45

Pope Ends Synod With Classless Address

Pope of Mercy

 

It has been quite some time since the Church has had a pope as small-minded, vindictive and vengeful as the “Pope of mercy”, Pope Francis.  In his closing address to the Synod he took several swipes at those who fought his rigging of the process:

It was also about laying closed hearts, which bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.

It was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness, not simply of the righteous and the holy, but rather of those who are righteous and holy precisely when they feel themselves poor sinners.

It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.

In the course of this Synod, the different opinions which were freely expressed – and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways – certainly led to a rich and lively dialogue; they offered a vivid image of a Church which does not simply “rubberstamp”, but draws from the sources of her faith living waters to refresh parched hearts. Continue Reading

23

What-if-the-Pope-Game Becomes Horrible Reality

Pope Benedict Miss Me Yet

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 

Most Catholics are familiar with the what if the Pope does x, y or z game.  That game is when a non-Catholic asks a Catholic, “So, the Pope is infallible?  What if the Pope does”, and names a  hypothetical which is against the teaching of the Church.  The usual reaction of a Catholic is to say that couldn’t happen.  Based upon the track record of the Church that was a safe, and reassuring, answer.  Only a handful of Popes have come close to heresy, and the Church has quickly corrected the situation.  Thus most Catholics have not been unduly disturbed by the what if the Pope game.  I certainly was not, until the current Pontificate brought that silly anti-Catholic game into terrible reality.

Bad enough that Pope Francis set up a rigged Synod to spit in the face of Christ regarding His teaching as to the indissolubility of marriage.  Now, in order to accomplish this by the back door, he has proposed a direct attack on the office of the Pope itself, by allowing various segments of the Church to adopt their own solution to “problems” they confront.  How this proposal will play out in practice has been elaborated upon by his boy in Chicago, Archbishop Blasé Cupich, who is eager to allow Catholics in adulterous marriages and unrepentant “partnered” homosexuals to receive the Eucharist, all in the name of the primacy of personal conscience, no matter how ill formed.  Under this procedure the concept of sin flies right out the window along with 2000 years of the Church preaching the Gospel of Christ.  Thus the Catholic Church becomes the modern Episcopal Church with worse music and less ceremony.

The Laity have a duty, not a right but a duty, to stand up for Catholic orthodoxy when the Clergy fail to do so.  Friends, it is time to stand.

Damian Thompson at The Spectator grasps the gravity of the situation and thinks Francis will fail in his effort to reshape the Church: Continue Reading

8

Hermeneutic of Conspiracy

 

 

Well, now the Pope is warning about “conspiracy theories”:

 

 

Pope Francis has warned bishops at a global church meeting on the family not to be taken in by conspiracy theories, as conservatives and liberals reportedly engage in attempts to manipulate the synod.

A Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, on Thursday confirmed reports that the pontiff had warned Catholic bishops and cardinals behind closed doors on Tuesday not to get caught up in “the hermeneutic of conspiracy”. Continue Reading

1

50 Ways to Rig a Synod

 

zuhlio-50-ways-to-rig-a-synod3-300x300

Father Z brings us a musical treat:

 

It is my pleasure to release here the super ultra exclusive new hit from the always backward-looking performance artist Zuhlio!

With the disturbing foreknowledge that the organizing office of the Synod of Bishops was going to change the rules and procedures yet again, the artist Zuhlio teamed up with the legendary T. Ferguson (whose initials are strangely similar to those of this blog’s official parodohymnodist Fr. Tim Ferguson).

You will recall some of Zuhlio’s previous hits, which you no doubt hum to yourselves even now.  Who can forget Where Have All the Sisters Gone How about “Lady Tambourine Priest”?  How about his even bigger hit song from his urban rapper phase “Aging Hippie Paradise”. Continue Reading

8

Synod as Ark

The Fire Next Time

 

Yet another bad sign for those who fear that the upcoming renewal of the Synod will spit in the face of Christ and approve reception of Holy Communion by Catholics in adulterous marriages:

ZENIT: How can the Synod on the Family be represented?

Archbishop Paglia: If I were to describe the Synod with an image, I would say that the Church gathers all families, the good ones and those that have problems, all of them, to say to the whole world that the family is the way of happiness for contemporary society in the third millennium, because globalization has become almost solely that of the market and, let me to say it: loneliness is being globalized.

ZENIT: Why is there fear sometimes to address these topics, even among more “observant” persons?

Archbishop Paglia: I would say that it is necessary to have more serenity and more confidence. Let me to answer with a biblical image: the deluge. At that moment, God created Noah’s ark. And the Church is a bit like Noah’s ark. We are all there, all types and tendencies. What is important is to be in the ark, and not to make holes in it or to open the windows.

The Church is called with all her variety – all are necessary. We cannot say that only “the head is important.” A Church that is only head would be monstrous. The little finger is also important. The knee is important. One can live without a hand, but it’s not the ideal. I would like to say to all Christians and to men of good will: at this moment the Church, with Pope Francis, wants to be like Noah’s ark to save all of them, all families. This is a wide objective as wide as God’s heart. A large ark where there is room for all, with one conviction: while we are together we will be happy. Continue Reading

9

PopeWatch: Hounds and Foxes

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Father Z gives us the closing speech of the Pope at the Synod along with his comments:

 

I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality [Q: How are they different?] – we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”

And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say “enough”; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people. Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned: [Not that we want to dwell on them…]

– One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.  [“traditionalist” “intellectualisti”.  Really?] 

– The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo] [This also means a “going along to get along”, not to make waves.], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.[Because liberals are “do-gooders” and the traditionalists … aren’t?]

– The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4); and also to transform the bread into a stone and cast it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick (cf Jn 8:7), that is, to transform it into unbearable burdens (Lk 11:46).

– The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.

– The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; [I am not sure I get that part.  How can you both “neglect” the depositum fidei and then think you are its “owner”.] or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them “byzantinisms,” I think, these things… [?  I didn’t get that part, either.  Who neglects reality?]

Dear brothers and sisters, the temptations must not frighten or disconcert us, or even discourage us, because no disciple is greater than his master; so if Jesus Himself was tempted – and even called Beelzebul (cf. Mt 12:24) – His disciples should not expect better treatment.

Personally I would be very worried and saddened if it were not for these temptations and these animated discussions; this movement of the spirits, as St Ignatius called it (Spiritual Exercises, 6), if all were in a state of agreement, or silent in a false and quietist peace. Instead, I have seen and I have heard – with joy and appreciation – speeches and interventions full of faith, of pastoral and doctrinal zeal, of wisdom, of frankness and of courage: and of parresia. And I have felt that what was set before our eyes was the good of the Church, of families, and the “supreme law,” the “good of souls” (cf. Can. 1752). And this always – we have said it here, in the Hall – without ever putting into question the fundamental truths of the Sacrament of marriage: the indissolubility, the unity, the faithfulness, the fruitfulness, that openness to life (cf. Cann. 1055, 1056; and Gaudium et spes, 48).

And this is the Church, the vineyard of the Lord, the fertile Mother and the caring Teacher, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to pour oil and wine on people’s wound; who doesn’t see humanity as a house of glass to judge or categorize people. This is the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and composed of sinners, needful of God’s mercy. This is the Church, the true bride of Christ, who seeks to be faithful to her spouse and to her doctrine. It is the Church that is not afraid to eat and drink with prostitutes and publicans. The Church that has the doors wide open to receive the needy, the penitent, and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect! The Church that is not ashamed of the fallen brother and pretends not to see him, but on the contrary feels involved and almost obliged to lift him up and to encourage him to take up the journey again and accompany him toward a definitive encounter with her Spouse, in the heavenly Jerusalem.

The is the Church, our Mother! And when the Church, in the variety of her charisms, expresses herself in communion, she cannot err: it is the beauty and the strength of the sensus fidei, of that supernatural sense of the faith which is bestowed by the Holy Spirit so that, together, we can all enter into the heart of the Gospel and learn to follow Jesus in our life. And this should never be seen as a source of confusion and discord.

Many commentators, or people who talk, have imagined that they see a disputatious Church where one part is against the other, doubting even the Holy Spirit, the true promoter and guarantor of the unity and harmony of the Church – the Holy Spirit who throughout history has always guided the barque, through her Ministers, even when the sea was rough and choppy, and the ministers unfaithful and sinners.

And, as I have dared to tell you , [as] I told you from the beginning of the Synod, it was necessary to live through all this with tranquillity, and with interior peace, so that the Synod would take place cum Petro and sub Petro (with Peter and under Peter), and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee of it all.  [I don’t think the mere presence of the Pope that guarantees anything.  The Pope also has to act and speak.  No?]

We will speak a little bit about the Pope, now, in relation to the Bishops [laughing]. So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of  their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ; it is that of reminding the pastors that their first duty is to nourish the flock – to nourish the flock – that the Lord has entrusted to them, and to seek to welcome – with fatherly care and mercy, and without false fears – the lost sheep. I made a mistake here. I said welcome: [rather] to go out and find them.  [Interesting!]

His duty is to remind everyone that authority in the Church is a service, as Pope Benedict XVI clearly explained, with words I cite verbatim: “The Church is called and commits herself to exercise this kind of authority which is service and exercises it not in her own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ… through the Pastors of the Church, in fact: it is he who guides, protects and corrects them, because he loves them deeply. [Because he loves them, he corrects them.] But the Lord Jesus, the supreme Shepherd of our souls, has willed that the Apostolic College, today the Bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter… to participate in his mission of taking care of God’s People, of educating them in the faith and of guiding, inspiring and sustaining the Christian community, or, as the Council puts it, ‘to see to it… that each member of the faithful shall be led in the Holy Spirit to the full development of his own vocation in accordance with Gospel preaching, and to sincere and active charity’ and to exercise that liberty with which Christ has set us free (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis, 6)… and it is through us,” Pope Benedict continues, “that the Lord reaches souls, instructs, guards and guides them. St Augustine, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St John, says: ‘let it therefore be a commitment of love to feed the flock of the Lord’ (cf. 123, 5); this is the supreme rule of conduct for the ministers of God, an unconditional love, like that of the Good Shepherd, full of joy, given to all, attentive to those close to us and solicitous for those who are distant (cf. St Augustine, Discourse [Sermon] 340, 1; Discourse 46, 15), gentle towards the weakest, the little ones, the simple, the sinners, to manifest the infinite mercy of God with the reassuring words of hope (cf. ibid., Epistle, 95, 1).”

So, the Church is Christ’s – she is His bride – and all the bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter, have the task and the duty of guarding her and serving her, not as masters but as servants. The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant – the “servant of the servants of God”; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being – by the will of Christ Himself – the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” (Can. 749) and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church” (cf. Cann. 331-334).

Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families.

One year to work on the “Synodal Relatio” which is the faithful and clear summary of everything that has been said and discussed in this hall and in the small groups. It is presented to the Episcopal Conferences as “lineamenta” [guidelines].

May the Lord accompany us, and guide us in this journey for the glory of His Name, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint Joseph. And please, do not forget to pray for me! Thank you!

[The hymn Te Deum was sung, and Benediction given.] Continue Reading

19

Rebuilding After the Earthquake

Synod

 

 

In pastoral terms, the document published today by the Synod of Bishops represents an earthquake, the “big one” that hit after months of smaller tremors.

John Thavis, A Pastoral Earthquake at the Synod

 

A guest post by commenter John of Any Other Name:

I’m not sure rebuilding is entirely necessary.  It is clear that there are challenges facing the Church, notably from the inside.  However, I stumbled across Dave Armstrong’s thoughts on the Synod (prior to the actual beginning of it) and the media controversy surrounding Cardinal Kasper and other topics.  Dave writes at length, but I find these excerpts as a good summary for my point:

Cardinal Kasper seems to have some liberal views. I agree. All theological errors come from Germany and England and The Netherlands (+ the US). No surprise there. It was the same at Vatican II with Dollinger (who denied papal infallibility and was excommunicated). Ho hum. ZZZzzzz (-_-) .

One day all the chronic worriers and complainers will have to stop worrying about the pope and the Church: stop acting like they have no faith that God guides and protects her.

 *******************************************

What I’m saying are these things:

    1. There have always been serious problems in the Church. It’s nothing new, and is as old as Judas, the ancient Corinthians, Galatians, and seven churches of Revelation.

    2. Anyone (whatever one bishop or a hundred say) who seeks will find, and it’s now easier than ever (with the Internet) to locate orthodox Catholic teaching. Somehow in the 4th century, laypeople by the millions knew what was orthodox teaching, despite the widespread heresy of Arianism taught by many bishops. Most of them couldn’t even read.

    3. One overcomes the darkness by lighting a candle (by teaching, by prayer, by example, etc.), not merely complaining about the darkness.

    4. Thus, if someone (like you) is worried about souls, then go out and take action (and this action includes prayer) to help those souls. I do it by teaching and apologetics. I’m doing something about it. People come into the Church and become more confident, informed Catholics as a result of my work. I show my concern by what I do with my life, by what I do for a living as my vocation. What are you and others who are so concerned, doing about it?

http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2014/10/on-ultimate-folly-and-futility-of.html

Continue Reading

21

Blunt Truth From Down Under

There’s only one way to stop this. Cardinal Pell, it’s rumored today, stood up during the proceedings on Thursday when the Synod leaders seemed to have decided on their own authority not to publish the reports of the small groups, presumably because they were uniformly tough on what’s been too soft. He slammed his hand on the table and said, “You must stop manipulating this Synod.” That forced a general vote – and the reports were published.

Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing

 

 

 

 

Hattip to Father Z.  One of the heroes emerging from the Synod is George Cardinal Pell.  It is a pleasure to hear the blunt spoken Aussie in the above video.

 

Cardinal George Pell said working-group reports from the Synod of Bishops on the family finally give a true picture of the assembly’s views, counteracting what he characterized as a misleading midterm report.

We wanted the Catholic people around the world to know actually what was going on in talking about marriage and the family and, by and large, I think people will be immensely reassured,” Cardinal Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, told Catholic News Service Oct. 16, the day the reports were published.

“We’re not giving in to the secular agenda; we’re not collapsing in a heap. We’ve got no intention of following those radical elements in all the Christian churches, according to the Catholic churches in one or two countries, and going out of business,” he said.

In a surprise move, synod members voted Oct. 16 to publish summaries of comments by 10 small groups into which they had divided to discuss an Oct. 13 midterm report by Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest. As the assembly’s relator, Cardinal Erdo has the task of guiding the discussion and synthesizing its results.

Cardinal Erdo’s report stirred controversy inside and outside the synod hall with its strikingly conciliatory language toward people with ways of life contrary to church teaching, including divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and those in same-sex unions.

The midterm report was “tendentious, skewed; it didn’t represent accurately the feelings of the synod fathers,” said Cardinal Pell. “In the immediate reaction to it, when there was an hour, an hour-and-a-half of discussion, three-quarters of those who spoke had some problems with the document.”

“A major absence was Scriptural teaching,” he said. “A major absence was a treatment of the church tradition,” including teaching on the family by Pope Paul VI, St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

“The secret for all Catholic vitality is fidelity to the teachings of Christ and to the tradition of the church,” said the cardinal, who sits on the nine-member Council of Cardinals advising Pope Francis on church governance.

Cardinal Pell said only three of the synod’s 10 small groups had supported a controversial proposal by German Cardinal Walter Kasper to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, even without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages.

“Communion for the divorced and remarried is for some — very few, certainly not the majority of synod fathers — it’s only the tip of the iceberg, it’s a stalking horse. They want wider changes, recognition of civil unions, recognition of homosexual unions,” Cardinal Pell said. “The church cannot go in that direction. It would be a capitulation from the beauties and strengths of the Catholic tradition, where people sacrificed themselves for hundreds, for thousands of years to do this.” Continue Reading