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Kazakhstan Bishop Athanasius Schneider

June 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — LifeSiteNews contributor Dr. Maike Hickson interviewed Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, co-author with Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa and Archbishop Aldo de Cillo Pagotto of Paraiba, Brazil, of the new book “Preferential Option for the Family — 100 Questions and Answers Relating to the Synod” which deals with the confusion surrounding the upcoming Synod on the Family.

The authors' intention in creating the guidebook on the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and the family is “to instruct the faithful in a clear and differentiated way about such important truths as marriage and the family,” said Bishop Schneider.

“In the book, the divine truths about marriage, family, and human sexuality are called to mind, as they have been handed down by the Magisterium of the Church in a constant and unchanged way, and for two thousand years,” he said, pointing out that “the current anti-Christian and nearly global societal order attacks frontally the Divine Order of marriage and human sexuality and propagates divorce, concubinage, as well as homosexual ways of life.”

“For this reason,” said Bishop Schneider, “the above-mentioned book, with the help of statements of the Magisterium, presents and proves the objective wrongness of all these phenomena.”

Find LifeSiteNews' full interview with Bishop Schneider here.

The interview covers the controversies that arose at last year’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family, such as the suggestion to admit civilly remarried divorcees to communion, and to “value” homosexual inclination, as well as touching on the recent referendum in Ireland which now legally permits homosexual “marriages.”

Bishop Schneider said the topic of the admittance of “remarried” divorcees to the Sacraments, is “a topic that in reality should not be up for discussion because the perennial Magisterium of the Church has already decided upon this matter.”

He offered as an example that, “an assembly of Catholic bishops cannot reflect upon, or respectively discuss for example, whether Christ is truly God or not. This would be a sign of disbelief.”

With regard to the synodal question as to whether “accepting and valuing [homosexuals’] sexual orientation” could align with Catholic doctrine, Bishop Schneider pointed out, “There are clear statements of the Magisterium concerning the sinfulness of homosexual acts, concerning the objective disorder of the homosexual tendency, and, above all, concerning the sinfulness and unlawfulness of the adoption of children by homosexual couples.”

When asked about the Irish referendum, Bishop Schneider said, “The result of the recent referendum in Ireland is a mirror and an indicator of the extent to which the broad masses of a people, with many Catholics among them, and – one might cry out to God – even representatives of the Catholic clergy – have allowed themselves to be indoctrinated by the neo-Communist gender ideology.”

“The masses go along with the Zeitgeist, and not few clergymen, sometimes even prelates, collaborate with this Zeitgeist, along with their politically correct attitude.”

“The recent history of Europe has shown how masses very quickly adopt ideologies, and even inhuman ideologies, such as, for example, Fascism, National-Socialism, and Soviet Communism. However, unlike earlier times in history, in our own days there is now to be found among the ranks of the clergy a higher proportion of collaborators with the new reigning ideology.”

“This is a sign of the magnitude of the crisis of Faith within the Church. On the other hand, there is also now a chance for all who have remained loyal to their Baptismal promises – and loyal to the Faith of the Apostles and of the Saints – to confess and defend the Faith! The current time is not a time for sleep of sloth, but a time for being a good soldier of Christ (2 Tim 2:3). Our battle is a spiritual battle, a battle for the truth, with love (see Eph 4:15).”

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Bishop Schneider has called the current situation in the faith of Catholics, to which he refers above, the 4th great crisis in the Church.

He said in the interview, “what should strike every impartial observer of the current crisis in the Church is the state of an enormous, as it were global, confusion in the areas of dogma, morality, as well as in the liturgy; in other words, relativism reigns in all these areas.”

“Much is now subject to a re-interpretation, so that the individual doctrines, moral principles, and laws of their liturgy have started to flounder with many of the faithful, with many priests and even with some bishops,” citing as examples that “innumerable theologians, and even some bishops, are allowed without penalty to proclaim [as] true, heresies, and to celebrate liturgies that are bordering on blasphemy.”

Noting that former crises in the Church, such as Arianism (the denial of the divinity of Christ) were “describable with one topic,” he stressed that “the current crisis is a crisis which encompasses all areas of the life of the Church. Whereas the doctrinal relativism is the gravest aspect, the liturgical anarchy is the most obvious one.”

Asked what his expectations are for the forthcoming Synod on the Family, and what the faithful can do to prepare for this synod, in order to defend and to strengthen the teaching of Christ, Bishop Schneider said he expects the bishops will “proclaim without fear and without any inferiority complex the whole Gospel of the Family to the un-Christian world,” but added that “powerful prayers are needed from the whole Church, so that the teachers of untruth at the Synod – even if they should be coming from the ranks of bishops and cardinals – do not corrupt the sheepfold of Christ, and do not allow any moral debauchery under the pretext of clemency and mercy.”

“Catholics should say many and flaming prayers so that bishops may be protected against the temptation to adapt to the world and so that they may be strengthened in their apostolic courage to confess their Faith,” Bishop Schneider concluded.


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