I am receiving one cri de coeur after another.
Lots of people are confused and angry and sad about what they are hearing. Instead of firm foundations from bishops, we got sand. Yes, can can make cement with sand, but right now it is nothing but sand. Still, we have choices to make. Leave it be sand or make cement?
Thus, I have received comments and notes such as this:
Well, how about that. Those of us who have lived and, according to Church teaching, in frater-soror partnerships, until the good Lord saw fit to resolve our situations Himself have been what the English call right mugs, haven’t we? Oh, I suppose the ban on communion in remarriage after divorce, that was right five minutes ago but it’s going to be wrong now? Or perhaps Our Lord was only joking, yes that must be it, ho ho ho, what fools we have been!
Sorry, Father.Sorry, Father.
No need for “sorry”!
That’s exactly the sort of thing that I am hearing from a lot of people right now.
Time and again in recently history faithful priests felt kicked in the teeth for preaching Catholic doctrine. Day after day for a while there they were called every name in the book. They were labelled as rigid and doctrinaire, without compassion.
Now, faithful lay Catholics, suffering in certain ways related to their relationships, also feel kicked in the teeth.
The cumulative effect is that people – including priests – start to doubt why the hell we have been fighting for all this time?
Friend, I understand your frustration. But… we must persevere!
Here is another note I received:
Please notice how parents just got thrown under the bus:
“it is therefore necessary to discern which forms of exclusion that are currently in practice in the areas of liturgical, pastoral, educative, and official responsibilities can be eliminated. ”
So, if I expect my kids will be taught by Catholic school teachers and parish catechists who are NOT in a public state of mortal sin, I’m out of luck? Maybe not – my own bishop is quite solid. But it sure looks like this passage means public adulterers ought not be excluded from teaching the Faith or in Catholic schools. Like that’s really going to strengthen our identity and effectiveness….
The members of the Synod could have made clear statements that, in themselves, would also encourage the Catholic faithful in addition to advise the Holy Father about what he might address in his own document.
They could have. They didn’t.
It is true that the document “could have been worse”. 62 people survived the Hindenburg, too. So, it was not as bad as it could have been.
What I want all of you to do now is… calm the heck down.
I have in mind a scene from the written version, real book The Lord of the Rings, not the wussified movie from the people who really didn’t get the book at all.
Sound and fury surrounded this Synod, much like the hurricane of violence unleashed by the Ents on Isengard. Lay people and clergy with them did manage to stop the Kasperites. It is interesting that the German newspapers say this was a defeat. That’s enough for me. Anyway. There is this vast tumult surrounding Isengard and then, suddenly, it stops. Bam. Silence. And from the tower comes the single little laugh of Saurman who really doesn’t know what sort of deep doodoo he is really in.
The hobbits recount the destruction of Isengard…
‘As soon as Saruman had sent off all his army, our turn came. Treebeard… went up to the gates, and began hammering on the doors, and calling for Saruman. There was no answer, except arrows and stones from the walls. But arrows are no use against Ents. They hurt them, of course, and infuriate them: like stinging flies….
‘When Treebeard had got a few arrows in him, he began… to get positively “hasty”, as he would say. He let out a great hoom-hom, and a dozen more Ents came striding up. An angry Ent is terrifying. Their fingers, and their toes, just freeze on to rock; and they tear it up like bread-crust. It was like watching the work of great tree-roots in a hundred years, all packed into a few moments.
‘They pushed, pulled, tore, shook, and hammered; and… in five minutes they had these huge gates just lying in ruin; and some were already beginning to eat into the walls…. I don’t know what Saruman thought was happening; but anyway he did not know how to deal with it.’….
‘He seems at one time to have got round them, but never again. And anyway he did not understand them; and he made the great mistake of leaving them out of his calculations. He had no plan for them, and there was no time to make any…. As soon as our attack began, the few remaining rats in Isengard started bolting through every hole that the Ents made. The Ents let the Men go, after they had questioned them, two or three dozen only down at this end. I don’t think many orc-folk, of any size, escaped. Not from the Huorns: there was a wood full of them all round Isengard by that time….
‘When the Ents had reduced a large part of the southern walls to rubbish… Saruman fled in a panic….
‘When Saruman was safe back in Orthanc, it was not long before he set some of his precious machinery to work. By that time there were many Ents inside Isengard… they were roaming about and doing a great deal of damage. Suddenly up came fires and foul fumes: the vents and shafts all over the plain began to spout and belch. Several of the Ents got scorched and blistered. One of them, Beechbone I think he was called, a very tall handsome Ent, got caught in a spray of some liquid fire and burned like a torch: a horrible sight.
‘That sent them mad. I thought that they had been really roused before; but I was wrong…. It was staggering. They roared and boomed and trumpeted, until stones began to crack and fall at the mere noise of them…. Round and round the rock of Orthanc the Ents went… storming like a howling gale, breaking pillars, hurling avalanches of boulders down the shafts, tossing up huge slabs of stone into the air like leaves…. I saw iron posts and blocks of masonry go rocketing up hundreds of feet, and smash against the windows of Orthanc. But Treebeard kept his head. He had not had any burns, luckily. He did not want his folk to hurt themselves in their fury, and he did not want Saruman to escape out of some hole in the confusion. Many of the Ents were hurling themselves against the Orthanc-rock; but that defeated them…. [They] could not get a grip on it, or make a crack in it; and they were bruising and wounding themselves against it. So Treebeard went out into the ring and shouted. His enormous voice rose above all the din. There was a dead silence, suddenly. In it we heard a shrill laugh from a high window in the tower. That had a queer effect on the Ents. They had been boiling over; now they became cold, grim as ice, and quiet. They left the plain and gathered round Treebeard, standing quite still. He spoke to them for a little in their own language; I think he was telling them of a plan he had made in his old head long before. Then they just faded silently away in the grey light. Day was dawning….
‘They set a watch on the tower… but the watchers were so well hidden in shadows and kept so still, that I could not see them. The others went away north.’
My friends, you are the Ents and the trees of Fangorn which went to Orthanc and to Helm’s Deep. When you band together and get into action you can do anything and the Enemy had better flee.
Be cool. Be watchful. None of this is over.
They are not going to win. They have not seen your true strength yet.
We are now playing the long game. We outnumber them. We will not quit. We will prevail.
It does out side no good to freak out and do things that will both help the enemy and weaken our identity.