Kazakh auxiliary stirs the pot again…
Athanasius Schneider’s explosive Prayer for the Synod 2023: An incisive Sedevacantist Analysis
The world’s most significant insignificant Novus Ordo bishop is back in the news: the Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary for the diocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Yesterday, Sep. 28, the Vatican journalist Diane Montagna published on her Twitter (or ‘X’) account a “Prayer for the 2023 ‘Synod on Synodality'” that was composed by ‘Bp.’ Schneider (why ‘Bishop’ in quotes?). It is not clear whether the text is Montagna’s translation, or whether Schneider wrote the prayer in English. Although released a day early, it is dated Sep. 29, the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel in the traditional Roman calendar.
Below we will provide the full text of the prayer, before analyzing and commenting on it.
Prayer for the 2023 “Synod on Synodality”
Lord Jesus Christ, Our God and Saviour, You are the Head of the Church, Your spotless Bride and Mystical Body. Look mercifully upon the profound distress to which Our Holy Mother Church has been subjected. Doctrinal confusion, moral abomination, and liturgical abuse have, in our day, reached an unprecedented height. “The heathens have come into your inheritance, having defiled your holy temple, and laid Jerusalem in ruins” (Ps 79:1). Churchmen who have lost the true Faith and become promoters of a worldly globalist agenda, are intent on changing Your truths and Commandments, the Divine Constitution of the Church, and the Apostolic tradition.
O Lord, with humble spirit and contrite heart we beseech you, prevent the enemies of the Church from exulting in a victory over the authentic Catholic Church obtained by imposing a counterfeit church under the guise of “synodality”. Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come to the aid of Your Church with Your almighty strength. For where sin and apostasy in the Church abounds, the victory of Your grace will abound the more.
We firmly believe that the gates of Hell will not prevail against Your Church. In this hour, in which our beloved and holy Mother Church is suffering her Golgotha, we promise to remain with her. Graciously accept our interior and exterior sufferings, which we humbly offer in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of the Church, as a reparation for our own sins and for the sins of sacrilege and apostasy within the Church.
O Lord, send forth your Holy Angels under the command of Saint Michael the Archangel, to bring your heavenly light to the Pope and synod participants, and to frustrate the plans of your enemies within the synod assembly. O Lord, look mercifully upon the little ones in the Church, look upon the hidden souls who sacrifice themselves for the Church, look upon all the tears, sighs and supplications of the true children of the Church, and through the merits of the Immaculate Heart of Your Most Holy Mother, arise, O Lord, and by Your intervention grant Your Church holy shepherds who, imitating Your example, will give their lives for You and Your sheep. O Lord, we beseech You: Through the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant us a holy Pope, zealous in promoting and defending the Catholic Faith, we implore You, grant it! Through the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant us holy and intrepid bishops, we implore You, grant it! Through the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant us holy priests, who are men of God, we implore You, grant it! In You, O Lord, we rest our hope: let us never be put to shame. To You, O Lord Jesus Christ, be given all honour and glory in Your Holy Church. You live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit: God, forever and ever. Amen.
September 29, 2023 [Feast of St. Michael the Archangel]
+ Athanasius Schneider
One thing that everyone can probably agree on is that releasing this prayer ahead of the Synod on Synodality is a pretty “gutsy” move on Schneider’s part. But more on that later.
Let us now analyze the content of this prayer step by step. We will quote the text again but this time intersperse some critical observations.
“Lord Jesus Christ, Our God and Saviour, You are the Head of the Church, Your spotless Bride and Mystical Body.”
Right from the beginning, Schneider wishes to be clear that the head of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ, and that this Church is His spotless Bride and Mystical Body. Why? Presumably he wishes to lessen ‘Pope’ Francis’ status a bit. Schneider’s statement is not wrong, of course, but it is somewhat reminiscent of Scott Hahn‘s recent problematic claim in an interview with Marcus Grodi that “the Catholic Church does not have the Pope as its head but Christ. The Pope is [but] the Vicar of Christ….”
It is true that the Pope is only Christ’s Vicar; however, it is precisely as Christ’s Vicar that the Pope is the visible head of the Church, while our Blessed Lord is the invisible Head.
In 1769, Pope Clement XIV explained:
Unique in fact is the edifice of the universal Church, whose foundation was established in this See by the blessed Peter. Many stones were united in its construction, but all rest upon and are based on a single foundation-stone. Unique is the Body of the Church of which Christ is the Head, and all together we make up this body. We who exercise his authority as his delegated Vicar, We are, by his will, placed over all the rest, while you who are bound to Us as to the visible Head of the Church, you constitute the principal parts of this same Body.
His successor, Pope Pius VI, published an entire bull explaining the nature and authority of the Roman Pontificate in response to a tract by Johann Eybel. In it he taught that “in blessed Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, the Roman Pontiff, his successor, has been appointed by God, the visible Head of the Church and the Vicar of Jesus Christ…” (Apostolic Constitution Super Soliditate; underlining added).
Pope Pius IX likewise confirmed that “the successor of Peter, the Roman Pontiff, holds a primacy over the whole world and is the true Vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christians” (Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 16).
Is this a contradiction then? Does the Church have two heads, like a monster?
Far from it. In 1943, Pope Pius XII explained that so close and intimate is this union between the Lord Jesus and His Vicar that they both together constitute only one single Head:
Nor against this may one argue that the primacy of jurisdiction established in the Church gives such a Mystical Body two heads. For Peter in virtue of his primacy is only Christ’s Vicar; so that there is only one chief Head of this Body, namely Christ, who never ceases Himself to guide the Church invisible, though at the same time He rules it visibly, through him who is His representative on earth. After His glorious Ascension into heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter too, its visible foundation stone. That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head is the solemn teaching of Our predecessor of immortal memory Boniface VIII in the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctam; and his successors have never ceased to repeat the same.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 40; underlining added.)
In an allocution given on June 2, 1944, the same Pope warned:
To wish to create an opposition between Christ as Head of the Church and his Vicar, to wish to see in the affirmation of the one the negation of the other, this is tantamount to corrupting the clearest and most luminous pages of the Gospel [namely, Mt 16:18-19; Jn 21:15-17], to close the eyes to the most ancient and venerable witnesses of tradition, and to deprive Christianity of that precious heritage, the correct knowledge and proper esteem of which, at the moment known to God alone and thanks to the light of grace which He alone can impart, can arouse in our separated brethren the longing desire for the Father’s house and the efficacious will to return to it.
It is true that the Roman Catholic Church is indeed the spotless Bride of Christ, the Mystical Body. But Schneider, of course, has in mind the Novus Ordo Church (Vatican II Church), which he adheres to and is a member of. Yet that entity is the exact opposite of spotless: It is a cesspool of heresy and other doctrinal error, impious and invalid sacramental rites, harmful disciplinary laws, fake saints, false marriage annulments, etc. — and these things not simply as some isolated incidents or much-maligned ‘abuses’ but in official magisterial documents and as a matter of widely accepted belief and practice.
In his encyclical on the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, Pope Pius XII made clear in what sense the Church, being made up of sinful members, is nevertheless without “spot or wrinkle, or any such thing” (Eph 5:27):
And if at times there appears in the Church something that indicates the weakness of our human nature, it should not be attributed to her juridical constitution, but rather to that regrettable inclination to evil found in each individual, which its Divine Founder permits even at times in the most exalted members of His Mystical Body, for the purpose of testing the virtue of the shepherds no less than of the flocks, and that all may increase the merit of their Christian faith. For, as We said above, Christ did not wish to exclude sinners from His Church; hence if some of her members are suffering from spiritual maladies, that is no reason why we should lessen our love for the Church, but rather a reason why we should increase our devotion to her members. Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary graces through which, with inexhaustible fecundity [cf. Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius, Ch. 3], she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded. In their name she prays to God daily: “Forgive us our trespasses”; and with the brave heart of a mother she applies herself at once to the work of nursing them back to spiritual health. When therefore we call the Body of Jesus Christ “mystical,” the very meaning of the word conveys a solemn warning. It is a warning that echoes in these words of St. Leo: “Recognize, O Christian, your dignity, and being made a sharer of the divine nature go not back to your former worthlessness along the way of unseemly conduct. Keep in mind of what Head and of what Body you are a member” [Sermon XXI, 3].
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 66; underlining added.)
It is therefore impossible to simply assign the infernal doctrines emanating from the Modernist Vatican to the “human element” of the Church, as some semi-trad apologists (esp. Michael Matt of The Remnant) like to do. If the orthodoxy of the Church were dependent on the Pope and bishops being holy, we could never rely on her as the Ark of Salvation.
“Look mercifully upon the profound distress to which Our Holy Mother Church has been subjected. Doctrinal confusion, moral abomination, and liturgical abuse have, in our day, reached an unprecedented height. “The heathens have come into your inheritance, having defiled your holy temple, and laid Jerusalem in ruins” (Ps 79:1). Churchmen who have lost the true Faith and become promoters of a worldly globalist agenda, are intent on changing Your truths and Commandments, the Divine Constitution of the Church, and the Apostolic tradition.”
Here Schneider says a mouthful, especially for those who can read between the lines. It is clear who is ultimately responsible for the “doctrinal confusion, moral abomination, and liturgical abuse” he decries: ‘Pope’ Francis (Jorge Bergoglio), of course. He is the one presiding over it, and though of course he is not personally responsible for every evil committed, the buck stops ultimately with him. He is in a position to put a quick end to it all, and yet he not only fails to do so but in fact encourages it day in and day out, as our topical page on Bergoglio’s constant chaos shows.
As for “liturgical abuse”, we should note that there is a “primordial” kind of liturgical abuse which the Kazakh auxiliary does not mention here, and that is the New Mass itself. The Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI is itself, per se, the first abomination. The “abuses” merely aggravate the problem in degree, not in kind. But we will not dwell on this here.
Lastly, Schneider’s observation that “churchmen who have lost the true Faith and become promoters of a worldly globalist agenda, are intent on changing Your truths and Commandments, the Divine Constitution of the Church, and the Apostolic tradition” is obviously directed at Francis and his henchmen. No one has shown his alliance with the “worldly globalist agenda” more openly and more frequently than ‘Pope’ Francis, most recently by his participation in a conference of the Clinton Global Initiative and by breaking protocol to honor the deceased former president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, who was an atheist, Communist, and Freemason.
So Schneider, somewhat covertly but still candidly, accuses Francis of having lost the true Faith, of being a non-Catholic. That is gutsy! But then, at the same time he had just made clear a few days ago that he believes nothing follows from having a ‘heretical Pope’ — except, apparently, that one must sift his teachings to weed out the heresies and other errors, lest one be tainted by his false magisterium. What an absurdity!
Contrary to the impression Schneider gives in his Sep. 18 statement “On the Validity of the Pontificate of Pope Francis” (since revised and renamed into “On the Power to Judge the Validity of a Pontificate”), which we have refuted here, it is by no means the “surer Catholic tradition” that a Pope who becomes a heretic remains Pope, no matter what.
As we pointed out in a 2019 article responding to an argument from John Salza and Robert Siscoe, the Brazilian layman Arnaldo Vidigal Xavier da Silveira (1929-2018), himself not a sedevacantist, observed that the opinion according to which a heretical Pope would remain Pope regardless of the circumstances “…is defended by [only] one sole theologian, among 136 ancient and modern theologians whose position on this matter we could verify” (Da Silveira, Can the Pope go Bad?, trans. by John Russell Spann [Greenacres, WA: Catholic Research Institute, 1998], p. 31); and again a bit later: “…it has against it the practically unanimous Tradition of the Church” (p. 36); “We remind the reader that of 136 authors whom we consulted, only [Fr. Marie Dominique] Bouix defends this opinion” (p. 36, fn. 16).
Next, Schneider accuses Team Bergoglio of being “intent on changing Your truths and Commandments, the Divine Constitution of the Church, and the Apostolic tradition.” There is no doubt that that is indeed their intent for the synod. However, the Kazakh Novus Ordo bishop acts as if this were a new challenge, as if they were doing this for the very first time.
The truth, rather, is that Bergoglio has long changed the Commandments — just think of Amoris Laetitia (2016), in which he essentially reduced the commandments to mere “ideals” and claimed that God may very well desire one to break the Sixth Commandment under certain circumstances (see n. 303); or think of his 2018 change to the Catechism regarding the death penalty.
Furthermore, the divine constitution of the Church was essentially modified at the so-called Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which the Modernists did in order to open the door to ecumenism. So that, too, is not something new that is merely about to happen — it happened long ago already; but then Schneider himself adheres to the false doctrines of Vatican II publicly. He is, after all, in full communion with ‘Pope’ Francis and accepts the Novus Ordo Catechism of John Paul II.
“O Lord, with humble spirit and contrite heart we beseech you, prevent the enemies of the Church from exulting in a victory over the authentic Catholic Church obtained by imposing a counterfeit church under the guise of ‘synodality’. Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come to the aid of Your Church with Your almighty strength. For where sin and apostasy in the Church abounds, the victory of Your grace will abound the more.”
Here Schneider steps up the rhetoric a bit more, calling Team Bergoglio “the enemies of the Church”. That they truly are such is beyond question, and although he does not say so explicitly, it is clear that Schneider is talking about his ‘Pope’, who has been beating the drums of this synodality nonsense, and without whom this whole synodal circus could not take place.
Interestingly enough, Schneider now introduces the concept of a “counterfeit church”, which he contrasts with the “authentic Catholic Church”. One must ask which of these two churches is the one that is about to hold the synod, and why he has not yet discovered this “counterfeit church” in the Novus Ordo Church of which he is a member. After all, it was the Novus Ordo Church that officially “succeeded, during the second Vatican Council, in re-defining her own nature”, as then-‘Cardinal’ Karol Wojtyla, the future ‘Pope’ John Paul II, wrote in his book Sign of Contradiction (New York, NY: The Seabury Press, 1979), p. 17.
In any case, why is it that Schneider is speaking of a “counterfeit church” only now, and not when Francis released Amoris Laetitia after the two synods on the family? Or how about the 2019 Amazon synod and the subsequent ‘papal’ exhortation Querida Amazonia? Why did the Novus Ordo bishop from Kazakhstan not discover Bergoglio’s false church then, or at any other time in the last 10+ years?
Since Schneider believes that Francis, even as a heretic or apostate, is definitely the Pope, and nothing he does can change that, the question arises: If the Synod on Synodality does indeed impose a counterfeit church that teaches and legislates all kinds of errors contrary to “Your truths and Commandments, the Divine Constitution of the Church, and the Apostolic tradition”, which of these two churches will Francis then be the head of? The authentic Church, insofar as he is a true Pope; or the counterfeit church, insofar as he teaches and legislates the synodal heresies and blasphemies?
Here we see once again the absurdity of accepting a man who publicly teaches heresy and misleads the faithful as a true Pope. No matter how much he tries, Schneider simply cannot have it both ways.
“We firmly believe that the gates of Hell will not prevail against Your Church. In this hour, in which our beloved and holy Mother Church is suffering her Golgotha, we promise to remain with her. Graciously accept our interior and exterior sufferings, which we humbly offer in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of the Church, as a reparation for our own sins and for the sins of sacrilege and apostasy within the Church.”
If Schneider truly believes that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Catholic Church, then surely he will have no problem applying the following Catholic teaching to his definitely-valid ‘Pope’:
The holy Church built upon a rock, that is Christ, and upon Peter or Cephas, the son of John who first was called Simon, because by the gates of Hell, that is, by the disputations of heretics which lead the vain to destruction, it would never be overcome; thus Truth itself promises, through whom are true, whatsoever things are true: “The gates of hell will not prevail against it” [Mt 16:18]. The same Son declares that He obtained the effect of this promise from the Father by prayers, by saying to Peter: “Simon, behold Satan etc.” [Lk 22:31]. Therefore, will there be anyone so foolish as to dare to regard His prayer as in anyway vain whose being willing is being able? By the See of the chief of the Apostles, namely by the Roman Church, through the same Peter, as well as through his successors, have not the comments of all the heretics been disapproved, rejected, and overcome, and the hearts of the brethren in the faith of Peter which so far neither has failed, nor up to the end will fail, been strengthened?
(Pope St. Leo IX, Apostolic Letter In Terra Pax; Denz. 351)
Furthermore, Schneider should be happy to affirm the following of Francis and his ‘Holy See’, since he is so sure of the validity of Bergoglio’s ‘pontificate’:
This consideration too clarifies the great error of those others as well who boldly venture to explain and interpret the words of God by their own judgment, misusing their reason and holding the opinion that these words are like a human work. God Himself has set up a living authority to establish and teach the true and legitimate meaning of His heavenly revelation. This authority judges infallibly all disputes which concern matters of faith and morals, lest the faithful be swirled around by every wind of doctrine which springs from the evilness of men in encompassing error. And this living infallible authority is active only in that Church which was built by Christ the Lord upon Peter, the head of the entire Church, leader and shepherd, whose faith He promised would never fail.This Church has had an unbroken line of succession from Peter himself; these legitimate pontiffs are the heirs and defenders of the same teaching, rank, office and power. And the Church is where Peter is, and Peter speaks in the Roman Pontiff, living at all times in his successors and making judgment, providing the truth of the faith to those who seek it. The divine words therefore mean what this Roman See of the most blessed Peter holds and has held.
For this mother and teacher of all the churches has always preserved entire and unharmed the faith entrusted to it by Christ the Lord. Furthermore, it has taught it to the faithful, showing all men truth and the path of salvation. Since all priesthood originates in this church, the entire substance of the Christian religion resides there also. The leadership of the Apostolic See has always been active, and therefore because of its preeminent authority, the whole Church must agree with it. The faithful who live in every place constitute the whole Church. Whoever does not gather with this Church scatters.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Qui Pluribus, nn. 10-11; underlining added.)
Indeed one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff. For it is impossible for a man ever to reject any portion of the Catholic faith without abandoning the authority of the Roman Church. In this authority, the unalterable teaching office of this faith lives on. It was set up by the divine Redeemer and, consequently, the tradition from the Apostles has always been preserved. So it has been a common characteristic both of the ancient heretics and of the more recent Protestants — whose disunity in all their other tenets is so great — to attack the authority of the Apostolic See. But never at any time were they able by any artifice or exertion to make this See tolerate even a single one of their errors.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 17; underlining added.)
If Schneider were to replace the phrase “Roman Pontiff” with “Pope Francis” in the quotes above, would the text still be true? Would it still make sense? Would it still be an accurate reflection of reality? Of course it wouldn’t.
Some years back we made a 7-minute video clip explaining how our Lord’s promise that the gates of hell won’t prevail points to Sedevacantism rather than Schneider’s recognize-and-resist position as reflecting the true state of reality in our time:
Next, the auxiliary from Astana brings up the Catholic Church’s own mystical Passion when he speaks of the Church “suffering her Golgotha”, that is, her Calvary. This motif is ever more common among semi-trads, and it is an authentic one — however, it is critical to understand the nature of this mystical Passion, that is, in what this apocalyptic agony of the Mystical Body of Christ consists.
Schneider would have his followers believe that the Mystical Passion consists in the Church being afflicted with a true Pope who is a heretic or apostate, and who tries to poison the whole Church with his false teachings and evil laws and persecutes those who resist him. The task of the faithful, then, according to this view, is to be the “loyal opposition”. This is done by fiercely resisting the Pope while still recognizing him verbally as the true and lawful Vicar of Christ; and by outsourcing the proximate rule of Faith to lesser authorities that one has privately determined to be more acceptable in terms of orthodoxy. This is where popular names such as Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, ‘Cardinal’ Raymond Burke, ‘Bp.’ Athanasius Schneider, ‘Bp.’ Joseph Strickland, ‘Fr.’ Chad Ripperger, Peter Kwasniewski, Taylor Marshall, and Michael Davies come in, for example.
Armed thus with the putative “true orthodoxy”, the faithful are to sift the papal magisterium and effectively sit in judgment on it, since by itself it is no longer trustworthy, nor binding. Under such a scenario, the “true Catholic” no longer submits to the Pope at all but becomes, rather, his teacher and master, to the point where the Pope can issue a formal decree of canonization and one can personally disregard it and effectively nullify it — the way Peter Kwasniewski has presumed to do with ‘Saint’ Paul VI.
But is such a theological madhouse what the Passion of the Church could possibly consist of? No, it is not, for the simple reason that it runs contrary to Catholic doctrine regarding the Papacy and is thus absolutely excluded by the divine promises. The question, then, is: What kind of Mystical Passion does traditional Catholic doctrine allow for?
Here are some helpful resources in that regard:
- Sedevacantism and the Mystery of the Church’s Passion: Reply to The Remnant
- The True and the False Passion of the Church
- The Papacy and the Passion of the Church
- Sedevacantism and Calvary: A Brief Response to Cor Mariae
- On that “Passion of the Church” Argument (in response to John Salza and Robert Siscoe)
- The Pope and the Antichrist: Cardinal Manning on the Church’s Final Passion
- Fr. Berry on the Persecution of the Church in the Last Days (Part 3): A False Pope and a Vacant Holy See
- A Conspiracy against the Catholic Church? The True Popes Speak
- TRADCAST 009
- Like Sheep without a Shepherd: 60 Years of Sede Vacante
- Eclipse of the Church: The Case for Sedevacantism
The idea that the Mystical Passion of the Church consists in the Church’s few self-identified ‘loyal subjects’ being persecuted by their own Pope and bishops, while these ‘truly faithful’ ones must disobey the traditional Catholic teaching on submission to the hierarchy so they are not led to hell by their valid Popes’ officially-proclaimed but immensely-dangerous false doctrines, is absurdity on stilts.
If we wish to draw an analogy with the Passion suffered by our Blessed Lord Himself on His way to Calvary, then we must understand that the Pope in this scenario represents Christ, being His Vicar. He does not represent Judas Iscariot, as Bergoglio clearly does. Nor does he represent Simon-Peter, who at the time of our Lord’s Crucifixion was not Pope yet, as he had merely received the designation to become Pope once Christ had founded His Church, a promise not fulfilled until our Lord commissioned Him to “feed my sheep” (Jn 21:17): “And upon Simon Peter alone Jesus after His resurrection conferred the jurisdiction of the highest pastor and rector over his entire fold, saying: ‘Feed my lambs,’ ‘Feed my sheep’ [Jn 21:15-17]” (Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 1; Denz. 1822). Thus Pope Pius XII spoke of “the promise at Caesarea Philippi [see Mt 16:13-19] and its accomplishment by the sea of Tiberias” (Allocution to the Consistory, June 2, 1944; italics added).
The Church suffering her Mystical Passion means it is the Pope, more than anyone else, who is persecuted. For the enemies of Christ and the Church “are by no means ignorant of the fact that religion itself can never totter and fall while this Chair remains intact, the Chair which rests on the rock which the proud gates of hell cannot overthrow and in which there is the whole and perfect solidity of the Christian religion” (Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Inter Multiplices, n. 7).
Thus it is the Papacy that will be attacked, and have we not seen precisely this since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958? Not so much from the outside as from the inside!
Now the Papacy is divinely protected from defecting. The Holy See is the only diocese in the world that is guaranteed never to defect from the true Faith: “…no particular part of the Church is indefectibly Apostolic, save the see of Peter, which is universally known by way of eminence as the Apostolic See” (Rev. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise [St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1927], p. 141; italics removed). This promise is not enjoyed by the diocese of Astana in Kazakhstan, nor Tyler, Texas, nor any other place in the world.
Not being able to make a true Pope defect, the enemies of Christ and His Church thus installed false popes (who do not enjoy the divine assistance, obviously) to accomplish the desired result of misleading good-willed Catholics, a result that God tolerates in His inscrutable Providence, precisely as prophesied in St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians:
Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.
(2 Thessalonians 2:3-11)
To sum up: In the true Mystical Passion of the Church, the Body of Christ and the Vicar of Christ are not the ones doing the persecuting; they are the ones suffering the persecution in some way or another, together. It is the head and the body being fought against by the enemies of the Church; it is not the body of the Church being fought by her visible head.
Because of his flawed theology on the Church and the Papacy, ‘Bp.’ Schneider tragically counsels his followers to remain within the Modernist sect over which Bergoglio presides. Thus his prayer for the synod includes a “promise to remain with her”, that is, with “the Church”.
But which church is he speaking of? The undefined, nebulous “authentic Church”, or the “counterfeit church” that will be emerging at the synod if the assembly doesn’t go Schneider’s way? If the synod miraculously turns out orthodox, as Schneider is praying it will, what need would there be, from his perspective, to “promise to remain with” the Church? And if the synod brings about the “counterfeit church”, why would anyone in his right mind wish to “remain with her”?
“O Lord, send forth your Holy Angels under the command of Saint Michael the Archangel, to bring your heavenly light to the Pope and synod participants, and to frustrate the plans of your enemies within the synod assembly. O Lord, look mercifully upon the little ones in the Church, look upon the hidden souls who sacrifice themselves for the Church, look upon all the tears, sighs and supplications of the true children of the Church, and through the merits of the Immaculate Heart of Your Most Holy Mother, arise, O Lord, and by Your intervention grant Your Church holy shepherds who, imitating Your example, will give their lives for You and Your sheep.”
Taken by themselves, these are noble words, of course. But it is clear that when Schneider speaks of “the Pope and synod participants” and “your enemies within the synod assembly”, he is speaking largely of the same people — at least of the liberals who are indeed intent on changing doctrine, among whom he must certainly count Francis first and foremost.
Also, Schneider speaks of “the true children of the Church”, but he does not elaborate. He obviously means that there are also counterfeit children, but he does not say how anyone is to know who is a true child of the Church and who is not. The fact of the matter is, however, that if Francis is Pope, anyone in communion with him is thereby a true child of the Church, regardless of how Athanasius Schneider would categorize him. That is precisely one of the purposes of the Papacy: to keep visible unity in the Church so that everyone can know who is and is not a Catholic. Thus we see once more that it really does matter a great deal whom we recognize as the Pope of the Catholic Church.
“O Lord, we beseech You: Through the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant us a holy Pope, zealous in promoting and defending the Catholic Faith, we implore You, grant it! Through the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant us holy and intrepid bishops, we implore You, grant it! Through the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant us holy priests, who are men of God, we implore You, grant it! In You, O Lord, we rest our hope: let us never be put to shame. To You, O Lord Jesus Christ, be given all honour and glory in Your Holy Church. You live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit: God, forever and ever. Amen.”
Again, these are beautiful and holy words. To Bergoglio, however, they must be enraging. After all, these lines of the prayer imply that he, ‘Pope’ Francis, is not holy or zealous, and that the bishops he has been appointing, especially for the synod, are neither holy nor intrepid — hence the need for Schneider and his followers to petition God to send some. Again, that’s a gutsy move on the part of the Central Asian prelate.
All in all, one must observe that Schneider’s explosive prayer hits most of the tropes and slogans popular among the semi-traditionalists: the status of Bergoglio as head of the Church; the spotless Mystical Body as being persecuted and abused; apostasy among the hierarchy; the scourge of globalism; denying and changing Church doctrine; the emergence of a counterfeit church; the gates of hell not prevailing; the Church suffering a mystical Passion or Calvary; refusing to leave the Novus Ordo Church; etc. The only things missing were ‘diabolical disorientation’ and an appeal to what some demon allegedly said during an exorcism. Clearly, the Kazakh auxiliary knows how to push the semi-trads’ buttons.
In terms of its subject matter, it is obvious that Schneider’s prayer is directed against ‘Pope’ Francis’ ideological program, both his agenda for the synod but also in general. The content of the prayer as much as the candid, aggressive style in which it is written are clearly a provocation for Bergoglio, especially with it being released just before the Synod on Synodality begins.
Considering what ‘Bp.’ Schneider has done here, and what he continually does in terms of contradicting and defying Francis, or making him look bad, it is interesting to note that the ‘Pope’ has never disciplined Schneider in the least. All he did one time was gently remind him to please keep the canonical requirement of not spending more than 30 days outside of his own diocese per year, in the face of a lot of traveling he had done abroad.
‘Bp.’ Joseph Strickland, on the other hand, has only been mildly critical of Francis and his agenda, at least when compared to Schneider’s more substantial and quite hostile criticisms. Nevertheless, it is Strickland, not Schneider, who has been harassed by Team Bergoglio. Why the double standard?
Granted, Strickland is an ordinary actively in charge of his own diocese, whereas Schneider is just an auxiliary bishop assisting his ordinary (‘Abp.’ Tomash Peta). Yet, this difference does not matter much in the practical order, since their work of influencing souls to resist Bergoglio’s agenda is mainly done online and at conferences outside their dioceses where their precise function is not that relevant.
On Twitter, a user recently suggested that Schneider might be controlled opposition, whereas Strickland is not. While we cannot assert that this is so, since we have no certainty regarding this one way or another, the externally observable facts suggest that it is definitely an idea worth pondering.
But whether Schneider is sincere in his errors or part of the anti-Catholic cabal, it is certain that his Prayer for the 2023 Synod on Synodality will only do further damage to the true Roman Catholic religion.
Image source: twitter.com/dianemontagna/status/1707424457013289237 (cropped)
License: fair use