How liberals are handling their defeat at the Synod

I want to bring some stimulating reading to the readership’s attention, lest you miss it.

First, One Mad Mom has a serious rant and it is pretty entertaining!   Here’s just a small sample.

What sparked Fr. Martin banning everyone under the sun? He wasn’t too happy about the response to this tweet:

martin

Haters? Are you 15, Fr. Martin? Anyone notice the irony of calling faithful Catholics “haters”, talking about mercy, and then turning around and blocking all those “haters?” Where’s the mercy for them? Oh, yeah, they don’t deserve mercy, since they aren’t cheerleaders for sacrilege against the Eucharist and making people comfy with their sins. Now, I really don’t care if someone wants to give me a derogatory label, although it might be nice if it was something appropriate for their advanced years. For instance, I would say he’s a hypocrite. What annoys me is the actual hypocrisy of blocking people who disagree with one’s definition of “mercy.”

There’s more.  Don’t miss it.

Ross Douthat of the NYT really got under the skin of a whole raft of libs who, in typical lib fashion, reacted badly and are now trying silence him.  Douthat wrote about how the libs lost at the Synod, how they did not get their Church and doctrine changing agenda through.  HERE – go read it now.   That made liberal heads explode.  They signed on to a group letter whining to the Editor of Hell’s Bible that that sort of thing shouldn’t be permitted. After all, they sneered, Douthat doesn’t have a theology degree.

First, here is a sample of Douthat’s piece that has the spittle-flecked libs popping arteries out of their foreheads:

Nobody, of course, because there weren’t two “sides” or camps or (heaven help us) factions or anything so nasty as all that. It was all a dialogue, a moment of encounter and discernment, an opening to the Holy Spirit that set the Roman Catholic Church free to bechurch in a new way for the third millennium. It was a beginning, an overture, the first chapter in a neverending story, the first step on a permanent journey, because we are all sojourners together. So nobody won, because really everybody won.

As Saint Athanasius would say, LOL. No, look, what actually happened is that conservatives won what was probably the closest thing to victory that they could have hoped for, given that 1) the pope was against them, and 2) the pope stacked the governing and writing committees and the voting ranks, and did I mention that 3) the pope was against them. (People who still argue that Pope Francis was studiously neutral, that he just wanted dialogue, or that his views are unknowable, need to sit down and read the tongue-lashing he gave to conservatives in his closing address — and contrast it with the much more evenhanded way he closed last fall’s synod, when conservative resistance to the synod’s intended direction was much more disorganized.) Which is to say they produced a document that used unfashionable words like “indissoluble” to talk about marriage, that mostly avoided the subject of homosexuality, and that offered a few dense, occasionally-ambiguous, slightly-impenetrable paragraphs on welcoming and accompanying divorced and remarried Catholics without offering either a path to communion absent an annulment or proposing to devolve that question to national bishops conferences, as the German bishops and the rest of the progressive caucus at the synod clearly wished.

So the journalists covering the synod document as a setback for the innovators (and, because he elevated them, the pontiff) are mostly correct, given their ambitions going in. But so, in a certain way, are the journalists covering it as a kind of cracked-door to innovation, because the conservatives didn’t have the votes or the power to keep every ambiguity at bay. The most straightforward reading of the synod text supports the first interpretation, for the reasons that (among others) George Weigel and Robert Royal lay out: There is no abrogation of the ancient ban on communion for the remarried, and plenty of phrasings that indicate that ban is still in force. But at the same time, as Royal also notes, the text is not as plain as the document it quotes, John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio, and it spends so much time talking about discernment and individual cases that it seems to sometimes come “right up to the edge” of communion for the remarried, as Royal puts it, without “crossing over into it in so many words.”

How you interpret that tiptoe act, in turn, depends on how you want to interpret it. If you want to read for continuity with the Catholic past, and interpret the synod document in the light of the prior teachings that it cites, you will end up with, well, a conservative, continuity-based reading. If you want to read for rupture, though, you’ll stress the direction of movement, the fact that the new text is somewhat less clear and more ambiguous than previous texts, and suggest that even such a modest change, by its nature, opens the door to further changes still. This is roughly how many of the documents of Vatican II ended up being read by liberal Catholics, as the English Latin Mass champion Joseph Shaw points out here; “spirit of Vatican II” interpretations of where the church should go after the council, he notes:

[…]

So the libs wrote a letter.  Here it is with the list of signatories I have at this time.

To the editor of the New York Times

On Sunday, October 18, the Times published Ross Douthat’s piece “The Plot to Change Catholicism.” Aside from the fact that Mr. Douthat has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject, the problem with his article and other recent statements is his view of Catholicism as unapologetically subject to a politically partisan narrative that has very little to do with what Catholicism really is. Moreover, accusing other members of the Catholic church of heresy, sometimes subtly, sometimes openly, is serious business that can have serious consequences for those so accused. This is not what we expect of the New York Times.

October 26, 2015

John O’Malley, SJ (Georgetown University)
Massimo Faggioli (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Nicholas P. Cafardi (Duquesne University)
Gerard Mannion (Georgetown University)
Stephen Schloesser, SJ (Loyola University Chicago)
Katarina Schuth OSF (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Leslie Tentler (Catholic University of America, emerita)

John Slattery (University of Notre Dame)
Megan McCabe (Boston College)
Thomas M. Bolin (St. Norbert College)
Kevin Brown (Boston College)
Alan C. Mitchell (Georgetown University)
Elizabeth Antus (John Carroll University)
Kathleen Grimes (Villanova University)
Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
Christopher Bellitto (Kean University)
Katharine Mahon (University of Notre Dame)
Corey Harris (Alvernia University)
Kevin Ahern (Manhattan College)
John DeCostanza (Dominican University)
Daniel Cosacchi (Loyola University Chicago)
Amy Levad (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Christine McCarthy (Fordham University)
Sonja Anderson (Yale University)
Fr. Robert A. Busch (Diocese of Amarillo)
Brandon Peterson (University of Utah)
Heather Miller Rubens (Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies)
Daniel Dion (Rivier University)
Mark Miller (University of San Francisco)
William T. Ditewig (Santa Clara University)
Stuart Squires (Brescia University)
Gerald O’Collins, SJ (Gregorian University, emeritus)
Anthony J. Godzieba (Villanova University)
Terrence W. Tilley (Fordham University)
Michael J. Hollerich (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Gerald Schlabach (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Luca Badini Confalonieri (Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research)
Francis Schussler Fiorenza (Harvard Divinity School)
Rebecca A. Chabot (Iliff School of Theology)
Mark Massa, SJ (Boston College School of Theology and Ministry)
James T. Bretzke, SJ (Boston College School of Theology and Ministry)
Anne Clifford (Iowa State University)
Jack Downey (La Salle University)
Sherry Jordon (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota)
Julia Lamm (Georgetown University)

Were I made Patriarch of North America by Pius XIII I might start with that list of signers as we began the clean up of Catholic schools.

Rod Dreher jumped into the fray with both feet HERE. Dreher also reproduced the whiny lib letter.

The McCarthyism of Liberal Catholic Elites

[…]

The Catholic layman Ross Douthat, according to these liberal Catholic academics, is too stupid to have an opinion about Catholicism, because he has not been trained in theology. And his opinions are invalid because they reach offer a conclusion offensive to the letter-writers follow a “politically partisan narrative that has very little to do with what Catholicism really is.” You will look at the October 18 column in question, and anything else Ross Douthat has written about Catholicism, and I very much doubt you will find anything contrary to the faith and morals magisterially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church. You will unquestionably find much contrary to the faith and morals magisterially proclaimed by the Faggioli-O’Malley crew.

Furthermore, and perhaps most embarrassingly to the letter-writers, they actually try to do the Catholic version of red-baiting Douthat, as if a newspaper columnist’s criticism of heresy (“sometimes subtly, sometimes openly”) actually stood to make a difference in the lives of those so accused. It is ridiculous. That term “sometimes subtly, sometimes openly” is downright McCarthyite. Read the actual column; the word “heresy” doesn’t appear in it, and if it did, so what? Heresy is a constant issue within Christianity, and has been since the beginning.

I must have missed the letters from this bunch complaining about the frequent columns from Douthat’s liberal Catholic colleagues Maureen Dowd and Frank Bruni complaining about Benedict XVI and anything to do with Catholic orthodoxy. George Weigel documented some of Dowd’s charges in her column here:

[…]

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League also got into it HERE.

Anyway… do some reading.  I think you will see that the libs are in panic mode.

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73 Responses to How liberals are handling their defeat at the Synod

  1. acardnal says:

    Servant of God, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, pray for us and your Society.

  2. Christine says:

    My goodness, that list is like a who’s who of heretics!

  3. pannw says:

    How very considerate of these people to sign a list that might as well be titled The Imaheretic List. Makes it easy to narrow down the ‘educators’ that will never see my children’s faces in their classes.

  4. McCall1981 says:

    So if the the liberals were defeated at the Synod, what can we expect from the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation?

  5. Adaquano says:

    I think there is some comfort in looking at the response of more “conservative” and “traditional” Catholics compared to our more liberal brothers and sisters. There is that touch of panic, whereas we may not be gloating there does seem to be a sigh of relief along with a call to keep the faith and to continue to fight for the Truth of Christ (or as Bishop Olmsted might say going “into the breach”).

  6. CatholicMD says:

    What I don’t understand is why either side is acting like they won. The pope is going to do whatever he wants. Does Evangelii Gaudium look anything like the final relatio from the last synod?

  7. McCall1981 says:

    From the German Bishop’s post-Synod statement:
    “On the topic of divorced and remarried people the necessary distinctions of situations were addressed in the text. It was attempted to avoid generalizations. The Synod is clear that every situation in life must be considered individually. In hindsight we would have wished for more courage to deal with the realities more intensively and recognize them as signs of the times in which God wants to tell us something, but we also recognize that we have learned to go along with other cultures and experiences.
    https://incaelo.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/further-on-up-the-road-the-german-synod-fathers-look-back-and-ahead/

  8. Grumpy Beggar says:

    I admit to being just a little bit surprised that there are only ( I think I counted) 4 signatures from faculty members of Georgetown University so far. I wonder if they write letters of protest every time they are confronted by someone Catholic who has a spine ?

    A whole mess of them wrote a letter of protest back in 2003 after they had invited Cardinal Arinze to come and speak to them, conferred on him an honorary degree and he proceeded to use the occasion to point out to them the attack on the family going on in the world . . . some members even walked out while he was speaking.

    Last year it looks like the Vatican Concurred that Georgetown U is Not Catholic Enough. I wonder if that makes them (Peter Blatty, Cardinal Arinze and the Vatican) all “stupid” and proves that they have “no professional qualifications for writing on the subject” too ? . . . after all, it was only an honorary degree they conferred upon Cardinal Arinze. Right?
    :)

  9. gracie says:

    Stephen Schloesser, S.J. (Loyola University Chicago) – Professor of History: Western Civilization, Modern European History, intellectual history, history of Catholicism and Jesuits.

    Daniel Cosacchi (Loyola University Chicago – Doctoral student in Christian Ethics. He is writing his dissertation on the environmental effects of warfare in Catholic social thought. (figures)

    Two more reason why I won’t donate to my alma mater. I urge everyone who is a graduate of any of these universities to put their money to better use and donate to a school that is faithful to Catholic teaching. That might mean donating to a high school – better yet, how about the Dominican Sisters, Mother of the Eucharist, who are educating our children properly before they encounter these loonies.

  10. Priam1184 says:

    I don’t see the revolutionaries as having lost anything. They were never going to get the civilly divorced and remarried to be admitted to Holy Communion. This was never going to be endorsed by the Church. It could not have been. If the final document had admitted this proposal then whichever bishop who signed off on it would have used their public teaching authority to directly contradict Christ’s words in the Gospel. I would presume, and Father can correct me if I am wrong, that from that moment said bishop would have de facto lost his See. Why do you think that all of the really bad stuff that happened after the most recent Council happened behind the scenes. No direct orders, no public statements. It just kind of happened. Sure it was planned and contrived, probably for decades prior to the 1960s, but it was never publicly ordained, because they knew, even in their hardened hearts, that if it had been publicly ordained by them then they immediately would have lost their authority. And they still needed and still do need that authority.

    Point #2: all of these men are going to go back into their dioceses and continue to wreak havoc. I have heard no repentance from Cardinal Cupich of Chicago concerning his mad statement that he would admit persons who are committing homosexual acts with each other to Holy Communion. Should we expect that he will oppose this practice now? So these bishops will continue to institutionalize the madness they proposed at the Synod and continue to weaken the foundations of the Church, and if history is any guide they will not care a whit about whatever the Holy Father’s final statement is on this matter. Only a papal rebuke combined with papal action will solve this problem and I don’t know whether the current pope has the confidence to undertake such a bold step.

    There was no victory here.

  11. Aquinas Gal says:

    This synod accomplished one good thing: it made the masks fall off a lot of the heretics who are around these days, including some bishops. We know who they are because they themselves have proclaimed it.
    Funny in a way, because in his messy way Francis has “outed” more heretics than St John Paul or Pope Benedict did.

  12. Matthias1 says:

    Sigh, Fr. Martin blocked me too. I am very hurt. Why couldn’t he just meet me where I am, and walk with me, and show me mercy. And accompany me. I don’t feel accompanied. Maybe we should start a support group.

  13. John the Mad says:

    I’m rather pleased that the signatories of the letter revealed themselves for the haters (their nomenclature, not mine) they clearly are. At least we now know who they are. They hold Ross Douthat in contempt because he has, “no professional qualifications for writing on the subject … .” Really! We’ve come to the point where baptized members of the Body of Jesus Christ cannot legitimately air their views about a synod of Catholic bishops without holding a doctorate in moral squeamishness, or a masters degree in ecclesiastical plate tectonics? What abominable conceit.

    Sorry, but this ordinary non-professionally qualified lay hater finds that view contemptible. One does not have to possess advanced degrees to realize when a skunk begins to stink. Anyone paying attention realizes that the synod had an odiferous quality about it, though some thought it more brimstone than skunk, Not being a Doctor of Olfaction, however, I had best not give my views on matters of the nostril, lest I be publicly pilloried by the illuminati of the nose.

  14. Charles E Flynn says:

    It appears that none of the highly-credentialed academics noted that Mr. Douthat writes as a columnist in the opinion section of the New York Times.

  15. VeritasVereVincet says:

    Massimo Faggioli
    Katarina Schuth OSF
    Amy Levad
    Michael J. Hollerich
    Gerald Schlabach
    Sherry Jordon

    I see I have some teachers to avoid when I return to school…

  16. Andrew says:

    Haters? Labeling others? How very rigid.

  17. mysticalrose says:

    Wow! They really brought out the big guns! That letter was signed by . . . wait . . . who?? Seriously, I may have heard of 4 of these alleged theologians. I cannot imagine a more mediocre list of signatories.

  18. Benedict Joseph says:

    Despite their whining, this horde of katholics enduring chronic arrested development is winning the culture war, the Church war. And it is a war. Can anyone further endure their rationalization that Divine Mercy can be detached from a truthful disposition, maturity, responsibility, accountability and repentance? This speaks volumes about them – from the very “tippy-tippy top” to the lowly assistant pastor or lecture.
    Yes, I realize they didn’t get the mega uber triumph they wanted. But they got a win, although the victory won’t be so apparent until the Pope hands it to them. Despite Fr. Hunwicke’s wonderful contribution today, http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2015/10/what-if-pope-were-to.html , I don’t believe this crowd cares a hoot about ecclesiastical rubrics, canons, protocols and such that don’t serve their immediate purpose. They will be utilized and abandoned as their necessity dictates. They are pragmatics on steroids. Left wing maggotry by its nature is incapable of relinquishing its disingenuous, passive-aggressive, counter-intuitive, inside-out, upside-down rationalizations, turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Just listen to their drivel – individuals bent on proclaiming any and every piece of nonsense they can find and invent to push the total destruction of Roman Catholicism and replace it with a kind of “transcendental secularism” sporting the chrysalis of the church of Jesus Christ. A well fortressed comfort zone is the driving force for these small men, and if it isn’t on the menu of the hedonists, it isn’t the kasper katholic kirche.
    Many keep asking why this is happening. It serves their purpose – that’s why.

  19. mysticalrose says:

    Benedict Joseph:

    “. . . individuals bent on proclaiming any and every piece of nonsense they can find and invent to push the total destruction of Roman Catholicism and replace it with a kind of “transcendental secularism” sporting the chrysalis of the church of Jesus Christ. ”

    This is the most apt description ever.

  20. Mojoron says:

    I don’t see any signers from ‘real’ Catholic Universities!

  21. Stephanus83 says:

    What do all of those SJ initials mean? I keep seeing SJ written after the names of men who dissent from the Church. Is there some new order using SJ? I must be confused because I thought SJ stood for an order founded in 1540 by an ex-soldier to boldly evangelize and defend the faith. I thought SJ stood for an order with the motto of “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam”. I must have missed something because some weirdos are attempting to claim SJ as some newfangled anti-magisterial order.

  22. SaintJude6 says:

    Stephanus83,
    Sad isn’t it, how they have corrupted what was begun by St. Ignatius. Past time for them to be suppressed. Let’s start with Reese and Martin. I can’t believe these individuals receive a paycheck or that any school would pay them to speak there. Pathetic wastes of seminary education paid for by faithful Catholics. NEVER give money to the Jesuits or their indoctrination universities.

  23. majuscule says:

    I rather liked Benedict Joseph’s term “left wing maggotry.”

    The images it inspires in my mind…priceless.

  24. DJAR says:

    So, the “haters” get only a year of mercy. What happens after the year runs out? Pogroms?

  25. Auggie says:

    Don’t let the liberal haters distract you from showing the True, Good and Beautiful Catholic Church to your neighbors. Evangelize. Build (rebuild). Don’t “make a mess.” Make a Real Parish.

  26. GAK says:

    Whatever the Holy Father’s true thinking and true motives, I must say, I have begun a prayer of late. I have been asking Pope John Paul II to appear to Pope Francis and say, kindly but also sternly, “Why are you allowing confusion to be sown in my Immaculate Mother’s Church?”

  27. frjim4321 says:

    “defeat?”

    Seems a bit delusional to me.

  28. 1. Thanks for that list of colleges that harbor liberal elitists. That will come in handy when we decide what college our 7 kids have to choose from.

    2. Douthat nailed the Church’s crisis on the head with this statement:

    “How you interpret that tiptoe act, in turn, depends on how you want to interpret it.”

    This one sentence puts the crisis in our Church in a nutshell. It precisely describes how we’ve come from a unified faithful Church Militant to become a confused, vocation starved, and in some circles heretical wounded Body.

    The tiptoe act can be traced back to the onset of modernism. For decades many Church leaders have been competing with their colleagues on who can be the most worldly popular prelate without being an outright heretic. This popularity contest is now reaching a boiling point among these dueling vanity seekers as the world begins to concede to sodomy and other intrinsic evils. Where in recent decades many of these leaders were making statements that took the Church’s teachings to stagger precipitously at the edge as if performing some acrobatic theology act, others have no problem with going beyond this and outright jumping into the void to freefall along with the secular world. These dareDEVILS are trying to peer pressure the rest of the Body of Christ into jumping and joining in their fall from grace. This is where the Magisterium needs to boldly and concisely clear the air and for the sake of the Body of Christ, state precisely what the Church believes and stop this ridiculous tip toe act. A tiptoe act that is causing confusion within its ranks, scattering the sheep, emboldening the Church’s enemies, and exposing the scattered the sheep as easy prey for the predatory wolves seeking to devour the souls of Christians.

  29. pseudomodo says:

    St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle.
    Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you,
    O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God
    cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
    who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
    Amen.

    I have been praying this prayer nightly since the synod ended.

    (The 2014 Synod mind you)

    I see no reason to stop.

  30. Pingback: At Age 26, She Left Everything to Enter the Convent - B. P.

  31. Gratias says:

    The first step is to realize one has a problem. We did lose and Pope Francis will work His will.

  32. AndrewPaul says:

    Looking through the list of signatories to see if I recognized any from my alma mater, Loyola University Chicago, I was reminded that I was able to go through their theology program with pretty orthodox professors. One of them, Dr. Dennis Martin, actually showed the class WDTPRS on a number of occasions. Sadly, Dr. Martin passed away earlier this week. He was the best the Loyola Theology Department had.

  33. ckdexterhaven says:

    Well now, I sure don’t got me a fancy thesaurus degree like these book learnin’ priests do…..but it is unseemly that Father Martin spends such an inordinate time cultivating his facebook and twitter feeds. He has been blocking/deleting “haters” for years. I was blocked by him when he started the #whatsistersmeantome hashtag on twitter. He started that up when the Nuns on the Bus got going. It was all social,justice, peace and love from him. I came along (29 followers!), and started tweeting about Mother Angelica standing up to Cardinal Mahony, tweeted about traditional orders with habits, etc. Father Martin blocked me. He routinely deletes pro life people on his facebook when they disagree with him or his fans.

    Living in a liberal bubble means everyone who disagrees with you is a hater.

    And a priest using the word hater to describe Catholics who disagree with him? Yikes.

  34. Phil_NL says:

    “the liberals lost

    Well, I’d call that a bridge too far. They didn’t win. Nor did the conservatives/orthodox, by the way. Of course, in these times there is a general tendency to focus only on the most recent battle, think it’s the world, and bemoan insufficiently clear victories or clutching at straws as all seems lost. None of that helps.

    In fact, I more and more get the impression that out of the 3 possible scenarios (see http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/10/synod-notes-status-quaestionis-after-week-1/#comment-514780 for the comment that outlines them), Francis is clearly chosing for number 3. Muddy the waters. He doesn’t want to handle a smackdown of either side, so make sure there’s something for everyone. In fact, his remarks directed at conservatives are probably an indication that the orthodox camp was much stronger then he anticipated. (and what I and many here expected beforehand)

    Why? Option 3 requires that neither party can claim anything resembling victory, that none of them has an immediate appetite for another round (I also maintain that Francis is likely to be sorely disappointed at the two parts of this synod. I doubt we’ll see one again this pontificate, unless it would be the least bad option for Francis). In other words, the text of the Pope’s homilies / speeches are then used to level the playing field as much as possible. If this sounds a tad machiavellian, do realise that Francis is steeped in Argentine politics, and that the Holy See has done exactly that kind of balancing act throughout the middle ages.

    Now, I think that in the spirit of the synod, everyone will go back home and do exactly what he pleaseth. In that sense (and that alone) we can call it a success for the Holy Father’s strategy.

  35. Mr. Graves says:

    “Moreover, accusing other members of the Catholic church of heresy, sometimes subtly, sometimes openly, is serious business that can have serious consequences for those so accused. This is not what we expect of the New York Times.”

    Accusations absent proof, show trials, and mass executions: That’s what I expect of the NYT. The fact they didn’t squash Douthat’s very moderate opinion piece is the surprise.

  36. taffymycat says:

    Thomas Aquinas College is worthy of all donations..i have nieces going there. it is a haven of holiness and learning in the cesspool that is california. the late great ralph mcinerny was associated with it i understand he helped plan it or had input into the school and that says everything for me. how sad mcinerny had to see the once excellent catholic notre dame where he held sway do the slow dance to baltimore.

  37. ps200306 says:

    I’m as happy as the next man to see the liberals squirm. I see one of the signatories, Massimo Faggioli, slings accusations at orthodox bishops of extremism and sectarianism [1], but endorses a whiny letter complaining about accusations of heresy (which weren’t actually made). However, in the interest of accuracy, it’s incorrect to say “the libs wrote a letter” concerning Douthat’s October 26th piece on “Who Won the Synod” … the letter referred to his October 21st piece on “The Plot to Change Catholicism”.

    [1]: http://www.globalpulsemagazine.com/news/life-begins-at-50/2070

  38. Sonshine135 says:

    This is exactly what I thought would happen and why I have maintained the Peace of Christ while everyone implodes/explodes over this final document. The left wing of the church are beside themselves. They are correct about one thing though: No one has to accuse them of being heretics. They do a pretty good job of doing that themselves.

    I consider this somewhat laughable, because the ball really is still in their court. It is obvious that the Pope wants something more towards the Kasperite proposal. His remarks were excoriating towards the opposing side, and he has final say as to what becomes of the Synod’s recommendations. In the meantime, perhaps I need to go to Confession, because I am rather enjoying the multiple meltdowns- maybe a little too much.

  39. pmullane says:

    Wow, a priest of God using Gods mercy as a weapon to wield against Gods children.

    Thats a hot hot fire Fr Martin is playing with there.

  40. Mike says:

    In eternity, Christ has won. In time, the liberals are pressing forward. The difference can be measured by the number of souls that are in the balance in time, to whom we are charged — even as the liberals surge and gloat and bully — to preach the Truth by means of which, and only by means of which, we are saved from eternal damnation.

  41. Peter Stuart says:

    Looks like a professor from my alma mater Wheeling Jesuit University backed off.

  42. Jim Dorchak says:

    Note to self: do not pay any$$$$$ for any of my 5 children to attend any of these schools.

  43. benedetta says:

    The problem is not, as some are trumpeting to the generally anti Catholic msm, that Catholics object to the messengers. In fact, a great many of us respect and seek to consume and follow their messages on social media and are often inspired and even try to put their preaching into practice. Rather, it’s that the path they advocate for believers has been found to be unworkable and incoherent, and even has led to grave harm that one regrets. As well, there is no shortage there of divisive, partisan based all out war, with the cause justifying the methods which seem disproportionately to attack ordinary believers or energizing same, and lead to bitterness or discouragement in attempting to practice the faith over time. By way of example — on the one hand, this group which styles itself progressive states that as Catholics, a unifier, or an orthodox feature, is “the inviolability of conscience”. Fair enough — but then what gives as to that same group’s dictates that we must give over our conscience to an unthinking and unbelieving government — i.e., their support for HHS mandates, their support for expansion of abortions which under their political advocacy has never been rare, their demonizing of someone such as Kim Davis. I think that there is a large group of non bigoted believers who just cannot believe that a prioritizing of the Catholic conscience could also mean making it subservent to a government which is at least equally and probably more flawed in terms of the presence of human greed, evil motives, and human corruption than the Church. Many people cannot resolve the teaching that the Gospel counts for nothing but that at the same time it is trustworthy, inherently, and life giving. This is not because we “hate” the messengers but rather because we tried that and it was problematic for us. We found ourselves following that spiritual path to be worse off spiritually by the great criterions of discernment including the fruits of the Holy Spirit…even tempted to the ultimate despair. Similarly, this sort of progressivism takes as a basic tenet that we need not understand human life as sacred and beautiful and good as is, in its inception. They will not concur that all lives matter, and they even ridicule and berate people who pray at abortion clinics, who pray for mothers and their children, who do works of mercy to encourage human life. What sort of progressivism is this that one must at the outset pronounce tens of milions of lives lost to torture, greed, and the takeover of conscience by the state as a “good”, or condemn other believers merely for following their consciences and encourage others to do so? And it isn’t only that. This is a progressive camp who apparently believes it just fine that some who speak, just for speaking no less, on behalf of life should have themselves and their families menaced, for that alone, with property and life taken. I think a lot of us, whatever we may think of the progressives’ messages, whatever we may think of the progressives, whatever we may think of the times, whatever bitterness has been fostered through divisions in this country, a lot of us just cannot see a way forward for our communion through this path set up for us as a good and wholesome and salvific one for us and ours. It is not about hating but rather about listening, reasoning through, and ultimately on sound bases not being able to get on board with the totality of what appears to be advocated which includes totalitarian government which must necessarily dictate conscience, the punishing of the cause of the beauty and goodness of human life, the adoption of an undermining approach to the Gospel and denying believers the ability to pray it and believe without fear. I think those are more the issues. Even now, when hatred is being sown towards fellow believers in the msm just for having an opinion on the synod, a synod which was not within their realm of control, a fearsome scapegoating in the name of progress marches on.

  44. DFWShook says:

    I knew the “liberals” didn’t get what they wanted from the Synod when Fr. Martin started tweeting Saturday about the absence of religious women at the Synod. It was rather hilarious when one considers his Friday tweets invoking the Holy Spirit. “Liberal” Catholics love to invoke the Holy Spirit as an attempt to shut down orthodox objections to their reforms. I guess because the “liberals” didn’t get their way at the Synod, the Holy Spirit either wasn’t present or properly “discerned”.

  45. Lutgardis says:

    I receive daily reflections from The Diary of St. Faustina. Here’s the one for today:

    Meditation: My Heart was moved by great mercy towards you, My dearest child, when I saw you torn to shreds because of the great pain you suffered in repenting for your sins (Diary, 282).

    My Prayer Response: Lord Jesus, You promised to St. Faustina that the sinner has the greatest right to Your mercy (see Diary, 723, 1146, 1275). Have mercy, Lord, on all who strive to repent and reform.

    So yes, Fr. James Martin, let’s preach a merciful God and have that year of mercy. Like this, please.

  46. acricketchirps says:

    Stephanus83, one of my old pastors (RIP) used to say it stood for “Soft Job”.

  47. Joseph-Mary says:

    That list helps a parent know where NOT to send their child! And as Fr. Corapi would say in his strong voice days, some are educated into imbecility!

    And from the Jesuit Fr. Martin I guess all those who do not agree with his opinion or the opinion of immorality are all ‘haters’ and ‘bigots’. Okay, then, sign me up!

  48. cyrillist says:

    IMHO, the mere acceptance and flourishing of “synodality” ensures a long, drawn-out, frog-in-pot defeat for Catholic orthodoxy. The teaching of the Church on communion for divorced-and-“remarried” Catholics is unpalatable to modern culture, but no less set in stone for all that. It should never have been discussed at all. The “conservative” bishops at the Synod expressed satisfaction in being able to arrive at wording in the final document which skirted outright heresy but still achieved “consensus,” but as in Vatican II, the modernists’ ball got moved a few more yards down the field anyway, at least in people’s minds, which is where it counts. The only way a closing document would have reflected true orthodoxy would have been if it had boiled down to an unequivocal “We’re very sorry, but NO.” And then accepting either (1) the fact that the Synod had ended in deadlock, or (2) the inevitable subsequent firestorm if such a document had somehow prevailed.

    I think that a belated rejection of synodality was a prime motivation behind the online petition during the Synod urging orthodox bishops to walk out, but it was too little, too late. No one involved seriously considered the possibility of declining at the outset to take part in the modernists’ little dialogue games, and then calling them on it. Trouble is, nobody wants to look like a jerk, and nowadays, that’s what a refusal to discuss the possibility of fudging a non-negotiable doctrine makes you look like. Also, there was worry enough about the good guys who were being deliberately excluded from the event (e.g., Cardinal Burke) without considering the advisability of making the good guys’ ranks even smaller. As always – well played, modernists.

    I don’t think that the modernists are freaking out, in the sense of “losing it.” The noise they’re making is calculated to enhance the sense of the inevitability of their position, as in “the right side of history.” (And that’s a pet peeve of mine: Somebody has to start pushing back seriously on this “right side of history” nonsense. How about “the right side of morality?” Not to get all Godwin, but weren’t the National Socialists considered to be on the right side of history during their heyday?)

    I close with a golden catechetic aphorism which I once encountered, amazingly enough, in a collection of writings by members of the bogus satiric “Church of the Subgenius”:

    Q: What is the greatest enemy of truth? A: Consensus.

  49. Paulo says:

    A retelling of Genesis 3:1-8

    Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the Cardinal, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not drink the Kool-Aid?”

    And the Cardinal said to the serpent, “We may drink some Kool-Aid; but of the Relativism Kool-Aid, God has said, ‘You shall not drink it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

    Then the serpent said to the Cardinal, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you drink that Kool-Aid your eyes will be opened, and good and evil will be no more!”

    So when the Cardinal saw that the Kool-Aid appeared good for drink, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a drink desirable to make one liked by this world, he took a full Dixie cup and drank from it. He also gave to other Cardinals, and they drank too. Then the eyes of all of these Cardinals were opened, and they could not tell whether they were naked or not, because it did not matter anymore.

  50. Amy Giglio says:

    I’d like to know which it is with Progressive Catholics: Are the laity too stupid to understand big words and to have a well-formed opinion about Church matters or are we so smart that all control of the Church belongs in our hands? Or is it really that they think that we’re too stupid to notice that they really think we lay people are incredibly thick and we need to be led down the primrose progressive path by “their kind” of clergy and religious: those who will allow us to feel that we are in charge while they lead us to destruction by our noses?

  51. Chuck3030 says:

    Massimo Faggioli
    Katarina Schuth OSF
    Amy Levad
    Michael J. Hollerich
    Gerald Schlabach
    Sherry Jordon

    I am appalled, but not surprised to see so many of the professors at my alma mater on this list. The theology department at UST has been suspect at best for quite some time, and I can’t tell if they are ahead of the curve or not for the rest of the university (except for the Seminaries and the Philosophy and Catholic Studies departments)

  52. LarryW2LJ says:

    I would daresay that list of names contains a bunch of Catholics, that if Jesus Himself were to appear directly in front of them, and tell them, in no uncertain terms, exactly what He wanted, they would be saying, “But surely Lord, you can’t mean that. Let me explain things to You.”

  53. FXR2 says:

    Gratias says:
    28 October 2015 at 12:38 AM
    The first step is to realize one has a problem. We did lose and Pope Francis will work His will.

    Gratias, I am not worried about Pope Francis expressing “His” will! I am worried Pope Francis will express his will.
    Please pray for Pope Francis and His Church,

    fxr2

  54. NBW says:

    Great! A list of colleges and professors to avoid if you are looking for a good solid Catholic education!

  55. Dave N. says:

    I don’t really have any use for Ross Tinhat or Bill Donohue, but that list of signers made me actually laugh out loud. A veritable Catholic Who’s Who of the openly gay and their allies.

  56. Paulo says:

    FXR2: Pope Francis will do his will. Elisabetta Pique, I’m her biography of Pope Francis (Pope Francis: Life and Revolution: A Biography of Jorge Bergoglio; Loyola, 2014), paints a portrait of Bergoglio as an astute politician, of a man in charge. On a recent interview to Ann Curry (previously at NBC), during the Pope’s visit to the US, Eisabetta, who was, and probably still is, very close to him, talks about his revolution being “collegiality,” which she called a “new way, a more democratic way, of governing the church.” And she said the Pope wants “to put the church…close to the people”.

    Although echoes of this thirst for decentralization can be read in Evangelium Gaudium, it was made abundantly explicit in the pronouncement of October 17th (curiously, the day in which The Manifesto on the Improvement of the State Order was issued by Nicholas II, in 1905 Russia). The question then is not whether or not Francis will put the decision-making into the hands of the Episcopal Conferences; it is whether the language of the few ambiguous (relativist) paragraphs that came out of the synod are enough to justify this decentralization programme.

  57. Pingback: For the Love of Christ | The Catholic Sun

  58. Orphrey says:

    If I were to move to a new town, can you help me think of a few simple, unoffensive questions I might ask the pastor to quickly get a sense of whether he is theologically sound and if the parish is a good place to have children catechized? A few possible questions I’m considering:

    — Do you have girl altar servers?
    — What do you think I need to know about the devil?
    — How often is Eucharistic adoration?

    But I’m not sure these questions would give a quick indicator of the soundness of the priest and parish. I guess what I am looking for is a kind of simple “litmus test” to see if a pastor is faithful to the Magisterium. But perhaps such a litmus test is unfair, or impossible?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  59. philstudent13 says:

    In regard to the letter to the NYT, I saw a political science student post this parody on Facebook:

    To the New York Times:
    Every day on the editorial pages of your newspaper, the Times publishes pieces about politics by columnists. Aside from the fact that Charles Blow, David Brooks, Frank Bruni, Roger Cohen, Gail Collins, Ross Douthat, Maureen Dowd, Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof and Joe Nocera have no professional qualifications for writing on the subject, the problem with these columns is that their views on politics are unapologetically subject to politically partisan narratives that have very little to do with what Political Science really is. Moreover, accusing others of bad faith, ill will and destructive ideas, sometimes subtly, sometimes openly, is serious business that can have serious consequences for those so accused. This is not what we expect of the New York Times.

  60. TomG says:

    philstudent13: I wonder, did he really mean to leave out Paul Krugman?

  61. scotus says:

    I don’t really see this as liberals responding to their defeat at the Synod. I see it more as liberals responding to those who reject their interpretation of what the Synod decided.

  62. DanielG says:

    “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted,” said Someone a really long time ago. What a sickening bunch of “educated” fools. They’re just p.o.’d that Ross Douthat can run intellectual, and probably theological, circles around their prideful a–es. Douthat scored a direct hit with a bazooka; they shot back with a .22.

  63. iamlucky13 says:

    “Aside from the fact that Mr. Douthat has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject”

    I wonder how many of the signers of that letter to the editor have in the past labeled such a statement, if made by an orthodox Catholic, clericalism or legalism.

    “Moreover, accusing other members of the Catholic church of heresy, sometimes subtly, sometimes openly, is serious business that can have serious consequences for those so accused.”

    Of the many writings you’ve referred to as spittle-flecked, this one is among the more overt. The referenced article never used the word heresy, but they leap to criticize him for doing so, using language that suggests he’s released an inquisition upon them that practically already has them tied to the stake with the kindling crackling at their feet.

    Of course, you’re generally pretty safe against being tried and sanctioned, much less executed for heresy if you simply avoid promoting heresy. From that perspective, the severity of their reaction to Mr. Douthat’s alleged accusations of heresy comes across as self-incriminating. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks!”

  64. THREEHEARTS says:

    John the Mad you are a little of tune when you mention baptized catholics. No one can stop a CONFIRMED Catholic, a soldier of Christ from defending the Church unless he has been condemned by the Church officially

  65. benedetta says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is my hunch that the Holy Father isn’t really that into how his words and actions play out in American power politics and on talking head soapboxes including social media, blogs, articles, and dailies. My sense is that he aims to bestow what good he manages to accomplish in this strange world upon the hidden life that believers live every day. And so, even if we never read any of these folks’ editorials or twitter feeds, and some of us never click, what Pope Francis preaches, does and says really tends to come in handy when or wherever two or three are gathered in the Lord’s name, in encouraging one another right where we are, in the quiet and mundane places where lives are lived. I think at the end of the day that this is far more the sort of impact he seeks and would prioritize and be satisfied with. The world tempts him to exercise and wield a power according to certain expectations and paradigms that sells headlines, garners votes, pushes agendas forward, articulates from the place of power politics that is kind of soul stripping and dehumanizing for those who partake, and one can surely read and hear the frustration in those corridors of power, some highlighted here, who complain that he did not in fact take the bait. That he disappointed in those respects does not finally mean that his work is a waste, or of no utility, lacks value, fails to energize, inspire, move forward and encourage. Far from it.

  66. Maineman1 says:

    As long as the Western Church remains possessed by the demonic Spirit of Vatican 2, she will continue on her trajectory of spectacular collapse. These two Synods were gravely unnecessary and a cause for scandal.

  67. Paulo says:

    Benedetta: thank you for your posts, I always find that what you write comes from the deep of your heart. I don’t write very often, but these days I happen to have some extra time in my hands, so I first wanted to get this out of my chest. So if I engage you here, it is not coming from someone who has not read you before, but from someone who does not opine often.

    I do think that you are absolutely right: my impression of, and my readings about, Pope Francis inform me of someone who is deeply, deeply concerned with “the other”, particularly the less fortunate, and those who he refers to as “in the periphery”. I, personally, have no doubt about that; I even bet that many, many other folks, here and elsewhere, share the same thinking. Nevertheless, I think the issue that has polarized folks is not so much whether he “took the bait” or the content of the message; no, rather, the issue is the method.

    It seems, and this is just a thesis, although supported by a lot of evidence out there, that Pope Francis, in his heart and through his actions, wants the church to be close to the people, to our suffering, to our longings. His “administrative” approach to this is decentralization, ultimately leaving to the local pastors, who should be “smelling like the sheep”, how to best deal with “the hidden life that believers live every day”. Of course, the longings of someone in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) will be very different from someone in Frankfurt (Germany), and the manner you deal with these will differ. So far, nothing new. But, what if the Frankfurt solution is so radically different from the Malabo solution with respect to one of our many miseries, that faith lived by these two groups is then not exactly the same? Let’s say, if bishops in Frankfurt, after discernment and accompaniment, come to the conclusion that some (or all) faithful in Frankfurt are free to fornicate and receive communion, but the bishops at Malabo say otherwise to their flock?

    That is the core of the issue: the revolutionary mind is not accountable to the living; the revolutionary mind is accountable to some utopic distant future, to history itself (Christ Himself warned us to “have no care about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself”). If the revolution is the means and the end, all bets are off, and confusion will reign. Guess who loves confusion…

  68. Paulo says:

    Benedetta: thank you for your posts, I always find that what you write comes from the deep of your heart. I don’t write very often, but these days I happen to have some extra time in my hands, so I first wanted to get this out of my chest. So if I engage you here, it is not coming from someone who has not read you before, but from someone who does not opine often.

    I do think that you are absolutely right: my impression of, and my readings about, Pope Francis inform me of someone who is deeply, deeply concerned with “the other”, particularly the less fortunate, and those who he refers to as “in the periphery”. I, personally, have no doubt about that; I even bet that many, many other folks, here and elsewhere, share the same thinking. Nevertheless, I think the issue that has polarized folks is not so much whether he “took the bait” or the content of the message; no, rather, the issue is the method.

    It seems, and this is just a thesis, although supported by a lot of evidence out there, that Pope Francis, in his heart and through his actions, wants the church to be close to the people, to our suffering, to our longings. His “administrative” approach to this is decentralization, ultimately leaving to the local pastors, who should be “smelling like the sheep”, how to best deal with “the hidden life that believers live every day”. Of course, the longings of someone in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) will be very different from someone in Frankfurt (Germany), and the manner you deal with these will differ. So far, nothing new. But, what if the Frankfurt solution is so radically different from the Malabo solution with respect to one of our many miseries, that faith lived by these two groups is then not exactly the same? Let’s say, if bishops in Frankfurt, after discernment and accompaniment, come to the conclusion that some (or all) faithful in Frankfurt are free to fornicate and receive communion, but the bishops at Malabo say otherwise to their flock?

    That is the core of the issue: the revolutionary mind is not accountable to the living; the revolutionary mind is accountable to some utopic distant future, to history itself (Christ Himself warned us to “have no care about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself”). If the revolution is the means and the end, all bets are off, and confusion will reign. Guess who loves confusion…

  69. Paulo says:

    Sorry! No idea why my previous post appears twice…

  70. benedetta says:

    Paulo, Yes, I understand that people are rightly concerned about the notion of “decentralization” and what that means for how doctrine is applied. I don’t doubt that this matters and has a real impact on the day to day lives of believers wherever situated. I don’t have any solutions or ideas on that and am not qualified to speak to which approach in the life of the Church is the superior one when it comes to our salvation. But to my mind one can have the appearance or support of a more “centralized” way of doing things and still what happens in one locality can be far different from another. For example, during the time of St. John Paul II — or Pope Paul the VI for that matter — certainly “on the ground” in many places looked very different doctrinally than what the Popes were saying, and teaching, with reason and explanations, as what was best for us. It seems to me that this is a tension the Church must dwell in perennially. I will say as to your concern that while there may be these steps showing decentralization, at the same time the themes of Pope Francis do not seem to attempt to normalize teaching from locality to locality which are at odds as being a good or desirable or something to effectuate or work toward. The concept of synodal walking together does not favor such an interpretation, of chaos but rather that there is a direction and a place where we and our Bishops are heading, and that there is such a thing as going the wrong way, going in the wrong direction.

    Be all that as it may I still stand by my sense that the Holy Father is not really looking in his actions for a hearing in the court of public opinion, first and foremost, as if that even in our times is a fair one which some may like us to believe, contrary to the evidence. Here’s another radical thought: perhaps it does not really ultimately matter that much what the elites in the media think of what he does and says, even when they wield influence. Given that the system is rigged (sorry for using that word) and often runs contrary to the truth or accuracy on matters of faith, particularly Catholicism, maybe the errors featured through that means of activism and organizing are, though gross, not really particularly lasting or powerful in the eternal sense. They will simply not have effect, in ultimate terms. That to me doesn’t mean we do nothing to counter those currents, that we neglect our responsibilities, no, it’s to the contrary of that — but it should energize those areas in which we work and give us hope to realize that there is a certain power there, sure, but it’s not a power that decides what is of ultimate importance. We should have confidence.

    Practices and teachings which are not coherent tend not to create peace, joy, love, caritas, but instead, disorder, anger, bitterness, anxiety, rivalries, violence. Here is another one that confuses: the elites in the media scorn the notion that there is a “culture war”. They mock the idea mercilessly. According to them, St. John Paul II was very wrong when he named what was operative at least to a great extent in the Western Church as the culture of death and its insidious manifestations. To their mind, secular, the more the better, is only a good, something encouraging of true freedoms. Yet, if that is true, then why do they lend their very obvious, loud, and public support to the encroaching of government upon ordinary conscience? It is as if they would substitute, as the movement that informs conscience, the government’s arbitrary and power based way of thinking as just fine. Now we’re talking something that is beyond the mere “neutral” secular culture which is blessed as fine and good just as is without criticism. I would note here also that in other Westernized cultures one sees a bit less of the big rubber stamp affirmation of one powerful current without discernment or consideration as being the best way for us to go and as guide for our conscience — for instance, without regard for politics or party affiliation, in other countries, mothers and teachers may advocate without fear of shame or harassment for the well being, the health really, of children, by challenging some but not all of the currents in “the culture” whereas here even the mainstream media elites in the Church won’t hear of that for fear of being somehow sensed as being in cahoots with St JPII. So I think the issue is quite a bit more complicated than at first blush.

  71. germangreek says:

    “Likewise there must be heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made known.”

    So, how long before the modern cult of compassion and tolerance is recognized for the heresy it is?

  72. Alanmac says:

    In the Jesuit magazine “America”, I referenced this article as worthy of readers’ note as Fr James Martin has a somewhat tangential defence of his recent shenanigans.