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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Archbishop Vigneron: A Case Study of Vatican II Featured

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Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit

However, on August 7th he said the following in an E-Mail to the Detroit Free Press:

“When Catholics have a question about the reception of Holy Communion and their relationship with a family member or loved one with a same-sex attraction, that is a situation in which a person should see his or her pastor. It involves both the teaching of the Church, which Catholics hold as indispensable in guiding their relationship with Christ, and the obligation we have to love and support our family members.

The Church and her pastors are there to help harmonize these priorities — of being faithful to and open about the truth, and of being loving and compassionate to fellow Catholics in their personal and family lives. Given the variety of circumstances which go into a person’s particular situation, the best way forward for one person may not be best for another.

In every situation the best solution is the one that assists Catholics to express their love for a family member in accordance with the conviction they solemnly affirm in receiving Holy Communion, that is, their commitment to think and act in communion with Christ and his Church. Whenever it comes to Communion, the objective is never to steer a person away. Rather it is to steer them toward Communion with Jesus and toward the Good News about God’s love and God’s will for humanity. That is the work of the Church.”

These two statements represent in a microcosm what is wrong with Vatican II. Archbishop Vigneron in 2013, issued a clearly worded statement prohibiting those who do not accept Church teaching from receiving Holy Communion. Clear, direct, to the point. Just like Catholic teaching before Vatican II.

Then, just last Friday, the Archbishop writes a “pastoral” statement in an E-Mail trying to clarify his 2013 statement. Just like Vatican II, the Archbishop’s 2015 statement makes ambiguous what was once clear and ends up, in practice, gutting his 2013 statement of any significance or real meaning.

The two statements of the Archbishop are the precise types of statements Catholics are asked to reconcile when they read Vatican II. Neo-Catholic apologists have spent decades trying to use the “hermeneutic of continuity” to twist the interpretation of the later texts to be in accordance with the previous texts. In the meantime, while the Neo-Catholics are busy with this technical task, the horse has already been let out of the barn.

In the current case most of the Catholic laity, not lacking in common sense, immediately read between the lines, see the Archbishop’s second statement as the backpedaling that it truly is, and conclude the Archbishop has changed his stance. They will then start putting the Archbishop’s second statement into practice, in full contradiction to his 2013 statement, and the Archbishop will predictably do nothing and allow it to happen. Just like the post-conciliar popes did nothing of consequence to stop the implementation of Vatican II in contradiction to what came before.

Already, dissidents and the media are jumping to describe the Archbishop’s recent statement as a change of position. As the article states:

“This is lovely. That’s an invitation,” said Linda Karle-Nelson of Farmington Hills, who with her husband, Tom Nelson, picketed Vigneron’s office after his 2013 remarks and leads a support group called Fortunate Families for Catholics with gay family members.

She said she interpreted Vigneron’s most recent comments to reflect church-going Catholics such as she and her husband, parents to gay sons, who “if your conscience tells you that you are in line with Christ, that you’re thinking like Christ, then you are certainly welcome at the Communion table.”

“He’s really taken a big step forward,” Tom Nelson said. “It’s a very welcoming and loving response. It’s a Jesus response.”

The Nelsons’ interpretation of the Archbishop’s statement is analogous to the liberals’ interpretation of Vatican II. They have interpreted the statement to say that those who commit homosexual acts and are unrepentant can receive Holy Communion. And just as the liberals remained in “full communion” after Vatican II, so will the Nelsons no doubt remain in “full communion” with the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The article then goes on to quote the Rev. Paul Check, “a Connecticut priest who directs the Courage ministry.”

Check said many Catholics disagree with moral and social issues concerning family members, but don’t have to abstain from attending weddings for same-sex couples. Check said it’s natural for family members to want to participate in “an occasion of joy” for relatives, even if as faithful Catholics they may disagree.

“I’m here because you’re my son or my daughter, but not because I think this union is going to be good for you,” is how Check described a scenario.

Fr. Check is analogous to the “conservatives” after Vatican II. Fr. Check runs a ministry that seeks to call those with same-sex attraction to chaste lives and he supports Church teaching on homosexuality. Nevertheless, he tries to square the circle of the Archbishop’s two statements by calling a “wedding” for a same-sex couple an “occasion of joy” even if relatives may “disagree” with it. He then comes up with the typical Neo-Catholic mind-warping contradiction of saying that presence at your son or daughter’s same-sex “wedding” would not send the message that you approved or that the “union” is going to be good for them. Seriously? Fr. Check’s statement is the perfect example of Neo-Catholic sophistry that results in trying to reconcile two irreconcilable ideas. (NOTE: It has come to my attention that Fr. Check may have been misquoted and/or taken out of context in the Detroit Free Press Article. We hope this is true and will eagerly post any clarification from Fr. Check regarding the matter.)  

For how can a Catholic parent truly believe, as the Church teaches, that homosexual acts are mortal sins worthy of damnation, and then attend a ceremony where their child commits themselves to a life of homosexual acts? For any Catholic parent to “naturally” want to “participate” in this mockery of marriage involving their own child endangering his or her soul shows that said parents have sadly lost any comprehension of Catholic morality, the natural law, and quite frankly the Faith. But after 50 years of ambiguous Vatican II catechesis this shouldn’t come as a surprise. For the article even provides a handy new “Springtime” statistical update to prove the extent of the damage:

A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that 85% of Catholics ages 18-29 said society should accept homosexuality, while 13% did not.

Overall, some 57% of U.S. Catholics support same-sex marriage, according to 2014 Pew Research. But support wanes among older Catholics for same-sex marriage — only 38% of those 65 and older agree with it.

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This is where “pastoral language,” which we now know is simply code word for error disguised under the cloak of ambiguity, leads us. A large number of laity and priests use the ambiguity to destroy Traditional Church teaching, resulting in widespread chaos and evil in the Church. The Neo-Catholic apologists then play word games trying to interpret the ambiguity in accordance with Tradition to their ever dwindling audience. Meanwhile the Churchmen in authority are silent, leaving the condition to metastasize.

In addition, the Archbishop’s most recent statement seems to forebode the method of action that may be used to gut Catholic marriage further at the upcoming synod. Notice Archbishop Vigneron punts the issue of Communion reception to the local pastor advising that:

Whenever it comes to Communion, the objective is never to steer a person away. Rather it is to steer them toward Communion with Jesus and toward the Good News about God’s love and God’s will for humanity.

Can one not see a similar “solution” being worked out at the upcoming Synod on the Family? Leaving the issue of whether one can or cannot receive Communion in a divorced and remarried state to the local pastor, with a directive from the Pope similar to the one above? Thus the grave obligation to defend Catholic Truth on marriage is left to Pastor Bob at the local parish with a directive from the Chief Shepard to “never steer a person away” from Communion. It doesn’t take a prophet to know how this will play out in practice.

Of course if this happens at the Synod, the Neo-Catholic apologists will scream that “steering people towards Communion” necessarily involves having them repent and accept Church teaching. Meanwhile, in practice, the three priests who actually try to do this will be moved to a parish in the hinterlands on the first complaint, and Catholic marriage will all but be destroyed in the Church. No matter. For the Neo-Catholic apologist, by nature, is more concerned with the implausible linguistic squaring of texts than about the salvation of souls.

And as the number of U.S. Catholics who support same sex marriage moves from 57% to 85%, the Neo-Catholic – “Pastoral document” complex will no doubt march on until it finally ends up hosting apologetics cruises on a dinghy. There, the host will excitedly explain to the 5 remaining Catholics who believe in marriage how the latest letter from a Vatican consistory is “perfectly consistent” with Church teaching before presenting a two hour lecture on why the SSPX is in schism.


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Last modified on Tuesday, August 11, 2015