Rules to be severely changed for upcoming Synod in October

At Monday Vatican Andrea Gagliarducci has news about changes to be made in the procedure for the upcoming Synod in October.

Last year the organizers of the Synod changed rules in order to more easily ram through their agenda.  This year is no different.  Look what they are going to do. My emphases:


Some well-informed people say that the 2015 Synod will be completely different from any other. First of all, a midterm report will not be released. Last year, the midterm report was completely revised by some of the Pope’s closest collaborators prior to its release, and the report resulted in many controversies. Even Cardinal Petr Erdo, the Synod’s General Relator, distanced himself from the report. But its release united the followers of the Church’s doctrine, who stood up against the Synod’s drift. They ultimately achieved an acceptable compromise for the Synod’s Final Report, which was filled with biblical references that had been lacking in the midterm report.

Avoiding the release of a midterm report would mean eliminating any possibility of discussion. The plan is for the Synod to carry out discussions mostly in “small groups” (circuli minores) without a general discussion. In the end, the reports of the small groups would be put in the Pope’s hands, and the Pope would then give a final address. No final report or post-synodal apostolic exhortation is foreseen at the moment, at least according to recent rumors. In this way the adapters hope to convince the Pope to employ vague language so they can eventually exploit his words.


If they don’t have general discussion after small groups discussions, and if reports won’t be circulated to other groups, the members of Group A won’t know what members of Group B said.  If the reports from the individual groups go straight to the Pope via the office that organizes the Synod…

I direct the readership’s attention to Edward Pentin’s new ebook about last years Synod.  There efforts to rig the last Synod to accomplish a pre-determined agenda.

The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation of Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. CatholicMD says:

    Well played liberals. They have effectively turned the Synod into the Lambeth Conference complete with indaba groups and all.

  2. kiwiinamerica says:

    The fix is in!

  3. Benedict Joseph says:

    Aggravating in the extreme is that informed and faithful laity are regarded as stupid children in need of patronizing, pandering, and condescending malarkey. You can tell what’s coming by the stench that precedes it. The dictatorship of relativism is firmly established in the Chair, with the compliance of the lemmings dressed in black – since the iron hand in the ermine glove has our obedience they will mask their accountability. He will have his way and we will have the exasperation of being coochy-cooed to the edge of reason. There are consequences for such maleficence and for those that acquiesce to it. Time for everyone to put on their big boy pants and leave your wallets at home on Sundays until this spectacle finds it terminus.

  4. CountryCatholic says:

    “The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be over marriage and family”

    -Sister Lucia

    It’s crazy how all of this has played out so quickly in the last couple of years. PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! Now is the time to storm heaven like never before. I worry for the poor souls who will go along with this rubbish on the road to damnation

  5. The Cobbler says:

    This, along with the previous post to the effect (if I understood correctly) that changes come first and synod second, reminds me very strongly of the business practice (at least, by Dilbert’s Pointy-Haired Boss’s conception of “business”) of deciding to change something you don’t know about, then calling a meeting with the people involved in order to “get their feedback” not because you care if they know anything you don’t or can conceive of having been wrong but rather only because you think they have purely emotional concerns (“fear of change”) and want to give them a chance to deal with it when you impose your decision for their own good… all about kicking reality and those who have to work with it to the curb in favor of The Way You Know Things Should Be, even if (perhaps precisely because) nobody who engages in such management tomfoolery has thought through such philosophical implications of their behavior.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    I have faith in the orthodox bishops who will be there, particularly the bishops of Poland and Africa. And let us not forget Cardinal Pell’s strong actions last year.

  7. Johannes Quinque says:

    I think Pope Francis has no intention of issuing a vague statement.

    Yes he can be vague and squishy to the media and general public, but these Bishops are those who should know better. These small groups may just give him the ammunition he needs to pinpoint the errors and refute them!

  8. frjim4321 says:

    A rigged process!?

    At the Vatican!?

    It could never happen.

  9. Dennis Martin says:

    Johannes Quinque wrote: “I think Pope Francis has no intention of issuing a vague statement.”

    From your keyboard to God’s ears! If there is to be no post-synod exhortation and no final report, then it will all come down to this final papal address. Yes, I suppose he could later issue formal clarifications but if they close the gate only after the horses are out of the Barn of Vagueness, the damage in terms of low-information-Catholics’ false perceptions will already have been done and we will live with the negative consequences for decades.

    On the other hand, if he were to be crystal clear in his final address, . . . . crystal clear as in Humanae Vitae Crystal Clear. This could be the defining moment of his pontificate. If that’s what he has planned, I don’t understand why he let the Kasperites gain so much mileage in the preceding 18 months, but my inability to understand that means nothing if indeed he is crystal clear. If.

  10. frjim4321 says:


  11. Benedict Joseph says:

    CountryCatholic and the Cobbler make very cogent comments.
    The risk to souls that these “discussions” regarding acquiescence to sinful behavior is already well realized. I can testify to that personally. Why would anyone on the fine edge of moral discernment give shrift to a religion that is rethinking its positions on sensitive areas of human vulnerability? What credence could one possibly find to ascent to its teaching on anything, when it finds itself mistaken on morals? Can you imagine the response of John Paul, Teresa of Calcutta, Padre Pio, Lucia dos Santos to these machinations, not simply by those who hold themselves “theologians,” but by the Vicar of Christ and his household? I cannot recall a scandal of any sort in the history of the Church to match this.
    Having been reminded for the umpteenth time that we are not an NGO by Rome, Cobbler points clearly to tactics employed on the psychological level in business. It is a debasement of the Chair of Peter for adults, who have winced at seeing this sort of nonsense unfold before their own eyes in their work domains, to observe clerics of the highest rank employ these manipulations in their dealings with the faithful.
    The moral scandals of the clergy we have absorbed over the past twenty years pale in the face of this mendacious behavior. Human weakness I well understand. The abuse of power presently employed and tolerated is unacceptable and revolting in the extreme.
    Instead of playing with issues that provide some a sort of gratification, perhaps these gentleman can plumb the depths of their own deep spirituality, their fine powers of discernment, and start to teach us about the Most Holy Trinity and His redemptive action in our lives, where Jesus Christ calls us to make up in our own person what is lacking in His own redemptive suffering.

  12. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Isolate, freeze, attack, create a crisis and then take advantage of it, present the result as a fait accompli (there’s no turning back the clock), control communications. These are all the familiar tactics of the Left. If The Five and The Eleven and The Africans accept the new rules, they will lose. Yet they are trapped in a merely reactive mode and the reason for that resides in one man. Lord have mercy on us.

  13. mysticalrose says:

    Ok, I’m not going to lie. I am starting to actually believe that sedevacantism might be a reasonable position. And I am not the type to think these sorts of things. This is just getting crazy.

  14. jfk03 says:

    There was a similar challenge to the Church in its early centuries — Arianism, the rejection of the divinity of Jesus. Compromising the moral values explicitly taught by our Savior, even if cleverly disguised in the ambivalent language of modern “theology,” is a rejection of the divinity of Jesus. We can pick his Kingdom, or the kingdom of the father of lies.

  15. jfk03 says:

    And by the way, the Savior promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against his Church.

  16. majuscule says:

    This reeks of the Delphi Method that is used to steer small groups into reaching a (usually predetermined by someone) consensus…

    I am praying that is not the case.

    [Delphi “Technique”, perhaps?]

  17. kpoterack says:

    These are still rumors, as Andrea Gagliarducci has pointed out in his column. And, interestingly, he says just before the part that Fr. Z quotes that “the adaptors have failed to win over the Synod of Bishops to their positions, and this is the reason the General Secretary of the Synod considered changing the rules.”

    In other words, they’re losing.

    I am not saying that they aren’t crafty and will not try to win by parliamentary maneuvering and deceit. “By hook or by crook.” Just remember that the word “decimate” comes from the word for “ten” (deci-). It meant that if you could knock out ten percent of an opposing army (quite small), then the rest would often flee in terror. It’s a psychological trick.

    So, as Fr. Z said, we need all hands on deck. We ultimately have the Lord on our side. There are, also, many good bishops and cardinals who know full well what is going on – from what I have seen of the “Eleven Cardinals” and the “African Bishops” books. Edward Pentin’s e-book will, I think, also be very important. If that small group of “adapting liberals” really do pull off a coup at the synod, it won’t last that long. Many good people, prelates and laity, know what is going on and are watching. And our numbers are not small. There will be a big blow-back.

    We all need to pray, write letters – whatever we are called to do in our state in life. The faith is not the property of a small, elite group who can alter it as they see fit. It belongs to all of us. Even the hierarchy only hold it in trust. As Pope Francis himself at the end of the last synod criticized those in the hierarchy who give into “the temptation to neglect the Deposit of Faith, not thinking of themselves as guardians, but as owners or masters of it.”

  18. juergensen says:

    Looks like the smoke of Satan, which entered the Church long ago, is now taking advantage of weakness and coming out into the open.

  19. johnnycuredents says:

    Many of us desperately want to believe that Pope Francis is completely orthodox and well-meaning, but that he is astoundingly naive. He seems to take liberals (in the worst sense of this fungible moniker) at their word. He appears to believe that, since liberal prelates tend to lapse into goo-goo talk whenever one bridges topics like poverty, refugees, or Mohammedans, they must be good chaps after all. I have finally settled into a standard response when non-Catholics ask me about Francis (and they have been asking lately): “He seems like a nice man but is not up to the present demands of the office he holds. In the last papal election, the cardinals passed over other candidates more qualified and indicated by current circumstances, men like Cardinal Ouellet. But we must work with what we have, so I pray for the man….and the Church.”

  20. The Masked Chicken says:

    So, business as usual?

    The Chicken

  21. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Like CatholicMD, (pseudo-)’indaba’ at Lambeth 2008 is one of the first parallels that came to my mind. What else happened there – massive boycott – and elsewhere – independent gathering of boycotters. Not that that need be ‘the’ solution. But coordinated action by orthodox Synod Fathers – also in terms of ‘contingency plans’ – seem indicated. Including, I would think, ‘conscientious objection’ to any (unprecedented or once-precedented-but-still-)novel restrictions on communication. An outspoken and coordinated refusal to acquiesce, coupled with constant truly ‘transparent’ public communication, with, if called for, coordinated objection in camera and if indicated a walk-out. Are the attendant members of The Five and The Eleven and The Africans groups of authors likely to think in similar ways?

  22. Venerator Sti Lot says:


  23. Cradle Catholic says:

    Cardinal Napier is the co-president of the 2015 Synod in October. When I read that, my concerns were somewhat assuaged. However, when I read Mr. Pentin’s e-book, it described how the Synod Management ignored Cardinal Napier’s input until Cardinal Wuerl stepped in, quite angrily to insist that they listen to his input.

    Now I am worried – reading about this further ‘rigging’ of the Synod. So much for transparency. Is it possible that the good Cardinal Napier will just be made a figure head? And not have any power over what happens in the Synod? What is the role of the president of the Synod? If he is co-president, who is the other president?

  24. CharlesG says:

    I thought Vatican II (of which the Synod was the product) was supposed to balance out the Papal monarchism of Vatican I with collegiality of the bishops (of course in union with the Pope)? The Synod is supposed to be an expression of collegiality. If what Gagliarducci says is true, these rule changes fly in the face of collegiality and revert to as hyper Papal monarchism. If the Synod will not actually produce a collegial consensus document, then so much for collegiality and parrhesia! Of course, in the end the Pope can put whatever he wants to in his post-Synodal apostolic exhortation, but without a final document expressing the collegial consensus of the Synod, the Pope will be much freer to pick and choose from stuff he likes from the small group reports without having to restrict himself to any stated collegial consensus. Methinks the liberals in charge here didn’t like the consensus they expected to emerge, and so have reverted to extreme Ultramontanism. Liberals hate Vatican II!

  25. LeeF says:

    I think the Holy Father has previously made clear that the emphasis of these synods is NOT on admitting the divorced and remarried w/o annulment to communion, or on doctrine on homosexual actions. This makes the liberal “adapters” even more dependent on vague statements that they can later twist to their purposes.

    Collegiality, so much loved in principle by the libs, means nothing without free and open discussion by the synod fathers (though that does not necessarily imply open to the public). Otherwise, the pope could merely have X number of bishops come to him one on one and give their opinion, after which he makes a proclamation on an issue claiming that collegiality was respected.

    There almost has to be a general discussion at the end of the small group sessions before the release of a final report. If the report is only going to be a supposed summary of small group sessions edited by the fixers, er I mean organizers, with no general discussion before such a final report, then we will know that not only was the fix in, but that it was approved of by the Holy Father.

    One thing is certain, which is that given the succession of books by theological heavyweights that adhere to Church doctrine, the liberal theological lightweights are desperate and will take desperate measures, using the usual liberal tactics of trying to smear the orthodox with labels of “rigid”, “heartless”, “hateful”, etc., and when challenged, with “uncivil.”

  26. Hidden One says:

    At the Second Vatican Council, it took a few determined bishops exactly how many minutes to throw out all the preparations and completely rewrite what was going to happen?

  27. Sonshine135 says:

    I am pretty sure we all know what is happening here. Major announcements will be made after the Synod about how this and that have changed. Then, as this is trumpeted through that valuable catechetical resource known as the mainstream media, we will cathc glimpses of interviews on EWTN where Cardinal such n such comes out and say, “We never discussed that. We were shocked to hear this. That was not part of any of our recommendations.”

    It is best we remember that we must pray often, live the faith, and keep our lamps filled with oil. Also, teach your children the Deposit of Faith, because the religious formation from the average local church isn’t going to do it. Sometimes as well as a bug out bag, you need to prep for faith-related emergencies as well.

  28. ConstantlyConverting says:

    Much confusion was caused by last years publications. Maybe no press and a final papal edit is a good idea?

  29. ssoldie says:

    Interesting how ‘agenda’ and ambiguity’ go together, the ongoing Vatican II Pastoral Council of 50+ tears.
    I am S.S.P.X.

  30. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Before Synod Part One, Pentin reports, the JPII Institute was asked to recommend experts for consultation. Their list of orthodox experts was used as a blacklist.

    Global-Warming “skeptics” were bullied–literally pushed and shoved by clerical bouncers–and denied admittance to events in the Vatican.

    Pentin reports it was Cardinal Baldisseri who ordered the THEFT of the “Five Cardinals” books from the Vatican post office. There’s been no word of any prosecution. In the U.S., he’d go to federal prison for years and years.

    More than one source in Buenos Aires has reported that Cardinal Bergoglio consistently exiled “conservatives” to the far corners of the archdiocese, and conversed only with the leftist clergy that he kept close by.

    Thuggery. Theft. Dishonesty. Choosing to live in a lefty bubble.

    There’s a clear pattern. It goes back decades. It needs no interpretation. It speaks for itself.

  31. HeatherPA says:

    Please preach the power of the family Rosary, Fathers. The final battle is against the family and the best way to combat it is with the family praying the Rosary together.
    Invoking the guardian Angels of all present and the Holy Souls increases the power of the prayers, too.
    He is in the midst of two or more praying in His name.
    It’s what Our Lady said Our Lord wanted. It’s easy to forget this in the face of these trials, but if all the priests who read this blog really began to exhort their flocks every week to do the family Rosary, it would yield fruit.

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