In October the Synod of Bishops will once again take up questions concerning “the family”.
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 Church, that 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
Nicolas Bellord [Thanks Nicholas]
- [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.