Rorate Caeli

Melkite Patriarch corrects Panamanian Cardinal: 'Jesus corrects Moses'

Moses and Elijah adore their Transfigured Lord
Pietro Perugino, circa 1500

Among the stalwart Polish bishops who have publicly stood firm against the current drive to get the Church to accept divorce, adultery, fornication, abortion, sodomy, and gender ideology, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki stands out. 
Toronto Catholic Witness has done the Church a great service in reporting that Archbishop Gadecki has been doing an end-run past the anti-transparency "rigging" measures at the Synod of Bishops that Pope Francis and Cardinal Baldisseri imposed (including disinformative press briefings).  Gadecki has been taking notes on each bishop's "intervention" and posting them to his blog so the Church, especially the Polish Church, will be informed of what is really going on at the synod. [UPDATE: Cardinal Baldisseri evidently did not like Archbishop Gadecki helping to show just how little the press briefings correspond with reality, so Gadecki's posting of the interventions has been removed. However, Rorate Caeli has saved Gadecki's notes and they are available here.]

Thanks to Abp. Gadecki, we know that on Monday, Oct. 5, Jose Luiz Cardinal Lacunza Maestrojuan,  president of the Panamanian Bishops' Conference and appointed by Pope Francis as a synod rapporteur, made so bold as to propose that the Church abandon what Jesus says about marriage and divorce and return to the Law of Moses, whom he blasphemously claimed was more merciful than Jesus, the Font of Mercy.

Lacunza was quoted by Gadecki as follows:

"Moses drew near to the people and gave way. Likewise today, the 'hardness of hearts' opposes God's plan. Could Peter not be merciful like Moses?"

Moses "drew near to the people and gave way"? No, Moses allowed divorce because that evil was not as bad as husbands disposing of wives they'd grown tired of by murdering them. How is the Church tolerating or approving of the heartbreaking destruction of people's marriages more merciful than calling on the people in charity to observe the commandments of Jesus Christ?  Has Cardinal Lacunza never read that the Torah's prescribed punishment for adultery isn't merely being barred from Holy Communion, but death?

This is a vile attack not only on the See of St. Peter, insinuating that upholding the Truth of Christ about Holy Matrimony is less merciful than Moses' allowing men to divorce their wives for any reason -- but it's even more a denial of Christ Himself who says divorce and remarriage is the mortal sin of adultery.

In response to Lacunza, according to Gadecki, the Greek-Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, His Beatitude Gregory III Laham, said:

"One should always speak of the 'sacrament of matrimony' and not 'marriage.' To show the spiritual beauty of marriage. To assist spouses one must show them the unchangeable, spiritual vision of matrimony. Many times we are not united with the positive vision of marriage and the family. Jesus corrected Moses. Dissoluble marriage is against its nature."

St. Paul told the Corinthians that the Old Covenant, glorious as it was, nevertheless was the administration of death, while the New Covenant is the administration of the spirit (II Cor. 7:6-9). How is it that a bishop, of all people, thinks the Law of Moses' toleration of the repudiation of spouses, something God says He hates (Malachi 2:16), is superior to the Law of Christ's rejection of divorce? How can the letter, which kills, be better than the spirit, which gives life? How can the stern and holy justice of the Law of Moses be more merciful than the holy mercy and grace of the Law of Christ?  What an Orwellian inversion, to say the Church should tolerate hard-heartedness but to call that "mercy"!  How is God's plan of salvation advanced by a regression in salvation history to the days of Moses, long before the glorious Light of Christ for which Moses longed had yet dawned?  Has Lacunza never heard of the Transfiguration, when the two greatest Old Testament prophets Moses and Elijah remained silent while the Heavenly Voice commanded us to listen to His beloved Son?  If Moses and Elijah adore the Lord, how dare any bishop even suggest that we should adore Moses instead of the Lord?

With bishops like Lacunza -- lamentably, the episcopate today is full of others like him -- no wonder so many Catholics today are like sheep without a shepherd.

[Translation courtesy of Toronto Catholic Witness]