A “perpetual synodal” (“walking together”) Church? What could go wrong?

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 ]


THE ST. GALLEN MAFIA – Exposing the Secret Reformist Group Within the Church by Julia Meloni.   US HERE – UK HERE

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, Synod, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Not says:

    Here we go…Firstly, I have always known who I am as a Catholic.
    Pope Francis recent statements have revealed him as the Red Pope and I am not talking about his shoes. “Calls for a new Economic System” that Guarantees “Food. Health, Economic and Social Rights”. Same old communist one step forward and two steps back. That is why they want the “Synod” to continue. They will try to implement several liberal policies at a time, people will be outraged, so they will pull back a little, drop two and push the one. Dialog! Dialog! Dialog
    They will bring in ALL “religions” to ask how they feel about Catholicism. Vatican II on steroids.

  2. CanukFrank says:

    Wow. Just working my way through Malachi Martin’s 1996 novel ‘Windswept House’. This ‘process’ sounds identical to the Benthoek
    /Mastroianni plan to change the whole nature of the Catholic Church.

  3. Kentucky Gent says:

    “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.” ”

    It may have been a dream for him, but it’s a nightmare for me.

    God does not change, and I want to be in a church that does not change to reflect the eternal nature of our creator. I want to be in a church where doctrine doesn’t change, where people don’t take pride in sexual perversion, where the clergy are men and the women are taught to submit to their husbands instead of trying to husbands or priests. I want to be in a church where the Eucharist is served.

    There are no other options out there! Protestantism has fallen to the enemy here in the West (and even before their fall, there was always something lacking in ALL the Protestant churches I tried).

    Lord God please have mercy! Deliver us from this wretched plan!

  4. Danteewoo says:

    “We must not make another Church, we must make a different Church.” Reminds me of a current hymn, one line of which reads “Sing a new Church into being.” Archbishop Chaput forbad that hymn from being sung in the Denver Archdiocese.

    And the National Catholic Register is Catholic, but too establishment Catholic for me. EWTN, which runs that newspaper, gives its listeners the Faith suspended in a pool of sugar water, a bit of “Women Church,” so sweet that it cloys. At least Raymond Arroyo and his posse tread close to areas forbidden to smiley-faced, establishment Catholics.

  5. BW says:

    A priest I know mentioned the other day that we have to be aware this Synod of synodality is coming up, we can’t ignore it even if it has been highjacked.

    Sadly, the Catholic church sold off its societal relevance decades ago. No one outside the church cares. The Church can change into the most modern, progressive, women-in-leadership having, homosexual relationship blessing institution (Germany looking at YOU) and the world will still hate the notion of the Church, because the Devil hates the Bride of Christ.

    Irrelevance, but I hope and pray it wasn’t so.

  6. Robbie says:

    If you’re excited about the synod on synodality, just wait for the synod on the synod on synodality.

    It’s striking how detached the hierarchy has become from those who bother to attend Mass anymore.

    Mass attendance, even at the well-attended parish I attend, has dropped quite a bit over the last five to seven years.

    A gabfest no one knows about isn’t going to change that.

  7. Archlaic says:

    PF: “How is it going?”
    Cdl. ‘X’: “Not as quickly as we hoped, Holy Father… there are still too many bishops who aren’t fully on-board yet”
    Cdl. ‘Y’: “And the opposition from the laity, some are more rigid that the worst bishops!”
    Cdl. ‘Z’: “And too many still cling to the Old Mass!”
    PF: “time is greater than space!”
    3 Cardinals : “yes, Holy Father!”
    Cdl. ‘Y’ : “So, Holiness, what is to be done?”
    PF: “Personnel is policy”
    Cdl. ‘X’: “But we’re going as fast as we can… only so many bishops turn 70 each month and it’s getting harder to sideline the more tenacious ones… Things didn’t work out so well with Cardinal Peel, Cardinal Barke somehow recovered, and Cardinal Mule is as obstinate as his name!
    Cdl. ‘Y’: “Yes, and that fellow from Knosynodstan is the worst of all… he’s like a stealth missile launched by Ratzinger… but speaking of ol’ Ratz, at least we have been able to keep him quiet lately!”
    Cdl. ‘Z’: “Yes, if only we had more time…”
    PF: “We are in agreement, the Church needs more discernment in order to enter into a fully-relaxed period… I am extending the Synod for an extra year to give you time”
    3 Cardinals again nod vigorously
    Cdl. ‘Z’: “Brilliant!”
    Cdl. ‘Y’: “The Spirit has inspired you!”
    Cdl. ‘X’: “but what if that’s not enough?”
    PF: “The People of God will be used to it by then, we’ll just keep it going! The audience is ended, Marini be with you”
    3 Cardinals: “and… uhh… also with you!”

  8. IaninEngland says:

    Could the Vatican please publish the two working documents and any other conclusions reached in 2024 now? This might help save the environment and possibly also slow the spread of covid. Thank you.

  9. Gaby Carmel says:

    Dear Father, just this afternoon, a meme has appeared on my Facebook page, and I think some of your correspondents might be interested in it. It recommends a ‘comic book’ called ‘Know Your Mass’, which was published originally in 1954 with an imprimatur by Cardinal Spellman, and is now reprinted by Angelus Press. This is the link: https://angeluspress.org/products/know-your-mass

  10. Ariseyedead says:

    I’m beginning to think that “perpetual synodal” is the ecclesial bureaucratic-speak for “state of emergency” wherein secular governments break all the rules to save the people from some ginned up crisis that would have been much more easily averted if the government had nothing to do with it.

  11. maternalView says:

    First off I’m tired of being told the Church is on a journey. As in “help everyone to live it as the journey of brothers and sisters who proclaim the joy of the Gospel”.

    Father, you should do a post of the favorite words of this gang. Journey being at the top of the list.

    And please tell me what this means: “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.”

    What in the world is the newness God want to suggest to His Church?? If anything, I suggest these folks brush up on their approved apparitions if they want to know what God desires.

  12. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    I hope they keep this up interminably, and constantly shift the goal posts so that they never achieve anything that they can hold in hand. Why? Let’s ask Sun Tzu:

    “When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.”

    The implementation of the Novus Ordo was a blitz. But this? The longer they keep it up, the more they lose to attrition. It already shows by the ever increasing presence of traditional piety and practice, a presence whose remnant was much smaller in the wake of the new Missal in 1969.

    Go ahead… do another lap…

  13. Pingback: TVESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  14. B says:

    Read the last chapter… in the end God wins.

  15. GregB says:

    What kind of shelf life does a Church of the perpetual synod have? Do its statements and decrees come with an expiration date? The modernists in the Church remind me of the Wolves of Wall Street, Bernie Madoff, Enron, and WorldCom to name a few. Say anything to make a buck. Their word proved to be worthless. They also proved to be unworthy of trust. How much trust should be given to people who are always changing their story to keep up with the times? The Church was founded by Christ by means of His New and Everlasting Covenant. Covenants are permanent. The Holy Eucharist is the physical embodiment of this covenant. To me many of the troubles with the Holy Eucharist stem from a defective understanding of covenants. How many in the Church hierarchy have failed to honor their vows, promises, and oaths of office? The crisis of the Church is a crisis of covenant.

  16. DvdH says:

    This is today’s (19 Oct 2022) Gospel in the NO Mass (Wednesday of week 29 in Ordinary Time). I thought it rather appropriate, especially from the part where St Peter asks ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’

    Luke 12:39-48

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    ‘You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’
    Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’ The Lord replied, ‘What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.
    The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.’

    Pray for our priests and bishops, and GO TO CONFESSION!

  17. TonyO says:

    “The Church has always been at war on behalf of Synodality. The war of the Synod on Syn(odality) will always continue”.

  18. JRodz1 says:

    This past August, Deal Hudson of Faith and Culture (Ave Maria Radio) interviewed Julia Meloni author of the The St Gallen Mafia. By chance I caught the interview. Fascinating. I had to listen twice. I had to refer others to the interview. Thank you for posting this book and your review again. Meloni’s credentials were identified; that, used her ability for narrative and investigative reporting to piece together, Vatican key players/issues; that, are paving the path to current moral and liturgical confusion.

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