Friday, October 17, 2014


Yesterday at the Vatican was a day like no other day in recent Church history. I am personally ill at ease with all that is going on and find it disconcerting because it causes more confusion in the Church for all bishops, priests and laity. I feel like it's 1970's again and I can't wake up from it. Can it be possible to have gone backwards to this horrible decade in such a short period. I thought we were to move forward!

Here is an interesting analysis of the intrigue and lightening strikes of yesterday, the after shocks also of an earthquake!

The counter-offensive of the orthodox

Agitation in the Hall. The commissions dismantle Forte's text
by Matteo Matzuzzi
Il Foglio
October 17, 2014

Rome. They say that a confrontation like this had never been seen before, perhaps not even at the Council.

Soon after nine yesterday morning, cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary to the Synod, takes the floor and announces that the relationes of the circuli minores would not be made public. A reverse course from what had always happened in the past and affirmed in the previous days. In other words, only the Relatio post disceptationem, signed by Cardinal Erdo and written by Abp. Bruno Forte, would have been fed to the press. Against the novelty presented by Baldisseri, rose up Cardinal George Pell, who strongly contested the decision. After him, a long line of Fathers, from the Archbishop of Brussels, Abp. Léonard, to that of Durban, Cardinal Napier, asked for the matter to be at least put to a vote. Even the Secretary of State took the floor. And all in the atmosphere of a stadium, with standing ovation and even some booing. The Pope, seated at the presidency table, looked on, impassive. At the end, as Cardinal Christoph Schönborn would say some hours later at the press conference, "the decision to render public the relationes of the circuli was taken by large majority." The texts are clear, and go in an opposite direction as the one upheld by Cardinal Walter Kasper.

A taste of what was to happen had already been given on late Wednesday by the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, who sided himself in a clear way to positions taken in the Hall by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. The Major Archbishop of Kiev, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, spoke directly of the need of "sending a clear message to the faithful and to the Pope" on the fact that "the family is the stable, faithful, and sacramental union between a man and a woman." The most controversial and delicate points, from the question of the approaching of remarried divorcees to the Eucharist to the overture to homosexual unions, were dismantled almost unanimously. That also because, as more than one Synod Father said, very little had been said of the unions between persons of the same sex - not more than three interventions in the assembly -and yet Monday's Relatio spoke about it ad abundantiam. The conclusions of the group [Gallicus B] moderated by Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", were particularly stern. On the third point, that of difficult pastoral situations, the thrashing was total: "The doctrine of the Church on the indissolubility of matrimony and non-admission of the remarried divorced to the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist cannot be changed." Those who open up to it (fewer than half of the ten groups), do so with conditions or asking for further studies on the matter. 
The first Italian group [Italicus A], moderated by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of Propaganda Fide, notes that, "the Fathers, though moved by the problem, propose that the argument be re-studied under the light of n. 84 of [John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation] Familiaris Consortio, with the goal of specifying eventual conditions different from the current discipline." ... [Source, in Italian]

In the other main event of Blue Thursday, a clear consequence of Baldisseri's blunders and Kasper's Anti-African interview to Edward Pentin, the Pope was constrained to add one African to the original liberals-only six-men papal drafting commitee, Cardinal Napier, and also an Australian, Abp. Dennis Hart of Melbourne.

P.S. To understand the huge power yielded by Cardinal Baldisseri (who also was, let us remember with great care, the Secretary of the 2013 Conclave, for which he was awarded the cardinalatial red zucchetto by the newly-elected pope on the spot) and his procedural henchmen, this text published by Sandro Magister today is useful: he who controls the procedures guides the assemblies and usually reaches his ends. Baldisseri will not take this revolt lightly, and he will respond still now, if possible, and certainly at the even more careful crafting of the 2015 assembly. He yields great power as well because he obviously knows things almost no one else knows.


John Nolan said...

Before the Synod met, the hope of many on the 'liberal' wing (for want of a better term) was that whereas previous gatherings had been manipulated by 'the Curia' to produce a desired result, this would be different; Pope Francis would ensure that it would be an exercise of true collegiality.

Their hopes may well be fulfilled; the irony is that it could be achieved despite the Pope rather than because of him, and the result of 'collegiality' may not be what they wanted; in which case they will still cry 'foul'.

Anonymous said...

"Can it be possible to have gone backwards to this horrible decade in such a short period. I thought we were to move forward!"

Perhaps too many sheep have been following where the shepherd has been leading.