How the Catholic Right enables the German Synodal Way

At LifeSiteNews, there is an “Appeal” against the German Synodal Way and against the recent “blessing of lovers” in Germany. The latter was an event throughout Germany in which various Catholic clergy gave blessings to couples, including (and it seems primarily) unmarried sexually-active couples, both heterosexual and homosexual couples. This event directly contradicts the recent document from the CDF, approved by the Pope, prohibiting blessing of any unmarried lovers, whether a man and woman, or two persons of the same sex.

The “Appeal against the effort to destroy marriage by the German synodal path” is of course right to speak out against this act of rebellion against the authority of the Holy See of Peter, as well as right to defend the Catholic understanding of marriage. However, this is also a case of blatant hypocrisy on the part of LSN and Catholics on the far right.

Many Catholic leaders on the right, conservative or traditionalist Catholics, have themselves rebelled against the authority of Pope Francis. They have rejected every teaching or decision on discipline of his that contradicts their own understanding. They have not retained communion with the Pope, but have committed heresy and schism by rejecting the dogma of Vatican I (and the ordinary universal magisterium) on the charism of truth and of never failing faith, and that the Apostolic See remains always unblemished by [grave] error, and by refusing submission to Pope Francis. The Catholic right has accused the current Pope, past Popes, and Vatican II of teaching heresy, and has accused Francis of apostasy and idolatry. These accusations against Francis are acts of schism. This rejection of an Ecumenical Council is an act of schism. And yet now they complain when German Catholics on the left behave much the same way. They, who are in a state of schism — most notably Athanasius Schneider a signatory of the Appeal — are asking the “Holy Father” to intervene against the German Catholics, accusing the latter of schism. But the far right prepared the way for the German schism by making opposition to the Holy Father seem acceptable to many Catholics. The far right proposed that the Pope can be opposed and resisted whenever the faithful judge that he has erred on doctrine or discipline — contrary to the perennial teaching of the Church. Having normalized rebellion against the Pope, they now complain against rebellion on the left. When did Jesus give permission to conservatives to reject or correct the Rock on which the Church is founded? Never. And nothing in Tradition or Scripture privileges conservatives over liberals in the Church.

The signatories of the Appeal are two retired Bishops and the schismatic Bishop Schneider. The rest of the signatories are divided into categories, including lawyers, journalists and editors, health professionals, teachers and professionals, etc. This is the same technique used by the far right in other documents, ones that oppose the Roman Pontiff, as if to say that so many persons who hold professional or esteemed positions should be able to oppose the Pope as a group. This is, instead, a case of the many grains of sand crying out against the one Rock. A person does not have the right to correct, reject, accuse, or instruct the Roman Pontiff based on a secular or even religious position. It is not the right or role of such an ad hoc group of assorted persons to direct or correct the Pope.

It is hypocritical for the Appeal to ask the Pope to take action against the German schismatics when those asking are themselves schismatics. And the sins of those on the far right in this regard are also very grave, requiring action against them that would be just as severe as against the German schismatics.

It is hypocritical for the Appeal to cite obedience to the Magisterium of the Rock on which the Church is founded, when they reject this obedience many times over, since Francis was elected. It is hypocritical for them to cite the Catechism, when they do not accept the CCC’s teaching if it contradicts their own understanding in the least. It is hypocritical for the Appeal and similar past documents promoted by LSN and the far right to use a long list of signatories to bolster their position, while noting that the German error has the support of 2500 clergy and lay leaders. It is hypocritical for the Appeal to cite the document of the CDF, while the signatories and LSN frequently reject other decisions and documents of the Holy See (such as the restrictions on Mass; decisions on China; as well as documents of the Pope himself).

The Appeal cites Canon Law on schism, while Bishop Schneider himself is in a state of public formal schism for refusing submission to the authority of the Pope by opposing him at every turn, by judging every decision of the Pope and rejecting whatever is contrary to Schneider’s own mind, and by encouraging rebellion against Pope Francis and against Vatican II.

The Appeal asks for “canonical sanctions against the promoters of this tremendous deviation from both doctrine and communion with the Keys of Peter.” Yet those who appeal, along with LSN and likeminded persons on the Catholic right, themselves deserve similar sanctions for their opposition to the Roman Pontiff and for their accusations against him of heresy, apostasy, and idolatry. The words of those on the right are a “tremendous deviation” from communion with the Roman Pontiff, not only for rejecting Francis, but for accusing many past Popes of grave failures of faith and for rejecting the authority and teachings of Vatican II.


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