We have a bishop on record for the side of truth, and his name is no surprise. Rorate has the translation HERE.
As you read the bishop’s statement and begin to understand the dire consequences of AL, keep yourself grounded in the dogma of immutability HERE.
“For I am the Lord, and I change not” (Mal 3:6). God does not change, so His divine will does not change, so the things which go against His divine will do not change. Nor can doctrine, which is the codification of His will. How do we know God doesn’t change? Because time is a construct. Time was created by God, just like all the material dimensions were created by God. God exists outside of time. Change cannot occur without the element of linear time.
God is unchanging, and so His laws are unchanging. Period, full stop.
Now, AL does not merely (!) propose changes in discipline which imply (require) changes to doctrine. AL also refuses to establish a new universal discipline. Instead, it delegates the decisions on God’s absolute moral law to the diocesan level, or even to every single confessional in the world. Can this possibly be right? Did the anglicans get it right? Did every sola scriptura proddy get it right? Is this the breakthrough miracle of the Catholic Church finally getting it right under the leadership of Pope Saint Francis the Merciful?
Um, go back and read about the immutability thing again.
The jewel in the Bishop’s response comes after he lays out many abuses in the document paragraph by paragraph, as has been done by numerous blogs, articles, etc. But then he goes to the heart of the matter for true believers – those of us who understand that the Catholic faith is the central reality of the universe. Meaning, if we really, truly believe what we say we believe, as in, we believe that what we believe is REALITY, which in turn means it has nothing to do with belief, but it only has to do with REALITY, well then black is black and white is white. No matter what AL claims to change, it simply has not the power to change it. Exposing Chapter Eight to the light of reality results in a carpet bombing of truth.
If we accept such an interpretation of the wording and spirit of AL, we must, if we want to be intellectually honest and respect the law of non-contradiction, also accept the following logical conclusions:
– The sixth Divine Commandment, which prohibits any sexual act that does not take place within a valid marriage, would no longer be universally valid, but would admit exceptions. In the present case, this would mean that the divorced could practice the conjugal act and even be encouraged to do so to help them maintain “mutual fidelity”, cf. AL, 298. There could therefore be “fidelity” in a lifestyle that directly contradicts the express will of God. However, to encourage and legitimize acts that are and will always be, as such, contrary to the will of God, would mean to contradict Divine Revelation.
– The words of Christ himself: “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mt 19 :6) would no longer apply always and to all spouses, without exception.
– It would be possible, in a special case, to receive the sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion while intending to continue one’s direct violations of God’s commandments: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Ex 20, 14) and “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mt 19, 6; Gen 2, 24).
– The observance of these commandments and of the word of God would, in such a case, be a matter of theory rather than of practice, and would, therefore, lead the divorced and remarried into “deceiving themselves” (James 1: 22). It would, therefore, be possible to believe perfectly in the divine nature of the six Commandment and in the indissolubility of marriage without however acting accordingly.
– The divine word of Christ : “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if a wife divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery” (Mark 10, 12) would no longer be universally valid, but would be subject to exceptions.
– A permanent, deliberate and free violation of God’s sixth Commandment and of the sacredness and indissolubility of true and valid marriage (in the case of divorced and remarried couples) would no longer be always a grave sin, that is to say, a direct opposition to the will of God.
– There could be cases of serious, permanent deliberate and free violation of one of the other commandments of God (e.g. in the case of a lifestyle of financial corruption) in which the person concerned could be granted access to the sacraments due to mitigating circumstances, without such access being made contingent upon a sincere resolution henceforth to abstain from such acts of sin and scandal.
– The permanent and infallible teaching of the Church would no longer be universally valid, particularly the teaching confirmed by Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, n. 84 and by Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis, 29, according to which the precondition for admission to the sacraments of the divorced and remarried is perfect continence.
– The observance of the sixth commandment of God and of the indissolubility of marriage would become an ideal that is not attainable by all, but only by a kind of elite.
– The uncompromising words of Christ commanding men to observe the commandments of God always and in all circumstances, and even to take upon themselves considerable suffering in order to do so, in other words, to accept the Cross, would no longer be valid as absolute truth: “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be cast into hell“(Mt 5, 30).
People who believe Heaven is full and Hell is empty have no patience for this sort of thing. They think justice is trumped by mercy, and they are trying to shove that mercy where truth won’t let it go. Their quest to be popular amongst men puts them at odds with the gospel. They imperil themselves and others with these lies. Millions of souls are at risk. It’s a pretty big deal.
+Schneider goes on at some length to point out many other problems, and some proposed solutions. He pleads for clarity, with an abundance of charity. His comments are extensively annotated, as we’ve come to expect from him. He quotes from FC and VS with accuracy and proper context, in contrast to the way AL uses these previous documents in devious ways. He also points out the totally improper reference to GS, explained HERE.
The good bishop has been so complete in his demolition, all that’s needed now is for every cardinal who is actually Catholic to sign on to this. Use the text as it is. Change nothing. STEP INTO THE BREACH AND SIGN IT.