Monday 31 August 2015

The Synod and Choice

There is a significant moment approaching the Church in the forthcoming Synod in which the Pope and Bishops will decide for or against the Gospel. I am confident the Synod will stand by the Gospel because of the many orthodox voices from all parts of the world that are calling for it to do so. I believe it will be a watershed moment when those who play footloose and fancy free with moral doctrine will realise they have had their day; that with Pope Francis and his avoidance of speaking doctrinally they had their best shot at overturning the ancient moral doctrine based on natural law and Sacred Tradition, so that from the Synod onwards the Church will once again set course on a way of orthodoxy, the liberal battle lost. I am a great believer that Truth will win out (can God be overcome?).
I am not for a moment underestimating the danger: it seems to me that for decades the Roman Curia has engaged in a way of speaking that so lacks in clarity that it borders on engaging in double-speak; often simply repeating excerpts from the texts of Vatican II, which doesn't do anything to clarify things. Further, she has been weak in calling to order errant theologians. In addition, she has been so anthropocentric in her worship that she has put man at the centre of her life. Having lived this way for the last few decades it is possible that Synod members may be unable to see any further than these few years, rather than keep in view the Church’s entire doctrinal, liturgical and pastoral history (to say nothing of her mission). But we have not been promised the assistance of the Holy Ghost for naught. It is at times like this that He will ensure the transmission of The Faith to future generations and prevent the loss of the Gospel.
Resistance to the Holy Ghost is always possible, but verbalising heresy and promoting pastoral innovations that are not in accord with orthodoxy would not have the final say; by the power of the Holy Ghost the Church would rise again. A burning ember is all that is needed, and there are some world-class lights, veritable faith-fires, shining in the Church of today among the Bishops who will cooperate with the Holy Ghost. The Book ‘Remaining in the Truth of Christ’ by the five Cardinals; the Book “Eleven Cardinals speak out” and “Christ’s New Homeland – Africa: A contribution to the Synod on the Family”, written by African Cardinals, who are some of those lights. We can add to this Bishop Schneider, and Bishop Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, with his new book “The Choice of the Family: A Call to Wholeness, Abundant Life, and Enduring Happiness”.
There is a question asked by some that is typical of today’s relativist Catholics in the street: What would Jesus say if He was a Synod Father? The answer is: Exactly what He said in the Gospel: “one who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery”....”You know the Commandments: 'You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony’” (Lk.16v18/Mk.10v19), for ‘Christ Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. Do not let yourselves be led astray by all sorts of strange doctrines’ (Heb.13v8).
Unbelievable as it may seem the reigniting of the Church just might, if we pray hard enough, be led by Pope Francis who, when push comes to shove, will not (we pray) allow himself to make room for practices contrary to the Gospel –and for which he would have to answer to the Lord. It is tempting to simply enjoy being adored by the media and by liberal men (as Pope Francis and the progressive Bishops undoubtedly are) but alone with the conscience it will be very hard for any of them to live having supported or promoted in either word or deed, a course contrary to the Gospel. Such contravening of the law of God is always a source of disturbance to the conscience, and denies the soul inner peace. Yes, Francis may put into the Apostolic Exhortation things not accepted
by the Synod. But this is where we must pray that his conscience, where he is alone with God, prohibits him. In any case, we must remember that an AE is not infallible teaching. and any pastoral innovations approved can be easily swept away in the future -especially if we refuse to follow pastoral innovations that are discordant with The Faith. I prefer to trust in the Holy Ghost that such a predicament for faithful Catholic clergy will not come about.

Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle within us the fire of Thy Love. Come forth, O Spirit, and we shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. 


  1. Well written once again Fr Gary! Bishops are successors of Christ's Apostles. As such they have publicly declared they belong to Christ and his Church, and not to the world. They have made their choice to follow and serve Christ and his Bride. When at the Synod they should remember that much will be asked of those to whom much has been given. More will be expected of them, because they were entrusted with more.

    1. Furthermore, the Synod hirelings should be reminded that communion in holiness cannot be brought about through pastoral dexterity but through sacrifice.

  2. I hope and pray that your faith in the Truth winning out comes to fruition, Fr Dickson.

    I must confess, however, to having a nasty nagging doubt in my mind that only an ambiguous compromise will be achieved, with every bishops' conference being given leeway to interpret the outcome of the Synod as they see fit. The year of (false) mercy will then take care of the rest and the Church will be plunged into chaos - again.

    Needless to say, I will be absolutely delighted if my miserabilist fears are proven wrong.

  3. I wish I had your total faith Fr Gary. I am still concerned at the outcome of the synod. I hope that the Holy Spirit will guide the Fathers in the way of truth but when you look at our recent history perhaps it is not surprising that doubts remain. I question why the Holy Spirit has allowed such liberalism recently. Is it perhaps that we are being put to the test?

  4. Thanks for this Fr Dickson. As per the above two commenters, I also think the signs, especially from the Pope (some very explicit) are very bad.

  5. Father, when the synod is over and if it is not a good out come please prepare for the future. When you see these things please get as many unconsecrated hosts as possible and keep them somewhere safe get vestments bibles and missals etc keep them somewhere safe... try to locate somewhere you can say mass safely in the event of a great persecution.


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