Kazakh bishop: Western errors creeping eastward

By Robert Duncan
Catholic News Service

“According to my experience in the Western world,” wrote Bishop Athanasius Scheinder of Astana, Kazakhstan, in an e-mail exchange with Catholic News Service, “I (recognize) among Catholics from non-traditional or liberal parishes mainly the following doctrinal deviations or confusions”:

- The belief in a pre-conciliar church as opposed to a post-conciliar church.

- The belief that women can be ordained to the priesthood.

- The belief that Mass is primarily a “fraternal banquet” rather than a “sacrifice.”

Bishop Schneider also cited doubts about Mary’s perpetual virginity and an overemphasis on social activism, to the detriment of prayer and adoration of God as examples of misreadings of the Second Vatican Council.

“In Kazakhstan our faithful still are not contaminated with the mentioned errors,” Bishop Schneider wrote. However, in the case of some countries of Eastern Europe that have been integrated into the European Union, “some of the errors” have started slowly “spreading, especially among the clergy. Generally the Eastern people have in their mentality a natural and deep sense of reverence towards the sacred and readiness to obey religious authority,” Bishop Schneider wrote.

But some traditional parishes are not without problems of their own. Among the “deviations” to be found in these parishes, wrote the bishop, are:

- “A pathological piety.”

- “Exaggerated credulity towards alleged apparitions.”

- A tendency to isolate tradition from the teaching authority of the church.

Bishop Schneider wrote that “an arbitrary and ideological interpretation of Vatican II” had created the confusion, along with theologians and the media who took the documents “hostage.”

“I always accepted the texts of Vatican II as a son of the church, as texts of my mother,” the bishop wrote. Nevertheless, the bishop wrote he hopes that “some expressions” of the council’s documents ” will “be made more clear and unequivocal.”

To read about Bishop Schneider’s views on the Vatican II declaration on religious liberty, click here: https://cnsblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/bishop-athanasius-schneider-on-religious-liberty/

4 Responses

  1. Good to hear this Kazacstan Bishop’s thoughts on Vatican II. My sentiments too.

  2. Bishop Schneider has it about right. One thing overlooked, I’d suggest: the indifference found among most of the Catholics today, given that a minority attend Mass.

  3. Much as I admired his personal story on EWTN, Bishop S. may need to avoid narrow caricatures. The clericalism of bishops, their alienation from their priests for the most part, and clericalism of too many priests and the inability of too many of them to preach actual homilies, rooted in prayer and Bible knowledge, and the distance many keep from their whole parishes, not just their leaders and the wealthy. and neglect of training lay leadership are far more a concern than way-out rebellion and miracle chasers in my view of the Church.

  4. I am 70 and have lived thru the turmoil that have been attributed to Vatican II. This beautiful document was not the problem, but what confused people, often the clerics of that time, attributed to it was the problem. Often they used the words, “Spirit of Vatican II” and then spoke with misguided authority of what Vatican II implied when the documents said nothing of that sort. When I questioned them I found most did not even read the documents. I heard a quote which I feels applies, “Whenever the church has a council, people misunderstand, the devil then stir things up, and eventually the Holy Spirit sets things right (which is what is beginning to happen now).

    The good bishop captured two forces right in his summary, where he identifies forces I call ultra liberals to the Western Cultures and the ultra conservatives to the Eastern Cultures. I have seen both of these forces at work here in the US. Back in the 70′s, I was blessed to have a saintly pastor in my old parish (Holy Spirit of Joppa Maryland), Father Charles Dausch. Father called the ultra liberals, destructionist and the ultra conservatives obstructionist. He said the small road, which in this case is the middle of the road was the best route to go. In that time period, regrettably, we had conflicting and confusing guidance from many clergy of that period. Father’s rock solid advise was simple and is still valid now: “when you get confusing and conflicting guidance from priests, sisters, and/or brothers always look to Rome, mainly the Pope and Bishops who are in union with the pope to weight what is being told. Is aligned with the Pope and his loyal bishops. If not, it is likely the work of the devil, then throw it out. I was blessed to be at Father Dausch’s funeral Mass. His Bishop said at the end of this Mass, “Well done good a faithful servant”.

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