Since posting on the German intercommunion dust-up, I’ve been researching and reading trying to connect a few dots that might tell us a bit more about where we’re headed. What I discovered is not surprising, but I will admit, it’s not exactly what I was expecting either.
On Monday, June 4, just as news was breaking that Francis had ordered several dicasteries of the Roman Curia “to clarify soon” questions concerning the matter of intercommunion with Protestants “on the level of the Universal Church,” His Humbleness was addressing The Delegation of the German Lutheran Evangelical Church.
Surely the controversial so-called “pastoral handout” produced by the German Bishops Conference, which seeks to open pathways to Communion for Protestants with a Catholic spouse, was well on the minds of both Francis and his guests as he spoke.
Would he throw the heretics a morsel or two; perhaps just enough to whet their appetite for a sign of things to come?
Ever the showman who never fails to disappoint his adoring audience, of course he did.
Encouraging the Lutherans to be open to the Holy Spirit (in this case, “the God of Surprises”) who “alone opens the way and enlightens the steps to be taken” in the ecumenical process, Francis said:
With the help of God, we hope for a future striving towards the complete overcoming of divergences. We have to move on.
The complete overcoming of divergences…
This, my friends, is clearly a reference to intercommunion; one so obvious that it would be wrong to call it a “hint.” And what’s more, according to Francis, we have to do it.
Know this, however – a complete overcoming concerns more than just Eucharistic communion. This is the pinnacle (or penultimate, as the case may be), and so it also entails everything related to it and under it. More on that momentarily…
Francis went on to urge his Lutheran listeners to accept the “pressing invitation to reach an ever more concrete and visible unity among us.”
Concrete and visible unity…
This is yet another obvious reference to intercommunion and, as I wrote, barring Divine intervention, it’s coming. It’s not a matter of if, but when and how.
As for why, or the excuse in any case, the German bishops have indicated that theirs is an effort to alleviate the angst experienced by the non-Catholic spouse in a mixed marriage, as if this qualifies as “grave necessity.” (see Code of Canon Law – 844, referenced HERE)
It’s a lame excuse, indeed, but guess what? The German bishops didn’t invent the idea.
As Catholic News Service reported in October 2017:
The official Catholic-Lutheran dialogue will begin a deeper exploration of common beliefs and differences on “church, Eucharist and ministry,” the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation announced.
When Pope Francis joined Bishop Munib A. Younan, then the president of the Lutheran World Federation, for a prayer service in Sweden in 2016, the two noted the pain many of their fellow Catholics and Lutherans — especially Catholics and Lutherans married to each other — experience when they cannot share the Eucharist at each other’s services.
“We acknowledge our joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ,” the two leaders said in 2016. “We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed. This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavors, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue.”
In this, we are given insight not just into why, but also into how intercommunion will come about; it will be the fruit of a joint effort on the part of both the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation – initially, that is.
This, it appears to me, will be step number one; after which, any remaining barriers to intercommunion with just about anyone (i.e., including, but not limited simply to Protestants married to Catholics) will tumble like dominoes.
We can be certain that a joint Vatican-LWF declaration ordered toward opening the way to intercommunion is well in the works already, and may even be nearing completion.
In January, as reported by Vatican News Service, Francis acknowledged receipt of a joint statement created by the Lutheran Catholic Dialogue Commission for Finland.
Pope Francis has thanked the Lutheran Catholic Dialogue Commission for Finland for a recently issued ecumenical document …
To the Ecumenical Delegation Pope Francis said the document for which he is grateful, contains ecclesiological implications that must be part of the agenda of ecumenical dialogues.
It is entitled: “Communion in Growth. Declaration on the Church, Eucharist and Ministry”, and Francis noted that it reflects decisive issues to which ecumenical dialogue can and must now turn its attention.
It is a lengthy text (some 170 pages, available via the hyperlink above) – importantly, one that Francis has all but made his own – although the punchline is very simple.
The Declaration cites “the substantial elements on which agreement is required” for Eucharistic communion, and it concludes that “there seems good reason to hope that a differentiated consensus” may be reached.
NB: It then goes on to provide a very important caveat.
However, before any further conclusions are drawn, we need further discussion on the last issue: recognition of the validity and sacramental character of the ministry.
Neither is this an original thought.
Readers may recall that the USCCB and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America issued a similar joint declaration in October of 2015 entitled, Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist, and it drew a similar conclusion:
While there is already substantial agreement concerning the eucharist itself, full eucharistic communion depends also upon the mutual recognition of ministry, which is in turn dependent upon the recognition of each ecclesial community as truly apostolic.
One wonders, when did these national ecumenical groups get the idea to produce such joint statements linking “Church, Ministry and Eucharist”?
It may come as a surprise to some, but the directive didn’t go out on Bergoglio’s watch, but rather on that of Benedict XVI. As explained in the USCCB press release announcing the above-mentioned declaration:
In December 2011, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, proposed a declaration to seal in agreements in the areas of the church, ministry and the Eucharist.
Now, seven years later, according to at least two such regional declarations, it is necessary for us to recognize that the Lutherans enjoy Apostolic succession.
Impossible, you say? Pope Leo XIII, in Apostolicae Curae, made it plain that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void,” you insist?
Not so fast… Remember, there’s a new regime in place, and the “God of Surprises” will not be denied.
As reported by The Tablet in May of 2017:
One of the Vatican’s top legal minds has opened the way for a revision of the Catholic position on Anglican orders by stressing they should not be written off as “invalid.”
In a recently published book, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, calls into question Pope Leo XIII’s 1896 papal bull that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void.”
“When someone is ordained in the Anglican Church and becomes a parish priest in a community, we cannot say that nothing has happened, that everything is ‘invalid’…”
At this, the picture is perhaps getting clearer as to why Francis deemed the German pastoral handout not yet ripe for publication.
All things being equal, does he want to see such a policy enacted?
Yes, of course, he does, but let us not forget that he is a politician at heart. As such, one can be certain that he has been closely monitoring reaction to the proposed German bishops’ handout in order to gauge the broader ecclesial climate.
All indications are, it seems, he has decided that pushback to the German initiative is not only manageable, it is such that the iron is evidently hot for the striking on a related agenda item; one that is also very near and dear to his heart – namely, the validation of Anglican orders.
This one has been simmering on the back burner for decades on end, going all the way back to the man that Francis calls his “bright light” – the soon to be “canonized” Paul VI.
As The Tablet article reported:
Cardinal Coccopalmerio also recalled Pope Paul VI’s meeting with then Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, in 1966. It was a famous meeting as the Pope gave the archbishop his episcopal ring and also, according to the cardinal, a chalice.
Episcopal ring; a sign of valid orders…. The chalice; a sign of Eucharistic communion…
We know where Jorge’s heart lies, not only with regard to the latter, but the former as well: Recall him bowing his head for Justin Welby’s blessing in June of 2014, and more significantly, that he bestowed upon Welby a crozier – a sign of episcopal jurisdiction – in October of 2016.
So here’s the takeaway:
Francis is no spring chicken. His time is limited and he knows it. In spite of so many reports that he has “rejected” or otherwise ruled against the German pastoral handout, his only real issue with it is that it’s small potatoes compared to what he really wants to accomplish before death comes calling.
While I stand by my prediction that universal norms for intercommunion are coming, and sooner rather than later, I think it’s reasonable to expect that the validation of Anglican orders may very well accompany or precede them.
And all of this in preparation for the ultimate goal; a One World Religion.
This is great news. I wish Bergolio would act faster in implementing the goals of V2. There is so much baggage from the past that simply is irrelevant in todays modern world. All male priesthood, celibacy, etc. Maybe finally people will see that V2 called for a new church and the last 50 years has seen nothing but footdragging.
There is nothing in the behavior of the V2 N.O. “church” which convinces me that they believe in the Real Presence of the Holy Eucharist. They are right considering their questionable “Sacrament of Holy Orders” and doubtful the words, matter and form in the “consecration”. Therefore, sharing holy communion(?) with non-catholics is just a matter of being polite and friendly. This politeness, of course, will accelerate their true goal- The New World Order, as Louie indicated.
I think a proper name for francis should be “francis, the accelerator”.
Jorge doesn’t want to get that ball rolling right now. He’s waiting for the Synod of the Youth (*wink*) where, obviously, it will be the youth (*wink*) who are calling for intercommunion (*wink*wink*) with more roles for women in the priesthood (*winky*wink), and of course obviously this must include the Anglicans (wink*wink*wink)! Who saw the natural mercy of allowing second-third-fourth-etc. re-marriages after divorce, because they didn’t understand so fully the ideal and that God wanted this of them (Amoris Letitia). Because ‘Adultery’ and ‘Diversity’ is just a few meagre letter differences that we can safely ignore and focus on what commonalities ecumenically joins them together, such as that both words rhyme at the end. And that end is the point! A wonderfully 2+2=5 theology so down on its knees that it comes close to Mother Earth Gaia.
Dr. Smith, one of the Lutheran representatives at the commission on N.O. mass later publicly boasted, “We have finished the work that Martin Luther began.”
What’s with these greasy Catholic prelates?
Commission for Lutheran Catholic Dialogue for Finland? Wow, blows my hair back! What are there, maybe 17 Lutherans in Finland?
It’s all such creepy machinations. Protestants simply must abandon their cheesy faux churches and return to the One True Faith. Trouble is, outside of the American south, the only protestants left are the ones who enshrine sodomy and a female episcopacy. Yuck.
Thanks for the great analysis, Louie. Quite true that the ultimate goal is a one world religion. One big happy family! How far God lets this go is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, we hold onto tradition and stay Catholic, unlike the guys in the Vatican.
For years the Two Diocese’ near me ran “Progressive”services around Easter. Catholics Lutherans , Presbyterians, Methodist and Episcopalians all joined together and went from one church to another listening to sermons and eating a course of food. All in one big exercise of unity. That IS the basis of the New Order.
I love this issue because it absolutely sucks for the bennyvacantists who want to keep all the post-conciliar Popes except for Francis.
In this case, all of the preliminary work has been done by Francis’s predecessors.
Canon 844 which overturned the 1917 blanket ban on non-Catholics receiving and SJP2’s Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Lutherans.
With every passing day, it becomes clearer and clearer that bennyvacantism is an unworkable thesis and one will have to either accept the laughable idea that the “real” last pope died in 1958! or that Francis is Pope with all the authority as laid out in the infallible 1st Vatican council.
Either way, the rightists lose.
I have not read any comments by “bennyvacantists” on Louie’s blog to date.
Along the greasy lines mentioned, Vatican Sec of State Parolin will be attending the Bilderberg meeting.
“Keep in mind that the next time one hears Francis lamenting: inequality, the marginalized, immigration, business, war, usury, the financial system, etc… that Francis and his lackeys are full conspirators in the system they complain about. The lamentations are for show only. Please, don’t be gullible and think otherwise.”
Umm. Louie is one.
Perhaps because Borgolio was admittedly lobbied for by the St Gallen’s group of Cardinals?
Something that was always forbidden by Church during a conclave.
Just to ensure you will never be allowed to receive Our Lord on your tongue in this NO parish.
Speaking of Bennyvacantism. A. Barnhardt mentioned that PaulVI promulgating Humanae Vitae even though that made modernists furious, evidenced the divine protection of the Holy Ghost. It reminds me of how I was fooled for quite some time. Yrs ago our Parish administers Extreme Unction to entire congregation, literally only excepting my family. Asked Pastor on way out, “Why?” Answer: Vatican II. Looked this up; nothing from Vatican II says everyone shall now receive Extreme Unction on Extreme Unction day. I then assume that these innovations are just rogue, nutcase Priests and Vatican II was not the problem. All these “clown” masses served to trick Catholics into thinking these terrible innovations were from rogue prelates because VII never says, “Place a beach ball on the altar and wear a dog costume.” These examples were slight of hands to draw attention away from serious errors in Vatican II and the Popes who opened, closed and implemented it. I hate to keep picking on the Conservatives instead of the modernists, but they are the ones who said, “Oh no, VII is great, these are just ABUSES you are seeing in EVERY SINGLE PARISH IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.” I guess point being, I think these people were perfectly capable of going, “Hey, I would NEVER do THIS unless I was constrained by the Holy Ghost because I am so obviously a modernist heretic. All’s well, you’ve just got some baaaad Popes. LOOK Humanae Vitae, bet you thought I’d say Hooray for contraceptives, ha.” To me, not proof of Divine protection of Holy Ghost, proof they’re devious and we’ve been robbed.
I recall a front page TIME cover with the story of Humane Vitae.
The article said a ArchBish. Woytola ( opus dei’s pope)
wrote 60% of the document.
Except if one looks closely at Humanae Vitae one will see that it is not Catholic either. It does not speak of the primary and secondary ends of marriage in accordance with CATHOLIC teaching. For that, see:
Right 2Vermont, and another example of this slight of hand. The focus is taken off any heterodoxy in HV because most Catholics go ahead and use Birth Control with a wink and nod from their Priests. Again conservatives champion Humanae Vitae as the defence against contraceptives even if it’s not Catholic teaching; it does say no artificial birth control. Just like VII never says bring out the beach balls. I think it’s brilliant; introduce heterodox documents and let the conservative more orthodox voices in the Church defend and promote them while they try to counter even more brazen errors. I don’t know that much about Mr. Verrecchio’s past work but I got the impression that he used to try to demonstrate how VII upheld Church teaching, in an effort to DEFEND Church teaching. Pretty tricky.
Fr Tom Collins of VA elaborates but does he mention what caused this evolution into heterodoxy?
Looks like the N.O. church is going with giant Pez dispensers. Fitting.
Melanie , Cdl Bernadin was allowing this in parishes in his Diocese 28 years ago. We visited friends there and attended a mass in which you got Extreme Unction and a General Absolution…………bazaar.
The “priest” doesn’t know for sure if the holy Pez dispenser is full or empty when he says the so called Consecration. His intention to consecrate the hosts is doubtful, and therefore no sacrament takes place.
If it was a valid sacrament – all the other grave impediments being removed – it wouldn’t be funny in the slightest.
There is a lot more wrong with the NO form itself that would call into question validity even if done in the most reverent manner. The offetory is now a preparation of the gifts. The Canon is now an Eucharistic prayer. The consecration is now an institution narrative and the only authority that most people rely on as validity is Montini. The same guy who promulgated all the errors of Vatican 2. Only a fool would put his or her salvation in the hands of the NO and its fake sacraments.
It turns out that that YouTube clip with the stupid Pez dispenser is from some episcopalian/whatever thing or other.
Sweep, I really cannot take seriously these NO priests who complain about the state of the Church. The problem is right in front of their eyes yet they fumble for tangential causes. How they can get up each morning and offer that phony man centered man-made offering of Cain they call “mass” is beyond my comprehension. The fact that they have not taken the time to educate themselves on the NO and the TLM shows their lack of zeal for their “priesthood” and their faith. Or maybe they are too afraid of losing their pittance of a pension.
So we’re sliding into a discussion about how Humanae Vitae isn’t Catholic enough? I’m guessing condemnations of NFP are about to start. For those who wish to participate and who are not priests or religious, please provide the number of children you’ve had before you make your remarks.
Tom A-Your comment describes exactly why I don’t get excited when a N.O. bishop or cardinal “celebrates” the TLM when they still preside over the N.O. non-mass. It baffles me when those in the so-called Traditional Catholic movement feel such great hope whenever a TLM is celebrated under the roof owned by francis. To me, it’s all a ruse to give fake hope. Maybe I’m wrong and am being too cynical.
Greetings from such a fool.
Surely high words do not make a man holy and just; but a virtuous life makes him dear to God.
Thomas a Kempis
Ever Mindful, why do you follow those who have decieved you?
I think the fact that they arent true priests is a major reason for this.
Laymen “celebrating” a fake mass.
In reply to Tom A-
Dear Tom A,
My intention is to follow Christ…
As regards to deception…I focus on reflections by Saints and Sacred Scripture
O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. I am often wearied by the many things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long for. Let the learned be still, let all creatures be silent before You; You alone speak to me.
Thomas a Kempis
Good quote EM, but the Novus Ordo church is obviously not interested in Truth and following Christ. By now you must have realised that there is something horribly wrong with the New Mass and the Vatican II church.
If you really love Christ, would you not do anything to find out what happened to His Church and avoid anything that could offend Him?
2 Cents, no you are not being too cynical. I have gone to these priests for Confession and find they are just as liberal as one who dresses up and does a clown Mass.
And they are the more dangerous because they make it look like they are Catholic.
Evermindful, the Catholic Faith teaches that we follow Christ by following His Church. Only the Catholic Church has the authority to teach in Christ’s Holy Name. To say I just need to follow Christ is to adopt the sin of Luther. So if you believe that Montini et al are the Catholic Church, your duty as a Catholic is to submit your will and intellect to their teaching. Otherwise you are just another Lutheran who discerns according to his own conscience.
Bergoglio has long admitted to having Paul VI as his role model and so it is useful to recall (detailed in “The Montinian Church ) that in 1968 Paul was the first Pope ever to visit a Eucharistic Congress in our Hemisphere (Bogota Columbia) and while he was there several proddies requested permission to receive Holy Communion along with the Catholic Bishops during the congress.
Of course, permission was granted because ecumenism and a Lutheran, an Anglican, and a some members of Taize received Holy Communion.
Absolutely. Non-Catholics receiving communion is a direct result of the new false religion of ecumenism (aka Vatican II). JPII encoded it in his 1983 Code of Canon Law.