Wednesday, October 22, 2014


My comments first: When we look at what has happened to mainline Protestant Churches who have become liberal, post-Christian Churches, we see it happened in the so-called general assemblies where the Word of God as they would understand it was put up to a vote or a referendum. This allowed them to change the doctrines of the Church on many areas. Think Episcopal, Methodist and Presbyterians and also Lutherans. Think female ordination, condoning of homosexual acts and marriage and doing away with natural law as a basis for sexual morality.

Is this where Pope Francis has brought the Catholic Church with this recent synod of bishops? Or is he doing to the Catholic Church what religious orders, such as his own Jesuits did to their religious orders in the 1960's and 70's which has led to their decline and fall? Religious orders, especially women's religious orders, were very proud of the processes they used to involved their members to change their orders. The process was deemed beautiful regardless of what it produced including the mess that now has led to their demise.

Is this what Pope Francis has in mind for the Catholic Church? Pray, pray, pray that it isn't 1960's again and if so, pray, pray, pray that we go back to the future as a Church!

Crux has a brief article that shows the angst of sober prelates such as Archbishop Charles Chaput and Bishop Thomas Tobin:

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island has called on Catholics to “relax” following the tumultuous synod on the family, but nonetheless expressed concern over how bishops, cardinals, and even the pope conducted themselves earlier this month.

“Have we learned that it’s probably not a good idea to publish half-baked minutes of candid discussions about sensitive topics, especially when we know that the secular media will hijack the preliminary discussions for their own agendas?” Tobin wrote on the Diocese of Providence website.

In a piece entitled “Random Thoughts About the Synod on the Family,” Tobin said that “it’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families.”

He argued against what he called the pope’s suggestion that the Church “accommodate the needs of the age.” If that happens, he wrote, “the Church risks the danger of losing its courageous, counter-cultural, prophetic voice, a voice that the world needs to hear.”

“Pope Francis is fond of ‘creating a mess.’ Mission accomplished,” Tobin wrote.
He expressed support for Cardinal Raymond Burke, a favorite of the Catholic right who is expected to be demoted next month. Tobin called Burke “a principled, articulate and fearless spokesman for the teachings of the Church.”
Tobin, known as an outspoken, socially conservative bishop, asked how the Second Vatican Council would have looked “if social media had existed,” and wondered if American bishops would follow the synod’s structure during their November gathering in Baltimore.

“The concept of having a representative body of the Church voting on doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions strikes me as being rather Protestant,” he wrote.

Tobin’s comments came a day after Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, a leading conservative voice in the US hierarchy, says he was “very disturbed” by the debate over Church teachings on gays and remarried Catholics at this month’s Vatican summit, saying it sent a confusing message and “confusion is of the devil.”
In a lecture delivered Monday evening in Manhattan, Chaput also suggested that in the wake of the rapid series of court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage in more than 30 states, Catholic priests might consider opting out of certifying civil marriages as a sign of “principled resistance.”

Chaput is expected to host Pope Francis in Philadelphia next September for a global World Meeting of Families, and his criticisms tracked complaints by other conservatives who were upset with Francis for encouraging a freewheeling discussion among the 190 cardinals and bishops at the Vatican’s two-week Synod on the Family.

The 70-year-old archbishop, who was not part of the Rome summit, made his remarks in response to a question after a lecture event sponsored by the journal First Things.

“I was very disturbed by what happened” at the synod, Chaput said. “I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion.”
Still, he said there was some value in the synod.

“We also need to thank God for the gift of this present, difficult moment,” Chaput said. “Because conflict always does two things: It purifies the church, and it clarifies the character of the enemies who hate her.”

Material from the Religion News Service was used in this report.


Paul said...

Did not Christ build His Church upon a rock? There are plenty of alternatives that are built upon quicksand and are happy to see deceived Catholics jump in.

Anonymous said...

What a great opportunity to greet the pope. I'm thinking of some good slogans for posters. I'm sure he'll offer some more ideas by the time next Sept rolls around. If he rolls into Philly and slides back out without any strong public display of disapproval then Circus Synod II will make make the first act look like a radical group of traditionalists from the SSPX. If people sit on their hands they'll have no right to complain. Mike

Jdj said...

The heterodox love and thrive on creating messes. What they don't love (not unlike free-wheeling, devil-may-care children), is being held responsible for the mess, and suffering the consequences of cleaning up the damage done. They quite simply give no thought to accountability.

A true pastor sees his true vocation as bringing his people together in harmony (a difficult task at best!) and knows that it begins at home in his own parish family. He thrives in smoothing the rough edges of divisiveness. He is a conciliator and asks his people to follow the hard truth of gospel reconciliation. The world is always out there of course presenting new ecumenical challenges, but the pastor, as a good father, knows his family must come first in order to teach his children the qualities of Christian character they need to interact with the world. He cannot allow confusion and mess to reign over his family.

I have known two such pastors on this earth, humble holy men dedicated to this hidden hard work. Neither had any use for division or rancor and did not indulge in themselves or others. Both have "moved on", but their good work lives on and has spread. May their memories be eternal.
I also know of (not personally, but they are very generous writers in their limited free time) a couple of these special pastors. I read their words and see their works and am blessed. They soar with the eagles. May God grant them long life and blessed reward.

Gerbert d' Aurillac said...

Sitting back and taking a long look at the synod, I ask the question was it all really necessary? The main focus of the synod was to be on divorced and remarried Catholics, and it got hijacked by progressives and the media to be more about gays. Will is really make a difference to be more open and welcoming to this community if in the long run the truth of the matter will not change! If a homosexual person or couple come to the Church, the Church opens its arms and welcomes them and leads them the truth of what marriage is, and what natural law, Gods law says about human sexuality, which will call them to live a chaste life, and they do not or will not do that, then we are right back where we started. This makes no sense to me. This issue is mainly an issue in the United States, the majority of South America, and Europe do not agree with our culture. Africa and Eastern Europe most definitely do not. I see benefits from the synod in relation to our relationship with our Orthodox brothers and sister, for them to see an open and collegial synod process being used in the Catholic Church will obviously make them feel comfortable with the western church. This could also back fire if the progressives keep trying to push a gay agenda, while Orthodox are flexible on 2nd and even 3rd marriages, they are will not budge on any type of gay agenda. So was the synod a bit of theater, or was it of real substance, we will find out a year from now.