Saturday, October 17, 2015


My comments first: What Cardinal Pell tells us is that those in Rome are reading the major blogs, such as John Allen's Crux which summarizes the feelings of rank and file Catholics about the Synod. Even John Allen had to write an apology to Cardinal Napier for some inaccurate reporting of something the Cardinal said about the leaked complaint to the pope.

So the voices of concern being raised on certain blogs is known in Rome and hopefully by the pope! That should be good news.

However, if you read between the lines in the interview given to John Allen of Crux below, there is still cause for alarm and I fear schism in an informal way by rank and file orthodox Catholics who are fed up with being thrown under the bus during this pontificate. But who knows?

Cardinal Pell rejects conservative call for a walkout at Synod of Bishops

ROME — Despite an online petition calling on prelates “faithful to Christ’s teaching” to abandon the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the family, due to perceptions of a “pre-determined outcome that is anything but orthodox,” one of the summit’s most outspoken conservatives says “there’s no ground for anyone to walk out on anything.”

Australian Cardinal George Pell, who heads the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, told Crux on Friday that by the midway point of the Oct. 4-25 synod, concerns about stacking the deck circulating in some quarters have “substantially been addressed.”

The online petition calling for a walkout, which can be found at, has garnered roughly 2,300 signatures in two days.

It asks any bishop alarmed by the prospect of progressive changes to Church doctrine to “do his sacred duty and publicly retire from any further participation in the synod before its conclusion,” and suggests that Pope Francis is responsible for promoting “confusion and scandal.”

Pell was among roughly a dozen cardinals who signed a letter to Francis at the beginning of the synod raising doubts about the process, but he says reassurances have been given by Vatican officials that the final result “will faithfully present the views of the synod.”
Among other things, Pell said that Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the synod secretary, has stated from the floor of the synod hall that voting on a final document will take place “paragraph by paragraph,” providing a clear sense of where the bishops stand on individual issues.
He also said that members of a drafting committee for the final document have vowed to be true to the content of the synod’s discussions, rather than using the text to promote their own views.

“That’s all we want, for whatever the synod says, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, to be represented,” Pell said.

“That’s in the long-term interest of everyone, because no matter how it might turn out, people want to feel that the bishops got to that situation fairly,” he said.

Asked if he feels the synod now has a level playing field, Pell said it’s “level enough.”
Overall, Pell said he believes the synod is making solid progress.

“I think a lot of good work has been done on the first two parts of the document,” he said, referring to a working text that’s the basis for synod discussions. “I think there’s generally a good atmosphere in the synod.”

Pell also said that he believes the information flow this time is an improvement on the October 2104 edition of the Synod of Bishops, when there were charges by conservatives that Vatican briefings presented a selective vision that generally favored progressive positions.

“Both sides of the story are getting out this time, I think,” he said.

“In terms of the [synod participants] who are briefing the media, I think they’re getting a mix of left, right, and center …. it’s better than it was the last time, anyway,” Pell said.

Pell said that he believes the final report must deal with sensitive issues, such as proposals to allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, even if there’s no clear consensus among the bishops.
“I don’t think we’ll be in that position,” he said, suggesting that opposition to those proposals represents a strong majority in the synod.
“But even if it actually is 50/50 on some significant point, I think the Catholic world has to know that,” Pell said.

Vatican briefers repeatedly have told reporters that a decision on whether to release the synod’s final document is up to the pope. Pell said he believes it should be released, among other things because it’s destined to leak out anyway.

“I think no matter what happens, it will be public,” he said.



Vox Cantoris said...

The fact that they know the petition exists is revealing.

Anonymous said...

2300 out of 1.2 billion Catholics in the world call for "faithful" bishops to boycott the synod. 2300 out of 1.2 billion. Why is anyone paying the least attention to them?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, blogs more than likely account for too much but people love to read them and think that they are like the New York Times in circulation. For example the folks a Praytell thought it was an overwhelming majority of English speaking Catholics who wanted the new and glorious translation of the English Mass dumped. I think they got about 20,000 signatures. It is silly, no?

Marc said...

Remember when Christ chose 12 people to spread his message throughout the world. 12 out of the entire world. Why did anyone pay the least attention to them?

Anonymous said...

The 12 were Apostles, chosen by Our Savior. The 2300 are self-selected, low-information whiners.

If you don't see the clear difference, look again.

Marc said...

I can see the "self-selected" part, but I'm having trouble understanding your blanket condemnation of the signers as "low-information" and "whiners."

gob said...

Makes me think of Donald Trump, the carnival barker, the petulant teenage billionaire redneck, threatening to not show up at the next take his ball and go home, if they don't do it like he wants it. (The sad part is that the will do what he says. Ratings and money drive everything.)

And BTW, is it just me, or does anybody else wonder how Ben Carson made it through medical school...through high school...?

Anonymous said...

You are having this "trouble" for the same reasons you don't know why calling an archbishop "Mr." is disrespectful.

Anonymous said...

Gob, your envy is showing. Trump and Carson are both more intelligent and more wealthy (by far) than you. Not a thing you can do about is too late. So, you merely spew your anger and resentment on the blog, sort of like a toddler smearing a certain substance on the wall.

altar boy said...

Anonymous're so cute when you're mad....

Jusadbellum said...

Gob, it's called "leadership" and "negotiation". Carson and Trump realize that their popularity makes them a hot item for any media company to they know that their agreeing to show up or not means millions in advertisement revenues for these companies. They use this to their advantage.

As for Carson - I get that anyone who is not "liberal" is instantly branded stupid - but notice that absolutely zero "liberal progressives" are grilled with any level of scrutiny reserved for the average republican. It's all soft ball questions vetted with the liberal person ahead of time while for conservatives it's always gotcha questions in the "yes or no, have you stopped beating your wife?" category.

Most of us can see through this lopsided media double standard to see that the liberal progressives are knuckledragging morons while to be conservative you have to be above average in intellect.

Trump inherited wealth but increased it 10 fold. No mean feat. He also seems to know how to use things to his advantage. In both his and Carson's case, one can readily appreciate that they are their own men - no worry of them being bought and paid for like virtually everyone else. I suspect that more than anything is what terrifies the media and RINOs.

Anonymous said...

Gob er ... the alternative is Hilary Clinton???


Clyde Catholic said...

Gob is one of those, like Kavanaugh and a few others on the blog (liberals all), who feel so guilty about being white, free, and Christian and living in a great country that they are willing their own destruction and the destruction of the Western culture that has given them life and sustenance. Their self-hate threatens all of us because they are supported by a liberal media and government that is composed of people just like them and led by a man who hates them for the same reasons they hate themselves. I hope the rest of us wake up in time to stop this, by whatever means. Voting them out would be best but, if it goes much further, that will no longer be an option. It remains to be seen if we have the faith and passion to consider other means. I think it is 50/50.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene/Clyde - You are wrong, again. I am grateful for the gifts I have been given and have no guilt or self-loathing.

At the same time, I, unlike you, understand that these gifts are not mine to gloat over or to use as bludgeons against others, but to be put in service of the Com!on Good.

Clyde Catholic said...

Kavanaugh, people who hate themselves are rarely aware of it on a conscious level. But, they behave the way they feel and others can see it. Most of us do appreciate the gifts of freedom and the faith and the gift of being blessed to live in America. You, however, place your faith in the common good, which interestingly enough you capitalize while writing Mass in lower case. That tells me something else you hate. No one on this blog is fooled by you, except maybe Gob. You are a poseur, an arrogant snob, and an embarrassment. Enjoy your Common Good.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene/Clyde, you are wrong, again.

I do not place my faith in the Common Good. I place my faith in God and understand that he has called me, and you, to serve the Common Good.

I don't expect anyone here, or elsewhere, to be fooled by me. I state my points as clearly as I can without guile.

Some who post here want to fool others into believing they are Catholic, but then make statements that are directly opposed to the Catholic faith. And I suspect that in the case of those who exhibit such duplicity, no one is fooled.

Clyde Catholic said...

So, tell me in Scripture where you find the "Common Good." And, what has anyone said on here that is directly opposed to the Catholic faith, other than some of your questionable statements?

Anonymous 2 said...

CC at 7:51 p.m.:

Questioning the concept of the Common Good is directly opposed to the Catholic Faith. The concept is central to Catholic Tradition, and is rooted in the thought of Aristotle, Aquinas, and many others. Check out the Catechism online and enter the term “common good” in the search box—59 references to the common good will appear.

Perhaps it is different in (some versions of) Protestantism, which may have an exclusive emphasis upon Scripture and the individual (although warrants for the concept can certainly be found in Scripture). But we are not Protestants, are we?

Clyde Catholic said...

It all turns on the definition of common good...the theological definition is quite different from the socialist/communist definition which some of the Church's Bishops, Priests, and theologians have failed to understand.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Thus, “the common good” while not the ultimate good, is nevertheless the central aim of our social lives, as affirmed by Gaudium et Spes (#75). We do not exist for ourselves. Pursuing our own private goods, while it may have some positive spillovers, eventually degenerates into an order where only the strong survive, where only those who “play to win” can “make it,” and where every shared enterprise is merely a vehicle for my own personal advancement. In many ways, all our social problems can be seen in the light of our temptation to believe in this awful myth of “survival of the fittest.” The human race is one, and God seeks for us to become more and more one with all, and especially with the weakest. If as ordinary Americans, we find it so difficult to aim at the common good, we might think more deeply about why we have social structures that don’t enable it. Is it because, deep down, we don’t believe that others are in fact truly our brothers and sisters, united with us and possessed of the same dignity as ourselves? Is it believe, in short, we see (some) others as enemies, who we cannot and should not love? If so, the Compendium calls us to conversion – a different vision – and a society of structures that might promote this vision, rather than one where only the strongest thrive.

Gene said...

Gaudium et Spes is a Vatican II document that means absolutely nothing to me.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

And there, Gene, you have given the answer to your question from 18 October at 7:51.

Marc said...

To be fair, I'm sure Gaudium et Spes means just as much to Gene as every pre-Vatican II document means to you, Fr. Kavanaugh.

Gene said...

There was nothing doctrinal or infallible in any Vatican II document. Go pound sand.

Mark said...


I tried to post the following comment yesterday but could not figure out what I was supposed to do to “register.” I think I have now figured it out with Marc’s help. We will see whether this post goes through or not. Anyway it follows on from Father Kavanaugh’s comment:

I am not sure what you mean by the “theological definition” of the common good. Anyway, the overarching understanding of the common good in the CCC is:

1924 The common good comprises “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily” (GS 26 § 1).

1925 The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the group and of its members.

1926 The dignity of the human person requires the pursuit of the common good. Everyone should be concerned to create and support institutions that improve the conditions of human life.

1927 It is the role of the state to defend and promote the common good of civil society. The common good of the whole human family calls for an organization of society on the international level.

Here are some articles by Mark Shea that help to elucidate the Catholic concept of the common good (see especially the second and third links) and three associated concepts (human dignity (first link), subsidiarity and solidarity (fourth link):

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Marc, you are wrong. I fully accept the entire magisterial tradition of the Church. I do not make the error, however, of thinking that that tradition ends at some given point in time, such as the ening session of Vatican Two.

Casti Connubii, for example, is not the final, unalterable word on natural family planning.

Also, I do not make the error of raising to the level of doctrine those matters of policy and practice that, by their very nature, cannot be considered matters of Divine Revelation and, therefore, cannot be understood to be unalterable.

(Why do I get the IDENTIFY THE PANCAKES all the time in the captcha thing???)

Gene said...

Mark, those definitions are all well and good. I am not arguing the original definitions. What I am saying is that the Church has often allowed herself to be co-opted by Leftist/collectivist ideologies who interpret the "common good" in socialist terms. The Catholic Church has a long, sad history of lying cheek by jowl with the State, anyway (not always, but too often). So, regardless of the stated definition, practice has been to support Leftist ideology...sort of like the coming split between doctrine and "pastoral practice.'

Marc said...

Fr. Kavanaugh, may I provide you with some advice about how to avoid the personal attacks that you were lamenting the other day? Try not starting off every one of your posts with "Name, you are wrong." If you can make that effort, I think it would go a long way toward making the discussion a little less antagonistic.

As for the captcha -- I keep getting street signs and cars, and I haven't gotten pancakes yet. I wonder how it decides...?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Marc, telling g people they are wrong when, in fact, they are wrong is an exercise in clarity, the lack of which some people here comp!ain about all the time.

Gene said...

Problem is, Kavanaugh, they are not wrong but you keep insisting that they are. You need to go down to Blue Springs in Orlando this weekend and take a nice swim to cool off. I understand it is really more relaxing if you hang a steak around your neck.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene, you are wrong, again. But even when you are shown to be so through citing magisterial teaching, you dismiss it (Gaudium et Spes, for example, the CCC for another, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church for yet another) you keep blathering on. So, enjoy!

Mark said...


Here is my question for you: Why cannot it be said equally, regarding the Church’s position on abortion and same sex marriage, for example, that the Church supports Rightist ideology? The coincidence of the Church’s position with a position on the political Left or the political Right should not matter either way. What should matter is whether the Church bears witness to Truth. Now admittedly, there is an arguable distinction in that those positions that coincide with the political Left tend to be positions that respond to more modern developments, such as the increasing complexity of industrial and post-industrial society and the growth of the modern state. But surely we cannot expect the Church to remain silent in the face of the moral challenges posed by these developments, any more than we can expect the Church to remain silent in the face of moral challenges posed by the development of new reproductive technologies.

Did you read the articles by Mark Shea? I found them quite helpful.

John Nolan said...

Children, children! Fr Kavanaugh is, in my opinion, wrong-headed on many issues and sees things in terms of black and white (as do many of his opponents) but he is not always wrong. When confronted with irrefutable arguments he usually has the sense to stop posting and pops up on a new thread, although sometimes reiterating previous arguments which have been demolished in the hope that people will have forgotten.

Marc said...

Fr. Kavanaugh says that "magisterial teaching" includes Gaudium et Spes, the CCC, and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Yet, none of those things are actually Magisterial. The CCC and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church are only indices of Magisterial teachings. They are only "magisterial" insofar as the teachings to which they cite are magisterial. To the extent either cites Gaudium et Spes, it should be remembered that there is no authoritative Magisterial teaching in that doctrine except where it reiterates prior Magisterial teaching.

So, in order to show that there is something to the doctrines you're talking about, you'd have to show that the index refers to a portion of Gaudium et Spes that is itself linked to a prior teaching of the Magisterium. And if you're going to do that, why not just cite to the original teaching instead of going through 3 layers of indices...?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Marc, you are wrong. A text, such as the CCC or the Compendium is magisterial inasmuch as it quotes/cites other magisterial documents. A quote of a magisterial document found in the CCC or the Compendium is magisterial.
."This document is intended first of all for Bishops, who will determine the most suitable methods for making it known and for interpreting it correctly. It is in fact part of the Bishops' “munus docendi” to teach that “worldly things and human institutions are ordered, according to the plan of God the Creator, towards people's salvation, and that they can therefore make no small contribution to the building up of the Body of Christ”[10]. Priests, men and women religious, and, in general, those responsible for formation will find herein a guide for their teaching and a tool for their pastoral service. The lay faithful, who seek the Kingdom of God “by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God's will”[11], will find in it enlightenment for their own specific mission. Christian communities will be able to look to this document for assistance in analyzing situations objectively, in clarifying them in the light of the unchanging words of the Gospel, in drawing principles for reflection, criteria for judgment and guidelines for action." (Compendium)

Yes, the information in the Compendium is magisterial.