What’s the liberals’ next move?

Now that the Revolt has taken place by the members of the Synod against the leadership’s manipulations, this is what is going to happen.

Watch what the liberal MSM and the catholic liberal media do in their coverage of today’s revolt in the Synod.

They will not publish “process” stories.   That is, they won’t cover what actually occurred in the Synod Hall, the rising of the bishops against Card. Baldisseri.

Instead the catholic Left will return to their template story of “hardline” conservatives who want to slam doors in the faces of homosexuals and other marginalized sexually-labelled persons:

“The angry conservative hard-liners mounted a furious attack of rage against the refreshing hope-filled message of welcome, compassion and mercy toward the suffering sexual minorities who have wept in their sorrow for centuries.

Thoughtful Vatican observers noted the influence of ideological lobbyists who may have exerted a menacing influence of intimidation over the participants.

“There was such a fresh message of hope and change from Pope Francis”, said one deeply-placed Vatican official in the Synod of Bishops.  “Wait’ll next year!”

It writes itself.

UPDATE 16 Oct 2230 GMT:

What do we find at Crux?

First, in a piece by Inés San Martín, the “Vatican correspondent” HERE, we find:

In yet another unexpected turn in the Synod of Bishops, the bishops decided today to make all the discussions of the past week public, and those internal reports offer an x-ray of a divided summit on the family.

In a Vatican briefing today, Italian layman Francesco Miano, one of the synod participants, described the main fault line as running between truth and mercy — with one camp insisting on clarity about Church teaching, and another outreach to constituencies that don’t fully live it, including gays, the divorced, and people living together outside of marriage.


So, it’s truth v. mercy.  Except, without truth, there is no true mercy.  Not in Christian terms.

On the other hand, later in the same piece:

Another English group led by American Cardinal Raymond Burke, [The Snidley Whiplash of the Synod] however, closed the door to the argument, denying the admission to the sacraments of divorced and re-married people, but included a “very positive and much–needed appreciation of union with Christ through other means.”

As for same-sex couples, the recommendations in general suggest a merciful and welcoming approach while maintaining a clear distinction between a gay union and a marriage. [?]

Soooo… maybe the lines aren’t so sharply drawn as the newsies describe after all?

Then, what to make of this piece by Crux’s John Allen, who jumped from the Fishwrap to the Boston Globe?  HERE

Will conservatives turn on Pope Francis? [Hmmm…. Sound familiar? Sure. But he has the players wrong.]


Here it is in a nutshell: Is a tipping point drawing close, when conservatives who have been inclined to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt will, instead, turn on him?


On Monday night, American Cardinal Raymond Burke openly faulted Francis for allowing Kasper to sow confusion about Church teaching on marriage by touting his proposal to admit divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion, and basically suggested the pope owes the world an apology. [?!?]

A clear affirmation of Catholic doctrine by the pope, Burke said, is “long overdue.”

Both Livieres and Burke have had their wings clipped by Pope Francis, so some of their grumbling may be personal. Both also represent the fairly hardline edge of the Church’s conservative wing.


Whoa. John. Nasty.

First, is is true what Allen said about Card. Burke? That Burke suggested that the Pope owes the world an apology? Allen cites Burke’s interview with Catholic World Report. HERE Let’s see a longer section so we can have context:

Cardinal Burke: While the document in question (Relatio post disceptationem) purports to report only the discussion which took place among the Synod Fathers, it, in fact, advances positions which many Synod Fathers do not accept and, I would say, as faithful shepherds of the flock cannot accept. Clearly, the response to the document in the discussion which immediately followed its presentation manifested that a great number of the Synod Fathers found it objectionable.

The document lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium. In a matter on which the Church has a very rich and clear teaching, it gives the impression of inventing a totally new, what one Synod Father called “revolutionary,”teaching on marriage and the family. It invokes repeatedly and in a confused manner principles which are not defined, for example, the law of graduality.

CWR: How important is it, do you think, that Pope Francis make a statement soon in order to address the growing sense—among many in the media and in the pews—that the Church is on the cusp of changing her teaching on various essential points regarding marriage, “remarriage,” reception of Communion, and even the place of “unions” among homosexuals?

Cardinal Burke: In my judgment, such a statement is long overdue. [So far so good.  He thinks a statement is overdue.  That means he thinks that the Pope should issue a statement, as described above: to address “a growing sense”, etc.] The debate on these questions has been going forward now for almost nine months, especially in the secular media but also through the speeches and interviews of Cardinal Walter Kasper and others who support his position.

The faithful and their good shepherds are looking to the Vicar of Christ for the confirmation of the Catholic faith and practice regarding marriage which is the first cell of the life of the Church.  [Okay.  That’s okay too.  There was never a time when the faithful did not look to the Pope in time of uncertainty for guidance, and when they did not wish for swift guidance.]

THAT’s a suggestion that the Pope should “apologize”?  Really?

Read the rest of his piece, wherein conservatives are painted now as the “dissenters”.  Ironically, in that view, “dissenter” will become code for “defender of Church doctrine” and “ideology” will be code for “the Magisterium”.

Allen does make a couple good points.  He gets this:

[S]ome conservatives may stop defending Francis, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, and become locked into a cycle of suspicion and dissent about virtually everything that he says and does.

If that happens – and, to some extent, the process is already underway – it will hardly be a novelty. Both of the foregoing options were common practice among liberal Catholics during the John Paul II and Benedict XVI years, so the only difference now is that the shoe is on the other foot.

Yet there will be a price to pay.

What people generally think of as “conservative” Catholics are often among the Church’s most dedicated members, among other things serving as major financial donors. Already, one head of a conservative think tank in Rome this week said he’d gotten a call from one of his benefactors saying that if things keep going the way they are, he was going to stop ponying up.

More broadly, Catholics typically labeled as “conservative” are often people who carry water for the Church at all levels, from the local to the universal. If that pool of human capital begins to dry up, it could make it more difficult for Francis to advance his agenda.


I am smiling a bit as I write this.

Perhaps this is the perfect moment for Pope Francis to give the SSPX everything they want and then celebrate a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

It will be the liberals who truly turn on Francis when he seriously disappoints them.  He is not going to give them what they want.  While we of a more traditional and conservative stripe can be frustrated and confused by many of the things that Francis says and does, in the end we don’t turn on Popes.  We love our Popes, even when we don’t like them everyday.   On the other, liberal side … that’s another matter.  When they turn, they turn mean.

Of course I could be wrong.  Maybe it won’t be one or the other side, the libs or the trads, who turn on His Holiness of Our Lord.  It could be that both will turn on Francis.  I guess that’s a possible outcome, but I don’t think that that is how it will go.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. incredulous says:

    Diabolical. Satan hates Truth and the light of day. Satan hates us all.

  2. Unwilling says:

    “The angry conservative hard-liners… wept in their sorrow for centuries.”
    Watch for it! Coming to a news outlet near you.

  3. truthfinder says:

    The first MSM report I saw today was talking about the “English-speaking conservatives” of the US and Africa. I don’t think I can recall Americans and Africans being so easily clumped together and made the bad guys all at once.

  4. gracie says:

    Sounds about right.

  5. Pat says:

    Look at the two interviews, one to Scola http://www.paginasdigital.es/v_portal/informacion/informacionver.asp?cod=6011&te=&idage=&vap=0&codrel=3501&usm=$|$idusuencrip$|$
    and the other yesterday to Schonborn, more confusing, in Corrierre della Sera.

  6. jacobi says:

    If I were a member of the “liberal” clique of bishops, the way ahead would be clear. Something like,

    Right now fellow lib bishops, in this “Family Synod” we have established the idea that nice Catholics are nice and accommodating to “Gays”, oh, and to adulterers too of course , mustn’t forget them. Also that orthodox Catholics are nasty people who are nasty to “Gays”, oh and yes, and to adulterers of course, that’s important to get across. Right, so, well done chaps, first stage accomplished and the pattern is set.

    Now we can go back to our dioceses and openly and quickly get on with being accommodating to “gays” and valuing their contribution etc., etc., and oh yes, and the adulterers too they also have so much to offer.

    And by session 2 in a year’s time, the pattern will be established, we should have the bit between our teeth.

    OK, any questions? Right, see you next year!

  7. thomas tucker says:

    This is all very interesting, especially in light of the homilies that the Holy Father is giving daily- homilies about God always being surprising, and how one should not be bound up by religious rules. I wish I knew where this was all heading. Time will tell.

  8. Amateur Scholastic says:

    Thanks for this excellent coverage, Father.

    Just one little point: is it necessary to use the political terms ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’? Isn’t that conceding too much to our enemies? Wouldn’t orthodox and heretic, or Catholic and modernist, be more accurate terms?

  9. PhilipNeri says:

    Progs (secular and ecclesial) love process/procedure as long as they control it and until they win.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  10. kmtierney says:

    The chance of a “turn” on Francis is slim to none, but the chance of Francis merely becoming “Bishop of Rome” who plays absolutely no part in the lives of lots of faithful Catholics is quickly becoming not just a possibility, but a probability.

    That’s good and bad.

    Good because Catholicism has become too closely identified with the Pope. by focusing on things which are right in front of them, the chance of a modern day Cluniac revival is greater. Catholics would also become more invested in what is going on around them. We aren’t nowadays in many instances.

    It’s bad because Peter’s successor should be the visible sign of UNITY in the Church. That’s the primary job of a pope before anything: to be a source of unity for all faithful believers. No matter whose “fault” it is, we run the risk of losing being apart of something greater than what’s in front of us.

    These aren’t unprecedented times, but they aren’t good times. They won’t “turn” on him, they will still express communion with him at every mass. but that communion will mean less and less, even though doctrinal orthodoxy remains.

  11. Pingback: Family of the Synod Late Night Drama - BigPulpit.com

  12. dmreed says:

    Perhaps it’s time we turn on John Allen. Father, you’ve always been very generous with your charity towards Mr. Allen, but his writings for Crux, and particularly during this Synod have taken an abhorrent ideological turn. He no longer deserves our benefit of the doubt. Just saying…

  13. Sonshine135 says:

    Thomas Tucker,

    I was thinking the same thing, and I do not understand the “surprising” narrative, and this is something I have heard from quite a few Liberal Priests and missionaries as well. A surprise, by definition is something unexpected, and this has become a buzzword from the left. This is a yet another ambiguous statement. God surprises us when a person who sins greatly then recognizes the sin and comes into communion with the church. I agree with this. I think that the liberals have a different interpretation of surprise. I get the impression that they are surprised by the tolerance the person shows, the works they perform, their persistence at coming to Mass, and the amount of money they put into the collection plate. All the while, they are ignoring the fact he or she persists in a grave sin (adultery, homosexuality). My concern is that they are implying that God enables the person to do these things, thus he must ignore their sin.

    Here is where we reach the core point of the problem. We have clergy that are teaching that God will love you based on the things you do, and the more you do, the more God loves you. This is where surprise is misused. To them, Jesus’ mercy trumps all- hence anything can change. There is the surprise! I know one man in particular who asked me why I was reading the Old Testament. He simply said, “That isn’t my God. That God was cruel and barbaric. I don’t know why you would even read that. Jesus ended all of that.”


  14. MikeCGannon says:

    The liberals will never turn on Francis. The time for that to happen was after the first six months of his papacy. They’ve committed too strongly to him now. They’ll explain away every setback as a sign of conservative interference hamstringing the Holy Father. And then after his death, they’ll invoke Pope Francis as a cudgel to use against the next pope.

  15. Ella says:

    “It will be the liberals who truly turn on Francis when he seriously disappoints them. He is not going to give them what they want. While we of a more traditional and conservative stripe can be frustrated and confused by many of the things that Francis says and does, in the end we don’t turn on Popes. We love our Popes, even when we don’t like them everyday. On the other, liberal side … that’s another matter. When they turn, they turn mean.”

    Amen, Father! The orthodox/traditional/Catholic among us are the ones who really do donate our time, talent and treasure to our parishes and to The Church at large. We love and support our priests and His Holiness and will not walk away (as St. Peter said, where would we go?).

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