Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Perhaps the Holy Spirit was not pleased with the resignation and was warning Rome and the Church what would happen?

My comments first: All of us must keep a proper perspective on the discussions going on in Rome. The first summary yesterday seems to be falling into disrepute by the synod's fathers themselves as noted by Sandro Magister, the great Italian blogger of things Catholic. The report below is good news but also shows the scandalous maneuvering by post-Catholic leaning bishops.

There is a different method to this synod in terms of open discussion. What seems to be old hat is the manipulation of things by an individual or individuals when it comes to presenting the discussion as Magister indicates below.

But let's not freak out. What is good about a more positive approach to sinful lifestyles that appear to have some good in them?  And why don't we get as hysterical about other "institutionalized" lifestyles, particularly of the rich and the famous who claim to be Catholic? Materialism and unbridled consumerism, both of which have elements of sinfulness in them when done so in the extreme.

But what is good about a more compassionate approach to homosexuals and those in unrecognized marriages?

Most people are attracted to Christ and His Church and thus the grace that is available for conversion leading to repentance and a new way of life with honey rather than vinegar. Of course there are people who life to be scourged for their sins, but I think this is a form of masochism and not the best approach to take. Hell fire and damnation have their place in preaching and our personal attitudes toward sinners, but how effective is it in getting today's generation to turn from sin?

What is problematic with the synod's preliminary summary?

It doesn't tell us how to be pastoral and effective in calling people to repentance and a new lifestyle. How do we teach sin and its various grades? How do we teach natural law? And are people now to receive Holy Communion simply for comfort (which is certainly legitimate) and not after an examination of conscience and a desire to repent? Is sin now so individualized that the only one who can declare something a sin in their lives is the sinner themselves? For example if I think the ends justify the means, can I steal from the rich and give to the poor and not see any sin in this lifestyle?

I can certainly sympathize with a mother of 10 children who steals from the rich to feed her poor children. But do we accept that lifestyle?

I want to remind bishops that the sex abuse scandal and the liberality they took in what they thought was a compassionate stance toward child molesters is what has led to the greatest scandal in the Catholic Church and perhaps in the history of the Church more dastardly than the selling of indulgences to build St. Peter's Basilica. Bishops were myopic in sending perverted priests to therapy and then reassigning them time and again and some bishops doing so out of the very theology that this synod is proposing in this first draft of its first week's summary. It is the 1970's all over again and a mentality that led one Jewish psychiatrist to pen a book titled, "Whatever Became of Sin?" Are we back to the past again?  These bishops were more concerned with the keeping these priests in the active priesthood and cared little about the victims and potential victims. How many people with a homosexual orientation who have struggled heroically to be faithful to the Church and to avoid sin will now give up and throw the towel in and enter the "gay" culture and without compunction because of what this synod is teaching?

Pandora's box is opened by the synod and thus there is an element of the anti-Christ located in the document itself.

But do not lose hope yet. This synod is not finished and when it is finished it isn't the final word. There is another synod next year. If Pope Francis endorses an approach without nuance that this preliminary draft indicates, then we also have hope in another Pope who will undo what his predecessor worked hard to accomplish just like this pope has done to Pope Benedict. Pope Francis has sit a precedence in terms of reversing the direction of a previous pope.

But here is Rorate Caeili's BOMBSHELL on what Sandro Magister has written about Monday's rather contentious meeting of the bishops:

POST SCRIPTUM – In the afternoon of Monday, October 12, "L'Osservatore Romano" gave a first dim account of the pitched battle that burst into the open in the morning in the Synod Hall after the reading of the “Relatio post disceptationem” written by Cardinal-Rapporteur Peter Erdo, with the collaboration - at times with prevarication [prevaricante - "with malicious abuse of one's position"], as Erdo himself made known in the morning press conference - of Special Secretary Bruno Forte.

Under the gunfire of aroung 41 interventions, Cardinals Pell [Secretary for the Economy], Ouellet [Prefect for Bishops], Filoni [Prefect for Propaganda Fide], Dolan [of New York], Vingt-Trois [of Paris], Burke [Prefect of Apostolic Signatura], Rylko [President of Laity], Müller [Prefect of Doctrine of the Faith], Scola [of Milan], Caffarra [of Bologna] among others spoke up, all against an opening to second marriages as proposed by Cardinal Kasper, who also intervened.

But among the protests also reported by “L’Osservatore Romano” there were also those regarding the paragraphs (written by Forte) on homosexuality, regarding which "a formulation was demanded that took people into account but that does not contradict in any way Catholic doctrine on marriage and family."

And also "was proposed a stronger message on the tragedy of abortion, as well as on assisted reproduction."

But "above all what was asked was a great prophetic encouragement towards all those families that, even at the cost of enormous sacrifices, lay witness every day to the Christian truth on marriage. In sum - it was revealed - a positive affirmation of marital love would be appropriate, as also that of the social value of families."

What appears clear from the sarcastic dismissal of rapporteur Erdo himself, the strong word used by Magister ("precaricante", that is, a malicious abuse of one's position), and the immediate furious response from the Synod Fathers (15 just during the morning and just on this matter, according to several reports, including many from the most vibrant region in the Church, Africa), is that Abp. Bruno Forte, known as an extreme liberal in theological matters, abused his position and the trust of Cardinal Erdo and included something that had not really been discussed in that way at the Synod but that was his own pet personal view on homosexuality and homosexual couples, and made it look as if it had been a Synodal view. That is why Erdo was so adamant to make clear that he, Erdo, was not responsible for this outrage, and why the response from the Synod Fathers was furious and explosive. Forte acted like a Bugnini for "Gayness", making things up to achieve his own end.


Anonymous said...

The story is moving very swiftly, Father. Cardinal Burke has called for a statement of clarification from Pope Francis upholding Church teaching and he said such a statement is long overdue, that faithful pastors of the Church cannot accept the document of the synod. Cardinal Burke is right and no faithful Catholic of the Church will accept this document either.

"The Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura says that a statement from Pope Francis "is long overdue" Catholic World Report

Anonymous said...

What is going on is outrageous and a betrayal of Christ and the saints.

Pope Francis and those liberal bishops can say whatever they want but I am not listening to them. And more importantly to them, they aren't getting any more money from me. Let them get it from Jane Fonda.

And they aren't going to force me out of the Church. I am doubling my efforts to save my soul and I will live the truth of the Catholic Faith as it has always been lived and taught. No heretical pope or bishop is going to be the cause of my damnation. They aren't confusing me in the least........they are wrong.

What they are trying to do is change the Faith, it's evil. I don't give a dam if it's a preliminary report. The fact that Catholic bishops would ever say such things is a scandal. Have they no fear of God.

John said...

That smoke Paul VI was talking about is still coming from a long smoldering fire. A new batch of wet twigs and some kerosene were added to it by AB Forte while Cardinal Erdo was not looking.

Francis said make a mess. We need the Cat in the Hat to clean this mess up before the parents get home. In a funny way, the Synod is perfect summary of the Spirit of V-2. We also have fresh confirmation the Spirit was not the Holy Spirit. Can an entire Synod be exorcised?

JBS said...

I have to say, I'm impressed that the Devil has managed to create more doctrinal confusion in the past year than he did in the Seventies. He's a formidable enemy, but an enemy nonetheless. Things are so bad now that every Catholic is being forced to pick a side: Catholicism or Modernism. I'm with Burke.

JBS said...

I know a lot of priests, but I do not know a single one who would not patiently work with a divorced and remarried couple, or with someone struggling with homosexual tendencies and temptations, provided such persons desired communion with God. Therefore, I cannot believe that improved pastoral care is the real motivation behind the present proposals.

It seems logical to me that certain persons wish to diminish the place of dogma in Catholic life, allowing everyone to do as they please, with dogma reduced to a sort of practical myth they can take or leave according to preference.

Anonymous said...

An hour and a fraction north of Macon, here in Atlanta, our archbishop, Wilton Gregory, was quoted in our local morning paper this morning, as supportive of outreach to gays and the divorced. He said something to the effect about altering our religious language (but of course not endorsing civil unions). FYI to those reading, the Archdiocese runs north and west of Columbus, Macon and Augusta---reaching the Bibb County (Macon) line where Bill and Monroe border each other.

JusadBellum said...

This actually makes a lot of sense now.

The gay lobby is global and mostly exists in the global media/entertainment apparatus. So a coordinated release of this synodal document goes viral within minutes of release gets immediate coverage on all the secular news outlets all trumpeting a 'change' to Catholic teaching on sexuality.

That way loyal Catholics are chilled and some tempted to jump ship. Others are silenced out of fear that this is the 'wave of the future' and the direction of the whole Synod... a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.

But they overplayed their hand (hopefully) and force the synod fathers to stand up for the truth.

We often err in forgetting that it is the left/progressive/Marxists who are the cultural aggressors here. It's they who start the civil wars, the turmoil, the strife. It's they who undermine human rights and create new ones out of whole cloth. Yet they come across as aggrieved innocents when in reality it's we who are the innocents trying to live out our Christian calling.

This sort of bullying won't end well.

Anonymous said...

Note too how liberals who have run dioceses, orders, and parishes for decades suddenly lay the accusation on the Church that we're insufficiently kind hearted to the divorced and those struggling with SSA...but don't name names and places.

Where are the divorced ever turned away? When and where are fire and brimstone homilies ever preached calling out homosexuals? It never happens. But we're supposed to apologize for the dogma and doctrine that is conspicuously NOT taught as though that's all that's ever taught?

Anonymous said...

I want to know what Church is being so mean and unwelcome to divorced people, homosexuals, pro abortionists, "Catholics" who do not believe a single teaching of the Church?

Where does this church exist? My experience as a lifelong Catholic is this:

I have never heard a homily about or condemning homosexuality.

I have never heard a homily about the Church's position on contraception.

I have never heard a homily telling divorced "remarried" Catholics to not receive communion.

Rarely (1 or 2 times) have I heard a homily against the evil of abortion.

My experience as a life long Catholic is that the Church has tolerated pedophilia among the clergy, has permitted entire religious orders to publicly deny the teachings of the Church, has allowed almost every Catholic institution of learning to teach heresy, has allowed liturgical abuse, and has allowed scandalous behavior by clerics to go unchallenged.

My recollection as a life long Catholic is that the ONLY bishop criticized during the reign of Paul VI was Marcel Lefebvre. Not Daneels, Villot, Bugnini, Cassarolli, Coty, Willibrands, Bernadine, and list of bishops who betrayed the Faith is almost endless, but Lefebvre.

And today we have entire Archdioceses in open heresy (Vienna), we have entire orders of religious that have compromised the Faith of millions for decades (Jesuits) and nothing is done. Yet the Franciscans of the Immaculate are being crushed. Something smells rotten in the Vatican State.

Anonymous said...

Mea culpa---typo from earlier comment---I should have said Archdiocese of Atlanta runs up to the Bibb, not Bill, Monroe County Border, close to where Interstates 75 and 475 intersect on north side of Macon (near Milepost 178 on I-75). A little off the topic at hand, but can anyone enlighten me as to why Macon, just 85 miles from downtown Atlanta, is in the Savannah Diocese, while Savannah is twice as far from Macon as Atlanta?

Anonymous said...

Atlanta archdiocese' limit was determined to be 1 hour's drive time from downtown... with 1 million Catholics, I think it's safe to say that's enough.

Savannah covers the whole bottom half of the state. Absent the top 3 cities (Columbus, Macon, and Augusta) it would be half the size it is, which is relatively small compare to the archdiocese.

Anonymous said...

Pray for His Grace Cardinal Raymond Burke, he may just have to ask Bergoglio to step down, its that bad!!!!!! Once again we all knew what Bergoglio was about but Pope "worship" took over with many here, and behold we have Christ's Church being destroyed by Rome and Bergoglio himself, the Reformation is complete. Either fight this heresy or flee to the S.S.P.X. S.S.P.V. or the Orthodox Churches. We are now all Anglicans and Episcopalians there is no differance between us. Thanks Francis!!!!!

Jdj said...

Excellent post, Father, particularly your paragraph in red ink. Spot on! JBS, you are spot on as well. Thanks from a Catholic who needs to believe there are still intelligent, discerning faithful priests out in the world. St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle...

Anonymous said...

Rorate Caeli blog will keep us informed what is going on in Rome and they don't spin the truth. Yes, indeed Burke is our salvation he is holy and they are trying to destroy him just like Rome destroyed the Franciscans of The Immaculate for Rome hates the TLM with a passion.

Anonymous said...

This could be what the Holy Ghost wants, for the evil ones to show their faces in Rome and dispatch them. Let us pray the Cardinal Burke will be elected Supreme Pontiff next!! And prove that Benedict the XVI was forced to resign against his will.

Anonymous said...

It should come as no surprise that Archbishop Gregory should "come out" in favor of more ministry to gays. He was one of Bernardine's handpicked favorites. Most of the fellows on that list got there for one important reason. You figure it out.

Joe Potillor said...

It's becoming so bad that even this can't be spun for the disaster that it is. Pray, Pray, Pray

Anonymous said...

On Archbishop Gregory:

(Cardinal) Bernadin was long dead by the time Gregory came to Atlanta in 2005. He was appointed to our 69-county Archdiocese in the last few months of John Paul 2nd's papacy. Not sure why he was sent down here--of course we don't know who else was under consideration. Perhaps something to do with Atlanta's connection to the civil rights movement, home to Dr. King.

Preaching the faith up here in the more liberal Atlanta metro area certainly is more challenging than in the Bible -Belt Macon area. A lot of singles and gays up here---groups who tend to be more secular and liberal (Democratic). Just this past weekend, a lot of news outlets were giddy in coverage of Gay Pride weekend, where thousands marched in midtown Atlanta. I don't think Gregory is liberal (perhaps he is by the standards of most of the bloggers here), but he probably thinks that "hellfire and brimstone" type preaching isn't going to change things much up here. If Fr. McDonald has any opinion about the diocese to the north of his, I'd like to see it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The ministry of bishops is to be a bridge builder. In fact that is what the word "pontiff" means.

I do not think we should be trying to judge particular bishops as being more or less Catholic. I think everyone that is active in the Church has the concern of God's people in mind. Some bishop may have libertarian views though, especially in their pastoral theology. There are no dogmatic statements on pastoral theology, so we can't be it a doctrine or say there is only one way to be pastoral.

Archbishop Gregory is one of our many orthodox bishops. He has been very good for Atlanta. No one though is perfect safe Jesus Christ.

Let's not become heretics in expecting anyone to be perfect or all walking lockstep.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald:

Thanks for your comments on Archbishop Gregory. While the See of Atlanta is much smaller (in geography) than Savannah, the former obviously is much larger in population and thus challenging for any shepherd---so much so we now have three bishops up here. But in any event, good to be in a state where the Catholic population is increasing, as opposed to "up North" where secularization seems to be the trend of the day---and the last half century unfortunately.

Good to read your input on the Synod. At least we have not yet reached the chaos of the Anglican Communion---for now! Even in the more conservative South, the liberal trend seems to be swallowing Episcopal dioceses. As one local example, if you go to the Atlanta Episcopal Diocese website (under photos), you'll find some online photos of Atlanta's Episcopal bishop, Rob Wright, "blessing" a same-sex union recently. If the Roman Church ever gets that way, you may find more converts to the Eastern Orthodox faith.