Fiducia Supplicans Strikes Again

March 12, 2024 00:31:04
Fiducia Supplicans Strikes Again
Crisis Point
Fiducia Supplicans Strikes Again

Mar 12 2024 | 00:31:04

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

Fiducia Supplicans exposed deep divisions within the Catholic Church, and now it is reaching its tentacles beyond the Church to scuttle attempts at union with non-Catholic churches.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:17] Supplicants exposed deep divisions within the Catholic Church. But now it's stretching its tentacles beyond the church and is threatening the efforts of unity with non catholic churches. That's what we're going to talk about today on Point hello America, your host, editor chief of Crisis magazine. Before we get started, you know what to do. You do know what to do, right? You need to smash that, like, button. Smash it, don't touch it. [00:00:42] Don't like, I don't know, tap it, but smash it. Also subscribe to the channel. We really appreciate when you do that. It helps the algorithm to know that people like us and come to us. So do that first of all. Also, you can follow us on social media at Crisis Mag, and you can also subscribe to our email newsletter. Just go to crisismagazine.com entering your email address, and you'll get our articles sent to your inbox every day, usually two articles every day. Before I get started, I also want to mention I was in Steubenville yesterday, Steubenville, Ohio, home to a lot of good catholic apostolates. And I was actually visited to, and I just thought they were great. St. Paul center for Biblical Theology. I've been involved with them for a long time now. That's the organization started by Scott Hahn. Does a lot of great work. And I got to see their new headquarters, and it's quite impressive. For those who don't know, St. Paul center has been around for, I think, about 20 years now. And to say their former headquarters was modest is an understatement. It was literally in the projects. It was the building that used to be the projects years ago, state funded, created years ago. They'd moved out. [00:01:59] The projects had moved to another area of town years ago, and that's what they used as their headquarters. So it wasn't like they were spending money trying to get real big and impressive or anything like that. They were just trying to do the good work that they do. But finally they outgrew it years ago, to be honest. But finally, they did build the new headquarters right across the street from Franciscan University of Steubenville. And it's an impressive building. They're going to be able to do a lot more good work because of this building. And that's really what it's about, is the work they were doing was getting stymied by their old headquarters. And so the new one is very impressive. I'm very excited about their future. I also got to visit the new college of St. Joseph. The worker we had, Jacob Imam, on the program a few months ago, I think it was. They start classes this fall, 2024. So they're not even finished. I mean, they were in the middle of construction of a lot of stuff, but I got to see their main building, their workshop, where they're going to do a lot of the work. I put some pictures up on Twitter. For those who want to see it, just follow me on Twitter. Eric R. Salmons and that was also very impressive as well, was the work that they're doing there at the College of St. Joseph the worker. So it's nice to get out, to escape from the online world of Catholicism, which sometimes doesn't give you a great view of everything that's going on, and to actually meet with some people. They're doing some very good work for the church. So I just wanted to mention that because I'm excited about that. I'm excited whenever I see good work happening in the church, which you don't always see online, but you can see when you get out of your basement, so to speak. [00:03:39] Okay, so that's not the point of this podcast. I did want to start with some good news, though. This podcast is about some bad news, and that is recently the Coptic Orthodox Church. And I'll explain what that is in a few minutes here. [00:03:54] They had their regular meeting, and they had a few decisions they made at their regular meeting of the Coptic Orthodox bishops. And one of them read, after consulting with the sister churches of the Eastern Orthodox family, it was decided to suspend the theological dialogue with the Catholic Church, reevaluate the results achieved by the dialogue from its beginning 20 years ago, and establish new standards and mechanisms for dialogue to proceed in the future. Now, it's kind of written in a very bland way, but this is a bombshell. This is honestly a bombshell. And I think we can't underestimate what a big bombshell this is. Note in their official statement, they don't say why they're suspending relations, theological relations of catholic church, but it's a huge deal that they are. And it came out that the reason was fiducio supplicants in which the Catholic Church, the document of Cardinal Fernandez, Pope Francis that essentially allowed the blessing of same sex couples. And I'm not going to relitigate that document here. I've talked about it on the podcast. I've written about Cris. We have number of articles at crisis about it. [00:05:05] But to say that was a controversial document is an understatement. And basically what it did was, I think it changed how non Catholics view the catholic church in a fundamental and in some ways in always in bad ways. Though for those who were very supportive of same sex relations and homosexuality and all that, it probably changed it in a more positive light. They're like, hey, the Catholic Church isn't so bad after all. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, who embrace the teachings of Christianity as it has been held for centuries, for almost 2000 years now, it was a blow. It made the Catholic Church look like yet another one of these mainline protestant denominations, or the anglican church, which has decided to just simply embrace the world. And that's how it's now looked upon by many people outside the Catholic Church. I think we have to recognize this. It's kind of like for Orthodox Catholic. [00:06:13] Think about how you viewed the Anglican Church for years. You kind of knew, okay, they're not serious about following the gospel. They're serious about following modernity, following whatever the latest modernity has to offer. [00:06:26] That's how now non Catholics, many of them the more traditional non Catholics, are viewing the Catholic Church because of this document. I'm not saying there aren't other reasons that have kind of built to it, but this document is kind of the dam broke and really made it clear that this is what we're talking about here. [00:06:46] The catechist seems to be trying to embrace the modernity, trying to embrace homosexuality and things of that nature. And in fact, the Coptic Orthodox came out and they did say afterwards, this is because, as they put it, the catholic churches change in position on homosexuality. [00:07:10] Now, I know the pope splainers are going to get out there and they're going to say, oh, it didn't change anything. And I know as actually orthodox Catholics, we're going to say, yes, it did not change the position of the Catholic Church on homosexuality. However, why shouldn't a non Catholic think that when you read fiducia supplicants and you also look at what's happening with like Father James Martin blessing homosexual couples who are married, quote unquote, to each other, and it's on the front page of the New York Times and nothing is happening to Father James Martin. No, no discipline for doing this, then it makes sense that outsiders would think we've changed our position. The Catholic Church has changed her position on homosexuality. In fact, the Coptic orthodox make it very clear what they believe. [00:07:59] In one of their statements. They say if someone chooses to embrace their homosexual tendency, however, and refuses to seek spiritual and emotional help, but continues to break God's commandments, in that case their situation becomes the same as someone who is living in adultery. In such cases, they must be warned and advised to abstain from communion. Seeking repentance. That's a clear declaration of the traditional christian teaching on people engaged in homosexual relations, that if they refuse to seek spiritual and emotional help, they refuse to repent of what they've done, then they shouldn't receive communion. [00:08:44] That's quite a switch from what you read clearly in fiducia supplicants, which talks nothing about repentance, talks nothing about the real sin of homosexual relations, and in fact, seems to endorse homosexual relations in a lot of ways. [00:09:00] And so really, we can say that in this case, Fiducia supplicants strikes again. And I just want to note that the title of this article actually comes from one of crisis writers, Sean Fitzpatrick. We have an article coming out tomorrow by him on this very issue, and it's excellent. I recommend you read it. And he says, fiducia supplicant strikes again. And I use that as my title. So I apologize to Sean because I used it without even realizing that's where I got it from, because I'd read his article already and then it was in my head somehow. But it's a good title because it's like Fiducia's supplicants has done so much damage in so many ways, and this is yet another way, it has damaged the mission of the Catholic Church. Now, I really quick want to do a breakdown of who the Coptic Orthodox are and why this matters. I think this is something a lot of times we in the west aren't always clear on, so I think we should be. The first thing to note is there's actually three different, what you could call greek schisms that have happened in the history of the church. We think of it as like, the Catholics and the orthodox, but actually there's three different types of orthodox, so to speak. The first one happened after the council of Ephesus in 431. So this goes way back. [00:10:23] And that's the one that declared the Theotokos and declared that Jesus is a divine person. He's not a human person, he's a divine person. That's why we can call his mother the mother of God, not just the mother of Christ. And this is Nestorius, of course. The patriarch of Constantinople was condemned, and a number of Christians broke away after this, following the teachings of Nestorius, basically. And it still exists today. This church, it's called the Assyrian Church of the east, and it basically existed in Persia for a very long time. It's very small today, but it still does exist. And the Catholic Church recognizes that church as an apostolic church, meaning it has valid sacraments. It goes back to the apostles. So that's one. That's not what the Coptic Orthodox are, but that's the first greek schism. The second happened after the council of calcidon in 451. That's the famous council where it was declared that Christ has two natures, both human and divine. He's fully human and fully divine. Now, a number of Christians broke away after that, and they were much more. It's kind of debate about Christ have two natures, one nature. And I don't want to get into all the details of the debate, but essentially they broke away, and this is what's now, and they still exist. It's called the oriental Orthodox churches. And this is actually multiple churches. The Coptic Orthodox church is one of these. [00:11:53] So they broke away after 451, after the council of calcitum. And the Coptic Orthodox churches are the oriental orthodox who basically are based in Egypt. And so they have their own leader who's actually called a pope. And pope, of course, just means papa. So it's not like they're trying to claim he's the pope of Rome or anything like that. And so that's what the Oriental Orthodox are. That's what the Coptic Orthodox are. That's the second greek schism. The third is what we mostly know of today as the Eastern Orthodox. And that breakaway, you can't have a specific date. People like to say 1054, but it was definitely over a longer period of time. It wasn't over a single council. It really was over issues of the papacy, the filioque and other issues. [00:12:37] That is what the Russian Orthodox Church, for example, are part of that. [00:12:41] The Greek Orthodox Church of Patriarch Constantinople, Patriarch Bartholomew, that is the Eastern Orthodox Church. Now, it's important to know those three categories, types of Orthodox. They're not in communion with each other. So the Eastern Orthodox, like the Russian Orthodox, are not communing with the Coptic Orthodox. The Coptic Orthodox are not in communing with the syrian Church of the east, and none of them, of course, are in communion with the Catholic Church. And I say that I want to make sure it's clear who we're talking about here with the Coptic Orthodox. Now, here's the thing, is all of these churches, however, whether it be the assyrian Church of the east, the Oriental Orthodox, which include the Coptic Orthodox, or the Eastern Orthodox tradition, is very important to them. [00:13:25] It's very much a part of who they are. And so they are very, what we would in America call conservative in the sense that they hold on to their traditions, both theological and moral. And so they don't easily give in to the modern world. They don't easily give in to modernity and everything that's going on. In fact, this is something that was true of the Catholic Church until about 60 years ago as well. We didn't give into it very easily as well. Our leaders didn't and we didn't, but now, of course, many of our leaders do, but that hasn't really occurred in these Orthodox churches. Now, some of that has to do with the fact that they live in a completely different culture than we do. They have been under Islam for centuries. [00:14:17] The Coptic Orthodox have lived heroically under the Yoke of Islam for as long as Islam has been around. Basically as soon as Islam took over Egypt, was that 1200 years ago? Something like that. [00:14:29] And so they heroically to keep the christian faith while being under the yoke of Islam. So for them, the siren song of western culture is really not that impressive. It's not something that they're attracted to. They've had to live their faith, their christian faith under persecution for so long that the idea of, oh, let's go along with what some western liberal arts major thinks is the right thing to do in America, that's just not going to be attractive to them. And so that's something to note. And now, over the past 50, 60 years, the Catholic Church has engaged in ecumenical relations with these various churches, the Coptic Orthodox, as they mentioned 20 years ago, I think it started, I felt like it was longer than that. I was a little surprised when it said only 20 years. [00:15:26] But really, the ecumenical relations that the Catholic Church has engaged in with the Coptic Orthodox and the Assyrian Church east has been specifically about. Okay, let's look at the source of our division, the source of the schism, which in the case of the Coptic Orthodox, is the council of Chalcedon. Are there true theological differences between the two churches, or is it more a matter of language? Because, remember, the languages spoke during that time, the Greek and other languages spoke at that time were not always the same, and communication wasn't as easy as it is today. It might be months between communications, and it might not have a lot of translators. And so the question is, is it really fundamentally a different theology, or is it using language that's different enough that we're saying the same thing, but we're not saying it the same way? So we think we're not saying the same thing. Now don't get me wrong. [00:16:23] I'm not trying to minimize the differences, act like that this doesn't matter, or our theology is identical or anything like that. I am, though, trying to say that there is something to be said for the fact that I think it's legitimate to say that a lot of the theological differences that happened in schism were not actually theological after all. They're political and they're linguistic, and that's what the ecumenical relations have been, and they've made much progress during that. [00:16:52] Now, I want to state real quick, though, my own views on ecumenism, because it might be a little bit confusing. I wrote a book called Deadly Indifference, in which I condemn the ecumenical movement in many ways, and I've talked against ecumenism past. So why am I now, all of a sudden, why do I care about ecumenism today if all of a sudden, before I wasn't? One thing I've made clear over and over again is, I think ecumenical dialogue with the non apostolic churches, I. E. Protestantism, is a waste of time in general is almost exclusively a waste of time. Why? Because there's no mechanism to actually bring unity between them. You can't have an actual corporate union reunion between the Catholic Church and, let's say, the Methodist church. Why? Because there's no sacramental being in the Methodist church in itself, because their orders aren't valid. I mean, they don't even try to claim they have orders. So what do you do with all the bishops and the ministers of the Methodist church? You can't bring them into the Catholic Church in some corporate way. You can't make a Methodist church all of a sudden into a catholic church where their minister becomes a catholic priest. It's just not possible. [00:18:04] And so corporate union isn't really a thing. So while you might have some benefit in having some discussions between Methodists and Catholics, there's no end goal other than each individual Methodist, like I was, needs to become catholic. That's the end goal. And that's really evangelization and apologetics more than it is ecumenism. So I don't really see a point in most ecumenical dialogue with protestant denominations other than just an opportunity to just kind of hang out and talk about what we agree on, what we disagree on, maybe, but usually they never talk about what they disagree on. But I do think, and I've always thought this, that there is a purpose to ecumenical dialogue with the apostolic Churches, I. E. The three major branches or types of orthodox churches. Why? Because there is an end goal corporate reunion. Because of the fact they have valid sacraments and they have a valid apostolic succession, valid bishops. You can actually bring about a corporate reunion. We've already seen this has happened in the past. That's where the Eastern Catholic churches in general, where they come from is there was a corporate reunion between an orthodox church and the Catholic Church. Now, it didn't end up being the entire orthodox church in most cases, but at least a major part of it. So they could just bring the whole church over, so to speak. So a bishop could come over, bring his priests, bring his parishes over, and they become catholic without really changing anything in the sense of they still have these buildings, they still have these priests, they still have this hierarchy. Now they're just under Rome. Now they are just in communion with Rome is probably a better way to put it. [00:19:47] So I do think there's a benefit to a purpose to ecumenical relations with the Orthodox, with the apostolic churches. [00:19:58] I say all this for a reason, because I don't think my view of the purpose of ecumenism is the same as what most progressives, including Pope Francis, how they see ecumenism. And this is why they're torpedoing our ecumenical relations with, for example, the Coptic Orthodox and we see other Orthodox churches. What is the purpose? If you look, and I studied this deeply when I was researching for my book, deadly indifference, when you look at the kind of the evolution of ecumenism in the Catholic Church by the leaders, you see it went from a goal of full communion with the Catholic Church to we're basically going to have, we're striving towards a full communion, just kind of. In general, it wasn't with the Catholic Church. It wasn't even defined as apostolic sacramentally, because you can't have it sacramentally with these non apostolic churches. So really what happened was ecumenism became a way to undermine the truth, because now what you did was you would just minimize the differences, talk about what we share in value. Dialogue became just a way that you could say, okay, here's what we agree on. We agree that Jesus Christ is God. And really they would end it at that. [00:21:20] But the perception of who Jesus is, what Jesus teaches, what Jesus demands of us, how he set up his church, all these things are just forgotten or brushed aside most of the time. [00:21:34] And so for the modernists, for the progressive Catholics, their idea of ecumenism is simply lowest common denominator Christianity, that we basically are all in this together, and what is it that we all agree on and that alone is all we care about. Anything that is against that that goes beyond that, I should say. We just ignore and we just don't care about. [00:22:01] And so that type of ecumenism is anathema. Frankly, to traditionally minded Christians like the coptic orthodox, their purpose in being involved in ecumenical dialogue was the union of churches. Now they might perceive how that union would come about different than we do right now. That takes the grace of the Holy Spirit to get to a point where we see that the same way. [00:22:26] But the point is, is union in the fullness of the truth. I think that's the key point. Not union, because we ignore most of the truth, but a union in the fullness of the truth. That's the real difference between ecumenism, true ecumenism, a true ecumenical movement, and how many progressives view the ecumenical movement. To be honest, progressives view the truth as an obstacle to ecumenism, as an obstacle to reunion. But the fact is, truth should be the goal of ecumenism, of reunion. [00:23:06] And so I think we really want to emphasize that very much here. [00:23:14] What exactly is going on in ecumenism compared to what's happening with the Coptic Orthodox versus what the Vatican, how they kind of see ecumenical movement. And so again, we come back to fiducia supplicants and the disaster it is. [00:23:32] It's been rejected now by so many people. I mean, just recently, I think it was a couple of days ago, the Russian Orthodox and the Russian Catholics both came out with statements that basically said that condemned it, essentially that basically said, we are not going to bless same sex couples. This is not something we're going to do. [00:23:50] And so the number of bishops and laypeople and priests and people around the world that have rejected viducia supplicants is just immense. It really is a watershed moment in the pontificate of Pope Francis. Like, I think there's some things. I think that, like, Amoris Letizia might be, actually, probably is worse in a lot of ways, but it didn't cause this firestorm, this, however. And I think that's somewhat to do with the acceptance of divorce around the globe, which I think is sad. But also it was a little bit more hidden. I think that was part of it, too. The dangers of Amorius Letizio are a little more hidden than they are in Fiducia's supplicants. [00:24:37] What we're seeing, though, is I personally think that Pope Francis had no idea of the brushback he was going to get from this. I think if he knew that, he would not have allowed Cardinal Fernandez to release this. I think he just thought, I mean, I think they live in a bubble, to be honest, a Vatican bubble, where a bunch of progressives hang out and they just say, we're going to do this. Everybody's going to love us because all the people that we hang out with love us if we do it, and that's all that matters. I don't think they're not smelling the sheep. They're not out in the world. They're not hanging out with people down in Africa, South America, America. I mean, they want nothing to do with United States of America, Asia or anything like that. They live in their bubble in the Vatican with no concept of how this was going to be perceived by most people, perceived accurately, frankly, as a rejection of catholic faith. Now, yes, I know all the little stipulations that it technically endorses catholic teaching on marriage, but we know it undermines it left and right. And I think the rejection of it by so many people shows this. And so I really feel like this, I kind of feel like this is the moment of Pope Francis'pontificate that we're going to remember that this is where the phrase jump the shark, this is like his jump the shark. That was his jump the shark moment, where after this, so many people just said, no, we're not going to go along with this. And now that we're seeing the Coptic Orthodox going against this. So I really think this is something we have to recognize as a big moment because the Coptic Orthodox, here's something I want to note. The Coptic Orthodox, it benefits them to be in this dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church because remember, they are persecuted. [00:26:35] They're under the yoke of Islam. They're surrounded by Islam. To have friends in the west, in the christian west, in theory, is helpful for them. So the fact that they just said, nope, we're not going to have anything to do with the Catholic Church right now says how big a deal this is, says how much it's rejected by the Coptic Orthodox and by basically Christians around the world, traditionally minded Christians around the, obviously, I mean, it goes back to Pope Francis. He never should have released this. Obviously, he shouldn't have. He didn't even have support for it within his own party, so to speak. Because at the synod on Sinide, which he stacked, they did not say, they said, we shouldn't do this right now. And yet he did anyway. [00:27:24] And I just think he kind of, like I said, he lives in a bubble and didn't realize the implications of this. So I would say, let's pray for our Coptic Orthodox, brothers and sisters, they are not in full communion with the Catholic Church. That is something that we want them to be in full communion with the Catholic Church. We should pray for them. We should frankly praise them for maintaining their faith in Jesus Christ and his moral teachings in this case, which I don't think we can say for somebody like Cardinal Fernandez, for example. [00:27:54] And so what we need to do is we need to work ecumenically in the right way, where we want to see the Catholic Church as the end goal for all Christians. [00:28:06] And we recognize that that can be done. It has to be done individually among Protestants, but it can be done corporately among the orthodox, among the apostolic churches. And so here's the paradox. Here's the irony. [00:28:24] The best way to be ecumenical in the true sense, is to be 100% unapologetically catholic. That's the irony here. [00:28:35] If the catholic church embraces her traditions, stops fighting her own traditionally minded people, like in the traditional Latin mass, things like that embraces, of course, all tradition when it comes to catholic moral teaching, that's what is going to be the most attractive to the other apostolic churches, because it represents a united front against modernity, against the evils of this world. And it brings us closer together. [00:29:04] When we have a common enemy, you are drawn closer together. This happens with Catholics and Protestants. In the pro life movement. We have a common enemy, the holocaust of abortion. So we fight together against that, and that brings us together. Likewise, if the Catholic Church was fighting against the evils of modernity in the western world, the Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, the Syrian Church east, they would be attracted to us, and they'd come closer together, and we'd be more likely to have an actual legitimate ecumenical movement. That's the irony, because people think, and this is because the way the progressives have done it over the decades, people think that we have to tone down our more kind of hardcore catholic aspects in order to prop up the ecumenical movement. It's actually the opposite. The more we embrace our catholic traditional catholic beliefs, the better it will be for a true ecumenical movement with churches like the Coptic Orthodox Church. So let's pray, like I said, for a coptic orthodox. Brothers and sisters. Let's pray, obviously, for Pope Francis, that he would see the air of his ways in this and just revoke fiducia supplicants. I mean, what a beautiful moment that would be if he just simply said, we're going to revoke it. It's no longer in place. Yeah, he'd get heat from the father. James Martins of the world, who cares? The New York Times of the world, who cares? But he would get a lot of support from the actual Christians in the world, the Africans, the Coptics, people like that. I think if we do that, I think it'd be great. I think we can pray for that. We can believe that that can happen. [00:30:49] Okay. I going to end it there. I appreciate you joining in. Until next time, everybody. God love.

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