Friday, October 16, 2015


Read the whole thing at the NCR by pressing here. What is below is a synopsis and quite depressing. So much energy and heartache and raised blood-pressures and for what? Polarization in the Church which we haven't seen since the Reformation! To intentionally want to make a mess and disrupt faithful Catholic's tranquility is immoral and a mortal sin.

First, the topic of the synod, "the family," is too broad.

Second, the membership of the synod makes dealing with the topic of the family difficult.
Can so many people from such varied backgrounds have any common understanding of the problems facing families and how to deal with them?

The third problem facing the synod is the synodal process itself.
Synods are paper factories. They produce lots of speeches, recommendations and sometimes even a final document, but do they make a difference? In 1980, I covered an earlier synod on the family that faced almost every issue that this synod faces. Did it make any difference? If it did, I don't see it.

The fourth reason the synod is doomed to failure is that it is seriously divided on the question of what can and cannot change.
This clash is most obvious over the question of readmitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion.
One side sees only the law -- the marriage contract is permanent and can be terminated only by death. The other side sees millions of people suffering from broken marriages that cannot be put back together.

The fifth reason the synod is doomed is the absence of theologians at the synod.
One conservative curial cardinal complained of the "schoolboy theology" being presented in episcopal speeches. There is some truth in that complaint. There is little evidence in their talks that bishops consulted theologians in order to understand contemporary thinking in Scripture, ethics or doctrine.


Clyde Catholic said...

Sheesh...I think the absence of theologians at the synod is a blessing. They would never clean all the BS out of the place...not that there won't be plenty anyway.

Clyde Catholic said...

Go to this link for a recent video of synod activities:

Jusadbellum said...

I second the motion for laughing at theologians. Fr. Reese is a joke. You think "millions of families suffering" is a reason to allow those in mortal sin to take communion? What does he think happens to the soul of a person in mortal sin who takes the Lord's body and blood into himself in communion? Does he think communion is all about FEELINGS and has no ontological, no metaphysical consequences (apparently not as he doesn't seem to think sex is any big deal either).

The man is a blithering idiot. Blithering because before you think about FEELINGS you must name REALITIES. Communion is first and foremost about being "one" with Jesus. But if your lifestyle, your chosen behavior with malice aforethought is one of rejection of a sacrament that you previously freely chose to enter into and constitutes a permanent rejection of God's covenant of marriage...then what are you doing when you receive the Body and Blood? You are saying with all your chosen behavior to reject God but then want to partake of God? If that's not a sacrilege then what would be?

Feelings have nothing to do with ontology. Feeling really groovy about something doesn't make it good. Feeling bad doesn't make it bad.

Mercy is not "make people feel good about their smugness". Mercy isn't to declare no sin exists. It's to declare that sin exists but forgiveness is available for those who ask for it. But if you don't ask and don't want forgiveness because you don't accept moral responsibility for sin, then you can't possibly receive Mercy.

This isn't "law" as in some arbitrary rule making by 'meanspirited conservatives'. It's objective reality, it's the metaphysical certainty based on all we know from divine revelation and reason. One cannot commit adultery and then claim to be "one" with Jesus in communion. One cannot claim to be innocent by denying the sinfulness of one's actions that stand in contradiction to God's revealed plan for humanity.

My Lord, to hear "theologians" talk you'd think they never read the Bible, never read the early Church fathers or the great teaching saints and mystics. In other words, they claim to "know theology" but are utterly ignorant of the actual 'stuff' that makes UP theology!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

When you listen to progressives schooled in the 1970's as I was, it is all about feelings. Thus if a woman who can't receive Holy Communion because she is in a second marriage not recognized as a Sacrament, and her son commits suicide and she comes forward at his funeral with arms crossed over her chest, to receive a blessing and the priest has a feeling of sympathy for her in this situation, he says, you need to receive today and places the host in her mouth, then this is all that is needed to say we must give Holy Communion to Catholics in second marriages. In the case of the woman, which is a true story, she then was so emotionally overwhelmed by being forced by the priest to receive Holy Communion (positively) that she began the annulment procedure which was successful and her second marriage was validated in the Church.

So the means justify the ends for the progressive, especially since bleeding hearts is the basis of their theology.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I should also add that the story in my comment and the reaction to her from the priest and the archbishop who related the story is a "feminine" reaction. I don't use that pejoratively, but to point out that males and females respond differently to these kinds of situations.

The masculinity of the Church's hierarchy and priesthood confirmed by a masculine liturgy (EF) would scoff at the dripping bleeding heart that moves a man to do what he did. We want just the facts. However femininity has infiltrated the liturgy and the men who are bishops and priests and you get this kind of shallow thinking that is not based upon doctrine or good theology, it is based upon feelings, "I'm okay, you're okay."

Jusadbellum said...

The problem with "bleeding heart liberals" is what they do to heal the bleeding hearts.

A woman in an objective state of rebellion first needs her rebellion ended via confession and a change of state in life (or a declaration of nullity and then proper formation in the faith so she can then freely marry her current spouse). That is the correct procedure, the mature, adult, grown-up with big-boy pants' response to a bleeding heart.

The incorrect response is to declare her heart not bleeding and act as though she is in a state of grace (when she's not). or act as though her adultery doesn't matter (when in fact it does!)

The proof is in the pudding of whose "pastoral path" works and whose is a train wreck. Those dioceses filled with progressives are also dying. The sheep won't listen to their voice.

Anonymous said...

One side is about the law; the other side sees millions of suffering people. That's a false dichotomy if ever there was one. He's a Jesuit - he should know better. But straw men and false dichotomies and logical reasoning is not what liberals are about. It's feelings. Nothing more than feelings.

Rood Screen said...

Well, this synod is certainly stirring up the faithful much more so that other recent synods.

The question of admitting unrepentant adulterers to Holy Communion is officially on the table, so any concerns about this prospect are reasonable. Therefore, I wonder if we should each begin discerning how we will respond if this possibility is approved. Perhaps Our Lord has been waiting for decades now for faithful Catholics to finally stand up and shout "basta!". Otherwise, what's the point of the "sensus fidelium"? I have no answers; I'm just wondering if I should begin developing some.

John Nolan said...

'The reason Vatican II was successful ...'
'The Roman Curia's intransigence ...'
'Francis ... has opened the windows closed after Vatican II ...'

Apart from being classic 1970s clich├ęs they are very questionable assumptions. Still, Reese is something of a hero to the LGBT 'community' since he lambasted the US bishops for opposing same-sex marriage.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Thomas Reese! Really. You should have included him in the post about the emasculated clergy. I'm just sayin'

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

At Trent, it was the theologians who made the substantive presentations, being the first to speak and the ones who set the tone. After their lengthy and, at times, provocative speeches, the bishops then discussed and debated the much needed reformations of 1) the papacy and Roman curia, 2) the episcopate, and 3) the clergy.

There is no "masculine" or "feminine" response to any particular situation. Men and women may respond differently or similarly, according to the temperament of each individual.

Jusadbellum said...

Well, classically a masculine approach was to be more forthright rather than passive aggressive. Women tend as a group towards back-biting, gossip, and passive aggressive responses. Effeminate men may do this too.

Men are either barkers or biters. All hat but no cattle or hat and cattle.

So we get the example of Archbishop Athanasius Schnider who suffered under the USSR and tells it like it is, vs. archbishop Cupich who talks of "accompanying" people all the way to hell with their "inviolable" consciences. Funny how he never tried to 'accompany' pro-lifers in his various dioceses... but I digress. Our Lord told it like it was. He didn't beat around the bush with BS of "accompanying people where they're at". Not with the woman caught in adultery, not with the woman at the well, not with pagans or others.

To be sure, Our Lord didn't go about picking fights but he got right to the point with people he met and brought them swiftly to a decision to chose for God or not.

If you genuinely believe - as a man- that certain behaviors are intrinsic evil and thus always harmful to the person who is tempted to do them, then the last thing you are going to do is "accompany" someone and pamper their "inviolable" conscience on that score. No, if you have true horror of sin and true love for souls, you'll communicate to them the danger of their condition and lovingly offer a hand OUT OF IT.

To not do that is to either be a gutless coward (and thus not manly) or to not truly believe they're in any mortal danger (in which case by not renouncing Catholic orthodoxy forthrightly is again to be passive aggressive and thus not manly.).

I hope to God the good archbishop of Chicago was misquoted but if not, then he's a scandal. Scandalously inept theologically and pastorally. Who the heck encourages people to remain in objective states of sin because they feel good about themselves? Who does that?

John Nolan said...

'There is no 'masculine' or 'feminine' response to any particular situation. Men and women may respond differently or similarly according to the temperament of each individual.' Indeed they might, but modern neuroscience has demonstrated that as a result of evolution men's and women's brains are not identically 'wired'. Educationalists now accept that from early infancy girls and boys do respond in ways which are determined by their sex; they learn differently.

Therefore the first assumption, which was always based on ideology rather than observation and experience, will no longer suffice as a blanket statement of fact.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Men are forthright while women are back- biting gossips.

Wow. Just wow.

Clyde Catholic said...

I love it when Kavanaugh gets his cassock in a wad!!!!

TJM said...

The Church will be better off when "father" Reese goes to his "reward." He can take "sister" Chittester with him

John Nolan said...

'Men are forthright while women are back-biting gossips'. The only person who has said this on this thread is Fr Kavanaugh. No doubt it was a clumsy attempt at irony but if this is the way he thinks he can counter those who challenge his ideologically motivated and erroneous assumptions, then I am truly sorry for him.

But then he sees all his critics as being snobbish, condescending, and non-philistine (as if the last-named attribute can be pejorative).

Bow-wow, just bow-wow.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jusadbellum said...
Well, classically a masculine approach was to be more forthright rather than passive aggressive. Women tend as a group towards back-biting, gossip, and passive aggressive responses.

"Classically" meaning what?

"Classically" men are more forthright. Women tend to be gossips...? That's how it reads.

Nothing "erroneous" here.

Snobs are the ones who belittle others, calling them "Philistines.". If the shoe fits...

Clyde Catholic said...

Kavanaugh, you are the one who once told us how much you knew about women. Looks like you missed a few things. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that X and Y chromosomes don't materially differ from ewach other is silly. Anyone who thinks that male and female anatomy and physiology aren't different from each other because of the X/Y difference is silly. Anyone who thinks that these differences don't cause hormonal differences that in turn have at least a potential impact on thought processes is silly. Anyone who thinks that these impacts dont, statisticlally, track along lines determined by sex is silly. Anyone who thinks that thse physical and psychological differences don't result in different optimal social roles, evolutionary traits, reproductive strategies, and world virews between the sexes is silly. Anyone who thinks that sexuality and all of its vast ramifications are social constructs are merely social/intellectual constructs or metaphor is silly. Anyone wasting time having to argue the point--such as myself--is silly.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Differences are real. Determinism - "this is a masculine response, this is a feminine response" - is silly. Not all men and not all women respond the same way to the same situations. Nor should we. Vive le difference!

Gene, you are wrong, again. I never claimed such knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I said not a thing about determinism. Again, you persist in putting words in other people's mouths. Be an honest debatoer.