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May 6, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A cardinal, two bishops, and a dozen priests are asking Pope Francis to intervene to stop the Catholic church in Germany from going into “schism” by continuing on its heretical Synodal Path and thereby separating itself from the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church founded by Christ.
“The German Synodal Path, initiated in 2019, has been, during the past two years, fertile ground for the planning and subsequent homogenization of ideas and theories that are blatantly contrary to the immutable and perennial Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church, founded by the Divine Savior on the solid rock of the Apostles,” the appeal states.
“Concerned about this sad situation, we Pastors of the Catholic Church and faithful laity committed to the defense of the Truth of the Faith, ask the Holy Father to take the necessary measures to put an end to these drifts of the German Synodal Path and, if necessary, to apply the appropriate canonical sanctions against the promoters of this tremendous deviation from both doctrine and communion with the Keys of Peter,” it adds.
The May 5 appeal is signed by Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, Kazakhstan Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Switzerland Bishop Marian Eleganti, 12 priests, including U.S. canon lawyer Fr. Gerald Murray, and more than 50 other laymen and women in the fields of law, teaching, and health. The appeal first appeared on Marco Tosatti’s blog Stilum Curiae.
The appeal lays out the main errors being promoted by the Synodal Path, largely involving a departure from the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexual morality.
“The errors being spread include the declared attack on the Priesthood, both by means of the effort to abolish ecclesiastical celibacy as well as imposing the ordination of women, and also the declared attack on Marriage, intentionally attacking the indissoluble union between a man and a woman and imposing and equating sodomitic unions with the love that Our Lord Jesus Christ has elevated to the dignity of a Sacrament,” the appeal states.
The signers of the appeal point out that the Synodal Path has departed from the Church’s teaching, as stated by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that the “matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.”
As evidence of this departure from Church teaching on marriage, the appeal signers point to the fact that hundreds of German clergy, with support from various bishops, are planning to bless homosexual couples on May 10 in defiance of the Church’s ban on such blessings that was reiterated in March by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). In its March 15 declaration, the CDF made it clear that “it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” stating that God “does not and cannot bless sin.”
The signers of the appeal note that the Synodal Path along with events such as blessings for homosexual couples makes it clear that the Church in Germany is “daily tending” towards “declared schism and heresy.” Schism is defined in Canon Law as the “refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” The appeal signers point out that clergy who bless homosexual couples incur “excommunication latae sententiae” on themselves for their actions.
Fr. Gero Weishaupt, a canon lawyer and a tribunal judge of the Diocese of Cologne, told kath.net in a May 3 interview — which was translated into English by Catholic World Report — that bishops who permit blessings for homosexual couples to be performed in their dioceses, or who encourage them, or who even merely tolerate such blessings engage in an act of outright “disobedience to the Pope” for which there are immediate “canonical consequences.”
“With this disobedience, the bishop breaks the oath of fidelity that he swore when he took office. Besides this promise of fidelity to the Pope, the bishop promises thereby to protect the unity of the Universal Church and hence to make every effort ‘to preserve pure and unchanged the faith that has been handed down by the Apostles.’ Therefore he is ‘obliged to promote the common order of the whole Church and therefore to insist that all ecclesiastical laws be obeyed,’” Weishaupt said.
“The disobedience manifested by the refusal to carry out the papal responsum [that banned blessing for homosexuals] therefore disrupts unity with the Pope. It is a schismatic act, of course with an underlying heresy, inasmuch as the blessing of homosexual relationships expresses at the very least the view that besides marriage between a man and a woman there can be other relationships ordered to sexual union,” he added.
Such disobedience results in the bishop’s “excommunication automatically, as a latae sententiae penalty, i.e. it occurs as soon as a bishop publicly supports the blessing of homosexual unions, by that very fact.”
“Such a latae sententiae penalty would have to be declared by the Pope through a decree, after an admonition, so that it could take effect canonically in the external forum,” he added.
Priests who perform such blessings are also automatically excommunicated, said Weishaupt. If dissenting bishops refuse to carry out their duty by excommunicating such a priest, the laity must bring their complaint to the Apostolic Nuncio, or directly to the Pope, or to a Roman dicastery, such as the Congregation for the Faith, or the Congregation for Bishops, or the Congregation for Clergy, he added.
The signers of the appeal to the Pope conclude with a call for Catholics around the world to make May 10 a day of “prayer and reparation for all the offenses and sacrilegious actions committed by the deviant Pastors of the German Church.”
They ask laity to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart on that day and to offer their Communions in reparation for sin. They ask priests to offer the Holy Mass on that day specifically for the remission of sins.