8 October – Thoughts about the Synod at this point

It seems that His Eminence George Card. Pell made a statement from the floor suggesting that the composition of the group appointed to write the Final Report was not all that it could be.

It seems that, then, the Pope himself shut that down.

A couple things follow.

First, since His Holiness stomped on Card. Erdo the General Relator, for his opening speech and then stomped, or at least kicked a little, Card. Pell for his suggestions about the writing committee, then I suppose that Pope Francis now “owns” this Synod. Whatever the results, they are his.

Second, a question is raised. If the Synod is all about involvement and consultation and participation and sharing, etc. Why was Card. Pell’s suggestion about the Final Report committee not more warmly received? A while back we heard reports that the Final Report was already being written. Could that have anything to do with it?

Moderation queue is on.


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  1. CatholicMD says:

    This thing is going to go down in history like the Synod of Pistoia.

  2. juergensen says:

    “The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.”

  3. majuscule says:

    I am sadly reminded of the president of a large country we are all familiar with who promised the most transparent administration evahhhhh…

    Just keep saying it. Those who think as you do will applaud.

  4. CharlesG says:

    Liberals need to be challenged on their hypocrisy in supporting this sham collegiality. The Synod was designed by Vatican II as an instrument of collegiality, and they have been complaining for decades about centralized power in Rome. Have the liberals all now become Hyperultramontanes?

  5. rwj says:

    God bless Cardinals Pell and Erdo, and all faithful bishops. There must be so much pressure not to say anything. Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, pray for them!

  6. anilwang says:

    At this point, it’s pretty clear that the Pope wants a certain outcome and given his comments, it’s not as bad as the innovators desire, but given the annulment reforms, it won’t be a good either.

    If it’s a sin to want this Papacy to end, then may God have mercy on me, but I do want Pope Francis to feel happy that he’s done what he set out to do and retire so someone better can assume the Papacy that has the fortitude to undo the damage.

    Unfortunately, I fear that just as the synod was rigged, so will the conclave be rigged since the foxes are in charge of the hen house. Without a fair selection and strong but wise Pope that is willing to cut the leaders of these heresies at the knees, at least one schism will happen and it won’t be pretty. If I didn’t know Church History and I didn’t have complete faith in the Church, I’d be in despair now. As it stands now, I’m fortifying myself and my family against the coming storm.

  7. JKnott says:

    I pray they are praying the prayer to St. Michael at every session.

  8. Clemens Romanus says:

    Kyrie, eleison!

  9. mburn16 says:

    Since the final report amounts to little more than summary and, at most, recommendations that will have the support of some fraction of the synod, the most practical course – if things don’t fall “our” way over the next couple of weeks – might be for the more doctrinal members to publish their own final report.

    I’ll sleep easier when this…thing…is behind us.

  10. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Without linking his source, Sandro Magister reports, “According to Fr. Federico Lombardi, the pope remarked that ‘the decisions of method were also shared and approved by him, and therefore cannot be brought back into discussion.’ ”

    As the text of what Pope Francis said has not been published, we cannot tell how much of this is indirect quotation and how much spokesmanly interpretation. But I do not see how “cannot be brought back into discussion” would be supposed by anyone to follow from “the decisions of method were also shared and approved by him”. Why would – how could – that clarification or emphasis of itself preclude discussion of something inherently worth discussing?

  11. TNCath says:

    So much for collegiality. So much for the Catechism. So much for the Gospel. It seems that the Holy Father wants” involvement and consultation and participation and sharing” as long as it agrees with what his henchmen have planned.

    So now we wait for the “Final Solution”…ahem…the “Final Report.”

    Cardinal Burke, where are you?

    Unless the Holy Spirit directly intervenes, I think we are in big trouble, folks. We need a miracle–fast.

  12. baileymxd says:

    I keep imagining this Synod to be one huge giant poker tournament, and the only person whose got his poker face going strong is the Pope. We all have no clue how this thing is going to end, because we have no idea what the Pope has in his head. In fact, for most of us, we assume he has already made up his mind….and what is frightening is we don’t know if he is going to fold or go all in.

    The bishops attending this Synod are exceptionally polarized, with the violent passions of the Orthodox (who I support) trying to not get passed, and our fellow Kasperites who want us to diet on sugar and spice and everything nice.

    I understand why the Pope keeps on reaffirming that the only words that stand in these next few weeks are his. There is a battle of the floor, one of petulant children, but a battle nonetheless. Someone has to have the final say.

    He’s a shrewed Pope. Despite our feelings and uncertainty about his words so far, none of us can see where this is going. Keep on praying and fasting!!!!

  13. jfk03 says:

    There is no point in fretting. None of us have any control over what happens with the Synod. Pray, fast, and patiently await the outcome.

  14. benedictgal says:

    I logged into a site called http://www.adoptasynodfather.org and was assigned to pray for Cardinal Pell. A friend of mine told me that he was already orthodox so he didn’t need further prayers. That has not deterred me from praying for him, as today’s developments are evident. I have been praying the St. Michael Prayer for him that he and the other faithful bishops continue defending the Church’s dogma, doctrine and discipline on marriage.

    My friend keeps reminding me of the promises that Jesus made to St. Peter about the gates of hell not prevailing over the Church. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t lapping flames close to Her.

  15. JPD says:

    This is a question that perplexes me, and no doubt will lead to the opinion I am losing my mind, but if the Synod document contains heresy, for example, allowing regional bishops to determine the rules regarding reception of communion for divorced and remarried couples, or trying to normalize homosexual relationships, what are we supposed to do? What happens if any Pope proposes a heresy? What if the majority agree with that heresy? What are we supposed to do? We must always stand with Peter, but what if, as in times past, that person espouses a heresy? Would that destroy the Magisterium?

  16. JPD says:

    Of course the Magsiterium cannot be destroyed as it is the Teaching Office of Christ Himself, but if a heresy enters the Magsiterium would that create a rupture?

  17. ChrisRawlings says:

    I actually had a bad dream about the Synod last night. I never thought that I would be having actual nightmares about what is happening in the Church.

  18. majuscule says:

    I’ve been feeling reeeealllllly down due to some personal problems (I should post in the Urgent Prayer Requests topic!) and this up-in-the-air Synod.

    I finally decided to get my Synod news from Eccles. I’m sure some of the allusions might go over the heads of non-Brits, but after reading the blog for a while I know when to laugh, even if not why.

    I hope a peek over there lightens some moods. It sure did mine. I think I can face another day!

  19. thomas tucker says:

    As I said yesterday, follow people you can trust, like Archbishop Chaput, in knowing how to respond to whatever comes out of this Synod. And I would add Cardinal Pell and Cardinal Erdo to the group that you can rely on as exemplars on what to believe and how to act .

  20. pseudomodo says:

    – Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

    – Gold Five (Star Wars)

    – British Ministry of Information (1939)

  21. Sword40 says:

    I agree with jfk03. This whole thing is beyond our control. Even if the “stuff hits the fan” we just stick with tradition. I try to remember St. Athanasius and the problems he faced. Pray, Fast and offer alms. Take care of your soul first and foremost. Its about all you can really do.

  22. robtbrown says:

    I want two things from this pope:

    1. To mitigate the power of the Secretariat of State, returning the Office to what it was before Paul VI. So far, he has made one important move in that direction–financial.

    2. Regularize the relationship between the SSPX and Rome. That the Society will be all but independent of diocesan bishops and has considerable property will increase its influence following regularization. So far, the pope has made two important moves in that direction.

    What is likely to come out of the Synod will probably be mush: Doctrine affirmed but accompanied by fuzzy “pastoral” applications.

  23. jhayes says:

    I watched the whole length of the press briefing on the day of the Pope’s intervention. From interviews I had read with Synod fathers on the day before, Cardinal Erdo’s speech had created real confusion as to whether he was presenting his own views or announcing decisions that had already been made. The practical issue was whether the discussions in small groups should start from the Instrumentum Laboris as distributed before the Synod began or should they assume that the issues addressed by Cardinal Erdo had already been resolved and did not need further discussion.

    Whichever side of the discussion you are on, it was critical that that point be clarified so that the small groups could work effectively.

    Normally, that could have been done by Cardinal Erdo, if he were willing, speaking briefly at the beginning of the next session to clarify that he had been presenting his own views and was not announcing decisions that had already been made – and that small group discussions should start from the Instrumentum Laboris as distributed. Apparently the Pope decided it was better for him to clarify that point as part of a broader discussion of the relationship of this Synod to the last one.

  24. JPD:

    You can entertain all the “what if” scenarios you can imagine — I can’t stop you; but I counsel against it.

    Instead of “what if,” simply wait. As Jfk advised: pray, fast, and patiently wait.

    There is in us a temptation to play God, and related to that, a desire to hurry God, to speed up God’s course of action, and to be impatient with God about his choices and patience. Heaven knows that includes me!

    Have you ever wished you could grow in patience? This is your opportunity.

  25. anilwang says:

    JPD says: “what are we supposed to do? What happens if any Pope proposes a heresy?”

    Pray, fast, fortify your family and everyone you know, and stay within the Church.

    This is not the first time it has happened nor will it be the last. And it will resolve itself to God’s favour, even if neither your children see the day. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes two generations for the Church to crawl itself out of crisis and until the Church recovers the language of “anthema sit”, this situation won’t be resolved.

    We need to wait out this Papacy out and pray for this crisis to compel the next conclave to select a hammer of orthodoxy that will straighten things out.

    My own thoughts, based on the annulment reform is that the Pope may do something like defer “pastoral care” on all these family issues to the local bishop so that “each bishop can best customize the enforcement of doctrine, which can never change, to the needs of his local community”. On paper, this won’t change doctrine, and it will allow the African bishops and orthodox bishops to stand firm on the Traditional orthopraxis, while letting the Liberal regions do their own thing “without changing doctrine”. Unless there’s a massive revolt, this proposal will win the day, as the “Humane Vitae compromise” won the day.

  26. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    If the “Synod” (in name only) concludes that each bishop may legitimately order that Communion may be given to the divorced-and-remarried, then it will be saying EXACTLY what the American bishops voted in 2004, that a bishop may “legitimately” give Communion to pro-abortion Catholics. Cf. “Catholics in Political Life.”

  27. Cradle Catholic says:

    If Pope Francis “owns” the Synod, he also owns the misinformation put out by the Vatican Press Office. Participants of the Synod have taken to the internet to provide information on the interventions of the Synod.

    Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki has a blog (in Polish), translated by the blogger at torontocatholicwitness blog. The blogger says that what Fr. Rosica is reporting, “is in total contradiction with what I have read on Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki’s blog. Fr. Rosica may be unaware, but this Prelate keeps copious notes on interventions”.

    The blogger translates some of Archbishop Gadecki’s notes on the torontocatholicwitness blog – I was happy to read about an intervention by Cardinal Sarah, and also a rebuke to one of the participants who suggested that divorce should be an option, as in Moses’s time. See the translation of some of Archbishop’s Gadecki’s blog at: http://torontocatholicwitness.blogspot.ca/

  28. Our genial host is onto something.

    The boldness of Erdo and Pell would seem to make it easier for other bishops to speak out. If this is true, and we see more such interventions, we can also count on the media to play up this “conflict” — because that’s what makes a story. Which means that at some point, the Holy Father has a bit of a problem, if he tacks in a significantly different direction. Does he really want whatever course of action he opts for to be framed as rejection of the very synod he, himself, summoned?

    (And forget about the progressive hypocrisy argument. Yes, of course it’s true, but there’s no mileage to be gained there. )

    You might say, so what? Why should he care? I might point out that both Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict had trouble governing as they really wanted, because they didn’t enjoy the cooperation of the world’s bishops. Did they care about that? We know that they did.

    Meanwhile, I cannot help wondering if there are cardinals who are thinking about the next conclave. In the last conclave, they voted for a different sort of papacy; they wanted to see things “shaken up” — or so goes the explanation for the outcome. Regardless of any other consideration, surely they would be thinking about what’s next, whenever that time comes.

  29. Elizabeth D says:

    bailymxd said: “We all have no clue how this thing is going to end, because we have no idea what the Pope has in his head.”

    This is exactly my assessment. Pope Francis’ poker face is incredible. The bizarre thing is that the way it is set up now increasingly looks like what the outcome of the bishops’ discussion is, is inconsequential. For whatever reason the goal is just for them to have an exceptionally forthright discussion about it all. Pope Francis himself is the only one whose say actually matters. Terrifyingly, we have practically no idea what he might actually say. My level of confidence in him at this stage is not too high. I am praying, though; God is alive and He is omnipotent.

  30. DonL says:

    It is not beyond rational thought to believe that there can only be one purpose for calling a synod (that is purely advisory), stacking it, and then controlling it, so that the advice it gives has been predetermined, and it thus is merely cover, or camouflage, for a position about to be taken by “Rome.”
    Otherwise, why go through the charade that open dialogue and the thinking of the Church leaders have spoken…..? Do what you are about to do and get it over with.

  31. NBW says:

    Keep praying the Rosary and fast for the Synod. AND adopt a bishop; here’s the link. I have been praying for my bishop.


  32. Allan S. says:

    I am aware that there is in fact a line delineating how far a pope can go in promulgating or changing doctrine, such that – should this line be objectively crossed and be seen to have been crossed – the person holding the office of pope would immediately cease to be pope. I would like to inquire after some knowledgeable person, in the hope that (for our general edification) he/she would condescend to clearly set out where that line is, so that the faithful may reliably perceive whether or not the See of Peter becomes vacant.

    Our duty, as faithful lay Catholics, is to always know where the Church is and hew closely to her. Like it or not, that may become difficult in the event the Holy Father says or does something ‘over the line’ (our prays and fasting notwithstanding). And before someone says this is an extreme hypothetical, I would like to observe that the Church has had on several occasions multiple persons claiming to be the Supreme Pontiff. It would be nice to be able to correctly discern the true Petrus should the worse happen.

    As an aside, I choose to pray often for Benedict, at whose feet alone we must place responsibility for this fiasco. He fled. He said “your grace is not enough”. He abandoned the flock entrusted to his care as Supreme Pastor to the wolves. What is happening now – and will happen in the future – is just. Maybe we didn’t pray enough for Benedict. Or fast enough. Or whatever. But we’re getting what’s coming to us good and hard.

    Miserere nobis.

  33. Akita says:

    I’d love to see all the faithful cardinals get up and start shouting “heresy, we resist these machinations!” And then resist! Stage a sit in.

  34. Akita says:

    Or a “kneel in”.

  35. norancor says:

    This is the strategy of the predetermined outcome. It is an abusive tactic used in mediation and arbitration, and can be used in public hearings or meetings, where the facilitator is guiding the rules and discussion to effect the desired result.

    It is also a general strategy in political discourse, where there appears an air of discussion, but parties behind the scene have decided what the outcome or legislation will be, and the facilitator, the rules, or the personalities involved guide opinion in the voting group. It is a direct subversion of democratic voting that seeks to maintain the illusion of input, voting, and cooperation.

    This same strategy was employed by Progressives at Vatican II. Once the initial schemas were discarded, the problems of Vatican I were sidestepped. Pius IX had absolute control over the Council, and silenced the minority liberals from gaining any traction.

    For Vatican II, jocking occurred so that the right bishops and periti were placed on each of the various commissions overseeing topic and document formulation. This allowed their set of predetermined goals to be effectuated, by having a majority voting block that could mute, marginalize, or silence resistance to the “dissenting” orthodox opinions of members.

  36. Anthony says:

    I’m really at a loss to understand WHY the Synod is deciding to “wade into the tall grass” to discuss issues such as “women deacons”.

    First, one can’t help but wonder why a Synod on “The Family” is dealing with issues of ordination?

    Next… The CCC says women cannot be deacons because deacons receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders – and women cannot receive that sacrament.

    I’m surmising that deacons receive this sacrament “in a lesser degree” than either priest or the bishop because they do not preside at Mass. But, they do receive the sacrament and must therefore be capable of receiving it. Women, again, do not meet this criteria.

    However, we know that deacons function apostolically in their ministry. They read the Gospel and are allowed to preach at Mass…

    Therefore, it logically follows that since Deacons share in an apostolic ministry, it is only fitting that they be men – just like Apostles chosen by Jesus were men.

    What then, is the issue here?

  37. dixitDOMINUSDOMINOmeo says:

    In all seriousness, what is the point of this synod? Right now (and I realize I’m seeing this from the outside looking in), it seems like a bunch of prelates getting together to “discuss” firm doctrine. What is there to discuss? Doctrine is doctrine is doctrine is doctrine.

  38. Animadversor says:

    If ever there were a good time to invoke the Bux protocol….
    See Preces Latinae.

  39. Animadversor says:

    And perhaps the Sovereign Pontiff’s chosen patron as well, St. Francis. I believe he never minced words.

  40. DisturbedMary says:

    We won’t know the truth until Father Rosica’s presser.

  41. jacobi says:

    Let us remember that neither the Synod, nor any member of it , including the Holy Father has any authority to alter Established Catholic Teaching!

  42. MikeM says:

    It might be a case of keeping expectations low so that they won’t be disappointed, but I’m slightly encouraged by the proceedings so far. On the “conservative” side, we’ve had a number of bishops stand up to defend the Truth, and it doesn’t seem that they’re being shoved aside by the bulk of the bishops. Look at who was chosen to represent the discussion groups… Chaput, Kurtz, Sarah, Bagnasco…

    And the clown caucus is pursuing half-hearted proposals (make it local!) to salvage their mission, while throwing out a laundry list of irrelevant nonsense (What about women deacons!? What about general absolution!?), which seems to indicate that they’d rather minimize the time spent on the topics that they’re there to discuss.

    Pope Francis is shouting “Ego sum Petrus!” enough to remind us all that he, ultimately, has the power (though, previous Popes have discovered how much their power, de facto, depends on support from their “brother bishops”), and it’s still early in the process, anyway, but my read is that the “Kasperites” aren’t gaining the support that they’d like so far, and that there’s a contingent of more orthodox bishops who are making clear that they don’t intend to be pushed around.

  43. TimG says:

    There is in us a temptation to play God, and related to that, a desire to hurry God, to speed up God’s course of action, and to be impatient with God about his choices and patience. Heaven knows that includes me!

    Have you ever wished you could grow in patience? This is your opportunity.

    Thanks Fr Fox…

  44. Joseph-Mary says:

    St. Pio advised us to “Pray, hope, and don’t worry!” I might add to trust in Jesus and Mary and be faithful.

    It is a very, very sad commentary that so many have noted that they do not know what the pope will do. We SHOULD know! We should be able to know that the pope will do the right thing and uphold the teachings of Christ and His Church. The confusion is wrong. Making a mess is wrong. A yes should mean yes and a no mean no. What is intrinsically evil can never be a good. And we have no control. But God does.
    Pray your rosary!

  45. Midwest St. Michael says:

    TNCath asks: “Cardinal Burke, where are you?”

    TN, Cdl. Burke is at the Mother of the Redeemer retreat center (on the west side of Bloomington, In.) giving a retreat for priests this week (the retreat center is staffed by FFI priests and religious).

    On Saturday, the 10th, His Eminence will be having a “Day of Reflection” on the sacrament of Matrimony. The cardinal will be giving three talks on the sacrament.

    I will be there for the day! I am super-stoked (get to see a live Cardinal – then will go home and watch the *St. Louis* Cardinals whip the Cubs!).


  46. robtbrown says:

    Fr Martin

    There was also a lack of cooperation by the curia with JPII and BXVI, esp the latter.

  47. marcelus says:

    So it’s the evil Pope scheming again? PLease , the blog is becoming all about this lately.. It can do much better, and it has, than just “suggesting” Francis is behind each and every little or big this. It’s becoming paranoid. Sorry .

  48. Susan M says:

    Just looked at Eccles (Thank you to majuscule!!). Reading Eccles is the only way to get through the synod!! I feel better already!

  49. Sonshine135 says:

    The makeup of the Cardinals at this Synod is a clear indication that the Pope wants something to change. What changes? We won’t know until the final piece is put in place. Something tells me that the heretics are going to try to push something through that will be tempered into some broad generality for the final document that does a wink…wink…nudge…nudge to the Germans, and everyone will go back to ignoring what Holy Mother Church prescribes to begin with (save those who truly want to be Catholic in the first place).

    But……. In the end, it will no please anyone. Catholics are going to be mad that the reiteration isn’t strong language around chastity and reiteration of the teachings that came before. Liberals; however, are not going to pleased either. They won’t get the major changes in doctrine they are seeking either. Post Synod might be a very lonely time for our Pontiff.

  50. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    JPD, Fr. Martin Fox, anilwang,

    In his 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia article, “Infallibility”, Patrick Toner wrote, with respect to the Council of Constance and “putting an end to the Great Western Schism and securing a certainly legitimate pope”, that “as the Church has a right in such circumstances to remove reasonable doubt and provide a pope whose claims would be indisputable, even an acephalous council, supported by the body of bishops throughout the world, was competent to meet this altogether exceptional emergency without thereby setting up a precedent that could be erected into a regular constitutional rule, as the Gallicans wrongly imagined.” He continued, “A similar exceptional situation might arise were a pope to become a public heretic, i.e., were he publicly and officially to teach some doctrine clearly opposed to what has been defined as de fide catholicâ. But in this case many theologians hold that no formal sentence of deposition would be required, as, by becoming a public heretic, the pope would ipso facto cease to be pope. This, however, is a hypothetical case which has never actually occurred”. The article enjoyed “Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York”

    I don’t know that I had ever encountered a similar discussion of such a hypothetical “exceptional situation” before I read this, and it is curious to think that this is apparently something “many theologians” had thought about and discussed. I wish he had included more details! Who has discussed such a thing, when, and where? Is there a whole history of its calm methodical intellectual exploration down the ages? There is not hint here that anyone thought about its discussion in terms of dangers of “a temptation to play God, and related to that, a desire to hurry God”.

    Far from losing your mind, JPD, you seem, without realizing it, simply to have entered into an existing sort of theological discussion not found at all unusual a hundred years ago. But your first five questions seem equally relevant to what Patrick Toner wrote, and still difficult. What would happen, in practice, thereafter, if (as “many theologians” held) “by becoming a public heretic, the pope would ipso facto cease to be pope”? What if such a (former) pope continued to act as if he considered himself still to be pope, and many – even “the majority” – seemed to agree with him on this?

    I am reminded of the Type or Typus of the Emperor Constans II which formally shut down discussion – as John Chapman wrote in his 1911 article, “Monothelitism and Monothelites”, “Transgression of this law is to involve deposition for bishops and clerics, excommunication and expulsion for monks, loss of office and dignity for officials, fines for richer laymen, corporal punishment and permanent exile for the poorer. By this cruel law heresy is to be blameless and orthodoxy forbidden.” Pope St. Martin I was kidnapped by order of the Emperor for condemning it at the Lateran Council of 5, 8, 17, 119 and 31 October, 649, abused, and exiled – dying in exile, he is venerated as a martyr. In these extraordinary circumstances, Pope St. Eugene I was elected after St. Martin’s kidnapping and before his death. But, as Fr. Z has observed more than once, things were done differently in the past. Constans II refused to confirm his election, but did not attempt to replace him with a candidate of his own. Indeed, when a letter from the Patriarch of Constantinople in keeping with the Type was read aloud “to the clergy and people in the church of St. Mary Major, they not only rejected the letter with indignation, but would not allow the pope to leave the basilica until he had promised that he would not on any account accept it (656)” (to quote his article from 1909).

  51. TNCath says:


    Thanks! I was wondering when we’d hear his take on things. How lucky you are to get to hear and see him ! Go Cardinals!

  52. Lin says:

    Catholic doctrine cannot change! Catholic doctrine cannot change! Catholic doctrine cannot change! Catholic doctrine cannot change! Catholic doctrine cannot change! Catholic doctrine cannot change! The problem is among the uncatechised perception changes practice. And many will fall into error and possibly eternal damnation. I will not and cannot be patient when it comes to defending the faith! I know the Church will survive and I want to be with the survivors. We are living in treacherous times. It was bad enough when Obama was elected twice, but to have this much turmoil in the Church is not tolerable. Pray, fast, and speak out!

  53. David in T.O. says:

    How is it even possible that this Synod can be considered to be anything else but a sham and disgrace? By their natures, Synods are public with voting. Catholics have a right to know what their bishops say and think and we are prevented from knowing. Our information, in English anyway, is controlled and we are not getting accurate information. For example, only “one or two” bishops raised the matter of homosexual behaviour, yet if one listened to the interview with Thomas J. Rosica, CSB, you would think it was paramount and on everyone’s lips, so to speak. The secular media picked this up and ran with it. It is a scandal.

    And of course, our Canadian bishop from Gatineau with fewer than 50 priests and no vocations states, “if you want dogma, read Denzinger” and waxes on about deaconesses. Yes, Bishop, I want dogma!

    The Synod is a sham and while I desire the Bishop of Rome know ill, I do want this papacy to end, sooner rather than later. I hope he falls flat on his face with this Synod as more and more he realises that he cannot change the Church in his image and then decides to renounce the office so he can go home and sip mate and have a slice of pizza.

    On that day, I shall rejoice. On the other hand, as you once wrote a quote Father about eyes opening and closing….

  54. Traductora says:

    Allen S et al., BXVI would never have resigned had it not been, in his opinion, for the good of the Church. There were many things that were going on at that time – the report on high level clerical misconduct that was placed on his desk, which apparently left him shaken, the Vatileaks affair which was connected with his attempts to clean up Vatican finances and at one point led to SWIFT shutting down the ATMs and all transactions at the Vatican, and what was clearly an ongoing assault on him that had started when the modernists had tried and failed to get Bergoglio elected at the conclave that elected BXVI.

    I also think that BXVI took the bullet for JPII in some ways, because JPII was a saintly person but a terrible administrator and actually allowed evil to fester under his watch. It’s very possible that the hold they had over BXVI had to do with JPII, who did nothing about the awful Fr. Maciel – and interestingly enough, the Polish priest working for the CDF who announced his “gayness ” and introduced his boyfriend had gone to a Legionaries’ seminary and actually met the “boyfriend” there. But as soon as BXVI took over he got rid of Fr. Maciel and this may have been the thing that made the gay mafia seek his head.

    BXVI is now essentially a prisoner on the grounds of the Vatican.

    We are living through a very strange moment in the life of the Church.

  55. xylkatie says:

    First of all, it is a travesty that that “family” has been overlooked at this synod. While it may be well and good to minister to the divorced and remarried—-how about spending some time thinking about ways to prevent family breakup in the first place? How about counseling couples about the negative aspects of pornography? How about telling moms and dads that having an affair with some stranger from the internet can really put their immortal soul in danger? How about advice and inspiration mothers who not only have children or older relatives to care for, but who also must shoulder the load of working fulltime? How about helping dads find the joy in their kids and loving their wives? How about helping moms and dads raise healthy, lively children with an enduring love of God? How can families in crisis–those facing job loss, homelessness, or sickness–be served? How about helping families reconcile, recover, and reunite? How about helping adults improve their relationships with their parents? A synod of the family is absolutely necessary, given the tattered state of many families. However, starting at the periphery does not strengthen the center, which is caving in from the constant battering by the culture.

  56. Done NO ONE bitch-slap MAH Cardinal!


    Still, Pell’s big enough to handle it. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. Must still sting, though.

  57. The Cobbler says:

    About the whole “walking together” thing, Eye of the Tiber made the very amusing comment that “synod” is from the Greek for “a colossal waste of time”.

    Also, speaking of Cardinal Burke and of Gold 5, did anyone else see the video of the Cardinals meeting aboard the Death Star?

    My sense of humour seems to be the last feeling I have left about the synod. I am not sure whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. In fact, I’m not sure I care whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

    Anyway, it’ll be more interesting once it’s over and we can stop wondering what Francis has been planning all along. I should probably be praying more, but aside from that, I can’t really think of anything else to do about the lio (well, anything else realistic, anyway).

  58. SimonDodd says:

    It has seemed to me all along that the synod is simply cover for the pope making his preferred changes; why does the synod exist? You don’t need a Synod to reaffirm orthodoxy or make uncontroversial changes. Why does any CEO call a meeting? You don’t call a meeting for input or interchange, you call a meeting to diffuse blame for a decision you’ve already taken. So, I have for some time “suppose[d] that Pope Francis … ‘owns’ this Synod. Whatever the results, they are his.”

  59. SimonDodd says:

    Allan S. says: “Our duty, as faithful lay Catholics, is to always know where the Church is and hew closely to her. ”

    This borders on positivism. I don’t think that I’m no board with the premise that the ship legitimately zigs and zags and crazy-ivans, and that we’re supposed to just follow along cheerily in its wake. I think that if the Church deviates from her course, we’re supposed to do what Ss. Athanasius & Lefevre did: Yell after the fading barque saying “hey, no, over here, this way, dummies!” while pointing to the wake and the original course to which it points.

  60. mburn16 says:

    No about of theological gymnastics is going to permit anyone to simply come out and declare that those who are divorced and remarried are fully welcome at the communion table. You cannot simply say “living in sin is no longer a barrier to participation”.

    What worries me is that there might develop some kind of presumption of nullity. Its nonsense, of course….anyone who has seen a truly invalid marriage knows how absurd it is to see the same label applied to a decade(s)-old union between two people born and raised and married in the church, who have had children, who entered into their marriage with the full expectation that it would be permanent and monogamous. But its about the only route that puts us at the point of what the Kasperite faction wants.

  61. robtbrown says:

    JPD says:

    This is a question that perplexes me, and no doubt will lead to the opinion I am losing my mind, but if the Synod document contains heresy, for example, allowing regional bishops to determine the rules regarding reception of communion for divorced and remarried couple

    Who considers it heresy to allow regional bishops to determine rules regarding reception of Communion?

  62. Allan S. says:

    Thinking further on the question “How will know when the Holy See becomes vacant by reason of teaching of heresy by a pope?”, it appears the answer lies in following the lead of those senior clerics who we know to remain unbent. Should, for example, Cardinals Burke, Sarah et al. publicly declare that, their interventions and prayers notwithstanding, the Holy Father had taught formal heresy and thus the apostolic see was vacant, and that therefore the faithful Cardinals so assembled were entering a conclave at such-and-such church in X, then I guess that would be our cue.

    It happened before, and it’s probably going to happen again. Whether it’s in the next few weeks or not, or a hundred years hence, who knows?

  63. Fran says:

    The Church will live past this scandal called a “Synod”! Jesus is watching the Pope and Cardinals and he will judge you

  64. jhayes says:

    SimonDodd asked why does the Synod exist?

    The institution of the Synod was established by the Motu Proprio Apostolica Solicitudo of Paul VI, which defines its purpose as providing information and advice to the Pope.

    II. The Synod of Bishops has, of its nature, the function of providing information and offering advice. It can also enjoy the power of making decisions when such power is conferred upon it by the Roman Pontiff; in this case, it belongs to him to ratify the decisions of the Synod.

    Pope Francis has not conferred upon the Synod the power of making decisions. The end product of the Synod will be information and advice which he can consider in making decisions

    In his introduction to the Motu Proprio, Paul VI said “The Apostolic concern leading Us to carefully survey the signs of the times and to make every effort to adapt the means and methods of the holy apostolate to the changing circumstances and needs of our day, impels us to establish even closeer ties with the bishops “

  65. kiwiinamerica says:

    Two more weeks of this $#!*

  66. robtbrown says:

    David in TO says,

    And of course, our Canadian bishop from Gatineau with fewer than 50 priests and no vocations states, “if you want dogma, read Denzinger” and waxes on about deaconesses.

    And if anyone wants to understand why dogma is true, study St. Thomas.

  67. kay says:

    The absolute filth that’s on Facebook about this overwhelms me. There is something inherently evil about FB in that it regurgitates memes that are false and takes thinking down to a picture with a few words to snag attention. Those with the rainbow banner are falsely claiming the Pope has blessed them and their lifestyles and anyone who says anything against the Pope are now false and need to be not only thrown out of the Church (those are the most benign threats) to outright jail as terrorists.

    I came here to Father Z’s blog for some sanity and then went to Come Pray The Rosary w/97 others in the Holy Land. Just hearing the rosary calms me at this moment and I can now pray for the Church & this……thing called the Synod along with its tentacles of smaller breakout groups which has devolved to 1 man’s wishes: the Pope.

    I pray for the next hour for the Church under this Pope to stay strong & cling to Jesus and the Gospels. Its the only way against all evil in the world.

  68. organistjason says:

    “I cannot accept that Communion can be given to a person in an irregular union because it is adultery,” the American cardinal said. “On the question of people of the same sex, this has nothing to do with marriage. This is an affliction suffered by some people whereby they are attracted against nature sexually to people of the same sex.”

    Asked, “If, perchance, the pope will persist in this direction, what will you do?” Cardinal Burke replied, “I shall resist, I can do nothing else. There is no doubt that it is a difficult time; this is clear, this is clear.” The cardinal agreed that the situation is “painful” and “worrisome”.~~Raymond Cardinal Burke

  69. Mr. Graves says:

    Re: concerns about what happens in the event this pope effectively sets off a schism within the Church, an earlier commenter wrote, “Pray, fast, fortify your family and everyone you know, and stay within the Church.” To which I ask, WHICH Church? I’m a layman with no special theological knowledge. If the Church of Christ becomes the Church of Jorge, how will I even know? We were taught as Catholics the vicar of Christ is head of the visible Church on earth. People holier and more learned than I (think Origen) have fallen into heresy — likely unwittingly. I don’t want to follow a heretic (or a synod full of them) to hell because I’m not theologically savvy enough to suss truth from error. When this all shakes out, we need people whose orthodoxy we can trust to lead the flock. These are no longer merely hypotheticals.

  70. DaveH says:

    I am still hopeful the “God of Surprises” – The Holy Ghost – will rear up and release bullets of Courage and Fortitude upon the Cardinals and Bishops attending. When the smoke clears and the dust settles, the clerical outlaws will find themselves surrounded by the R. C. Constables and meekly submit their resignations and agree to a monastic life in the remotest mountain monastery of the Catholic Church.

    Then, life can return to normal, as will, hopefully, Rome.

  71. DonL says:

    The main question yet asked, “How many poor frail sheep will leave the fold because of this Roman circus?”

  72. dowd says:

    The Godfather has made them an offer they can’t refuse. But we can, and will.

    Michael Dowd

  73. e.e. says:

    Venerator Sti Lot,

    Thanks for the Catholic encyclopedia article. Fascinating stuff. My teenage son has been asking similar questions about what would happen if the pope began to teach heresy. I keep reassuring him that the pope will not fall into heresy and we should pray and fast (and try not to worry). But still he asks, what if? A very inquisitive soul, that one. I might have him read some of the Catholic Encyclopedia article the next time he asks, but I imagine that would still raise questions for him too.

    I must say that I never dreamed a day would come when my child would seriously raise those questions.

  74. Benedict Joseph says:

    Cardinals Erdo and Pell are kicking against a brick wall. God reward them. Will Grace prevail? Against hardness of heart, so deeply embraced, I don’t know. Those who are introducing a new belief system, substituting their own personal perspectives for the authentic teaching of our Lord, Jesus Christ, have a lot of ego to fuel their endeavor. I continually return to the conclusion that such individuals prefer the deconstruction of the Faith rather than admit they no longer believe. Deconstruct and reconstruct according to their comfort zone and they then maintain the self-aggrandizement, self-regard, privileges, perks and their personal drives are no longer seen as sinful.

  75. Spade says:

    Evidently Marx said that “we need a debate on the sacrament of marraige”

    I think that kind of statement says it all.

    Of course, be sure to pay your church tax.

  76. LarryW2LJ says:

    I remember a while back, when our Bishop sent us a questionnaire, asking us what we’d like to see discussed during the Synod on the Family.

    I sure as heck never in my wildest dreams, believed they’d be discussing what they’re discussing.

    Women deacons (smoke screen), homosexuality, and Communion for the civilly divorced. How about more pressing issues like family catechesis, bringing fallen away families back to Church, FAITHFULLY dealing with separation and divorce, ways to keep our youth from falling away from Church – you know …… stuff that actually deals with families?

  77. Has anyone else noticed that the cardinals who are speaking out are all high-profile in relation to the Holy Father?

    Erdo — chosen by the pope to be the “relator-general” of this whole synod.

    Pell — chosen by the pope to oversee his financial reforms.

    Sarah — chosen by the pope for the Congregation for Divine Worship

    Erdo, perhaps, doesn’t have much to lose, but what about Pell and Sarah?

    I’m not sure what it means, but I found it noteworthy.

  78. mysticalrose says:

    Amen, xylkatie — to everything you said. This seems more like a Synod on the Prurient than a Synod on the Family. I am absolutely disgusted.

  79. ppb says:

    SimonDodd: The problem with your analogy is that we’re supposed to be *in* the Barque of Peter helping to keep her on course, not yelling instructions from some distant vantage point. And the way we help keep her on course is by doing what jfk03 and others have pointed out.

  80. benedictgal says:

    This Synod is giving the phrase “Hagan lio” a whole new meaning, only this time, it’s Pell, Erdo and now Napier who are doing the “lio.”

  81. pseudomodo says:

    This actually reminds me if the 1980’s when the buzzwords were “Perestroika” and “Glasnost”!

    That turned out pretty well, didn’t it?

    Are you Putin me on?

  82. JPD says:

    Who considers it heresy to allow regional bishops to determine rules regarding reception of Communion?

    If we believe that married people should not divorce and remarry, which would be adultery, then how can we say regional Bishops could allow them to receive Holy Communion.

  83. Kathleen10 says:

    Fr. Vincent Fox, I’ll trade you three high-level positions with “low impact” for one attache for the English speakers, (Fr. Rosica).

  84. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh! Excuse me Father! I should have said “Fr. Martin Fox”.

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