Wednesday, 15 October 2014
On The Synod's Interim Report
I have briefly looked at the Interim Report and to be honest, it could have been written before the Synod Fathers left their Diocese for Rome, so much does it favour the line taken by the ‘Pastoral Modernisers’. I suspect the Apostolic Exhortation will do the same, unless the likes of Muller and Burke shake Francis’ confidence in the idea that the Faith can be retained in word but abandoned in deed; that we can say one thing and do another.
‘Pastoral Modernisers’ think the Church is wrong not to admit the cohabiting, the divorced/civilly united and the active homosexual to Holy Communion. These Modernisers consequently leave themselves open to being accused of having forgone loyalty to Christ the Truth in order to accommodate the sins of man and the Prince of this World; they listen not to the Gospel, the Fathers and Tradition but to secular socio-psychobabble in which the highest goal is to seek and love oneself and allow others to do the same. Are the ‘Pastoral Modernisers’ then, seeking to change our allegiance from Christ to the Prince of this World?
Well, let us be honest: the interim report was not unexpected. It should have surprised no one. Recognising that there have been compromising statements by Bishops and priests on sexual matters ever since the promulgation of Humane Vitae, what this Synod is doing is not changing the allegiance of the Church from Christ to The Prince Of This World, but demonstrating that this change has been taking place for decades.
I hope the Bishops who are still at home follow the line of polish Archbishop Gądecki who has called the document into question; I hope they are contacting their delegates in Rome to register their dissatisfaction and disagreement. I suspect many are (we do have some faithful Bishops, after all).
Lest I be accused of lacking in pastoral sensitivity let me say that I have no problem valuing divorcees, cohabitees and homosexuals: I have all of these in my family: I have no brother or sister and only two nephews (out of 20) who is in a regular situation. These issues do not ‘touch’ my life -they have swamped it. The Church too, has no problem in valuing persons who are cohabiting, in civil unions after divorce or in homosexual pairings. But as for valuing the cohabitation; the civil union or the homosexual tendency/act –that is something no Catholic can do; we cannot value concupiscence, acts and situations that Scripture and Tradition denounce as inconsistent with the eternal good of the person. Those who seek to value them are wolves in sheep’s clothing, be they Pope, Bishop, Priest, Religious or Layman, because no one has the authority to over-rule Divine Law.
Let us be clear: divorced and civilly married persons, cohabitees and active homosexual persons are not ‘bad’ or inferior people; they are no less valuable than anyone else and are no less loved by God. But they live in a rebellious situation. What they need is a welcome at Mass, Spiritual Direction and involvement in the social life of the parish so that they experience the beauty of the Gospel and their value to God; what they absolutely do not need is to have their souls put in danger by telling them that to live contrary to the mind of God presents no danger to their eternal salvation.
Francis may be right to say our Lord was unhappy that the Pharisees defended the law and left no room for the God of surprises, but the laws they were defending were ceremonial laws; accretions to the Ten Commandments, such as washing up to the elbows (Matt.15v2) and the law of corban (Mk.7v11), not the Divine Law which Christ Himself confirmed (“You know the Commandments” –Mk.10v19). It is Divine Law the Pastoral Modernisers are seeking to change, which we simply cannot do -even if we are the Pope.