As the Synod of Bishops quickly approaches, speculation about the outcome is reaching a fever pitch, and this make sense to me given that so much is at stake.
What makes no sense to me whatsoever, however, is the suggestion that we as yet don’t know on which side of the upcoming debate Pope Francis stands.; clearly, he favors a radical departure (such as that proposed by Cardinal Kasper) from tradition.
What remains to be seen is precisely how he will go about facilitating its enactment.
As I wrote in a recent post, Pope Francis, in spite of all of his talk about the virtues of synodality, will do whatever it takes to get what he wants no matter what October has in store; so much so that the outcome of the Synod has effectively already been determined.
In other words, Pope Francis is far more the dictator than he would ever care to admit.
Ironically, however, it seems to me that in order to push forward his agenda, trumping what will likely be the will of the Synod majority, he’s ultimately going to play the collegiality card.
I suggested in that same post that the recent motu proprio reforming the annulment process provides a clue that seems to suggest that Pope Francis favors the promotion of his pet “pastoral” projects by way of bishop-centered initiatives.
Given the current state of the world’s episcopate and the pope’s ability to craft it according to his own mind going forward, this promises to prove rather effective in helping him get his way.
I must admit, the motu proprio and the procedure put in place thereby is a brilliant tactical maneuver.
Not only is it going to lead to precisely the outcome Pope Francis desires; it also affords him the rare opportunity to have his cake and eat it too.
It allows him to assert his own will in a way that doesn’t require disavowing collegiality.
Is it reasonable to expect something similar with respect to the Synod?
Absolutely. I fully expect that along with a hollow re-affirmation of doctrine, the National Bishops’ Conferences and local bishops will ultimately be given the room, and perhaps even encouraged, to enact “pastoral applications” that effectively undermine it.
On this note it may be useful to recall what Pope Francis had to say about the “collegial spirit” in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium:
The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion. The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position “to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit”. Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated. Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach.
Look, if Francis believes that the national episcopal conferences deserve “juridical status” and “genuine doctrinal authority,” there can be no question that he is not only willing, but eager to see them enjoy the power to administer their own “pastoral initiatives” on matters like Holy Communion for the civilly divorced and remarried, those who are cohabitating, and even those in homosexual “unions.”
We will find out soon enough…
“We must not forget that the episcopal conferences have no theological basis, they do not belong to the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated; they have only a practical, concrete function.” (The Ratzinger Report, 59-61)
The outcome of the synod is a foregone conclusion.
Francis has changed the rules from needing the 2/3 majority in support of whatever is being voted on to a simple majority (51%), at the same time as stacking it with more and more blatant modernists/liberals, at the same time as removing some key players who where there in part one (such as Cardinal Burke).
These neo-catholics on EWTN and catholic radio who are acting as if Francis’ position is unknown on these issues are either lying about it, willfully ignorant, or blind.
Only two things remain to be seen…how brazen the modernists/liberals and Francis will be in the final document and whether the “conservatives” will roll over for it all or actually stand their ground and go to war over this insanity.
The new annulment process is already the victory stamp required. The left don’t need victories in the sense of some majority decision, all they need is loopholes. Most liberal prelates could barely quote any solid argument from Vatican II to justify their insanity, but it was the “spirit of V2” that was their main ticket. The “spirit of mercy” is the new line and it will be, and has been, totally exploited. I find myself wanting the synod to go haywire (even to the point of schism) for the simple reason that the filth needs to come to the surface and the Sanctuary cleansed. The worst outcome would be a kind of neither left nor right position. The pope either needs to be Peter or Iscariot, not both.
“The pope either needs to be Peter or Iscariot, not both.”
How has he been “Peter” (if you don’t mind my asking)?
To any blogger who writes something like, “A pope cannot change Church doctrine on marriage”, please note that this has a hollow ring to it unless there is a principled attempt to preserve that doctrine in a united body of living souls.
Popes cannot change the Julian calendar either. One of them just replaced it.
“Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church. I tell them that if you ask a fly, “Are there any flowers in this area?” it will say, “I don’t know about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish you can find all the filth you want.” And it will go on to list all the unclean things it has been to.
Now, if you ask a honeybee, “Have you seen any unclean things in this area?” it will reply, “Unclean things? No, I have not seen any; the place here is full of the most fragrant flowers.” And it will go on to name all the flowers of the garden or the meadow.
You see, the fly only knows where the unclean things are, while the honeybee knows where the beautiful iris or hyacinth is.”
+ St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, “Good and Evil Thoughts
Can you give me some references on changing the rule of 2/3 to simple majority? It should be a headline everywhere if that is the case.
@Ever mindful: With all due respect, timidity in the face of wickedness and deceit is not a virtue. To use a colloquial expression, you need some starch in your britches. Here are some inconvenient items for you to consider:
“And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind?
But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments, are in the houses of kings.
But what went you out to see? a prophet? yea I tell you, and more than a prophet.
For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.
Amen I say to you, there hath not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is the lesser in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.”
Are you prepared to practice holy violence in your fight against the world, the flesh and the devil?
Some quotes from this excellent article:
“With Christ’s Ascension we are given the Holy Spirit to lead us, and transform us into disciples of Jesus Christ. This is the point of Jesus’ words, ‘violence’ and ‘force’ in Matthew 11:12. Only those who like Saint John, live radically (violently and forcefully) opposed to the world, and seek the Holy Spirit (because there are radicals who don’t seek the Spirit) can come through the narrow gate. In this military analogy, those who truly seek Christ, will unceasingly do spiritual battle against the enemy for the sake of His soul and the world. Heaven in a word suffers this violence, this ferocity, because it has been opened up by Christ to those who dare to seek it. Those counted as worthy are as Saint John Chrysostom says ‘crowned victors in Heaven who have fought unceasingly against the passions.’ The Christian storms Heaven by his life in Christ. Nothing but a total war against the devil will purify our lives of vice.”
“In war, the passions of laziness, dithering, sloth and cowardice will get a person killed, or worse yet, their fellow comrade in arms. The same can be said of the spiritual battle, not only do we allow ourselves through inattentiveness to fall prey to the enemy, but so too do we cause scandal to those who have heard the gospel, and seeing our sloth, turn away from Christ.”
“In the words of Saint Jerome: ‘Because John the Baptist was the first who preached repentance to the people, saying, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand: rightly from that day forward it may be said, that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For great is the violence, when we who are born of this world, seek a place in heaven, and obtain by righteousness what we have not by nature.’”
On the Error of Collegiality of Vatican II
which profoundly effects this discussion, so profoundly, that it is tragic for lack of comprehension of same.
Bp. Donald Sanborn
I totally agree with you, Cyprian.
For my part, this is not to place fault on EM.
IMHO & that’s all it is, my opinion — BTW, the placement of placating words-which would be perhaps of assistance elsewhere ( here I’m sure inadvertantly) can cause much confusion & we have actually seen such ensuing confusion play out in other comments in the past.
I know. Exactly. My question too.
Some more items to contemplate:
Now I’m not finding it. If I’m wrong I apologize. I thought for sure I’d read that for part two of the synod, the voting would be simple majority for approval, not two-thirds.
Has anyone else heard this, or am I way off base?
Since VII and the Novus Ordo and all its professed prelates and presiders ‘do not belong to the structure of the Church as willed by Christ’, the whole drama is more or less bad theatre.
Catholic truth, Catholic evidence. God bless you for never compromising (aka ‘finding concord’ with belial), de Maria.
So true. And so poorly choreographed too!
Interesting thought, thanks. We do have to go into the garden to be able to get rid of the trash. If we see the trash and tell all to stay out of the “junkyard”, we won’t be part of the clean-up.
I couldn’t believe he said “her (the Church) missionary outreach”…..
Next point: Bergoglio gave communion regularly to the smelly sheep of Buenos
Aires including the divorced. “Le Pecore di Bergoglio” (The Sheep of Bergoglio) by Pierfrancesco de Robertis says it all on the book jacket- loosely translated: ‘the sacraments as a remedy and not as a prize, communion for the divorced’…
I guess it was Francis’ forcing the inclusion of the voted down paragraphs in the mid term report I was thinking of
The scandalous paragraphs did get majority votes, but not the two-thirds required. Francis changed or disregarded the rules and put them in anyway.
But no, I haven’t seen that this will be done in round two. We shall see.