NEWS:  June 30, 2014
donate Books CDs HOME updates search contact

Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães
MARADIAGA’S HINTS ABOUT THE FUTURE  -  Card. Oscar Maradiaga, the leader of the “Council of Eight” counselors to the Pope, came to Washington D.C. on June 3, 2014, to deliver a talk called “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case against Libertarianism.” It was organized by the Jesuit Catholic University of America and was covered by the National Catholic Reporter (June 20, 2014). My comments are based on this article.

cardinal oscfar maradiaga

Card. Maradiaga gives hints on what the Conciliar Church is preparing down the road

In the wake of Francis’ Evangelii gaudium, Maradiaga delivered a radically anti-capitalist message, so radical that to me it appeared similar to the messages of Western Communist Parties at the end of the Stalinist era. The Cardinal’s message repeated the worn out motto: “the poor are getting poorer because the rich are getting richer.” But now, this leftist chicanery is presented with religious tones. Maradiaga accused Capitalism of idolatry:

“A system has been built now as a new idolatry and it is only God that has to be served and not worshipping idols, even if that idol is called market economy ... or the idol of libertarianism [= free initiative, economic liberalism].”

This is his way to strongly imply that those who support Capitalism commit a sin against the First Commandment. It is a classical dishonest ruse of Liberation Theology. Yes, a dishonest ruse because this generalization does not correspond to Catholic doctrine, which always taught that Capitalism – although with defects and excesses that must be corrected – is not intrinsically evil (here). On the contrary, Communism is (here).

The Cardinal goes on in his attack against Capitalism, blaming it as if it were the cause of poverty:

“Elimination of the structural cause of poverty is a matter of urgency that can no longer be postponed. … We are no longer to trust the blind forces and the invincible hand of the market … that became a thief.”

In other words, he is saying that the Conciliar Church has decided to attack Capitalism to its death as its “sacred” mission of saving the poor. For some decades now, we have seen Popes and Prelates carrying out this agenda (here, here, here, here and here). Now the assault assumes a frenzied intensity.

The end of marriage as an objective contract

If in the political-social realm, Maradiaga’s inference is to “urgently” destroy the Western political-economic system, in the sacramental realm his hint about the future is no less deleterious. When asked about what he foresees as the outcome of the October Synod of Bishops to be held at the Vatican regarding Communion for divorced ad re-married Catholics, he affirmed:

“Of course, it is necessary to make some changes. … It is not a matter of giving or not giving Communion; that’s another subject. It is not the most important. The main concern is: Is there a sacrament or is there not?”

Then, answering his own question, he gave the example of a couple that “was pressured” to marry because the woman got pregnant. Maradiaga affirmed: “We cannot talk of a sacrament there because one of the conditions of a sacrament is freedom, freedom of choice.

Louis XIV marriage contract

Were the marriages of convenience of the past invalid? Above, Louis XIV of France & Maria Teresa of Austria

By this example, we see that he does not consider that the couple was free when they agreed to marry to prevent the woman from being a single mother and facing the censure of society. However, the Catholic Church has always considered this type of marriage an honorable solution for the consequences of regrettable sins.

Now, Maradiaga, by pretending that there is no sacrament in this type of marriage, throws a stone in this crystal window of the millennial tradition of the Church.

Supposing, for the sake of the argument, that there is no sacrament in the marriage of convenience he mentioned, what should we say about all the political marriages of the past, in which Catholic countries made long-term alliances among themselves? The spouses involved in these arranged marriages could also be considered “under pressure” to marry. The Church always celebrated those marriages as being true sacraments. Would these marriages fall into Marradiaga’s new concept of sacrament and be considered null? It looks very much like this would be the case.

But not only marriages between princes and princesses, barons and baronesses, etc., were made following that practice. Although not political marriages, practically all marriages in the past were marriages of convenience arranged to bring some sort of advantage to the spouses or their families. This was a universal practice until Romanticism commandeered the modern mentality with its much less wise “marriage of love.” But, before that, these arranged marriages predominate through 19 centuries of Catholic History.

In short, if Maradiaga’s criterion were to apply to the Catholic marriages of the past, almost all should be considered void. Thus, the Church would have deceived the faithful when she told them she had given them true sacraments. Some consequences: Since there would be no marriage, the offspring of those marriages would be illegitimate, their inheritance open to dispute, etc. A complete chaos would be introduced into the past of the Church, as well as into the minds of today’s faithful, who would no longer be certain if they received the sacraments.

The conclusion is that the Cardinal’s hint about the future Synod leads us to expect a complete revolution in the notion of marriage, based on the “sentimental” case of giving or not giving Communion to divorced and “re-married” Catholics.

Marriage will cease to be a juridical contract in which a man and a woman agree to live together “until death do us part.” It will become a “free” decision of the spouses, which will last until the moment in which some undue “pressure” enters the picture and makes marriage lose its validity…

Consequences for the other sacraments

But this would apply not only to marriage. Let me take a step further.

Confession - If “pressure” exerted over a person annuls his decision to receive a sacrament, what should we say about the multitude of penitents who go to confession “pressured” by fear of Hell? According to Maradiaga, all these absolutions given everywhere would be null… Again, he is in total opposition to the sound doctrine of the Church.

Ordination & vows - When someone enters the priesthood or religious life to escape the consequences of some wrongdoing or to cover for some inherent moral or physical defect, he is still considered a validly ordained priest or a professed member of a religious order. Now then, why shouldn’t these motives also be considered as “pressures” that constrained the candidate’s liberty? According to the Honduran Cardinal, these ordinations and receptions into religious life could also be annulled.

Under this criterion, the vows themselves come under question. In the daily life of a priest or a religious, should such vows not be considered a “pressure” against the liberty of the person, since they constrain him to be constantly faithful to the priestly promises or evangelical counsels of obedience, chastity and poverty? It would seem that they should be done away with insofar as they are not freely accepted but represent a pressure against one’s liberty.

children baptism protestant

Should Catholics, like Protestants, baptize children only when they can freely consent?

Baptism - Why shouldn’t the universal practice of baptizing infants be considered void as well since the interested party does not have the “liberty” to choose what he is receiving?

We see that an all-out onslaught against the sacraments seems prepared by those progressivists who are directing the Catholic Church today.

A progressivist or a conservative may tell me: “Please don’t worry. You are taking too tragic a stand. The Cardinal did not mean what he said. You have to consider that he was tired from his trip to the U.S. and sometimes his English is a little confused.”

I would answer: “I do not know about his tiredness or about his English. What I know is that he said what he said, which is written in black and white. More than 20 days have passed since his declaration and I have not seen any denial of his words. Besides, his statements fit perfectly with the progressivist agenda expressed recently by Card. Walter Kasper, duly applauded by Pope Francis. These are reasons enough to take his words seriously.”