Top adviser to Pope John Paul II warns of a cabal undermining Church with backing from within

Monsignor Michel Schooyans, a top adviser to Pope St. John Paul II who was also close to Pope Benedict XVI, has issued a dire warning about the current trajectory in the Catholic Church. Professor Schooyans, a member of several Pontifical Academies and Councils, writes that “the Synod on the Family has revealed a profound malaise in the Church.”

The retired professor from Belgium, now 86, speaks of the “crisis” in the Church, saying, “it is futile to close our eyes: the Church is challenged in its very foundations.”

Credited with inspiring Pope John Paul’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae with his own book on abortion, Msgr. Schooyans is warning of what he says is an organized group in the Church that operates with “backing from some of the highest authorities in the Church.”

The Synod on the Family revealed, he says, the determination of, “a group of pastors and theologians” that “do not hesitate to undermine the Church’s doctrinal cohesion.” This group, he added, “functions in the manner of a powerful, international, well-heeled, organized and disciplined party.”

The active members of this party have ready access to the media; they frequently appear unmasked. They operate with backing from some of the highest authorities in the Church. The main target of these activists is Christian morality, criticized for having a severity incompatible with the “values” of our time. We must find ways which lead the Church to please, by reconciling its moral teaching with human passions…Through this network, the neo-casuists will be able to hold sway over the wheels of the Church, influence the choice of candidates for high office, forge alliances which imperil the Church’s very existence.

Professor Schooyans warns specifically against proposals for “decentralization” of the Church. “The actions of casuists today affect not only the Church’s moral teaching but also the entirety of dogmatic theology, in particular the question of the Magisterium,” Schooyans warns. “The unity of the Church is in peril where there are suggestions of biased, at times demagogic, proposals for decentralization, largely inspired by Lutheran reform.”

The celebrated philosopher whose books were praised by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI points to confusions in the Church around remarried divorced persons, “models” for the family, the role of women, birth control, surrogate motherhood, homosexuality,” and euthanasia. The Church “has not been given by the Lord a mission to modify” the truths taught by Christ about all these matters, Schooyans says. “The Church is the guardian of this treasure.”

“The causuist,” he says, referring to a person who uses clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions, “cultivates the art of confusing the faithful. Concern for the truth, revealed and accessible to reason, is now of no interest…Progressively, the rules of behavior proceeding from the will of the Lord and handed down by the Magisterium of the Church are languishing in decline.”

The moral assessment of an act no longer depends on whether it conforms to the will of God, as made known to us by the Revelation. It depends on the intention of the moral agent and this intention can be modulated and molded by the spiritual adviser who “supports” his followers. In order to please, the spiritual adviser will have to soften the rigor of the doctrine handed down by tradition. The pastor will have to adapt his words to the nature of man, whose passions are naturally led into sin. Hence, the progressive relegation of references to original sin and grace.

“How great is the number of pastors of all ranks who wish to make allegiance to the powerful of this world, albeit easily and without the need to swear publicly fidelity to the new “values” of the world today?” Schooyans writes. “In pushing to facilitate ‘remarriage,’ the neo-casuists are giving their backing to all those political players who are undermining respect for life and the family.”

by John-Henry Westen, from Lifesite News

Pope Francis: The Son of Man was “Like a Serpent”, “Became Sin”, was “Stained by Sin”

francis-devil-cross-largeIn a homily delivered on Tuesday of the fifth week of Lent, in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis put a new spin on the episode of the bronze serpent in the desert mentioned in the Book of Numbers (21: 4–9).  He said that Jesus was dirtied by sin, and implied that the serpent symbolizes our faults.  Below is the exact text of the homily of the Pope in this regard:

The serpent is a symbol of sin. The serpent that kills but also a serpent that saves. And this is the Mystery of Christ. Paul, when speaking about this mystery, said that Jesus emptied himself, humiliated himself and destroyed himself in order to save us. And (what’s) even stronger, ‘he became sin’. Using this symbol, he became a serpent. This is the prophetic message of today’s reading. The Son of Man, who like a serpent, ‘became sin,’ is raised up to save us. […] the story of our redemption, this is the story of God’s love. If we want to know God’s love, let us look at the Cross, a man tortured, a God, emptied of his divinity, dirtied [stained] by sin…Sin is the work of Satan and Jesus defeats Satan by ‘becoming sin’ and from there he lifts up all of us.

Did Christ become stained in assuming our nature? 

The Pope’s homily begs an important clarification, lest it be misunderstood: did become “dirtied by sin” when He assumed our nature?

The answer, according to Church teaching, is that He emptied himself and humbled himself, but was not stained: on the contrary, being innocent, He suffered for the sins of the human race to save it. Below are some quotes from various popes, saints and Sacred Scripture that unequivocally say that Christ was not stained by sin in any way:

  • Saint Augustine of Hippo: “Christ loved us so much that, sinless himself, he suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins.”
  • Saint Maximus the Confessor: “God became perfect man, taking on everything that belongs to human nature except sin, and indeed sin is not part of human nature created by God.”
  • St. John Paul II: “Taking the form of a slave, Christ made himself similar to men in everything but not sin.”
  • Benedict XVI: “God himself wished to share in our human condition, but not in the corruption of sin.”
  • Sacred Scripture:Tested in every way, yet without sin”; “For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin”; “Jesus committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

The Church’s teaching is clear: Sin is incompatible with the human and divine natures of Jesus Christ.