We continue to watch the spin and the spinning of the spin after yesterday’s Synod… what can we call it?…. debacle. Yes, debacle. The release of the Relatio post disceptationem, an unprecedented mid-point summary document, was a debacle. It has provoked “wonder”, which is old Church code for “shock, scandal provoking confusion”.
It was telling that, during yesterday’s presser, for the presentation of the Relatio, the chair of the Synod, Card. Erdö, tossed a question about the now infamous homosexuality paragraphs over to Archbp. Bruno Forte (whom some suggest might wind up as Prefect of a Franciscan CDF… if it isn’t Archbp. Fernandez), saying: “the one who wrote the passage ought to know what it means”.
The Holy See Press Office spun the Relatio this way:
Declaration of the Director of the Holy See Press Office on behalf of the General Secretariat of the Synod
The General Secretariat of the Synod, in response to reactions and discussions following the publication of the Relatio post disceptationem, and the fact that often a value has been attributed to the document that does not correspond to its nature, [Is that so?] reiterates that it is a working document, which summarises the interventions and debate of the first week, and is now being offered for discussion by the members of the Synod gathered in the Small Groups, in accordance with the Regulations of the Synod.
The work of the Small Groups will be presented to the Assembly in the General Congregation next Thursday morning.
A good example of spin – and the massive damage inflicted by the release of the Relatio – is found at CNN, which has a few slanted points:
Under conservative assault, Vatican backtracks on gay comments
Rome (CNN) — Under furious assault from conservative Catholics, [Furious assault?] the Vatican backtracked Tuesday on its surprisingly positive assessment of gays and same-sex relationships.
In a report Monday, the Vatican had said that gays and lesbians have “gifts to offer” the Christian community and acknowledged that same-sex couples can give “precious support” to one other.
The statement, an interim report from a closely watched meeting of Catholic clergy here, was widely praised by liberals. It is believed to be the first time the Vatican has said anything positive about gay relationships. [And yet it isn’t supposed to be an official document, a final document. It’s just a working document. Right?]
And that, even with its ominous language about conservatives and their furious assaults, is somewhat more responsible than what you will see at some other outlets, especially the even more openly pro-homosexual sites.
Again, my great worry is not so much what the Synod is talking about, but the expectations that are being raised because of gaffs, errors, bad decisions, weird language and, it must be said, the machinations of some within the Church.
So, let’s accept that the Relatio is just a “working document”. Fine.
Did nobody in the Synod office or in the Press Office know that when the MSM got hold of it, people were going to go bananas?
Of course they knew that chaos would occur and that certain paragraphs would be read with strong reactions. Of course they did.
Therefore, someone wanted the chaos. Someone wanted those now infamous paragraphs to hit the press and then be spun into all sorts of false conclusions and false expectation. They wanted to bump the needle, move the paradigm in a certain direction. This seems like a classic exercise in creeping incrementalism. They know that they are not going to get their way, or get everything that they want… this time. But they toss things out, create the chaos, and then, even as they back away from it and do some clean up, they have managed to moved the paradigm a degree or two toward their goal. That’s how they work.
Conservatives, by the way, don’t do this well. They tend not to work together well and they tend to want everything right away. It would be great were faithful Catholics able to work together better. Meanwhile, the catholic Left is having a conga line dance, with noisemakers and little hats.
Anyway, a bright spot today occurred during the presser. Card. Napier of South Africa said that he was surprised that the Relatio was released and that he clearly disagreed with some elements in the document. He also is worried about the false expectations that are being created.
The moderation queue ON.
Meanwhile, TIME magazine – predictably – and purposely – misrepresented the facts. HERE
The Bishops Are Catching Up To Pope Francis on Gay Rights [How many things are wrong with that. First, “the bishops” aren’t doing anything. Second, what has Francis really said? Third, “Gays” don’t have rights, other than basic human rights.]
Mercy must be the way forward for the Catholic Church. [Which means, I think, you can stick anything where ever you want and eventually people will be forced to call it “good”.]
Stunning news came from Rome today where the bishops [some few bishops] gathered for Pope Francis’s Synod on the Family issued a report suggesting that the Church should create a more inclusive space for gay Catholics to participate in the life of the Church. [They already have it.]
In the [unofficial draft] document, the bishops [no… the writer of the draft] said without reservation [is that so?] that gay Catholics have “gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.” From that, they ask: “are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?”
This is a stunning language change from the Catholic Church on the question of homosexuality. [Is it? Really? Did the document say that it’s okay to have homosexual sex?] Since the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared in 1975 that “homosexual acts [ACTS!] are intrinsically disordered” Rome has been clear on where it stands on the issue of homosexuality and same-sex unions. As recently as January 2013, Pope Benedict — while affirming the dignity of the LGBT community — suggested that gay marriage threatens the world’s “justice and peace.” [And he was right, as we are seeing today more and more.]
The Church’s shift on LGBT issues began shortly after Pope Francis’s election in March 2013. In July of last year, Francis famously said, “[i]f someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” [Hang on! That comment had a context. HERE]
But today’s document produced by the [tiny number of] bishops [in reality, the one’s who wrote it… it wasn’t a collaboration that all the bishop members of the Synod voted to approve] shows that Pope Francis’s personal vision [HUH? No.] is slowly becoming the vision of the universal Church. [This babble is the personal vision of the writer. Enough of this rubbish.]
This is the sort of trash that people are going to read about this Synod.