From the National Catholic Register (the Catholic paper, not the other one, the Fishwrap).
Pope Francis announced on Sunday that the Synod (“walking together”) on Synodality (“walking together”) will be extended to 2024.
Speaking in his Angelus address on Oct. 16, the Pope shared his decision to divide the Synod of Bishops into two sessions that will meet in Rome in October 2023 and October 2024.
Pope Francis explained that he made the decision “in order to have a more relaxed period of discernment.”
“The fruits of the synodal process underway are many, but so that they might come to full maturity, it is necessary not to be in a rush,” Francis said.
“I trust that this decision will promote the understanding of synodality as a constitutive dimension of the Church and help everyone to live it as the journey of brothers and sisters who proclaim the joy of the Gospel,” he said.
Also from the NCReg by the best English language Vaticanista these days Ed Pentin. My emphases and comments. This is from 2021!
Permanent Synodal Church — A Progressive Jesuit Cardinal’s ‘Dream’ Come True
Today’s announcement of a two-year process for the upcoming synod on synodality (“walking together”) appears to reflect the ideas of Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who viewed synodality as a vehicle for questioning Church teaching.
May 21, 2021
The Vatican’s announcement today that Pope Francis has changed his plans for the next Synod (“walking together”) of Bishops and made it into a multiphase process over two years comes closer to fulfilling a “dream” of the late progressive Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. [Domine salva nos, perimus: impera, et fac Deus tranquilitatem!]
The former cardinal-archbishop of Milan, a favorite of those pushing for heterodox reforms in the Church, had envisioned a permanent synodal Church in which the idea of collegial governance introduced at the Second Vatican Council could be better realized.
The Jesuit biblical scholar, who died in 2012, “had a dream” in 1999 of a Church capable of being in a permanent synodal state, with a “collegial and authoritative exchange among all the bishops on some key issues.”
For Cardinal Martini, those key issues comprised “the shortage of ordained ministers, the role of woman in society and in the Church, the discipline of marriage, the Catholic vision of sexuality, penitential practice, relations with the sister Churches of Orthodoxy and more in general the need to revive ecumenical hopes, the relationship between democracy and values and between civil laws and the moral law.”
In a later interview in 2004, he said he also saw the Synod of Bishops — as Pope Francis does — as an important element in a less centralized form of Church governance. [It’s ironic that the more this “walking together” stuff is ballyhooed, the more autocratic the higher ups are becoming.]
Rather than argue for a Third Vatican Council, he believed his vision of a permanent synodal Church would not only be more in line with the Second Vatican Council’s call for collegial governance, but an effective vehicle for introducing the key issues he mentioned. [Vatican III would be too abrupt. Instead, incrementalism is needed, the “frog in the warming water” approach. That’s how you change the Church into something that is conformed to the “wisdom of this world”, like an NGO that goes with the visions of the trendsetters, such as population control for the sake of climate change, etc.]
Echoing a similar kind of synodal permanence, Pope Francis’ upcoming synod will be entirely devoted to synodality for two years (the official theme is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”) and follows almost-annual Vatican synodal assemblies during Francis’ pontificate.
Originally scheduled for October next year, the upcoming meeting will now consist of a “diocesan phase” running from this October until April 2022, a “continental phase” from September 2022 to March 2023, and a “conclusive phase” for the universal Church in October 2023. It will have two working documents (instrumentum laboris) instead of the usual one. [‘Cause that won’t be confusing at all.]
Referring to the extended synodal period, the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Mario Grech, said in an interview with Vatican Media on Friday that it was consistent with Pope Francis’ 2018 apostolic constitution on the Synod of Bishops, Episcopalis Communio, which transformed the synod from being an “event into a process.”
That process, he added, is aimed at ensuring the “wider participation of the People of God” and, according to the Synod of Bishops’ announcement today, listening to what “all of the baptized” have to say. [Does anyone… anyone… really believe that?]
Given the tensions and acrimony associated with recent synods, and especially the national “Synodal Path” underway in Germany, which critics say could lead the country’s Church into schism, apprehension is growing about the disunifying effects of this kind of governance and its tendency to be used to introduce heterodoxy into the Church.
These concerns have also grown in view of the fact that so many of the faithful, especially in the West, have been poorly catechized for the past 60 years. [Bad catechesis or non (which could be better) and bad liturgical worship (liturgy is doctrine), the squandering of nearly all their moral capital by the bishops and many priests… all have created a crisis which, under the constant pounding of the world, the flesh and the Devil, have resulted in (in many places) a demographic sink hole. If people do not know who they are as Catholics, how can they affect the world around them, as Catholics? Why should anyone in the public square listen to us, as Catholics, if we can’t articulate what we believe and why? This is why Benedict XVI was so concerned about the “dictatorship of relativism” and why he tried – in my opinion – to spark a Marshall Plan against the same including liturgical renewal. Do we hear about concerns over “relativism” these days? No, quite the opposite.]
Cardinal Grech sought to allay such concerns in his interview, asserting that, for Pope Francis, “the sensus fidei [the sense of the faithful] best characterizes this people [of God] that makes them infallible in credendo. [Stop right here. The problem with this is that for the sensus fidei fidelium, the faithful’s sense of the faith to be operative, they first have to be the faithful. They have to know their Faith and live it. Is that what we see in the Church in the northern and western hemisphere? If people do not know who they are as Catholics, how can they affect the world around them, as Catholics? Why should anyone in the public square listen to us, as Catholics, if we can’t articulate what we believe and why? This is why Benedict XVI was so concerned about the “dictatorship of relativism” and why he tried – in my opinion – to spark a Marshall Plan against the same including liturgical renewal. Do we hear about concerns over “relativism” these days? No, quite the opposite. And what as the response rate been to the “synodal” (“walking together”) process actually been? 1%?]
“This traditional aspect of doctrine throughout the history of the Church professes that ‘the entire body of the faithful … cannot err in matters of belief’ by virtue of the light that comes from the Holy Spirit given in baptism,” he said.
“The Second Vatican Council teaches that the People of God participate in the prophetic office of Christ. Therefore, we must listen to the People of God, and this means going out to the local Churches.”
“The governing principle of this consultation of the People of God is contained in the ancient principle ‘that which touches upon all must be approved by all’ (Quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbari debet),” he said. “This is not about democracy, or populism or anything like that. Rather, it is the Church that, as the People of God, a People who by virtue of baptism, is an active subject in the life and mission of the Church.” [Omnes? Sure. Except for people who want traditional liturgical worship and tried and true teaching from standard sources. Omnes! Right. This is straight from Yves Congar who meant it to be for all Christians in matters of faith, not all Catholic Christians. How is that going to work? The principle he invokes might just provoke. To be fair, Protestants were invited to the Council of Trent! I just learned that. (Trent: What Happened at the Council ]
It is published by ever-faithful TAN Books.
One section that caught my close attention was a later chapter on the patience of the machinations and the individuals, wherein there popped in an important name: Yves Congar, an powerful influence at the Second Vatican Council and part of the Concilium group.
When Francis announced the Synod (“walking together) about Synods (“walking together”) he quoted Congar, saying:
“We must not make another Church, we must make a different Church”(Vera e falsa riforma nella Chiesa,Milan 1994, 193). And that’s the challenge. For a “different Church”, open to the newness that God wants to suggest to her, let us invoke the Spirit with greater strength and frequency and humbly listen to him, walking together, as he, creator of communion and mission, desires, that is, with docility and courage.
As Meloni points out, Congar “was obsessed by time”.
Congar wanted a patient transformation of the Church without rushing, causing breaks or schisms, moving in stages, patiently waiting through delays.
For his part, Francis has several guiding principles that he laid out in Evangelii gaudium which he in turn took from an Argentinian caudillo. I am not making that up. HERE for an explanation.
One of those principles was “time is greater than space”. It sounds vacuous, but it in essence means, “patience overcomes resistance”.
In this section, Meloni connects the influence of Card. Martini with the projects of Francis. They line up.
I am reminded of the patience that certain groups such as Masons, Communists, and Homosexualists had over decades of slow but steady infiltration of the Church at many levels, keeping relatively quite until the “tipping point” was finally attained. We are seeing the results now being played out before our horrified eyes.
This is a hard book to read, much as an autopsy is hard to watch. They are simultaneously fascinating and repulsive.