Sunday, 12 October 2014
“Houston, (Heaven) -we have a problem” (up-dated)
Addendum to my previous post (here). I have said how the Synod has left itself open to being viewed in the future as a synod engineered by man rather than guided by the Holy Ghost. Another reason has now appeared; one which leaves Pope Francis wide open to being viewed as manipulative, scheming and disempowering. I have to add that this is not how I am choosing to see him at the moment; I prefer to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and credit them with sincere heart and good motive. It cannot be denied though, that Francis has left himself open to some sharp criticism.
It is reported by that seemingly ubiquitous and very reliable source Rorate Caeli (here), who quote from the official website of the Portuguese Bishops' Conference, that while the Synod Fathers had elected by secret ballot their six representatives for the writing of the Final Report (reliable men known for their adherence to The Faith, including Cardinals Burke, Bagnasco and Sarah) the Pope has added men of his own choosing; men known for their liberalising tendencies (including Cardinals Wurel and Ravasi). While it is a prerogative of the Pope to make such appointments, and one may assume that it is in order to give both sides equal expression in the Final Report, it is not hard to imagine that this will be seen as the Pope ensuring his own liberal orientation gets into the Report, thereby enabling him to quote those liberalising attitudes in his Apostolic Exhortation as the concerns and voice of the Synod and the bishops.
If the Apostolic Exhortation does indeed tend toward the liberalist agenda we have a problem: a pope whose concerns are in the sociological and psychological (earthly) realms, rather than spiritual realm. Let us pray then, that he does not follow the liberalist agenda in his Apostolic Exhortation; that his declaration of being ‘a True Son of The Church’ is shown to be true to the folk of today and to the folk of the future. Affirmation that as a Cardinal he was ‘unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality, staunchly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception (here) would indicate that he is indeed a faithful son of the Church, and that his naming of these extra men to the committee for the Final Report was not to further a personally preferred agenda but for the sake of providing balance. For the moment, that is how I am choosing to read it in order that we may stay clear of describing Francis as manipulative and disempowering. We really have to wait until the Apostolic Exhortation to know if we are to say ‘Houston, we’ve had a problem’ or 'Houston, we have a problem'.
Before anyone comments to point this out, I am aware that the original phrase of the title to this short post was ‘Houston, we’ve had a problem’, but the phrase as commonly used in the present-continuous tense, is more fitting for this post.