Are you Really Ready for the Prospect of Two Churches?
Is this post-Synod scenario completely out of the question?
A man and a woman, both divorced, wish to remarry. One of them is a Catholic. They go to see one priest at a Church and the parish priest says, "According to my conscience, informed by the Word of God, you cannot be remarried in the Catholic Church unless your previous marriage is annulled." The couple go to see another priest at another Church nearby and he says, "According to the Pope and the Synod on the Family, you can be remarried here."
Thinking the unthinkable
Now I know that the Synod is not about 'remarriage in the Church for the divorced'. Yet, the question raised by the Synod, thanks to Cardinal Walter Kasper, is whether the divorced and remarried can receive Holy Communion opens the Church up to a raft of hideous inconsistencies that result in schism. But let's think about that scenario.
If the divorced and remarried can receive Holy Communion, why should they not be permitted to remarry in a Catholic Church? This is about 'access to the Sacraments', right? So if they can receive the Eucharist, the Church could, having thrown off all respect for Canon Law, permit them to marry in a Catholic Church as well. Both are Sacraments of the Church so why give one and refuse the other? Because Jesus said X, Y, Z? Well, 'who is He to judge' in the new, humble, merciful Church? Jesus doesn't judge anything anymore, right? Not in 2015.
Thinking the thinkable
Now we've considered the unthinkable with clear 'blue-sky thinking', let's consider the thinkable. A couple go to one priest and make their situation known to him. They cannot remarry in a Catholic Church but they have remarried civilly, having been unable to regularise their situation with the Church because of a previous marriage. According to the law of the Church they are living in adultery.
The woman, who is Catholic, while the man is not, would like to receive Holy Communion. Unsure, they approach one parish priest. He says, "According to the words of Jesus Christ, I cannot in conscience give you Holy Communion because of your remarriage contracted civilly. I urge you, in all charity, to consider your situation and strive to live as the Church requires in order to be in full communion with Jesus Christ and His Church."
The Synod under Pope Francis has been ambiguous in its application of doctrine and has essentially given to Dioceses in individual countries a devolved Magisterium that applies a pastoral solution to marital situations that are irregular or sinful. She and her new husband, according to civil law, approach a parish priest down the road at another nearby Catholic Church and ask him the same question. The parish priest replies that because of the merciful and pastoral approach adopted by the Synod and Pope Francis, "there is no question as to whether she can receive Holy Communion, because God is merciful. All are welcome."
Thus there are two Churches within the Bride of Christ. A real schism that has taken place, not just within the Episcopate with Bishop disagreeing with Bishop, but priest disagreeing with priest. Is this situation tenable or workable? What happens to the 'unmerciful priest' when the Bishop hears of the dispute? Whose side does he take? This is the most divisive and destructive thing to have happened in the history of the Catholic Church. Is the 'unmerciful priest' sacked? Can he be a priest in this new twin-Church?
We have seen, with the liturgy, a bizarre and widening rift in Catholic worship, not just since the release of Summorum Pontificum, but also within the Novus Ordo itself. You can attend one Novus Ordo Mass wherein guitars, drums and other musical instruments play catchy folksy hymns while the priest ad-libs parts of the Mass, encourages hand-holding at the Our Father, preaches an easy going social Gospel and all kinds of strange innovations take place.
Down the road, you can go to another Novus Ordo Mass with reverent liturgy, perhaps the priest facing Ad Orientem, with Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion overlooked in favour of the priest alone distributing the Blessed Sacrament, perhaps the correct Gregorian Chant selected to be sung by a choir, Communion is received kneeling and on the tongue, the priest saying the black and doing the red according to the rubrics. These are, essentially two different Churches with the same, but vastly differently celebrated, Mass, with the same Body and Blood of Christ in the hands of the priest.
Not only priests, but lay-people will no longer know which Church is the true Church, the true Faith, the one in which Christ's words are upheld, or the one fostered, nurtured and born from the Synod on the Family under Pope Francis, which dispenses with all law and hands doctrinal application into the hands of Bishops, some of whom go along with it, and others of whom cannot. Read: total and utter anarchy and a Church that cannot teach the truth because it has been dispensed with and overlooked as unimportant.
Can Twin Churches Exist and still be part of One True Church?
A house divided cannot stand. I cannot see how these twin churches can co-exist without rancour and total division - we can forget about unity within the Church, because this would be an earthquake, a rending apart of the Body of Christ, a rupture of biblical proportions within the Bride of Christ, all because a Pope went AWOL on doctrine and couldn't bring himself to side with the Word of God. This would be a real wound within the Body of Christ on the ground, not just in Rome. This is all hypothetical, but we are not dealing with a theory, but reality. Cardinal Raymond Burke said this is hypothetical, but someone in Rome - preferably the Pope - needs to think this through and needs to see the obvious reasons why a top-down change, any change, even pastorally-speaking, in the Church's approach to the divorced and remarried with regard to the Sacraments, cannot happen without engendering a schism never before witnessed in the Church's history.
We have seen, under Pope Francis, that traditional bishops are sidelined or even cast aside, 'sacked' if you will. We have seen an entire Order destroyed by the whim of the Pope who simply doesn't like their traditional outlook and worship. What happens to 'traditional priests' who 'conservative' in their belief, actually believe in conserving and proclaiming what Jesus teaches, rather than teaching, not a half-truth, but a lie concerning marriage?
Sadly, I think they are priests forever, but not for long in the institution of the Catholic Church on Earth. They might not need to go into hiding, but they might want to start looking at rightmove.co.uk for a new place to live. 'Unmerciful priests' won't be in their Presbytery for long if they, like faithful Bishops, are discovered to be a vulnerable minority. That is why not just a few Bishops and Cardinals, but all Bishops and Cardinals must oppose, for the unity of the Church and the salvation of souls, any dilution or alteration to the Church's teachings, on paper and in reality, because the reality if it goes unopposed, will be a living nightmare. The Body of Christ would be torn asunder, torn into pieces.
Are you looking for the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? If this Synod goes any other way than remaining faithful to the words of Jesus Christ, you'll need to look incredibly hard to find it. It is so easy for Cardinal Marx to call the 'little ones' who hold to Jesus Christ's teaching "terrorists", isn't it? Of course, we all know that Governments can do what terrorists do ten, a hundred times over and say, 'We are justified, we are beyond reproach'. Why? Because they are the ones in power. What he isn't telling you is that the real Reign of Terror has only just begun. Not for the first time in history, the Marxists won't go unopposed. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Your banner is liberty, equality and fraternity. We will fight under the banner, 'the Word of God'. Victory, honour, power and glory and salvation belong to Him. I know liberals don't trust Scripture but why fight, Your Eminence, for the losing 'Team'? As Bob Dylan sang in his 'Masters of War', "All the money in the world, won't buy back your soul".