On Saturday, October 4th at the Prayer Vigil in Preparation for the Synod of Bishops in Rome, Pope Francis urged the bishops to embark upon a “journey of spiritual and pastoral discernment.”
And in what does such a journey consist according to the pope?
It consists in the bishops “searching for what the Lord now asks of His Church.”
While one genuinely naïve may be tempted to think, OK, so far so good, let’s not forget that this Extraordinary Synod has been assembled to discuss, among other things, the reception of the sacraments by those who persist in an adulterous relationship.
Look, it doesn’t take a gathering of bishops to search for what the Lord now asks of His Church relative to matters of this nature, as if His current desire could possibly be one iota different in our day than it ever has been.
All that the Church has ever really needed to discern and to carry out the Lord’s will in such cases is for one bishop in particular – the one in Rome, to be precise – to remain faithful to the doctrine of the Faith and to demand that the rest of the faithful, including the world’s episcopate, follow suit.
But alas, Rome has not been graced with just such a bishop as this; rather has Rome, and therefore the Universal Church, been chastised with a Pontiff who finds it expedient to cavalierly urge that the Synod participants effectively embrace a new definition of the threefold episcopal office.
Rather than serving their respective flocks by teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful in the name of Christ, that their souls may be impregnated with His grace unto salvation; Pope Francis urged the bishops to “listen to the beats of the current age, and to perceive the ‘smell’ of the flock,” that the bishops themselves may be “impregnated by the joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties” of the sheep!
In other words, Pope Francis desires a church wherein the bishops are reduced to little more than community organizers who give voice to the fickle, and oftentimes self-destructive, demands of the people at large.
And yet, the thick-skulled, intransigent, neo-conservative, semi-Catholic defenders of the post-conciliar church-of-man still go about pretending as if the pope’s agenda is as yet a mystery.
There is no mystery here, folks. Pope Francis is intent on instituting his personal vision of a “poor church for the poor,” wherein her poorness is a poverty born of a lack of confidence in her doctrines, in her identity, and ultimately in her Founder in whose precious Name she is charged to speak.
As it relates to the matters being taken up at the Synod in particular, Pope Francis has already made his opinion well known; he has also made it well known what awaits those bishops who don’t follow suit; e.g., Cardinal Raymond Burke.
Lest there be any doubt whatsoever about the kinds of churchmen whose careers will flourish under Pope Francis following this Synod, consider that he unceremoniously removed Cardinal Burke from the Congregation of Bishops to make room for the man in the video below; a prelate on the rise (albeit whilst visibly inching ever closer to his date with Last Things), whose baggy, lifeless eyes and singsong intonations seem to betray a resident darkness far more properly suited for service to the dictates of Hell than to the halls of ecclesial power.
(I’ll have more to say on this video in the near future. In the meantime, Pope St. Pius X, ora pro nobis!)