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Presently I am traveling and in Poland. For those who do not keep up with foreign affairs, Poland has found itself in the midst of the cultural war. The reason Poland has found itself in the midst of a cultural war is that it voted “incorrectly” in the presidential election as well as in the general parliamentary election last year. So at present, the “leftist International”, who we all remember from the Stealth Sex Synod™ (see here) of 2015, has decided to make its stand, and a resulting sh*t storm has ensued. I will write more about this situation, and the unrelated disastrous attendance numbers for the Francis pontificate (see here), which your humble blogger has been tracking (see here), in a subsequent post.
With respect to today’s post, I am reproducing two comments that I received in my comment box from a Polish priest who resides in Poland, and commented under the nom de plume Fr. Pio Kowalski.
I cannot confirm if in fact Fr. Kowalski is a Polish priest since both him and I are anonymous and write under said nom de plumes. Yet I am highly confident that that which Fr. Pio Kowalski writes is in fact correct. Therefore, I am re-producing his two comments in the body of this post for your general information. I have taken the liberty to clean up the text, while avoiding to change any of the meaning of the text itself.
One passage which I would like to draw your attention to is in the second comment where Fr. Pio writes: (emphasis added)
A letter was read on the Feast of the Holy Family (N.O.). ( I am surprised it was not read at the Mass you attended S.A. since it is mandatory to read such letters, from the Episcopal Conference of Polish Bishops), which very strongly upheld traditional teaching on the family…except for one sentence. This sentence left open the matter of Holy Communion for those living in an irregular union and who pledge within the “internal forum”, (does that sound familiar?…It should to anyone who followed the proposals of the radicals at the Synod), to abstain from sexual intercourse and live as brother and sister. In other words, someone could within confession (say that he or she has made such a pledge within the internal forum, break with it by engaging in sexual intercourse and then simply go to confession in order to put the matter right again not missing a beat and receiving Holy Communion). This formulation caused consternation even among the most moderate of pastors at the parish level…and I believe we have not heard the last of the protests against it.
The reason that I mention this dear readers is to draw your attention to the varied interpretations of what this novel approach to “internal forum” has taken on.
If you recall:
• in the German interpretation, the “internal forum” means that serial adulterers go to a priest who “absolves” them permanently, regardless of whether they engage in fornication and if this priest allows them to go to communion, so be it. This interpretation is designed to cover aberro-sexual behaviour likewise, so as it can conform to the new German Church Law.
• in the English interpretation, the “internal forum” means that serial adulterers who decide to cease and desist fornicating and accept the limitations to live as sister and brother in their subsequent “marriage/s”, can get access to the sacraments through an “internal forum” mechanism. Obviously this interpretation is not accepted by the radical FrancisBishops like Cupich, Wuerl, etc, but most of the US bishops are in this camp.
• in the Polish interpretation, it would appear that “even moderate” priests, let alone the bishops, have problems with serial adulterers living in adulterous relationships, i.e. public sinners. So the “internal forum” is administered with an even greater limit with respect to the degree to which public adulterers can cause a public scandal by cohabiting in open adulterous relationships.
So what we have is three different episcopates and three different interpretations of the “internal forum”.
I guess we will need to wait for the future Council of Econe to sort out this mess.
Closing, please keep Fr. Pio in your prayers.
Father Pio Kowalski:
In response to my Introibo Ad Altare Dei post (see here) from the 21/12/2015.
The resistance of the Church in Poland to the Soviet-enforced communist system was not as monolithic as one may tend to think. There were a few dominant camps within the Polish Episcopate which dealt with both local and national problems in various ways. After the the economic and political changes in the late 1980’s and during the 1990’s to the present, the Polish bishops could be categorized by their political leanings just as in many countries of the West. The percentage of priests and bishops who actually co-operated with the objectives of the Communist regime, (in both small and significant ways, for whatever reason),, was shockingly high. And unfortunately many of these unsavory apparatchik-type relationships have remained in place to this day.
It is primarily (in my opinion), the bishops who supported the direction of the previous ruling party, (Platform Obywatelski…recently booted out of government by general elections and directly opposed to the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings), and their underlings who are so vehemently opposed to the TLM, since it interferes with their deconstructionist tendencies within the Church and society itself…a trend which has lead to much conflict within the Polish Episcopal Conference.
The only thing that seems to have changed the situation somewhat and united bishops (at least publicly) was the Synod on the Family, in which most bishops saw an actually threat to the INSTITUTIONAL integrity of the Universal Church and the Church in Poland as well. (And yes…bishops and their chanceries too must eat!) All bishops of the country signed a letter to Pope Francis upholding tradition Catholic teaching and practice concerning matters of marriage and sexual morality.
But was that perceived threat to the integrity of the institutional Church enough to make converts to a return to Tradition? I think not. Most recently it was announced in the Archdiocese of Lublin, that the administration of the centuries – old Jesuit church in the city of Lublin has been given over to the Neo-catechumenal Way…, in effect with no clerical oversight.The Jesuits pulled out because of a dirth in vocations …another sign of the “new springtime” promised us by the V II crowd. When this news raised eye-brows and caused wide-spread consternation…, it was added later by archdiocesan officials that a clerical administrator had been appointed to share in the duties. Well here we go again!
The ecclesiological-ligturgical revolution is alive and well in Poland. Attend Sunday Mass and you will witness a plethora of “extra-ordinary ministers of the Eucharist” becoming very ordinary through heavily funded and supported diocesan training courses, as female lectors have come to dominate the presbiterium during “Liturgy of the Word”. At this rate and with secular feminism on the rise, I predict it will not be long before they two are included in “Eucharistic minister” training programs, ( open now only to men) and will be distributing Holy Communion alongside their very, very V II priests..
A return to Tradition for such bishops clerics and laity is being deflected every step of the way as an assault upon their HOMOCENTRIC (Ed. note: anthropocentric) world view and church.The die is cast. The only thing this wing of the Polish Church lacks …is the wide support of the faithful who seeing such rot are either leaving in droves and choosing secularism as their life – guiding ideology or filling the chapels of SS Pius X and other centers of true Catholic worship. (Most happily this includes the young some of whom are discovering their true spiritual inheritance…..TRADITION.
Sincerely yours in Christ and Mary Immaculate ..from the front lines in Poland.
Fr. Pio Kowalsk
In response to my Dispatches From The Eastern Front post from 30/12/2015 (see here)
When I was a seminarian in Poland 30 years ago (not a terribly long time ago in historical terms), each Polish seminarian studied Greek for two years and Latin for four years. The program was demanding and I think it is safe to say that any future priest having finished this course of study was and is adequately prepared to celebrate (at least linguistically) the Mass in Latin. A weekly N.O Mass in Latin was celebrated at that time at the seminary as was the “Summa” (Ed. note: High Mass) on Sundays at the cathedral, with all seminarian present. My fondest memories of these Masses was the chanting of the Ordinary parts of the Mass by over 300 seminarians. I am sure you can appreciate the beauty.The Slavic soul must have a sense of the sacred during the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. It simply must.
Unfortunately in in the past 10-15 years, the course of study for Latin has been reduced to two years only and Greek has been eliminated from what I hear. And often the Latin requirement is treated with disregard by seminary officials. The fact that some priests actually celebrate Mass in Latin and according to the ancient rites (myself included)…blows the minds of the younger generation of priests and yet at the same time intrigues them.
I agree with you…much has changed for the better among some sectors of the Polish Church since the Synod on the Family, in this regard and a renewal is going forward. But the “Great Divide” which exists in the Universal Church still exists in Poland. A letter was read on the Feast of the Holy Family (N.O.). ( I am surprised it was not read at the Mass you attended S.A. since it is mandatory to read such letters, from the Episcopal Conference of Polish Bishops), which very strongly upheld traditional teaching on the family…except for one sentence. This sentence left open the matter of Holy Communion for those living in an irregular union and who pledge within the “internal forum”, (does that sound familiar?…It should to anyone who followed the proposals of the radicals at the Synod), to abstain from sexual intercourse and live as brother and sister. In other words, someone could within confession (say that he or she has made such a pledge within the internal forum, break with it by engaging in sexual intercourse and then simply go to confession in order to put the matter right again not missing a beat and receiving Holy Communion). This formulation caused consternation even among the most moderate of pastors at the parish level…and I believe we have not heard the last of the protests against it.
One of the mal-formed priest of the younger generation with whom I have daily contact simply stated…”well, the bishops have spoken so now its up to us to be obedient”! What!? Really!? I took the opportunity to remind him that Episcopal Conferences have no legitimate authority in the Church structure Our Lord instituted to make such decisions and that bishops, whether in collaboration with each other or individually do not possess the gift of infallibility. Such thinking never crossed his very, very Vatican II – formed mind. My question is as follows: what caused this fissure in the newfound unity of the Polish bishops? The priests I know are already protesting what they are calling “confessional concubinage”!
Please pray for the Church in Poland. There are so many great signs of renewal trying to get a foothold here. And we all know that where there is such grace the Evil One will be busy..but I believe the Church in Poland with its history of martyrs and saints, has a Messianic role to fulfill for the entire Church.
Sincerely in Mary Immaculate
Fr, Pio Kowalski