UPDATE: Please Pray for Unity in the Catholic Church!

Last week, I published a post on the troubling behavior of the German Synodal Path and encouraged everyone to pray for unity in the Catholic Church.

On May 13th, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and Anniversary of the First Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, a group of priests issued a powerful statement.

The statement was addressed to Bishop Georg Bätzing, head of the German bishops’ conference, and all German bishops who agree with him regarding the blessing of homosexual couples and intercommunion — both of which have been rejected by Rome.

The priests of Communio veritatis accuse the bishops of promoting heresy.

Communio veritatis was first formed in February 2018 and it has placed itself under the patronage of Pope John Paul II. It wishes to be a network of priests of the region of Paderborn in order to give mutual support and seek the possibility for an exchange of thoughts in a difficult historical situation. At the beginning, Communio veritatis had ten priests as members, but other priests from the Diocese of Paderborn later have shown interest in joining them. (LifeSiteNews, 4 July 2018)

Communio veritatis formed in light of the 2018 debate in Germany about giving Holy Communion to some Protestant spouses of Catholics. Communio veritatis strongly opposed this idea and published a statement opposing their own archbishop in Paderborn, Hans-Josef Becker. Since then, the group expanded, and more priests from other places joined them or associated with them. (LifeSiteNews, 13 May 2021)

In the group’s own words, “The circle of priests Communio veritatis remains determined to serve Jesus Christ loyally in everything, also, accordingly, the continuous Magisterium of the Catholic Church – for the salvation of souls.”

The text of the recent statement is below.

Let us continue to pray for unity in the Catholic Church.

And let us pray for our shepherds — priests, bishops, cardinals, and the pope. May they lead souls to Christ and remain faithful to His teachings.

Leave the Path of Heresies!

“Go out into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature! He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15-16).

Bishop Bätzing, with this appeal we turn to you and to your fellow bishops who are in conformity with you.

Today, Our Lord Jesus Christ has sent out His Apostles as witnesses of the truth (cf. Mt 28:19-20).

It is His Church that He has purchased at the cost of His Precious Blood on the Cross (cf. Acts 20:28).

He has entrusted the shepherds to feed His flock and lead them on the path of eternal life.

We accuse you of doing the opposite.

You are carrying out the work of the wolves (cf. Acts 20:29-30).

You are tearing apart the Body of Christ by disregarding the Word of God and falsifying the teachings of His Church.

You are driving the flock into the abyss of your Synodal Path.

You are killing the sheep because you are spreading heretical deceit.

You show off as lords of the faith and owners of the sacraments.

Since you always emphasize that you want to listen especially to the voices of women,[1] we would like to have three famous female Doctors of the Church speak to you today. Their words answer your conduct. The remarks of these great holy women show who you are and where you stand.

1. Bishop Bätzing, with your disastrous plea for intercommunion you attack the very heart of the Church by saying: “Whoever believes in his conscience what is celebrated in the other denomination will also be able to join and not be rejected. […] Whoever is Protestant and comes to Communion can receive Communion.”[2]

This is a blatant contradiction to the teaching of the Catholic Church, which is clear: “To receive Holy Communion, one must be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church and be in the state of grace.”[3]

St. Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church,[4] in her work Scivias, shows you how disastrous the unworthy reception of the Most Holy Eucharist is for the human soul: “Verily I say unto you: Whoever eats the bread of life or partakes of the cup of the Lord – that is, the Sacrament of the Lord over heaven and earth – in an unworthy manner and polluted with sins, will thereby make himself guilty. Why? He receives the body and blood of the Lord, that is, of the Savior of the world, in an offending manner, and himself unto death. Because he leans toward evil, is soiled with impurity, and forgets the fear of the Lord. Thus defiled, he enters the sanctuary (palatium) of the salvific Redemption. And that is why he commits murder there. Why? Because he inflicts many wounds on himself and, without the soothing and bath of repentance, hides his offenses and treats this sacrament presumptuously. Therefore, I also say to him: ‘O wretched and bad (amarissime) man, how dare you plunge your Lord, for whom the citizens of heaven in their [beatific] vision yearn, into such a miserable pit?’ […] For whoever treats this sacrament badly, because he does not purify himself from the filth of wickedness and receives it unworthily, incurs a judgment of vengeance, because he eats and drinks it in an impure state.”[5]

2. Bishop Bätzing, scandalously you openly oppose the Roman No to the blessing of homosexual partnerships.[6] Thus you betray the Creator and deny the testimony of Holy Scripture.

Based on the clear biblical message, the Permanent Magisterium of the Catholic Church has always protected marriage and family. Thus, especially today, it must not be concealed that homosexual practices are among the grave sins that massively violate chastity[7] and are vehemently rejected by Holy Scripture (cf. Gen 19:1-29; Lev 18:22; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-10; 1 Tim 1:10). The Catechism reminds us of the “crying-out-to-heaven” [“himmelschreiend”] dimension of the guilt of the sodomites.[8]

St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, in her work Treatise of Divine Providence, shows you how much the Lord condemns homosexual acts: “The wretched do even worse and commit the accursed sin against nature. And like blind fools whose reason is clouded, they do not perceive the rottenness and misery in which they find themselves. Not only to Me, who I am the highest eternal purity, it is disgusting (so detestable indeed that for this one sin I destroyed five cities by My divine judgment, since My righteousness would not bear it any longer), but even to demons.”[9]

3. Bishop Bätzing, you, like your fellow bishops, have a special responsibility before God (cf. 2 Tim 4:1-5). Your behavior and the corresponding words, on the other hand, show that you completely ignore the eschatological dimension of your deeds. However, you will experience in the Judgment the retribution of Him to whom the Church belongs in truth (cf. Rev 22:12). In her harrowing vision of hell, St. Theresa of Ávila, Doctor of the Church, saw that many souls would be eternally lost. She experienced the unimaginable sufferings of damnation in body and soul: “I do not know how to describe this inner fire, this despair at such tremendous torment and pain. […] There is no light, but all is deepest darkness […] Later, however, I had another vision of horrible things, namely, of the punishments and chastisements for certain vices.”[10]

From her own experience “also stems the extraordinary pain I feel over so many souls who are heading for eternal damnation […] so that in truth it seems to me that I would suffer death a thousand times over with the greatest joy so that even a single soul might escape such horrible torments. […] So I don’t know how we can calmly watch that the evil enemy daily seizes so many souls. […] Oh, if I could make them understand this truth who defile themselves with the most lewd and heinous sins, so that they would remember that they are not committed in secret; if I could make them understand what a just abhorrence God has for such sins, since they are committed in the immediate presence of His Majesty and we behave so disrespectfully before Him! I saw how cheaply hell is earned by a single mortal sin.”[11]

Bishop Bätzing, against this background we call out to you today:

Consider that the Most High will demand an account from you!

Return to Christ and His Church, which He has built on the foundation of the Apostles!

Leave the path of heresies and embrace the truth of the Catholic Faith!

May 13, 2021
Solemnity of the Feast of Ascension
Anniversary of the First Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima

Priestly Group Communio veritatis

[1] Cf. Georg Bätzing, Predigt zur Wiedereröffnung und Altarweihe Frauenfrieden [Sermon for the Reopening and Altar Consecration Frauenfrieden], in: bischof.bistumlimburg, November 22, 2020.
[2] Haus am Dom, “Auf dem Weg zum ÖKT 21: Abschluss” [“On the Way to the ÖKT 21 [Ecumenical Church Day 2021]: Conclusion”], April 22, 2021, in: https://hausamdom-frankfurt.de/beitrag/auf-dem-weg-zum-oekt-21-abschluss/, 37:50 and 42:50, accessed May 3, 2021.
[3] Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 291.
[4] Georg Bätzing, op. cit.: “Hildegard of Bingen was certainly the most famous woman in Europe in the 12th century: Scholar, mystic, healer, abbess, prophetess, ‘Trumpet of God’ they called her. In 2012, she was elevated to the status of Doctor of the Church. And that can mean nothing other than that we allow her, as in her lifetime, to speak to the conscience of the powerful in church and politics with her knowledge and spiritual experience. She never shied away from it. She never lacked clear words.”
[5] Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias. Wisse die Wege. Eine Schau von Gott und Mensch in Schöpfung und Zeit [Scivias. Know the Ways. A Vision of God and Man in Creation and Time], Augsburg 1991, 2nd part, 6th vision, no. 58, p. 259.
[6] Cf. Matthias Altmann, “Bätzing: Teile Unverständnis über Nein zu Segnung homosexueller Paare” [“Bätzing: I share the incomprehension about no to blessing of homosexual couples”], in: katholisch.de, March 24, 2021.
[7] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2396.
[8] Ibid, 1867.
[9] Catherine of Siena, Dialogue III, 124, in: Gespräch von Gottes Vorsehung [Treatise of Divine Providence], Einsiedeln 1993 (4th ed.), p. 163.
[10] Theresa of Ávila, Life, 32,2, in: Aloysius Alkofer, Das Leben der heiligen Theresia von Jesu [The Life of St. Teresa of Jesu], 1st volume, Munich and Kempten 1973 (4th edition), pp. 311-312.
11] Theresa of Ávila, 32,5 and 40,10, in: Aloysius Alkofer, p. 313, 416.

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