The destruction of the Church continues unabated. It all started in 2013 with the “election” of the man who currently sits on the chair of Peter. Then there were the 2 “synods” in 2014 and 2015. In Germany at this time the bishops are continuing this destruction. Sadly to say, we in Australia, are in the middle of a “Plenary Council”. See the 2 articles (beneath the Book of Truth excerpt.
Excerpt from the Book of Truth
There are those amongst you who promote yourselves as being teachers of My Word, who spread untruths about the Word of God, though you hide behind carefully chosen words. I know why you do this and it is not to help Me to salvage souls. Instead, you desire to draw souls away from Me, for you are against Me.
To the traitors of My Church, including the laity, I have this to say. Look after your own garden for it is neglected and the soil is infertile. Weeds have taken root and healthy plants will never grow unless you dig out the rot and replace the soil with a new and fertilized one. Only when you renovate your garden, and start afresh, can your garden yield life again. Otherwise there will be no life and all things in it will die. You will destroy not only your own life but those close to you for My adversary has no loyalty, even to those he seizes as slaves to carry out his vengeance against Me. …”
The following article was published by FLI ( Family Life Institute) :“The Plenary Council: A Catholic Identity Crisis
The Second Assembly of Australia’s Plenary Council is underway this week, and while the organisers have designated this session as part of the “celebration phase”, it is difficult to find anything to celebrate. The futile process, meant to radically transform the Church, has dragged on for more than four years, and is pleasing neither traditional nor liberal Catholics…
Written by Kathy Clubb
The Second Assembly of Australia’s Plenary Council is underway this week, and while the organisers have designated this session as part of the “celebration phase”, it is difficult to find anything to celebrate. The futile process, meant to radically transform the Church, has dragged on for more than four years, and is pleasing neither traditional nor liberal Catholics.
Sunday’s Opening Mass demonstrated the result of surrendering our Catholic identity to the chic spiritual currents of the day. The Mass showcased some of the liturgical novelties with which we are apparently to become familiar: an acknowledgment of the traditional occupants of the land, complete with didgeridoo and requisite smoking ceremony, all topped off with a fashionably-inclusive invocation of both male and female spirits.
Although a Plenary spokesman stated that the distinction between Aboriginal rituals and Catholic liturgy is always very clear, it is unlikely that most Catholics would notice any distinction. Amongst those who do acknowledge that the pagan rituals precede the Mass, instead of being melded into it, many would rightly realise that by their precedence, and by their very presence in a Catholic Church, Indigenous rituals are elevated to the same level as Catholic ones. This is especially true when an Aboriginal woman “asks permission” of the ancestral spirits before the liturgy can go ahead, as happened before this Mass.
In contrast with Sunday’s sorry display of syncretism, Monday’s closing Mass was offered in the Byzantine Rite and surprisingly, there were no Indigenous adornments to be found. It seems that only Roman Rite Catholics are to be subjected to pagan embellishments arbitrarily selected from Aboriginal spirituality.
While it isn’t known what the bishops in attendance thought of the innovations preceding the Opening Mass, it is to be hoped that at least some of them were perturbed by the scene. However, experience has shown that many of them already employ indigenous rituals in their Masses, occasionally donning Aboriginal-themed vestments and face-paint, so it may not be realistic to expect any criticism from that quarter. The crosses handed to participants of the Assembly support the latter idea since they were decorated with Aboriginal-style patterns while the figure of Christ is conspicuously absent. A resolution has already been passed to ensure every parish honours the “Traditional Custodians” in some way and Bishop Shane McKinley has reported that a new penitential rite is to be devised, one based on aboriginal spirituality.
It will be evident to anyone who has watched the brief “Highlights” videos produced by the Plenary Assembly to see that the Church in Australia is experiencing an identity crisis. Viewers would be hard pressed to find anything noticeably Catholic among its images, although the secular world might be impressed. Aboriginal rituals and music, dialogue – lots of dialogue, excited statements about ‘new beginnings’, ‘dreams’, ‘transformations’ and ‘courageous’ self-reflection abound, with a few references to Christ thrown in to appease the less-radical. If this is anything to go by, then our unique Catholic identity is sorely missing from proceedings.
Archbishop Julian Porteous of Hobart, wrote about this loss of identity some months ago, after reading the working document released prior to the Second Assembly. He has been the most outspoken of the bishops in expressing his concerns with the overall Plenary process, and his strident criticism does something to compensate for the silence of his confreres.
In his article, Archbishop Porteous expressed concern for the Australian Catholic Church, stating that he believes the Church “has lost confidence in its identity and mission.” He wrote that the Plenary document failed to convey the Church’s primary mission, that of offering hope and unadulterated truth to the world. He reiterated the disquiet felt by many Catholics on seeing the Church reduced to a secular corporation, using language such as a “supportive and inclusive community” yet failing to express that great “mystery of the Church” which has inspired countless saints and martyrs.
Archbishop Porteous highlighted the vague terms often employed in the document along with a lack of concrete solutions to what are glaringly self-evident problems. He also correctly identified multiple instances where settled teaching is being directly challenged, such as by the request for wider use of the Third Rite of Reconciliation and by the insistent demand for women’s ordination. Archbishop Porteous wrote:
That decline of which he wrote is quite evident in the key points selected for debate at the Second Assembly: Healing; Repentance; Mission; Gender Equality; Eucharist; Formation; Governance and Environmentalism. Most of those topics would not be out of place in a secular organisation’s cultural sensitivity programme. Even the seemingly orthodox suggestion of studying the Sacramental life of the Church loses its significance in the context of calls for lay-preachers, female deacons and the eventual ordination of women.
Archbishop Porteous pointed to the Church’s sole task: that of proclaiming “that Jesus Christ is the way to salvation,” and chided the Plenary Council for failing in its fundamental obligation. As he observed, instead of “listening to what the spirit is saying,” the Plenary members have instead “listened to the spirit of the age.”
Fortunately, it remains within the grasp of ordinary Catholics to restore or shore up Catholic identity within their homes and families. Our displays of icons and crucifixes, our commitment to the Rosary and other devotions, our public witness at prayer vigils and processions and our education of our children, whether full-time or as a supplement, will all ensure that our unique Catholic identity is never lost. The institutional Church – where it diverges from the Church founded by Christ – cannot survive without Her Head. With Christ at the Head of our homes, we can ride out this temporary identity crisis, rejecting the novelties of the current age and “holding fast to that which is good.”
We must applaud the efforts of those good shepherds, such as Archbishop Porteous and Bishops Schneider and Puthur, who try to put the brakes on the uncritical acceptance of new processes, models and approaches. Far from renewing or regenerating the Church, those novelties will ensure She is a prisoner to the spirit of the age, or worse, a victim of the mindset that only indigenous spirituality contains the authenticity which all men crave.”
Read the complete article here:
The Catholic Weekly, also published an article on the Plenary Council.Abp. Anthony Fisher,mentions the good points but disguises what he really wants to say about the bad things with phrases that soften the impact – e.g. “hard issues”. Abp. Julian Porteous, in the previous article, said it like it is. Both Atchbishops alluded to the spirit of the age”. Abp. Fisher acknowledged that the bishops of the Council were trying to conform their ideas to those of the ‘synodality movement which has called the pastors of the Church to listen to their people and discern alongside them rather than above them.’
A week of positives and negatives for the Plenary: Archbishop Anthony Fisher
As the four year process of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia comes to an end, there have been both positives and negatives, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP of Sydney said in an interview on its final day.He said he was cautiously optimistic about its achievements.“There’s been a direct engagement with some of the really ‘hard’ issues, like Indigenous issues, child sexual abuse and the place of women in the Church,” he told The Catholic Weekly newspaper. “Those discussions were sometimes very emotional and potentially very divisive. Yet in the end there was a high level of agreement on most of them.
A challenging process
“The assembly has offered some good thoughts on liturgy, marriage catechumenate, youth ministry, formation programs for lay leaders including those in rural and remote areas, and stewardship of the earth.”Other positives included a much greater appreciation of the place of the Eastern Catholic churches in Australia than has been seen in Church gatherings before now. It was always going to be difficult to hear, distill and then do justice to contributions from near a quarter of a million people down to two one-week assemblies and the processes in-between. And underrepresentation of ‘ordinary’ priests and indeed ordinary Catholics , including overseas-born ones, was also potentially distorting according to Archbishop Fisher.
“Yet in the end, by God’s grace, the centre held.” Here the Archbishop was adverting to divisions that threatened to splinter the assembly, such as the protest by 60 or so members on Wednesday 6 July over failed motions on women and the Church.
“So much attention has been given to ‘governance’ and the role of women in church governance and ministry,” he said. “But where are lay men in all of this, or mothers, or religious women and men, or Catholics whose principal vocation is in the world? All these are almost completely absent from the resolutions. There’s very little that speaks to the crisis of vocations to marriage and parenting, and to priestly and religious life.
“We have a whole chapter on the importance of the liturgy especially the Eucharist and Penance. Yet there are no positive proposals about how we will get the priests we need to celebrate those sacraments. Meanwhile fewer and fewer people availing themselves of those sacraments because of the decline of faith, affiliation and practice in Australia. If we don’t address this head-on with a major focus on evangelisation, we could end up with fine governance structures and imaginative liturgies but an empty church.”
“The assembly was structured in a way that created pressure upon the ‘determinative voters’—mostly bishops—to vote along the same lines as the other members (the ‘consultative voters’) in order to show they’d listened to the people. And there were other pressures from some of the members who were quite ideological and outspoken,” he said.
“I think we are clearly in a very different world to that of the previous Plenary Councils, where the bishops were seen as undisputedly the leaders of the Church and it was their task as pastors to decide the pastoral direction of the Church. This Plenary was very much set up so the bishops would listen and enact what others thought were the pastoral priorities.”
He said this was partly influenced by the spirit of the age and partly by developments in Church thinking.
“There’s a very different attitude to authority, leadership and hierarchy today – partly due to the spirit of the age which reduces truth to popular opinion, and partly due to the synodality movement which has called the pastors of the Church to listen to their people and discern alongside them rather than above them. So I would say some of this has come from the heart of the Church and some of it is coming from other places that are not so healthy.”
The Plenary concluded with a closing Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on 9 July with the finalisation of its decrees set for August 2022.
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