Roberto de Mattei: Francis Opens Door to Married Priests in upcoming Exhortation on Amazon Synod
Peek-a-boo! Open or closed?!
The Novus Ordo Church historian Prof. Roberto de Mattei has published an article on his web site asserting that several “bishops” have leaked to him a pre-released portion of Francis’ upcoming post-synodal “Apostolic exhortation” that speaks of lifting the requirement of clerical celibacy.
But first, some background.
On Jan. 13, 2020, “Cardinal” Claudio Hummes, the general relator of the notorious Amazon Synod held in the Vatican in October of last year, sent a confidential letter to the world’s Novus Ordo bishops announcing that Francis’ exhortation would be published “by the end of this month or in early February.”
The full text of this letter was leaked to the press and published by Life Site and on Aldo Maria Valli’s blog, among other outlets. The mere announcement that Francis’ exhortation was imminent was obviously no great revelation, since everybody was already waiting for it. The explosive part of the letter, rather, was this:
…as was previously done with Laudato si’ (2015), Amoris Laetitia (2016), Gaudete et Exsultate (2018) and Christus Vivit (2019), the Holy Father would like the local Ordinaries to receive the text directly, before it is published and before the world press starts to comment on it, and join him in presenting the Exhortation and making it accessible to the faithful, to fellow believers and all people of good will, and to the media, the academic world, and others in positions of authority and influence.
When the day of promulgation draws near, you will receive the Exhortation by e-mail under embargo. On the day itself, there will be a celebratory and communications event in the same Synod Hall where the deliberations took place in October.
You may also want to begin planning a press briefing or a press conference or other event as soon as convenient after the publication of the Exhortation. For example, you may find it opportune to have the Exhortation presented by yourself along with an indigenous spokesperson if relevant in your area, an experienced pastoral leader (ordained or religious, layman or laywoman), an expert on climate or ecology, and a youth involved in peer ministry.
Apparently the new exhortation has now been e-mailed out to the world’s Novus Ordo bishops, at least in part, for, according to Prof. de Mattei, several of the recipients decided to leak some of the text to him.
On his web site Corrispondenza Romana, de Mattei states:
The news we are now reporting was in the air, but the confirmation has come to us confidentially from several bishops who have received a part (not all) of Pope Francis’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation on [the] Amazon Synod. This part substantially reproduces paragraph 111 that was approved in the synod’s final document[:]
Many of the Church communities in the Amazonian territory have enormous difficulties in attending the Eucharist. Sometimes it takes not just months but even several years before a priest can return to a community to celebrate the Eucharist, offer the sacrament of reconciliation or anoint the sick in the community.
We appreciate celibacy as a gift of God to the extent that this gift enables the missionary disciple, ordained to the priesthood, to dedicate himself fully to the service of the Holy People of God. It stimulates pastoral charity, and we pray that there will be many vocations living the celibate priesthood. We know that this discipline “is not demanded by the very nature of the priesthood” (PO 16) although there are many practical reasons for it. In his encyclical on priestly celibacy, St. Paul VI maintained this law and set out theological, spiritual and pastoral motivations that support it. In 1992, the post-synodal exhortation of St. John Paul II on priestly formation confirmed this tradition in the Latin Church (cf. PDV 29).
Considering that legitimate diversity does not harm the communion and unity of the Church, but rather expresses and serves it (cf. LG13; OE 6), witness the plurality of existing rites and disciplines, we propose that criteria and dispositions be established by the competent authority, within the framework of Lumen Gentium 26, to ordain as priests suitable and respected men of the community with a legitimately constituted and stable family, who have had a fruitful permanent diaconate and receive an adequate formation for the priesthood, in order to sustain the life of the Christian community through the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments in the most remote areas of the Amazon region.
Therefore, the door is open. There is no reason to prohibit in other regions of the world what will be permitted in some parts of the Amazon. The German bishops, and others, are ready to extend access to the presbyterate to married men deemed suitable by the competent authorities. What is being gotten rid of is not only a[n] “ecclesiastical discipline” subject to change, but a law of the Church based on a precept of divine and Apostolic origin.
Fifty years ago, at the symposium of European bishops held in Chur in July 1969, Cardinal Leo-Joseph Suenens, during his concluding conference, read an appeal by Hans Küng to suppress priestly celibacy. This request was consistent with the role which progressive theology assigned to sexuality: an instinct that man should not repress through asceticism, but “liberate,” by finding in sex a form of “realization” of the human person. Since then, this demand has expanded and accompanied the process of the Church’s secularization and self-demolition.
In reality, the transgression of celibacy and simony were the great plagues that have always afflicted the Mystical Body of Christ in times of crisis. And the call to continence and evangelical poverty was the battle standard of the great reforming saints. In the coming days of February, the anti-Reformer will not be, as has happened so often, a bishop or a group of bishops, but the successor of Saint Peter himself.
Ecclesiastical celibacy is a glory of the Church and what he is demeaning is the very will of Christ, transmitted by the Apostles even to our day. How can we possibly imagine Catholics to remain silent in the face of this scandal?
(Roberto de Mattei, “L’esortazione post-sinodale di papa Francesco abolisce il celibato ecclesiastico”, Corrispondenza Romana, Jan. 31, 2020; English translation by Diane Montagna for Life Site.)
It is important to remember that for mandatory priestly celibacy to fall, all it takes is for the principle of making it optional “based on need” to be enshrined — the rest is merely a question of working out accidental details which can easily be established, changed, or done away with “by the competent authority”.
Such has been the Modernists’ extremely successful tactic since the time of the Second Vatican Council. Consider what Vatican II said in 1963 about preserving Latin in the Sacred Liturgy:
1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.
(Vatican II, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 36; underlining added.)
Notice how this works: First, the traditional practice is praised and affirmed. Next, a particular situation is invoked to overthrow the prior practice but only, of course, on a “limited” basis. Then reference is made to the “competent authority” to decide this in each particular case. We all know what the result of this instruction was: It took less than five years for the highest ecclesisatical authority — the Vatican — to approve of a Latin-rite liturgy entirely in the vernacular. So much for “the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.”
Therefore, if Francis’ exhortation, once released, should indeed abolish mandatory priestly celibacy in places where there are not enough celibate clerics, then the principle will have been established and the slippery slope will begin: What’s good for the Amazon region because of need, can’t be bad for other places with the same need, right? On what grounds should one periphery receive a certain privilege but not another? Don’t worry, the “competent authority” will be on it!
The question that remains is whether the text leaked to de Mattei is truly part of the final version of the exhortation, at least in essence. A report by Catholic News Service released a few hours ago says that it is only “a draft, and not necessarily the final version, according to a Vatican source” which, however, is not identified.
In any case, what we are witnessing here is quite similar to the anxiety seen before the release of Francis’ infernal exhortation Amoris Laetitia in 2016, whose disastrous aftermath is a gift that keeps on giving. The release of that exhortation, too, had been preceded by an email from a Vatican prelate asking the “bishops” to prepare their flocks for the proper reception of the document, and the Vatican’s own press conference the day of the release featured a lay expert on situation ethics. Although one misled pundit rushed to declare that “[w]e have dodged a bullet”, an attentive reading of the text revealed that Francis had overthrown the Divine Law on reception of Holy Communion (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29) with a footnote! Not to mention the blasphemies and heresies the exhortation contained.
What chaos will the Frankster unleash this time around? Soon his much-anticipated exhortation will be out, and then we’ll now.
Get the popcorn ready!
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