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Your Eminences, Your Excellences,
Please, find bellow my Open letter to the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church on the subject of the Amazon Synod directed to all Cardinals electors, Diocesan Bishops and their Auxiliary Bishops. Specifically, on the topic of the shortage of priests in the Amazon at which all other subjects of the Synod are founded.
Separately, you can find attached the Appendices to this letter as well as my study the shortage of priests, a statistical analysis of the evolution of the clerical and lay populations of the Church since Vatican II. Thereby, I draw your attention to the appendices 4 and 5 specifically.
Furthermore I must refer you to the Encyclicals Sacerdotalis Caelibatus (1967) and Humanae Vitae (1968) as well as the Motu Proprio Solemni Hac Liturgia (Credo of the People of God) (1968)>, all of them published by Pope Paul VI shortly after Vatican II.
Note that Pope Paul VI rejected the topics of Celibacy of Priesthood and Contraception from the Council's Agenda, and preserved these topics to Himself only, which resulted in the Encyclicals Sacerdotalis Caelibatus and Humanae Vitae. Therefore, concerning these topics one cannot refer to the Second Vatican Council at all, either to the so-called Spirit of the Council.
In addition, please, note that the Motu Proprio Credo of the People of God was published on special request of the first Bishops Synod in 1967
Open letter to the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church
Your Eminences, Your Excellences,
For the good of the Church, we respectfully request a little of your valuable time in bringing the following matters to your attention, and to that of the Holy Father and the participants of the Amazon Synod.
Although this letter specifically addresses the Amazon Synod, as an Open Letter it is also directed at all Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. This is because the subjects of this regional Synod touch one of the main problems of the whole Church: the shortage of priests. Certainly, if one part of the Church suffers, the whole Church suffers.
Our appeal to you is the following:
- Please consider the shortage of priests in the Amazon in a global context. It can be addressed only as such, in the spirit of solidarity within the entire church. Attached is a statistical analysis of the clerical and lay populations of the Church; the shortage of priests. In summary this analysis shows that:
- The shortage of priests is not solely a concern of the Amazon and even not specific to the thinly populated regions. It can also be found in densely populated urbanized areas.
- A manifest lack of solidarity is observed, even among neighbouring family dioceses in South and Central America. With an average of about 7,000 faithful per priest for the entire South and Central America (including Mexico) some dioceses suffer with 10,000 to 20,000 or more faithful per priest, while other dioceses have 3,000 to 4,000 faithful per priest;
- Taking as a baseline the current global average of about 3,000 faithful per priest, the actual total shortage for South and Central America (including Mexico) is at least 100,000 priests, which is much greater than the actual number of priests available in South and Central America;
- The religious congregations have potentially lost at least 265,000 members since the Second Vatican Council. This has handicapped the Church globally and has seriously hampered its missionary efforts.
- Your "advice" to the Holy Father must be unequivocally based on "Truth and Doctrine" in accordance with your properly informed consciences and not just a repetition of his agenda or his prescribed will for a result that he wishes to achieve.
- Please beware of those who try to manipulate you into a vicious circle, claiming that "it is the will of the Pope" that you should follow when advising the Pope. A vicious circle exists where you follow the Pope's will in advising him: i.e. your advice, or in other words his will, becomes his will!
- Please persuade your confreres and the Holy Father of the necessity and urgency of using this synod to return the Church to its sacred patrimony and authentic doctrine as received from and taught by the Church Fathers.
For each of these objectives, we substantiate our arguments with evidence in the attached appendices. This evidence demonstrates that Vatican II has been the main catalyst for the significant drop in the number of priests and religious over the last six decades.
The underlying root cause in our opinion is a spiritual one, namely the lack of a humble and gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, (c.f. Appendix 1 to Appendix 6). This was the result of a deliberate set-up and spiritual hijacking of the Council, which can be very briefly summarized as follows:
- The first day's deliberate chain of successive irregularities that broke the Council's legal framework and put Pope John XXIII in a situation of a fait accompli (Appendix 2);
- The replacement of the valid hermeneutic for Vatican II, as put in place by the Lawmaker of this Council, i.e. Pope John XXIII, by a vague and ambiguous Spirit of the Council (Appendix 3)
The stakes are simply too high to ignore these facts. The indisputable result has been a fundamental loss of Faith, which has broken the unity between Doctrine and Pastorate (Appendix 4).
Given this spiritual nature of the problem, only supernatural means can solve it. We therefore propose the following solution to you for urgent action (Appendix 7).
The entire Hierarchy and Clergy of the Church shall therefore globally and publicly:
- Beg the Holy Spirit for Mercy,
- Declare a (renewed) Manifesto of Faith, and
- Do Penance.
With heartfelt gratitude for your kind and generous consideration, we humbly beg your sincere prayers for the Holy Father and Synod Fathers that they may realise the seriousness of the current existential crisis in the Church, and have a change of heart with regard to the solution required.
We offer you the assurance of our filial support and prayers, we hope for a speedy reply, and we humbly ask for the grace of your blessing.
Faithfully in Christo,
Jack P. Oostveen (email@example.com).
- Appendix 1: Vatican II as catalyst
- Appendix 2: A chain of irregular acts
- Appendix 3: Opening Address of Pope John XXIII
- Appendix 4: Destruction of norms
- Appendix 5: Continuity, substantial or material
- Appendix 6: The false portrayal
- Appendix 7: The stakes are too high to simply ignore the facts, a proposed solution
- Appendix 8: The rationale