Misquotation of St. John Paul II’s ‘Familaris consortio’ in ‘Instrumentum Laboris’ of upcoming Synod

In October the Synod of Bishops will once again take up questions concerning “the family”.

Buy this if you haven’t already.

If you have already bought it, buy more copies and give them to people.

Last year, during the Extraordinary Synod, controversy erupted because of the lack of transparency in the workings of the Synod, the mysterious case of the confiscated (stolen) copies of the Five Cardinals Book™, Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Churchthat were sent via postal service (HERE), the appearance of dodgy paragraphs in the midpoint report even though the topics weren’t debated (HERE), the inclusion of dodgy paragraphs in the final report even though those paragraphs didn’t receive the necessary super-majority of votes. (HERE and HERE) To name a few things.

Meanwhile the working document or Instrumentum Laboris for the upcoming Synod has been released.

We expect that the Kasperite proposal will return in force, especially backed by liberals and Germans.  You remember the proposal of Card. Kasper to admit the divorced and civilly remarried (living in adultery) to reception of Holy Communion under a “tolerated but not accepted” point of view.

Anyway, I expect that there will be some fireworks at the Synod.  The sides are a lining up. For example, HERE

On that note…. I received an email from a reader which I hereunder reproduce with my added links, emphases and comments:

I have been writing a study of the Instrumentum Laboris 2015. There is one point where there is a curious transliteration of clause 84 of Familiaris Consortio where Pope JPII exhorts the divorced and remarried to attend the sacrifice of the Mass. [the English says “Sacrifice of the Mass” and the Latin “sacrificio Missae intersint.”] Instrumentum Laboris translates this into “participating in the celebration of the Eucharist” [there is no Latin version of the IL 2015 – I guess we can’t expect Catholic Bishops to read Latin – but in the Italian we see “la participazione alla celebrazione eucaristica”.] which to me suggests receiving communion on the basis that participating means sharing. Would you agree? [Wellll… yes, participation can mean sharing, but I think that “participation” at Mass refers generally to the notion of full, conscious and “active” or “actual” participation. That said, the true understanding of participation has for the vast majority of Catholics devolved to the point where reception of Communion is automatically assumed and Communion means something like: “They put the white thing in our hand and then we sing the song together.] If so it seems to me to a deliberate misrepresentation of JPII’s teaching. [It is said that some who are in influential and powerful positions are determined to undermine the Magisterium of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.] It does look like the hopelessly loose mistranslations which you often comment on. I am hoping my study will appear on the website of http://guildofblessedtitus.blogspot.co.uk/[Okay.]

The relevant passage follows

Many thanks

Nicolas Bellord [Thanks Nicholas]

  1. [Instrumentum Laboris 2015] The Church’s work of incorporating her members in Christ, begun in Baptism — even in the case of those who are divorced and civilly remarried — takes place in stages through a continual conversion. In this process people are invited in different ways to conform their lives to the Lord Jesus, who, with his grace, sustains them in ecclesial communion. In reference again to Familiaris Consortio, 84, the recommended forms of participation are: listening to the Word of God, participation in the celebration of the Eucharist, perseverance in prayer, works of charity, initiatives in the community fostering justice, the formation of children in the faith and a spirit of penance, all of which are supported by the Church’s prayer and kindhearted witness. The fruit of this participation is the communion of believers with the whole community, which is an expression of being incorporated into the Church as the Body of Christ. It is important to remember that spiritual communion, which presupposes conversion and the state of grace, is connected to sacramental communion.

This looks like the misused Law of Graduality again. It talks of forms of participation where Familiaris Consortio talks of sharing. The words participate and share are synonyms. So what is to be understood by participation in the celebration of the Eucharist? Was Pope John Paul II suggesting that the divorced and remarried could share in the celebration of the Eucharist i.e. receive sacramental communion. Many would interpret the text in that way.

However the problem is that Pope John Paul II never said those words.

What he did say in Familiaris Consortio 84 was:

Together with the Synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can, and indeed must, share in her life. [Latin: vitam participare] They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, [Hortandi praeterea sunt ut verbum Dei exaudiant, sacrificio Missae intersint, …] to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope.

John Paul II advocates attending [one can say “participate at”] the Sacrifice of the Mass NOT participating in the Eucharist. [By “Eucharist” I think we can mean both the Blessed Sacrament Itself as well as Its celebration, that is, Holy Mass.] Why is there this curious transliteration of the actual words? [A good question.  Is suspect that those who wrote the IL are allergic to the identification of Mass as “Sacrifice” of Calvary renewed.  Sure, they would admit that it is that, if pressed, but they don’t use sacrificial language willingly in talking about Mass.  Indeed, this is the same mentality behind referring vaguely to “liturgy” instead of referring to “Mass”.  It has become deeply rooted in many people now – good people, mind you – to call Mass something other than Sacrifice of the Mass.  And so, “sacfrice” is  now fading out of our Catholic identity far and wide and “assembly” or “community” is dominant.]A further point is that in the above extract there is no mention of spiritual communion as suggested that there is in clause 123 quoted above. [Spiritual Communion is a little tricky.] I have checked out each of the texts in Latin, French and Spanish and they all have this transliteration. Why change the wording other than to promote the cause of communion for the divorced and remarried? [That could be the motive, yes.] Cardinal Baldisseri [head of the office for the Synod of Bishops] you signed this document. Please explain this deliberate misrepresentation of the Blessed Pope’s words. It is akin to forgery.

Of course the following sentence in Familiaris Consortio does not get quoted for obvious reasons:

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried.

Thus endeth the guest spot.

Let’s see that section in Familiaris consortio 84, the post-Synodal Exhortation by St. John Paul II of 1981:

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”

You might recall that last year, before last year’s Synod, Card. Baldisseri insinuated that Familiaris consortio was outdated.  HERE

John Paul’s document was only 33 years old at the time.  The Second Vatican Council, by the way, is now over 50.


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  1. iPadre says:

    I can clearly remember the chants: “JP II we love you,” and his response: “JP II he loves you.”

    We can be sure we have a great intercessor for us during the upcoming synod. It would be a great time to proclaim him Doctor of the Church!

  2. Elbereth says:

    Hasn’t a list been published off all the participants in the 2015 Synod? Maybe a good “action item” would be raising money to send this book to them all now in plenty of time before any … um … accidents could happen. Just throwing it out there for your consideration, Father.

    On a lighter note, that last extraordinary synod reminded me a lot of the British classic show, “Yes, Minister.”

  3. jacobi says:

    There are two issues which have emerged in the post-Vatican II Church.

    1. Our Sunday obligation has been subtly changed from a requirement to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to a near-obligation to receive Holy Communion as much as we can, regardless of conditions, at Mass of course but also at any possible occasion.
    2. That people in a state of mortal sin may receive Holy Communion, it would seem particularly adulterers and more recently, practising homosexuals, but logically anyone in any state of mortal sin.

    Both of these are wrong and are wrong and imply heresy.

    The Catholic Church still requires us to attend Mass on Sundays and and Holy Days of Obligation. That amounts to circa 55 times per year. We are required to receive Holy Communion still only once a year and that at Easter or thereabouts.

    No one in a state of mortal sin may receive Holy Communion, no matter what that particular sin is. To do so would incur further mortal sin and if knowingly persisted in Sacrilege. This would apply also to priest and lay distributors of Holy Communion who knowingly concurred or assisted.

    If this is not made clear and imposed in the second session of the Family then schism is inevitable.

  4. joan ellen says:

    Misquotations & Misrepresentations are occurring daily…causing much confusion among the faithful…as well as with others. BUT…with Pope Francis fleshing/flushing out the ‘protests’ with great grace & ease…it becomes helpful in catechesis & evangelization to move the Church ahead with conversions…ours as well as that of others. The poor we will always have with us. Some of the poor are the ones who protest The Faith & ALL that it represents. We will be one Church in the end, yet we will always have the poor. Fr. John Hardon used to say, often, “…and we go on.”

  5. joan ellen says:

    jacobi…I agree that schism is a possibility. It does not have to happen.

    We already are splintered as individuals, as families, as church. We can resort to more prayer, sacrifice, & works…& tons more catechesis.

    The Church Boat is already so fragmented, factionated, fragile… We can, unlike Humpty Dumpty, help to put it together again. Our Lord said the gates of hell will not prevail. We cannot help those gates…with more disunity…through schism. Instead, we can promote the Church as She was in the beginning, is now & will be. We cannot let those in the Church who are poor in faith makes us poor in faith.

    There are 1.2 billion catholics and Catholics, 400,000 Orthodox, & 600,000 Protestants (rounded) to get the job of Unity done…so that the other 5 billion on the planet have a chance at knowing Our Lord & His Church.

    Christians have much unity in essentials, much disunity in non-essentials…we must prevail in charity. per St. Augustine. The upcoming synod will attempt to ‘reason’ our unity into disunity. It will fail. There are just enough Christians to insure that, if we do our part…with prayer, fasting, sacrifices, and works. I for one am most hopeful…even though it appears mighty dismal.

  6. WYMiriam says:

    The IL2015 contains an echo of the now-defunct ICEL language:

    “In reference again to Familiaris Consortio, 84, the recommended forms of participation are: …, the formation of children in the faith and a spirit of penance, …”

    There’s ambiguity in “the formation of children in the faith and a spirit of penance,” particularly since there’s no comma after “faith”. Does it mean “the formation of children in the faith AND (in) a spirit of penance? Or does it mean “the formation of children in the faith AND the formation of a spirit of penance”?

    John Paul II was much clearer: the divorced “should be encouraged to . . . bring up their children in the Christian faith, [and] to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. ”

    “Formation” of a spirit of penance and “cultivation” of the same mean two very different things. One can “form” a garden by laying out a plot, plowing it, making beds in it, planting seeds in it… but one “cultivates” it by watering it, hoeing it, and getting out there on one’s hands and knees to weed it!

    True to ICEL form, the IL2015 left out any mention (at least in what was quoted in the original post) of imploring God’s grace!

    And, finally, just exactly what is the word “communion” in the following quote from IL2015 supposed to mean?:

    “The fruit of this participation is the communion of believers with the whole community, which is an expression of being incorporated into the Church as the Body of Christ.”

  7. JabbaPapa says:

    There is a subtlety in the Italian on this point.

    It can be rendered into English with far less force as a distinction between “participation in” and “participation at”.

    The Italian nella and alla are accented, so the distinction between the two is clearer. Partecipazione nella means “taking part in the”, whereas partecipazione alla means “being present at the”.

    The English distinction is far weaker, because the semantic content is carried more exclusively by the noun.

  8. jacobi says:


    It’s all a sad state of affairs. Looking objectively at the state of the Church at present, it is in a shambles and getting worse. I agree that prayer is required and I do it daily.

    But there is now a desperate need for clear leadership, clear teaching and action. I see little sign of this. In its absence I cannot foresee anything other than continuing disintegration leaving a small remnant of recusant Catholics in Europe at any rate.

    There appears to be no comprehension or analysis of the crisis nor defining of objectives. The Orthodox Church for instance, forget about the Protestants. Sorry, my background is business, which, after all, is but part of Christ’s plan.

    The gates of hell will not prevail but it looks as though a much reduced Catholic Church is in for a long period of mess and obscurity, and I mean possibly hundreds of years.

  9. Gratias says:

    Our Jesuitical church does not seem to mind using the Latin of a Saint if the ends justify the means. The sad reality is that the divorced persons are just a stalking horse for opening the gates to Homosexual communion and marriage.

  10. joan ellen says:

    jacobi…”But there is now a desperate need for clear leadership, clear teaching and action. I see little sign of this. ” I agree.
    Remaining in the Truth of Christ is one example… from the current Church leadership…of clear teaching…the Catechism of the Catholic Church, another…(the Baltimores another), etc., etc., etc.

    Individual plans of action are needed…or the desperation, disintegration, and shambles will take the Church down the pike to 1 Catholic individual remaining…which means there is still a Church. With ‘profound patience’, (my pastor claims), and Fr. John Hardon’s “expect moral miracles” The Church Boat can be put back on course…even by 1 person at a time.

    It seems there is unity in acknowledging the shambles…the splinters… The wood of the cross is not splintered…it is the strength…and it requires the most littlest of us to bring its strength to others.

    The ‘war’ is really about the natural inclinations of man…ie., feelings, emotions, and natural reasonings…leading us to the un-natural…whereas we need to lift each other to the supernatural…with the wonderful teachings of the Church…

    The wonderful teachings of the Church, Christian teachings, …the essentials…are found in catholics, Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants. The Sensus Fidei? Just ask your family, friends, and neighbors if they believe in the Blessed Trinity. You will be able to exclaim, usually, “Thanks be to God. An element of Truth that we share.”

    The Catechism of the Church, the Fullness of Faith, is in only 4 parts…the Creed, the Liturgy & the Sacraments, the Moral Order…10 Commandments, and Prayer.

    Each of us has the moral order written in our hearts…(Romans 2:2-16) …25% catholic. Each of us prays…50% catholic. Most people who call themselves Christian believe in the Apostles Creed…and the Nicene Creed. 75% catholic. It is the Liturgy and the Sacraments that separate us…the Supernatural Graces handed down through Apostolic Succession, maintained by the Saints, and found in the Catholic Church & the Orthodox Church…the Eastern Church & the Western Church…The Church with 2 Lungs.

    Each of us can ask our family, friends, neighbors in conversation if they can pray an Our Father with us for Christian Unity. We can remind them that we each have the moral order written in our hearts…they know it. (a Pastor in the wonderful Sacrament of Penance.) We can tell them that the only thing that separates us is the Liturgy & the Sacraments…which requires Apostolic Succession…which give us Supernatural Graces to carry our splintered crosses in this desperation, disintegration, and shambles to the strength of The Cross.

    Sorry that this plan for action is such a lecture. It is simple, not easy, to find our unity…and then our strength in The Church Boat.

  11. Imrahil says:

    Dear Joan Ellen,

    while it is true that there are many (to use your expression) “elements of truth” outside, the issue is not as fine as you describe it.

    Mind you, there are genuinely wonderful people out there; but that makes it harder, not easier, that we are separated and that they (sorry) are wrong. And it’s not, a question of “dissent in the unessentials”.

    As for the “parts” Creed, Liturgy&Sacraments, Moral Order and Prayer, first of all why do you say they add up? It would come nearer to the truth to say they multiply… and binarily… but even if we aren’t so gloomy, why add that up and why in equal shares?

    The Creed we share with the Eastern Orthodox – the slight differences we have even with them, they might be called unessential… But not with the Protestants. Even if the words are the same, the included meaning simply isn’t (I could try to explain that but then the comment would be too long; for the time being, see Paul Hacker, “The Self in Martin Luther’s Faith”; J. A. Möhler, “Symbolik, or: A depiction of dogmatic antitheses of Catholics and Protestants according to their public documents of faith”. In Germany, by the way, the Protestants don’t even use the same Creed. They don’t use the Nicene Creed at all, and as for the Apostle’s Creed, they are honest enough not to confess to a Catholic Church, but replace the word with “Christian”.

    Each of us has “the moral code” written into the hearts, yes. But that thing must be seen objectively: when it comes to the details, how much difference of opinion is there? and is it really only on matters not of import? Can someone who has read Humanae vitae (even if he disagrees with it) still think that contraception is not a matter of import?

    Indications for the difference in either Creed or Moral Code, I leave open which, can be taken in plenty from the different politics and motivation for politics Catholics and Protestants do, and from the different attitudes onto certain moral subjects (Puritanism is a Protestant movement).

    Even prayer is different. If you lose some material object you really like, you’ll think it an act of exemplary devotion and of the right feeling of the unity in the Mystical Body of Christ to ask, in due obedience to God’s will, St. Anthony for help. And that hasn’t been reported to fail, yet. A Protestant, on the other hand, doesn’t pray to saints, for one thing, and also, the cause of that particular prayer would no-doubt seem to him a case of utmost vanity, worldliness, childishness and so on.

    And of course, the is not a “Church with two lungs” of which the one is (Latin?) Catholic Church and the other is Eastern Orthodox Church. There is but one Church, with an Eastern and a Western lung, yes, but the Eastern lung is fully realized only in the Eastern Catholic Churches. The Eastern Orthodox may perhaps be said to “take part in” a lot of it (I’m not a theologian and so won’t judge whether that expression would be correct; but what is clear is:), in any case lacking unity they aren’t entirely part of it, and certainly there is not a “Greater Church” than the Catholic Church which includes the Catholic Church as a member, but just the Catholic Church, which is a Church of Christ, of which all the other Churches and communitites may perhaps be said to be members with a certain defect, but certainly not equals.

  12. ” . . . where Pope JPII exhorts the divorced and remarried to attend the sacrifice of the Mass.”

    Why would the Church precept obliging Sunday and holy day Mass attendance apply any differently to divorced and remarried Catholics than to single or married Catholics? Aren’t all Catholics equally obliged to attend Mass on every Sunday and holy day of precept?

  13. Bender says:

    Regarding the authoritative magisterial affirmation by Saint John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, let’s not forget the Synod on the Eucharist just a few years ago, when this same question was brought up again. And here too Pope Benedict authoritatively stated:

    29. If the Eucharist expresses the irrevocable nature of God’s love in Christ for his Church, we can then understand why it implies, with regard to the sacrament of Matrimony, that indissolubility to which all true love necessarily aspires. (91) There was good reason for the pastoral attention that the Synod gave to the painful situations experienced by some of the faithful who, having celebrated the sacrament of Matrimony, then divorced and remarried. This represents a complex and troubling pastoral problem, a real scourge for contemporary society, and one which increasingly affects the Catholic community as well. The Church’s pastors, out of love for the truth, are obliged to discern different situations carefully, in order to be able to offer appropriate spiritual guidance to the faithful involved.(92) The Synod of Bishops confirmed the Church’s practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2- 12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments, since their state and their condition of life objectively contradict the loving union of Christ and the Church signified and made present in the Eucharist. Yet the divorced and remarried continue to belong to the Church, which accompanies them with special concern and encourages them to live as fully as possible the Christian life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion, listening to the word of God, eucharistic adoration, prayer, participation in the life of the community, honest dialogue with a priest or spiritual director, dedication to the life of charity, works of penance, and commitment to the education of their children. (Sacramentum Caritatis, 29)

    With respect to “getting” an annulment as a “solution” to the problem, Pope Benedict continued:

    pastoral care must not be understood as if it were somehow in conflict with the law. Rather, one should begin by assuming that the fundamental point of encounter between the law and pastoral care is love for the truth: truth is never something purely abstract, but “a real part of the human and Christian journey of every member of the faithful” (96). Finally, where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God’s law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe the Church’s established and approved practice in this regard. This path, if it is to be possible and fruitful, must be supported by pastors and by adequate ecclesial initiatives, nor can it ever involve the blessing of these relations, lest confusion arise among the faithful concerning the value of marriage. (Sacramentum Caritatis, 29)

    Twice now at least in recent years this issue has been considered by the bishops in synod and the Pope. This settled matter was brought up a third time last year and looks to be a fourth time this year. The Successor of Peter has already conclusively spoken on this — twice.

  14. joan ellen says:

    Imrahil: Thank you for your help. When Pope John Paul II spoke of the Church breathing with both lungs…probably a good idea for any of us interested to find the citation…he surely was not talking about the Eastern Catholics already in union in Rome as they already breathe with Rome’s lung. The Vatican II document addresses the Eastern Orthodox…the reason for our need to commingle with them…as much as possible…so that, like in a marriage…the 2 are fully the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Why? Because it was the Church until 1054…and for various, I’m just only beginning to read and understand, SILLY reasons…the 2 separated. (Actually, how many Catholics are aware that there were 5 Patriarchs from which apostolic succession flows?) Today we have multiple separations…inside the Church and outside…how many Protestant denominations are there currently? We agree on the slight differences between the Latin Church and the Eastern Church, or I prefer, the Latin or Roman lung and the Greek or Constantinople lung. That agreement is most helpful, as many Western Church Catholics consider the differences major. Our major problem today…the splinters…in the Church and outside of it. The Babylon of faith.

    As for equals: Protestants are our equals when Baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Then it ends because their sacramental life ends, except for those in a valid Sacrament of Matrimony. Our sacramental life does not end at Baptism, and neither does the Eastern Orthodox sacramental life end at Baptism or even with a valid marriage. The seven sacraments in the Western Church are the same seven sacraments as in the Eastern Church. The Protestants lose out of all of that Sanctifying Grace that we in the Western Church and in the Eastern Church enjoy…That East West distinction still probably works as does the mother father distinction in a family. So, we agree that Protestants are not our equals in the faith…I see them as in a tug boat along side the Western Church in the The Church Boat.

    As for giving the 4 parts of the Catechism equal measures…well…we have to start someplace. If we know our faith, we know that the Eucharist is the Source and summit of that faith. For argumentation sake…giving the 4 parts 25% is just a starting point. Prayer is very important to a monk or cloistered nun…and they may argue that prayer is worth 50-75%.

    We also agree that St. Anthony never fails in finding lost items…no matter how small, nor how often we need his assistance. And that’s how the Holy, Roman, Catholic, Church works. Now and forever. ;) And I’m only 1/4 German.

  15. rhhenry says:

    Familiaris consortio *is* outdated, in the sense that — being more than 30 years old — Pope St. John Paul II didn’t have a lot to say about 3-parent children, legalized same-sex marriage, internet pornography, etc. I thought that was the point of the synod and its resulting papal statement: to build upon and “update” — not change — Familiaris consortio and the teaching contained therein.

  16. Nicolas Bellord says:

    JabbaPapa: You make an interesting point about nella and alla. If someone is pushing the envelope you go one step at a time and I wonder how long it will be before alla becomes nella. The original Italian in Familiaris Consortio was ‘frequentare’ which is a lot weaker than partecipazione. But the question remains of why not quote the original text rather than this transliteration. In these days of cut and past it is so easy to use the original text. This is not a précis of the original but a transliteration into a modern (modernist?) idiom. I cannot see that it is other than deliberate in pursuit of an agenda.

  17. joan ellen says:

    rhhenry: “I thought that was the point of the synod and its resulting papal statement: to build upon and ”update” – not change — Familiaris consortio and the teaching contained therein.”

    This could be a good prayer petition. However…the words to build upon and “update” scare me some. The word ‘strengthen’ would suit my thinking better.

    Bender’s contribution & comment nails the whole topic…succinctly…& most clearly. So, for me the prayer petition is to ask, no, to beg God that the attendees at the Synod & all others interested will pray much & see to it that the Popes words above are strengthened, reinforced, & upheld.

  18. jacobi says:

    Joan ellen,

    We have to be so careful these days in the use of language. That is the main weapon of the Gradualists who seek to imperceptibly change doctrine. I have already commented elsewhere on the use of the word “develop” . It can be used to implement inherent change over a period of time, and nowadays, not necessarily a long period.

    I agree, and would tend to put “update” into the same category. The proper term here I think is “deepen”?

    As for this whole Synod, I simply do not see why it has been called, and I fear for the outcome.

    I still think the basic underlying problem is the current attempt by factions to change the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a Protestant-style communion service in which all must participate, and be seen to be participating, regardless of spiritual condition, and this is a Gradualist attack on the Real Presence.

  19. rhhenry says:

    Joan Ellen,

    You’re right that “update” is not a great choice of words. Perhaps, “(re)affirm and supplement.”

    A lot has happened since Familiaris consortio (e.g., genetic engineering, the internet, legalization of same-sex marriage and euthanasia), and I think these new situations should be addressed, and the easiest way to do that would seem to be to take FC as a foundation, then address the new situations in light of FC, Tradition, Scripture, reason, etc. A pithy (and cheeky) post-synodal document could begin, “Section 1. What Familiaris consortio said. Section 2. Moreover, . . .”

  20. Pingback: Sacred Nourishment | The Benedict Post

  21. DonL says:

    It looks like some son of the apostles took to heart Christ’s exhortation to “be as cunning as serpents.”
    I fear that many will be crawling on their bellies at the upcoming synod.
    In the meantime, my mostly traditional parish of 1300 plus families has had just 4 Church weddings in the last year and a half.
    Why isn’t the synod dealing primarily with that sinkhole in the main aisle instead of skirting with sacrilege as pastoral mercy?

  22. WYMiriam says:

    Henry Edwards:

    “Why would the Church precept obliging Sunday and holy day Mass attendance apply any differently to divorced and remarried Catholics than to single or married Catholics? Aren’t all Catholics equally obliged to attend Mass on every Sunday and holy day of precept?”

    In answer to your first question, it doesn’t.

    In answer to your second question, they are.

    The problem arises with either deficient catechesis, a total lack of catechesis, or with students who don’t pay attention and/or forget what they learned. Far too many Catholics mistakenly think that, since the divorced-and-re”married” are fobidden to receive Holy Communion, therefore all divorced persons are forbidden to receive Holy Communion, therefore, why bother going to Holy Mass at all? How sad.

  23. FYI: I looked up Familiaris Consortio in Italian. The phrase is “frequentare il sacrificio della Messa” which translated literally is “frequent the sacrifice of the mass.” “Frequent” seems a little more vague than “attend” (English translation) but still far from “participate”

    The Italian translates the previous live exhorting the divorced and remarried to “share in her [the Church’s] life” with “participate”: “partecipare alla sua vita” –> “participate in her [the Church’s] life.”

    I thought that might be helpful.

  24. FYI: if you want a response from me, I may not check back but I check Twitter: @FrMatthewLC

  25. joan ellen says:

    These last few comments lead me to think that emphasizing Familiaris Consortio as well as Pope Benedict’s words, over and over, as a broken record, in all of our thinkings, sayings, and doings…here, on Fr. Z’s blog…when appropriate…and, as Fr. Schneider mentioned Twitter…(thank you, for this direction, Fr.), and the internet options…blogs, even websites…as well as the other regular social media options.

    For example, on Linkedin…under the honors, awards section I write Amish-like Catholic Grandma…with Jewish Roots. I will have no problem putting a Googly link for
    Remaining in the Truth of Christ or words from the above 2 popes. As a matter of fact, I will googly link this page and put it on my twitter page @lifesystemstuff…unless Fr. Z would prefer not. Then I shall cease and desist. Until then…

    At teachmestuff.com I have a googly link shortener at the top of the page. If enough of us link this page of/from Fr. Z’s blog with all of its fine comments and citations, and resources…well, we can only hope…re: marriage and family…

    …God is the first life system, then under His direction.leadership of His Church…a husband.wife…then, father.mother and children…are needed to keep humanity human… And God’s will.

  26. joan ellen says:

    DonL: “…instead of skirting with sacrilege as pastoral mercy?”, (these words seem totally apt), it behooves us to ‘roll up our sleeves’ to pray, promote, and persevere in the Truth for our families.

    jacobi: “As for this whole Synod, I simply do not see why it has been called, and I fear for the outcome.”

    “I still think the basic underlying problem is the current attempt by factions to change the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a Protestant-style communion service in which all must participate, and be seen to be participating, regardless of spiritual condition, and this is a Gradualist attack on the Real Presence.”

    The synod could be good and fruitful. Families everywhere are in need of unity and strength.

    In my little mind, Catholicism…whether in the Eastern Church or the Western Church…(if I understand Imrahil)…is primarily distinguished by Succession (Apostolic), Sacraments (7), and Saints (who intercede for us). Your words Re: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the gradual attack on the Real Presence…the Source and Summit of Catholicism…may be hitting the nail on the head…and The Head… Therein is the very life of God…to Whom we need to pray, promote, and persevere. Perhaps asking others to join us in prayer…for God’s greater honor and glory…especially in the Eucharistic God. (I don’t know if we can refer to God in the Eucharist as the Eucharistic God or not…so please correct me.)

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