Council of Cardinals coordinator confounds me

Photo from the Holy See Press Office

Oscar Rodriguez Cardinal Maradiaga is said to be the coordinator/chairman of the council eight cardinals appointed to advise his Holiness.

Whispers in the Loggia shares a transcript of a speech he gave in Dallas on October 25, with the implication that his remarks may portend the direction the “Gang of Eight” is headed in.

My thoughts after reading the 5,500-word transcript…

  • Throughout, he portrays the Church’s sole mission to be the elimination of all earthly suffering, especially poverty and the concentration of power and wealth by a few
  • Specifically, states that “Her foremost goal is to care for the penultimate (hunger, housing, clothing, shoes, health, education…) to be then able to care for the ultimate, those problems that rob us of sleep after work (our finiteness, our solitude before death, the meaning of life, pain, and evil…).”
  • States that “If the Church has a mission at all, it is to manifest the deeds of Jesus” but to me at least, it seems he defines “deeds” through the lens of social justice and not the salvation of souls, submission to the Trinity, the crucifixion and resurrection, etc.
  • All but ignores fundamental topics such as virtue, sin, Heaven, Hell, Satan, salvation, damnation, the conversion of sinners, heretics, heathens, and non-believers, the Blessed Virgin Mary (except for referencing her presence at the wedding at Cana), the role of the Church in salvation history, the Holy Trinity, etc.;
  • Befuddles with the proclamation that in the USA, “the Gospel of Christ is also alive and effective”
  • States that the Second Vatican Council “meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism”
  • States that “even today, the greatest challenge is to examine the mission of the Church to conform it to the mission of Jesus” but seemingly interprets that mission as eliminating suffering, poverty, etc on earth with no regard to the salvation of souls and reparation for the sin of Adam;
  • Makes contradictory statement that a Tower of Babel Church of diversity is actually more universal than one where (nearly) everyone shared a universal language and liturgical rite: “From being a European Church, more or less culturally uniform, and hence monocentric, the Church is on her way to become a universal Church, with multiple cultural roots and, in this sense, culturally polycentric.”
  • Ignores that Pope Francis is ethnically Italian and that his Holiness, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Blessed Pope John Paul II were all European when he states, “it is symbolic indeed that the last three Popes have not been Italian; the temptation of Europeanizing and Italianizing the Church has always been one tied to pretenses to power.”
  • Seemingly questions the Church’s Magisterium and infallible teaching with statements like, “Too many times she gives the impression of having too much certitude and too little doubt, freedom, dissension or dialogue.”
  • I think I know what he means when he states Christ “treated women without discrimination” but let’s not forget the 12 Apostles were all… men
  • States that “If the Church wants to stay faithful, she must also continue purifying herself through the martyrdom and the sanctity of the faithful.” I read that and wonder, are all those Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the world who are murdered out of hatred for the One, True Faith dying to purify the Church’s worldliness? Given that there were more Christian martyrs in the 20th century than in all previous 1,900 years combined, wouldn’t we then have the purest Church evah today?
  • Takes license with ellipsis’ to fabricate quotes from the Second Vatican Council with statements like this: “this is what Vatican II teaches: “The baptized… are consecrated as… a holy priesthood” (LG 10)”
  • Speaks not of the “dictatorship of relativism” but instead “a world dictatorship of finance capital”
  • I like what he says about “The lords of financial capital wield over billions of human beings a power of life and death.”
  • Implies that Holy Mother Church’s “solidarity with the poor” and “denouncing injustice and oppression” stopped somewhere after the third century and only resumed in the 1960s
  • States, “If Jesus calls the poor ‘blessed’ is because he is assuring them that their situation is going to change, and consequently it is necessary to create a movement that can bring about such a thing, restoring dignity and hope to them.” If I can play armchair theologian, wasn’t our Lord speaking about their situation changing when they got to Heaven?
  • Sounds Marxist / Modernist when he shares this quote, “The original Christianity faces the reign of money and power as means of domination and introduces a passion into history: that the last stop being the last, that behaviors are adopted and politics and economies are put into place to give them primacy, so a society can be built without first or last, or, at least, with less inequality between human beings called to be brothers.”
  • This doesn’t bode well for contemplative orders: “Making our own the culture of the Good Samaritan before the neighbor in need; feeling as our own the pain of the oppressed, getting close to them, and freeing them. Without this commitment, all religiousness is false.
  • Seems to pretend Satan, sin, concupiscence, etc don’t exist when he states, “Justice opposes contempt, violence, deceit, slavery, death. To the extent that we eliminate those, life will be just and human.”
  • States that “The Church did not have a monopoly on truth anymore”
  • States the obvious, but offends animals and inanimate objects in the process: “One cannot be a Christian without being a person first.”
  • I strongly agree when he states, “the Church will convert the world not by argument, but by example. There is no doubt that doctrinal argument is important, but people will be attracted by the humanity of Christians, those who live by the faith, who live in a human way, who irradiate the joy of living, the consistency in their behavior.”

Pope Francis’ oft-publicized echoes of Christ’s commands to love thy neighbor and serve them increasingly cause me to ponder embracing a lay vocation to do just that. But without a hermeneutic of continuity to tradition, without a healthy awareness of the need to BOTH avoid sin AND pursue virtue, without a parish that embraces restoring the sacred and a Pope Emeritus who highlighted the dangers of secularism to me, I’d BE a fallen-away Catholic fag living in sin, worshiping the flesh and materialism, and never laying eyes on the challenging remarks of an archbishop from Honduras.