Team Francis and the New catholic Red Guards who march and sloganeer for them have been hurling, as anxious chimps do their poo, the word “schism” at Catholics who are worried that Catholic doctrine is being made obscure or even being watered down, thus, threatened.
For the most part the epithet “schism” has been used against anglophone writers and also those who write with or often associate with them by the very people who – as “pseudo-schismatics” – did nothing by bitch at and about John Paul II and Benedict XVI for some three decades.
Today there is a good piece at Crisis – everyday more valuable – about the antics of the present day caput malorum omnium. No, not the Society of Jesus, though they are hard upon the heels of the front-runner. The Church in Germany.
The German bishops announced they were going to have a “binding synod” to which they would invite prominent lay people, mostly liberals, progressivists (“pseudo-schismatics”).
What could go wrong?
Francis, the guy the Team is named after, said, “Don’t.” They, stomping their feetsies, said, “We wanna!”. The Congregation for Bishops said, “Don’t. It won’t be an ecclesial act.” Card. Marx responded. “Up yours.”
Let’s pull some gold from the Crisis piece, which lines up the issues clearly. My emphases and comments.
Reinhard Cardinal Marx, head of the German bishops’ conference, is planning to convene a two-year-long “binding synod,” in which certain influential laymen will be invited to participate. Its stated topics are a laundry list of progressive euphemisms:  the “authority and separation of powers” (Gallicanism),  “sexual morality” (legitimizing adultery and homosexuality),  “the priestly mode of life” (abolishing clerical celibacy),  and “women at the service of ecclesiastical offices” (female deacons, priests and bishops).
In June, Pope Francis sent a letter rebuking his ally Marx and all the participating bishops, ordering them not to go ahead with the sham synod. Marx ignored the pontiff. Then, last week, the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops sent a letter to Marx informing him that the synod was “not ecclesiologically valid,” and that he was not to proceed in defiance of the Pope.
In his reply to the Congregation’s head, Cardinal Marx absolutely refused to comply with the Holy See’s orders, saying:
We hope that the results of forming an opinion [on these matters] in our country will also be helpful for the guidance of the Universal Church and for other episcopal conferences on a case-by-case basis. In any case, I cannot see why questions about which the Magisterium has made determinations should be withdrawn from any debate, as your writings suggest… Countless believers in Germany consider [these issues] to be in need of discussion.
That, dear friends, is how you say, “Up yours!” in Germano-Churchese.
Irony alert. As writer at Crisis also pointed out, Francis even went so far as to issue a stamp in honor of Martin Luther. How’s that stamp looking now?
“For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”
Later in the Crisis piece..
Having said that, Francis’s papacy has been full of encouragement for liberal firebrands like Cardinal Marx.  Authority and separation of powers? Anyone who prefers a decentralized Church structure would welcome the concordat with China’s brutal communist regime.  Sexual morality? Francis’s steadfast refusal to clarify certain passages in Amoris Laetitia has led to widespread uncertainty as to the Holy See’s line on welcoming the divorced-and-“remarried” to receive Holy Communion.  Priestly mode of life? The upcoming Amazon Synod will ask whether clerical celibacy should be suspended in countries with low recruitment to the priesthood; only one man entered the seminary in Cardinal Marx’s diocese in 2016. Women at the service of ecclesiastical offices?  Francis has said there’s “no certainty” whether or not women can receive sacramental ordination to the diaconate.
Here’s where suspicion sector of my cerebellum starts jumping up and down and waving its hands. Other than the fact that the German Church is modernist nut house right now, and that nut houses produce nutty results, one also has to wonder if this is some longer term ploy. This business of a “binding synod” in Germany and the back and forth with Rome makes me think of a pantomime horse: the two parts obviously, hence comically, don’t function in sync with each other. Then the charade is over and it comes apart. Meanwhile, over in the main ring, the real show is taking place.
Is this a distraction from the problems of the upcoming Synod on the Amazon? Germans are fueling that goat rodeo, too.