TO THE EDITOR:
It appears the Church has entered the logical next step or phase of the “pastoral” following Vatican II. With respect to Father Michael Najim’s anecdotal piece, instead of employing the Wisdom of Church Teaching and the two millennia of pastoral implementation of Sacred Scripture and Traditional practice, that resulted in the martyrdoms of the greatest saints the Church has known (John the Baptist, Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, just to name a few), the clergy is now content, with the apparent permission of the Holy Father himself, to jettison all that in preference to their feelings.
Imagine being the great Jesuit missionary Father Pierre De Smet when, in the process of converting the western Native Americans, directly confronted polygamy, adultery, fornication among several of the tribes. Father De Smet’s steadfast “accompaniment and encounter,” assisted the indigenous in sorting through and complying with Our Lord’s commands by demanding their compliance. Guess what? They complied for the sake of their own souls. It was an excellent and beautiful pastoral encounter, making the natives some of the best Catholics in the process.
Using his subjective feelings and emotions in his relationship with this “concrete example,” he has now set himself above what God the Father, Christ, St. Paul and a whole host of Fathers and Doctors of the Church taught in regards to the necessary elements that constitute a valid marriage. How can this be seen as anything but the hubris of man? Is this nothing more than false compassion? Marriage is the number one target of the Evil One and to rationalize sinful behavior as a requisite “pastoral” option bypasses Divine Revelation. Are we more “enlightened” that ages past? No, this break with the objective norms to understanding the nature of sin and concupiscence only opens the gate to more and more false pastoral practices. Holding Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as the prime target for adulterous relationships such as these puts everyone in danger of losing their souls…priests and laity alike. Denial of Communion to these persons is actually saving them from the onerous sin of sacrilege and protects Our Lord and the Church from profanation.