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Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a scrappy blogger popular with the Catholic right.
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[T]he even more mainline Catholic Fr. Z. blog.
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Oh man. That’s an AWFUL commission. It’s not exactly a lineup to inspire confidence. And hardly any Africans, even though the Church is growing like a weed there.
But perhaps I am just suffering from the hermeneutic of suspicion.
And perhaps I am also a small manglewurzel from the planet Zort.
We haven’t any covenantal relationship, no establishment in communion, with the media, the cultural elites, the empowered bosses in our time, we as Catholic families, to them. As such, there is nothing more that we owe to these bullies than to extend respect in mutual human dignity, and, perhaps, as we have the time and inclination, consider their demands as it relates to us, and, perhaps, if they cohere to our calling as Catholics, lend political support or no. This is all done in the normal course. Do we owe more than that? No. Is their bullying justified? No, very resoundingly. As to their proposals voiced through this forum to place more demands on the family, pile on burdens of demands, posited in the role of accuser — not from a premise of caritas, love of us, Catholic families, from a position to deal families a death blow after having been denied the worthy sacraments and teaching for so very long, with other serious problems not of our creation, we need to understand the situation the family is in and to what extent they can deliver these demands even the good ones. The reality is that a great many have bent over backwards to comply and still the family has received the harassing and destruction treatment in exchange. Obviously there is no mutual good will there. It is not a two way street. The demands in that case represent tyranny. If I am wrong we shall see then all that the secular modernist demanders and accusers will offer to the families so harmed in our times and denied their birthrights. Is it a two way street? If we do then reform as required by the elites, what then will they do, in good will, in the covenant relationship, in our shared communion, to benefit families? What will they sacrifice, what will they admit to having done which they should not have done, were not entitled to do, and will now longer do, things which have harmed real families, actual human beings, to the extent they are denied a human right? Will the harassing and harm orchestrated towards families, sometimes minors now cease in exchange for obtaining this laundry list of demands? What will the modernist elite side give up or change or do to better support the family? So far, I have seen nothing from this side but demands, you must, but no indicia of good will in participation, no charity and love towards families. We should, by all means, talk in terms of the realities. Are families, Catholic families, living well, free, without harassment, in peace, able to attain to their values and goals, able to participate in parish life in freedom, peace, employ a sacramental life to bring to the harsh experiences within a chaotic time? Not only in North America, but in many places in the world? Let’s be honest. If it is a two way street, we should be able to readily see that. If it is not, then, by its fruits we shall identify.
As my late, mentally challenged, yet prophetic great-uncle used to say, “Life is tricky; you gotta watch.” If Cardinal Kasper and his “Kasperites” are allowed to get their way on Communion for the divorced and remarried and homosexuals, it’ll be “Katie, bar the door” because everything else will fall apart from there. In finem citius, indeed.
When I was planning my wedding, some kind hearted person offered to buy me a wardrobe for my new married life. Being an extremely conservative dresser I decided to bring along three vocal friends who had a better sence of style and current fashion. I wrote myself a list. I had a plan, and there were definitely things I needed on that list. But when I went into the first store, it soon became clear that the person sent to oversee and carry out my purchase had been a teenager in the 80s and we clashed on every subject. I ended up just picking everything she threw at me that I didn’t hate. I didn’t get anything on my list, nothing I needed, I had too many of this and not enough of that.
This synod reminds me of that shopping trip. The family, my family, is living in a rough time, for families, just having children is seen as counter cultural. We have many needs that ought to be addressed. How to raise our children to achieve holiness? How to teach them to pray? How to set up retreats for them? How to encourage the Faith in those raised in public schooling? How to catechise? But no, sadly, all we’re going to get is a lot of extra baggage; Can men express their preference for men in public and still be Catholic? Are people allowed to go to Conmunion if they leave their third wife, if the other four were alcoholics, and the third one had a baby and the baby was gay and they wanted the “thing in their hand and then they sing the song,” or whatever. (Sorry, I’m ranting, a little), but I’ve made my point.
The synod, any synod, should be made up of ONLY faithful Catholics (is that so hard to take this IS the Catholic Church) all the other guys need to step down so that the air is cleared and they can really discuss how to help the family. The real family, not this other weird stuff!!
These demands made by modern empowered elites, let’s examine. By their own statements, they shun both Scripture, the Lord’s words, and Tradition. Fair enough, they are going on something else. They do not name the basis for their reasoning or their insistence that their demands and ways are best, or superior. Perhaps they cite a notion of justice. On what this rests is yet unclear. All we have as participants in the runaway train styled as a walk together in conversation or discussion with which to rationally consider the demands put to us like a weapon is how these have worked out in their realms and worlds, where they run things according to these principles they advocate. What are the results there? A quick glance reveals that the first pillar principle of their superior world is that human life, innocent and formative human life, may be acceptably murdered, with torture, at the service of shifting goals in the area of consumption, or, more plainly, greed. Further, people may not freely participate in attempting to earn a wage or establish entrepreneurial goals within this system for fear of upsetting some construct of a balance (?) between the tens of millions gone, with their whole progeny and successive generations of family with a system that supports certain entitlements to some, a number that is theoretically fixed. So right away, their obviously favored means for attaining their ideals is sacrifice of human life, without any limits placed on that, and far from it, the more the better. Further, their method of engagement is not to bring all along to a life that all may have abundantly but instead it is a sort of oligarchy in which people who express special esoteric ideas join a particular ruling class, and not only that but the people who do not make the cut are up for endless, years or decades long harassment, criminally. And the fruits of this methodology are in obvious evidence everywhere one looks, from the elementary schools to college campuses to the political stage: it’s the way of violence, of playing dirty and pushing others down in order to “get ahead” or to get what one desires. It doesn’t matter what it is one desires or how they attain them and just about everything may be relativistically justified in this. On the level of worship and community, a stagnant, closed system here and there might “model” from a surface standpoint certain values, however these do not survive the actuality or authenticity test when it comes to ability to welcome outsiders or diversity and encourge. In fact, for every success of a small number of small closed and exclusive “communities” or systems, there is a vast amount of carnage of those destroyed in their wake to claim this superiority or status, demonstrated in a variety of sad and harsh ways, the most benign of which is that huge swaths of Catholics no longer participate in the faith and sacraments they so gravely need for their basic health and well being and for their loved ones. Is this the sort of basis we may step forward with into the future? How reliable and reasonable, even as a means apart from the Gospel, is it for us to basis our communion, what is left of it?
At mass this morning I was reflecting on the various reactions to the synod and realized that a person’s “take” on it is very much influenced by his or her concept of God.
Fr. Z urges, “On your own, check out the composition members”.
Of some possible use in this undertaking, with its list of commission members and some comments and its list of all participants:
Phillipa Martyr, you may have a bad case of hoss, a Synod strain, not Cartwright.
It is properly called “Hermeneutic of Suspicion – Severe”, in my case, because for me it is no longer suspicion, what I now believe about all this, has moved over into the “Let’s Not Pretend We Are In Kansas Anymore” category. I am waiting for others to catch up. They will, I’m afraid.
Cardinal Pell and all other actual defenders of The Truth, as given to us by Christ and passed down to us through the faith, are going to have to keep defending as they go, and be prepared to lay it all on the line after this farce is over.
There should be a microphone set up in St. Peter’s Square. A press conference called by the faithful Cardinals.
One by one they should approach the microphone, then state the truth about this manipulated process, the heresies stated and by whom, and the tragic reality that the Pope has made this not only possible, but has orchestrated it’s outcome. (If the worst happens and we get a diabolical conclusion from the Synod about marriage, Holy Communion, and sodomy.)
If, the worst does happen, and those Cardinals leave Rome without publicly and vehemently stating the truth, if they leave without naming names and stating facts, no matter who or what it is, nor what the repercussions shall be, then they have failed in their duties and responsibilities to protect and defend The Truth as they swore to do when they took their vows. No matter what, this is their responsibility and obligation. It would be to shirk their duty and leave the church and her people in a much worse situation than before. It would be cowardly and dastardly.
The heretics win this battle if the truth is suppressed for any reason whatsoever.
The only possible thing that can counter an evil Synod and heresy, is for it to be publicly denounced by the faithful Cardinals, right then, in the most direct verbal manner possible. All the better if they do it one after the other. They should speak slowly so their words will be reported correctly and the people have a chance to hear some unvarnished truth for a change.
In the article linked in my previous comment, Sandro Magister also writes, “Returning to the pope’s statement that in the unfolding of the synod so far, ‘Catholic doctrine on marriage has not been touched,’ it must be noted that this sort of affirmation is also repeated ceaselessly by all the supporters of change.
“Their mantra, in fact, is that the doctrine remains intact, because the only updating wanted is ‘pastoral.’
“And therefore, since all the proposals for change presented at the synod so far are impeccable on the level of doctrine, all that remains is to select from among these the most ‘merciful.’ ”
With reference to the last sentence, it is worth considering this translation of Bishop Bonny’s intervention, while recollecting Fr. Z’s 29 December 2014 post about some earlier advocacy of his:
Under correction, I do not see any imcompatibility between Monsignor Charamsa’s explicit rejection of Considerations Regarding Proposals to Legalize Unions Between Homosexual Persons (2003), and the last three sentences of Bishop Bonny’s first paragraph (depending on the intended sense of the ambiguous “countercultural”):
“In this context, civil marriage, as institutional form of marriage and family, deserves the necessary appreciation (IL 63, 66, 102). Furthermore, our contemporaries are counting on the Church as a partner in the development of social structures and legal frameworks which benefit marriage and family life. On this point the Synod can send out a strong and, if necessary, countercultural signal.”
“Don’t give in to the conspiracy theory…”
Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean it isn’t true!
Well maybe proceeding on a “pastoral” basis is not such a bad thing. So much of what has been employed in North America these past decades under the aegis of “pastoral” has not been, and certainly not in its effects, with respect to families. The wreckovation of liturgy was not pastoral and clearly has not benefited families — instead it has been a disaster. The strangeification of teaching and partisaning in the sanctuary has been a disaster and has gravely harmed families.
Again, nothing from the militant atheist cultural viewpoint that now stands and accuses and expects and demands is not of God. In the most charitable sense, it is like a dangerous animal that will attack others and drag them down as a cry for help rather than submit to treatment necessary to heal and rehabilitate. Its ways are violent for lack of a better way of proceeding. Its effects on the family nothing but harm. To accept from this viewpoint suggestions for new pastoral approaches towards family life when the essentials have been neglected for so very long, to the great harm of so many, would be to usher in the death knell of what is established good and still as a vehicle for good and for evangelization. Deus Caritas Est. The faith and the Church are goods, these are trustworthy, as is the family, all founded in love and goodness. These are capable of healing the horrific wounds of modern man, but only if we give permission. If we decide to consume instead the very essentials for healing to assimilate to an agenda born of violence and in defiance of the God of love, we will perish.
Some have expressed fears that if the divorced-and-remarried are allowed to receive Communion, then EVERYBODY will be allowed to receive Communion.
They have it backwards. Everybody IS allowed to receive Communion, which is why Communion for the divorced-and-remarried is now inevitable. In fact, the Kasperites are fighting a battle that Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, and Nancy Pelosi won FOR THEM decades ago.
The phrase conspiracy theory carries the connotation that it’s speculative. There is, quite visibly, a small team of people who have set up the rules, it’s a matter of public record that they released those rules at the last minute, and those rules quite plainly give them a disproportionate impact on what comes out of the synod.
I suppose that they could have had any number of reasons for setting things up that way, but that they worked together in a manner that could skew the Synod’s output is basically a “conspiracy fact.”