Mercy! Mercy for the soul!

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Mercy! Mercy for the soul!
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For some reason most of the 2017 overviews miss two most important events. Both took place at the end of the year and so they should be well remembered by the commentators. And still…


In the last few weeks of the previous year there were two pieces of information that should appear in the headlines of all information services: Pope Francis’s decision to add his letter to Argentinian bishops in which he supported the interpretation of the Amoris Laetitia apostolic exhortation contradictory to the teachings of the Church to Acta Apostolicae Sedis as well as the forecast of the renowned American Pew Research Centre (PEW) which stated that by 2050 the population of Europe would in 30% consist of Muslim people. According to these simulations, with the current migration (the policy of open borders and connecting families) and demographic (a high birth rate among the Muslims) trend continued, the Odra River will become the border of a real civilizational fault line. The Pew Research Centre forecasts that in more than 30 years there will be 20% of Muslims in the German population (ca. 0.1% in Poland). In other countries these numbers will be even more dramatic – in 2050 ca. 30% of the Swedish population is to be of the Muslim origin. When we add a dynamic growth in the Muslim population in Russia, which we have a border with, we get a full picture of what we can probably expect to happen during one generation.


What is the connection between these alarming forecasts and Pope Francis’s decision made in June last year but announced only now? First of all, the fact that, similarly to migratory movements towards Europe, it strokes at the foundations of the Christian civilisation or what is left of it. Both events have indisputably the character of the civilizational invasion. Pope Francis’s decision is much more significant because it concerns the spirit.


The old saying goes that the condition of the western civilisation reflects the condition of the Church. The more serious the crisis in the Church, the worse our civilisation and vice versa: the better the spiritual and intellectual condition of the Church, the healthier western civilisation. To be honest, Pope Francis’s decision to raise  the Amoris Laetitia interpretation, according to which the Holy Communion can be given to people living in adultery, to the rank of the authentic Magisterium (and this is the result of adding the above-mentioned letter to AAS) is a heavy blow at the Church and hence at the foundations of our civilisation.  Much worse than 10 million Muslims arriving in Europe overnight.


There is no longer room for any doubts. Those expressed by four cardinals have finally been answered. Using a very adequate term by Professor Joseph Seifert with regard to AL, Pope Francis decided to plant an atomic bomb  in the whole moral teachings of the Church. While reading about the very bad decision about an entry to AAS I remembered the words from Potop (The Deluge): “Do not beg of him. It’s no use. He has been growing this snake for a long time.” The more bitter for me considering that  not so long ago I tried to do a very difficult thing – write about AL in the “hermeneutics of continuity”. Pope Francis clearly lectured though that he meant a radical break up. Not only with the previous teachings of the Church (Veritatis splendor encyclical by Pope John Paul II) but also with its law. It was immediately noticed that Pope Francis’s decision to raise the fact of people living in adulterous relationships having access to sacraments to the rank of the authentic Magisterium evidently contradicts the canon 915 of the Canon Law of the Catholic Church dated 1983, which prohibits such practices in expressis verbis.


As long as this canon law – like the procedure of declaring nullity of marriage earlier and interpretation of the AL apostolic exhortation now – is not “changed” and “corrected” in order to adjust it to “new  pastoral challenges” (literally everything can be changed; it has been recently announced that Pope Francis wants the Lord’s Prayer to be “corrected”) it is worth remembering that the basic principle that the Church law follows is salus animarum suprema lex esto – the salvation is the supreme law. This principle can be found in the last canon of the  Canon Law of the Catholic Church  – prae oculis habita salute animarum, quae in Ecclesia suprema semper lex esse debet – the fundamental law of the Church must always be the salvation of souls.


But it no longer is. Now it’s about a “new pastoral care” which has nothing in common with caring for the salvation of human souls. How can encouraging people to accept Holy Communion unworthily be treated if not as an invitation to take a wide and comfortable road with no “rigours”. A road to what? Sapienti sat. A word is enough for the wise.


Mercy orders us to stop or at least warn those who happily go towards an abyss. We are witnesses of a non-mass mobilisation towards the truth, which also means towards those – meaning every one of us – who are doomed to extinction without the truth. The vanguard of this movement consists of brave and noble bishops from Zambia and Kazakhstan as well as all those who joined the act of being faithful to the teachings of Christ and His Church with regard to the indissolubility of marriage announced by them (in various forms) in the last few weeks.


Let’s pray so this community of people demonstrating mercy towards the souls entrusted to them was joined also by our bishops. Considering the geopolitics of spiritual matters in Europe (i.e. erosion of faith in western countries), a clear voice of the Polish Episcopal Conference is even more needed on this subject.


How valid, almost prophetic, the words of St. John Paul II addressed to Polish bishops making an ad limina visit exactly 20 years ago (on 14 February 1998) are: “Europe has need of a Poland that believes deeply and is culturally creative in a Christian way, conscious of the role entrusted to her by Providence. What Poland can and must offer as a service to Europe is more or less identical to the task of rebuilding spiritual communion based on fidelity to the Gospel in one's own home. […] She must find sufficient strength in herself to ensure that our nation effectively resists those tendencies of contemporary civilization which advocate the elimination of spiritual values in favour of unbridled consumerism, and the abandonment of traditional religious and moral values, in favour of a secular culture and ethical relativism. Polish Christian culture, the religious and national ethos, are an invaluable reservoir of the energies Europe needs today for guaranteeing the integral development of the human person within its own borders.”


Thus, we have our own role to play in the fight with ethical relativism that the Providence set for us. We have to find an inner strength to do it. But nil desperandum. We shall not despair. Jesus promised St. Faustina that there would be a spark coming from our country which would transform not only our continent but the whole world and that it would direct it towards God’s mercy. There is only one condition – we have to stay true to Him and His teachings.


There is no mercy without the truth. It is not  a strict and heartless rigour but something opposite – an act of greatest mercy. Mercy towards the soul.


Grzegorz Kucharczyk



DATA: 2018-01-17 15:08
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