Hegelian Third Way Update

Would you like to retain the Blessed Sacrament in your own home, in order to have Eucharistic Adoration at your convenience? Are you a faithful Catholic, adhering to all the commands of the faith, completely committed to living a life consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, observing the faith meticulously?

Well, that lets you out, chump! That honor and privilege is only for those on the proposed Third Way, the Ordo Penitentium. Read on…

Sandro Magister has posted another article by the French Dominican theologian Thomas Michelet, fancifully entitled, “The Synod. The Preparatory Document’s Arabian Phoenix”. In his introduction, Magister remarks about the Ordo Penitentium, “Everybody says there is one, what it is nobody knows. It is the “penitential way” to communion for the divorced and remarried.” He is referring to the Arabian Phoenix, Cosi fan tutte.

Michelet begins by noting that the Instrumentum Laboris, in  ¶123 asserts that, “a great number agree that a journey of reconciliation or penance, under the auspices of the local bishop, might be undertaken by those who are divorced and civilly remarried, who find themselves in irreversible situations.” Taking note of the obvious, that there is no factual basis provided for this “great number (who) agree”, Michelet decries the statement’s imprecision and warns that the lack of precision could open the way to a variety of pastoral practices.

“(T)he indefiniteness of the proposal conceals a true and profound dispute that threatens to last for a long time, even in the final proposals of the next synod if there is not greater precision. There would be the risk of a declaration of principle on the doctrinal level that would not be discussed by anyone, but would then open the way to the most highly varied pastoral practices that would in fact involve very different doctrines. After a few years, we would find ourselves facing the fait accompli of these practices and of the doctrinal change that they imply and that they would have brought into common acceptance.

“According to some commentators, there has been a move from the idea of an “all or nothing,” of an immediate admission or a persistent refusal of access for the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist, to what could seem like a “third way”:  the idea of an admission conditional on the completion of a penitential journey, on which everyone finally seems to be in agreement. Great, but concretely, what sort of process would this be? What would be its specific steps? …

Note, the application of Hegelian dialectics; thesis (refusal of access), antithesis (immediate admission) then resolved by the synthesis or “third way”. With the stage set, Michelet then proceeds to his second hypothesis.

“This second hypothesis – that of maintaining the current discipline – is therefore the only one that seems conceivable to us, granting that one wishes to be faithful to the Word of Christ. Does this mean that we are talking about an absolute rejection of any change with respect to the present situation? Not necessarily. Even in fidelity, there is always the possibility of a new development, of a “surprise of the Holy Spirit.”

In this, we see our humble Pontiff’s God of surprises. But wait, it gets better.

“First of all, there are various ways of presenting the matter. Either as a door that is closed and the rejection of any way of salvation, or rather as a pilgrimage in which the one who undertakes a journey of happiness is already on the right path, even if he is not able to conform immediately to all the aspects of life in the Spirit according to the Gospel. This second way of acting, which should be decisively preferred, in fact consists in integrating the law of incrementalism presented by Pope John Paul II in “Familiaris Consortio” no. 84, without creating confusion with its inverse figure, that of incrementalism of the law (which would be the first hypothesis of which we just spoke).

Note the false dichotomy between a closed door, rejecting salvation for the poor sinner who “finds himself” in this deplorable state (seemingly through no fault), and a merciful way of a penitential “pilgrimage, a journey of happiness”. Who could resist!

“Moreover, it remains to be acknowledged that some pastoral practices faithful to this teaching of Pope John Paul II have already been established since that time, demonstrating that they can give good fruits of grace. For example, it has happened that some “divorced and remarried” couples have manifested, in making the decision not to receive communion anymore, such faith and such profound respect for the Eucharist that the bishop has allowed them to keep the real presence in their homes, in order to nourish their journey of conversion through Eucharistic adoration.

In the foregoing paragraph, Michelet states that these people, by “making the decision not to receive communion anymore”, are thereby allowed (by an unnamed bishop) to have the Most Holy Eucharist in their homes. No   mention of turning away from their sinful life, but just because they refrain from unworthy reception of the Eucharist. Amazing! A monstrous sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament to reward people who refuse to amend their lives. Michelet blithely continues,

“In order to move forward along this line of innovative fidelity defined by Pope John Paul II, we ourselves have made the proposal of an updating of the “ordo pænitentium,” the restoration of this ancient order of penitents of Christian antiquity that long survived in tandem with the current form of the sacrament of penance. This “ordo” could find renewed interest, because it took place over a long period of time and in stages marked by liturgical celebrations. It was considered sacramental right from the stage of the imposition of ashes, not only in the final stage of absolution. It also had the advantage of demonstrating well that the sinner was not excluded from the Church, because he was part of an “ordo,” and was therefore on the contrary urged to nourish himself on the Church’s treasury of graces in listening to the Word of God and participating in its life of prayer. Just as the emergence from the regime of Christendom procured the grace of the rebirth of adult baptism, it could also lead to the rebirth of these orders of penitents in what was most evangelical about them, without reviving, obviously, the excesses that were not connected to their essence. Thus the penitent would have a prophetic mission to accomplish in the Church: that of urging greater respect for the Eucharist and greater consideration of one’s sins.

Note the skillful use of, “the restoration of this ancient order of penitents of Christian antiquity”. That should surely bring in the support of those rigid traditionalists, so intransigent in their taste for the old fashions! Michelet began his article by sounding like a staunch defender of orthodoxy and ends by proposing the sacrilege of giving the Blessed Sacrament to obstinate sinners as a reward for their not receiving Holy Communion sacrilegiously. In what parallel universe is this faithful to the Magisterium? Oh, I forgot, it is “innovative fidelity”!

I leave it to those who are more learned decipher for us the sentence, “Just as the emergence from the regime of Christendom procured the grace of the rebirth of adult baptism, it could also lead to the rebirth of these orders of penitents in what was most evangelical about them, …” Love to hear your thoughts on that!

In 1916, 99 years ago, St. Michael the Archangel taught the shepherd children to make reparation to the Blessed Sacrament. It seemed puzzling at that time, since the most Blessed sacrament was universally throughout the Church adored and glorified. Indeed, in those days, there was no dearth of respectful Eucharistic Adoration in all the world, carried out devoutly by obedient and chaste Catholics. But reparation was needed precisely because at this time, a church of opposition would propose sacrilege in the name of mercy.

If you read this blog regularly, you know by heart the prayer which we call, the Forgotten Prayer of Fatima. Please renew your efforts to pray it and to spread its devotion.

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ present in the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary, restore the faith!

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

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