UPDATED: What Did The Synod Really Say? Some analysis of the Final Report.

I’ve added more feedback.

_____

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED Published on: Oct 25, 2015 @ 18:10

As I mentioned in an earlier post, since I have been on pilgrimage, I’ve tried to be in as much of a Synod Free Zone as possible.

However, I am gifted with some pretty good sources who are following everything closely.

I’ve been brought up to date.

I will hereunder share an edited version of something I got via email. It is reliable. For now I will leave him in the safe shadows of anonymity but hereby send public thanks for his work.

Here we go…

>First, my source supplies his own (accurate) rendering into English of the controversial paragraphs of the Final Report. Here it is:

Synod of Bishops, Final Report, 24 October 2015

84 The baptized who are civilly divorced and remarried should be more integrated into Christian communities in different possible ways, avoiding thereby every occasion of scandal. The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral accompaniment, so that they not only know that they belong to the Body of Christ, which is the Church, but they can also have a joyous and fruitful experience of it. They are baptized, they are brothers and sister, the Holy Spirit bestows upon them gifts and charisms for the good of all. Their participation can be expressed in different ecclesial services: it is therefore necessary to discern which forms of exclusion that are currently in practice in the areas of liturgical, pastoral, educative, and official responsibilities can be eliminated. These individuals not only must not feel themselves to be excommunicated, they should be able to live and grow as living members of the Church, feeling Her as a mother who accompanies them always, who cares for them with affection and encourages them along the way of life and the Gospel. This integration is necessary also for the care and Christian education of their children who should be considered the most important of all. For the Christian community, taking care of these individuals is not a weakening of their faith and of the witness of the indissolubility of marriage; rather, the Church expresses its charity in just this care.

85. St John Paul II offered a comprehensive criterion that remains the basis for the assessment (valutazione) of these situations [civilly divorced and remarried Catholics]. “Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.” (Familiaris Consortio, 84). It is therefore the responsibility of priests to accompany such persons on the way of discernment according to the teaching of the Church and the directives (orientamenti) of the Bishop. In this process it will be useful to make an examination of conscience through moments of reflection and repentance. The divorced and remarried should ask themselves how they behaved toward their children when their marriage entered a crisis; if there have been efforts at reconciliation; what is the situation of the abandoned partner; what are the consequences of the new relationship on the rest of the family and on the community of the faithful; what example this new relationship offers the young persons who must prepare for matrimony. A sincere reflection can strengthen confidence in the mercy of God that is not denied to anyone.

Furthermore, it cannot be denied that in certain circumstances “the imputability and responsibility of an action can be diminished or nullified” (CCC 1735) on account of diverse constraints (condizionamenti). As a consequence, the judgment about an objective situation must not be carried over to a judgment about “subjective imputability” (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration of 24 June 2000, n. 2a). In defined circumstances people experience great difficulty in acting in a different way. For this reason, in addition to upholding a general norm, it is necessary to recognize that the responsibility with respect to certain defined actions or decisions is not the same in all cases. Pastoral discernment, in addition to taking into account the rightly formed conscience of individuals, must also take these situations into account. Moreover, the consequences of actions carried out are not necessarily the same in all cases.

86. The pathway of accompaniment and discernment leads these faithful to conscientiously reflect on their situation before God. A conversation with a priest, in the internal forum, leads to the formation of correct judgment concerning that which bars the possibility of a fuller participation in the life of the Church and on those steps that may favor it and enable it to grow. Given that there is no graduality in the law (cf. Familiaris Consortio 34), this discernment can never be detached from the exigencies of truth and the charity of the Gospel proposed by the Church. In order that this may happen, the necessary conditions of humility, confidentiality, love for the Church and its teachings must be guaranteed in the sincere search for the will of God and in the desire to arrive at a more perfect response to it.

That’s my source’s translation of the controversial paragraphs.  Anything wrong?  See anything?

Now for some of his edited analysis (which right now I can’t much improve on, but I can add emphases and comments):

The Synod Final Report was approved in its entirely by a “qualified majority” (2/3 of the voting members of the Synod).

I have translated into English Sections 84-86 which concern the pastoral care of the civilly divorced and remarried. A little while ago, Edward Pentin tweeted that these sections just squeaked by with the necessary two-thirds majority. [NB] Pentin added that without the 45 members of the Synod personally appointed by the Pope these sections would not have received the qualified majority. This means that it was the Pope’s personal appointees who secured the necessary margin of victory.

When you look at my translation (done quickly), you will see that I have highlighted certain words and sentences in yellow. [I made those GREEN to be legible.] These are the words and phrases that in my view the German-led liberals wanted. The terms and phrases highlighted in blue represent those terms that I think represent the conservatives. So you’ll see just how much of these sections I think came from the Germans and their allies.

If you look at #85 you will see a block quotation from Familiaris consortio 84 that states that not every party in a divorce is as guilty for it as are other parties may be. This quote suggests that pastors should make distinctions concerning the relative culpability of the civilly divorced and remarried. [NB] HOWEVER, this section left out that part of FC 84 which stated that those who are civilly divorced and remarried must practice sexual continence in order to be admitted to the sacraments of penance and Holy Communion. Again, that part of FC 84 was excluded from #85 of the Final Report.

EWTN reported that the Americans argued that the omitted section should be included, but it wasn’t added in the end.

So what?

[IF] If the Pope decides to publish this section of the Final Report in whatever document he issues, and if he, too, leaves out that section of FC 84 that bars civilly divorced and remarried from Communion, then this section will become magisterial teaching. [Get it?] Will that mean that the civilly divorced and remarried can be admitted to Holy Communion without promising to live “as brother and sister”? In my view, …without the benefit of much time for reflection, it could very well mean that. IN OTHER WORDS the Kasper Proposal has come into the Final Report through the back door.

Thus endeth the analysis.

Moderation queue is on.

UPDATE: 26 Oct 11:00 AM ROME (CET)

From a different friend who is a canonist.  I’ll leave his name out of this for now:

What Did The Synod Really Say? Some analysis of the Final Report. 

“[IF] If the Pope decides to publish this section of the Final Report in whatever document he issues, and if he, too, leaves out that section of FC 84 that bars civilly divorced and remarried from Communion, then this section will become magisterial teaching. [Get it?] Will that mean that the civilly divorced and remarried can be admitted to Holy Communion without promising to live “as brother and sister”? In my view, …without the benefit of much time for reflection, it could very well mean that. IN OTHER WORDS the Kasper Proposal has come into the Final Report through the back door.”

Concedo: you could give a Kasperian interpretation of this document.

Distinguo: a Kasperian interpretation of this document does not mean that the document itself supports the Kasper Proposal.

Of course Cardinal Kasper also interprets the Scriptures in an “interesting” way to support his thesis.

That does not mean that Scriptures support the Kasper Proposal. 

And a  Kasperian interpretation of this document cannot become a “Magisterial” teaching when the Kasper Proposal is clearly not guided by the Holy Spirit – because

1.       It would be in contradiction to the Teaching of Christ on the Indissolubility of Marriage.

2.       It would be in contradiction to the Teaching of the Council of Trent on the Indissolubility of Marriage.

3.       It would be in contradiction to the Teaching of St John Paul II on the Indissolubility of Marriage.

4.       It would be in contradiction to Sacred Tradition on the Indissolubility of Marriage.

The Pope cannot make a Magisterial declaration that is clearly false. He cannot solemnly define that 1 + 1 + 3.  But that is what he is trying to do. It is totally illogical and crazy.

He would be very unwise to plunge half the Church into schism.

I think even he realises this – which is why he threw his toys out of the pram again the other day.

Hopefully that the letter of the 13 Cardinals will have given him a wake-up call.

If Pope Francis does issue false doctrine, please God the next Pope will revoke the false teaching.

 I think that the whole of this document needs a Hermeneutic of Continuity – especially as it claims to be building on the Magisterium of Vatican II, Paul VI, John Paul II & Benedict XVI. 

And furthermore in Chapter II the second section is entitled “Indissolubilita e fecondita dell’unione sponsale” begins “I’irrevocabile fedelta di Dio all’alleanza e il fondamento dell’indisolubilita del matrimonio.” (48)

A pity Ed Peters was not part of the Synod to introduce some logic.  [Amen.]

 

https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/lets-understand-whats-at-stake/

 

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80 Responses to UPDATED: What Did The Synod Really Say? Some analysis of the Final Report.

  1. jfk03 says:

    The bottom line is that this verbiage is so vague, it will be subject to local interpretations. The Germans have won. It will be up to each of us to seek out faithful priests and bishops, and to avoid those who do violence to the words of Christ. Anathema sit. A fine kettle of fish.

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    A number of thoughts come to mind as the Synod has come to the brink of its terminus. I say that because it isn’t over until Pope Francis writes his conclusions – if they have not been written, at least in substance, already.
    Remember “Why did God make me?” God made me to know love and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him in Heaven. (Baltimore Catechism)
    Remember “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
    Remember, from Vatican I (1869-70), which defined the doctrine of papal infallibility – “The Holy Spirit was not given to the Roman Pontiffs so that they might disclose new doctrine, but so that they might guard and set forth the Deposit of Faith handed down from the Apostles. (Dogmatic Constitution “Pastor aeternus”)
    Remember, the New York Times headline today, “Amid Splits, Catholic Bishops Crack Open Door on Divorce.”
    Remember from the Fox News ticker tape today, “…the Synod “Fathers” approved an important new direction for the Catholic Church in its treatment of the divorced/remarried taking up Pope Francis’ call for a less judgmental church. The document opens up the door for a case by case exceptions and sights the role of spiritual direction and discernment.
    No matter what was said in the report just issued, the secular materialists in the hierarchy walk away with a “win.” Surely Pope Francis could cause a mighty stir by boldly correcting the media, admonishing the faithful and setting the record straight. No such thing will happen. At all cost, ambiguity must be maintained until it is safe to go the full route.
    All those who respond to this abomination with Pollyanna comportment, with papal idolatry as a substitute for faithfulness to authentic doctrine on the Petrine office, and the person of Jesus Christ, share in the responsibility for this.
    Secular materialism appears not only to steer the media – even the evil conservative Fox News, but the academy, mainline protestantism, but now are ever so much closer to abducting the Bride of Christ.
    Oremus

  3. MikeM says:

    Trying to process what those sections mean, it seems to me that there’s a strange logical error in it… It tells us that it’s talking about “[t]he baptized who are civilly divorced and remarried.” It then fails to distinguish between the problems associated with the divorce and those of the second “marriage.” What happened with the first marriage is one issue, and the pretending at a second one is a somewhat different issue.

    When it says “Furthermore, it cannot be denied that in certain circumstances ‘the imputability and responsibility of an action can be diminished or nullified’ (CCC 1735) on account of diverse constraints,” that is obvious, necessary to recognize, and, from what I’ve seen, already nearly universally acknowledged, when it comes to the circumstances of the separation in the first marriage. I have not seen Catholics of any stripe suggesting that one is evil for getting away from an abusive spouse. But, I’m having difficulty thinking of the situation where one’s moral responsibility for cohabiting and sleeping with a partner to whom they are not validly married would be “nullified.” Would that ever be the case, unless we’re calling it a “remarriage” when someone is imprisoned and raped (in which case, we would hopefully play a more helpful role than simply telling the victim that she or he is not culpable)?

    With regards to the hypothetical Papal document mimicking the Synod Report’s omissions from FC 84, wouldn’t it be a fairer reading of Church teaching to assume that FC 84 stands in its entirety absent any specific statement that contradicts it? A number of left leaning figures, including Fr. James Martin, are already reading it as if it would make the unquoted portions of FC 84 a dead letter, but I don’t see why it would… Unless it hinges on how one chooses to interpret the phrase “comprehensive criterion.”

  4. The Astronomer says:

    Hmmm…WWMDS?

    (What Would Michael Davies Say?)

    Not being lighthearted, but making a serious point. The late Mr. Davies often spoke of the ambiguous wording of the documents of Vatican 2 as Modernist ‘time bombs….’ It would appear that history does have a way of repeating for those who choose to either ignore it or hope for it in their interpretation of the Synod of Bishops, Final Report.

  5. J_Cathelineau says:

    Father Z, on the issue of the last paragraph.
    How can it be magisterial if it goes against all the magisterium, and even against dogmatic definitions? (as far as I understand) It even goes against the same document from where is extracted!
    I just don´t get it. And I will not accept it in case it happens. Will I be in schism in that case?

  6. Didacus says:

    Even though the analysis seems sadly right, is it that simple that if the Pope includes section 85 [i]tout court[/i] he will be leaving out, in terms of Magisterium, the rest of [i]Familiaris Consortio[/i]? Unless one reads the Magisterium with a hermeneutic of rupture, continuity implies that whatever is left out by Pope Francis should be complemented by what has been the stable teaching of the Church.

  7. Pingback: What Did The Synod Really Say? Some analysis of the Final Report. |

  8. chris_R says:

    I have to agree that the Germans won through the back door. All that was needed was clever ambiguity so everything will be severely localized and up to the subjective opinions of local sees. They might as well shut down the marriage tribunals at this point — any excuse can be given for anything — people in some areas will be told that it’s not necessary anymore to seek a tribunal. This makes things very, very hard when it comes to being an ambassador for the Faith when it comes to marriage. Prior to this, I used to be able to clearly point to Church defending marriage, even in her darkest moments and when push came to shove, but no more for now She seemingly has cracked to door to divorce. I wonder if a “soft schism” will occur as now one will have to seek faithful priests and bishops. Pray, fast, pray some more, fast all the more. Pray the Rosary!

  9. tpodonnell says:

    If published … seems to me you can’t magisterially eliminate a prior teaching simply by not mentioning it. De facto, sure. But not de jure. I don’t think it will “break the Church” if this is considered Magisterial.

  10. CharlesG says:

    I would agree that while the language could be interpreted as orthodox and not overturning the bright line rule of Familiaris consortio, I think the Germans will be able to drive an army of Panzers through its ambiguity, and Our Lord’s clear teaching may become a dead letter.

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    How pathetic is it that the bishops have a hard time saying as a body that Catholics (whether previously civilly divorced has, in one sense, little bearing on it) living in ANY civil marriage that is unambiguously NOT a valid marriage, must be continent?

    I also find it pathetic that they are so reluctant to acknowledge that the right counsel for sexual relationships that are not marriages is generally to separate and live chastely. Some such relationships could become marriages, and separating and living chastely, together with counsel from a priest, can help the parties to rightly discern that.

  12. Kerry says:

    If divorced and remarried Catholic laity are deceived by omission, how culpable are we? And if believing something to be true which is not true, and then acting on it, commit the sin of adultery, what then? I think one should presume the maxim, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”, and of course the great ignorance evaporator must be the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Have they copies in Germany on wonders?
    (I am in the divorced/remarried conundrum camp, and will trust the local Archdiocese before ever throwing in with another Marx.)

  13. LeeF says:

    “if he, too, leaves out that section of FC 84 that bars civilly divorced and remarried from Communion, then this section will become magisterial teaching.”

    Question re magisterial teaching: if the HF does leave out that section of FC84, then does that section cease itself to be magisterial teaching without an explicit statement to the effect that the new document revises and replaces portions of FC not therein included?

  14. Sonshine135 says:

    I don’t interpret the omission of FC84 in that way. Again, perhaps I’m being naive, but I don’t think the omission makes FC84 any less valid. As I stated before though, I think everyone interprets it the way they want to, which they would do anyway.

  15. HighMass says:

    Sounds like the 196’s and there after re: interpretations…..and we all know how that has played out.

    Really makes one wonder……

  16. zama202 says:

    This is the same ambiguous wording that we have seen since the documents issued by V2. Ambiguous wording is Satan’s chosen tool to cause the auto destruction of the Church

    We are in the desert with Athanasius. Stay close to solid priests. Instead of donating to “catholic” institutions and “catholic: schools, give as generously as possible to Traditional Catholic Orders and Traditional Catholic Monasteries.

    Perhaps these men will be the new Jesuits and the new Cluny reformers.

    And pray the Rosary.

    Charles

  17. LeeF says:

    One other thought is that as has been discussed before, the root of this problem is in formation of those to be married. Using the HF’s own off the cuff speculative figure of 50% of marriages being invalid, the logical conclusion is that most parishes should turn away 50% of those seeking to be married. And possibly recommend that they be married civilly only as opposed to being married in the Catholic Church or a Protestant church. A lot of parents wouldn’t like that, but they are the ones who contributed to the failure of their children to be properly formed in the Faith.

  18. Charles E Flynn says:

    Brilliant synod comic relief from Amy Welborn (it helps to be familiar with “Breaking Bad”):

    #Synod2015: It’s Tight.

    Do not miss the “Mad Men” version for Week 3, at the top of the page.

  19. tufty says:

    “As a consequence, the judgment about an objective situation must not be carried over to a judgment about ‘subjective imputability’.” But in fact, judging “subjective imputability” is exactly what they are advocating.

    Since only God can judge “subjective imputability,” objective adherence to the natural law and “God’s revealed will,” is the basis for all truly ethical decisions. The end never justifies the means. There are actions which, regardless of the circumstances, are always immoral. There is absolute Truth. Today is the Feast of Christ the King on the Traditional Calendar. This is the Gospel I heard today: “For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.”

    The recommendations of the Synod are based on situation ethics, a philosophy devised by an Anglican, which was formally condemned by Pope Pius XII in 1956.

  20. MrTipsNZ says:

    I disagree with the analysis of your esteemed source, yet am very grateful for his information.

    First, if what is proposed from synod section 85 and FC 84 trevails as proposed, then you are left with two magisterial documents which could be interpreted differently. But, only one specifically mentions effects upon receipt of penance and communion specifically. One must remember silence is just that – but then we could have another synod.

    Somebody just needs to call the German Bishops out for what they are and hammer home the point. Maybe another German, someone very close to God perhaps……….

  21. Ferde Rombola says:

    “The Final Report…leaves out that section of FC 84 that bars civilly divorced and remarried from Communion, then this section will become magisterial teaching.”

    Isn’t FC magisterial teaching?

    [Sure it is, but it can be greatly weakened by omission or when it is quoted only indirectly via some new document. These days, I’m afraid, hardly anyone looks at the official documents (in AAS) and few people check the notes.]

  22. Subdeacon Joseph K. says:

    Doesn’t this create another problem with the divorced/remarried couple? In the case where they don’t get a declaration of nulity of the first marriage, AND they are NOT required to live “as brother and sister,” then they must have a second sacramental wedding, right? How can that be done if the first wedding was in the context of a mass where one or both of the new partners received communion with someone else?

  23. Pingback: Fr. Z confirms The Catholic Legate’s Take | The Catholic Legate

  24. Bea says:

    Why am I not surprised that “they” who have put man’s logic to do as man wants above God’s Teachings to do what God wants, have ultimately gotten their way.
    (my comments followed in parenthesis)

    #84
    ” avoiding thereby every occasion of scandal.”
    (scandal cannot be avoided when you see communicants and priests receiving and distributing the Very Body and Blood of Our Lord which will ultimately be against their own judgement as stated by St. Paul 1 Cor 1:27-29)

    “it is therefore necessary to discern which forms of exclusion that are currently in practice in the areas of liturgical, pastoral, educative, and official responsibilities can be eliminated. ”
    (Of course the exclusion they are aiming at is reception of the Body and Blood of Our Lord /same reason as above” St. Paul to Cor 1:27-29″)

    “For the Christian community, taking care of these individuals is not a weakening of their faith and of the witness of the indissolubility of marriage; rather, the Church expresses its charity in just this care.”
    (It is not charity to let people continue to live in sin, thereby putting their immortal souls in danger. This WILL weaken people’s Faith and lead them to believe that marriage IS dissoluble. It will always have this effect, no matter what “spin” they put on it,)

    #85
    “Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, ”
    (upbringing? In what sense? In the sense of the world? Certainly it will not teach their children that the spiritual life is of a higher value. A heroic parent can teach them that God’s Commandments have a greater value, that the “new” step-parent has the same standing as the real parent, that the commitment of the parent that is raising the children still stands, teaching them to honor both parents, the absent one as well as the one raising them.)
    “A sincere reflection can strengthen confidence in the mercy of God that is not denied to anyone.”
    (Not denied to a REPENTANT sinner. What part of “repentance” do they not understand? God granted mercy, yes, but he told the adulterous woman “do this sin no more”)

  25. Aquinas Gal says:

    Question: Since what John Paul taught in FC is already magisterial teaching, if Pope Francis simply omits it, that still can’t overturn what John Paul said, right? Am I missing something here?

  26. FXR2 says:

    Father,
    Nothing has changed. This is in the hands of the Holy Father. We should all pray!

    fxr2

  27. Auggie says:

    Many people seem to be suffering from PTSD.
    Post Traumatic Synod Disorder.

  28. kiwiinamerica says:

    Hang on a mo…………you say that if the Pope omits “that section of FC 84 that bars civilly divorced and remarried from Communion, then this section will become magisterial teaching”. Since when?

    You’re telling us that FC can simply be ignored or overruled? You’re telling us that a current magisterium can contradict a previous magisterium? FC is clear and unambiguous. You’re telling us that Francis can simply make an end run around it?

  29. CradleRevert says:

    What a mess. This can only be cleaned up by the Holy Father. I don’t expect this pontificate to do so, so we need to start praying for the next conclave now, whenever it may come.

  30. Ariseyedead says:

    Even though I’m a married father of eight children, I am a man and a Catholic, and though it’s quite a long shot, I could be elected the next pope. And if I am, I will take great relish in nullifying all the official acts of my predecessor. It’s been done before!! :-)

  31. Joe in Canada says:

    I guess the theologians will explain how a person can be in an ongoing state of mortal sin and still receive gifts and charisms from the Holy Spirit.

  32. McCall1981 says:

    America Magazine is already spinning by deliberately misquoting the Synod’s final document in this article.

    Theyre translation says: “It is therefore the task of priests to accompany the interested persons on the path of discernment according to the orientations of the bishop.” Notice theyve left out the phrase “according to the teachings of the Church”

    http://americamagazine.org/content/dispatches/synod-approves-final-document-leaves-door-open-pope-move-forward-key-issues

  33. thomas tucker says:

    I guess I know longer understand what “magisterial teaching” means. Apparently, what was magisterial teaching under JPII may not be magisterial teaching under Francis. What does one do with that?

  34. JMody says:

    If things proceed as your source forecasts, then we will have a scenario where one Pope (St JP2) wrote that this situation requires abstinence on the part of the civilly-remarried, and the later Pope writes that this situation requires careful consideration by the pastor and bishop — but does not directly say that the door to Communion is opened to the civilly-remarried. This is the appeal to ambiguity that @Benedict Joseph describes, above.
    We seem on a course for Scylla and Charybdis, but the Holy Spirit will not let us sink the Barque of Peter. Pray for the Pope, and especially for the many liberal bishops who will now be tempted to lead souls astray out of misguided “tolerance”.

  35. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    “If the Pope decides to publish this section of the Final Report in whatever document he issues, and if he, too, leaves out that section of FC 84 that bars civilly divorced and remarried from Communion, then this section will become magisterial teaching.”

    FALSE. Actual magisterial teaching cannot cease to be magisterial teaching merely because some dishonest person, in some subsequent document, suppresses some portion of it.

    [Oh yah? You just watch which text gets quoted and which doesn’t.]

  36. Papabile says:

    That it becomes magisterial, should not change the fact that other magisterial teaching still applies. They can say what they want, but to try to get around the divine positive law that Christ spake directly from his mouth only has its origins in one place.

  37. gracie says:

    ” . . . then this section will become magisterial teaching”.

    Which means exactly what? Presumably, there are different levels of magisterial teaching? Or is all of it considered infallible? Is Familiaris Consortio magisterial teaching? Is that considered infallible? If so, what happens when an irresistible m. t. meets an immovable m. t.? Something’s gotta give, right?

  38. r7blue1pink says:

    “leaves out that section of FC 84 that bars civilly divorced and remarried from Communion, then this section will become magisterial teaching.”

    I dont quite understand how you can change the previous teaching. What does that mean if the magesterium which already pronounced it was illicit, to now pronounce it as licit. That cant change and it cant be contradictory, or so I thought.

    If that is the case and they DO change it, doesnt the CDF have the duty and obligation to make the clarification that in fact it CAN NOT be changed?

    Im not understanding this…. :/

  39. iamlucky13 says:

    If the Pope decides to publish this section of the Final Report in whatever document he issues, and if he, too, leaves out that section of FC 84 that bars civilly divorced and remarried from Communion, then this section will become magisterial teaching. [Get it?] Will that mean that the civilly divorced and remarried can be admitted to Holy Communion without promising to live “as brother and sister”?

    If the Pope’s conclusion or exhortation does not explicitly address Communion for the divorced and remarried, but Familiaris Consortio does, then how does that leave us in any other situation than that Familiaris Consortio holds the magisterial conclusion on the specific question of Communion for the divorced and remarried?

    It would be absurd to conclude that in saying nothing that overrode Pope John Paul II’s conclusions, Pope Francis actually was overriding them.

    That does not make the purported Synod’s paragraph 85 encouraging…not with so much external influence trying to convince Catholics to treat divorce lightly. We all need the consistent reiteration, especially of the most challenging teachings, and especially with major news outlets like the New York Times writing headlines that suggest divorce is now ok (with the article itself being technically more accurate, but not significantly more clear).

  40. tioedong says:

    “Their participation can be expressed in different ecclesial services.”

    does this mean that we will have known divorcees working as Eucharistic ministers? Or does it mean that when a Catholic institution in the US fires their married openly gay teacher etc. that the courts will say: Ah, but the Pope said it was okay, so you have no legal reason to fire them or refuse to hire them?

    My aunt was divorced and attended daily mass for 40 years before she finally was told to check if she qualified for an annulment from her first alcoholic husband. (She did, but since he died she didn’t need it).

    Similarly, in Africa, if polygamist wanted to be baptized, the priests often advised that he refrain from baptism,, which would require him to divorce the second wife who would then have no way to support herself. Instead, he would be told to attend mass and obey the commandments, and get his children educated to be baptized when they reached the age of reason. Several of our best priests and sisters came from such pious families.

    Ah, but now such humble piety has been replaced with “I WANT IT SO HOW DARE YOU SAY NO”.
    S

  41. Pingback: PopeWatch: Familiaris consortio | The American CatholicThe American Catholic

  42. DeGaulle says:

    Father Z, my over-the-top rant from the other day, from which you kindly talked me down, may not have been too far out after all. Whither now the sacrament of confession and such “out-of-date” doctrines as having a firm purpose of amendment? If this sin, why not others, indeed all others?

    This is all hanging on a thread and comes down to Pope Francis himself, now.

    [It always did. The Synod doesn’t have the ability to order pizza, much less teach authoritatively.]

  43. rwj says:

    Oh how I pray for the intercession of Pope St. John Paul II! [Good idea.] Though, to me, I don’t see how silence on a clear precept of the Church = the abrogation of the precept. However we can be sure that not a few bishops and priests will see it that way– look at how can. 915 is followed right now for those in a public state of grave sin.

    All of this hubbub about the reception/denial of Holy Communion has confounded the simple rule of thumb concerning the reception of the Holy Eucharist: can I really stand in the presence of God now, and for eternity? This reminds me of the Gospel irony of the scholars of the law hunting though their scrolls and knowledge to suit their purposes, and they fail to realize that the living TORAH was looking them in the eye.

  44. Phil_NL says:

    Fr Vincent is right: omission of a relevant part doesn’t abrogate the earlier teaching, unless the document also states that the earlier text is rescinded.

    Of course, it will provide an extra excuse for those who want it to do exactly what they want, but honestly, wouldn’t the Kasparites have done so anyway? We might get a few extra parish councils where all members save the priest are unable to receive, but that really is small fry.

    We may have to suffer through a lot of ambiguity in the day-to-day teaching of the Faith, but the silver lining is that vague documents are easily swept aside later. We’re in this for the long haul. While the synod seems to yield a bit of a draw on paper, and it will surely count as a loss in practice for the immediate future, no knock out is registered, and many rounds will follow.

    Especially as it seems Francis will effectively kick this can down the road. No matter, time is in fact on our side: the crowd that politicks so much for these issues will evetually fall prey to the biological solution.

  45. JabbaPapa says:

    I’ve raised a couple of points about the translation here, that Father Z may or may not wish to pass on to his readers, but there’s no doubt that there’s great ambiguity in these paragraphs. My comments anyway do not affect the accuracy of the analyses that Father Z has published here.

    §84 suggests that some “exclusionary” measures concerning divorced-remarried might be “outdated” — that’s not ambiguous, but it’s clearly even more dangerous than the ambiguity found elsewhere, as it suggests that Church teaching is mutable, and changeable by majority vote.

  46. juergensen says:

    “Open wide the doors to Christ.” – Saint John Paul II

    “Open wide the doors to adulterers.” – Synod Bishops

  47. greenlight says:

    I’m wondering what B16’s options are. Assume the worst for Francis’ final statement and assume the B16 is as horrified as the rest of us. What could he do? Not just what should he do, but what could he do. Is he bound by silence? Is he free to speak up if he wants to? Is it wrong for us to look to him for the clarity and guidance we’re not getting from Francis?

  48. juergensen says:

    Why is it that quoting a part but not all of a magisterial document, in this instance Familiaris Consortio, necessarily mean that the parts not quoted are no longer deemed magisterial teaching? By that logic all magisterial documents, and indeed all of scripture, are no longer magisterial, as they all have been quoted in part through the ages by the popes.

  49. taffymycat says:

    did the african participants have much weight? i look to them for holding the line of doctrine

  50. Nicolas Bellord says:

    It seems to me that nothing much has changed, for the moment at least, insofar as the Kasperkampf and their followers will just do as they like as before. What his Holiness does is another matter. One would hope that he will realise that these clauses which received so many non placets are on the edge of orthodoxy and that he should not loosen things further. There will be the devil of a row if he does. He may decide that he will tighten things up by reaffirming the teaching of JPII in Familiaris Consortio. Let us pray that he does.

    One thing that has come out of this Synod is that I have a much clearer idea of who the enemy are and the clerics who have formally caused me to scratch my head I can now see, clearly and without doubt, as doing the work of the devil.

    At least it seems that those trying to find good in homosexuality, cohabitation etc have been roundly defeated.

  51. mr205 says:

    I admire the many orthodox Catholic bloggers and writers I have seen trying to spin this, but we need to face reality. This is bad, really bad. We need to pray.

  52. jacobi says:

    Like all complex problems this comes down to a few, or even to one basic thing.

    If someone has chosen to remarry, for whatever reason, then they are living in adultery and may noty receive Holy Communion.

    They can come to Mass, and to parish talks, and coffee afterwards, and join the pilgrimage to Lourdes, and go out shopping together, (or to the pub) and generally be another fallible member of the parish.

    Why in Heavens name should it be otherwise?

    It is just that they, like anyone else in the parish in a state of mortal sin, of which there must be many, unless you live in a special parish of saints, may not receive Holy Communion.

  53. MWindsor says:

    One thing that no one seems to be talking about.

    This was approved by two thirds of the bishops. That means that only one third of the bishops attending were actually willing to defend Church teaching?

    Isn’t that far more depressing than what was actually approved?

  54. Andrew says:

    A few point that stand out:

    The divorced/remarried are to be “integrated into Christian communities in different possible ways”.

    The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral accompaniment.

    They must have “a joyous and fruitful experience” of the Church.

    The “Holy Spirit bestows upon them gifts and charisms for the good of all.

    They should be “feeling Her [the Church] as a mother.”

    “Taking care” of them is “not a weakening of the witness of the indissolubility of marriage”.

    A sincere reflection on their part can strengthen confidence in the mercy of God.

  55. Traductora says:

    The image of the angry baby “throwing his toys out of the pram” was wonderful, although unfortunately I found it to be more like a toddler sticking out his tongue at his playmates when he thinks he’s been given the win in the game. Clearly the Pope did not like being opposed, but just as clearly, he knows that he can now do anything he wants. What emerged did not openly contradict anything, which is just what he said at the beginning (no doctrine will be changed) when the clamor of concern became too loud to ignore. But he has destroyed it through the stealthy technique of taking something that was anywhere and everywhere and at all times the same, the great boast of Catholic teaching, and turning it into something that must be parsed in a virtually Talmudic form, and furthermore something that can no longer be assumed to apply universally.

    I think that we’re going to see this in a big way when the new “annulment” procedures hit in December. And as for the Pope’s further goals, I think he’ll probably work through this new dicastery “for the family” that he recently announced. It’s the first time such a group has been created before the writing of its statutes, definition of its duties, etc. and as usual it is being done in the dark, I would assume with the participation of those same famous hand-picked advisers that make up his shadow Curia.

    All things have their law, whether it is the laws of nature that govern and give shape to the world around us, the laws that govern and shape civil society, especially in a society based on the rule of law, or the Divine Law as expressed in the laws of the Church that govern and give shape to the Body of Christ, the Church. Breaking apart the legal unity of the Church means breaking up – or attempting to break up – the Body of Christ. And no Pope has the commission or even legitimacy to do this.

  56. mlmc says:

    the silver lining is that, reportedly, the leading vote “getter” for the Synod Council was ArchBp Chaput and that Cardinals Pell & Sarah also fared very well. Quite a triumvirate. We need to pray for them to be steadfast in their adherence to the Truth.

  57. Imrahil says:

    I don’t see how silence on a clear precept of the Church = the abrogation of the precept.

    E-xact-ly.

    I haven’t yet studied the Synod texts (I’m still going to do so), but for the time being I’ll say this:

    Let’s face it, we’ve all already got used to the fact that those to whom preaching and teaching is entrusted do not preach and teach everything. (In the particular case – for the local preacher or missionary, rather than the whole Church; but then the world has become small due to technology; there’s something that really is complicated here -, that may even be justified or advisable.)

    As long as the Synod does not do worse than that, it’s okay. That we have to refer to older texts (“older” may include the Catechism Compendium) to see the whole picture is something we’ve already got used to, to put it boldly, something we’re already trained in. That while the tone is said to make the music, we have to deliberately turn it off and look at what is actually said and what isn’t, is something we’re also used to and, said in the same vein, are trained in.

    There may come a time when a Catholic who expounds Church teaching does not need to answer the question why he sounds different in tone than the Pope; but if it is not this time… we have to work with what we have.

  58. Mandy P. says:

    Here’s what’s so frustrating about this for me, especially paragraph 84, and I’m taking this from my own personal experience but I’m sure there are many different experiences out there that would express this same contradiction from the Synod. So here it is:

    I’m a convert. I came into the Church OFFICIALLY in 2011, but I had already converted mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc a good year-and-a-half prior. I spent a full two years studying the Catholic faith before I ever stepped into a Catholic Church, and once I did show up to a mass I did so because I already believed what the Church teaches and I knew it was time to get to the business of making it official. I literally could have confessed, been confirmed, and had my first Eucharist without any further instruction. However, because the diocese and the Church insists I must go through a “formation period” I had to sit through RCIA for the better part of a year, classes at which I knew more about our faith than the instructors did, classes at which I frequently had to correct my instructors AND the Sister who ran the program. This is not to pat myself on the back, it just was what it was.

    I went through the tedious process because I wanted very much to be Catholic and so I submitted to the will of my bishop and the Church. During this period, I could not cantor (which I do now), I couldn’t sing in the choir, I couldn’t lector, I couldn’t be an usher, I couldn’t teach a religious ed class, I could participate in NO ministries because I was not yet officially Catholic. And, of course, I could not participate in or receive the sacraments.

    Now, is there really any reason why someone who is already “formed” and conformed to the Church MUST sit through RCIA classes? Not really. In my opinion, and I’m sure most would agree, this requirement of the Church is arbitrary and is certainly not tied to any direct command from Our Lord. So why on earth are we going to try to move mountains to knock down barriers to sacraments and ministry to people living in a public and persistent state of mortal sin, which violates the very words of Jesus, and people like me are expected to submit to a completely arbitrary processor time wasting and are barred from having a more active life in the Church in just about every form of ministry as well as from the sacraments based upon some vague idea of, “Well, we just want you to know what you’re getting into.”

    It’s not even that I disagree with a formation period (I think it’s a great idea when done properly, it just wasn’t necessary in my own case), but really if we’re knocking down barriers for the spiritually dead WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER then why aren’t we knocking those same barriers down for other situations that are in actuality based on the dictates of Churchmen and not the dictates of Our Lord, Himself?

    To simplify:
    Why was I expected to submit and divorcees are not?

  59. Imrahil says:

    What I mean is: this, let me say, difference to the tone of official statements used, indeed, not to exist in the (let’s face it:) fairly detail matters concerning the 6th commandment, it has, for a long time, existed whenever we got started on, e. g., some systematically much more central matters, such as that not only private consciences, but societies and states also, are to pay homage to our Lord and to conform to God’s and natural law (the topic of yesterday’s EF sollemnity); and so on.

  60. mysticalrose says:

    I would recommend reading Fr. Ripperger’s Binding Force of Tradition and also Magisterial Authority for a good treatment of 1) the adherence of the faithful if a current magisterium and prior magisteria conflict and 2) the relationship that obtains (or should obtain) between the magisterium and the Deposit of the Faith. It is a breath of fresh air in these confusing times.

  61. gsk says:

    I’m confused. This statement was approved within paragraph #85:

    “There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage.”

    I thought it was firm Church teaching that a canonically valid marriage couldn’t be destroyed. It can be weakened, corrupted, poisoned, and made ruinous for the spouses, but the bond cannot be destroyed. Isn’t that the whole point?

  62. norancor says:

    It seems to be that your distinction between de facto and de jure heresy is important, because it is illustrative of what is wrong with the Church in the conciliar age.

    To impugn the known truth is a sin that cries to Heaven for vengeance. Couple that with impugning the known truth to further obstinacy in sin (adultery) and the sins of sodom (homosexuality), and you have a perfect storm of error.

  63. Stevetop815 says:

    Maybe this is off base, but this entire Communion for the remarried debate at the Synod has seemed like rearranging deck chairs on the titanic to me when we consider the number contracepting.

    Was this even mentioned?

    [Not really. But that makes sense. If you want eventually to push through a homosexualist agenda you have to first unhook the sexual act from procreation.]

  64. TheDude05 says:

    It would seem to me that as the Holy Father is a big fan of Pope Paul VI perhaps this is his Humanae Vitae moment of heroic virtue. Perhaps after all of this dust has settled and it seems the Church is on the point of great change and even schism, he will uphold orthodoxy and be cast in the role of the villain for the modernists. It is either that or he may feel he can redeem Paul VI by doing what Francis feels he ought to have done, and caved to the modern world. I pray for Paul VI to give the Pope the sand to stay strong to the faith.

  65. codefro says:

    Correct me if I am wrong: wouldn’t an Encyclical by Pope Francis following the FC synodal document need to pass through Cardinal Muëller’s desk for his approval and correction? Isn’t this one way this problem may be corrected?

  66. Imrahil says:

    Dear Mandy,

    a belated welcome…

    and as it is somewhat customary to take reference to the legends, here’s the one applicable here:

    A young woman comes to the pastor on the feast of our Lord’s Circumscision. The pastor asks her: “What do you want?” She says: “Please, Reverend, baptize me.” The pastor: “You have to know the faith, first.” She: “Well, examine me, then.”

    He then baptized a future Carmelite nun, martyr, and first-rate philosopher into what was her own real heritage as a Jew (I’m talking of course of St. Edith Stein) – but that was in the old times, of course, which we like to complain were legalistic.

  67. codefro says:

    https://www.facebook.com/BenedictForum.Gentiles/posts/999208883470310

    Every interview given by Pell indicates that Kasper’s proposal has failed in the final document. Wouldn’t Pell have a front seat to the panic? Why is he happy with it, and we are panicking?

  68. codefro says:

    *Sorry wrong link*

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/10/26/cardinal-pell-synod-report-does-not-create-opening-to-communion-for-divorced-and-remarried/?utm_content=buffer41070&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Every interview given by Pell indicates that Kasper’s proposal has failed in the final document. Wouldn’t Pell have a front seat to the panic? Why is he happy with it, and we are panicking?

  69. pseudomodo says:

    Invoking the Bux Protocol in 3…2…1…

  70. Cavaliere says:

    Magesterium schmagisterium, since we get to follow our own consciences anyway who cares.

  71. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Mandy P.,

    As I was reading your comment, I, too, like Imrahil, was thinking about St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). She submitted in humility to the process of questioning her about the Faith, which was a foreshadowing of the humility she would show as a Carmelite nun.

    Unfortunately, there is some confusion, here. Formation for Catechumins, of a sort, has always been required in the Church since the beginning. The RCIA was a bad attempt to resurrect the ancient methods, but the idea, itself, is very old.

    On the other hand, the divorced and re-married nonsense is from the Twilight Zone. It belongs to an alternate universe where Spock has a beard and the Enterprise is orbiting the planet counter-clockwise.

    You were required (as under ordinary circumstances) to take formation because of historical precedence. No one can be required (or admitted, rightly) to Communion in an adulterous relationship.

    The difference is that you could have gotten permission to skip RCIA (did Scott Hahn really have to go through RCIA?) with the approval of the bishop, whereas no bishop can make an adulterous relationship anything other than that.

    Also, it is a known fact whether or not you have been accepted into the Church, but the status of your first marriage should be thoroughly examined before further action is take.

    Oh, and Mandy, I rarely say this, so take it to heart…welcome to the world’s most perfect organization – kinda makes you wonder what perfection means to God, doesn’t it. God is incomprehensible, you know…but he is Catholic. Welcome to the Church…hey, if it made sense all of the time to all of the people, it would, almost certainly, not be from God.

    See ya in the Coop.

    The Chicken

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  73. a catechist says:

    Please notice how parents just got thrown under the bus:

    “it is therefore necessary to discern which forms of exclusion that are currently in practice in the areas of liturgical, pastoral, educative, and official responsibilities can be eliminated. ”

    So, if I expect my kids will be taught by Catholic school teachers and parish catechists who are NOT in a public state of mortal sin, I’m out of luck? Maybe not – my own bishop is quite solid. But it sure looks like this passage means public adulterers ought not be excluded from teaching the Faith or in Catholic schools. Like that’s really going to strengthen our identity and effectiveness….

  74. Aquinas Gal says:

    There have been many times in the history of the Church when bishops as a group did not uphold Catholic teaching (eg. the English bishops except for John Fisher; all the Arian bishops so that St Athanasius was one of the very few truly Catholic bishops left). But the Church has survived all this. Will it damage souls? Undoubtedly, and that it is to be grieved. But the gates of hell will not prevail. In 1968 it looked like the majority report on contraception had won the day. But Pope Paul decided differently. I think that Pope Francis will have his Humanae Vitae moment, when all will expect him to abandon Catholic teaching on marriage, but he won’t do it. The Holy Spirit will not let him.

  75. Mandy P. says:

    Oh, and Mandy, I rarely say this, so take it to heart…welcome to the world’s most perfect organization – kinda makes you wonder what perfection means to God, doesn’t it. God is incomprehensible, you know…but he is Catholic. Welcome to the Church…hey, if it made sense all of the time to all of the people, it would, almost certainly, not be from God.

    ^^^^

    Thanks to you Chicken and to Imrahil.

    And yes, I know about the ancient practices for Catechumins. My objection isn’t so much that I had to go through that. Honestly, I knew it was coming and as I said, I submitted myself to it because it’s what the Church says I need to do. That’s really my point. Through an accident of birth I was not Catholic, I wanted to be Catholic and to participate in the sacraments (the Eucharist particularly), and so I found out what was required of me and submitted thusly. It’s so frustrating that our Princes have been entertaining the idea that some people shouldn’t have to submit to the proper authority and do what is necessary to bring their souls into a state of Grace, especially when they expect everyone else to do so. It’s hypocrisy in mercy’s clothing.

    For me, as a convert coming from a very Protestant family, the authority of the Church was a very hard idea to come to terms with. But once I believed that the Church is who she says she is, I submitted to it all. So, I guess it’s a frustration at the idea that the Church should find a way to conform itself to the whims of man and the world instead of the other way around. That’s the whole point of the Christian life: we encounter Christ (through the Church, the Scriptures, and the sacraments) and are changed. So the idea that some people in “hard” situations should encounter Christ and do not change but expect Christ and His Church to change is honestly baffling and offensive, and misses the entire point.

  76. JabbaPapa says:

    a catechist : Please notice how parents just got thrown under the bus:

    “it is therefore necessary to discern which forms of exclusion that are currently in practice in the areas of liturgical, pastoral, educative, and official responsibilities can be eliminated. ”

    That’s actually my biggest worry.

    What the Italian means, in my reading, is something like :

    “it is therefore necessary to determine which of the forms of exclusion currently in place in the areas of liturgical, pastoral, educative, and official responsibilities are outdated”

    It’s wrong on so many different levels simultaneously

    I cannot see any other so explicitly Masonic violation in the document

  77. Oneros says:

    Oh my. Everyone here apparently thinks they have the charism of reading souls!

  78. Greg Schlueter says:

    A simple irony comes to mind in reading this report: In the absence of love, the law flourishes.

    We do we presume that clear, simple articulation of life-saving truth (so evident in the life of Christ) can only be delivered as a battering ram or not at all? Mercy without justice is an excuse for sin. It is without real concern for eternal salvation, which is to say, not born of love. Which of us do not have inclinations and temptations for which we need self-control? And/or even major habits in need of reform? Ask women recovering from pain of abortion. Ask what it was that initiated their road to healing. While it wasn’t a “hammer” (per se), neither was it diminishing or accommodating that allowed them to live in illusion of the sin. They had to face the harsh, horrible reality in order to know the surpassing healing, love and mercy of God– to truly be brought back into His Arms. Only this harsh truth resonated with the verdict of their souls, as basis for knowing their Savior. Thank you Church for faithfully communicating the hard lines, signs and berms along this Road of Salvation; and being an occasion for restoring us all to the same.

  79. scotus says:

    Everybody seems to be ignoring the words in blue. “It is therefore the responsibility of priests to accompany such persons on the way of discernment according to the teaching of the Church and the directives (orientamenti) of the Bishop.” (In case the blue does not get reproduced the words are ‘according to the teaching of the Church’. The liberals are ignoring them for obvious reasons. Other people seem to be ignoring them to make the situation look bad. But as it stands the document leaves no room for Communion for the divorced and remarried. The problem is that many bishops and priests will cheerfully ignore those words.

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