The Catholic Church – better stated, that which claims to be the Church – is in the midst of a terrible crisis, a veritable apostasy as evidenced by the religious indifferentism, anthropocentrism, and hostility for Christian doctrine that is all-too-often promoted even from the highest places in Rome.
Many are asking, how did we get to this regrettable place?
Was it the Council? A dereliction of duty on the part of successive popes? The unprecedented liturgical disaster visited upon the Church courtesy of Paul VI?
Surely, it is all of these and more, but one answer that probably doesn’t come immediately to mind, even though it should, is this: the kerygmatic deception.
Two weeks after Benedict XVI announced his intention to abdicate, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, in an interview with National Catholic Reporter, discussed the upcoming papal conclave.
He said that the next Roman Pontiff would have to be a “missionary-in-chief,” explaining:
Engaging secularism is going to be the major challenge. I think that is going to mean a return to a very basic kerygma. We sometimes get so caught up in one or another aspect of the teaching, we forget that if a person hasn’t been introduced to Christ, if a person hasn’t embraced the risen Lord and the church that’s an expression of that experience, what we’re saying just sounds like a bunch of rules or negative statements limiting their personal freedom. We have to get back to that core kerygma.
In other words, Cardinal Wuerl wanted a modernist pope; a man like himself, who believes that “the church” is but “an expression” of one’s individual “experience” of God, and most importantly for the present discussion, a man who would likewise denigrate doctrine in the name of kerygma.
Whether or not Cardinal Wuerl cast a ballot in favor of Jorge Bergoglio is formally unknown, but one thing is certain; he got his man.
Writing in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, the foundational document of his pontificate, Francis said:
The centrality of the kerygma calls for stressing those elements which are most needed today: it has to express God’s saving love which precedes any moral and religious obligation on our part; it should not impose the truth but appeal to freedom; it should be marked by joy, encouragement, liveliness and a harmonious balance which will not reduce preaching to a few doctrines which are at times more philosophical than evangelical.
So, what is this “kerygma” of which these men speak?
“Kerygma” is a transliteration of the Greek κήρυγμα, which means “preaching” or “proclamation.”
The word appears eight times in the New Testament and is related to, although distinct from, kerusso (κηρύσσω), euaggelion (εὐαγγέλιον) and didache (Διδαχή). We’ll have more to say about these terms when we return to Sacred Scripture in a moment.
In the present context, “kerygma” refers to the initial proclamation of Our Lord’s saving work to those who as yet have not encountered the message of salvation, or as Francis put it, “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.” (ibid)
According to the kerygmatic evangelical paradigm, the evangelist is primarily called to invite, encourage and accompany his listeners in experiencing God’s saving love, as opposed to teaching and forming them in the ways of Christian life.
As for the role of those doctrinal truths that inform our behavior (the “bunch of rules” to which Cardinal Wuerl referred), “nothing,” according to Francis, “is more solid, profound, secure, meaningful and wisdom-filled than that initial proclamation.” (ibid.)
This manner of thinking is relatively new, but not entirely so.
In his Advent homily in 2012, longtime preacher of the papal household, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa put it thus:
At the Church’s beginning, the distinction between kerygma and didachè was clear. The kerygma, which Paul also calls “the gospel,” concerned God’s work in Christ Jesus, the paschal mystery of his death and resurrection. And it consisted in brief formulas of faith, such as the one taken from Peter’s address on the day of Pentecost: “You crucified him, but God raised him up and has made him Lord” (cf. Acts 2:23-36), or: “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).
The didaché, on the other hand, indicated the teaching subsequent to the coming of faith; it referred to the development and complete formation of the believer. The early Church (especially Paul) was convinced that faith, as such, blossomed only in the presence of the kerygma.
In other words, the authoritative preaching (kerusso) of binding truths and the teaching (didache) of Christian doctrine is only proper for those who have already “embraced the risen Lord and the church that’s an expression of that experience” (to quote Cardinal Wuerl once more).
Presumably fresh on the minds of both Fr. Cantalamessa and Cardinal Wuerl was the Synod of Bishops that had taken place in October 2012.
In an article published by America Magazine the following year, Cardinal Wuerl recalled:
In the propositions from the synod on the new evangelization, there is a whole section on the primacy of the kerygma—the good news that Jesus died out of love for us, is risen from the dead and wants to be with each of us today in our life journey.
What is the impetus for this emphasis on kerygma?
According to Fr. Cantalamessa, the signs-of-the-times demand it:
Our situation is becoming more and more similar to that of the apostles. They were faced with a pre-Christian world to evangelize; we have before us, at least to some extent and in certain quarters, a post-Christian world to re-evangelize. We need to return to their method by bringing anew to light “the sword of the Spirit”, which is the announcement – in Spirit and power – of Christ who died for our sins and who rose for our justification (cf. Rom. 4:25). (ibid.)
It is presumably for this reason that Francis stated in his 2013 interview with Fr. Anthony Spadaro, S.J.:
The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation [kerygma] in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.
The treatment of kerygma as given thus far raises a number of questions:
1) Is it really the case that the majority of those within earshot of Holy Mother Church today (i.e., those who are not isolated in remote missionary lands) are either devout Jews awaiting their Messiah, or pagans that have scarcely ever heard of God’s loving plan of salvation in Christ?
2) Does Sacred Scripture attest to this notion that the Apostles withheld the preaching of authoritative and binding exhortations (kerusso), as well as other doctrinal teachings (didache) until such time as their listeners had already embraced the good news delivered (euaggelion) in their initial proclamation (kerygma) of God’s love, His saving work, and His will to enter into communion with us in Christ?
3) Lastly, from where did the idea of boiling evangelization down to “focusing on the essentials” as part of an appeal to human experience come, and how did it manage to find its way to being adopted by post-conciliar churchmen as the quintessential model for evangelization?
Let’s address each one in order.
Monsignor Charles Pope, a “conservative” priest and blogger with traditional leanings who is familiar to many readers of this space described this evangelical program as follows:
In effect, this kerygmatic approach was seen more as a proclamation addressed directly to the hearer, and is a call to conversion, rather than as an extended appeal to the reason or to motives of credibility.
As for the justification for such an approach, Monsignor Pope, like Fr. Cantalamesaa, maintains, “In some sense, the current times are not unlike the pagan world in which the apostles first proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
He added, however:
It is true, that the West is more an ‘angry divorcee,’ and the ancient Gentile world which was more like a virgin awaiting her groom. But there are still some parallels, and our presumption that most people heard the basics of Scripture, and the gospel is generally a poor presumption today.
I appreciate Monsignor Pope’s caveat, but it doesn’t go far enough.
The kerygmatic approach described in the above quotes given by Fr. Cantalamessa, Cardinal Wuerl and Francis is not proposed as a specifically missionary program, certainly not as such things have traditionally been understood at any rate, but rather as a fundamental reworking of the Church’s response to the Divine Commission as given by Christ:
Go therefore to all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and holy Ghost, teaching them to observe everything whatsoever that I commanded.
(cf Mt. 28:19-20)
With this distinction in mind, I would say that Monsignor Pope’s exception is really the rule – namely, the majority of the world doesn’t suffer from a lack of exposure to “the basics;” it suffers because it rejects Christian truths. In many cases, these truths are rejected as much, or more, out of ignorance than insolence.
Because they are no longer being proclaimed and explained.
It’s no small coincidence that the de-Christianization of men and societies in general has been accelerating exponentially since the Second Vatican Council on forward:
This is precisely that time when churchmen practically ceased preaching and teaching important doctrinal truths; e.g., the Kingship of Christ, the unique identity of the Catholic Church, and the obligations incumbent upon all men toward each.
In other words, the kerygmatic approach is largely responsible for creating this monster.
Furthermore, as the body of Francis’ work aptly testifies, this emphasis on preaching a “Christian lite” message of God’s love that is stripped of uncomfortable doctrinal truths inevitably morphs into something that is but generically “religious.”
At best, the overwhelming majority of modern day hierarchs are stuck in kerygma mode (with many not even willing to go that far), and having convinced themselves that the world simply isn’t ready for anything more substantial, they never seem to get around to “teaching everything whatsoever that Jesus commanded;” much less calling anyone to conversion.
Ultimately, this program devolves into religious indifferentism, the centerpiece of which is a man-centered initiative wherein the name of Jesus Christ is scarcely even mentioned.
The proponents of this so-called kerygmatic approach argue, however, that Sacred Scripture suggests that even the Divine Commission itself implies the primacy of the kerygma inasmuch as “baptism” precedes “teaching.”
That, however, isn’t really the case, which brings us to question number two.
The Greek kerygma appears in the New Testament eight times, two of which are in the Gospels. In both Matthew and Mark, we find reference to the preaching (kerygma) of Jonas as follows:
The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. (Matthew 12:41 and Luke 11:32)
Let’s now take a look at what Scripture tells us about the preaching (kerygma) of the prophet:
And Jonas began to enter into the city one day’s journey: and he cried and said: Yet forty days and Ninive shall be destroyed. (Jonah 3: 4)
Does this sound like the “kerygma” of modern day churchmen, or is it precisely the sort of preaching they are determined to avoid at all costs? (A rhetorical question, indeed.)
The fully committed “new evangelist” will undoubtedly insist that surely Jonas must have first softened up his audience with platitudes of God’s love as kerygma always comes first, especially as it is found in the New Testament.
Actually, no, it doesn’t.
In the Epistles, where the word kerygma is most often found, when read in context, we almost always find reference to kerusso as well.
Kerusso means “to proclaim after the manner of a herald, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed.” (cf Strong’s Greek Lexicon)
That said, the account of Saul’s conversion and subsequent preaching very clearly suggests that kerygma does not enjoy the kind of “primacy” modern day churchmen would have us believe:
And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales: and he received his sight. And rising up, he was baptized. And when he had taken meat, he was strengthened. And he was with the disciples that were at Damascus, for some days. And immediately he preached [kerusso] Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the son of God. (Acts 9:18-20)
As indicated, the preaching that Saul immediately undertook “in the synagogues” (i.e., among those who had not yet “embraced the risen Lord”) was not kerygma;
it was kerusso.
In fact, kerygma doesn’t appear in the Acts of the Apostles even once! What we do find, by contrast, is multiple references to kerusso, euaggelion and didache, with the latter and its derivative, didasko, being the most frequently used of all.
Incidentally, the Divine Commission to “teach” as given in Matthew 28:20 (above) uses this very word:
Didasko: to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them … to discharge the office of a teacher … to impart instruction and instill doctrine. (Strong’s Greek Lexicon)
Think about this for a moment…
The detailed Scriptural (i.e., Divinely inspired) account of the Apostles’ activities immediately following Pentecost and beyond tells us that they expended considerable energy imparting instruction and instilling doctrine. And let us not forget that the world in which they evangelized was so entirely hostile to their preaching and teaching that every last one of them, save for St. John, was martyred.
This alone undermines the argument in favor of a kerygmatic return to basics as given by Fr. Cantalamessa and others; namely, the contention that “our situation is becoming more and more similar to that of the apostles…”
Finally, we come to perhaps the most important question of all; that relating to the origins of the so-called kerygmatic novelty, and make no mistake about it, a novelty it is.
Like so many other post-conciliar novelties, this too is painted as a fruit of ressourcement; an ancient treasure just recently unearthed.
According to Francis, “We have rediscovered the fundamental role of the first announcement or kerygma, which needs to be the centre of all evangelizing activity and all efforts at Church renewal.” (cf Evangelii Gaudium 164)
While “rediscovered” seems to imply “antiquity,” the near singular focus on kerygma promoted by our churchmen today is rooted not in Early Church tradition but in recent Protestantism.
Writing in defense of Francis’ kerygmatic obsession in the Wanderer, Catholic historian Philip Trower stated:
The first people to think of making this distinction between kerygma and didache were the Protestant theologian Rudolph [sic] Bultmann and an associate called Dodd for reasons which it is not necessary to go into in this article.
Oh, but it is necessary to explore Bultmann’s reasons for inventing the novelty of kerygmatic primacy; that is, if one is to fully appreciate the danger that it represents.
In his treatise, Kerygma and Myth, Bultmann explained:
The cosmology of the New Testament is essentially mythical in character … It proclaims in the language of mythology that the last time has now come. “In the fullness of time” God sent forth his Son, a pre-existent divine Being, who appears on earth as a man. (1 Gal. 4:4; Phil. 2:6ff.; 2 Cor. 8:9; John 1:14, etc.) He dies the death of a sinner (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 8:3.) on the cross and makes atonement for the sins of men. (3 Rom. 3:23-26; 4:25; 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:14, 19; John 1:29; 1 John 2:2, etc.) His resurrection marks the beginning of the cosmic catastrophe. Death, the consequence of Adam’s sin, is abolished, (I Cor. 15:21f; Rom. 5:12ff.) and the demonic forces are deprived of their power. (I Cor. 2:6; Col. 2:15; Rev. 12:7ff., etc.) The risen Christ is exalted to the right hand of God in heaven (Acts 1:6f.; 2:33; Rom. 8:34, etc.) and made “Lord” and “King”. (Phil. 2:9-11; I Cor. 15:25.) He will come again on the clouds of heaven to complete the work of redemption, and the resurrection and judgment of men will follow. (I Cor. 15:23f, 50ff, etc.) Sin, suffering and death will then be finally abolished. (Rev. 21:4, etc.) All this is to happen very soon; indeed, St. Paul thinks that he himself will live to see it.(I Thess. 4:15ff.; I Cor. 15:5lf.; cf. Mark 9:1.)
All who belong to Christ’s Church and are joined to the Lord by Baptism and the Eucharist are certain of resurrection to salvation, (Rom. 5:12ff.; I Cor. 15:21ff., 44b, ff.) unless they forfeit it by unworthy behavior. Christian believers already enjoy the first installment of salvation, for the Spirit (Rom. 8:23, II Cor. 1:22; 5:5.) is at work within them, bearing witness to their adoption as sons of God, (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6.) and guaranteeing their final resurrection. (Rom. 8:11.).
To all of this, Bultmann rhetorically asks, “Can Christian preaching expect modern man to accept the mythical view of the world as true?”
To do so would be both senseless and impossible. It would be senseless, because there is nothing specifically Christian in the mythical view of the world as such. It is simply the cosmology of a pre-scientific age. Again, it would be impossible, because no man can adopt a view of the world by his own volition — it is already determined for him by his place in history. (ibid.)
For Bultmann, the solution is to engage in a kerygma that focuses on “the proclamation of the decisive act of God in Christ;” the truth of which modern man is “capable of verifying in [his] own experience at whatever period [he] happens to live.” (ibid.)
There’s no room for rational thought, much less a need for an authoritative teaching Church in this scenario; man, on his own, can verify what is true and what is not simply by experience (a very close cousin to emotion). This, of course, is a core principle of modernism which, as explicated at length by Pope St. Pius X, inevitably hastens one’s “fall into the opinion of the Protestants” (cf Pascendi 14).
Our task is to produce an existentialist interpretation of the dualistic mythology of the New Testament … When, for instance, we read of demonic powers ruling the world and holding mankind in bondage, does the understanding of human existence which underlies such language offer a solution to the riddle of human life which will be acceptable even to the non-mythological mind of today? (ibid.)
According to the kerygmatic paradigm, such is only possible if our preaching is ordered toward “expressing God’s saving love which precedes any moral and religious obligation on our part” (Evangelii Gaudium 165); inviting the religious experience while deliberately avoiding the didasko that imparts instruction, instills doctrine, and forms mankind according to the duties incumbent upon those who would wish to live as children of God.
So, how did this Protestant novelty make its way into Catholic circles?
One will hardly be surprised to discovere the answer: the Jesuits.
Protestants such as Barth and Bultmann, followed in part by Catholics such as Jungmann and Lakner, identified revelation, very closely with the kerygma – that is to say, with the proclamation of God’s mighty deeds in Jesus Christ. This kerygmatic theology had a strongly existential quality because it saw the kerygma as intimately related to human experience to the demands of Christian living. (Robert Imperato, Christian Footings, pg. 110, University Press 2009)
Fr. Josef Jungmann, S.J., a contemporary of Bultmann, was mentor to one Fr. Johanes Hofinger, S.J.
According to a biography written by Dr. Mark Markuly, currently the Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University:
Hofinger was part of a group of European theologians who established the intellectual foundation for the Second Vatican Council. The names of Karl Rahner, Hans Kung, Henri de Lubac or Yves Congar are more known in theological circles, but Johannes Hofinger was also a powerful force in the ecclesial renewal. He was noted for stressing a religious education philosophy that sought to re-claim the root or core message of Christianity, distilling the Catholic tradition down to the existential dimensions of greatest significance for living the faith. Following and developing the thought of his mentor Josef Jungmann, S.J., Hofinger referred to this approach as a re-claiming of the “kerygma” of the early church, the elemental message of God’s love and gift of salvation provided in the life and death of Jesus Christ.
The influence of the heretic Bultmann, and the Jesuits Hoflinger and Jungmann, is entirely evident in the current pontificate. Like the conciliar revolution in general, Francis is taking their kerygmatic novelty to its logical, and decidedly destructive, conclusion; religious indifferentism, anthropocentrism, and all out hostility for Christian doctrine.
If for little else, we might be grateful for the fact that Francis, inadvertently or not, is laying bare the extent of the current ecclesial crisis and the novelties and falsehoods that are contributing to it like none who has gone before him.
Let us hope and pray that more and more of our brothers and sisters in Christ will, by the grace of God, have eyes to see it for themselves.
Pardon me while I go say my Rosary. I just discovered I am a 79 year old mental midget. God love all of you who visit here.
As a high school teacher in a “Catholic” school I see much of this “kerygmatic” approach in the religious “education” and “formation” of students. These sorts of heterodox notions are imposed upon the curriculum and we teachers need to officially nod approvingly. The few of us (about 3, maybe 4) who are orthodox in our convictions then need to quietly work around it. Once upon a time if you were questioned about going against the establishments agenda you could appeal to higher authority. Not any more.
Catholicity in Practice & Doctrine is not being taught.
Join the club. The more I read the more I realize how little I know.
Our Lord spoke simply and plainly when He preached the Good News. I like that! The Modernists are like magicians who use confusing language to distract the faithful from their slight of hand (and tongue). I’m with OldTradCat. Pray the rosary and tune these guys out! Paraphrasing Tiny Tim: “God HELP us, everyone!”
On Kerygma: I wish our spiritual leaders would stop making obscure references to characters in “Star Wars.”
If you have penny catechism and accept this teaching ( https://m.youtube.com/watch?ab_channel=NovusOrdoWatch&v=2lk7iqIjHIo ) from the First Vatican Council, you all you need to know to keep the faith.
Christ is Born!
And Christ has been and continues to be mocked, abused and His Bloody and Blood disappeared in the Novus Ordo lead by its evil antichrist heresiarchs. The VII heresiatchs hate Christ and love the devil. They belong to satan. There is no neutral ground. The preach satan, they perform satan and they welcome satan, and encourage everyone to do the same. Anyone who encourages others to think of these men as Christ in Proxy, are doing satan’s work.
Very interesting, Louie. The emphasis on kerygmatic approach to evangelization dovetails easily with other modern heresies.
It presumes a separation of the pastoral from the doctrinal.
It imposes no immediate need to repent, assumes man is in complete control and should remain so, and, therefore is, ironically, somewhat ‘pelagian’ –
It demands no call to conversion and rectitude of life — so different from our Lord who in one instant said, “….it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
It assumes there ought to be no troubling of the conscience.
And it pretends doctrine may not be subject to corruption by the world and human idolatry.
Perhaps the only thing that may support it is that Christ told parables to some but not to others, namely the apostles, and his warning of not throwing pearls to swine. This is a current issue though, that in pandering to the Protestants, Jews and Muslims, the Church hierarchy is treating baptized Catholics and traditional Catholics as swine.
Excellent post. This is one of the best explanations of the situation we’re in today that I have ever read. Telling people they are “saved” and “loved” without also explaining to them why and how they have to reform their lives only makes the situation worse – for both the individual and the Church.
Corrigendum: In final sentence please replace “baptized Catholics” with “cradle Catholics.”
The Burning Babe
by St. Robert Southwell, Jesuit English Martyr
As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow,
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe, all burning bright, did in the air appear,
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though His floods should quench His flames which with His tears were fed.
“Alas,” quoth He, “but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals.
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in My blood.”
With this He vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.
Hit the nail on the head. Excellent post.
Great post, Louie. Why is it important that this stuff gets out there? Because we are created rational creatures. It is inherent to us to want to know. We have a reasoning power, and it is superior to emotion which bubbles up from our passions. We want to know, not just to feel.
Once we are exposed to the reasonableness of Christian truth, we then ‘feel’ the rightness of it, and we begin to ‘love’ its object. That’s the way it is supposed to work. Problem is that we have been starved of reason, and fed the pap of emotion. I know in my own life, if I let emotion override my reason I no longer ‘believe’ when the emotion of any given moment has passed. It takes effort of reason to get back to the real ‘primary.’ I think this is what has happened to some extent in the new Church. Once the emotion of Jesus’ Love for us as primary to our lives has passed, we are left with emptiness.
Your post points this out very well. Our civilization is crumbling by its own weight – a weight of corruption – just like other civilizations before us. It’s not too surprising that the decline of reason in our Church would mirror that of the secular world. The vandals are at the gates but have no fear. The Lord has come.
A wise man recently told me:
It’s not simply Modernists neglect instruction in favor of proclamation; the problem is they have got the wrong proclamation, and therefore the wrong instruction. False gospel begets false catechesis. The thing that the church is supposed to be proclaiming is not “God loves you” or “Jesus loves you,” it is: “Jesus died to atone for your sins; repent, and become a disciple of Jesus.” The message of the church shouldn’t be : “come experience the love of God,” but instead “Jesus is your rightful Lord – be baptized in His name.” The kergyma of the liberals is a false kergyma.
MIchael F Poulin
Although its always good to study, do not worry about how much you know, and disputations about words- You don’t need to be a scholar to be a disciple:
Matthew 11:25 –
At that time Jesus answered and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to the little ones.
There is much evidence that Jesus referred to His disciples as his “little ones” and He often rebuked the learned “scribes.”
Michael F Poulin
A holy, peaceful Christmas season to you Mr Verrechio, and your readers on this Holy Feast Day of St Stephen!
St Ehpraim Nisibene Hymns- Hymn 4
…For a flock, O my Lord, in the field, if so be it has seen the wolves, flees to the shepherd, and takes refuge under his staff, and he drives away them that would devour it.
Your flock has seen the wolves, and lo! It cries loudly. Behold how terrified it is! Let your Cross be a staff, to drive out them that would swallow it up!
Accept the cry of my little ones, that are altogether pure. It was He, the Infant of days, that could appease, O Lord, the Ancient of days. …
Athanasius- Letter 49
Beloved Dracontius, you have caused us grief instead of joy, groaning instead of consolation. For we expected to have you with us as a consolation; and now we behold you in flight, and that you will be convicted in judgment, and when upon your trial will repent it. And ‘Who shall have pity upon you (Jeremiah 15:5),’ as the Prophet says, who will turn his mind to you for peace, when he sees the brethren for whom Christ died injured on account of your flight? For you must know, and not be in doubt, that while before your election you lived to yourself, after it, you live for your flock. And before you had received the grace of the episcopate, no one knew you; but after you became one, the laity expect you to bring them food, namely instruction from the Scriptures. When then they expect, and suffer hunger, and you are feeding yourself (Ezekiel 34:2) only, and our Lord Jesus Christ comes and we stand before Him, what defence will you offer when He sees His own sheep hungering?
This Bultman character basically admits he’s lost the faith. When the New Testament is mocked as presenting a “mythical” world view, what more do you need?
Herr Bultmann: “Our task is to produce an existentialist interpretation of the dualistic mythology of the New Testament.” Amusing. Existentialism was popular in the 1950s when Herr Bultmann came up with his “kerygma” fraud, itself the real myth. But who reads existentialist philosophy today (other than artistic works, such as Camus’ novels)? Both Wuerl and Francis grew up in a 1950s existentialist philosophical intellectual milieu, which to some extent extended into the 1970s, then dissipated, especially after the loathsome Stalinist Sartre’s death in 1980. Both prelates are trying to sound “with it,” but are as dated as beatniks. Can you cats dig that, man?
Bultmann: “Our task is to produce an existentialist interpretation of the dualistic mythology of the New Testament.”
“Since we enlightened modern man no longer believe in the myths of heaven, hell, judgement, God, etc., we must reinterpret the Gospels in such a way as to keep the organization of the former Catholic Church alive and powerful in building up a New World Order. We need to invent a New Religion not based on God or the supernatural, but on Man and the natural only.”
Yes, Satans work.