life Forum. Additionally, a new interview has just been published in the Homiletic & Pastoral Review which he had given already in February of 2018.

Bishop Schneider responds in this new interview to the then-new initiative of the German bishops with regard to Holy Communion for some Protestant spouses of Catholics. He also comments on the ongoing loss of reverence toward the Holy Eucharist and calls certain changes of the prayers in the liturgy to be an “ideological plan.” Additionally, he describes how there were more prelates who would have liked to sign his and his fellow Kazakh bishops’ statement re-affirming the Church’s teaching on marriage, but that they were too afraid of doing so. Last, but not least, he renews his call for a working group to establish a new syllabus of errors, singling out all those errors that have crept into the Catholic Church’s teaching since the Second Vatican Council.

Let us now consider these points more in detail. I shall let Bishop Schneider speak for himself, but as we go through the quotes, I shall highlight some of his words.

When asked by the interviewer about the fact that certain verses that warn Catholics that they must receive the Holy Eucharist worthily (according to St. Paul) have been removed from the Novus Ordo Mass, the bishop responds:

It is obvious that the omission of these verses had a policy, and an aim—because otherwise they would not have been omitted. How can you cut out these verses that the Church has always been proclaiming since St. Paul? So, behind this there had to be evidently an ideological plan.

Since the reform of the liturgy, and also of Church life since the Council, there has been a process of Protestantization of the Eucharist. It means that the Eucharist is becoming more and more—in understanding and in practice—a mere symbol, of fraternity, of hospitality, and so a kind of sociological means of: “Be kind to your people.” It’s ever more being reduced to a meal where you can exclude no one. According to this logic, it is okay [to include everyone, even public adulterers], so you cannot quote such a quotation [of those verses of St. Paul against unworthily receiving the Eucharist].

But such an attitude is contrary to the doctrine of Our Lord, and to the entire and constant tradition of the Church. It’s not Catholic any more.

And now we are witnessing this process that started after the Council, not in the Council I would say, not in the texts of the Council so much, but after. There has been a growth of theological relativism, not only concerning the Eucharist, but a general relativization of all Catholic doctrine.

Now we see the logical consequence of that attitude in the demand that public adulterers be admitted to Holy Communion. And now the German bishops have asked for Protestants to be admitted to Holy Communion just last week.

Always, of course, at first, they say “only in some exceptional occasions.” And then the exceptions become the rule. They use this expression “in exceptional occasions,” as a tactic to introduce and to promote a new practice that will eventually become a new doctrine. This progression from exception to universal practice ultimately will lead to a total relativization, and a banalization, of the Eucharist.

This Protestantization of the Eucharist is an attack on the Church, because the Eucharist is the heart of the Church. We must pray, and do all things possible, to restore the Church, from its heart. [emphasis added]

It seems that Bishop Schneider sums up here the whole development of the last decades, namely, a profanization of the Most Holy Eucharist, of the Blessed Sacrament, of the Real Presence of Our Lord, as can be seen in so many modern Masses today. (The German bishops actually just had another of these scandalous Masses, during the recent Katholikentag in Münster, with a man dancing in front of the altar and in the presence of cardinals and bishops. We shall report on that event later.)

Some of our readers, however, might wonder whether Bishop Schneider, in these remarks, tries to steer away from any direct criticism of the Second Vatican Council itself. It might be good to remember here another statement he made, in February of 2017, and in which he said that some aspects of the Second Vatican Council itself might very well need to be corrected in the future.

Let us return to the new 18 May interview as published by the Homiletic & Pastoral Review.

Bishop Schneider speaks here about the statement which was issued by him and some of his Kazakh fellow bishops and which re-stated the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage. In his remarks, he makes it clear that there would have been more than the ten signatories that came subsequently together, but that fear forestalled that further development. Bishop Schneider also says that this Kazakh statement was an “indirect correction” of the pope. He says:

Three of us released the statement on the indissolubility of marriage on December 31, 2017, the Feast of the Holy Family, in the Ordinary Form.

It is a deceit what is being said that the doctrine remains, but the practice can change. No! We have to say this: “The practice cannot be changed.”

We have to publicly state the truth.

We can only formulate and state the immutable teaching of the Church, and the immutable practice. We cannot judge the Pope; the Pope cannot be judged by anyone. A bishop or a general council cannot judge the Pope. But a pope can be judged by a following pope, and a following council ….

We can only admonish the Pope always with respect. To state the truth is a kind of indirect correction of the Pope, and indirect admonition.

Now we have ten bishops in the whole Church who publicly gave their name and signed. I have talked with other bishops and cardinals who said, “I agree with your text, it is completely good, but I cannot sign. I am afraid of persecution.” So, there are a number of bishops and cardinals who are really intimidated. Even so, they agree with our statement, and with the Dubia released by the four Cardinals.

In the cause of truth, it is not a case of numbers, but the truth itself will triumph. In the 4th century, there were only a couple of non-Arian bishops, you could count them on your fingers, and even so, they were supported by the faithful. St. Athanasius said to the faithful Catholics, “The Arians (the public bishops in those times), they have the churches, the buildings, but we have the faith.” Today, again it is true, they have the administrative power, but we have the faith. And this faith is more powerful; this is what will last. [emphasis added]

At the end of this review of his longer interview – which we invite our readers to read in full here – it might be worth mentioning that Bishop Schneider calls upon faithful Catholics to establish a working group in order to prepare for a future papal syllabus of errors, of those errors that have crept into the Church for quite some time now:

We urgently need a new syllabus to clarify most precisely what is authentic. It should be done in the future by a pope or a council. A syllabus is just a list, an enumeration. The tremendous confusion about what is authentic teaching is unique in the history of the Church, and it is essential that it be done.

No sane person will be scandalized when a public minister of health publishes a list of dangers to one’s health. No one should be scandalized by the publication of a precise list of dangers to one’s soul.

After I gave that talk [proposing that such a new Syllabus of Errors be written], I got letters from priests, and the faithful, asking me to make a syllabus. I said to them why don’t you start to make a syllabus? Start a group, study, and propose a list to prepare for a future papal syllabus. Why not? [emphasis added]

This proposal is, in our view, an important aspect of our current mission in the Church, namely: to sort out which of the teachings of the last decades have been too much influenced by deviant modern ways of thinking and therefore need to be let go. Steve Skojec and I, in our ongoing reporting, often discuss such matters – such as some aspects of the Church’s recent teachings on marriage, on ecumenism, and other topics – that appear to weaken the Catholic faith, her culture, her doctrinal and cultural immune system and the life of the faith. We shall thus make our own small attempts in the future at contributing to that discussion about a possible syllabus of errors. And we shall send those attempts then also to Bishop Schneider himself.

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