Saturday, 11 October 2014

Stacking The Deck Against The Synod

I think there is room for folk of the future to claim that the current Synod is being engineered (manipulated) by ecclesiastical progressives (‘Pastoral Modernisers’) rather than open to the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Personally I expect the Holy Ghost will keep the Synod on track , but that does not mean folk may not claim there was a human engineering going on at the same time.

While no one denies that a full and frank discussion of the issues surrounding marriage and sexuality for today’s Catholics is essential, we should have begun with the teaching of Christ, not the sinfulness of man. For the synod to begin with the experience of sinful man rather than the Gospel is to begin in the wrong place; it is man-centred, not God centred. The talk about subjugating Doctrine to pastoral practice for the sake of the person’s conscience flows from this wrong starting point. Extremism on ‘primacy of conscience’ aside, why might some say the Synod is engineered by man and not guided by the Holy Ghost?

Because first of all the step was taken to put out a questionnaire on marriage which was always going to be of much more interest to those living outside the Church’s norms than to those within the norms: It is those who have ‘gripes’ that go back to suppliers to make complaints; happy customers rarely return to give thanks.

Second, because with the support of the Pope. the man chosen to present the theme (Cardinal Kapser) set the Synod on a divided road from the off by challenging the Church’s teaching via her Eucharistic discipline (though the two cannot be separated: lex credendi, lex Vivendi ‘The law of belief is the law of living’).

Third, because by speaking not of the beauty of the Church’s teaching but of the need for pastoral practice to take precedence, the Modernisers are not doing the work of illuminating the world with the teaching of Christ but adapting the teaching of Christ to the world. This is not the purpose of the Church. She is to be a light to the nations, not enlightened by them.

Fourth, the establishment of a Commission to look into Annulment process before the Synod even began suggests a desired outcome has been taken for granted, which makes the Synod a paper exercise.

Finally, the secrecy that surrounds who is making what interventions is not the ‘Transparent Church’ we were expecting under Francis. It smacks of intrigue and concealment. Such secrecy is a new phenomenon; one not known at previous Synods (or any General Council to my knowledge). And secrecy is not a work of God; His children do things in the light; it is the devil who acts under cover of darkness: “this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (Jn.3v19).

If in time to come the Synod is indeed seen as being ‘engineered by man’ the responsibility lies with Rome, not those who make the assertion. Added to which, folk may say it replicates the engineering that went on before Vatican II -and shows ‘the Church from Vatican II onwards generated negative fruit’.

Personally I believe the Holy Ghost will take the Synod under His control; it is too important a topic for Him to simply bow out altogether. That said, Synods do not produce Doctrine as do the General Councils; Synods are but talk shops. Even the Apostolic Exhortation that will follow will not have the weight and authority of the Encyclicals which have addressed this topic, ie., Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae (1880); Casti connubi (1930); Humanae Vitae (1968) and Familiaris Consortio (1981). 

10 comments:

  1. You are right Fr and I am getting very unhappy with pope Francis. He just seems like a successful cleric who has had a good career and has finally landed the top job. And he loves it. He gives a concubine permission (by phone) to go to Holy Communion. He says God is not a Catholic ; what does that mean?? He is just not what the Pope should be. He is controversial. He likes to ruffle our feathers. He does not comprehend the importance of his office. He might as well be the manager of a football team. I am sooo sad at what has happened to my Church.

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    1. Thank you pascal788.
      Yes, I do think in the future people will see this synod as having been a human endeavour engineered by those without a deep attachment to the Faith. Pope Francis' papacy may not come out of this very well in the future; once the Church has recovered her equilibrium.
      God Bless.

      Delete
  2. Excellent analysis, for which a big thank you!

    Tweeted and facebooked.

    God bless!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Left-footer.
      And God Bless.

      Delete
  3. Father, please do add Pope Leo XII's Arcanum divinae sapientiae ("On Christian Marriage") to the list in the future. Though published in 1880, it is still very much deserving of attention.

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    1. Thank you, RC.
      About to add it to this post as i write!
      God Bless.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, faith in our families, for your comment and your article, which I read today.
      God Bless.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your views.
      May God bless you.

      Delete

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