I must admit that I am more than a bit confused by some of the things going on in the Roman Catholic Church these days. Besides the horrendous sexual scandal (which is bad enough), the ambiguous teaching coming from Rome seems to be confusing at a minimum, if not outright contradictory to the traditional Deposit of Faith.
As a former high school teacher, I desire to be as clear as possible, especially when it comes to teaching the doctrines of the Holy Catholic Church. My opinion becomes insignificant when it comes to being completely faithful to what the Lord Jesus handed down to us, from age to age, through the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The specific areas in question include: the indissolubility of marriage and the reception of Holy Communion by those in irregular unions; permissiveness toward homosexual acts and homosexual unions; acceptance of the diversity of religions as a means to salvation; the ordination of women and priestly celibacy; and the acceptance of various forms of paganism, especially at the current Amazon synod.
Thankfully, there have been some in the hierarchy who have undertaken to provide such desired and needed clarity. Cardinal Gerhard Müller scripted a Manifesto of Faith affirming key Catholic doctrinal points that have been questioned today. I encourage you to read it or to watch the free online video that was recently produced illustrating its teaching. We will provide a link to the film from our parish web site (holyangelsnj.org).
In addition, Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have together written a document entitled A Clarification about the Meaning of Fidelity to the Supreme Pontiff. This writing speaks of respecting the office of the Pope, while disagreeing with or seeking clarity from some of the Holy Father’s apparently confusing or ambiguous comments or from his apparent lack of willingness to provide clarity in certain of his teachings. Moreover, there is an essay by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller critiquing the working document (Instrumentum Laboris) on the Amazon Synod currently taking place in Rome. I encourage the reading of these documents if you want to keep informed and to be able to navigate through what is happening in the Roman Catholic Church today. I have provided links to all these documents from my personal web site (www.fr-ed-namiotka.com).
The internet provides us with the opportunity to follow so many matters in real time. Often, news can be obtained on the internet well before it appears on network television. While there are various cautions I give about some internet web sites, many of those who want to be loyal to the Catholic Church and her traditional teaching are providing a valuable tool to see various Church happenings from an up-close and personal perspective. Unfortunately, we are made aware of things that can be unnerving and confusing. Why were there what looked like pagan rituals and pagan symbols recently in the Vatican gardens?
I know I am not alone in questioning what seems so far removed from what should be expected from the Roman Catholic Church. We want answers and clarity and not the mess in which we find ourselves. Right now, some things are as clear as mud.
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Fr. Ed Namiotka