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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 Thessalonians 2:15

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Synod on the Family. What are they doing there?

"If everything was concluded with the report yesterday (by Cardinal Erdo), then what are we doing here?" Archbishop Celli asked.
If the Synod Fathers are merely concerned about a PR campaign, i.e., trying to enable the Gospel to be communicated in a more effective and positive way to the world, then fine. Let them take a lesson from the pop-feel-good gurus and use nicey-nice language and glitzy TV ads to draw in potential believers. As long as the content of the unchanging Faith is preserved unblemished and taught to be observed and obeyed, no harm done. Well, mostly no harm done. By presenting the Faith using slick advertising campaigns, there is a risk that the Faith will be equated with (and reduced to) the pop mush that dominates contemporary media.

In ancient times, when the Church took heresies really seriously, council fathers spoke clearly, often with great force to confirm the teaching of the Apostles. So serious did the ancients take heresy that they often came to blows with one another, heretics on one side and orthodox on the other. No one condones the use of violence to prove a point, of course. The point is, however, that heresy can do serious damage to the Church, and our Mother requires a defence that is charitable and unyielding. Reasoned arguments and the facts of the Catholic and Orthodox Faith must counter attempts to insert heterodoxy into the religion of Christ. The Church needs warriors who speak the truth with love.

The fathers of the great ecumenical councils did not mince words. They spoke the great creeds of the Church. They were concerned about communicating the Truth in terms that the Church, i.e., (Catholic) Christians, would understand, not language necessary tailored to the understanding of the worldly. It is the job of bishops and priests to communicate doctrine to believers and people of goodwill in a way that meets the hearer and allows him or her to access the edges of the mysteries (sacraments) and thus be led more deeply into an intimate communion with Christ and His Church. Haven't we opened up the windows into the nave of the Church wide enough for the past 50 years? Isn't it high time we started sweeping up the dust and dead leaves of relativism and dissent that has blown in from the street and deposit it where it is tread under foot?

Anyone who dares to downplay the seriousness of the conflict between the advocates of fact (orthodoxy) versus those lobbying the Church to embrace fiction (heterodoxy) is as guilty as those who advocate for a change in doctrine. Doctrine that is, in four words, NOT OURS TO CHANGE.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.