We are living in extraordinary times in the life of the church. A clear and obvious battle is now underway between normative Catholics- who would have the Church stand by the faith of the ages -and a school of modernist thinkers who would lead us down a new road shaped by a desire to make the faith relevant to the whims of the secular culture we inhabit.
The latter offer the easier path , one might say the broad and easy way, beloved of chattering classes; a way heavy in compromise and light in personal fidelity and sacrifice. It is linked to preference for egocentric worship and a disdain of tradition, the turning of blind eyes to morally compromised situations. Whereas the former peddle a hard road to travel, one might say the narrow path, for it demands we follow doctrine faithfully and battle against, instead of conforming too, the world. One tends to find healthy regard for tradition and preference for theocentric worship.
It is into this milieu that Cardinal Mueller, until recently head of the CDF (whose job is to safeguard the faith), has decided to release a ‘manifesto of faith’. You can and should read it here.
Understand it is far from normal for a Cardinal to do this. But these are far from normal times when the faithful fear for a church in the clutches of a modernist mindset. One has to view this manifesto, therefore, not in a vacuum but alongside the explosive testament of Archbishop Vigano, whose claim regarding rot in the hierarchy, though pilloried by those in authority, has not been credibly denied nor disproved.
It also sits alongside the infamous ‘dubia’ – the formal questions put to the Pope (in the wake of controversial passages in the document Amoris Letitia) which, in a break with protocol and tradition, he simply refuses to answer.
And we must sit this manifesto alongside the long list of vile but credible cases of global abuse, 80% of which stem from an unhealthy homosexual subculture within the clergy. Make no mistake a modernist church soft on moral teaching is firmly in the interests of those perverts who perpetrated abuse else chose to cover it up. All roads at present seem to lead us here.
So I am grateful to Cardinal Mueller for injecting clarity into an era of doubt and confusion. We need men of God to steer us through the dangerous waters of our day. And one of the few lights, in this otherwise dark period, is that we are, at least, beginning to see which bishops are true shepherds of Christ and which are merely hirelings in thrall to the world.
Of course life is never so neat as to present us with clear cut ‘goodies and baddies.’ Most bishops, like all of us, are themselves troubled, confused or compromised to different degrees, but it does help to see who- in this time of undeniable crisis- has the courage to stand up for the faith with zeal and who remains silent or else complicit as the scandals progress…