Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Good news story here from  | 

Vatican City
Pope Francis made short, unplanned remarks Tuesday morning to the Catholic bishops gathered for his global meeting on family issues to emphasize to them that care for the divorced and remarried is not the only issue to be discussed, a Vatican spokesman said.

The pontiff also reassured the some 270 prelates, gathered for the second day of the Oct. 4-25 Synod of Bishops, that the church’s doctrine on marriage “was not being put into question,” said the spokesman.

My comments: If the pope were to approve Holy Communion to Catholics in a second marital-type union while their first sacramental marriage is considered valid, this would cause the following to happen:
 1. Why need annulments marriages that have end in divorce if you can still receive Holy Communion no matter what?
2. Why even get married in the Church if you can still receive Holy Communion by getting married civilly? 
3. Why even bother to preach about chastity in and out of marriage if committing fornication, adultery and unnatural sex acts has no ramifications for breaking communion with Jesus Christ?  

It simply isn't going to happen no matter how much some bishops including Cardinal Kasper want to talk about it.


Marc said...

No one expects the doctrine will be changed.

Vox Cantoris said...

Not what one Canadian bishop thinks.

There were a few fireworks at the very end of today's press briefing that took place after the morning sessions. It's clear what's going on here is that there are an awful lot of bishops sitting in the Synod who are not really expressing theological thoughts about some of these issues. Obviously some of them are, but some of them are getting their theology mixed up.

And in one particular episode right at the very end of the press conference, one last question came up from the press gallery, and on stage was the archbishop of Gatineau, Quebec, Paul-André Durocher, who was asked, "What about this question of the discipline versus the doctrine of administering Holy Communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics? Is it safe to say that this issue is still under debate? And if so, what does that say about the question of the dogma and the discipline?"

And he gave an answer that stunned a number of us inside the press room. He said, 'If you want dogma, go read Denzinger. The Synod will be deciding and talking about whether this is a discipline or it's a dogma."

That caused one priest who was sitting very, very close to us to sort of go into a rage. He actually confronted the archbishop on the way out of the door and said, "All you bishops, everything you're doing here, is this conciliarism, which is destroying the Church! You are confusing the faithful. You don't know the Faith."

There was a very, very strong reaction; you could see the division between faithful Catholic journalists and the more liberal crowd reporting — for America Magazine and National Catholic Distorter (I mean Reporter) and all this. There is quite the division here. It's really funny because every day they stand up and tell us there's no division. And then they stand up and say something divisive, and the whole thing falls apart again. This is very interesting, the way this is all playing out.

But hold on! This is only day two. Day two of 21! And I am shocked. I cannot believe a bishop said, "Oh well, you want dogma, go to Denzinger. We'll decide whether doing the discipline differently affects dogma."

Michael Voris is the Senior Executive Producer for
Follow Michael on Twitter: @Michael_Voris

TJM said...

I would feel a lot better if Cardinal Kasper were suspended "a divinis."

Anonymous said...

It isn't the change of doctrine...that is too blatant. It will be practice, they will gradually sneak it in on us. The Pope views doctrine like Obama views the US Constitution.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No one is addressing my point which is the complete undermining of the sacramental and moral life of the Chirch if what you believe Pope Francis will do what you believe he will!

MR said...

Cardinal Kasper, and all of those who support him, say that the Kasper proposal does not change doctrine (even though it obviously does). Both sides say that the doctrine isn't going to change, so the Pope saying this doesn't mean anything either way.

Marc said...

Father, the precise thing that everyone is on about is the complete undermining of the sacramental and moral life of the Church if this synod does what we fear it might do. The things you mentioned are logical results that flow from the proposed change in praxis.

I think that your third idea would be of most interest to the pope. He would likely suggest that there is only one reason to ever preach on those subjects in the first place: to promote his understanding of God's mercy, which as is evident by now, is not conditioned on repentance.

Jusadbellum said...

Fr. McDonald, one of the problem we see in many of my fellow lay posters is a decided lack of trust in the hierarchy to hold to the deposit of faith. This distrust is a result not of ignorance on our part but on the drip, drip, drip cases of prominent hierarchical figures of undermining doctrine by means of de-facto changes to "pastoral" outreach.

The very change from Latin Mass to the novus ordo and all the other 'reforms' of Vatican II which, far from leading to a boom in vocations and conversions actually lead to the hollowing out of Western Catholicism, has set many people up to fear the worst unless given strong reasons for taking the risk of trusting them at their words.

Many of us resent the unspoken presumption that absent a synod the actual practice of the Church is cruel and meanspirited towards gays and people who've divorced and chosen to remarry. We look about for the culprits and examples of such mean-spirited 'policy' and find almost no evidence of routine put downs, routine fire and brimstone homilies etc.

If we need a synod to come up with some brilliant pastoral solution that does not affect doctrine, then wouldn't we expect to see some experimentation in the various national churches? If German's ideas lead to human and Christian flourishing wouldn't we see the fruit of this in filling churches and stabilizing Catholic communities rather than continued decay and disintegration?

We need reasons to trust.

Anonymous said...

They'll find a way to do it "by committee" so the Pope won't be directly to blame. The undermining of the sacramental and moral life of the Church has been going on since Vatican II. This present farce is just an outgrowth of it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc and others, apart from reading the ultra neo-traditionalists' take on Pope Francis with its calumny and gossip, do you ever listen to what the Pope says and in context with all he says? In terms of repentance, did you know the Pope said this or are you in denial, confused by the brainwashing you get by what you read?:

At one of Pope Francis' morning Masses, Pope Francis talked about repentance. He said that only those who repent accept Salvation. He went even further explaining what it really means to reject one’s sins.
“If you don’t listen to the Lord, if you don’t accept correction and if you do not trust Him, your heart has not yet repented.”
The Pope concluded that Jesus condemned the hypocrites who called themselves ‘pure’ but lived a double life.
(Source: Vatican Radio)
“These people cannot receive Salvation. They are closed to Salvation. ‘I will leave within you the meek and humble; they will trust in the name of the Lord’ throughout their lives. And that is still Valid today, isn’t it? When we look at the holy people of God that is humble, that has its riches in its faith in the Lord, in its trust in the Lord – the humble, poor people that trust in the Lord: these are the ones who are saved and this is the way of the Church, isn’t it? This is the path I must follow, not the path in which I do not listen to His voice, do not accept correction and do not trust in the Lord.”
“If your heart is not a repentant heart, if you do not listen to the Lord, if you don’t accept correction and you do not trust in Him, your heart is unrepentant. These hypocrites who were scandalized by what Jesus said about the tax collectors and the prostitutes, but then secretly approached them to vent their passion or to do business – but all in secrecy – were pure! The Lord does not want them.”
“He listened to the Lord, he always followed His will, he gave to the Lord, and the Lord said to him: ‘there is still one thing you have not given me’. And the poor man who was good said: ‘But, Lord, what is it that I have not given you? I have given you my life, I work for the poor, I work for catechesis, I work here, I work there … ‘ ‘But there is something you have not given me yet’ .- ‘What is it Lord? ‘Your sins’. When we will be able to say to the Lord: ‘Lord, these are my sins – they are not his or hers, they are mine… They are mine. Take them and I will be saved’- when we will be able to do this we will be that people, ‘that meek and humble people’, that trusts in the Lord’s name. May the Lord grant us this grace.”

Marc said...

Father, I do not take for granted that even the passage that you quoted from the pope is evidence of a proper understanding on his part of the Church's teaching on mercy. That is partly due to the fact that, since the very beginning of his pontificate, people of your ilk have seen fit to tell us what the pope really meant when he said something. In some cases, you suggest that the pope should be taken at his word; whereas, in other cases, he must not be taken at his word, but must be filtered through some hermeneutical framework that you have invented to make him appear Catholic.

I do not doubt the pope's ability to appear orthodox in the things that he says and writes. I also do not doubt his ability to appear as a heretic in the things that he says and writes (especially when he prefaces such things by pointing out that what he is about to say is heretical). Mindful of the admonitions of the magisterium on such things, I am reminded of certain papal writings explaining the sort of person who can appear both orthodox and heretical.

At any rate, I do not believe it is too much to suggest that the Catholic pope should always appear to be an orthodox Catholic. My barometer is not so low that I am willing to accept a scrap of orthodoxy here and a bit of heresy there. Someone either is Catholic or he is not.

I firmly believe that things will work out in accordance with God's will. I am not convinced, though, that the pope is working to bring about God's will. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Father MacDonald
I appreciate what you are saying when you quote Pope Francis. He does have his good days. However, you yourself have had wondered in the past about questionable incidents and decisions the Holy Father made. For example, his selection of the 9 advisor cardinals; the firing of Cardinal Burke; the selection of Cardinal Kasper to spearhead the discussion on Catholics living in sin with a second spouse while the first marriage is still valid; callously destroying a traditional religious order....well, the list is just too long cite them all and every one knows them because the secular press and the blogosphere reports everything. The secular press does not make things up without reference to something the Vatican or the or a Pope's appointee would say. Benedict XVI was misrepresented from time to time also. Yet issues were always resolved later. No one thought then that he was a danger to tradition and he maintained fidelity with V 2 through his reform of the reform initiative.

When Pope Francis was elected many of us expected him to continue the difficult work Benedict XVI started. Instead we experienced name calling mainly aimed at Tradition. He never bothered to explain what happened to the reform of the reform initiative. To be fair, he has made friendly gestures to Tradition when he authorized SSPX priest to hear confessions. I hope he will continue to do more. Yet Cardinal Daneels, a churchman of somewhat questionable moral reputation is invited to the Synod but Cardinal Burke who has a distinguished record as a leader of the Church is persona non grata where legal issues are the main topic of discussion. A canon layer par excellence is out Kasper and Daneels are in. That is why you see so much frenetic postings. Everybody is frightened to death what these people are up to based on their history of bad behavior in the recent past.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

A-1 for all the silencing of the foes of the Church, especially under Pope Benedict, who would not even allow conversation on some things, what good did it do in winning those people over?

Pope Francis want dialogue and discussion even on controversial issues so that all might have their say and evidently even those who are heterodox. Under Benedict, we didn't know who the heterodox were, but we do under Pope Francis.

Allowing them their say doesn't mean he will ultimately approve their pastoral program that would undermine the need for any annulment procedure, let alone a streamlined one or any need for marriage in the Church.

If Holy Communion is open communion allowed to all, why even be baptized.

The pope is not an idiot and he sees very clearly how everything is connected and interrelated. He knows that original and actual sins pull a thread out here and there so people can become their own gods, have dominion over all they say and do.

Pope Francis names this for what it is and sees it as destructive. Read Laudato Si!

Jusadbellum said...

I have to point out that even the Pope's words can be misconstrued. Indeed that's the primary problem I think with respect to the various encyclicals and exhortations. Everything seems to depend on the interpretive presupposition.

If you posit that the Pope is directing his artillery against modernists who are giving lip service to believing in the Lord but are secretly sinning then it makes perfect orthodox sense. But in today's world, the tax collectors and prostitutes still exist but the modern day Pharisees (read, if the modernists are the "Pharisees" here), not only don't condemn those who work for Imperial centralized government, they don't condemn "sex work" either!

Cardinal Kasper and company don't go around condemning central planners and prostitution as evils to be ashamed of. Instead, the ones condemning the modern equivalent of tax collectors and prostitutes are "right-wingers". So read with that optic, it does seem as though the Pope is accusing those who consider such lifestyles to be shameful are hypocrites and should shut up already.

There's no hue and cry from the secular and left-wing Church to consider government employees and sex workers to be 'victims' needy of our compassion. Instead they all glorify in big centralized governments with high tax codes and advocate for sex worker "rights" (as seen in all the liberalization laws in Europe).

Right now the very existence of the Politically Correct culture proves that vast swaths of our Western civilization is very much into "pointing figures of accusation and judgment" on people. For what is Political Correctness if not precisely the public shaming of others for imputed guilt and crimes against 'progress'?

If that's what the Pope is talking to as those pointing fingers...then it makes perfect sense. But it sure doesn't read that way.

So I am struck between heaven and earth. I read his encyclicals and statements and they all seem orthodox, provided the presupposition is that for him the 'bad guys' are both the secular elites and those within the Church who are their allies.

If you don't take that as your a priori then his words can be interpreted the other way (and will be).

Anonymous said...

"The very change from Latin Mass to the novus ordo and all the other 'reforms' of Vatican II which, far from leading to a boom in vocations and conversions actually lead to the hollowing out of Western Catholicism..."

There's a logical fallacy here: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc - Changes happened, crisis ensued, therefore the changes caused the crisis.

"Father, I do not take for granted that even the passage that you quoted from the pope is evidence of a proper understanding on his part of the Church's teaching on mercy."

TRANSLATION: "I have a proper understanding of the Church's teaching on mercy and the pope doesn't."

Hubris, anyone?

Jusadbellum said...

No anonymous. Follow the argument.

The Mass ritual but not doctrine was changed and with it a whole slew of cultural praxis which resulted in a de facto loss of faith in the real presence etc. despite every good intention to the contrary.

I agree in general that we can't blame everything on the council. But surely we can put SOME things to its account? Or are you saying it was entirely a positive with no negative thing?

Secondly about putting myself above the pope. As I argue - as as you noticeably DON'T provide a counter-argument to, the Pope's homily is uncontroversial from an orthodox perspective only if we assume that the Pharisees in question, and in his mind are in fact the secularists and modernist Catholics and not the Africans, Poles, and others who are alarmed by the secular and sexual revolutions.

That's all. If you think I'm wet, I am absolutely begging you to show me as it would be a very helpful balm to my soul right now.

I don't argue to be contrary, I argue to ask for help. So help.

Marc said...

Cowardly Anonymus,

You are correct that I believe that I have a proper understanding of the Church's teaching on mercy and that the pope does not believe in that correct understanding or otherwise promote a correct understanding of the Church's teaching.

That's not hubris. I am confident that I both know and believe what the Church teaches. Shouldn't every Catholic be so assured? I can't control what the pope does or does about that teaching, but it doesn't stop me from believing it.

Mark Thomas said...

Speaking of Canadian Archbishop Paul-André Durocher...

Here is his blog on which he hopes to offer daily reflections on the Synod.

Archbishop Durocher followed that path last year at the Extraordinary Synod.

Last October during the Extraordinary Synod, Archbishop Durocher had offered the following:

"What can we glean from the Synod's work? Has any ground been broken?

"My answer? Absolutely! And particularly on one point. It has approved a very precise pastoral approach, one which is more attentive to the good in people than to their faults; one that speaks less of the sin to be avoided and more of the grace to be attained; one which is less centred on the faults of our society and more attuned to its possible openings to the Gospel message.

"It's not about being naive or polly-annish, but rather of counting on the Spirit of Jesus-Christ already present in the hears of human beings, even those who believe themselves to be far from God.

"This approach is not new: many pastoral workers already have adopted it. However, this is the first time -- as far as I know -- that such a text gives it a blessing. Even more, it explains the biblical and doctrinal foundation for this approach, and invites all pastoral worker to embrace it.

"This is indeed new. And it fills my heart with joy.

"In a certain sense, we have done for family life what the Second Vatican Council did for liturgy and ecumenism: give the green light to a style of ministry that is already emerging in the Church, assure its theological grounding, and invite the whole Church to make it its own.

"(Of course, those who don't like what Vatican II did for the liturgy and for ecumenism might not like what the Synod has done for family life... That's another discussion for another time."


Mark Thomas

Православный физик said...

As I've said before, and I'll say again, every one here knows that Dogma can't change. It's the praxis that I believe everyone is rightly worried about. As you have rightly pointed out in the post the very things that would happen if the praxis of the Kasper proposal would take place.

Vatican II changed absolutely zero dogmas in the Church, some things of praxis were changed, and we could go on with a litany of things that have happened. That alone should cause people to worry...

Let us keep praying for the Synod though, order, somehow is supposed to come from this mess.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Mac Donald

There is a tendency to confuse dialogue on natural matters with dialogue about supernatural faith. The former is carried on by the light of the reason that all men have in common. But in dialogue about the faith, the two parties cannot converge toward the truth or put themselves on par. The other party may doubt or be an enemy of the true (Catholic) faith, whereas the Catholic party cannot be faithless. He has nothing to dialog about, especially, if the matter at hand concerns revealed truth by Jesus Christ himself. One cannot dialogue about finessing how to live in sin. It is inherently immoral.

Benedict silenced certain theologians who denied for example the divinity of Christ or asserted that all religions can lead to salvation. Saint John Paul II declared that every one who is saved is saved through Jesus. Cardinal Ratzinger got clobbered for that also as the one aiding St. JP in preparing that encyclical (If memory serves: Dominus Jesus).

Mark Thomas said...

From his blog on which he's offering daily reflections upon the Synod, here is what Canadian Archbishop Paul-André Durocher's had to say today in regard to his three-minute intervention at the Synod... the way, ordaining women as deacons would strengthen the family? Is this why the Synod was convoked? To discuss the ordination of women?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Day 3 - Synod 2015

"Today, I made my three-minute intervention at the Synod. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to translate it into English, but this article from Catholic News Service pretty well sums it up:

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service October 6, 2015

VATICAN CITY — Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in Church life.

Discussing a number of proposals he offered the synod fathers to think about, he said, "I think we should really start looking seriously at the possibility of ordaining women deacons because the diaconate in the Church’s tradition has been defined as not being ordered toward priesthood but toward ministry."

Speaking to participants at the Synod of Bishops on the family Oct. 6, Durocher said he dedicated his three-minute speech to the role of women in the Church — one of the many themes highlighted in the synod’s working document.

In his presentation, the archbishop also noted that Pope Benedict XVI had talked about the question of new ministries for women in the Church. "It’s a just question to ask. Shouldn’t we be opening up new venues for ministry of women in the Church?" he said.

In addition to the possibility of allowing for women deacons, he said he also proposed that women be hired for "decision-making jobs" that could be opened to women in the Roman Curia, diocesan chanceries, and large-scale Church initiatives and events.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Included in his intervention today was the following proposal by Archbishop Durocher as reported by CNS, whose article in question he endorsed.

"Another thing, he said, "would be to look at the possibility of allowing married couples — men and women, who have been properly trained and accompanied — to speak during Sunday homilies so that they can testify, give witness to the relationship between God’s word and their own marriage life, and their own life as families."

Any opinions on that?


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Archbishop Durocher and Cardinal Marx are heretics and we should stop the happy talk. If Pope Francis doesn't stop this, we may have another papal resignation because orthodox Cardinals like Cardinal Pell will not suffer, nor tolerate this. Until this is settled, not one dime of mine will find its way to Peters Pence

Anonymous said...

Mark Thomas, all those ideas are pure garbage designed to undermine the Church. They should not even be given consideration.