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Bishop SchneiderLifeSiteNews

(LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Athanasius Schneider has hit back at recent heretical statements made by San Diego’s Cardinal Robert McElroy, saying that prelates who “speak heresy” do so knowing they will not face punishment from Pope Francis. 

The auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, made the comments in light of Cardinal McElroy’s two recently published articles in America magazine. McElroy attacked Catholic doctrine on the gravity of sexual sin and demanded that the Church allow “LGBT persons” along with divorced and “remarried” couples to receive the Eucharist while in mortal sin.

A number of U.S. bishops publicly rebuked McElroy, and Bishop Thomas Paprocki wrote in a thinly-veiled essay critique for First Things on Tuesday that the cardinal promoted “heresy,” and may have excommunicated himself.

READ: Bishop Paprocki accuses Cardinal McElroy of ‘heresy,’ says he may have excommunicated himself

But McElroy doubled down on his heretical views in another article in America last Thursday, explicitly calling for the Church to give the Eucharist to “sexually active” homosexuals and adulterers.

In light of this persistent attack on Catholic teaching, Bishop Schneider highlighted the manner in which prelates feel emboldened to make such statements, thus adding his voice to those who have already condemned McElroy’s anti-Catholic statements.

“It is very sad, this cardinal and other bishops who publicly speak heresy de facto, are unpunished,” he said.

Cardinals and bishops who promote anti-Catholic teachings do so knowing that “they will not be punished, because Pope Francis … never punished such heretical bishops,” observed Schneider. 

On the contrary, he noted how Pope Francis has enacted a policy of seeming to move against bishops who adhere to the Church’s teaching and who are friendly to Catholic Tradition. Schneider observed that Francis has thus ordered a number of official visitations to “zealous, traditional minded bishops” whose dioceses are now essentially “under control of the Vatican, whereas such openly heretical statements are not punished, even they are promoted to cardinal.”

READ: Pope Francis’ new cardinal pick has a horrifying record on homosexuality and abortion

As noted by Schneider, McElroy’s elevation to the cardinalate is an example of this: “Bishop McElroy was promoted even [when] it was publicly known his statements against the integrity of faith, and he was in some way rewarded for this.”

Indeed, McElroy’s elevation to the cardinalate was a great cause for concern for Rachel Mastrogiacomo, who saw how McElroy protected the priest who abused her. “That McElroy will be setting policy for the Church, and likely be involved in the selection of the next pontiff, fills me with fear,” she stated.

READ: Victim of clerical sexual abuse says Pope Francis’ promotion of Bp. McElroy ‘fills me with fear’

Observing how such prelates enjoy unimpeded freedom to promote heterodoxy, Schneider described it as “a scandal” and “a manifestation of the deep crisis in which the Holy See is now.”

He called on Catholics to “pray that the Pope will again have the illumination of God, the light and the strength to do his task, to strengthen unambiguously all the bishops and faithful in the purity and integrity of the Catholic faith which is divine faith – not invented by human beings.”

Bishop Schneider additionally highlighted a need “to restore the dignity of the celebration of the Holy Mass and the sacraments.” “This should be the task of a Synod,” he said, “to issue norms and teachings unambiguously. And so we have to state this, we have to pray that the Pope will again resume his task.”

As LifeSiteNews has reported, in a lengthy feature for America magazine two days after his appointment to the cardinalate, McElroy detailed his goal of a “transformation” of the Church through the Synod on Synodality and further “sustained synodality.” He has continued to be a vocal proponent of Pope Francis’ Synodal ideology. 

But speaking to LifeSite recently, Bishop Schneider warned how the Synod on Synodality is “a tool used to dilute evermore the clarity of the Catholic faith, as we are now observing, dribbling evermore confusion and doctrinal confusion into the life of the Church.”

Far from a Synod simply “listening” to individuals, Schneider stated that a properly ordered synod has clear prerogatives: “The synod is an instrument of the Magisterium, but its first aim is to clarify doctrine without any ambiguity, without any doubt.”

The second task of a Synod should be to “reject the errors of the time,” yet Schneider warned that the current actions of the Synod are allowing “poison, spiritual poisons” to spread. A true synod should also be concerned with “disciplinary” issues to give a “remedy against abuses,” he noted.