Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Crux has a good article on the goings on at the Synod on the family. Thus far what is confirmed is the elephant in the room. Catholics are completely divided on the Church's moral teachings. One group is so rigid that it can't understand the messiness of other people's lives and the other group is so post-Catholic that they won't be content until the Catholic Church becomes Unitarian or worse yet, Anglican as it concerns Christian Morality.

This is part of what what Crux says this morning:

..While changes in how the Church talks about sensitive family issues appear to be up for debate, altering doctrine remains off the table.
“What’s being discussed at this synod … are not doctrinal issues, but the practical ones,” Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő said yesterday.

...Bishops plan to discuss how to “repurpose” the church’s current teachings, and that they have a “great desire to deepen [their] understanding of that doctrine...”

...The news that bishops are considering changes in style rather than substance will be welcomed by Church moderates who have warmed to Pope Francis’s perceived softer style around social issues. But it may come as a blow to Catholics who had hoped the synod might relax rules around gays, contraception, and Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics...

My comments: Meanwhile I paraphrase what Cardinal Burke reiterates which is what he has been saying all along. In the United States and other parts of the world the actual substance of Catholic faith has not been taught to two or three generations of Catholics now. Only sentimentality has been communicated; only style, not substance. The accidents have been communicated but not the substance!

It appears to this blogger that we are reaping the fruits of post-Vatican II, Catholic Lite, in some of the bishops and laity speaking at the Synod on the Family. It is like their perception of the Most Holy Eucharist and the Mass. The accidents are the focus but not the Substance. The Substance, though, no matter the style, good or bad, is still Jesus Christ, yesterday, today and tomorrow, forever! 

Have our bishops and laity been cooked in the crock pot of style since Vatican II the apex of which we are hearing now at the Synod? When style trumps substance and Substance, we have a whore of a Church! 


JBS said...

I tire of hearing people blame "poor catechesis" for the moral problems in the Church. Everyone knows what the basic moral teachings of the Church are, but we each make a choice whether or not to accept the authority of the Church to promote these teachings. Everyone also knows that the Godly way out of moral trouble is repentance and conversion, but we each choose whether to take this humble road, or to take the proud road of Satan.

It's always been simple.

Anonymous said...

Are they going to re write the Ten Commandments to make them read in a more "pastoral" manner?

I mean Pope Francis, through Cardinal Kasper, has pontificated from on high that we can't use the word adultery. He did say that Father. And the cardinal said the pope approved everything he was saying. So my question is, is the pope going to change the wording of the Ten Commandments because to him they sound harsh? Isn't it mean of God to demand all those "Thou shalt not". And what about the word "commandment". People in the 21st century don't respond well to commands. I'm being sarcastic, however that is the natural conclusion to what that bunch in Rome is proposing. And when are they going to rewrite the scriptures to remove, excuse me, express in a gentler way, the words of St. Paul? And will the example that St. John the Baptist set be condemned? He did after all lose his head for stating the truth that Herod was an adulterer.

Anonymous said...

"Have our bishops and laity been cooked in the crock pot of style since Vatican II the apex of which we are hearing now at the Synod?"


"When style trumps substance and Substance, we have a whore of a Church!"


Anonymous said...

No, Father, the Church isn't polarized on basic Catholic moral teachings. The fact is we have a large number of liberals in the Church, who do not accept the Church's teaching on basic Catholic moral teachings and are trying to force the Church to conform to immorality. There is no middle ground on this - either people accept the Church's teachings or they don't, just as there is no middle ground on whether people accept Christ or not.


JBS said...

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Gene said...

Nonsense. "Re-purpose" LOL! LOL! They are watering down the faith and using clever language to mask it.

JBS said...

I've begun reading "Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church" (Kindle edition), and it's pretty good. I'll read Kasper's text next.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Fellay is starting to look like a prophet.

Quas Primas said...

JBS, I agree that people are generally aware of the basic terms of sexual morality, but there has been a massive failure of catechesis that has contributed to blithely ignoring the 6th commandment.

As the sexual revolution has accomplished its baleful takeover of the world, the Church (at the parish level) has often failed to explain the teachings effectively, if they're proclaimed much at all. In these conditions, people have been formed by the culture, not by the Church.

Factor in the widespread errors that this isn't a matter of divine law, but merely Church "rules," and that Jesus is just all about love and acceptance and stuff, and that my (malformed) conscience says it's OK, you can see why so many have simply ceased to take sexual morality seriously.

Sad to say, the language of authentic faith, as you have rightly expressed it, is a foreign language for a couple of generations.

john said...

Silence is the killer...John Paul II and Benedict XVI labeled the secular campaign to undermine moral life the: CULTURE OF DEATH. Clear, no need to say much more.

However, with an assist from our Pope, we now have heard that no need to be hung up on abortion, too much praying (the Pelagian label) so no wonder people are thinking, hey, the world is changing we can relax. What was sin yesterday now just seems a harmless preoccupation.

If the present trend continues, Bp. Fellay might find himself with a real Church to pastor. (Then he can negotiate to take Rome back or not?)

JusadBellum said...

Yep. Most of us are Americans first with a 'patch' of Catholicism slapped on our sides like a sticker. Cut us and we bleed red, white, and blue, not white and gold (Vatican).

So by far most kids get their understanding of what the meaning of life is (sex, drugs, frivolity) from Disney and pop cultures, their sitcoms, the movies, the comic book heroes, the soft and hard core porn they see, and those general social expectations they're privy to through the general air we breath.

It was unheard of for young children to commit suicide "in the bad old days". Now, it's entirely common.

Once kids are 8+ they're exposed to both the 'life is for fun' gospel and the 'and god is whatever idol you want her to be' anti-gospel.

Jesus is just some poorly drawn comic book figure of a bearded nice guy who smiles and the weirdly dies for us when there's not really any penalty due to sin for him to have expiated since there's no sins we can commit (unless we're neo-con judgmental Exxon Mobile war profiteers of course, in which case, yes, we're depraved sinners and there's no hope for us but to join the communist party in reparation).

JusadBellum said...

I concur with john.

Think of all the folk struggling with temptation, like to adultery or porn or masturbation or whatever. Untold millions struggle to remain chaste in the face of the daily, drip, drip, drip assaults of the world, flesh and devil.

They do so aided by the witness of heroic saints, the clear doctrines of the Church, the dogmas defended by council and Popes. Beyond these few voices, there is a symphony, a cacophony, a generalized buzz of worldly promotion of the opposite view that is constantly offering immediate gratification and enduring 'happiness' in exchange for leaving virtue behind.

A soul teetering on the edge is not strong to begin with and any churchman who suggests his conscience is simply wrong and it's OK to 'experiment' can easily tip the scales.

I've got to confession to priests who create a 3rd category of sin... the venial, the serious and the mortal...and then located sins I thought were mortal into the 'serious but not mortal' category with the proviso not to be too concerned about them so long as I'm generally 'trying'.

Fortunately I'm stubborn and suspicious enough to not take new gospels lightly, but I can imagine others might walk out elated that they can indulge in their vice of choice with more abandon because it's not "really" a mortal threat to their eternal relationship with God.

I could see a man committing adultery with that mindset - after all, it's just sex and not emotional, or it's not about positive hatred for God but about love for the female or male form which is 'good' etc. etc.

The justifications come thick and fast once you open the door to them. St. Paul is eloquent about how we ought to be careful with weak brothers' consciences. He wasn't about making them lax but about respecting their scruples.

It was the serpent that said "you won't die...go ahead and eat".

Gene said...

The venial, serious, mortal sin thing sounds like a Monty Python routine…"Well, yes, you see I believe that my action with the goat was a serious sin but perhaps not mortal…well, maybe only venial…but certainly seriously venial…you see, it isn't like I could actually have relationship with her…er…him…so, there is no real mortal sin…or, perhaps only a little tiny bit mortal…leaning toward serious…although, one might say seriously serious, but certainly only slightly mortal…"

Nathanael said...

Maybe we could just get the next 100 years over and become Episcopalians today?

At least the liturgy might improve.

Anonymous said...

Cancel my remark about you not being funny, Gene. I think the Monty Python bit...and the fact that you obviously enjoy Monty Python require an apology from me.

Bill Meyer said...

I'm tired of citing "poor catechesis", too. But being tired of it doesn't make the observation less true.

Read Msgr. Wrenn's books. It's not merely a lack, but an active interest in not teaching doctrine, or in teaching that which is contrary to doctrine.

Yes, we know the basic moral teachings, but when a priest, deacon, or catechist, in his role serving the parish presents false teachings, there are many who will not open the CCC to check for themselves.

How are these people able to continue in their roles? That must be corrected.

Gene said...

Anonymous, I love Monty Python and have the entire collection on dvd. I particularly enjoy, "The Travel Agent," "Four Yorkshire Men," "The Fish Slapping Dance," and, of course, "The Search for the Holy Grail." I like the comment about, "How do you know he's the King?" "Well, he's the only one not covered with s…"