So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Relatio post deceptionem?

The "relatio" of the Synod is turning out to be the proverbial spoon stirring a very large pot. The pot is, of course, the gathering of bishops first and foremost, then the wider community of truth-loving Catholics, and lastly anti-Catholic wolves inside the Church and mainstream media muddlers drooling at the soundbites that are so easily manipulated. It's a large pot. The pot could also be what a few people are smoking these days which makes them think they can manipulate proceedings and enter into the record information that, according to other bishops, was never part of the various discussions.

"But,... it's just a working document!"

Telling it like it is:
Marco Tasatti (La Stampa)/Rorate Cæli: The Counterfeit Synod

The direction of the Synod has decided to not make public the interventions of the participants, against a decades-old practice, against transparency and the right of Christians to know; and then decided to make public a working document in which a great many [of the Synod Fathers] do not recognize themselves, and in which the most controversial and discussed lines are with great probability the expression of a handful of theologians and bishops. It is hard not to consider an attempt to steer and manipulate the path of the Synod. When, following the publication of the document, there's an attempt to backpedal [by calling the report a "mere working document"], and Voice of the Family, that gathers millions of Catholics from around the world in fifteen different [pro-life and pro-family] organizations defines it simply as "a betrayal," and affirms that, "Those who are controlling the Synod have betrayed Catholic parents worldwide. We believe that the Synod’s mid-way report is one of the worst official documents drafted in Church history," then there's a problem.

A Catholic is obliged to be in communion with the See of St. Peter (both when, as now, it is occupied, and also when, as during interregna, it is unoccupied). One is under no strict obligation to like the currently reigning Pontiff, nor to agree with him, nor to think that he is a man of prudence (although I think it is a mark of the mens Catholica to give him the benefit of any doubt). Many bishops, and even cardinals, did not like Benedict XVI, did not agree with him, did not admire his prudence. Indeed, not a few of those hierarchs, as soon as Benedict abdicated, came crawling out of their corners and said so. Presumably, as soon as Francis is either buried or abdicated, the same thing will happen.

You have to be in communion with him and to accept anything he defines ex cathedra to be the teaching of Christ. When, in his Ordinary Magisterium, he affirms the Church's teaching (and Francis has done a lot of that) you are thankful for it. When you have a problem with some word or action, you lean over backwards to see it in the best possible light. But your duties of faithfulness to Christ do not mean that you have to be pathologically sycophantic towards whoever happens to be the current bishop of Rome. 
And you avoid the temptation to panic every time some daft bishops, or even some daft cardinal, says something ... daft.
Whatever is going on at the Synod, it’s messy.

It seems as if it is messy in part because of attempts to orchestrate the outcome.

Meanwhile, no substantive response has been given to the arguments presented in the “Five Cardinals Book” (Remaining In The Truth of Christ). Why is that?

Sure, by now, most of the Synod participants have seen The Book. It is out in Italian, German, Spanish, French and English. The English version, so I am told, wasn’t in print yet(,) when the Synod began, so pre-publication copies were run up for distribution to participants. Surely they have made an impact. I suspect that in the days ahead, we will hear from participants about the impact of the The Book. It would take a bit to read and absorb. That should be coming into play right about now, as the subcommittees are meeting.
Susan Brinkman/Women of Grace: Vatican Bemoans Synod Distortions
Thanks to a combination of irresponsible reporting and the vague language contained in the first document released by the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, the Vatican was forced to issue a statement yesterday reminding the public that this is just a “working document” and reflects no doctrinal changes in Church teaching.

According to the National Catholic Register (NCR), the Synod Fathers are so distressed over the rampant public misunderstandings about the work of the Synod thus far – contained in the Relatio post disceptationem – the General Secretariat of the Synod was forced to issue a clarifying statement.

” . . . (I)n response to reactions and discussions following the publication of the, and the fact that often a value has been attributed to the document that does not correspond to its nature,” the statement reads.

It goes on to once again reiterate that the Relatio is “a working document, which summarizes the interventions and debate of the first week, and is now being offered for discussion by the members of the Synod gathered in the Small Groups, in accordance with the Regulations of the Synod.”

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa spoke at a press conference yesterday and said media reaction to the Relatio – which some described as a “stunning” change in the Church’s approach to homosexuality and other issues relating to the family – caused “upset among the Synod fathers”, adding that “we’re now working from a position that’s virtually irredeemable.”

The message has gone out that this is what the synod is saying, this is what the Catholic Church is saying, and it’s not what we’re saying at all,” Cardinal Napier said. “No matter how we try correcting that, and this is my experience with the media, once it’s out there in the public, there’s no way of retrieving it.”

He stressed that the sensational headlines in the press do not reflect the positions the Synod has taken but this is the “message that has gone out; it’s not the true message . . .”
A couple of questions for the Synod Fathers:
  1. What in blue blazes are you thinking/doing?
  2. What is the Holy Spirit (i.e., the Spirit of truth!) saying to the Church?
Pray folks, just pray!

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