Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Synod of Bishops

Some bishops want a do-over

ROME — Surprising words of appreciation for homosexuals, couples living together outside marriage and others that appeared yesterday in a working document from a summit of Catholic bishops in Rome have triggered a media tumult on the outside, and sharp debate on the inside.
While the Vatican tried to play down the significance of the document, insisting that it’s merely provisional, some bishops inside the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family seem to be taking it very seriously indeed.

During yesterday’s discussion, one bishop asked why the word “sin” seemed to be nowhere in the text, for instance, while another warned that it could encourage “conforming to the mentality of today’s world.”

The Vatican today released a summary of the discussion that followed release of the document, though without identifying speakers by name.

The midterm report, presented by Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo, was intended as a summary of the synod’s conversation to date, and has no standing as a statement of church teaching. It likely will be significantly modified before a final version is adopted by the bishops on Friday.

One cardinal taking part in the synod told reporters today that some media coverage distorted a proper understanding of the document, falsely suggesting that it contained firm conclusions of the whole body.
“We’re now working from a position that’s virtually irredeemable,” said Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of South Africa. 
“The message has gone out that this is what synod is saying, that this is what the Catholic Church is saying,” he said. “Whatever we say hereafter will seem like we’re doing damage control.”

Outside the synod hall, some prelates didn’t bother hiding their frustration with elements of the document.
In an interview with Catholic World Report, American Cardinal Raymond Burke said it contained things that “faithful shepherds … cannot accept,” and betrays an approach that is “not of the Church.”

Burke called on Pope Francis to issue a statement defending Catholic teaching, calling it “long overdue.”

Inside the synod, 41 prelates took part in the debate after the presentation of the document, including German Cardinals Walter Kasper and Gerhard Müller, Americans Timothy Dolan and Raymond Burke, Ghana Peter Turkson and the Patriarch Gregorio III Laham.

Although in general the Vatican summary said Erdo’s landmark document was appreciated for accurately capturing the synod’s conversation, warnings were issued that it might “give rise to confusion.”

Some bishops stressed the importance of speaking more widely about the families who remain faithful to the teachings of the Gospel.

“From the synod it emerged more clearly that indissoluble, happy marriage, faithful forever, is beautiful, possible and present in society,” the summary said, “therefore avoiding a near-exclusive focus on imperfect family situations.”

The summary states that some bishops highlighted the need for a more welcoming attitude towards homosexuals and couples leaving together outside of marriage, but “with the right prudence, so that the impression of a positive evaluation of such a tendency on the part of the Church is not created.”

The document read on Monday pondered at length on the situation of welcoming homosexuals.

“Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?” asked Erdo’s summary of the synod’s discussion.

Some warnings were also issued regarding procedures for the streamlining of cases of marriage nullity, meaning a process under church law declaring that a marriage never existed. Erdo’s document suggested that one possibility was establishing an administrative means under the responsibility of diocesan bishops.

The unofficial summary suggested that this might “prove to be too great a burden” for local bishops.

The document prepared by Erdo originally was supposed to be prepared by the Hungarian cardinal together with Italian Archbishop Bruno Forte, the synod’s special secretary, and Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, head of the Vatican’s office for the synod of bishops.

But, in a clear sign of Francis’ personal role in the document, six other synod members were assigned to the document’s drafting committee, including American Donald W. Wuerl.

The synod continues now with the 200-plus members meeting in small groups, gathered by languages, to discuss the document presented by Erdo. A final summary will then be presented to Francis, and could eventually be used as the cornerstone document for the next synod on the family, to be held Oct. 4-25 2015.


Anonymous said...

The Church does not call people Homosexual. It calls people, people who have same sex attractions.

To use the world's language, to identify people as their sexual disorders is to abandon them to the secular world's distorted (and provably so) anthropology.

Anonymous said...

We want adult entertainment! We want masturbation! We want pre-marital sex of all forms and participants! We want birth control! WE WATN A CATHOLIC SEXUAL REVOLUTION, and by Francis we are going to get it! Give the Church back to the people!!! Vox populi!!!

Who am I to judge?! said...

It looks as if Pope Francis's verbal imprecision is contagious (either that or the report was written well in advance of the discussions taking place!). Aside from the theological and pastoral issues, the management of the synod and of the media has been breathtakingly inept.

Cardinal Burke seems to be on the verge of sticking his neck out too far: demanding statements from the boss may result in him being banished from Rome entirely, rather than just shunted across the Tiber.

Anonymous said...

The good news is only that the Heretical Cardinals and bishops have outed themselves, so now we now who to fight against. This is sheer Heresy!!!!!!!Rome must be cleansed and the return of the Traditional Latin Mass will be restored to St. Peter's.

Anonymous said...

Good, let Burke be banished this will prove once and for all he is a living saint. Rome has already tried to destroy him.

Gene said...

Hey, they are HOMOSEXUALS…because Fr. won't let me use the other slang terms for them…It is THEIR choice to identify themselves by their sexual preferences.

Gene said...

Quiz: Who said it?

"Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the Church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every human consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory."

Gerbert d' Aurillac said...

Well all I can say is I am totally confused, contradictions abound, bordering on heresy. Is Cardinal Burke the only one who can speak clear, and concise on Church teaching. Cardinal Erdo has an agenda, seems to be doing the devils handy work. Weather you liked or disliked Pope Benedict you clearly understood what he was saying, it was well thought out, beautifully presented and totally Catholic. I understand this Synod was to be open and ideas where encouraged, but wow, some of this is scary! Pope Francis needs to speak to the faithful in clear concise terms, so we can clearly understand. I was to young to experience the disfunction of how Vat II was not understood by anyone in the 60's guess this is deja vu, aren't we the lucky ones. "Houston, we have a problem". Hold on to your seat, it's going to be a bumpy ride

Anonymous said...

If Cardinal Burke were a bishop in a diocese, I wonder how long he would tolerate some priest calling for a statement from him? Or implying that he is not faithful?

Anonymous said...

John Calvin. What do I win?

Nathanael said...

Well, Anonymous at 4:38pm.

If you attend Paul VI’s New Order of the Mass this Sunday you can see his handiwork first hand!


Gene said...

Well, Anonymous, I listed your prizes, but Fr. is too PC to post them. I guess he is off to defend the Synod and Pope Francie some more.