The Catholic Thought of Fr. Matthew P. Schneider LC

The Catholic Thought of Fr. Matthew P. Schneider LC February 3, 2022

Let’s face it. Social media is a regular part of our everyday lives. It helps connect us to friends, family and strangers with like minded interests in a way that is engaging and addicting. We not only surf through Twitter and Facebook to catch up with our loved ones both near and far, but browse cyber space to find wonderous thoughts from others that help engage, encourage and enlighten us on current and non-current events and ideas.

As a Catholic Christian, I want to read from individuals that present the faith from an authentic orthodox, charitable, hopeful, faithful, intelligent Catholic lens that emphasizes truth, beauty, and goodness so that I may grow more in love with God and neighbor by pondering life in all its splendor.
 
When I find individuals, or in this case a particular individual, who has captured my interests with their well-written words, I like to pull their public musings together in one post so that myself and my readers can easily access their thoughts without any trouble.
 
In this particular post, I present to you Catholic Thought from one of the most positive voices uttering church teaching grounded in the love of Jesus and common-sense writing today…
 
Fellow Patheos blogger of Through Catholic Lens and future author of the upcoming book from Pauline Books & Media,*God Loves the Autistic Mind*

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC

@FrMatthewLC Catholic religious (@RegnumChristiEn) priest. Theology doctoral candidate. AKA @AutisticPriest

I ♥ Jesus. Jesus ♥ us. Let’s experience him & become apostles.

Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC – Priest, Religious, Moral Theologian, Autistic, Writer, Social Media Guru, etc. (frmatthewlc.com)

I found these thoughts at Fr. Matthew’s twitter page which covers many issues of relevance to Catholics and others. I have also included some of the responses he gets to his tweets, to give a context for Fr. Matthew’s overall idea. There is more I could have added. There is more I could have left out. Not every possible church issue or concern is listed here. What is included is what I found most intriguing while looking over his many tweets about many things. May you will find these equally helpful to you as you seek to live out and understand the church’s teachings more.

First up, here is the good padre speaking for himself.

How I use Twitter – Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC (frmatthewlc.com)

And now here is what he has to say about several different issues.

Antisemitism

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
I never understand Christian antisemitism. Why would I hate someone b/c their ancestors were worshiping the True God while mine still worshiped trees or Thor?

Assisted Suicide

Dying Well:
A study conducted by a group of physicians in Canada reveals the detrimental impact that the legalization of assisted suicide has on palliative care.
Study shows negative impact of MAID on palliative care in Canada | Dying Well APPG

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Legalizing the killing of the sick or elderly causes immense problems with palliative care. This study out of Canada should be a warning to American states not to legalize this.

Maccabeus – CEDM Recording Artist @Maccabeus24:
Wow! So they have to keep the pain meds from the patients to keep the patients coherent enough to consent to the decision on whether they want to die, which thereby causes them to want to die. That’s a negatively biased system. Shameful!

Autism Awareness

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Autism DIAGNOSES surged in the last 40 years. It has existed for all of human history under different names. The diagnostic criteria radically changed in recent decades (I am not autistic by the criteria used in the 80s & early 90s when I was in school).
Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Abortion is not a “personal medical decision” as it is making a decision for someone else (the unborn baby) who is innocent, vulnerable & can’t speak for him or herself.

Conspiracy Theories

Economic Justice

Jacob Brunton @JacobTBrunton:
God’s justice is relentlessly merit-based. Jesus is the ultimate Capitalist, and He would rather see you burn in Hell than give you what you need, unless you confess that you don’t deserve what you need from Him. If you hate Capitalism, you very likely will hate Christ.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Jesus preached justice not a particular economic system. The justice he preached puts limits on economics but does not define a single economic system.
We should read modern thinkers like Adam Smith through the lens of the Gospel, not read the Gospel through the lens of Smith.

Eucharist

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
The Eucharist gives sense to our life as Catholics.

The Eucharistic miracle of Sienna. (Photo of myself with the miraculously preserved hosts which comes up as a top image result if you search for it.)

Evolution and Science

Alan@AlanMacca301978:
I think it’s irrelevant. Jesus told us the spread the truth with love, the truth been the word of God. Society is spiritually sick because of lack of truth. Science is not going to save souls.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Science won’t save / condemn souls, but how the Church approaches science can be the difference between a person believing or not. It’s not right to insist on non-dogmatic beliefs that are highly improbable scientifically like young earth creationism, & thus possibly lose a soul.

Santa Clause Truther @punishedbori:
Failing to reconcile a literal Adam and Eve is by biggest reason for rejecting Evolution. Why exactly does the Church need to teach the theories of an avowed atheist who used said theories to advance scientific racism besides the need to not be seen as superstitious & backward?

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
The Church generally follows a theory first proposed by Fr. Georges Lemaître called the Big Bang. Lemaître was a faithful priest but also a great scientist & atheists were the ones initially rejecting his ideas as atheism has philosophical issues with the Big Bang, not theism.

God created the whole universe from nothing. But that does not resolve the question of whether he created it in 6 24-hour days about 6000 years ago or has slowly brought it to where it is now over the past about 13 billion years. Science strongly favors the latter.

B4 the fall, humans didn’t get sick. But it would seem that many of the microbes or parasites that make us sick pre-existed the fall. So the most logical explanation seems to be that Adam & Eve had preternaturally good immune systems to fight all kinds of infections, cancer, etc.

Lawrence Martire @LawrenceMartyr:
I’m curious about how you fit “the fall” and “Adam &Eve” into actual known history.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Somewhere in hominid evolution, we have a 1st couple whose bodies are proportionate to a spiritual soul. These 1st humans made some immoral choice that severed their intimate relationship with God & left us all in this place where we can see God dimly but not walk with him easily

Brett Salkeld@ Church Life Journal:
Nothing is so troubling to the Catholic creationist as the fact that the magisterium of the Church seems so untroubled by the scientific theory of evolution. One can ignore the consensus of the theologians. One can even hope no one notices that the Church has never seen fit to publicly condemn anyone for believing or teaching evolution. But it is difficult to deny that at least the last three Popes have freely spoken of evolution as if it poses no problem for Christian faith. Indeed, even the fairly conservative intervention of Pius XII in 1950, in the encyclical Humani Generis, is deeply problematic for the case of the Catholic creationist.

Catholic Creationism as a Conspiracy Theory | Church Life Journal | University of Notre Dame (nd.edu)

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Young earth creationism is not a heretical belief, but it’s far from a necessary belief & it seems extremely unlikely. Teaching it to kids as necessary for Christian faith can cause major unnecessary crises of faith (& maybe even loss of faith) later.

@HooloovooBlue:
Young earth creationism made picking a homeschool science curriculum very challenging last year. We’re Catholic and we also enjoy digging up fossils that are hundreds of millions of years old. Mostly it was non-Catholic Christian curriculum that was problematic.

unbearable terrible triteness of being Martha @Circunlocucion:
Thank you Fr! Most kids get to the 7th grade and when I try to explain how faith and science are compatible, they get super confused because they were taught a very literal creationism.

Feminism

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
The early feminists fought for education, votes, & property, but also fought for male chastity & moral equality marriage. Maybe we could learn from them.

Gender Identity

Bio Edge:
The United States has begun issuing passports for gender-nonconforming people. The first passport marked with “X” as the gender was issued this week to Dana Zzyym, an intersex activist from Colorado. US joins list of countries offering non-binary passports – BioEdge

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
All mammals are male or female. Humans are mammals. Therefore, humans are male or female. It might not be obvious in rare cases of hermaphroditism, but that doesn’t change the underlying reality.

God’s Name

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Christians who speak Arabic say “Allah,” (الله) just like Christians who speak Spanish say “Dios.”

If you want to be strict, the New Testament uses θεός, κύριος, πατὴρ, etc. (Theos=God, Kyrios=Lord & Pater=Father) not “God,” “Creator” or similar.

Historical Lens

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
History is complex and no group in it always does the right thing.

If you never go, “Yikes! I wish my ancestors/countrymen/etc. didn’t do that,” you either be a incomplete view of history or you’re trying to justify something you shouldn’t justify.

Holiness

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
The ultimate cause of every sickness in the Church is the lack of holiness in her members. The ultimate cure is holiness.
(There are more practical points, but they follow from [un]holiness.)

If she were still alive, Bl. Chiara Badano would turn 50 today. This is a reminder for all of us on how we need to speed up our search for holiness.

Each of the saints is a small reflection of Jesus’ example of how to live as a Christian like when we see satellites reflect sunlight in the night sky; or small refraction of light like one part of the spectrum that comes from a prism.

Homophobia

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
There are people who are homophobic, as in they hate people because they have gay tendencies. But using it for gay people who choose celibacy or those who understand the true nature of marriage is false. It also weakens “homophobia” when there are cases of actual hatred.

Jesus

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Jesus is way, the truth, & the life!
We follow the way, speak the truth, & get a life.

Jesus delights in us and in our little triumphs in a way that’s similar not easy above how parents delight in donor accomplishments of their kids.

Joy

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!” -Psalm 98:4

This should be what others hear from Christians, not bitterness, division & anger.

Magisterial Authority

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:LC:

It is important to distinguish what the Church teaches (magisterium) from what is a theological opinion.
I see people of a wide variety of stances presenting theological opinions as “what the Church teaches,” when there is no Church teaching on the matter or similar.

Later magisterium is the correct interpreter of earlier magisterium.
Just like we need the magisterium to give us a definitive interpretation of Scripture, we need it to give a definitive interpretation of tradition.
Otherwise, you end up semi-Protestant, using their principle of personal interpretation just applied to the tradition/magisterium.

TradCath@RadTradThomist
That is hyper-papal positivism, which is nihilism. It would mean that the Pope could, for example, drop a Gospel from the NT, or ban the Rosary, or add or subtract sacraments.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
To think that the magisterium can make stuff up used to be an anti-Catholic trope, but some “Catholics” are more falsely claiming it.
The magisterium is the custodian of scripture & tradition: the serves them. She can help clarify when things are confusing but not invent stuff.

Catholicism is a opposed to gnosticism: it is a public religion where my nephew doing 1st Communion & the Pope believe the same thing. So, the idea that some single priest or mystic who’s contrary to repeated magisterium understands everything perfectly is contrary to its ethos.

Mother Mary

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Mary, how I love you. You watch over me as the kindest mother.

Moral Theology

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
A priest should help save souls. Pray if that is helping people make good moral choices. Thinking a priest shouldn’t speak up on a moral issue is a wild misunderstanding of our mission (munera docendi et regendi).

Moral theology is important, but Jesus saves, not theology. (I say this as I write a doctorate in moral theology.)

I think my thesis may be the first Catholic doctoral theology thesis to reference Hulk Hogan.

(My thesis is on the ethics of informational privacy & the Hogan v. Gawker case comes up an example. Gawker posted secreted taken inappropriate photos of the wrestler & lost the ensuing lawsuit so bad it bankrupted them.)

In moral theology, heretical views can be, laxist, rigorist, or a combination of the two. The Church has seen and dealt with all three types.

Political Discourse

It’s interesting how many in political discourse will bring up Catholic teaching when it serves them, then exclude it based on theology when it doesn’t serve them.

Prayer

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Prayer offers us the grace to see the world partially through God’s eyes which is a more accurate vision of the world.

Priestly Abuse

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
The line that divides good & evil runs through every heart. We can build virtue so we’re more likely to choose good, but nothing external guarantees no horrendous sins. Parishioners said this priest seemed holy, but he admitted to child porn (2019 story).

The Limits of What a Church Can Do With a Misbehaving Priest: The Case of Fr. Tetherow | Matthew Schneider (patheos.com)

We should not presume a priest is guilty or innocent based on our feelings towards his stances on Catholic issues.

When a priest is charged with a crime, I always pray that the truth comes out & the situation is resolved in accordance with truth, not with prejudice either way.

Public virtue is not a guarantee of private virtue. I could list off multiple priests & Catholic public figures with serious issues who appeared publicly virtuous then serious issues came to light.

Racism

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Why is it so hard for some Catholics to realize that racism is evil despite clear teaching on the topic?

Fyodor Garibaldi@FyodorGaribaldi:
Simple. One can substitute any word for racism and the sentence still works. Catholics are like everyone else. They have their favorite sins and cling to them.
Sandy l’Etrangère@Etrangere66
Fighting racism requires looking at your own sin. “Fighting” abortion just requires loudly pointing out someone else’s. Naturally the latter will be more popular.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
“Every racist act—every such comment, every joke, every disparaging look as a reaction to the color of skin, ethnicity, or place of origin—is a failure to acknowledge another person as a brother or sister, created in the image of God.” –

@USCCB:
on Racism open-wide-our-hearts.pdf (usccb.org)

Receiving Communion

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Nobody is “worthy” of Communion except by grace. The question is always about proper disposition to avoid receiving “the Lord in an unworthy manner,” & thus become one who “eats & drinks judgment upon himself.” 1Cor 11:29&31

vicki lynn O’Neill@vicki_neill
If a heart is not in a state of Grace, which comes from Wisdom(Holy Mother Church), the heart will not be able to conceive(understand) and give birth to the Word of God in His Fullness. Ignorance is the mother of all sin.

Rigorism

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Just because something is a harder moral code, does not mean it’s a more correct moral code. Plenty of heresies have been rigorist heresies.

Stephen Dedalus @steviededalus:
The second time I’ve had reason to use this quote today: “Indeed there are some who arrogate to themselves authority to make more stringent demands than what gentle justice requires, whereas, being outside the Church, they are perishing themselves…

Liz Mast @EaMast:
One of my Twitter priests (might have been you) said that he liked giving easy penance in confession as a check against neo-Pelagianism.

Salvation

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
In love we are saved – Jesus’s love on the cross – salvation is historical.

In faith we are saved – believing today – salvation is present.

In hope we are saved – we look forward to free new heaven & new earth – salvation as future.

Anyone who is baptized using a Trinitarian formula & who believes in a few basic doctrines like the Trinity & Jesus’ salvific passion, death & resurrection is a Christian. The magisterium has indicated as much.

As Christians any home on earth is temporary and our true everlasting home is in the new heavens and new earth after the resurrection of our bodies.

Social Issues

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
“By means of her social doctrine, the Church takes on the task of proclaiming what the Lord has entrusted to her. She makes the message of the freedom and redemption wrought by Christ, the Gospel of the Kingdom, present in human history.” -Compendium of the Social Doctrine 63

Eduard Conrad @ConradEduard:
I wish politically conservative Catholics would read that book, it is so well thought out, and it breaks one of many knee jerk, supposedly conservative, views. I wish many progressive liberals would read that book when they say the Church has never spoken about so many issues.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Working for social justice is good, but making it an idol or a religion on its own is bad. The top reason we have for social justice is understanding how God sees each person.
How God sees each person, being created in the image of God, and being beloved creatures of God are similar with slightly different emphasis. Any of the three work above.

Giuseppe Bongiorno @St_Joseph_NY:
C.S Lewis said that if you make something a god that isn’t one – even good things – it becomes a demon.  Patriotism, human love, anything.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
A reminder because some Catholics can lose track of this Church teaching that goes back to the early Church Fathers: that we have a duty to provide the basic necessities to all thus the poor have a right to receive food, clothing & shelter. Food, Shelter, and Clothing are Basic Human Rights | Matthew Schneider (patheos.com)

Vaccine Awareness

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC: 
Pope Francis pulls no punches on covid disinformation. He also reminds us that it is our moral duty to help the poor get vaccines.

Lex Orandi Lex Credendi@KickinItIn406:
Imagine if you spent as much time in prayer or the confessional as you do on this topic…

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC@FrMatthewLC: 
Are you saying I should spend more time on this? I spend far more in prayer. I thought I would be done with this back in Dec 2020 or Jan 2021, but certain Catholics keep spreading vaccine misinformation & I don’t want people to be confused by them.

Vaccines & Remote Cooperation

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC: 
If you insist on calling a vaccine merely tested on a fetal cell line as “abortion tainted” every time you talk about it, please be consistent. So, every time u refer to a smart phone, call it a “slavery, genocide political-oppression, abortion & pornography tainted” phone.

All 5 of those things are significantly (like thousands to billions of times) more connected to your phone than abortion is to these vaccines. So if we should refer to these vaccines this way, a fortiori (all the more) for every cell phone.

How connected?
1. 99%+ of phones contain rare earth metal extracted by slaves.
2. Ev. phone has parts made in China funding the Uighur genocide, Hong Kong crackerdown & forced abortions.
3. Porn was a driving force & testing ground for many technologies used in ev. phone.

& smart phones would not be the only thing. So many things you use regularly would need an immense list of things they are tainted with. The connection to abortion is so remote that you can’t consistently use that standard across the board & function in modern society

Replying to this tweet is hundreds or thousands of times more connected to abortion than a vaccine. That’s moral by the Church’s standard but it seems not if vaccines are “abortion-tainted.” 2 articles on this.

Dec 2020:12 Things Less-Remote Cooperation in Evil Than COVID Vaccines | Matthew Schneider (patheos.com)

Jan 2022Catholic Anti-Vax Arguments & Reductio ad Absurdum (2/2) – Fr. Matthew P. Schneider, LC (frmatthewlc.com)

Robert H. Woodman@RobertHWoodman
Most supply chains are more tainted with modern-day slavery than the mRNA COVID vaccines are with abortion. It’s not only smartphones and computers but also fashion, food, and many other things besides. It doesn’t take much searching online to find the evidence.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Knowing God conquers absolutely in the end should keep us far from discouragement

A Catholic Preschool Teacher@RCPreKTeacher
What’s grating is that instead of becoming subsistence farmers and making their own clothes by hand, which would hurt no one, people encourage others to refuse a life saving vaccine, which results in a trail of bodies.

Will ⚓@monkofjustice
Do not disagree in theory, but I have always been sort of a “bright sadness” kind of believer, especially from a pastoral perspective – our flocks will endure a lot of pain and loss, indeed, more than we will know, between now and the second Advent of our Lord.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Another way that being vaccinated is a pro-life & Catholic option.

Vaccine Avoidness

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
We should fight immoral medical experiments (like directly experimenting on fresh fetuses) in the USA.
But skipping vaccines doesn’t make you any further if the experiment is not for THAT vaccine.
We don’t boycott Coke if Pepsi does something unethical, likewise with medicine.

Juan Pablo of the Hilltop: @Socialevisible
I boycott Coke and Pepsi products. The sugar industry falsified science in the 1970s which scapegoated fat causing an explosion in obesity and chronic disease rates. When cocaine was removed from CocaCola they added caffeine because they understood addiction drives marketshare.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
That was an analogy. I can understand objecting to the manipulation by the soda and sugar industries.
We’ve been vaccinating kids against rubella for 50 years, despite them having no real risk of dying from the disease (it usually kills via miscarriage & they were already born). This is a good thing. We vaccinate not just for ourselves but, in Christian charity, for others too.

It’s bizarre how just stating the facts about rubella is called an absurd or insane take. These are just the facts: you can debate how to apply facts, but you can’t deny facts.

Jaya L., test subject so you don’t have to be @JLSoprano:
Father, you are fighting the good fight, and I salute you! Perhaps a soul is released from Purgatory for every one of those horrible replies you have to read.

Barry Sharp @BarryESharp:
God created us with an immune system, so, why don’t you trust Gods work?

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Exactly. Vaccines work with your immune system to fight infections. Your innate immune system is as good either way, but your adaptive immune system is better prepared for diseases it’s vaccinated against. Part of our immune system is our brains that find drugs to fight disease.

Joseph Johnson @PdS2QC
Gee, whiz! Barry would have us spurn God’s gift of reason, which underlies modern medicine!

Jacopa Peregrina @Jacopaperegrina:
Of all the dumb arguments I’ve seen, the “I have an immune system” is the most ignorant. Go to a cemetery that is more than 70 years old and see the death rate for children and young people before the advent of antibiotics and mass vaccination.

Very few people have this fantasized perfect immune system. “Hey, no thanks, Jesus, I’ll just let my immune system fight off this leprosy” said nobody, ever.  Dumbbells.
And if you are lucky enough not to succumb to every illness going around, be grateful for your good immune system, and keep up healthy practices, but know that it’s helped along by vaccine-induced herd immunity.

Targeting Civilians in War

Coder, CoderDyne Clown Computing @CoderInCrisis:
Targeting cities is how war was done in those days. It’s really only after the atomic bombs that that line of thinking changed.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
Bombing whole cities (& not just targeting war production) was clearly against just war (ius in bello) & contrary to human dignity.
The atomic bombs were crimes against humanity, & other raids that leveled whole cities like Tokyo or Dresden likewise.

Michael Barrett @PapaBearett:
Is it not at all relevant that war has changed significantly in hundreds of years?

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:

What is immoral on Monday is immoral on Tuesday. What is immoral to handwrite is immoral to type. New times and technologies ask us to apply ethical principles to new situations, but don’t change ethical principles.

@PapaBearett:
Ah, so, the answer is both “no” and “I refuse to think for even a moment about how it could be”.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
There is no circumstances where intentionally killing civilians in war is justified. In principle, a just war is an extension of self-defense and you can’t kill some person who isn’t attacking you “in self-defense.”

Jonathan Lewis @jdmsl:
So was the brutalizing of Chinese and Korean and Pilipino civilians, and American POWs by the Japanese, and all the stuff Germany did. As you sow so shall you reap.

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:
If others have done worse, that does not justify evil acts by the good side / the side you support. Bombing civilians such as the atomic bomb is still evil.

Word of God

Fr Matthew P. Schneider LC @FrMatthewLC:

There is literally no wrong answer to “What’s your favorite Gospel passage to meditate on?”

Jesus speaks to us in the Gospel: some people will be spiritually nourished more by this line of the Gospels & some by another line. All are the Word of God.


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