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Holy, Holy, Holy, the Dialogue

With the combination of the Greenhouse effect, and the «Cardinal Ouellet Effect», will our Masses in the Quebec Diocese soon look like this?
With the combination of the Greenhouse effect, and the "Cardinal Ouellet Effect",
will our Masses in the Quebec Diocese soon look like this?
(Source unknown)

1) Overview

Experienced patrons of this site can already guess the contents of this text, since it's a critique of an open letter, signed by 42 laypersons, which attacks the Catholic Church, as well as its reply penned by Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Here is an overview that even listeners of the Radio-Canada evening news will be able to understand:

Today, a bus carrying 42 Catholic laypersons smashed through a guardrail and fell to the bottom of a Liberal Protestant precipice, causing serious injuries to the souls of all passengers. Cardinal Marc Ouellet quickly arrived at the scene, driving an ambulance. Faced with this carnage, the Cardinal first of all threw away the first aid kit, then he performed a little liturgical dance while singing: "Holy, Holy, Holy, the Dialogue, god of my universe!" The Cardinal then posed for photographers, then left, proud to have avoided a confrontation with the casualties soaked in their own blood.

2) The open letter by the 42 laypersons

On Wednesday June 14, 2006, in the Le Soleil daily, 42 laypersons coming from 8 dioceses in Quebec signed an open letter titled "Our Bishops Are Afraid Of Rome" [broken link: www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20060614/CPACTUALITES/60614115/5287/CPOPINIONS].

This letter attacks the Catholic Church, by using the same old arguments which have already been answered on this site. Basically, the 42 signatories act like an offended virgin, because the Pope is trying to impose Catholicism on them, despite the fact they claim to be Catholics. (To have an idea of the tone of voice of this offended virgin, as well as a simple solution to this damsel's problem, see The Object Of Ridicule, And The Cause Of Mirth. To have a list of her actual demands, see excerpts of the CRC document in The Satanic "Spirit" Of Vatican II. Also, the 42 laypersons attack the "Address of the Pope to the Quebec Bishops" [broken link: www.eveques.qc.ca/aeqdoc_commaecq_2006_5_11_f_1.php] on their ad limina visit, May 11, 2006.)

Here are a few typical quotes from that open letter:

This message [from the CRC], a cry from the heart, spoke of the equality of women in the Church, of Priest's marriage, of welcoming excluded persons (homosexuals, divorcees, etc.)

Instead of being the spokespersons of the Christian communities of which they are pastors, [...], too many Bishops accept that their leadership is reduced more and more by Rome to a rôle of disciplinarians. But, this roman centralism - sclerosed and uniformity-inducing - adulterates the Vatican II Council's ecclesiology.

As believers of the grass-roots level, what should we conclude? That it's a waste of time, short or mid-term, to hope that our Church's hierarchy will make the decisions that will lead us out of the dead-ends [...]. Let's rather put our energies elsewhere. "We too are Church", so let's speak and act!

Let's occupy the beachheads secured by the CRC: let's prepare to choose women, married men, or any other competent person to insure the leadership of our communities; let's create new modes of gatherings; let's fully recognize - as some Christian communities already do - homosexual and divorced persons [...].

If all of this is necessary, then let's do it and it will get done! The risk of freedom in faith is all we've got left... while we wait for the Church's authorities to re-convert themselves to listening and dialogue!

3) The official response of Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Note: On Wednesday June 2006, the Cardinal published in Le Soleil this reply to the 42 laypersons. The sloppy English translation is my fault. (But sometimes the Cardinal uses expressions which are rather vague in French, so I'm not to blame all the time.)

For an evangelical dialogue

[Yellow] I can only encourage your will to open new paths to welcome with more love the persons who feel excluded in our Church. I can only encourage you to create new modes of gathering which will satisfy your desire to communicate this presence of Jesus Christ, while dissappearing before Him.

Ambiguous. What kinds of "new paths"? What kinds of "new modes of gathering"? The 42 laypersons' letter seems to imply schismatic and heterodox activities.

[Green] It's quite true that God can only make himself present to the world through his witnesses,

God's arm is plenty long enough to make Himself present without us, as we can see in a thousand places in the Bible. But that's a detail.

[Green] It's through our faces that the sufferers of the world discover the tenderness of God. But what do our faces, our gazes and our words say about God today?

[Green] Some gatherings have been conclusive. Recently in Quebec, over 600 young persons came to listen to the Word around their Bishops; and there were also Priests, very numerous, who were able to share with us, in all truth and freedom.

A young attendee of 22 told me he was one of the rare faithful to the Pope, drowned in a sea of youngsters contaminated by Ethical Relativism and Protestant Liberalism.

[Green] At this Sunday's Feast of Corpus Christi, at the Dominicaines Missionnaires Adoratrices of Beauport, we were over 3000 persons, youngsters and families, rich and poor, around the eucharist. We were together to pray and to prepare ourselves for the Eucharistic Congress of 2008.

A Priest told me there were less than ten Priests from the Diocese, out of a possibility of about 270. The other ones were "the usual suspects" (Opus Dei, Neo-Cathecumenal Way, the Last Catholic Dominican, etc.)

We also have to keep in mind that 3000 persons, out of a Diocese of several hundred thousands, is very little. Just here in my Parish at Saint-Charles-Garnier, an old chap told me that on Sundays, the Masses would start at 6 A.M., in the church as well as in the parish hall, with one Mass starting every half-hour, until 11 A.M., if I remember correctly. That gives me roughly 3000 persons. One Parish. One ordinary Sunday. Not THE diocesan feast of the year!

By the way, Mr. Cardinal, I prefer to see the word "Eucharist" with an upper case "E" in expressions like "around the Eucharist". Thanks for understanding.

[Yellow] May we also be able to count on you to multiply these initiatives that are developing at the local level.

Count on them, yes, under the condition that they submit themselves to the Holy Father!

[Green] We engage in dialogue with the young, we share with the families, we listen to the sufferings, the worries, the critiques, we share the crosses of exploded families, of disunited couples and excluded persons.

[Green] We try, day after day, to carry our own cross, while keeping our eyes on the cross of Christ, listening to this Word: Convert, and believe in the good news.

[Green] This call to conversion, I hear it for myself at every moment, and the Church and the community help me to stay faithful to the Gospel, so that everything in my being will convert itself to my pastor's speak ("mon dire de pasteur" in French, Translator's Note).

[Green] I know very well that what is essential in the Church, is not the "function", it's holiness! It's the meeting we make with beings which incarnate Christ, in truth and in the humility of their daily lives. And these beings are numerous in our Church, who bear witness to the alliance with God and with each one of us, aware of the tensions which divide and distract from the Word of life. I insist on saluting and thanking these people for their fidelity.

[Red] This "cry of the heart" you speak of, I've heard it

Blatant lie. The real Catholics in the Diocese, who suffer because they don't have Liturgy, Sacraments and Homilies which conform to the teachings of the Catholic Church, have sent you a "cry of the heart", with no results.

Please don't wait for eternal Hellfire to melt the brown sugar in your ears, before hearing that cry...

[Green] since I'm called, like you and as a Catholic, to live in communion with all my brothers and sisters and by trying not to protest against what could be more difficult to live to be really faithful to the Gospel.

[Green] This Gospel reminds us of the mercy-filled gaze of Jesus before the adulteress, but that also tells her, after forgiveness: go and sin no more!

[Green] The scribes and pharisees had left by themselves when Jesus had crouched, writing on the ground, after having said: May he who is without sin cast her the first stone. The message is double: to welcome and to be merciful, then to lift up and send away: go and sin no more.

Nice paraphrase of a beautiful Gospel scene, but I don't get the connection. Who is who? Is it the 42 laypersons who should forgive the Pope for being Catholic? Is it the Cardinal who forgives the 42 laypersons, without them having demonstrated the slightest contrition?

[Green] Do those who contest this teaching think about all the martyrs and saints of our Church who have given their lives so that we could come hear the truth of this teaching and live in the love of God and our neighbor?

Here, the Cardinal gives the impression of getting ready to defend the divine teachings of Jesus Christ, faithfully transmitted by His Church, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic! But wait...

[Yellow] You mention excluded persons in your letter. But the Church doesn't exclude and never will exclude anybody, under penalty of losing her reason to exist.

Strictly speaking, yes, it's the heretic, the schismatic or the apostate who excludes himself. But the ambigous context seems to insinuate that any use of canonical punishments is contrary to the Church's reason to exist.

[Red] The Church, heir of a "revealed" truth,

Oh, là, là! Smashing! First of all, "a" truth? Why not "The" truth? And the word "revealed" in scare quotes, with a lowercase "r"! That's funny, since it's that little word without an uppercase and in quotation marks that should have been precisely the most important word of the whole reply by the Cardinal!

The reason why we submit ourselves to the Pope, the reason why it's the Magisterium's decisions that we must follow, is precisely because Jesus, who is God, speaks to us through the mouth of the Magisterium! "He who hears you, hears Me" [Lc 10:16]. Never in the Gospel, and nowhere in the teachings of the Church is it said that, to know dogma and morals, all we need to do is to dialogue among ourselves! This Truth comes to us from God! We have to listen to it, and obey it!

The 42 signatories are absolutely right to refuse to submit themselves to some arbitrary human will. It's the same for me, I'd never accept to submit myself to a human will, as if this man were God. But that's precisely what we need to make them understand! They would be right, except the Magisterium isn't the word of a mere mortal, sinner, ignorant and drawn to evil!

[Yellow] [The Church] has adapted herself throughout the centuries, along with the unveiling and the refined comprehension of this revelation. But we are here in a historical perspective which greatly exceeds the individual's lifespan.

Of course there has been an evolution in the understanding of the Revelation, but given the context, what is implied by this sentence smells of the Modernist heresy.

[Green] The ideal carried by Christian faith transcends individuals and, especially, it doesn't belong to them. I, Marc Ouellet, no more than Benedict XVI, can modify it as I wish or under pressure from my peers. What gives me the strength to steady the course, against winds and tides, is the conviction that by keeping the direction of the course toward this objective men and women multiply their chances to get to happiness and the fulfillment of their lives.

[Green] Concerning the ad limina visit, since you weren't there, you weren't able to seize the human warmth of the exchanges, the empathy of the contacts and the welcoming that was received. Human factors which cannot be appreciated with the simple reading of a closing speech for such a meeting. I can nevertheless share the unanimous experience of the Quebec Bishops: we were listened to at length by pope Benedict XVI. We also listened to him with a lot of attention, knowing that he had grasped the reality of our Quebec Church.

OK, the Pope is a nice guy. Good. But the essential part of the visit isn't the warmth of the handshakes, but what the Pope told you to tell us! I still haven't seen on the Diocesan website the Pope's speech, and I haven't found a single trace of it in this reply to the 42 laypersons. Does the Pope also use Catholish, for his words to be so devoid of meaning and importance?

[Green] We were invited to live in communion, in faithfulness to the Gospel, in love for all, rich, poor, saints or sinners, our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ. We have experimented that this invitation to a more concrete communion immediately bore its fruits, among we the Bishops first, then very quickly, with those who are close to us. It's good news for the Church of Quebec.

[Green] I really desire that this communion may open new dialogues with you, so that the presence of the Spirit may gather us so we may better serve our most suffering brothers, and that Mary gives us the strength to remain standing up in front of our crosses, assured that Christ inhabits these crosses and carries them with us.

[Green] I'm assured that, in faithfulness to the Gospel, and with the grace of God, everything, one day, will be Resurrection.

OK, that's poetic and sweet, but let's not forget that originally, we had a busload of seriously wounded persons, bleeding to death. Yes, the Cardinal started out well, by calming the wounded and by making them understand that he wasn't a bad guy, and that he wanted to help them. But where are the bandages? Where is the antiseptic? Where are the sutures, the splints, the tracheal intubations, the intra-cardiac epinephrine injections, etc.?

4) Conclusion

The eternal salvation of these 42 laypersons is gravely at risk! But the Cardinal's response seems to be: "Keep on bleeding, things will heal themselves, as long as we engage in bland dialogues devoid of dogmatic and moral content".

What is worse, is that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people have read both these texts. What good will it do to them? How will the Cardinal's reply contribute to make them better understand the nature of Revelation, and the necessity to submit ourselves to the Magisterium's decisions? How will the Cardinal's reply make all these people understand the sound basis of the Church's positions on divorce, homosexual attractions, women's ordination, etc.?

Maybe we need a bit less dialogue, and a bit more truth...

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