Bishop Athanasius Schneider Sounding Athanasian

Diane Montagna’s Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider (“Bishop Schneider says Vatican is betraying ‘Jesus Christ as the only Savior of mankind’”) has some gems in it.

Below are three paragraphs with statements I consider particularly worthy of attention. The underlining is mine for emphasis.

The Abu Dhabi Document and the aims of the “Higher Committee” also considerably weaken one of the essential characteristics and tasks of the Church, i.e. to be missionary and to care primarily for the eternal salvation of men. It reduces the main aspirations of mankind to the temporal and immanent values of fraternity, peace and living together. Indeed, attempts at peace are destined for failure if they are not proposed in the name of Jesus Christ. This truth prophetically reminds us of Pope Pius XI, who said that the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind is labouring “were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics.” Pius XI went on to say, “that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations” (Encyclical Quas Primas, 1). The same Pope taught that Catholics “become great factors in bringing about world peace because they work for the restoration and spread of the Kingdom of Christ” (Encyclical Ubi arcano, 58).

God created men for heaven. God created all men to know Jesus Christ, to have supernatural life in Him and to achieve eternal life. To lead all men to Jesus Christ and to eternal life is, therefore, the most important mission of the Church. The Second Vatican Council has provided us with an apt and beautiful explanation of this mission: “The missionary activity derives its reason from the will of God, ‘who wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, Himself a man, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as a ransom for all’ (1 Tim 2:45), ‘neither is there salvation in any other’ (Acts 4:12). Therefore, all must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body. For Christ Himself ‘by stressing in express language the necessity of faith and baptism (cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5), at the same time confirmed the necessity of the Church, into which men enter by baptism, as by a door. Therefore, those men cannot be saved, who though aware that God, through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it, or to persevere in it.’ (Cf. Decree “On Priestly Training,” 4, 8, 9.) Therefore though God in ways known to Himself can lead those inculpably ignorant of the Gospel to find that faith without which it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11:6), yet a necessity lies upon the Church (1 Cor 9:16), and at the same time a sacred duty, to preach the Gospel. And hence missionary activity today as always retains its power and necessity” (Ad Gentes, 7).

In recognizing directly or indirectly the equality of all religions, through the spread and implementation of the Abu Dhabi document (dated February 4, 2019) without correcting its erroneous affirmation on the diversity of religions, men in the Church today not only betray Jesus Christ as the only Savior of mankind and the necessity of His Church for eternal salvation, but also commit a great injustice and sin against love of neighbor. In 1542, St. Francis Xavier wrote from the Indies to his spiritual father St. Ignatius of Loyola: “Many people in these places are not Christians simply because there is no one to make them such. Many times I get the desire to travel to the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and shout from wherever, like a madman, to impel those who have more knowledge than charitywith these words: “Ay, how many souls, by your sloth, are denied heaven and end in hell!”