Sunday, November 03, 2013

Are we witnessing the emergence of the Beast's False Prophet?

Writing for the Associated Press, Rachel Zoll reports that, "The Vatican is taking the unusual step of conducting a worldwide survey on how parishes deal with sensitive issues such as birth control, divorce and gay marriage, seeking input ahead of a major meeting on the family that Pope Francis plans next year.

The poll was sent in mid-October to every national conference of bishops with a request from the Vatican coordinator, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, to "share it immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received."

The survey reflects the pope's pledges to move away from what he called a "Vatican-centric" approach toward one where local church leaders are more involved in decision-making.

Among the questions are whether gay marriage is recognized in their country and how priests minister to same-sex couples, including how churches can respond when gays seek a religious education or Holy Communion for their children. The poll also asks "how is God's mercy proclaimed" to separated, divorced and remarried couples. Additional information is sought on the pastoral care of men and women who live together outside of marriage. The survey also asks parishes whether they believe married men and women tend to follow church teaching barring the use of artificial contraception.

The National Catholic Reporter, an independent news organization, was first to report Thursday that the survey will be conducted, and it posted a copy online.

Helen Osman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, confirmed plans for the poll to The Associated Press."

Ten years ago, I was part of a movement (Faithful Voice) which was organized to expose the philosophical underpinnings of VOTF ("Voice of the Faithful"), a dissent group which was involved in a desperate attempt to convince the faithful that the structure of the Church must change and become more democratic.

Now we have a Pope who seems to be toying with the idea of a "democratic" Church envisaged by members of the flagging dissent group as well as dissidents everywhere.

While it is true that some practices in the Church are similar to those of a representative democracy, for example, Bishops who are united with the Pope share authority with him, and their leadership is collegial (LG, No. 22), and the lay faithful have a right to make their needs and desires known while appropriately expressing their opinions (LG, No. 37), still, authority in the Church has a different foundation from authority in a representative democracy. Not to mention a different function. Leaders in a representative democracy govern in the name of the people. But within the Church, pastors govern in the name of the Lord Jesus. By appointment, mission and commission, Jesus has provided for the continuation of His royal office. The hierarchy of jurisdiction, therefore, is a divine institution (LG, No. 18). This hierarchy constitutes the external framework of that organism in which Jesus Himself lives and of which He is both the juridic and mystic Head, namely, His Mystical Body the Church.

Members of the primitive Church understood this as do faithful Catholics today. They knew that the Apostles had received from Jesus their power to teach, rule and sanctify. They understood that even Jesus’ teaching is not His own and that the Spirit does not speak on his own (Jn 7:16; 16:13). In short, they understood that everything comes from the Father (Jas 1:17-18).

Morality is not the fruit of democratic consensus.  A thing is not good or bad or true or false based on public opinion polls.  Morality is not (and cannot ever be) the result of the sum of individual opinions.  Dignitatis Humanae, No. 2 of the Second Vatican Council teaches us that, "It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth.."

But some are not interested in this moral obligation to seek the truth, and especially religious truth, and to adhere to it once it is known. Such people do not want to hear. They refuse to open their eyes. They refuse to be converted. To such people Our Lord issues a stern rebuke: "He who is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear is that you are not of God." (John 8:47).

For such people, the first demand of conscience, which is that the truth be honestly sought, is not essential. For they have a different concept of conscience. One which Pope Benedict XVI has rejected. Our Holy Father explains that liberalism's idea of conscience, "...does not mean man's openness to the ground of his being, the power of perception for what is highest and most essential. Rather, it appears as subjectivity's protective shell, into which man can escape and there hide from reality." Such a notion of conscience, ".does not open the way to the redemptive road to truth - which either does not exist or, if it does, is too demanding. It is the faculty that dispenses with truth. It thereby becomes the justification for subjectivity, which would not like to have itself called into question. Similarly, it becomes the justification for social conformity...The obligation to seek the truth terminates, as do any doubts about the general inclination of society and what it has become accustomed to. Being convinced of oneself, as well as conforming to others, is sufficient. Man is reduced to his superficial conviction.." (Keynote Address of the Tenth Bishops' Workshop of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, on "Catholic Conscience: Foundation and Formation," February 1991).

The liberal notion of conscience becomes the justification for subjectivity and becomes the faculty that dispenses with truth.

And the truth must be dispensed with so that the Man of Sin will be followed by the masses.  Are we witnessing the emergence of the false prophet who will lead untold millions to prostrate themselves to the Son of Perdition?


Michael Cole said...


Siobhan said...

This is very disturbing. Pray, Pray, Pray - especially for Priests.

Brent C. said...

The Louisville Courier-Journal, in both today's issue and an article earlier in the week on Archbishop Kurtz, are postively gleeful on what they see as the Church's new accomodationist "Gay" stance. What baleful and frightening times these are. Terrifying really.

Brian said...

From Audio Sancto: Very good homily:

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