Regular readers are no doubt aware of the fondness I have for Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan. While it is true that other bishops and cardinals are even now defending Our Lord’s truth, Bishop Schneider is, like his namesake saint, a uniquely strong voice crying out among the bishops of the world addressing clearly, courageously, and unequivocally the crisis in the Church. While he has become well-known for his critiques of the Synod and those bringing an anti-Catholic agenda to it, he had already established a reputation as a defender of the Most Holy Eucharist and one of the Church’s bright lights on liturgy and doctrinal clarity.
Near the end of last month, I wrote to Bishop Schneider to ask for his counsel. I was feeling the burden of what we do here at 1P5, and the discouragement I was hearing from people in private correspondence, as well as my own frustration. I said:
I am absolutely astonished at what his happening in the open in the Church right now. Bishops who openly contradict Catholic teaching. Scandals like an openly homosexual celebrity doing a reading at the Papal Mass. The list of papal appointees to the Synod is terrifying. So much confusion and deception.
Many are looking to me and to the work we do for encouragement. I have told them to remember Christ asleep in the boat during the storm. Where shall we look for support, for leadership, when so few bishops seem interested in standing for the teachings of Our Lord?
We are praying for you. Please also pray for us. I fear that many are losing their faith that the Church is truly indefectible, and is the only True Faith and path to eternal salvation.
Dear Mr. Steve Skojec, thank you for your greetings. In deed the crisis of the faith inside the Church is reaching its heights. This is a special time, which the inscrutable wisdom of God permits to purify and to strengthen our faith. God is using in this time the little one in the Church, the pure faith mostly of the lay faithful to keep the faith intact and to hand it over to the next generations. It is an honour that we can be witnesses and defenders of our dear Catholic faith not only against the enemies outside but also in the face of the traitors inside the Church, even when these traitors are bishops or cardinals. The Church is always in the hand of our Lord, even in our dark days. I think that God permits that the evil inside the Church must grow and reveal itself in all its wickedness and then God will intervene and make shine the truth and the beauty if the faith, of the liturgy and of the moral life anew. As saint Paul said: when there increased the evil, the grace increased still more. Be confident and be proud and joyful because of our Catholic faith. God bless you. Yours in Christ + Athanasius Schneider
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director 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 seven children.