The 'Real World'

Protect the Pope today reports on a Reuters article which is a true jaw-dropper. It's open warfare in the Vatican as the 'old guard' in the CDF stand up to defend marriage and Christian teaching while the 'new vanguard' propose new ways of understanding that which the Church has taught since Her beginning. Not to put too fine a point on it, even the National 'Catholic' Reporter are presenting this story as 'Cardinal Vs Cardinal'. This is a noteworthy phrase to be applied by the media because various prophecies of recent centuries have forecast a Church future in which Bishop would be against Bishop and Cardinal against Cardinal.

According to Reuters...

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the head of a "kitchen cabinet" the pope created to draw up reform proposals, said that Archbishop Gerhard Mueller - who has opposed any loosening of Church rules on divorce - was a classic German theology professor who thought too much in rigid black-and-white terms.

"The world isn't like that, my brother," Rodriguez said in a German newspaper interview, rhetorically addressing Mueller in a rare public criticism among senior Church figures.

"You should be a bit flexible when you hear other voices, so you don't just listen and say, 'here is the wall'," Rodriguez said in an interview with the daily Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger.

Rodriguez, archbishop of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, did not cite any possible reforms in particular but said the pope's critics, such as those upset by his attacks on capitalism, were "people who don't understand reality."

"The world isn't like that, my brother."  

Excuse me, but we're well aware of what the world is like because we live in it. I was under the impression that the Holy Father has, since his election, been condemning 'worldliness'. Isn't the whole point of his call to radical Christian love the central premise is that Christians should live differently and believe differently to 'the world'. Eh? No?

And so we have a Cardinal close to the Pope's ear now calling out those who stand up for the Christian vocation to marriage for being too 'black and white' concerning its place in the Church as a lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

What else about the state of marriage in the 'real world' does Cardinal Maradiaga believe should be accommodated by the CDF? Artificial contraception? Adultery? Domestic violence? Drunken and abusive fathers? Child abuse? Go into the 'real world' and you'll find plenty of all of it, but the fact is that none of it is blessed by God and all of it is destructive to individuals, families and spouses. The 'real world', upon brief examination, makes plain that divorce and remarriage not only constitutes the tearing apart of the original marital bond and the breaking of a public vow to God, but leaves often in its trail broken families and heart-broken children.

"You should be a bit flexible when you hear other voices, so you don't just listen and say, 'here is the wall'.

Does Christ's voice, made clear in the Gospels and made evident throughout the teachings of countless Popes, Doctors of the Church and Saints have nothing to offer the Church in the 21st century. Is this Cardinal an atheist or something? Does Cardinal Maradiaga suggest that when children make demands of their parents that run contrary to the child's good, that the parents consider the child's plea? Does the Church have no Divine Truth to offer to its children other than 'flexibility in all things?' 

"People who don't understand reality."

Frightening. At the same time as the reality of Christ's Presence in the Eucharist is disbelieved by so many, at the same time as the reality of the effect of marital breakdown, divorce and remarriage becomes more evident in society, at the same time as the reality of the rejection of so much wisdom and truth offered to the World by the Catholic Church becomes more painfully clear, Cardinal Maradiaga accuses anyone who is not entirely convinced by the Pontiff's personal critique of capitalism of not 'understanding reality' while remaining subjective on other matters. People who live and work in capitalism might understand it better than people who decided to become priests instead, devoting their lives to God, to be funded entirely by the generosity of others.

This Cardinal in one breath invokes the god of relativism by suggesting that the Church does not possess Divine truth on a subject (like divorce, re-marriage and the Sacraments) and then insists that there exists an absolute position for the Church to be taken on capitalism based solely on the personal opinion of Pope Francis in an Apostolic Exhortation. The whole problem (and it is one that Benedict XVI touched on many times) it is only when Our Lord Jesus Christ is rejected as the Reality in which our lives make any sense whatsoever, that we fashion for ourselves a 'new reality' which is entirely subjective. Basically, Cardinal Mardiaga is talking like an atheist who knows nothing about the Church's teaching, criticising Church claims to absolute truths that should be believed by all the Faithful.

After five minutes of listening to Cardinal Maradiaga's Dallas speech, I couldn't help but think that the Cardinal needs to 'take a chill pill' and relax a little about the 'social Gospel' he keeps hammering home wherever he is. There are other things to consider in the Christian life, like saving our immortal souls, striving to live in a State of Grace, prayer and more.

The sad fact of the matter is that neither Cardinal-designate Muller or Cardinal Maradiaga or even Pope Francis himself live in the 'real world'.  They live in the Vatican, which is about as far removed from the 'real world' as possible. The difference is that Cardinal-designate Muller is prepared to fulfill his teaching role and his job specification at the CDF for standing up to defend Christian dogma and Catholic Truth, whereas Cardinal Mardiaga is prepared to sell-out the Catholic Faith because he  would seem not to believe in it, its teachings or the perhaps even the Divinity of its Founder and Head.


Zephyrinus said…
Dear Bones. Somewhat Off-Topic in this Comment Box, but very apt, I suggest, for your Voting Post "Throwaway Culture: What have you thrown away lately ?".

I offer this item seen recently on The Saint Lawrence Press Ltd for the Second Sunday After Epiphany.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' there are no commemorations at either Vespers.

The feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome has been abolished.

Mattins is reduced to one nocturn of three lessons.

There are no commemorations at Lauds and there is no suffrage.

At Prime both Quicumque and the Dominical preces are omitted.

At Mass there is but a single collect.

At Vespers there are no commemorations.
Lepanto said…
"However, the Honduran cardinal (Maradiaga) also seemed to caution against expectations of dramatic lurches in policy.

"We're not going in the direction that whatever is black today will be white tomorrow," he said.

Of course not, what was black will become grey and then numerous previously closed doors will open.
Lynda said…
Cardinal Rodriguez's outburst is false, and vicious. Disgraceful.
Well said, Bones.

Glad somebody else spotted the delicious irony of prelates who pontificate on economic systems, when the only economics of which they have personal experience is asking other people for their money. You never have to learn about turning a profit to earn a living if you can stick out your begging bowl, take millions of people's hard-earned cash then squander it all on lawyers to pay for your misdemeanors.

As you say, even stranger that a certain political ideology can gain the status of dogma while the mere indissolubility of marriage can be re-interpreted to suit the needs of the times.

I can think of only one theological term which adequately describes Maradiaga, and that is "bat-shit mental."
Liam Ronan said…
'Ad hominem' argument is never acceptable and for such jabs to be made in the public arena by any Cardinal is unedifying and can scandalize the Faithful. If swords must inevitably clash, then let it be in private and over the respective merits of the proponents' theological positions and not their personalities.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga's remarks, as reported, seem tactless. Cardinal-elect Archbishop Gerhard Mueller's tact, however, must likewise be open to similar scrutiny.
JB said…

To paraphrase Paul VI, the smoke of Satan has now not only entered the Church, but it is billowing throughout it. Maradiaga is a true barbarian who has no business having a red hat. Disgraceful
viterbo said…
zephyrinus - i have a '62 Missal and the Feast of St Peter's Chair is right there -18th January, which TLMs celebrated with a very interesting homily in my case.

viterbo said…
the progenitor of lies has to have his reps spinning his poison where the Real Remedy is. St Cyril said, 'vice mimics virtue', but we can see it for what it is.

'Our Lord Jesus Christ is rejected as the Reality in which our lives make any sense whatsoever'.

This rejection is surely what the 'smoke of satan', and why so many bishops are utterly careless or utterly crafty.

I'm sticking to, 'if it was Holy then, it's Holy now'.

Hermit Crab said…
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga can be seen as a realist in the mould of Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, whose cynical grip on reality led him to say: "When my workers come to retire they expect a pension. It's no use my saying to them: 'I'll pay you 400 Hail Marys'".
Genty said…
One must always be watchful of little men with pretensions to power and influence. They're like a virus in a computer.
This piece reminded me of Our Lady's message at Akita on Oct 13th 1973:-

"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests."

"The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see CARDINALS OPPOSING CARDINALS, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

"The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will be no longer pardon for them"
Kristin LA said…
"...the gates of hell shall not prevail..."
This is my mantra.
Celia said…
I assume the Cardinal is one of those who think that when the 'lived experience' of many or most Catholics differs from the teachings of the Church (use of artificial contraception is the most usual case)the Magisterium should go with the flow and accommodate disobedience.

Muller is increasingly coming under attack for being,as someone else put it recently 'just a German theologian'. As Fr Z remarked, er- who else do we know who's 'just' a German theologian?

Fascinating what's come out of the woodwork since Feb 28th last.