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Bishop Athanasius Schneider

POLAND, August 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia “seems to” go in the direction of a pastoral “discernment” that “allows the adulterers to continue in adultery,” says Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

The consequences for many could be eternal damnation, Schneider warned. “We cannot play with our eternity. As the Proverb said, ‘We cannot play with fire.’”

And the pope bears “grave responsibility” for this situation, the auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, said during a recent Tradition, Faith and Property conference in Poland.

The bishop was responding to the question of how priests should apply the principle of “discernment” laid out in Amoris Laetitia to the situation of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who don’t refrain from sexual relations, reported Church Militant.

Schneider publicly supports the four cardinals who’ve asked the pope five questions “dubia” to clear up the confusion caused by Amoris Laetitia, which is fragmenting the church as bishops and bishops’ groups issue contradictory guidelines based on differing interpretations of the controversial document.

In his answer, he distinguished true discernment from “anti-discernment” or “pseudo-discernment.”

The first such “process of discernment,” was “the dialogue of the serpent with Eve, to seek a discernment to obey God, or not to obey God,” Schneider said.

When Eve told the devil that God had said not to eat the fruit, “And then the devil said, ‘Oh, let us start a discernment … What did God say?’” he pointed out.

“And Eve said, ‘Ah, He said when we will eat we will die.’ ‘Oh no! This is not true,’ he said. ‘Let us discern. You will know what is good.’”

The result of this discernment was “a catastrophe of all humanity,” he said. “So we are now bearing in our souls, in our bodies, the consequences of that original sin, of this bad discernment.”

Discernment “can only be for the good. Discernment can only be to fulfil the will of God,” he said.

“It is clearly the will of God that sexual acts are only permitted and willed by God, wanted by God, inside a valid matrimony. This is the clear will of God. There is no other exception,” the bishop pointed out.

“But to continue to practice of adultery, it is not fulfilling the will of God, it is offending God,” Schneider said.

“So it is an anti-discernment, a pseudo-discernment, which will confirm the soul in sin.” This could lead “even to the danger to lose his soul for eternity.”

As other examples, “one who likes to lie” will say “let us make a discernment so I can continue to lie. Someone likes to steal, ‘OK, I’m so existentially linked with the stealing’ … let us make a discernment that I can a little bit continue to steal.”  

And “it is the same as a discernment to, even in the confessional, then to allow the adulterers to continue in adultery,” he said.  

“It is a contradiction and a very great danger for the souls and a grave responsibility, more on the priest who allows this,” he said.

“And more on the pope, who seems to allow this … who does not make nothing to prevent this,” said Schneider.

It “seems Amoris Laetitia goes in this direction,” added the bishop, to a burst of applause.


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