Does a Shadow Synod continue, with the Pope at his residence?

Some say that the Holy Father himself is holding a “shadow Synod” at his residence, Santa Marta.

Here is the La Stampe/Tagespost piece:

Tagespost: c’è un Sinodo parallelo
“L’incertezza sull’esito di queste tre settimane di negoziati è resa ancora maggiore dal fatto che nel Residence del Vaticano, Santa Marta, ha luogo una specie di “Sinodo parallelo”: papa Francesco si incontra con partecipanti al Sinodo e con ospiti esterni per parlare con essi individualmente”.  [The Holy Father can have lunch with those whom it pleaseth him to lunch with.  However, this doesn’t look good.]

Il Tagespost di oggi, in un articolo di Guido Horst ,  offre un interessante scorcio di come viene vissuto il Sinodo da parte di papa Francesco.

E addirittura parla di “Sinodo parallelo” che avrebbe luogo a Santa Marta, con principale protagonista il Papa.

Ma ecco una traduzione dell’articolo del giornale cattolico tedesco: “…C’è chi dice che, per quanto i due fronti si scontrino l’uno contro l’altro – e nessuno finora ha negato che questi fronti esistano – quello che appare sostanzialmente nella Sala del Sinodo – tutte queste cose non raggiungono il pubblico…Solo nei prossimi giorni emergerà quanti Padri sinodali desiderano cambiare la prassi della Chiesa. Come il cardinale Luis Antonio Tagle di Manila, uno dei quattro presidenti del Sinodo, ha detto qualche giorno fa davanti ai giornalisti: i trecento vescovi non si sono riuniti per non decidere nulla”.

Ed ecco un brano che appare di un interesse particolare: “L’incertezza sull’esito di queste tre settimane di negoziati è resa ancora maggiore dal fatto che nel Residence del Vaticano, Santa Marta, ha luogo una specie di “Sinodo parallelo”: papa Francesco si incontra con partecipanti al Sinodo e con ospiti esterni per parlare con essi individualmente. Alla fine toccherà al Papa prendere una decisione sulle questioni ancora aperte e comunicare la sua decisione all’intera Chiesa in un testo conclusivo. Questo, comunque, è per ora il più grande interrogativo che incombe sull’intero Sinodo.”

Sembra davvero, come scrivono alcuni commentatori sui social network, che il Sinodo 2015 non abbia nulla da invidiare, quanto a curiosità e a colpi di scena mediatici, alle fiction televisive…

Okay… that’s in Italian.  Some of you can work on that. I’m tired and my Italian is just fine.

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27 Responses to Does a Shadow Synod continue, with the Pope at his residence?

  1. Eriugena says:

    Tagespost: a parallel Synod is underway
    “Uncertainty about the outcome of these three weeks of negotiations is even worse because at the Vatican Residence, Saint Martha, a sort of “parallel Synod” is taking place: Pope Francis is meeting participants at the Synod and extraneous guests and talking to them one by one.
    Today’s Tagespost, in an article by Guido Horst, gives an interesting glimpse of how Pope Francis is experiencing the Synod.
    Indeed, the article talks about a “parallel Synod” at Saint Martha, where the main actor is the Pope himself.
    Here is a passage from the German Catholic newspaper: “There are those who say that even though there are two sides meeting head-on – and nobody can deny that there are two sides – what is really happening in the Synod Hall – these things cannot be seen by the lay faithful… In the next few days we will see how many Synod Fathers want to change the Church’s way of doing things. Such as Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle from Manila, one of the four Synod Presidents, who told journalists a couple of days ago: these three hundred Bishops haven’t just come together so they wouldn’t decide on anything.”
    Here is a part which seems particularly interesting: uncertainty about the outcome of these three weeks is even greater because in the Vatican, at Saint Martha, a sort of “parallel Synod is being held: Pope Francis is meeting participants at the Synod and outsiders to talk to them one by one. At the end, the Pope will have to decide about certain questions which are still open, and tell the whole Church what he has decided in a final document. This is the biggest mystery so far to come out of the entire Synod.”
    It really seems, as some commentators are saying on the social networks, that the 2015 Synod lacks nothing in terms of curiosities, cunning expedients, and things out of a soap opera…

  2. Polycarpio says:

    “Sinodo parallelo”? Non mi risulta. Invece, mi sembra che il Santo Padre sta avendo la cena. Il papa non è un giudice che presiede un processo, che non può cenare con i partecipanti. Lui è un padre, a cena con i suoi vescovi.

  3. Animadversor says:

    Today’s Tagespost, in an article by Guido Horst, offers an interesting glimpse of how the Synod is experienced on the part of Pope Francis.

    He goes so far as to speak of a “parallel Synod” taking place at Santa Marta, with the Pope taking the leading rôle.

    But here is a translation of the article in the German Catholic newspaper:

    …There are those who say that, as the two sides clash with each other—and no one so far has denied that these sides exist—what is essentially appearing in the Synod Hall—not all these things reach the public…Only in the next [few] days will there emerge how many synodal Fathers wish to change the praxis of the Church. As Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila, one of the four presidents of the Synod, said some days ago in front of journalists: the three hundred bishops have not met in order to decide nothing.

    And here’s a passage that seems to be of particular interest:

    Uncertainty about the outcome of these three weeks of talks has been made even greater by the fact that in the Vatican Residence, Santa Marta, there is taking place a kind of “parallel Synod”: Pope Francis is meeting with Synod participants and with outside guests in order to speak with them individually. In the end it’s up to the Pope to make a decision on the issues still pending and to communicate his decision to the entire Church in a definitive text. This, in any case, is for the moment the biggest question mark looming over the entire Synod.

    Indeed, it seems, as several social network commentators write, that the 2015 Synod, when it comes to plot twists and coups de théâtre for the media, is every bit as good as a television drama.

    [I’m tired, too, and so I offer my thanks in advance for the correction of any errors and the elimination of any infelicities that may have therefrom ensued; no doubt there must be several, especially in my translation into English of an Italian rendering of a German original; certainly the syntax and the punctuation in the passage beginning C’è chi dice che and ending la prassi della Chiesa still baffles me a bit.]

  4. Mariana2 says:

    “i trecento vescovi non si sono riuniti per non decidere nulla”

    Nothing to decidere here, but hopefully to separate the wheat from the chaff, both in making clear that things can’t be changed in the direction some would wish, and in making obvious who are on the side of the chaff.

  5. JonPatrick says:

    I don’t know Italian, but here is what Google Translate ca,e up with:

    Tagespost: there is a parallel Synod
    “The uncertainty about the outcome of these three weeks of negotiations is made even greater by the fact that in Residence Vatican, Santa Marta, takes place a kind of” parallel Synod “: Pope Francis meets with participants in the Synod and with external guests to talk to them individually. ” [The Holy Father can have lunch with Those whom-it pleaseth him to lunch with. However, this does not look good.]
    The Tagespost today, in an article by Guido Horst, provides an interesting glimpse of how is the experience of the Synod by Pope Francis.
    He even speaks of “Synod parallel” that would take place in Santa Marta, with the main protagonist the Pope.
    But here is a translation of the German Catholic newspaper: “… There are those who say that, as the two sides collide against each other – and so far no one has denied that these fronts exists – what appears substantially in the Synod Hall – all these things do not reach the public … Only in the coming days will emerge many Synod Fathers wish to change the practices of the Church. As Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, one of the four presidents of the Synod, said a few days ago in front of reporters, the three hundred bishops gathered to not decide anything. ”
    And here’s a song that appears in a special interest: “The uncertainty about the outcome of these three weeks of negotiations is made even greater by the fact that in Residence Vatican, Santa Marta, takes place a kind of” parallel Synod “: Pope Francis meets Synod participants and guests from outside to talk to them individually. In the end it’s up to the Pope to make a decision on the remaining issues and communicate its decision to the whole Church in a final text. This, however, is now the biggest question mark hanging over the whole Synod. ”
    It looks really, as some commentators write on social networks, that the Synod in 2015 has nothing to envy, as a curiosity and twists media, the television dramas …

  6. CharlesG says:

    Seems rather a vague article without specifics. The mere fact the Pope talks to people is not an issue, but is to be expected. The issue is who he talks to and what he will decide.

  7. robtbrown says:

    It will surprise me if anything comes out of this Synod except confusion. The final report will restate doctrine, then mitigate it a pastoralism that ignores doctrine. Inclusive, blah, blah, blah . . . those in a bad marriage, blah, blah, blah . . . homosexuals, blah, blah, blah . . .

    In so far as the pope will separate himself from the report, certain Cardinals and bishops will be able to criticize it as a mess.

    I wonder whether this pope underestimated opposition to Kasper and others who want to undermine doctrine by muddling praxis. For many years there has been the tendency to consider doctrine and orthopraxis as something imposed by Roman law. This was a theology that is ecclesiocentric. Once embraced by the Jesuits, now they are allergic to it.

    Francis is also is a man of the 70’s, still practicing the MO of letting everyone speak.

  8. TNCath says:

    It seems our Pope’s machinations are becoming more and more like the late President Lyndon Johnson’s tactics, known popularly as the “Johnson Treatment”: a way to get congressmen and senators to “see it his way.” Is this the “Francis treatment”? Lord, help us.

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    I read it in English, earlier.
    He’s meeting with his advisers over scones and tea, and plotting the next move.

  10. anilwang says:

    Of course it doesn’t look good.

    Even if totally innocent, as St. Paul admonishes in 1 Timothy 3, a bishop must not only be blameless, he must appear to be to avoid scandal. In this case, it causes the scandals of telling the heterodox that it’s okay to stay where they are and teach heterodoxy, and encourage both informal schism (in the case of the Germans) and formal schism (in the case of Traditionalists), and shake the faith of weaker Catholics.

    Unfortunately this Pope not only doesn’t care for this admonition (e.g. the Synod and the Peru appointment), he actually thinks this scandal is a good thing (haga lio).

  11. Traductora says:

    Towards the end of last week, little bits and pieces about this started appearing in the European press. I’m not going to mention the names of the supposed attendees (partly because I’m not sure I recall them, also because I don’t know if the info was accurate) but I do recall thinking that they were the usual suspects. Also, there was at least one journalist among them. I’d guess they’re working hard on controlling the message.

  12. Pastor Bonus says:

    I must say I find Cardinal Tagle’s words a bit confusing, he says ‘300 bishops have not come together to decide nothing.’ But of course the Synod of Bishops doesn’t have the competence do decide anything other than which final proposals to make to the Pope, as is the case at every Synod. Does his statement indicate that he does expect them to be deciding on things? If so, it would require yet another change to how the Synod works. I think Tagle is also on record as saying there may not even be a final document!

  13. jservello2000 says:

    Question….Can a future Pope untangle the “mess” that I feel will come out of this Synod….or more candidly…Will a future Pope ever be able to? I’m not so sure……

  14. LarryW2LJ says:

    I am coming to a conclusion (admittedly based on no firm evidence whatsoever) based on a gut feeling. This synod is going to come to a deliberately reached vague conclusion, so the participants can say, without breaking the Eighth Commandment, that there has been no change in doctrine. Meanwhile, they will go back to their home diocese, pastorally solving “problems” with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

  15. benedictgal says:

    Here is what Bing Translate came up with (my Italian is not as advanced)

    Tagespost: is there a parallel Synod “uncertainty about the outcome of these three weeks of negotiations is made even greater by the fact that in the Residence of the Vatican, Santa Marta, is a kind of” parallel “Synod: Francis Pope meets with participants in the Synod and with outside guests to talk with them individually”. [The Holy Father can have lunch with those whom it pleaseth him to lunch with. However, this doesn’t look good.]

    The Tagespost today, in an article by Guido Horst, offers an interesting glimpse of how experienced the Synod by Pope Francesco.

    And even speaks of “parallel Synod” that would take place in Santa Marta, with main protagonist.

    But here is a translation of the German Catholic newspaper article: “…” There are those who say that, with the two sides clashing against each other – and nobody has so far denied that these fronts exist what appears in the Synod Hall substantially – all these things do not reach the public. Only will emerge in the next few days how many Synod Fathers want to change the practice of the Church. Like Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, one of the four Presidents of the Synod, said a few days ago in front of reporters: three hundred bishops gathered to not decide anything. ”

    And here’s an excerpt that appears in a particular interest: “uncertainty about the outcome of these three weeks of negotiations is made even greater by the fact that in the Residence of the Vatican, Santa Marta, is a kind of” parallel “Synod: Francis Pope meets with participants in the Synod and with outside guests to talk with them individually. In the end it’s up to the Pope to make a decision on the outstanding issues and communicate its decision to the entire Church in a final text. This, however, is for now the biggest question looming over the entire Synod. ”

    It seems you really like writing some commentators on social networks, which the Synod 2015 has nothing to envy, as a curiosity and media twists, to television dramas.

  16. Susan M says:

    Why is the Holy Father spending an enormous amount of the Church’s money on the Synod and causing universal confusion and scandal when in the end he will toss away what the Synod Fathers decide and state his own opinion. He could have simply written whatever it is he has to say in an encyclical and be done with it. Or is the point rather for him to be the center of attention?

  17. benedictgal says:

    robtbrown:

    I don’t think it’s so much about letting everyone speak. Recall the remarks he made after Cardinal Erdo made his intervention. I suspect that the smoke of Satan is permeating this whole Synod process. I have been praying to St. Michael almost every day (I was assigned Cardinal Pell on the http://www.adoptasynodfather.org) for strength for those faithful cardinals, archbishops and bishops to continue to defend the Church’s Dogma, Doctrine and Discipline.

    Over at the Ataletia site, they posted this interesting article, “Pope Benedict already settled the question on Communion for the Divorced”. Here are some interesting points that he made as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

    “In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ(5), the Church affirms that a new union cannot be recognised as valid if the preceding marriage was valid. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Holy Communion as long as this situation persists(6).

    “This norm is not at all a punishment or a discrimination against the divorced and remarried, but rather expresses an objective situation that of itself renders impossible the reception of Holy Communion: “They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and his Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage”(7).

    I guess the $64,000 question is this: why couldn’t the Church have left this issue well enough alone?

    My late paternal grandmother was divorced and involved in an irregular marriage for nearly 40 years. She NEVER demanded that the Church give her the Sacraments and she NEVER stopped going to Mass. She understood that what she did was wrong; yet, that did not stop her from going to Mass on Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation and First Fridays. She even kept the Triduum and taught me the importance of these high holy days. She was able to secure an annulment and receive the Sacraments, but, she went through the proper procedures.

    If my paternal grandmother were alive today, she would be dismayed with what is happening at the Synod and she would be the first to uphold the Church’s teaching on marriage.

    Here is the article in case anyone wants to read it:

    http://aleteia.org/2015/10/13/pope-benedict-already-settled-the-question-of-communion-for-the-divorced/

  18. anilwang says:

    jservello2000 says: Can a future Pope untangle the “mess” that I feel will come out of this Synod

    Of course a future Pope can. He just has to be the right sort of Pope and given the frustration many Cardinals have with this Pope, it’s very likely that the next conclave will pick someone clear, doctrinally solid, that is transparent, truly listens to the bishops without manipulation, is less concerned about being a celebrity and more concerned about managing the Church, and will actually deal with the gay lobby rather than letting it run the show. The next Pope will have a very strong mandate for reform, just as the current one did at the start of the Vatileaks scandal.

    What sorts of things could the next Pope do? For instance, the annulment reform has already been tried in the US and rolled back because it was a disaster. It just has to be undone at the global scale. As for other reforms, the Secretariat for the Economy appears to have been one of Pope Francis’ good reforms. The lessons learnt from this can be used to reform the CDF and make it more powerful, perhaps requiring all bishops to regularly affirm fidelity to the doctrins of the Church and the Catechism and failure to do so would have consequences (e.g. for Cardinals, it would mean all their privileges would be revoked). If Pope Francis introduces some form of decentralization of doctrinal decisions as a result of the synod, this can be turned around into a good thing as long as the ones responsible for these doctrinal decisions are under the authority of the CDF, essentially making the CDF more decentralized and able to address heresy closer to the source. No matter what Pope Francis could do, it can be undone to greater advantage. This crisis might be precisely the thing the Church needs to wake us up so we can return to the full vigor of our faith.

    Don’t lose heart. We just have to wait this Papacy out and pray that the next conclave won’t be rigged since that could cause another Great Schism.

  19. frjim4321 says:

    I doubt that it’s the first time, and it won’t be the last.

  20. mysticalrose says:

    Honestly, what difference does it make if Pope Francis is holding a shadow synod? Given the underhanded machinations and pre-determined conclusions, the real synod IS the shadow synod.

  21. anna 6 says:

    Like Robtbrown and others, I doubt anything comes out of this Synod except confusion. “The final report will restate doctrine, then mitigate it a pastoralism that ignores doctrine. Inclusive, blah, blah, blah . . .”
    And this “pastoralism” will be driven home over and over again during the upcoming Year of Mercy.

  22. Sonshine135 says:

    Anyone want to place a bet as to whether or not they are discussing chastity? Probably not. Strong families are chaste families.

    Gaudium et spes Ch. 17 says:
    Only in freedom can man direct himself toward goodness. Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often however they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil. For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man. For God has willed that man remain “under the control of his own decisions,” so that he can seek his Creator spontaneously, and come freely to utter and blissful perfection through loyalty to Him. Hence man’s dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure. Man achieves such dignity when, emancipating himself from all captivity to passion, he pursues his goal in a spontaneous choice of what is good, and procures for himself through effective and skillful action, apt helps to that end. Since man’s freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God’s grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower. Before the judgement seat of God each man must render an account of his own life, whether he has done good or evil.

    Whether the Pope has his “Shadow Synod” or not, using this as a starting point for the final document would be pretty good. In any case, my hope is in the Lord, thus my hope is not in vain.

  23. anna 6 says:

    I see so much of what has been happening in the last months as missed opportunities.

    Imagine if, for example, the encyclical had talked about NFP in the context of “caring for the environment”. It would have given this healthy, wholesome and natural movement such a boost, at the same time it could have done much to make the ground water less polluted. There are so many other examples of missed opportunities.

    So it isn’t just the proactive damage that is potentially being done at the synod, but also the things that are NOT happening.

    So frustrating.

  24. Aquinas Gal says:

    The prophecy of Akita seems all the more relevant these days, “Cardinal will oppose cardinal, bishop will oppose bishop…”

  25. MikeM says:

    Did we expect that he would not speak to anyone? If they had identified some pattern to who he seems to seek out for these conversations, it might be possible to insinuate something from it. But the only fact provided is that the Pope has talked to individuals. Trying to discern anything from that seems futile.

  26. Christ_opher says:

    Synod fatigue here, in the sense that as some Cardinal’s have expressed the whole objective was pointless but I shall not criticise the Pope as he could surprise us all and bring the dissenters cardinal kasper and cardinal marx etc back in line to the truth.

  27. benedictgal says:

    Christ_opher, Fr. Z warned us against having Synod Fatigue. The reports do worry me. Having worked in the Texas Legislature for 12 years, it seems to me that Pope Francis would appear to be employing the same methods that the Chief Executive of the State would use. The Governor would invite lawmakers in to eat with him or meet with him informally to get their support on something. Note that I am not accusing the Holy Father of doing that, but, to quote one of the Dracula cinematic incarnations, “I have seen that before” and it worries me. Nonetheless, I am praying for my adopted Synod Father, Cardinal Pell, asking St. Michael to protect him and fortify him.