Letter #139, 2021, Wednesday, November 10: The Schneider Tapes, Tape #1: “Kyrie eleison” [“Lord, have mercy”]

    The first of 10 tapes from my interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, 60, of Astana, Kazakhstan, has been posted and is now available on Rumble (link) and YouTube (link).

    All 10 tapes will be posted on our Rumble channel and YouTube channel so be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications to ensure you do not miss any content.

    Now, a technical update, which will give you an idea of what we face.

    In mid-September, our Urbi et Orbi YouTube channel was (without any warning) flagged for “a violation of community standards” when we posted our “Tape #10” of “The Viganò Tapes,” in which Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò expressed certain views, especially about some of the new technology anti-Covid “vaccines,” which were regarded by YouTube censors as unacceptable for posting. So they blocked “Tape #10” and issued a “Strike #1” against our YouTube channel. (To obtain a copy of my book about Archbishop Viganò, click here.)

    This “violation” did two things:

    1) it blocked further posts for a week, and

    2) it blocked until December 24, 2021, any possibility of monetizing our YouTube site (such sites are able to produce income once they exceed a certain number of subscribers and views, numbers which we had passed in a few days).

    So our mid-September “violation” (which we felt was unfair and unwarranted), compelled us to initiate a second platform in order to keep posting the “The Viganò Tapes,” because we did not want to stop posting for a week, and because we did not want to leave out the controversial, contested, “Tape #10.”

    So we created our Rumble account, and began to post everything on Rumble. And we are grateful to Rumble that it exists and hosts material that YouTube censors. (At the same time, after one week, we continued to post on YouTube, as we already had more than 10,000 subscribers, and did not want to lose them and start over… so we also plan to continue posting on our YouTube channel…)

    Still, after all this happened, we began to develop a plan to launch our own independent server, just to be sure that we can post freely what we consider important information without any censorship.

    For this reason, we are seeking support to enable us to create such an independent server and platform.

    I note that these emails are free, all of our videos are free, but that there is in fact a cost to plan and conduct and film the interviews, add subtitles, post them, and now there will be additional costs to establish our own independent server to protect our freedom of speech(!).

    That said, if you would like to support our work, your support will be received with profound gratitude, as we do not have $100 billion, or even $1 billion(!), to roll out our various initiatives, but far less.

    Your support will help to make it possible for us to continue to prepare and post such video tapes as “The Viganò Tapes” and now “The Schneider Tapes.” If you appreciate this content, and would like to see more of it — and we are planning right now some very interesting and important interviews — you may make a contribution here.

    Click the video below for the first part of the interview in which Bishop Schneider reflects on his three-week trip to the United States in October 2021, and the meaning of his episcopal motto.

    In the succeeding nine tapes, Bishop Schneider goes into some detail as he discusses the present crisis in the world and the Church. I believe you will find the interviews compelling. Please feel free to share the interviews widely.

    We plan to post the tapes over the next nine days, one per day (though not on the weekends), so… today, tomorrow, Friday the 12th (Note: my birthday), then November 15th through the 19th, then Monday and Tuesday, November 22 and 23.

    We hope you enjoy these tapes as we all prepare for Thanksgiving, and for the season of Advent.

    Here is the transcript of the first Schneider Tape:

    A Talk with Bishop Schneider: Tape 1: “Kyrie eleison (c. 9:30 minutes long)

    In which Bishop Schneider reflects on his three-week trip to the United States in October 2021, and the meaning of his episcopal motto.

    Robert Moynihan: Hello. We are here today with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, 60 years old, from Astana in Kazakhstan. Bishop Schneider, we had a few questions to ask you about your trip in recent weeks to the United States, and then more generally about the situation of the Church, and the world, in late 2021. As we speak, it’s October 24, and you have been traveling in the United States for three weeks. Can you tell us briefly about your trip? Where did you go? What have you seen? And what caused you some concern?

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider: I had a general positive impression very much this time.

    The reason why I came: I was invited by the Catholic Identity Conference in Pittsburgh and then by the Call to Holiness conference in Detroit. These were the main events, and then also the Solemn Pontifical Mass in honor of Blessed Emperor Karl [of Austria] last 21st of October here in Virginia and in the Washington D.C. area.

    These were the three main events why I came here to the United States, and then I visited also other places and gave some conferences for the masses. I visited the Sophia Press Headquarters in New Hampshire.

    I had really a general positive impression this time.

    I would say I witnessed really signs of a true springtime of the Church.

    I met so many young families. The masses which I celebrated and the conferences were crowded and the majority were young people, families, even children, the youth, students, and this was really a joy for a bishop to see young people.

    They were all longing to hear the truth, the simple Catholic faith, to participate in the Liturgy, the Latin Mass, and the full traditional Latin Mass of all the Ages, of the saints. And then I also visited some colleges, some Catholic colleges. I witnessed the same vigor and joy and longing for the truth of the Catholic faith and the Liturgy.

    I could say that these all were signs of hope in these difficult times and I’m believing that the United States is a country where now the true tradition is growing ever more among young people and your families.

    Moynihan: Your judgment is really very positive even though at times you have been described as someone who is very conservative and speaking out against excesses or departures from the faith. But what you discovered here was really a very positive Catholic Church in the United States. 

    Bishop Schneider: Indeed. And these faithful which I met, young people, some young priests — I did not discover nothing of criticism against the Church or against the Vatican Council. I did not find nothing of this in these Masses which I celebrated, the traditional Masses.

    There were large crowds. Large crowds participated, and after we had a meeting. These were joyful meetings. Simply a joy of the Catholic faith and the beauty of the traditional Liturgy.

    Therefore the accusations to these faithful that they are divisive or they are against the Council or criticizing, I did not discover this time. In no place. Therefore such accusations are in such a general form are very unjust and uncharitable.

    Moynihan: I wanted to ask about your episcopal motto. It’s a Greek phrase: Kyrie eleison. You are one of the very few Catholic bishops who have a motto in Greek; almost all of them have a motto in Latin. Can you tell us how you chose this motto, what it means to you, and what it means to all of us?

    Bishop Schneider: This motto came to me spontaneously after I was informed that I was appointed a bishop and the nuncio told me to choose a motto, and this came to me immediately in my mind. Kyrie eleison.

    First the meaning is “Lord have mercy on us.”

    I think everyone of us in the world today, what we need mostly is the mercy of God, in the entire world.

    And I chose this in the Greek form because it is in the Latin Mass of All Ages. We say Kyrie eleison even in the Latin Mass. We say not in Latin Domine miserere, but Kyrie eleison.

    And I chose this because I was appointed bishop in the East, in Kazakhstan, and where the Christians are mostly Eastern-rite Christians. And so I chose this, from the East, and this should be our bridge between the eastern Christians and the western, Latin, and this prayer, Kyrie eleison, this invocation, I think would express a prayer which unites us, the eastern Christians, Byzantines especially, because they are a Greek rite, and the Latin, Western Christians, the Holy See and Rome, and the eastern Christians, and so these were my thoughts when I chose this motto.

    Moynihan: How would you say your motto in the Russian language?

    Bishop Schneider: Bishop In Russian, would be Gospodi pomiluy. It is also in the Byzantine liturgy continuously repeated in the Slavonic language, Church Slavonic, Gospodi pomiluy, or in the Greek liturgy, Kyrie eleison. [Note: For a musical performance of Gospodi pomiluy, see here.)

    Moynihan: So your motto is at the heart of the old Latin liturgy, but it is not in Latin. And it’s at the heart of the Eastern liturgy, whether spoken in Russian or in Greek. So in a way your heart is liturgical. Your motto as a bishop is liturgical…

    Bishop Schneider: Yes, because in a way all beings that God created are created to be liturgical beings.

    Moynihan: And what does that mean?

    Bishop Schneider: That means to adore and glorify God.

    This is the aim, why God created all, and why God created angels and man, reasonable creatures: to glorify Him.

    Therefore we are substantially, essentially, liturgical beings.

    Our existence is liturgical, in the broader sense.

    To glorify and adore God, to give Him the first place.

    And this is the task of the Church, to adore God in a worthy manner.

    To give Him the priority, the primacy, as the Apostle said, to the prayer, and not to our actions, and activisms, but first to the prayer, and to the official worshipping which is the Holy Liturgy…

    (to be continued)

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