What should be our cue to finally enter into schism? Before the Bear answers that question, he would like to make an observation. The Church was rife with error of all sorts before Pope Francis came upon the scene. If you want to find a rejection of Christ's very teachings, you do not have to wait for the Synod Part II and the blessing of unholy unions. Before adulterers and homosexuals are blessed by the Church for their adultery and homosexuality, the divine commission to evangelize the world was rejected.
True, Pope Francis has gone further and made "proselytizing" a sin, but a Bear wonders how anyone can keep a straight face when talking about the "New Evangelization." It is new not to evangelize, it is true. Old Evangelization was sacrificed on the altar of Ecumenism, chief of many strange, effeminate gods that find shelter beneath St. Peter's dome in our age.
So the the Church has ceased to spread the Word, and angels weep in amazement. But there is more. The "Gay Lobby" must remain in the realm of speculation, so the Bear does not mean that, although it is certain many homosexual predators were tolerated for a long time. No, the Bear speaks of the forgetfulness of Hell and the general expectation that most, if not all, persons will go to heaven. Not one in a thousand priests is brave enough to earnestly preach the Last Things.
Of course, it has been some time that being Catholic had anything to do with one's eternal destination. The dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus -- no salvation outside the Church -- has fallen into desuetude and thereby been silently annulled. That was never the Bear's favorite dogma, but we don't put these things to a vote on a generation-by-generation basis.
Or do we? We have, most of us, grown up in the Church of New. The giddy generation that gave us what would eventually become the Franciscan Church, is now going to its grave, leaving us to pick up the pieces. And they'll do much more damage before the last one is dead, and they will leave many sons and daughters following.. You will not live to see the Church mended.
The point is, we are putting so much weight on a potential change about remarried persons taking communion that we are forgetting this is not the first non-negotiable issue that the Church has abandoned. The Church hasn't been herself in a long time. It is a mystery, but we know that God is in control and has His reasons for allowing His Church to be wrecked. And no other word may be used: wrecked. When things are eventually set straight, it will not be a housecleaning, but a rebuilding. Brick by brick indeed.
As for when do we finally throw up our hands and give up on our Church, the answer is, of course, never. When one's spouse is sick, you don't get mad and run off with the neighbor's wife. Each of us is important. Even if we do just one positive thing for the Church in these dark days. That's why the Bear always says, "nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there."
It is a strange thing to see the Bride run from the Groom. These are strange times. Strange and doleful.
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