IMPORTANT: Closed pre-Synod planning session held, “shadow council”

Here’s a disturbing report about how the upcoming Synod is being shaped.  There is a lot to read here, but take time to do it.  This is important.

From CNA and Le Figaro with my emphases and comments:

.- While the Synod of Bishops’ ordinary council gathered to discuss the upcoming Synod on the Family this week, a private group of bishops and experts convened behind closed doors in Rome to consider the most controversial issues at the synod, [to plan] particularly support of gay unions[to the delight  I’m sure, of the Fishwrap] and Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Pope Francis chaired the May 25-26 meeting of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops, which is preparing for this October’s synod on “the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in contemporary world.”

[…]

[NB… this is important…] The council also considered modifications to the synod’s modus operandi. [Get that?]

The Synod of Bishops’ secretary general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri – who was appointed in September 2013 – had changed the synod’s working rules.

Prior to Cardinal Baldisseri’s leadership, the synod had provided summaries in many languages of each scheduled intervention from the synod fathers. [Published in L’Osservatore Romano … shown to the world.]

That system was suppressed under Cardinal Baldisseri, replaced with a brief summary presented daily by Holy See press officer Fr. Federico Lombardi.

In the face of criticism that this change negatively affected the synod’s transparency, Cardinal Baldisseri claimed that “information is provided by a verbal summary” and is transparent, and that synod fathers were “not forbidden to speak to the press,” though they were prohibited from publishing their interventions, as any synod text “is property of the synod.”  [Cool, huh?  And keep in mind that copies The Five Cardinals Book™, which was sent from Italian Post to every member of the Synod, during the Synod, to their individual Vatican Post boxes, were confiscated… at someone’s orders.]

On the other hand, the impossibility of seeing the extent of the discussion within the synod paved the way for media speculation.

This autumn’s synod may re-present the same dynamic, given that while the Synod of Bishops’ ordinary council was meeting, a “shadow council” held a closed-door meeting regarding the most contentious issues of the Synod on the Family, which include approval of gay unions and Communion for the divorced and remarried.

The May 25 discussion was held in a conference center of the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University – though the meeting itself was not managed by the university. Bishops and theologians spoke before a select audience of 50, according to French daily Le Figaro.

[Get this…] The conference was called the “Mutual Convention of the French, German and Swiss Bishops Conferences concerning the issues of the pastoral care of marriage and family at the eve of the Synod of Bishops.”

The meeting was not in fact for all the bishops of the interested countries, but only  for some of them –  while others were not even informed of the meeting.  [Transparency, right?]

Among the speakers at the meeting were Bishop Jean-Marie Lovey of Sion; Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre; the theologian Eva Maria Faber; Anne-Marie Pelletier, who won the 2014 Ratzinger Prize for Theology; Fr. François Xavier Amherdt, professor of pastoral theology at the University of Freiburg; Eberhard Schockenhoff, professor of moral theology in Freiburg; and the theologian Alain Thomasset.

The final remarks were given by Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising.

One person who took part in the discussion stressed to CNA May 26 that “the tune was that of a pastoral opening on issues such as communion for the divorced and remarried, and the pastoral care of homosexuals.”

One of the speakers, who asked to be kept anonymous, refused to comment on the purpose of the conference and the tone of the discussion, as “it is unfortunately forbidden to us by the organizers to give any interview or explanation about yesterday’s conference.” [Transparency, again!]

So, what’s going to happen?

It seems to me that the next step for those who are trying to guide the upcoming Synod to a desired conclusion would be to eliminate the “forum” for possible dissent from the Synod’s MO.  What I would do, were I trying to force an agenda, is eliminate the meetings of the language groups after the midpoint point in the Synod, wherein the members discuss the first part of the Synod’s relatio.  That is where resistance to certain paragraphs built up last October.  Remember that the midpoint relatio was – almost miraculously – swiftly translated into various languages and distributed with amazing speed and it included paragraphs about things which weren’t discussed by the Synod members.  My guess is that the small language groups is where the knife will cut.

Step 1) Don’t let the members’ interventions be known.
Step 2) Don’t let the members discuss the relatio.

And if that doesn’t work…

Step 3) Have a third Synod!

UPDATE 27 May 1204 GMT:

At the National Catholic Register, Edward Pentin has some coverage.

Confidential Meeting Seeks to Sway Synod to Accept Same-Sex Unions

NEWS ANALYSIS: Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, held at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

ROME — A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.

[…]

One of the key topics discussed at the closed-door meeting was how the Church could better welcome those in stable same-sex unions, and reportedly “no one” opposed such unions being recognized as valid by the Church. [No one?]

Participants also spoke of the need to “develop” the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and called not for a theology of the body, as famously taught by St. John Paul II, but the development of a “theology of love.”  [How a single word makes a difference.  Consider what the Obama Administration was and is trying to do to change “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship“.  So, change “theology of the body” to “theology of love” and what would the result be?]

One Swiss priest discussed the “importance of the human sex drive,” while another participant, talking about holy Communion for remarried divorcees, asked: “How can we deny it, as though it were a punishment for the people who have failed and found a new partner with whom to start a new life?”

Marco Ansaldo, a reporter for the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, who was present at the meeting, said the words seemed “revolutionary, uttered by clergymen.”

[…]The closed-door meeting, masterminded by the German bishops’ conference under the leadership of Cardinal Marx, was first proposed at the annual meeting of the heads of the three bishops’ conferences, held in January in Marseille, France.

The study day took place just days after the people of Ireland voted in a referendum in support of same-sex “marriage” and on the same day as the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome. Some observers did not see the timing as a coincidence.

[…]

Why the Lack of Publicity?

No one would say why the study day was held in confidence. So secret was the meeting that even prominent Jesuits at the Gregorian were completely unaware of it. The Register learned about it when Jean-Marie Guénois leaked the information in a story in Le Figaro.

Speaking to the Register as he left the meeting, Cardinal Marx insisted the study day wasn’t secret. But he became irritated when pressed about why it wasn’t advertised, saying he had simply come to Rome in a “private capacity” and that he had every right to do so. Close to Pope Francis and part of his nine-member council of cardinals, the cardinal is known to be especially eager to reform the Church’s approach to homosexuals. During his Pentecost homily last Sunday, Cardinal Marx called for a “welcoming culture” in the Church for homosexuals, saying it’s “not the differences that count, but what unites us.”

Cardinal Marx is also not alone, among those attending the meeting, in pushing for radical changes to the Church’s life. The head of the Swiss bishops, Bishop Büchel of St. Gallen, has spoken openly in favor of women’s ordination, saying in 2011 that the Church should “pray that the Holy Spirit enables us to read the signs of the times.” Archbishop Pontier, head of the French bishops, is also known to have heterodox leanings.

[…]

Father Schockenhoff

Among the specialists present was Father Eberhard Schockenhoff, a moral theologian. Faithful German Catholics are particularly disturbed about the rise to prominence of Father Schockenhoff, who is understood to be the “mastermind” behind much of the challenge to settled Church teachings among the German episcopate and, by implication, at the synod on the family itself.

A prominent critic of Humanae Vitae (The Regulation of Birth), as well as a strong supporter of homosexual clergy and those pushing for reform in the area of sexual ethics, Father Schockenhoff is known to be the leading adviser of the German bishops in the run-up to the synod.

[…]Media Participation

Also noted were the large number of media representatives. Journalists from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, German broadcasters ZDF and ARD, the Italian daily La Repubblica and French-Catholic media La Croixand I-Media were also present. Their presence was “striking,” said one observer, who predicted they will be used to promote the agenda of the subject matter under discussion in the weeks leading up to the synod.

Monday’s meeting is just the latest attempt to subtly steer the upcoming synod in a direction opposed by many faithful Catholics. A statement on the study day released by the German bishops’ conference May 26 said there was a “reflection on biblical hermeneutics” — widely seen as code words for understanding the Bible differently from Tradition — and the need for a “reflection on a theology of love.”

Critics say this, too, is undermining Church teaching. By replacing the theology of the body with a “theology of love,” it creates an abstract interpretation that separates sex from procreation, thereby allowing forms of extramarital unions and same-sex attractions based simply on emotions rather than biological reality. Gone, say critics, is the Catholic view of marriage, which should be open to procreation.

The statement, which conspicuously failed to mention sin, ended by saying that “further discussion on the future of marriage and family is necessary and possible” and that it would be “enriched by a further, intensive theological reflection.”

This, too, is code for wanting a change in teaching, giving the impression that the doctrine in these areas is open to change. But for the Catholic Church, it is a settled issue.

“Imagine if the Church accepted homosexual relationships,” said one source speaking on condition of anonymity. “Ultimately, that is what these people want.”

That’s exactly what they want.   Last autumn I suspected that the real agenda wasn’t Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Please share!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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39 Responses to IMPORTANT: Closed pre-Synod planning session held, “shadow council”

  1. CharlesG says:

    The indispensable Edward Pentin had a somewhat more fulsome piece on the shady secret doings of Cardinal Marx et co. here: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/confidential-meeting-seeks-to-sway-synod-to-accept-same-sex-unions/

    Father Z’s posted article does not make it clear how the procedures are being changed this time around, whether to more or less transparency than last fall’s extraordinary synod. Hopefully Cardinal Pell will be around in the hall to chastise Cardinal Baldisseri et al from manipulating the Synod. Cardinal Napier is, I believe, on the organizing committee, but he’s just one voice, so I don’t know how much he can help stymie the Secretariat’s nefarious efforts to spin the Synod in a Kasperite way.

    What I find of concern about the secret meeting, as described by Edward Pentin, is (a) the involvement of French bishops, whom I hadn’t known were going down the doctrinal innovation route of the German bishops, and (b) the heavy media presence — Xavier Rynne and the Council of Media anyone?

  2. gaudete says:

    The official press release of the German Bishops’ Conference about the “study day” in German (text) and French (pdf link at bottom) can be found here:
    http://www.dbk.de/nc/presse/details/?presseid=2813

  3. Orphrey says:

    In response to these machinations at the highest levels of the Church, which are beyond me as a simple layman, and in the face of cultural changes regarding sexual morality and other issues, as in Ireland and the USA these days, I feel a temptation to “hold fast” to tradition, pray the rosary, and retreat into a kind of private world of faith, as “The Catholic Gentleman” proposes. Fr. Longnecker also suggests hunkering down, inspired by the “Benedict Option.” I certainly will focus on my prayers and devotions as an individual. But it is a real challenge to find a good parish which is liturgically and theologically sound, where one can come in from the storm and enjoy good Christian fellowship. There are liturgical abuses even at our cathedral. How to raise faithful children in this environment swarming with influences that undermine the faith, both outside and inside the Church?

  4. Subdeacon Joseph K. says:

    It’s great to point these things out, but realize at the same time that these bishops have already apostatized. Thier behavior is to be expected.

    One of the great things to come out of all this is the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ.” It is worth committing to memory.

    I have used it in my own Orthodox diocese to argue against those who believe that the Orthodox Church allows divorce and remarriage. Our tradition (and our Lord) do not, yet we have many bishops who say we do. The book has an entire essay dedicated to the Orthodox and it is very powerful.

    The Orthodox Church is governed by the Lex Orandi. When people say the Orthodox Church “tolerates” up to three marriages, ask them to show you the Orthodix Liturgy for the Rite of Dissolving a Marriage Bond (as they are wiping your puke off their ahoes). They won’t be able to because there is none. The so-called “second marriage” Liturgy is just the Rite of Crownibg with some stuff left out and it contradicts itself. It’s not authentic and it’s not uniform across regions. It fails St. Vincent’s Canon.

    So serial marriage in the Orrhodox Churxh is just another example of “Biships Behaving Badly” – a movie we’ve all seen before.

  5. Subdeacon Joseph K. says:

    Sorry for the typo -I meant “wiping your puke off their shoes.”

  6. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    gaudete & CharlesG,

    Thank you for the links with additional information. Looking at all the ‘code’ language in the official press release of the German Bishops’ Conference (in the context of Mr. Pentin’s attention to “code words” and his details about participants), the ‘fix’ seems thoroughly prepared: whether it is successfully ‘in’ as well, will to a considerable depend, as Fr. Z suggests, on the setting up of the synod’s working rules.

    What is prepared seems to be the step from ‘born that way’ to ‘this is my experience’. The neo-Nietzschean post-modernist rejection of any idea of anything ‘natural’ which was already prominent in the early 1980s and whose adherents then had no patience with any talk of ‘born that way’ seem to think the time is now ripe (or the ‘Zeitgeist’ well enough prepared?) to move beyond its successful but temporary usefulness as a crowbar to get things loosened up. ‘Sic volo, sic jubeo’ is coming more openly into ‘its own’ (though ‘volo’ is still stategically clothed as ‘amo’).

  7. S.Armaticus says:

    Dear Fr. Z.

    I have been writing about the Synod on my blog for the last 6months. What I have come to understand is that the only issue that is driving the agenda is the changing Catholic moral teaching on aberro-sexuality, i.e. homosexual behaviour and the rest of the fetishes.

    One of the main reasons why I have come to this conclusion is that the Five Cardinal’s Book has totaly destroyed any arguements for communion for remarried and second unions. From what I hear, the 5C book is a mainstay of the Polish Episcopate in their preparations for the upcoming Synod.

    To kill the last part of the hidden agenda, i.e. the aberro-sexuality, what would come in handy is another 5C book, but this time on LOVE. From all indication, it would appear that the AE that will come out post synod will be something along the lines of the “theology of love”. So if a book along the 5C marriage tretise would appear on LOVE, it would put a big dent in the Marx & co. agenda.

    If you like the idea, please pass it along.

    Pax Christi,

    S.Armaticus

  8. benedetta says:

    My goodness, this all seems so very excessively clericalist and heavy handed, Fr. Z — the specter of a group of prelates and their associates meeting in secret to tell us illiterate peasant laity what we need to do next. These kremlinesque maneuverings do not seem at all consistent with the spirit of VII, throwing windows open to our fresh air. Do not average families get a moment in terms of their own present needs given all that has happened and is to come?

  9. kpoterack says:

    Let’s be clear. I am not denying that there are reasons for concern, but that “shadow council” meeting was a private meeting of French, German and Swiss bishops. It was NOT an official part of the planning for the Synod. While the article does make the distinction, it mixes the two up in the body of the text and you can easily miss that one meeting was official – the other was unofficial, private, and localized.

    While, I am certain that the point of the “shadow council” is to try to influence other bishops, in total this group would have at most eight (8) votes (France =4, Germany= 3, Switzerland=1). They could be easily neutralized by Poland (4 votes) and America (4 votes). The “Ordinary Council of the Synod,” on the other hand, consists of some very good fellows: Pell, Napier, Dolan, Erdo, Scherer and Wuerl – yes Card. Wuerl! Read what he said in his just released pastoral letter, “Being Catholic Today:”

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/NewsBriefs/Default.aspx?rssGuid=dc-cardinal-christ-didnt-change-his-words-and-neither-should-the-church-86378/

    I think that, interestingly, the secular menace has been lighting a fire under some of the heretofore more moderate bishops. And, while you are at it, read some other good news about a book published by Fr. Jose Granados, a consulter to next October’s Synod – particularly the last three paragraphs of the article. I think that this is more clearly what Pope Francis meant when he said that giving to communion to the divorced/remarried is “not a solution.” Fascinating!

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/NewsBriefs/Default.aspx?rssGuid=not-a-burden-but-a-grace-the-indissolubility-of-marriage-85422/

  10. Father:

    This all reminds me of the book, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber — which tells the story of how the French and German bishops (the Swiss too? I can’t recall) got together and planned how they would get the planned agenda of the then-pending Second Vatican Council set aside, and propose a different agenda; and then how they managed that agenda.

    I can imagine many who would like to recreate those halcyon days, and it sounds like they are going to try again. Very different agenda; but same game-plan.

  11. Chrisc says:

    My question is: what is the proper response for the laity? How are we to navigate our path, when our shepherds are derelict? We do not wish to take the role of the shepherds, for that has not been given for us to do. Yet, it does not seem like, ‘shut up and pray’ can be the correct solution either. Are we to write to our own bishops? Are we to throw tomatoes at the bad ones? So many difficult choices.

  12. Ariseyedead says:

    It stands to reason that those who are intending to manipulate the upcoming synod are currently writing (or, perhaps, have already written) and translating into various languages the relatios that will be released. Those texts must be written by some group of people and exist and on their computers. Who is doing the writing and where do those texts currently reside? Someone with the right connections should try to find out.

  13. JesusFreak84 says:

    Who is doing the writing and where do those texts currently reside? Someone with the right connections should try to find out.

    I’d normally call that white-hat hacking, (OK, not really, but I’m building up a bad pun, dangit!) but this sounds more like a job for red-hat hacking. (No relation to Red Hat Linux…) OK I’m done with that.

    I think someone should remind those guys that stealing from mailboxes in the US IS a Felony…

    I think it was here, maybe CMR, where I saw someone comment that Christ told us the gates of Hell wouldn’t prevail against His Church specifically because of how many times in history it would look like those gates were, in fact, already prevailing. I try and remind myself of that…

  14. ByzCath08 says:

    “What is our response as the laity?”

    I can only speak for my family, but we have found a parish with a good and holy priest who will continue to teach the orthodox faith regardless of what comes in October. In my city, you can name the good parishes on one hand and these parishes are small.

    Scripture speaks of a great falling away that will come and the remnant church will be small and scattered. Start by finding the orthodox parishes in your diocese or eparchy and support them financially and with your time & talents. If you bishop is not an orthodox bishop, don’t support his diocese financially or otherwise. We are living in strange and scary times.

  15. HCS says:

    The smoke of Satan and Vatican II quote attributed to a pope said the smoke entered the “Sanctuary”…. the Orwellian-speak of German theology reveals the truth of this warning.

  16. john_6_fan says:

    It seems like the Catholic notion of Love is lost on most modern Catholics. We all know language and the meaning of words is important. In English, “love” has become such an overloaded (and watered down) word. I’ve heard countless homilies on love. I’ve heard almost none on what love is, what it isn’t, and what it truly looks like to love another person (the best example being Christ’s passion). People need to know what it really means to love your neighbor, and how love demands we relate to that neighbor when they are a homeless guy, your child, your parents, your spouse, your parish priest, the cashier at the grocery store, the guy next to you at Mass, etc.

  17. Geoffrey says:

    Is it me, or does this not tie in with that whole “gay lobby” that was in the headlines around the time of the Pope Emeritus’ resignation? Why is no one really speaking of this? What happened to that dossier that Benedict XVI passed on to Pope Francis? I’d like to think that Pope Francis is quietly letting these people hang themselves, but I doubt it…

  18. greg3064 says:

    I wonder how Michael Sean Winters feels about this. Given how worked up he was at the lack of dialogue involved in hundreds of faithful priests signing a (public) online petition, he must be really riled that this session proceeded in secrecy.

  19. acardnal says:

    Fr Fox, I was thinking the same thing. Here we go again.

  20. McCall1981 says:

    @ S.Armaticus,
    Right on time, here is a new book that’s pretty close to what you were asking for:
    “A handbook of 100 questions and answers explaining the Church’s doctrine on marriage and the family has been launched with the aim of clearing up confusion ahead of the October Synod of Bishops on the Family.
    The booklet’s authors — Archbishop Aldo de Cillo Pagotto of Paraíba, Brazil, Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan — describe the publication as a “vademecum [handbook] on the family.”
    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/bishop-vasa-co-authors-handbook-on-family-to-counter-confusion-over-church/

  21. marcelus says:

    kpoterack says:
    27 May 2015 at 8:21 AM
    Let’s be clear. I am not denying that there are reasons for concern, but that “shadow council” meeting was a private meeting of French, German and Swiss bishops. It was NOT an official part of the planning for the Synod. While the article does make the distinction, it mixes the two up in the body of the text and you can easily miss that one meeting was official – the other was unofficial, private, and localized.

    Indeed, it is two diffferent things..One is the Ordinary Council, chaired by the Pope.

    Then there is this “secret” group made by the Germans Swiss and French bishops,

    It is called a head start. These guys waiste no time.

    DO not forget. In the end it is all up to the pope, no matter what,.

    And you know what? these issues have been around for ages. Should it not go their way, then I suppose that will put a lid on them for a long time

  22. jacobi says:

    Correct Father,

    This at source is not about the Family or adultery, but about changing the Church’s teaching on sodomy, and that is not possible.

    So, it would appear that this group of bishops and theologians are heading for yet another split in the One True Church.

    The question is what is the Pope, who I presume must know about all this, I mean he has access to the internet also, as well as other sources, going to do about this?

  23. Pingback: Rigging the Synod? | Agenda Europe

  24. Thom says:

    It looks as though more orthodox bishops are stepping up to the plate:

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/bishop-vasa-co-authors-handbook-on-family-to-counter-confusion-over-church/

    ROME — A handbook of 100 questions and answers explaining the Church’s doctrine on marriage and the family has been launched with the aim of clearing up confusion ahead of the October Synod of Bishops on the Family.

    The booklet’s authors — Archbishop Aldo de Cillo Pagotto of Paraíba, Brazil, Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan — describe the publication as a “vademecum [handbook] on the family.”

    Said Bishop Vasa, “There is nothing new or revolutionary in this book. We just simply felt that, in light of the upcoming synod on the family, it was time to reiterate those things the Church has clearly and consistently taught.”

  25. TomD says:

    @john_6_fan, 27 May 11:48AM:

    “It seems like the Catholic notion of Love is lost on most modern Catholics.”

    Msgr. Charles Pope has a recent post dealing with this issue:

    http://blog.adw.org/2015/01/for-many-have-reduced-love-to-kindness-and-kindness-to-mere-affirmation-a-further-reflection-on-the-moral-troubles-of-our-time/

    Msgr. Pope’s website is excellent and, if not already, bookmarked for daily reading.

  26. Venerator Sti Lot says:
  27. Bea says:

    This grimly reminds me of a closed meeting in the middle of the night by the Sanhedrin 2,000 years ago so that His followers would not become aware.
    Our Lord and His Teachings were on trial, now His Bride and Her Teachings take His place.
    Earthquakes and eclipses then, quakes and turmoil on earth now.
    Will they never learn? “They”are crucifying the Bride of Christ, let us pray for Her Resurrection.

  28. Bea says:

    jacobi
    You said:
    “The question is what is the Pope, who I presume must know about all this, I mean he has access to the internet also, as well as other sources, going to do about this?”

    According to the Pope, he has not watched TV or gets on the internet since 1990. A promise he made to Our Lady.
    His source of information seems to be an Argentinian newspaper and those prelates who surround him. Considering this, who knows what he’ll do about this! Twice he has told children: “There are no answers.” Will he tell us the same thing?

    All we can do is pray that The Holy Spirit will intervene and enlighten him.

  29. Bea says:

    Geoffrey:
    ” I’d like to think that Pope Francis is quietly letting these people hang themselves”

    I’ve been thinking that myself for a while. I doubt it, too, but I hope, nonetheless, that that is the case.
    Hope springs eternal.

  30. Kerry says:

    A very wise Deacon at St. Agnes, in St. Paul told us that when Christ asked Peter three times, “Peter, do you love me”, that in the Greek, the first two times Christ said love, the word was ‘agape’. And Peter, the first two times the word used was ‘philia’. The last time Christ said “Peter do you love me” the word as ‘philia’, and Peter finally said, “Lord, you know I love you”, ‘agape’. Philia is the brotherly love; agape, the “I will give my life for you!” love. HOLD FAST!

  31. JulieC says:

    I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but I have a question about this “shadow council” or “secret” Bishops’ meeting of selected German, French and Swiss bishops that took place in the Gregorian University of Rome at the same time as the Synod Council presided over by Pope Francis yesterday:

    If these sneaky progressive bishops had really wanted to hold a nefarious “secret” meeting, couldn’t they have done so without letting the rest of the world know?

    Oh, and one more question: If you’re a group of nefarious bishops plotting the overthrow of Church doctrine on marriage and the family and believe that you’re doing something manifestly opposed to the will of the Pope, and that the Pope would be horrified if he found out about your seditious activities, and you wanted to keep everything hush-hush lest the Big Guy find out, is the way to do that to go into a Pontifical University in the middle of Rome, allow this to be publicized to the whole world, and invite a reporter in?

    Like Columbo, I’m just askin’.

  32. Imrahil says:

    Dear JulieC,

    indeed it was not a secret meeting, nor (in their opinion) sedition. Which does not make everything okay.

    Their thinking was this (I’d guess).

    “Whether the Pope is actually on our side we do not know” (though those lesser informed and only following media reports always assume he is 100%), ” but there’s one thing we do know and that is the he, the Pope himself, has placed the matter under discussion. So we’re going to discuss; and there’s going to be a discussion at the Family Synod. We’re doing all in our power to make our discussion win.” “If we lose – well, Cardinal Marx has said, ‘we discuss – the Pope decides’, but he has also said ‘our local Churches are not simply offshots of Rome’, so, nothing is known for certain.”

    So far so good.

    In that sense, it is only natural that those not belonging to their fraction (“fraction” in the sense of a parliamentary group) are not invited, but some sympathizing journalists are, to make a good press when once the Synod is started.

    It remains to be seen whether the tactics employed remain fair (“fair” in the sense in which massive journalistic pressure is not considered unfair, for these are almost certain). But I don’t think their point can be denied that the Pope actually did open the discussion.

    That, not inviting the bishops of Passau and so on, they declared to have a meeting of “the German etc. Bishop’s Conferences” is wrong. In their own feeling it may be justified by a feeling that “the German Church is on our side and not on the other”.

    —–

    A note: I’m surprised that they speak about gay unions (though not that they speak in some way about homosexuality), but want to note that a gay union is something distinct from a gay marriage (see e. g. Dr. Peters). At least, by way of gay unions, Germany has hitherto been spared gay marriages (and will be for some time on, if the onslaught in the wake of the Irish referendum can be weathered, and if we do not get a government with influential leftist influences).

    Ah well, those who accuse the German bishops of acting for the sole reason of following the spirit of the time – they may well say that the Church, when trying to follow the spirit of the times, is always a decade or two behind. The “spirit of the times” if there is one is not satisfied with a respected (but second-class) homosexuality and gay non-marriage unions.

  33. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Kerry,

    As far as I can see, your Deacon got the details wrong: the significant change is that, the third time Our Lord asks using the ‘philia’ related verb: St. Peter always responds with it. The Vulgate reflects this by the use of forms of ‘diligo’ and ‘amo’. I suspect that his interpretation of what is going on is probably nonetheless substantially correct. It is in chapter 15 of the same Gospel that He speaks of “friends” as He does, and it is in the next two verses of chapter 21 that He tells St. Peter what will happen to him. So your encouraging “Hold Fast!” is on target: He calls us to be willing to be “friends” in the fullest sense as He has been and is a “Friend”.

  34. Kathleen10 says:

    The manic and diabolical nature of this full court press for the Catholic church approval of homosexuality will not end, even were the Pope to come out today and state the authentic Catholic truth and teaching from the balcony of St. Peter’s, shouting it to the rooftops. (If only!)
    There is a ruthless, relentless, determined nature at work here, who has seen victory after victory, the enemy (us) falling away like so many snowflakes in the wake of their march. The Pope should still say that truth, he absolutely should. He is partly responsible for it getting this far and for encouraging confusion, whether or not he intends is almost irrelevant, and it is his responsibility to do as much as he can to end it by facilitating truth. When you have polls on Catholic teaching and are putting powerful heretics in key positions, you are not signalling a support for authentic Catholic teaching. This is not unfair to the Pope, this is reality. It seems like we all know where we are and what we are likely to see happen in October.
    But no matter what happens, the march will not end, unfortunately. I can imagine no “end game” unless it were unrestrained evil of every kind which was celebrated by every person, and if not personally celebrated, supported. An end to morality of any kind. Free and unrestrained, especially approved, sexual access to children being the ultimate prize. The people promoting this smell the blood in the water, they have achieved enormous change in a breathtakingly short time. They will know they need to press hard and not quit until they achieve their goal.
    We must be just as determined, and pray much.
    Christians have not been united, though we are greater, far greater, in number, we are not organized. Perhaps at some point we will be organized in such a way as to effectively counter this evil in our governments, culture, and church. Right now it seems Christians are at the tower of Babel, we don’t speak each others language, so we are not coordinated. Were this to change, there is a great deal we can do, but until or unless God intervenes, this issue will not be settled.

  35. ocalatrad says:

    Cicero: “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

    These devils in Roman purple, and I mean devils, are pulling the same exact stunts the Modernist faction at Vatican II did to force their wicked agenda. These connivers need to be rooted out and EXCOMMUNICATED. This makes me SO angry! Why is nothing being done by those in charge? This is overt subversion of the process put in place! Does nobody see what is going on over there? The old “we’re not changing doctrine” slogan of the Modernists is old, tired and overused, but people fall for it!

  36. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    An interesting-sounding new book on ideological background and the current situation:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/05/from_communists_to_progressives_the_lefts_takedown_of_family_and_marriage.html

  37. Traductora says:

    Fr. Eberhard Schoeckenhoff is one scary guy. Through a very twisted interpretation of natural law, he ends up handing Christians over to the state or some international body that will determine our ethics and morality for us, since we are now “free” of natural law interpreted in any sense that has any moral implication.

  38. xavierabraham says:

    Who else other than the Father of Lies would advocate such things as “Theology of Love”, “ethical value in same sex relationships”, divorce, or communion for divorced. Now with a weak papacy, we can clearly distinguish angelic bishops from the ones Lucifer takes delight in. I recently read a prophecy that matches Francis to “Peter the Roman”, by the chronological order of Popes, as a Pope who would lead the church in the most turbulent times. It’s also a period when papacy will be weakened. We are seeing those events right in front of our eyes. I believe, we are approaching or are already in the time that Jesus had prophesied about the Siege of Jerusalem (Mathew 24) within the Church, and also witnessing the stage being set with such clandestine synods, for the rise of anti-Christ. Remember, it’s also prophesied to many visionaries that Anti-Christ would be a prince of the Catholic Church.

    I believe it, as it also makes sense from the urgency of the messages we received from Fatima and now receiving from Medjugorje.