The left has a problem in view of the Amazon Synod (“walking together”) and Francis’ document Querida.
- The Synod was stacked so as to make certain recommendations.
- They made those recommendations.
- Francis tells everyone to read them, and he himself ignores them.
More than a little ironic.
Caught in this bind, the libs are spinning the disconnect into a dream of opening up even greater synodality, the promise of more and more process in the future, glorious and unending process. Somehow, they envision, there won’t be any conflict between the ever processing synod and the Pope. The Pope will be subjected to the process, not the initiator.
Here’s the problem with the synodizers, those dreamers of process. They all get something wrong. If you can stomach it, read what Madame Defarge wrote at Fishwrap. If you can stand it, read what Beans wrote at Commonweal.
They are eager for greater synodal process. That’s the gold ring.
A true synodal process, however, would have to be representative.
But was this last synod representative? Hardly. Is any synod? Any and every synod is going to be stacked. John Paul did it towards the right. Francis does it towards the left. Let’s admit it. Synods are not truly representative. No synod in history every really was.
The Amazon Synod was stacked like cord-wood with the people Francis wanted. It was aimed at a certain outcome. Synodal process, for the libs, is great when you get the outcome you want. But if there is any dissenting view, the dissenters are labelled as resistance and vilified. They must be side-lined.
The mistake that the synodizers make is to juxtapose a stacked synod against the resistance to the synod. Only their sort of stacked synod is permitted a voice, because it is stacked in the direction they desire. The Resistance doesn’t have a role in their synodizing fantasy. So synods aren’t really synodal at all. They are un-synods (“not walking together”).
Synodizers say they want synodality. In reality, what they want is totalitarianism.
You might think that would be “a Pope”. Popes are totalitarians, right? Full power, jurisdiction over everything, can’t be judged by anyone?
What’s the old phrase from the American Revolution? “Which is better? To be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?”
What synodizers want is for the unending process to be the totalitarian power. But that’s impossible. Someone will always be running the show.
They are wishing for something that can never exist.
“Woke Synods” and “Woke Popes”?
Best not to get stuck in the tar baby of synodality.
I leave you with the thought of St. Gregory of Nazianzus writing to Procopius in 382.
I am, if the truth be told, in such a tone of mind that I shun every assemblage of bishops, because I have never yet seen that any Synod had a good ending, or that the evils complained of were removed by them, but were rather multiplied….