What I Saw at the Synod and What it Means for 2015

2014-10-14-ABC-GMA-Synod_Report

I begin to write this article in a taxi on the way to the Rome airport. I cut and paste from my notes piled up during the Extraordinary Synod of the Family. Roman traffic swirls at mid-morning, no less than my own thoughts as I process and report what I saw and heard during the Synod.

Crisis readers know that this Extraordinary Synod had controversy—and some intrigue—aired in both the Catholic and the secular press. You know the issues that remain after this preliminary Synod include these tender questions: How shall the Church speak with pastoral care to the divorced and civilly remarried? What hope should we offer to those with homosexual inclinations?

Already some insist that the Synod was hijacked and will forever be known as the Synod for the Divorced and the Gay. Others believe they witnessed the Holy Spirit throw a coup into confusion; wherein the proponents of “opening” to the divorced and remarried and gay unions were knocked on their heels by Synod fathers who refused to submit to their machinations.

What follows are my observations specifically about the reportage on the Synod; what it means as the race begins for the next synod, scheduled for October, 2015.

One curious note at the outset is how surprised (and unprepared) the Vatican Press Office was to find so many reporters assigned to cover the Extraordinary Synod. On Monday, October 13, at the start of the second week of Synod deliberations, Fr. Frederico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office, expressed his astonishment that “so many members of the press are here today.” He had in mind the media’s usual lack of interest in the work of extraordinary synods.

The irony in his comment came, just minutes later, when frenzy erupted over the release of the Relatio, the midterm report on the work of the Synod to that point. Within hours online publications in Europe and the US trumpeted some version of “Vatican Says Gay OK!” One of my sisters from South Carolina sent me a phone photo of a headline from her morning paper, “Bishops: Gays have gifts to offer Catholic Church,” with a note, “What on earth is going on in Rome?”

If the Vatican Press Office resembled an anthill kicked over, one can imagine what the scene was like inside the synod when it reconvened that afternoon. Cardinal George Pell of Australia criticized the Relatio as “tendentious and incomplete.” Cardinal Raymond Burke, currently head of the Apostolic Signatura, said the interim report was one “no faithful shepherd can accept.”

We heard reports of distressed bishops who demanded to know why the press had been given a rough draft. Worse, Synod fathers themselves had not seen much less approved the draft before it was given to the press office.

This fact was made known the next day by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa. Several times he noted the draft was a mere compilation of ideas and interventions, a free exchange in the spirit of fraternal openness. Pope Francis had asked that the Synod work in total freedom. (In his opening remarks to the Synod the Holy Father said, “A basic general condition is this: to speak clearly. No one must say: “This can’t be said; he will think of me this way or that.…”)

Again and again, Cardinal Napier reminded the press that the Relatio did not represent a consensus, or any prioritization of issues. He insisted that no weight be given it, as the whole body of participants had never seen the Relatio until after the press has launched it into the world.

Thus, Cardinal Napier told the assembled reporters, they had the wrong information and “a message has gone out and it is not a true message.” Everything from that point, he said, would appear to the public as damage control. The situation, said the Cardinal, was “irretrievable.” He suggested that the press had “heard” what they wished to see the Church say.

There followed a tense exchange. The secular press asked repeatedly, “Who authorized the publication of the Relatio?” The Catholic press asked, “Who wrote the Relatio?” Both questions received hazy answers.

Reporters jabbed fingers in Cardinal Napier’s direction, voices rose and Reuters denied that the press had reported erroneous information: “It is in the document!” Reuters demanded of the prelate, “Will you, or will you not, own this document? Is the Catholic Church open to gays or not?”

Calmly, Cardinal Napier stressed that the document was only a working document and had absolutely no authority, therefore what was in the Relatio should not have been reported as if it carried any doctrinal or pastoral weight. There is “no matter of ownership at this point” he said, precisely because it is a draft, not a final document. The damage, as he rightly stated, was done. What the world had heard was the “gay question” and the phrase “divorced and remarried to receive Communion” as coming from the synod … and took it as gospel.

The following day brought the cynical retractions: “Vatican to Cohabitators and Gays: You’re Kind of Okay. (Update: Actually, Never Mind.)”  The National Catholic Reporter opined that gays and lesbians “reacted with disappointment after a tumultuous week….”

At this point, we know bishops had frantic messages from home—people were scandalized, people were confused. Ordinary Catholics were whipsawed by competing commentary in liberal vs. orthodox outlets. Talking heads such as Chris Matthews assembled panels of gay persons and divorced Catholics to discuss the “wisdom” of the Church. The Wall Street Journal carried an op-ed by Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute assuring everyone that the reaction to the Relatio was overwrought.

New Ways Ministry, a homosexual lobby group, is headed by Francis De Bernardo who predicted, “[n]ow that these voices have been bold enough to speak, more bishops who think like them will surely follow their example.”

 ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤

What went wrong?

That was the question a group of Catholic journalists discussed at an informal gathering. “Could these bishops be so naïve as to believe the press wouldn’t spin the Relatio?” “Is it possible the bishops are blind to the effect of that Relatio—now the entire Synod is in danger of being driven by the media, much as the release of Humanae Vitae was?” And, “Whose idea was it to publish the Relatio in the first place, especially as the intervention statements themselves remained unpublished?”

We had no reports of what was actually said, and by whom. Was this emphasis on “change of tone” toward “irregular situations” a universal goal of the Synod or did it reflect a particular conference of bishops?

A young reporter based in Europe pulled out his copy of the Relatio and said, “I mean, now listen to this … ‘Are our communities capable of proving that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?’”

“Don’t we need to know who said that?” he asked. “No we need to know who wrote it,” another replied. “We don’t know if that was an actual statement made by any participant, do we?”

All that we had in this Relatio was a synthesis of anonymous interventions made during the first week of the Synod. Only later would the press learn that the authorization for the publication came from Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, appointed by Pope Francis. The Relatio itself was written by a small committee appointed by the Pope. The section addressing the matter of pastoral care for gay persons is now understood to be primarily the work of Bishop Bruno Forte, appointed as special secretary to the Synod. Few think that topic was widely discussed within the Synod. Fr. Lombardi said of the 260 plus interventions he’d heard, he recalled only one that mentioned welcoming homosexual persons.

The release of the Relatio was an unusual step in itself, part of a new format adopted during this synod. Throughout the Synod the Holy Father remained present but silent. He understood that any interjection he made would have the effect of signaling a particular direction. To remain an observer was to insure the freedom of participants to speak frankly. Could it be that the stunning effect of the Relatio on the public was not anticipated?

However, as veteran journalists point out, in the past, the interventions themselves were always published so you knew who said what. Why close that procedure if the idea is openness? Several complained about the lax process which seemed designed to favor manipulation, or, misinformation.

The next day the English briefing was led by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, the president of the USCCB. Archbishop Kurtz acknowledged the confusion and upset. He outlined the process for the remainder of the week: The Synod now formed circuli minori, small circles, based on language groups. The circles would discuss the Relatio and propose amendments. He emphasized that all amendments to the draft would be framed by Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church.

Additionally, we learned of a stunning change in the drafting committee. Pope Francis made two new appointments to his original committee; Cardinal Napier of South Africa, and Archbishop Denis J. Hart of Australia. It is impossible to determine what took place within the Synod overnight—had a number of Synod fathers insisted that the original committee led by Bishop Forte needed “balance”? Or could it have been the humiliating remarks by Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany whose comments about the African bishops were seen as racist? Cardinal Kasper is the outspoken proponent of communion for the divorced and remarried. The Africans view divorce and remarriage as a type of Western serial polygamy. Cardinal Kasper said the African bishops “should not tell us too much what we have to do.”

No matter the reason, orthodox observers welcomed the new additions to this crucial committee. As the small circle discussions came to a close, stories leaked that a far more doctrinal document was emerging. Cardinal Baldisseri then announced that the circle statements would not be published, whereupon Cardinal Pell is reported to have forcefully demanded, “You must stop manipulating this synod!”

Predictably, the secular press put spin to the press itself, that is, to the Catholic press. On Thursday reporters asked the briefing panel if the intense pressure from conservative Catholic press groups had influenced the Synod’s retraction of the open doors to the divorced and civilly remarried and homosexual unions. The response noted the necessity for pastoral practice to reflect the doctrinal teaching.

Next to me a CBS reporter chuckled, “Sure. Whatever. Like P.T. Barnum, just get them in the door then we’ll see what we can sell them.” His remark characterizes the attitude of many who would welcome a relaxed pastoral approach to the thorny issues of divorced and remarried Catholics—“first give us relaxed ‘pastoral practice’ and we’ll worry about theology later.”

When the votes were taken on Saturday morning, the Synod passed the much amended document, with the exception of three paragraphs. Those paragraphs addressed the question of communion for the divorced and remarried and a relaxed pastoral approach to homosexual issues. Some see the failure of these paragraphs to receive the 2/3 required votes as a victory.

Others are far less sanguine. They see a dodged bullet—for now. In the year ahead we will see every sort of article, social media flood and radio/ TV exposure of sad stories of “irregular situations” meant to influence public opinion and thus the Catholic bishops in advance of the 2015 Synod.

Cardinal Pell rightly sees the battle for divorce and homosexuality as a symbol—“a prize in the clash between what remains of Christendom in Europe and an aggressive neo-paganism. Every opponent of Christianity wants the Church to capitulate on this issue.” If she does, she loses her identity.

Our own task in the year ahead is to portray the beauty of marriage and the joys of family life despite its struggles. I hope to see Catholic media embrace stories of the grace of the sacraments, the good news that God has not given us a model that we cannot achieve.

Mary Jo Anderson

By

Mary Jo Anderson is a Catholic journalist and public speaker. She has been a frequent guest on "Abundant Life," an EWTN television program, and her "Global Watch" radio program is heard on EWTN radio affiliates nationwide. She writes regularly for Crisis Magazine. More articles and commentary can be found at Properly Scared and at Women for Faith and Family. Mary Jo is a board member of Women for Faith and Family and has served on the Legatus Board of Directors. With co-author Robin Bernhoft, she wrote "Male and Female He Made Them: Questions and Answers about Marriage and Same-Sex Unions," published in 2005 by Catholic Answers. In 2003 Mary Jo was invited to the Czech Republic to address parliamentarians on the Impact of Radical Feminism on Emerging Democracies.

  • Rev Mr Flapatap

    The main problem behind all this is that we, as a culture, believe that life should be eternal bliss and happiness. We have forgotten the need for sacrifice and that we all need to carry our crosses. Anything that goes against that perceived “happiness” is rejected so let’s get rid of sacrifice.

    • St JD George

      Also fitting to today’s liturgy “Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth – no I tell you, but rather division.” He said many are called yet few are chosen, and there are many who hear his word and yet still reject him.

      • jacobhalo

        the pope and his heretical clerics have rejected the teachings of the church concerning marriage and homosexuality.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      I am strongly opposed to your either/or dichotomy of pleasure and sacrifice. There is an old Yiddish saying, “If you try to take away the stinking onion from a child’s hands he will hold on tight, if you show him an apple, he will drop the onion of his own free will and reach for the apple.” Here is a quote from the mid-19th century that I would love some of my fellow ‘traddies’ to memorize:

      “The Catholic discipline rests upon the conviction that man must have pleasure and if he does not find it in the service of God he will seek it in the false and ephemeral joys of the world; for man innately knows that he was made for happiness and endeavors at all costs to attain his destiny.”
      -Kenelm Digby, MORES CATHOLICI Vol.2, Pg. 129

      • DE-173

        As I read the Reverend; he’s talking about false and transient pleasures.

        There are crosses to be borne in this world.

        • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

          I’m sorry everyone, I just thought it sounded glib and did not fit my experience of suffering humanity. I am surrounded by people making all kinds of sacrifices and bearing unimaginable crosses and seeking happiness (or even just endurance) in the only ways they know how. Maybe they need some Good News?

          • jb

            I understand what you’re saying. Most consciences are not well formed enough to see the beautiful joy in times of suffering because joy and happiness are quite misunderstood concepts, to my mind. Often I think people suffer alone because they perceive others will not understand or care, and in fact I think our culture is kind of set up to reject people who are suffering as outliers, even though it’s a pretty darn common experience.

            Need some Good News, indeed.

            • guest 2

              I agree with you jb.

              In today’s society where there has been a “normalisation” of selfishness, ego, instant self-gratification, materialism, “joy” and “happiness” are unfortunately quite-misunderstood concepts… and because of these misunderstandings / false presumption, most
              consciences (of even adults), are not anywhere near well-formed enough to see the beautiful joy in times of suffering and how suffering is necessary and instrumental in offering opportunities for the advancement of character-formation and inner strength.

              I mean, how often do you see an Olympian whose only training consists of remaining a slump-shouldered “couch-potato”, with no attempt at physical and mental training? None.
              Being a competent athlete absolutely requires rigorous training, self-denial and suffering. Yes suffering for one’s commitment to excellence — and so it is for spiritual training as well.

              As they say “no pain equals no gain”.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Thanks, much appreciated.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        I don’t think that’s what he said. I thought it was that sacrifice has disappeared altogether. Did I miss something?

        • Paddy

          Every time I see the gubmint’s tax bite, I know I ‘ve sacrificed…by force! Too often, the RCC takes that gubint money to re-distribute and becomes an apparatchik of the Left.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Come again? I don’t see the connection to my comment.

      • St JD George

        Hate to be the third to weigh in, but I do think you missed Father’s point. Remember he said “we, as a culture” not “we, people of faith” who understand that sacrifice was foretold.

    • hombre111

      Indeed, what a scandal. To go from forcing unbendable eternal truths down people’s throat, whatever their circumstances, to trying to get down into the world of flesh and blood and deal with people in the midst of their pain and struggle. Imagine! To choose compassion. “Let’s get rid of sacrifice,” the Rev Mr says in sarcasm. But a higher authority said somewhere in scripture, “it is mercy I want, and not sacrifice.”

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Father, where is that being done? Who is “forcing unbendable eternal truths down peoples’ throats?” As I’ve noted elsewhere in this thread, I’ve not heard sins of the flesh so much as mentioned – not once -anywhere, much less “forced” or condemned. On the other hand, I’ve heard quite often how we need to be “tolerant” and “non-judgmental,” that we should welcome sinners, etc. I don’t say that’s wrong, but if there’s all of the thunder coming from Rome or local pulpits that you refer to , I certainly haven’t heard it. Can you help me out?

        • hombre111

          I am not talking about the Synod or this particular thread. As a parish priest, I have met a number of divorced and remarried people and know what they face. It’s a long story.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            I wasn’t referring to the Synod or this thread either, actually. I was referring to the complete absence of any statements, of any kind – certainly no condemnations – from Rome or from the pulpit – on the moral topics we’re discussing here. One simply doesn’t hear them, and I’m continually puzzled by the frequent references to supposedly ubiquitous hellfire preachers who are thundering at us every Sunday. Maybe somewhere in Ireland 100 years ago, certainly not in my experience for the lat several decades.

            I don’t doubt the accuracy of your “long story” either, as one who is not a priest, but who has also been involved in various ministries that bring me in contact with the circumstances to which you allude. It’s not only long, it’s complicated. May I offer you a small suggestion in all charity, however? Try to make your points without the sarcasm and snarkiness? I know that’s a problem with many posters here, but since I’m in an exchange with you, I’m taking the opportunity to do so here. Thanks, I hope that we can continue the discussion.

            • hombre111

              I appreciate what you have said,Glenn. Actually, people who know me face to face know I am not snarky. I try to respect each individual. Maybe a blog causes me to revert to a part of myself I don’t really like. But anyway, there is a general impression of condemnation that is being carried away by our youth, who are abandoning the Church in droves. For instance, the young female therapist who helped me with my bad back. She went to Catholic grade school, high school, and then to a Catholic college. In spite of that, she has left the Church. I asked her why. She said it was because of the Church’s attitude toward women, toward gays, toward the divorced and remarried, and because of the sex abuse scandal. I think a lot of this is because of the secular Press, which really puts the Church in a bad position on this issue.

              When I was a young priest, I could not wait for the old guys to get out of the way so we could straighten things out. Well, we didn’t do that great a job, either. Below me were young priests anxious for me to get out of the way. I guess I deserved that. Now that I am long gone, I sit back and watch them struggle with the same issues: How to call people beyond spiritual mediocrity, how to stir up a quest for faith among the youth, how to get them to sit still long enough to learn the basics, how to support young singles and young married couples, and on and on.

              I am fascinated by the way Pope Francis handled the recent Synod. He seemed content to sit back and let the opinions fly. Now he wants the Church in general to discuss what happened and get ready for the next synod. I cannot imagine either Pope John Paul or Pope Benedict doing this. I have come to see that infallibility is an effort to short cut this process. Humanae Vitae was such an effort, and not only did it fail to stop the arguments, it left papal authority weaker than before.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                I wish we could sit down for a chat, Father, since there are obvious limitations to combox dialogues. As a married layman who supports Humanae Vitae without reservation, I’ve had a very different experience: I’ve often experienced the wrath and irritation of clergy who wondered why “anyone in this day and age” would think that way or could not see that “the Pope is out of it,” etc., etc.

                I’m similarly confused on the SSM issue. On the one hand, I suppose I’m happy that someone is seeing some positive value in marriage. On the other hand, I marvel at the abrupt volte face of gay activists who, following the lead of ’60s feminism, viewed marriage as a snare from which we needed to be freed. And the gay lifestyle provided that freedom: unlimited sexual gratification, but sans commitments, pregnancies, or hassles with binding relationships. BIngo, forget that, we want to get married. ??????? One does get confused.

                But listen, we’ve probably stretched the limits of this particular thread, so feel free to contact me at ricketts@nas.org, if you’d like to chat further. In any case, I’m sure we’ll cross combox dialogues again, so until then, take care.

              • DE-173

                “Well, we didn’t do that great a job, either.”

                No, and your coment history is instructive as to why. Of course with regard to your use of the prnoun “we”, you can only evaluate your own performance, as to others, who are you to judge?

                You can’t even abide by your promise to avoid commenting here.

            • hombre111

              Rome and some bishops have said some very strong things, such as the oratory surrounding the healthcare mandate and the gay marriage issue. In my diocese, there are young priests who speak hellfire on these issues. A young priest who took my place when I was a campus minister preached on birth control in a way that set the teeth of the married people in the pews on edge. I heard all about it when I came home. I also hear from people who have gone to another priest for counseling about birth-control or a divorced, remarried situation, who have gone away with a whipping and a lecture.

              The EWTN network hammers away at birth control and the issue of gays. It hosts speakers and commentators who are very black and white abut this complicated question. For instance, hearing confessions in Spanish, I heard from a poor woman with six children who was in agony because someone on Spanish EWTN said people in her situation would go to hell if they practiced anything but NFP or total abstinence. Christopher West, a very famous promoter of the Theology of the Body, has told some questioners facing life threatening situations if they have more children, “I think God has called you to be a martyr.”

              One of the things Pope John Paul said that stunned me was his characterization of birth control in his Theology of the Body. Without wading through that most difficult document again to find the exact quote, what I remember is, Catholics who practice birth control are guilty of a kind of adultery.

    • MillerJM

      There is no “we, as a culture.” This massive work in progress document represents many cultures. “we”, which I assume means Americans if we read between the lines, are a minority compared to the number of Catholics in India, Africa, and Latin America. Many of the third world Bishops are bringing up these issues about divorce and remarriage. Frankly, you and many others here don’t have a clue about why marriage is failing in those particular cultures. I am extremely doubtful that the impoverished people of those cultures believe life should be eternal bliss and happiness. Let’s get real here. That being said, marriage is indeed a Sacrament and lifelong – it cannot be torn apart and divorce is simply not acceptable. But in order to present this teaching to the peoples of those nations, we have to understand what is going on in those cultures. I don’t see many people on this website who, when they talk about this issue, even consider that they are in the minority of world wide Catholics and whether or not their particular experiences are even helpful to them. In my parish, for example, there were a large number of immigrant Latino couples that were cohabitating and not getting married simply because they did not feel they did not feel they could through a respectable party afterwards. Before you poop on this, the Jews of the Bible also felt that it was important to have a respectable party – the wedding feast. So how did we solve the problem? We had the couples come together and create a pool of money, marry all of them at the same time, and create one giant party. No one here has a clue about those type of issues. You need to travel, interact with the poor, worship with different people, LISTEN TO THEM. Many of them can be brought into line with the Church and Her laws, but you have to understand the problems in order to fix them.

  • Glenn M. Ricketts

    I’m grateful to Mary Jo Anderson for providing an eyewitness summary of the Synod. Unfortunately, it confirms my previous impression that it was a colossal disaster and that very rough seas lie ahead.

    • guesto3

      Summary? Snippets from here there and everywhere!

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Eh?

  • Louis Papet

    This article, with its inside the media perspective, has provided me with a better sense of what went on at the Synod. While I remain concerned — especially with regards to the pressure that will be exerted by the secular media over the course of the next year — I do view the final document and courage of the traditionalist Cardinals with some encouragement. Thanks Mrs. Anderson for your time spent covering and providing this report of what you observed.

  • Patrick Kellems

    Should we be surprised by the destructive spin the secular press has put on the Synod? The media has and always will do what ever they can to destroy the Church. The hierarchy of the Church does view things through a different lens. Unlike the rest of the faithful their lives are and should be totally focused on the Church. As Catholics we believe that the Holy Spirit takes an active role in Church matters. Change in the Church will always be slow, messy and providential. That is why there is one Catholic Church and also why there is over 30,000 Protestant denominations. Nothing has happened so far other than an open discussion which was sorely needed. The Catholic Church has stood the test of time and we as Catholics should have the faith to believe it will continue to do so.

  • Minaya

    I think that most of us should be less rigid. Everybody, both liberal and orthodox, seem to think that you cannot correct somebody with a smile and empathy.

    Rather than just saying “I love you, so I will never tell you you’re wrong, lest you fell uncomfortable”, or “You are wrong, so correct your behavior to begin with”, why couldn’t we say “I love you, and want you to be fully happy. But I am concerned that you are doing something in your life that is preventing you to be as happy as you may be (in this life and the eternal one, if our friend is a believer). You know that i am your friend, and will always be so, and therefore if you wish to do something to improve your life, I’m here to help. In any case, I’ll pray for you”.

    I think that we can show empathy for our friends without showing agreement with their decisions. I think that this is what His Holiness Pope Francis is asking us to do, loving the sinner while hating his or her sin.

    • Jdonnell

      Can we “hate” the re-marriage of divorced Catholics who live holy harmonious lives? Can we approve of married people who remain together despite abuse and constant disharmony. Life is more complicated than the current marriage norms acknowledge.

      • No, actually, it’s not….

        You’re either married, or you’re not.

        You’re either in an objective state of manifest grave sin, or you’re not.

        Not complicated…

        • Jdonnell

          Actually, Jim, you’re full of beans. And, despite the argument of the article, Jesus qualified his statement on divorce, making some circumstances relative. I know plenty of priests who would disagree with you, not that they have the last word either. At the very least, you can follow Moses on the matter. The hardness of your heart is greater than those he refers to.

          • Actually, I’m full of bacon and eggs. Not a single bean for breakfast. But thanks for playing! 🙂

            As it is, pick one of the two statements I made and offer an argument against it, please.

            It’s just like Cardinal Burke said earlier–before anything else, we actually have to get the law of *non-contradiction* right….

            So you’re saying you can be both married and not married?

            Or are you saying you can be both objectively in manifest grave sin, and *not* in it?

            • DE-173

              Anything goes Jiim!
              Forget that stuff about working out your salvation in fear and trembling; our finest neophiles have determined that’s obsolete.

          • jacobhalo

            I don’t know why you are a Catholic. Cardinal Ratzinger was talking about people like you when he said that we would be better having a smaller church with people who believe in the teachings. Take his advice and Find a denomination with which you agree.

            • Jdonnell

              Would you also like to see the staff at America leave the Church? Your boneheaded thinking is completely at odds with the attitude of Pope Francis–and he is our Pope. Your kind went after Aquinas too.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Who said anything about “hate?” Perhaps other posters here have wrestled with life’s complexities and come to a different conclusions than you have?

        • Jdonnell

          Try re-reading the article and the comment about hating the “sin.”

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            I just re-read it. That’s not what you wrote.

        • DE-173

          “Hate” is the standard charge for infants restrainted from indulgence.

      • GG

        Perpetual adultery is not remarriage.

        • Jdonnell

          If those involved are in a state of marriage and clean conscience, they are not in a state of sin. Perhaps those who keep their children in a marriage with an a criminally abuse parent are making living in a marriage a sin. Who are we to judge?

          • DE-173

            A clean conscience is an informed conscience.

      • JP

        Christ said what God has joined let no man be asunder. You’re speaking of heresy. Also, the Church allows for the separation of a couple. They can split apart. But, until one of them dies Christ considers them still married. The spouses just cannot re-marry.

        • Jdonnell

          The Church, you say, allows for separation, but you claim that Christ didn’t allow it. Nor did he speak of annulments, a practice instituted later on and which has evolved markedly just in the last few decades. It has often become a religious substitute for divorce, wrapped in spiritual bubble-wrap. It keeps the power if not the holiness in the hands of the bishops. Many Catholics refuse annulments because they know that even though they would easily get one, the don’t want to deny the reality of their marriages or insult their children.

          • Jim Russell

            Too funny! If they don’t want to “deny the reality of their marriages,” then why oh why did they get divorces????

            • And they deny the reality of their first marriages.

            • GG

              Ha. Well, you see, the “conscience” is supreme. Even above the truth. Cardinal Pell once said that following Church teaching in sexual matters does not cause guilt. It causes some to have unfulfilled wishes. That is the problem.

          • GG

            Oh, the propaganda. The Church is the authority in these matters. They have the authority from Christ.

    • GG

      I think we need to be less lax. The laxity we saw at the synod is the fruit of disobedience. Confusion is not from the Holy Spirit.

    • Daniel P

      Excellent comment, Minaya. Our job as Christians is to come alongside people, to befriend them, to acknowledge our own sinfulness, and to encourage them to flee from sin. This has very little to do with politics.

      The Church has the political problem of attempting to extend mercy without portraying itself as tolerant of sin. I have the personal problem of humbling myself to love and correct my brother or sister who is involved in serious sin. We must keep these two situations separate. The devil would like nothing more than to cause us to obsess about the problems of the (faraway) Magesterium, and meanwhile neglect extending mercy to the sinner in our own midst.

    • SS

      The problem is we are all confused and to smile and be empathetic only signals in our current environment and society of today as acceptance of the sin.

      What we need do is be exactly like Christ. Tell it straight out….seek forgiveness and then go and sin no more.
      Remember Revelation 3:16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” We in our empathy have become lukewarm.

    • Tessa

      The gays want full acceptance for their behavior and nothing less. They’re not interested in loving correction.

      We the followers of the Church should practice loving correction while adhering faithfully to its teachings. But we must be careful not to be seen as accepting gay behavior. As the spin from the media has shown, it’s tricky.

    • That’s merely a verbose phrasing of the second statement. No real value added, just sentimentality, which tends to work better with women and the effeminate than with men. And perhaps you’re right that this should be the best way to approach effeminate men, but perhaps the terse phrasing would work better with tomboys.

      • GG

        Funny, but true.

  • FernieV

    I cannot possibly reconcile the need to be in state of grace to receive Holy Communion with the attempt of Cdl Kasper and co. to allow the divorced and remarried to become communicants. Clearly these people are living in a state of mortal sin, which is besides a public sin. The only way for them to receive the Eucharist is by repenting and going to confession. But that requires them to renounce cohabitation, which they are not ready to do. Thus, the mere attempt to propose this aberration shows that the proponents believe that these people are not in state of sin! How can you be a bishop/cardinal and propose such a thing? It is clear that these neo-modernists are trying hard to change perennial teachings of the Church.

    • Jdonnell

      The “perennial” teaching on marriage is not quite that but something that evolved over centuries.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        But wasn’t Christ Himself who taught that the man or woman who divorced a spouse to marry another were adulterer and adulteress, respectively? How has that teaching “evolved?”

        • GG

          It has not changed.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            So I thought, also.

            • Jdonnell

              Thinking so doesn’t make it so. Marriage by the Church evolved. Ignatius, for example, said that is was becoming for couples to be married by a bishop (late 2nd century). In practice, most people followed traditional Roman marriage during his day and for some time afterward. It was hardly declared to be a sacrament in those days; it evolved into one.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                It wasn’t called a sacrament, but it was nevertheless indissoluble. The title “sacrament” simply conferred a name on what was already done.

                • Jdonnell

                  In the early days of Xty, marriage was often (perhaps most of the time) marriage was done in secular fashion.

                  • Glenn M. Ricketts

                    For what reason? A shortage of priests, a lapse in observance, a time of persecution when regular marriage might have been difficult? What was the context?

                  • DE-173

                    “Xty,”

                    Have an aversion to the name Christ?

                    And before you even try it X does not equal Chi.

                    • Jdonnell

                      It’s an old and revered letter to stand for Christ. Don’t be such a prick.

                    • DE-173

                      Can you express yourself without profanity?

                    • GG

                      No, he cannot not. It is part of the syndrome.

                • Jdonnell

                  What was “already done” had and was still being done in secular ways, and the subject was in a somewhat fluid state, with, for ex., Bp. Callistus stating that couples under some circumstances could live in a state of “just concubinage.” Other Church leaders stated that widows should not remarry. When you begin to examine the history, it is often rather more complicated than what is assumed about absolutes.

                  • Glenn M. Ricketts

                    I’m not sure what conclusions you’re drawing from these tenuous examples. I can’t see where the door is open for some of the changes being proposed at present.

                  • GG

                    What you see are deviations. That does not make it right or true.

              • GG

                Marriage has not changed and cannot change. When we read the Kaspar-like propaganda what we really see are either serious errors( historical and/and theological) or deviations in ways the State controlled things that have nothing to do with the essence of marriage.

                One man and one woman for life. It is not about divorce and adultery.

        • Jdonnell

          Jesus makes an exception, which most commentators ignore (or suppress). He sees that the matter is not quite absolute.

          • Indeed, the exception was cases of “porneia”, used to refer to concubinage or incest. Nothing has evolved since.

            • Jdonnell

              Read the other response to my comment, where the passage refers to adultery. You are taking what used to be called a casuistic approach.

          • DE-173

            The exception properly read (not that you would do THAT) is that you don’t cause a spouse to commit adultery if you divorce for pre-existing adultery.

            “But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.”
            Matthew 5:32
            It does not say you may “put away” wife a wife and be free to remarry if she commited adulterty.

            • Jdonnell

              Nor does he say that the man is not free to marry again.

              • DE-173

                Well, Lutheran adiaphora and Anglican latitudinarianism just had a baby called JDonnelll.

                Don’t you have a conference call from Obama to listen to?

                • Jdonnell

                  The emptiness of your argument sounds like something spoken from the deck of a sinking tub.

                  • DE-173

                    The emptiness of your argument sounds like something spoken from the surface of a stinking sea.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              A common reading of μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ, based on Hellenic Jewish usage, is that πορνείᾳ refers to a forbidden union.

              Thus, in the Septuagint translation of Deut 23:2, the Hebrew word מַמְזֵ֖ר [Mamzer] is translated as εκ πόρνης, literally “one born of a harlot.” Now, in Jewish law, a mamzer is a child born of a forbidden union, that is, one born of parents within the forbidden degrees of marriage specified in Leviticus 18:6-17, or of a married woman’s adultery.

              Again, we find St Paul using πορνείᾳ in 1 Cor 5 in reference to the man who had married his father’s wife. This would be very much in accordance with rabbinic usage.

              The sense of Matt 19:9 would thus be, “unless the union is a forbidden one.” It is clear enough that Our Lord is not referring to adultery, for He uses the ordinary Greek word for adultery – μοιχός in the same passage.

        • Michael Haas

          Yea, but he didn’t say anything about denying them communion or the ostracization from the Church

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            That’s rather pointless, isn’t it? You don’t men to say that sinners weren’t obliged to repent and do penance, do you? Christ said nothing specifically about murder either, but I’m not taking that absence as His endorsement of it. In any case, what “ostracization” are you talking about? Who’s doing it? Where? Have you heard any specific remarks from the pulpit “ostracizing” people in irregular marriages? I haven’t. I’ve heard plenty, though, about how I should not be “judgmental.”

      • JP

        Anyone who has read the writings of the Church Fathers know that the Church of Rome followed Christ’s teachings about marriage going back to the first and second centuries. Nothing theologically evolved.

        • DE-173

          Why is it that you insist on letting facts intrude on a good rant?

    • Patrick Kellems

      I must be nice to have such moral clarity. Blanket statements about all the divorced and remarried are misguided. We as humans live complicated and messy lives. We are all sinners. Nothing has come out of the Synod but discussion. You my friend have taken the bait of the secular press hook, line and sinker. I think the best thing for us to do is to look at all people for what they are, children of God. God bestows the same love and grace in each one of them. Yes, they may have strayed off the path but it is our responsibility as Catholics to bring them back not condemn them and drive them further away. What many of the Bishops and Pope Francis are saying is we need to look past the sin and focus on the sinner. In Mathew 28:19 Jesus tells us to “go make disciples of all nations”. Our work is not in our own churches but out in the world focusing on those that are not in churches or have no faith, the deep water. Share that passion for your faith with all you come in contact with and let them see through your actions the promise and joy of a life devoted to Jesus Christ.

      • Look past the sin and focus on the sinner….I like it. It’s sort of like what Jesus did when he focused on the sinner and said…”from now on, avoid this sin….”

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Is anyone here condemning anyone else? To take the hackneyed but apt example: Christ did not condemn the woman about to be stoned for adultery, but He did admonish her to Go and sin no more. We can’t avoid that admonition either, can we?

        • Patrick Kellems

          “Clearly these people are living in a state of mortal sin, which is besides a public sin.” Doesn’t this sound like condemnation? Is it not hypocritical to “admonish” someone for their sin while you are guilty of other sins? We are all sinners. Mathew 7:4 “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” I don’t know about you but it takes all my time keeping my life in order. Hopefully if I live my life the way I want to it will provide an example to those that have chosen a different path. They will see in my life and my heart the joy and mercy that only God can give. It is not a mercy I have earned or even deserve but is a gift from Christ to ALL of us no matter how flawed. Do you think you are any more deserving of that mercy than anyone else? I certainly don’t. If we can truly reveal to someone the error of their ways is it not better to do so in such a manner that will bring them into the flock as opposed to driving them away? We do that by the way we live our own lives not by pointing out what rules they violated.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Not condemnation, Patrick, but acknowledgment. I don’t say that it’s easy, but hold firm that it’s necessary. Don’t the Spiritual Works of mercy bind us to that duty, to admonish and correct sinners? In any case, who these days is hurling moral thunderbolts and threats of Divine Retribution? In my own experience, sins of the flesh are not even mentioned from the pulpit, much less condemned.

            I myself am no righteous crusader, as I think neither are most of the posters here. But many of us increasingly are placed in circumstances where we must respond to strident demands from people who want to be assured that they’re not doing anything wrong, that their “lifestyle” ( the quotes indicate my weariness with that cliche) is equally valid and should receive the Church’s approbation. I can’t do that, and neither can the Church. I’m all in favor of mercy and forgiveness, but it can only be conferred where there is sincere repentance and a firm purpose of amendment. And that’s precisely what’s most obviously absent from many of our fellow sinners.

            • Patrick Kellems

              I am not saying to tolerate the intolerable. What I am saying is the Christ charged all of us to grow the flock. The methods we have used in the past clearly are not working. I am not saying change Church doctrine to fit the needs of the society we live in. The Catholic Church has stood the test of time because our faith has been consistent in our beliefs. He didn’t provide a written copy of all the things we should and should not do He provided us with something much better the Church. We have the Magisterium to answer the questions that Jesus didn’t address. The Church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit will guide us through these troubled times as it has done in the past. We will continue because this is God’s Church and we are just part of it.
              How many people have you brought into the flock with your too bad you broke the rules you are done forever perspective? When you stand before your Maker seeking mercy how will your actions measure up then? Christ is about love and if we don’t reflect that and offer that then we are heading in the wrong direction.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                But Patrick, that’s precisely my point: no one is “condemning” anything that’s under discussion here. I’m not referring to the “methods of the past,” which, although far from perfect are still preferable to what we have now which is literally nothing, nihil. I am referring to the reality of the present, which has been with us for several decades: Cohabiting couples are routinely married without even mentioning the need to reflect on the Church’s teaching, contraception is never – repeat, never – explored, much less condemned. The tragic fruits of rampant gay promiscuity – thousands dead, who could still be alive – cannot be attributed to the specific behavior that produced that sad outcome. It’s much better to be “tolerant.” The only genuine condemnation I have heard in the pulpit in decades is of those who are “judgmental,” which would obviously apply to many of us here. By that standard, Christ Himself really lost it when He pitched the moneychangers out of the Temple.

                • Patrick Kellems

                  I agree with your assertion that the clergy has done a poor job of watching and growing the flock. It has also done a poor job of relaying the truths of our faith. So what do we do about it?

                  • Glenn M. Ricketts

                    Good question. Pray certainly. Don’t flinch from proclaiming the Truth within the limits of individual circumstances. Sign up to teach CCD or RCIA. Correct error where you can realistically do so. Example: a colleague recently asked Well, what are you going to do now? You believe in papal infallibility, don’t you? You’ve just been given your marching orders by the Pope. It took about a half hour, but I was able to straighten out that mis-impression.

                    But the most honest answer, Patrick, is that I don’t know. I’m searching for guidance, invoking the aid of Michael the Archangel, and clinging with trepidation to the Barque of Peter. In any case, you and I don’t seem to be adversaries, just brothers in Christ searching for His guidance. March with me, brother.

                    • Patrick Kellems

                      I hope I am no ones adversary but the devil. I share your frustration. I would encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and do some street evangelization. Straightening out your friend is a good start but I mean with people you don’t know. We set up a booth at the local fall festival and gave out rosaries and medals as well as Catholic literature. But most of all we just listened. We met all kinds of people. People of no faith or other faiths, disgruntled Catholics that had left the Church, atheists, the curious and those seeking what’s missing in their life. It changed my perspective about what I should be doing and how I should be doing it. My job is not to defend the Church although we did straighten out some misconceptions. My job was to plant the seed for the Holy Spirit and then get out of the way.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Why do you think I am in a “comfort zone?” For someone who was castigating another poster for a stifling sense of certainly earlier, you seem to have a great deal of it yourself. I’m glad that you had such an experience, but I wouldn’t be so quick to reach conclusions about other people who do other things. As I said, march with me.

                    • JMJ

                      Why all of a sudden is this (these) whole issue(s) a problem? Why should the Church “dummy down” to the flock instead of lifting them out of their sin by preaching repentence and conversion? It’s as simple as Jesus said and is still saying, “Go, and sin no more.” End of problem. The enemy (the devil, just in case you want to know who the real enemy is) is the one who sows confusion.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      It’s an issue precisely because the Church has declined to preach as you suggest – hence, this discussion thread.

                    • jacobhalo

                      This “dummy down” began with Vatican II.

                    • jacobhalo

                      Listen to Charles Stanley, a Baptist preacher. He preaches like they preached pre-Vatican II.

                  • DE-173

                    Here’s how you structure it:
                    Condition: (What is) People leaving the Church, being inactive or lax….
                    Criteria (What should be) A growing and dedicated flock.
                    Cause (the proximate and direct cause or causes of the condition)
                    Note: We are using methods of the past is inspecific and insufficient. What methods?
                    Effect: (Why It Matters) -Souls being lost; failing the Great Commission.
                    Recommendation. (What should be done to mitigate or abate the disparity between the condition and criteria)
                    Note: Saying we must abandon the inspecific “methods” of the past is not a relevant, significant ,useful or actionable course of action. The recommendation must be concrete, specific, relevant, significant and feasible.
                    When you can fill in the cause and the recommendation, we have a basis to discuss your finding.

              • orientstar

                I can only repeat my earlier comment – thank you Patrick!

                • DE-173

                  Repitition is as boring as mutual admiration societies.

                  • orientstar

                    So I can only agree once? Didn’t know that rule, sorry. Actually I just read one post and replied to it thenI read the second one which was even better. What’s so wrong with admiration anyway?

                    • DE-173

                      No, but the point of a comment box is to offer something other than unspecified agreement. If that’s all youu have , hit the up arrow. Otherwise your wasting screen space.

              • DE-173

                “I am not saying to tolerate the intolerable. What I am saying is the Christ charged all of us to grow the flock. The methods we have used in the past clearly are not working.”

                What specific methods do you take issue with; or is this just the religious equivalent of “hope and change”?

                • Patrick Kellems

                  Statistics show that 10 percent of the nations population are former Catholics. What further proof do you need.

                  http://www.catholicreview.org/blogs/fertile-soil/2012/05/07/thirty-million-former-catholics-what-can-we-learn

                  • I’d go further: 70% of Catholics don’t practice the faith. IOW, they are not Catholics at all. They may say “Lord, Lord”, but they never pay Him a visit, don’t know Him. I’m afraid that they are just lukewarm, to whom Our Lord would rather spit out.

                    • guesto3

                      Pray for them. And pray that the shepherds will chance leaving the flock to go find them….that’s what Francis is urging….like what Christ hoped for His own shepherds in training.

                  • DE-173

                    Let me repeat the question:

                    What SPECIFIC methods do you take issue with; or is this just the religious equivalent of “hope and change”?

                    Do you understand it now?

                    • guesto3

                      The Pharisaical approach….hypocritical approach by the shepherds themselves who did not acknowledge their own fallibility….clericalism.

                    • DE-173

                      I have no idea what you are saying here. Correction, I have no idea how it relates to the matter at hand. Explain.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      ????

                  • Glenn M. Ricketts

                    Proof of what? Do we know WHY they left? Could some of them possibly have been alienated by the “progressive” reforms of the past several decades?

                    • Maryg

                      Yes , many did in fear that it had turned in the wrong direction.

                    • guesto3

                      Well, if they wanted orthodoxy and really had the Faith to begin with then how could they ever leave the Eucharist? They always had Him, body. blood, soul, and divinity. Where else could they find that fullness of Presence?? Just an excuse. Others in other times much more challenging would never run away from the Truth and even gave their lives.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Actually, I was told by some priests that the liturgy was changed so drastically precisely because the Church had “evolved” beyond our belief in the Real Presence. We didn’t of course, but it was easy to get that impression.

                  • Martha

                    But our mistake as a whole (the Catholic Church) has been precisely to abandon the ‘old ways.’ It was only when the new, softer version of Catholicism and crappy Jesus-loves-you felt banner catechesis showed up that everyone hit the road. If there’s no hell, and you’re not being held accountable or condemned for anything, why be a Catholic at all?

                    • PSdan

                      “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it” (F. O’Connor)

                    • The Truth

                      Vatican II was the beginning of the Church becoming more protestant.

                    • jacobhalo

                      That is why the SSPX won’t accept Vat.II.

                • The Truth

                  Sounds like the same socialist mantra we are getting from our President. Sounds like relativism to me.

              • Maryg

                You are speaking of people who are repentant . That is not the case they are talking about people who do not share the truths of our faith. It is not the methods of the church that are not working it is the rejection of the church’s teaching on sin that has almost destroyed the family. A perfect example is Humanae Vitae. When Pope Paul VI wrote this encyclical in the 60’s so many of the bishops and clergy rejected it and turned a blind eye to the flock that also rejected it and used contraception. You seem to forget that all, and it is not the majority who really try to live their faith as God asks us to, and it is not easy, their families have not been destroyed. The statistics in 2008 were that 75% of people who call themselves Catholic do NOT believe that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord. 1 in 4 go to Mass every Sunday and how many do not even bother to get married in the church? The increase of annulments went from 465 to 50,000 ( it being so much easier to get one). all of this has only made things worse not better. So to want to act as if it is our lack of compassion is insulting. The church has always tried to reach out to everyone, this is nothing new with this papacy.

                • guesto3

                  Perhaps we forget that in the seminaries prior to Humanae Vitae the future priests were taught/led to believe that contraception would be allowed, given rationalizations for such, were also expecting priests allowed to be married et al. When that did not happen there was a resentment of spirit and people were told things from the pulpit and in the confessional that caused real confusion to their consciences…and human nature being what it is, used those rationalizations to justify the easy way out. And they too then later became resentful and left for those fundamental types for a greater sense of security.

                  • Glenn M. Ricketts

                    If I may ask, were you one such seminarian?

                  • Joseph

                    guesto3,
                    You have stated it correctly to the letter!

              • guesto3

                Trouble is, in reality, we don’t see too many great sinners flocking to our houses of worship (of course they’re closed most of the time and the flock is all divided into groups that service the choir) for fear of the self anointed who demand a kind of perfection before anyone dare enter. Christ moved into the situation of sin and personally effected the individual with mercy and guidance before he/she even approached or felt worthy of such closeness. Too much fear today of “smelling like the sheep”.

            • Lagosunshine

              Spiritual work of mercy.

              You are a hypocrite through and through. Now – repent. Judge not that you bring not judgement upon yourself. Which is exactly what you are doing and so lost in your own pride you can’t see it.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about. I can’t see any connection to what I wrote.

          • Martha

            Have you ever heard of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, Patrick? Sounds like you could use a brush-up.

            To instruct the ignorant;
            To counsel the doubtful;
            To admonish sinners;
            To bear wrongs patiently;
            To forgive offences willingly;
            To comfort the afflicted;
            To pray for the living and the dead.

            Notice particularly the 1st and 3rd. You’ve also perhaps heard of ‘scandal’ somewhere. Sinful actions can lead others into sin. People can be very sheep-like at times, and we are our brothers keepers in this way.

          • Maryg

            They are not driven away they won’t accept church teaching. You may lovingly invite people to your home but will you let them do as they please and you will say nothing to them? When you do say something and they do not agree with you and tell you that you are too rigid, inflexible, self righteous etc. you care more about your rules of the home etc. will there leaving your home mean that you drove them away? Of course not.
            The Church is NOT about conforming to the world. The world
            rather needs to conform to the Church’s teachings. For this to happen the Church needs to speak out and speak out without the ambiguity we’ve had for the past 50 or so years.
            Of course what Jesus taught us is way more important than any material thing but I don’t think you would let anyone trample, disregard or take over your home because they feel they have a right to.

          • michael susce

            “We do that by the way we live our own lives not by pointing out what rules they violated” This ethical application will guide me when I discover someone who is molesting a child. I will not point out that they are breaking a rule so I will not drive them away and hopefully they will stop by observing the way I live my life i.e. not molesting a child. Now I can substitute any act, no matter how reprehensible and react in a similar manner. Cool. Also this ethic will prevent any vehement persecution and hatred that may come my way if I should confront someone that is sinning. Easy peasy.
            But, I am confused by one point; Isn’t Patrick condemning Glenn’s behavior which contradicts his ethic?

            • Kali777

              Ummm if they were molesting a child you would have a civic, ethical and religious duty to report that to the police, not just showcase your lifestyle to the offender and hope that he or she will change because they are so impressed with your virtuous lifestyle.

        • Maryg

          No we can’t avoid that admonition, that is the problem. That is goal of the liberals in the synod: to not admonish the sinner just embrace them and look the other way and they will gradually change. Anyone who refuses to believe they are in sin is not going to be repentant or change and therefore receiving Jesus even once would be a sacrilege. What I find amusing are those who speak of people living in sin as having special circumstances for living that way( don’t we all) and we should accommodate their state of life. GO and sin no more, now not eventually, someday.

        • guesto3

          Trouble is today that most of the time the shepherds pass by and miss the encounter/teaching opportunity, tossing legalisms instead.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Sorry, but your meaning escapes me. Please explain?

            • DE-173

              So it’s not just me..

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                No, that makes two of us.

        • Johnny Rango

          Arguably we can avoid that admonition, given that most Biblical scholars now say that the “Go and sin no more” episode wasn’t something the historical Jesus likely said, as it’s only found in later copies of the NT. John 8.1-11 isn’t in the earliest manuscripts we have of John.

          • DE-173

            What “Biblical scholars”?

            • Johnny Rango

              The ones that study the ancient manuscripts of the NT. John 8.1-11 simply isn’t in the early manuscripts of John. It only appears in later manuscripts. Since you asked for names, Origen was the 1st Biblical scholar to note that 8.1-11 was an interpolation. During the 16th Century, Western European scholars – both Catholic and Protestant – sought to recover the most correct Greek text of the New Testament, rather than relying on the Vulgate Latin translation. At this time, it was noticed that a number of early manuscripts containing John’s Gospel lacked John 7:53-8:11 inclusive; and also that some manuscripts containing the verses marked them with critical signs, usually a lemniscus orasterisk. It was also noted that, in the lectionary of the Greek church, the set gospel reading for Pentecost runs from John 7:37 to 8:12, but skips over the twelve verses of this pericope.

              Beginning with Lachmann (in Germany, 1840), reservations about the pericope became more strongly argued in the modern period, and these opinions were carried into the English world by Samuel Davidson (1848–1851), Tregelles (1862), and others; the argument against the verses being given body and final expression in Hort (1886). Those opposing the authenticity of the verses as part of John are represented in the 20th century by men like Cadbury (1917), Colwell (1935), and Metzger (1971).

              According to Henry Alford and F. H. A. Scrivener the passage was added by John in a second edition of the Gospel along with 5:3.4 and the 21st chapter. Hope this helps.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                It doesn’t help me understand your statement that “go and sin no more” may not be necessary anymore. The Church’s teaching authority rest on much more than recondite academic speculations, doesn’t it?

                • Johnny Rango

                  They are not “recondite academic speculations.” When you come to John 8, the NIV study bible states that those passages I cited do not appear in the earliest manuscripts. That’s not a speculation, it’s a fact. If your concern is the Church’s teaching authority, then consult them on the issue if it bothers you.

                  • Glenn M. Ricketts

                    But that wasn’t my point, was it? If “go and sin no more” doesn’t occur there, do you infer that we are no longer bound by the idea it embraces? That was my question. What is your answer?

                    • Johnny Rango

                      If it’s true that Jesus didn’t actually say it, then how are we “bound” by John 8:1-11? The passage is about who Jesus forgives…the ultimate answer to that question is not readily apparent to me.

                    • Athelstane

                      This pericope in John 8 remains part of the Canon of Scripture according to the Church; there has never been a hint that this will change. Therefore, it retains all of its force as a premise for the Magisterium of the Church.

                      In any event, the Scripture scholars cited, while not without some insight, are Protestants.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      It puts me in mind of another “scholarly consensus” to the effect that Mass cum populo was the ancient norm. We’re still picking up the pieces from that bit of bad advice.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Aren’t still bound to admonish sinners – ourselves and others – to desist from their sin. whether or not a particular Biblical passage is authentic? I’m not so ready to part with that particular one, by the way, because I’m aware of how tenuous and prone to revision an academic consensus often is. But even conceding the point for the moment, I don’t think we need it to establish the teaching it embodies.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            But even if that conjecture were true, surely the need to sin no more remains, doesn’t it?

            • Johnny Rango

              It’s not “conjecture,” it’s a finding by many mainstream biblical scholars. The “throw stones” passage in John is of dubious authenticity because it’s not found in the earliest manuscripts of John.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                But what is your answer to my question?

          • jacobhalo

            Is the quote from Jesus to the Jews, “If you don’t believe that I am He, you will die in your own sins.” still valid?

            • Johnny Rango

              It depends what you mean by “valid,” I guess.

          • jacobhalo

            After 2000 years, they just realized that?

            • Johnny Rango

              What “they” just realized “what”?

        • Lagosunshine

          You are not Christ.

          He ‘admonished’ the stone throwers and when they realised they couldn’t throw stones – He said he wouldn’t either.

          You know what they say about people living in glass houses.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            I cited His words. What do you mean?

      • JP

        Yes, it is all fault of the secular press. But, I read the draft report without the help of the secular press. Archbishop Forte insertion of the infamous paragraphs wasn’t done by the AP, Reuters, or CNN. And it wasn’t Fox News or CBS but Cardinal Kasper that calls for provisional absolution for divorced and remarried couples (Something Pope Francis is willing to consider).

        And it wasn’t the Washington Post that wrote the 19th Chapter of the Gospel of Saint Matthew. Nice try.

      • fredx2

        And the practical effect of what you are suggesting is that we completely ignore a major teaching of Jesus. It’s the old “everyone gets a trophy” approach.
        There is no reason that communion has to be taken by the divorced and remarried. They can be accepted with warmth in the church in a hundred other ways, but to simply accept all sinners with no strings attached is probably the worse example you could set. Yes, Jesus accepted all repentant sinners. Not those who think they did nothing wrong

        • Michael Haas

          “There is no reason that communion has to be taken by the divorced and remarried.”

          Can you point out where Jesus teaches to refuse communion to the divorced and remarried ?

          • Can you point out where Jesus teaches that we cannot use reason informed by faith and only refer to his sayings?

          • DE-173

            No. Jesus NEVER taught anything about Communion, other than to initiate the practice and commision his disciples to “do this”.

            On the other hand HE never taught unrestricted reception.

            Have anything other than canards to offer?

          • jacobhalo

            No, Jesus never did, but he gave the Apostles the power to “what you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. What you loose on earth will be loose in heaven.” Jesus Christ is the founder of the Catholic church, with an unbroken line of popes from St. Peter to pope Francis I.

          • Mary Jo Anderson

            A sober teaching on reception of Communion is found in 1Corinthians 11:23-34, “he who eats and drinks of the Lord’s body unworthily drinks damnation unto himself…”

            What is unworthily? at the very least it ought to include what Jesus Himself said on marriage– divorce and remarriage is adultery, and ever was so “from the beginning” when in the garden God joined them as one flesh. Marriage is a sacrament. You cannot undo a sacrament–not possible to un-baptize, for instance, though it is ignored and repudiated, the baptism is still valid.

            The difficulty we have now within the Church is that formation, catechetical instruction and marriage preparation have been woefully inadequate in many dioceses. The result is that too few Catholics knew what marriage meant before they married. Now, we have the pastoral difficulty of reconciling many who truly did not understand the commitment.

            • And now many of those bishops responsible for watering down Church teaching that led to the current state of affairs are at the synod trying to make their errors the norm.

      • orientstar

        Thank you Patrick – I appreciate your comments.

        • DE-173

          In my youth, this sort of unrestrained PDA was met with a derisive injunction.

          “Get a room”.

      • FernieV

        “Blanket statements about all the divorced and remarried are misguided.” Says who? Not the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
        “We as humans live complicated and messy lives.” Not quite. I know many, many people who are living wonderfully Christian lives, without making much noise about it.
        “We are all sinners.” Nothing further from the truth. I go to confession regularly…
        “I think the best thing for us to do is to look at all people for what they are, children of God. God bestows the same love and grace in each one of them.” We are in perfect agreement.
        “Yes, they may have strayed off the path but it is our responsibility as Catholics to bring them back not condemn them and drive them further away.” Actually, we need to evangelize them with our example and our conversation in order to bring them back to the sacraments, especially the sacrament of confession and encourage my family and Catholic friends to do the same.
        “Share that passion for your faith with all you come in contact with and let them see through your actions the promise and joy of a life devoted to Jesus Christ.” I really, really try to do that. And I know that the way is to bring them to the Truth (the unalloyed teachings of Christ and his Church) because the Truth will make them free. Regarding marriage, divorce is condemned by Christ himself.

        • Patrick Kellems

          Fernie, What a truly blessed person you are. If you are not a sinner then why do you go to confession?

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Where does he claim not to be a sinner?

      • Holy smokes

        I cannot condem anyone, not even myself. That is God´s judgement (although Jesus gave Peter significant power with the Keys, Matt 16:18). On the other hand, I can condem the vice be it mine or others (though mine first). If I fail to do that I will be judged for my lack of love and my apathy. Sentimentalism is, next to Pride, one of the greatest spiritual maladies.

        The moral clarity I have is borne of 2000 years of Christians suffering at the hands of active and passive evil. Please don´t be too quick to judge moral clarity because that would be judging all those who have died to keep morality clear.

        On the topic of divorce and remarriage, a wise women recently stated, “before divorce became so easy, we actually had to work out our problems, and we did.” I have to show love to my family everyday because it is right for me, my wife and my children. It is also right for society. Divorce is the scourge of civilization, not the panacea.

        • GREAT post….You echo what I’ve thought for years: “Divorce is the scourge of the earth.”

          • Watosh

            Amen, amen.

          • DE-173

            “A crime perpetrated against children by two adults.”

            -Now with the assistance of the state in promoting the idea that it can be “equitable”.

            Attributed to an 18th Century Frenchman, whose name eludes me now.

      • Tim Danaher

        Patrick, I would like to take issue with your statement, “Our work is not in our own churches but out in the world focusing on those that are not in churches or have no faith, the deep water.” If the latest Pew Research study showing 85% of self identified young Catholics accept homosexuality, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/10/16/young-u-s-catholics-overwhelmingly-accepting-of-homosexuality/com. The Pew report also uses the language from the draft Relatio. How can we evangelize and teach the truths of the Catholic faith to the world when 70% of all self identified Catholic either don’t know the faith or reject it? The Church was counter-cultural at its beginning, and needs to be counter-cultural again.
        I’m reminded of C.S. Lewis’ three L’s concerning Christ. He is either a Liar, a Lunatic, or the Lord. If we project this same test to today’s Church – the Body of Christ – are we accurately projecting, teaching, and living the Christian life God expects from us and will judge us on at our death? Are we knowingly advocating or ignoring the Church’s teaching on moral issues (Lying)? Are we presenting the faith from a position of ignorance (Lunacy)? Or are we honestly living and professing all the Church’s deposit of faith (The Lord)? We need to clean up our houses, parishes, and dioceses and know the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic faith taught by Christ and entrusted to us.

      • 1Indioviejo1

        It is our duty to convert the savage Muslims. Islam is a satanic cult and Jesus told us to “go make disciples of all nations.” Why then does the Church condone Interfaith Dialogues with Monsters? Why have our Popes engaged in this duplicitous behaviour? I fear this latest scandal coming out of the synod is more along those lines of accommodating our eternal faith to temporal trends.

    • guesto3

      After decades of hearing nothing but confusion itself from the “shepherds” by the faithful at least finally Pope Francis is acting on this awareness of the accountability of the hierarchy and pastors. In such a session where each is made to become aware of the mess out there, their own complicity and finally face it, he’s allowed for them all to see what it’s like to continue the status quo of simply hiding behind legalisms when so much of a real pastoral approach has been neglected for so long.

      Yep, the purifying should and is starting at the top….and this Pope, with his real encounter of life in the street and dedication to all of the most vulnerable…..can sniff out the proper outwardly attired self anointed but inwardly tried and failed types.

      • What church is that which has neglected pastoral approaches for legalisms? Surely it’s not the Catholic Church in the pagan West.

    • Joseph

      FernieV,

      Please, do not put yourself in the Judgement Seat of Jesus Christ! Youdon’t have a clue as to the state of anyone’s soul before God! Don’t you remember what Jesus said, Judge not, lest you be judged? Whatever judgement you judge, you shall be judged.

  • NormChouinard

    Quoting from the article

    “Could these bishops be so naïve as to believe the press wouldn’t spin the Relatio?” “Is it possible the bishops are blind to the effect of that Relatio—now the entire Synod is in danger of being driven by the media, much as the release of Humanae Vitae was?” And, “Whose idea was it to publish the Relatio in the first place, especially as the intervention statements themselves remained unpublished?”

    These are strange questions from the genuine if anonymous Catholic media. Why is the Catholic media behaving like the msm? Everyone knew before that no weight of church doctrine could emerge from an extraordinary synod. Why is the Catholic media adding to the confusion?

    The primary focus of “synod” cannot be how the press will mangle the reporting of the event.

    Fr. Barron has it exactly right.

    http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/having-patience-for-the-sausage-making-synod/4517/

    • GG

      Spin. It is not the media. It is the document and those who wriote the document that caused the problem. Stop the spin. It is not sausage making or such blarney. It is a deeper problem to grasp for those with eyes who choose to see.

      • NormChouinard

        Have some faith in the HS and Mother Church. Last time I checked, respect for the teaching authority of the magisterium was in that doctrine that you trying to your credit to protect.

        • GG

          Traitors who undermine the faith are not the authority. That is why the good men stood up with Christ and called out those who would dare teach error to the flock.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          At the moment, I’m trying to figure out what “teaching” is being propounded. I can’t see the Holy Spirit at the Synod, just a lot of human fallibility and presumption.

          • jacobhalo

            The Devil fought the Holy Spirit at the synod, so far the Holy Spirit is winning.

            • Glenn M. Ricketts

              At times, it’s seemed as if some bishops are fighting the Holy Spirit as well.

            • I disagree. The Holy Spirit lost this battle. The genie is out of the box.

        • JP

          Norm, I think you have it backwards. It is Pope Francis who is at odds with the teaching authority of the magesterium – it isn’t us.

          • NormChouinard

            Un, the Synod is the magisterium, no?

            • GG

              No, the Synod is advising the Pope. The Synod is not the teaching authority.

              • NormChouinard

                Yes Bishops and the Pope are the magisterium.
                CCC2034 The Roman Pontiff and the bishops are “authentic
                teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people entrusted to them, the faith to be believed and put into practice.”76 The ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him teach the faithful the truth to believe, the charity to practice, the beatitude to hope for.

                • GG

                  Note it says ordinary and universal magisterium. That is not a Synod of Cardinals discussing homosexuals. Even the Cardinals themselves publicly stated the document is not Church teaching.

                • jacobhalo

                  The Magisterium is the teachings of the church. What Pope Francis the Heretic and his Merry Band of Heretics proposed heretical teachings.

                • Glenn M. Ricketts

                  What exactly are they teaching on this occasion?

    • JP

      I think you are overplaying the media’s reaction. What happened nearly two weeks ago was unprecedented. Lest we forget, there are some subjects with the Church that are not open for debate. The indissolubility of marriage is one of them. All of a sudden that subject was open for “discussion” (and according to Pope Francis, it still is). Thirty years ago, a feminist reporter asked Pope John Paul II why he won’t even discuss the ordination of female priests. His answer was simple: It wasn’t up to him or any man to make that decision, for Christ made it for them. There are things which are not open for debate.

      Pope Francis is opening up a debate on marriage that should never be opened in the first place. And the Press is just doing its job.

      • jcsmitty

        It was my understanding that the synod was called to find ways to better communicate the beauty of marriage and address the problems in society such as cohabitation. It’s sad that the media — with the help of liberal bishops –tried to turn it into something else, but the Church has an obligation to evangelize Catholics and non-Catholics alike to turn their lives back to God. Ignoring the secularization of societies is not a solution.

        • jacobhalo

          Ignoring the teachings of the church is not a solution.

          • jcsmitty

            We’re both in agreement on that.

    • fredx2

      No, that’s the point, Everyone did not know that nothing of consequence could come of the synod. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter even told us that this represented an earthquake in terms of Church teaching..

      The problem is the media’s attempt to derail a synod of the family and make it into whatever they wanted to make it. And they did so. No one heard anything at all about he beautiful Catholic conception of the family, No one came to understand the deep well of truth that supports the Catholic idea of the family.

      Instead, we had gays, and divorced and “Pope Francis bravely tries to change stuck in the mud Church”.

      This is the disaster that was the synod. The church found itself completely unable to get its message out. Not only was it drowned out, it was hijacked and used for another purpose, a purpose directly contrary to what the church was trying to get done

      • NormChouinard

        “Everyone did not know that nothing of consequence could come of the synod.” This is factually incorrect. Extraordinary Synod means is the biginning of the process and carries no weight, period, What I find surprising about these comment is that anyone who is paying attention knows the rules. I knew long ago that leaves out the msm and NCR. I didn’t know it included Catholic media and the readers of Crisis.

        You all seem to have a lot more in common with the msm and NCR than I ever dreamed or nightmared. There are a lot of similarities here to Martin Luther’s complaints. Faithful Catholics don’t get to pick and choose when then feel like supporting the magisterium. Trust and respect to the teaching authority of the magisterium is central to the Catholic faith. To say otherwise is apostasy.

        • GG

          The magisterium, correctly defined, does not teach error. Claiming deviant desires should be valued is not from Christ.

          So, we are not talking about the magisterium but about those who would usurp the magisterium.

          • jcsmitty

            Not every bishop who attended the councils of the church in history was correct, but in the end the Holy Spirit made sure the church never taught error. Even if Pope Francis was some heretic in disguise, as one commenter suggested, we have Christ’s promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. In spite of himself, Pope Francis is UNABLE to teach infallibly something which is against faith or morals. In the end, the church will still be “on the rock.”

            • GG

              But this was not an ecumenical council. It was a Synod.

              • jcsmitty

                I understand that, GG. My point is that heretic bishops have been around from the beginning of the church, whether in councils, synods, etc., but none of them can do ultimate harm to the church. Read Fr. Barron’s latest writing on the synod in which he makes that very point, citing councils to prove his points.

                • GG

                  I did read it. Pure spin.

        • DE-173

          Cardinal Kasper = Cardinal Wolsey.

    • DE-173

      “Could these bishops be so naïve as to believe the press wouldn’t spin the Relatio?”

      Well, one Cardinal was naive enough to accept the assurances of Barack Obama, so sure.

  • St JD George

    Crisis was ablaze these last few weeks, reaching near records of comments on the subject. I’m still heartened that over 3/4 of the bishops rejected the watered down language, even if it is still troubling that 1/4 didn’t. I’m thankful to have you Mary and others keep us informed. I’m of the mindset now to watch carefully and see how the process plays out without getting to unhinged in the interim. We all know that we are called to “mercifully love the sinner while rejecting the sinful behavior”, something that we don’t always do and sometimes forgetting out own capacity for sin. However, that also disingenuously ignores that there is militant force in the world today attempting to institutionalize this sin using the power of law so this is not an ordinary circumstance either.

  • NormChouinard

    Central questions the church agrees needs attention and clarification: “How shall the Church speak with pastoral care to the divorced and civilly remarried? What hope should we offer to those with homosexual inclinations?”

    Thinking through the following and would appreciate feedback. Catholics often view celibacy as a charism, specifically an honoring of sex as confined to the marital relations (See JPII and the Theology of the Body). Could a faithful Catholic with SSA consider his/her SSA as a Charism?

    • Feedback: No, not really….. disordered inclinations not = charisms….

    • Daniel P

      Well, here’s the question: When Jesus says, “Some are born eunuchs”, is he referring to homosexuals? In the ancient context, that seems genuinely possible. (In the Arabian world, eunuchs were not uncommon, and presumably some of them were chosen to be eunuchs because they did not appear fit for marriage. I don’t know all the historical details, though.)

      If he was referring to homosexuals, then it seems like their “eunuchhood” could be a charism chosen out for them by God, which parallels celibacy for the kingdom, but is not self-selected. I do not think this means, however, that homosexuality — as such — is a charism. Homosexuality, as we usually talk about it, is an affective inclination directed toward people. Since straight people can be friends, it’s clearly not an inclination toward friendship. So it would appear to be an inclination toward sin. (At least, unless someone can explain what sorts of goods are particular giftings of a homosexual inclination).

      What *could* be a charism is one’s unfitness for marriage. That is not an inclination toward sin. I don’t know exactly what a theology of the charism of being a eunuch would look like, but I find it intriguing. One problem, though, is that many people who ARE fit for marriage also experience same-sex attraction at some point in their lives. So I’m not sure homosexuality would have anything to do with it, even if there was such a charism.

      • JP

        We’re talking perhaps of a demographic of 3-4% of the general population, tops. We could make the general assumption that the gay demographic within the Catholic Church mirrors the general population (3-4%). And of this 3-4%, there is probably an even smaller slice of the demographic that demands that gay couples be given the same status of straight couples within the church – probably less than 1% of the Catholic population worldwide.

        All of this begs the question: Why is the Vatican even visiting this issue? Why is the Vatican demanding that gay couples be given such a big spotlight when other issues concerning Catholic families are so pressing?

        • Tessa

          “Why is the Vatican even visiting this issue?”

          I agree! Why the intense focus on these sexual issues? Why not a synod to reach out to robbers and liars? Or gossipers? Or gluttons?

          The idea that the Church has to even spend this much time on addressing gays is ridiculous. The Church’s teaching is clear. Our approach to them should be the same as any other sinner concerning any other sin. The Church has fallen into the belief created by the secular media that it must address this issue.

          • Objectivetruth

            I agree 1,000,000 percent.

            Worldwide, there will be approximately 50 million abortions this year (see link below.) A huge chunk of Catholics on contraception use Humana Vitae to line their bird cages. Seriously, shouldn’t Rome be putting its crosshairs on these two concerns instead of whether or not we are hurting the feelings of “gays” by telling them they’re committing mortal sin?

            http://www.worldometers.info/abortions/

            • jcsmitty

              The synod was hardly limited to any one topic related to family and marriage. Natural Family Planning was mentioned, as was the beauty of marriage and children. The church has hardly ignored those with same sex attraction, offering them help to remain chaste via groups like Courage. Too many parishes do not publicize this help, unfortunately, and there should be a way to reach out to those with SSA to encourage them in a chaste life. That’s a far cry from caving to same sex “marriage,” which we know the church cannot and will not do.

              • Daniel P

                ABSOLUTELY, too few churches advertise Courage! I don’t understand it in the least. The only plausible conclusion is either that the priest (a) does not believe Church teaching on homosexuality, or (b) does not particularly care about same-sex attracted people.

                I don’t like either option. I suppose the priest might not have time, but then whoever DOES arrange these sorts of things either falls into category (a) or category (b). It’s very sad.

              • Objectivetruth

                You totally missed my point.

                What’s more a threat to the family: 50 million babies a year slaughtered in their mother’s womb, or two men going handbag shopping together? I’ll go with the former. Outside of reaffirming that homosexual acts and living out the “gay” lifestyle is a mortal sin, the discussion should have ended there. Satan is laughing at this diversionary dust up.

          • DE-173

            “Or gluttons?”

            I’m not a glutton, I’m hyperphagic. You really need to get over your phagophobia.

        • NormChouinard

          Good discussion. Thanks for the feedback, all. It is appreciated.

      • Homosexuality is neurosis acquired in one’s upbringing. No one is born homosexual.

        “Eunuch” is clearly being used as a metaphor for the celibate. In this vein, Jesus was born “eunuch”, He is not homosexual. Further on, Our Lord said that some make themselves eunuchs, or choose celibacy. I think that St. Paul would have been born, called from birth, to be celibate, while St. Peter, embraced it after becoming a widower to follow Our Lord.

        • Daniel P

          The passage says some were born eunuchs, some were made eunuchs by men, and some choose to live as eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. It’s pretty clear that Jesus fits in the third category, not the first. St. Paul surely CHOSE celibacy for the kingdom, and fits in the third category too.

          I’m not sure what Scriptural exegetes usually say here, but I very much doubt they say that Paul was born a eunuch.

          • It is a difficult passage, I think, because it seems that our Lord referred to eunuchs literally and allegorically in the same parable.

            But I’d argue that in no way someone born an eunuch could be thought of allegorically as a someone born homosexual. Eunuchs cannot perform genital sex, but those suffering from homosexuality can. Perhaps those born eunuchs are those born with defective genitals.

            And, of course, throughout history, boys were made eunuchs for rather mundane reasons.

            • Daniel P

              Thanks for your response. I do agree that “those born eunuchs” refers to those who cannot perform sexual relations from birth, but it may also have been more broadly applied. Some men are born very effeminate, even though they have functioning genitals. The ancients may have thought that these people were “born to be” eunuchs. I’m not qualified to say, although I have read enough ancient history to know that there were voluminous classifications of such things.

      • DE-173

        “If he was referring to homosexuals, then it seems like their “eunuchhood” could be a charism chosen out for them by God,”
        We tried that; we know now that a homosexual attraction is incompatible with the Priesthood.

        “One problem, though, is that many people who ARE fit for marriage also experience same-sex attraction at some point in their lives. ”

        In my life time I have known one homosexual well enough to have discussed the nature of his attraction. Direct quote: “I never got excited by “lady parts”, but show me “guy parts” and that got me really going”. I also know that he had “issues”, including some towards his parents and mentally disable brother.
        What that tells me that the attraction isn’t to the person, but to their body parts.

        I think SSA is misnamed; it is same sex excitement. Arousal is not attraction, any more than a shoe fetish is attraction or my preoccupation with my nine grade teacher’s “ample bosom” was attraction.

        All sexual impulses are powerful, especially when new, but we must master them, they must be directed and this is a lifelong effort.
        There is a constant theme in your posts a desperate and futile attempt to find some redeeming quality in your own temptation. Stop it.

        • I have Opposite Sex Attraction. Can it be a charism or should I keep what moves my hips to myself and God?

          • DE-173

            So do I. I can’t control it, therefore I’m going to give into my nature and tell me wife we’re moving to Utah, so she can have sister wives.

        • Daniel P

          The post above has nothing to do with me. I’m not a person who is exclusively attracted to men, and I’m not incapable of marriage. I am married, and I am faithfully married. In the above post, I am trying to figure out whether a particular scriptural passage might apply to people I know who DON’T experience sexual attraction to the opposite sex.

          If you read my post, I wasn’t actually very positive about applying the verse to gay people, precisely because I think same-sex attraction *doesn’t* have anything to do with any particular vocational capacity. I think it is, as the Vatican has said, a “more or less stable disposition to an objective moral evil.” My response to NormChouinard was, in essence, a no. And yet you say that I am desperately trying to find a redeeming quality in the temptation.

          I’m not sure how you find that in what I wrote. Can you explain?

          • DE-173

            Read your posts, you are constantly trying to find some value in SSA, to excuse it or to make special allowances for it.

            • Daniel P

              When I post at this website, I am often advocating for more sensitivity toward gay people, since I think some posters on this website err on the side of “justice”. When I post at websites like Spiritual Friendship, or other similar blogs, I usually advocate for an uncompromising view of one’s own brokenness, since little is to be gained by making excuses for oneself, and posters on those websites often err on the side of “mercy”.

              The fact that I experience the attraction myself does not make me disqualified from making comments about it. Also, I do not believe I have EVER made a special allowance for homosexuality. If you find a case where I have done so, please bring it before me, and I will repent.

    • fredx2

      I think the answer is contained in the Catechism. Acting on that SSA is not, but the graces that flow from controlling the SSA could be.

    • DE-173

      “What hope should we offer to those with homosexual inclinations?”

      The same hope it offers to the rest of us (which is most of us) that have indurate weaknesses or habituated sins; that we approach our death like St. Louis de Monfort is reported to have done; uttering relieved gladness for the fact that he would sin no more; or to acquire the capacity to laugh in the face of evil as St. John Vianney (right guy?) reportedly did when his bed burned.

    • SSA is intrinsically disordered (v. Familiaris Consortio). However, as any cross, it can be one’s redemption too. But never a charism, which is something meant to be shared with the People of God. Were it, it’d lead to scandal. Or so I think, based on my sinfulness, some of which is my cross.

      Come, Lord Jesus, come!

    • jcsmitty

      That’s like asking if someone tempted to alcoholism, pedophilia, sex outside of marriage, addictions, etc. has a “charism” because of a particular temptation. Temptations are not charisms.

  • Illinidiva

    Oh.. I’m assuming that Pope Francis knew exactly what would happen when he released the midterm Relatio. He wanted it to happen. And I’m excited to learn which parts of the midterm Relatio weren’t Orthodox.

    • jacobhalo

      You mean, you are excited to learn which parts of the midterm Relatio was not Catholic teachings.

      • Illinidiva

        Wow.. please tell me what parts of the Relatio contradicted Catholic teaching?

        • GG

          The parts that claim deviant desires are gifts to be valued.

          • Illinidiva

            Couldn’t being gay provide people with special gifts and sensitivities? That is the whole premise of the New Homophile Movement.

    • Think about it: Francis blocked reports from groups, he appointed the synod secretary, then he overrode the choice of redactors of the relatio by the bishops and appointed others. This is exactly what one would do if one wanted to control the outcome of the synod by controlling its process. And, given that all of his appointments agreed with the heretical propositions of the first relatio, Francis achieved what he wanted. Even if the Holy Spirit stirred some good bishops to mitigate the damage, that’s all that they achieved, its mitigation.

      May the Holy Spirit protect the Church from heresy and apostasy.

      • Illinidiva

        First, I’m not sure what was outside Church teaching in the Relatio. Maybe someone can tell me this. Second, may the Holy Spirit help Francis usher the Church into the 21st century.

  • JP

    It is interesting that Mary Jo Anderson didn’t mention the Thursday night insurrection of Synod bishops that forced Cdl Baldiserri to change the rules which allowed the Synod members to publish their interventions. Up until then, the public didn’t have definitive evidence just how much the Synod was split. Pope Francis was present at the heated meeting. According to reporters, he remained impassive as Cardinals Pell, Burke, and others voiced their anger. Baldiserri finally turned his head to Pope Francis, who gave a curt nod. That in and of itself indicated that much of crisis developed with the Pope’s concurrence. That is Archbishop Forte’s insertion of the contentious paragraphs dealing with married and divorced couples as well as gays had the backing of the Pope. Pope Francis was no mere bystander in all of this, but was a participant. The insertion of those paragraphs was done without the knowledge of the Synod Fathers.

    Few in the US Catholic media (either orthodox or heterodox) will even report on this possibility. Not even EWTN.

    • GG

      Shhh. Do not mention the obvious. That is a big no no. The central question is why were Liberals allowed to control the info? Why so many Liberals who seem homosexual friendly in positions of power?

      That will not be addressed publicly.

      • Holy smokes

        The leaders in most capacities in the western world are essentially pagan and sentimental. A pagan has no such mantra to love the “sinner” regardless of the “sin”. The sin against the pagan is anything, word or deed, that constrains unnatural freedoms. This was one of the main reasons the Romans hated the Christians. The solution, constant prayer and faith, like the early Christians. I´m even doing it as I write. Pax et Bonum

        • jacobhalo

          Talking about pagans. At the U. of Chicago, a Jesuit U. It approved a club called the “Loyola Student Pagan Alliance”, with its student organizer say the group aims to help pupils of the private college find the God they seek, not just the one found in the bible.

          • LarryCicero

            That’s Loyola University of Chicago-not University of Chicago.

            • jacobhalo

              It doesn’t change the content of my post.

              • LarryCicero

                U of C has no religious affiliation….seems like that would matter…didn’t mean to nit-pick.

                • jacobhalo

                  Ok, thanks.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            I wonder what they’d say to a student group that might request Mass in the EF?

    • mary jo anderson

      The result of the Thursday night “insurrection” is presented here in the demand of Cardinal Pell to Cdl. Baldiserri “Stop manipulating this synod.” I did not omit the Thursday event from any fear to report it, rather from what cannot be certain–reporters were not allowed into the meeting. What we have are various comments from synod fathers who did share their impressions, but on balance there is no means to have certainty as to what the nod meant–was the nod to Baldiserri viewed by enough members to be verified as intended collusion between the two? Is that imputing motivation that we simply cannot know? Or, was Baldiserri simply seeking permission from the Pope to change the process that was decided upon before the synod opened?

      Also, for those who want to read the reports from the small circles, those are online. Readers will see the refocus on the beauty of the family, the fidelity to G od’s plan for marriage. And significantly we pray, for the. Synod 2015, an emphasis on assisting those who have committed themselves to the vocation of marriage aand family.
      http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2014/10/16/0763/03042.html#Relatio%20-%20Circulus%20Anglicus%20“B”

    • Martha

      “Not even EWTN.” Ahahahahaha! Ah, EWTN. What can I say? Not exactly Mother Angelica anymore, ya know?

      • DE-173

        It would be better if you said something other than merely impugning.

        • Martha

          M’kay. I shall. EWTN is not exactly a bastion of conservative Catholicism these days. Mother Angelica was deposed and used merely as a figurehead after she dared to speak out against some liberal Catholic bosh. She let go of control under duress, and was basically forced out. It has since fallen under control of much more liberal puppetmasters.

          • GG

            We need 100 Mother Angelica.

      • jacobhalo

        EWTN, as far as I know, has never had a Traditional Catholic lay person or cleric on its show.

  • St JD George
  • St JD George

    Apologies for being off topic, no convenient story today to post this rant against so I shoe horned here. It’s a tale of two cities, sort of. Interestingly, Salesian HS in LA saw fit to stand up for their faith in rejecting filming of a lesbian drama on their campus. Meanwhile, at Loyola University in Chicago they welcomed a Pagan student club. No wonder out kids are confused. What is with the pretense of pretending to be Catholic?

    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/catholic-high-school-refuses-shoot-lesbian-drama-starring-ellen-page-and-julianne-moore

    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/19818/

    • DE-173

      Loyola as I recall is Jesuit, not Catholic.

      • O, gotta love your comment!

        • DE-173

          Went to a Jesuit University. Mercifully, not as an undergraduate with a young skull of malleable and ductile mush, but still aware of how they ignored the concerns of the local Bishop, with regularity.

      • jacobhalo

        De, you got that right!!

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    My cardinal went to the synod and all I got was this rainbow T-shirt.

    • DE-173

      Do you realize that I have to clean my desk because you made me snort coffee all over it and I’m still trying to suppress my laughter and regain my composure?

      • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

        Its been years since I’ve done standup, nice to know I can still cause physiological convulsions.

  • fredx2

    So, after reading the account above, was there anything to indicate that the synod was about the family?
    No, almost nothing about the family is talked about. Only gays and remarried.

    Look – from the time Francis circulated his survey, some believed that he was only calling the synod so he could change Catholic doctrine on gays and divorced and remarried. They believe that Francis wants to be manipulative, and is a secret progressive, who wants to manipulate everything so he can introduce radical new changes. This is their theory of Pope Francis.

    This is the filter through which the media sees everything.

    So, when their little “interim report” trick failed, the immediate counter story that the media ran with is “conservative faction underhandedly destroys efforts of kind, wonderful Pope”. They pushed that story , rather than “small group of liberal bishops fails in underhanded attempt to misrepresent synod position on gays and divorced” which was the real story.

    The quote from the CBS reporter tells it all: Once THEY get the pastoral position changed, they don’t care about doctrine. Because what the church does is what matters, Doctrine can be ignored. That is their goal. Just finesse the system so that doctrine can be ignored. That, of course, would be the death of the church. They know it, and they are pushing for it as hard as they can.

    • “Lex orandi, lex credendi”, states the Latin saying about the way we pray, or act, reflects what we believe.

      • Jdonnell

        Here’s a better one–in English: Judge not, lest ye be judged. The comments on this article are overflowing with judgmentalism.

        • Indeed, as much as in your very comment. Why is it that only others are judgmental but never the one judging others to be judgmental?

          • GG

            True, the point is they cannot see the hypocrisy, it is that ingrained.

        • DE-173

          Nobody more judgmental than you, who judges others for not being libertine.

          You are such a predictable bore.

        • GG

          You judge right here. Hypocrite.

          • Jdonnell

            Name-calling is your speed. You have given not an iota of support.

            • GG

              Not name calling, but apt characterization. Your post was ironic. You judge others as you tell them not to judge. That is hypocrisy of the highest order.

              • Jdonnell

                Pointing out judgmentalism is in effect saying, Judge not, lest ye be judged. Nothing hypocritical there.

                • GG

                  You are judging. No denying it.

                  • Jdonnell

                    No, here it’s you doing the judging. Hypocrite.

                    • GG

                      I judge your words, absolutely. I do not tell others not to judge your words. You are the true hypocrite.

                    • DE-173

                      JDonnell, who argues male fide; has one absolute-there are no absolutes. The result is kind of like when Spock tells the robot “everything I tell you is a lie”.

                      I smell the acrid odor of frying circuits in his posts.

                    • GG

                      True.

                      The following statement is false. The preceding statement is true.

                    • Jdonnell

                      I argue no such thing. There are plenty of absolutes, even though most things in life are relative.

                    • DE-173

                      Right, nothing bad faith about calling another poster a phallus.

                      Oh just the absolutes you like. Voting Demoncat, for example.

                    • Jdonnell

                      One with ears.
                      Your assumptions about my voting simply show how dopey you are.

                    • DE-173

                      Your comment history is instructive; but I wouldn’t be suprised if you found something even more radical appealing.
                      You are kind of free with insults; aren’t you?
                      Seems kind of judgmental to me.
                      I keep trying to remember you are a broken toy.

                    • Jdonnell

                      You are sort of free with insults, aren’t you. What you know seems to be zilch. You make assumptions here, based on ignorance, which is not a good ground for anything, especially when accompanied by a closed mind.

                    • DE-173

                      You lost any credibility at “prick”.

                    • Jdonnell

                      I’m afraid that you deserved the label for your continued, silly and uninformed remarks, showing no credibility from the get-go. Park your barge.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Seriously, why not show us some informed, deftly argued posts that really make a case? I’ll bet you can.

                    • DE-173

                      But who are you to judge?

                    • DE-173

                      Here’s a better one–in English: Judge not, lest ye be judged. Yourhe comments on this article are overflowing with judgmentalism.

                      I am however interested in how you developed this need for negative attention. You come, post antagonistic and hostile stuff, then disappear for a while.

                      Go see a shrink.

                    • Jdonnell

                      The implied ad hominem with which you conclude your otherwise empty comment comes as no surprise. You confuse making judgments with being judgmental. They are quite different. When I point to comments as foolish that ridicule Cardinal Kasper but show no indication that they are familiar with his writings, I am making a judgment that is distinct from being judgmental. It is those comments that are judgmental. Shoe fit? Or is it too soggy from walking the deck of a sinking barge? That’s all I have to say to you.

                    • DE-173

                      It would be amusing how you accuse others of things others of your offenses; unfortunately it just puts your desperate plight on display. I wish I believed your concluding sentence-experience tells me it is unreliable.

                    • DE-173

                      Why are you here and why are you so broken?

                    • jacobhalo

                      I won’t judge you, but you should try for a job at “America” Mag. You would fit right in.

                    • Jdonnell

                      Your more Catholic than the Church attitude–America is highly respected by the Vatican–sets you on a path to Puritanism.

        • Martha

          The comments here are overflowing with authentic Catholicism, which is more than I can say for your comments. We’re not here to laugh and judge and point fingers; we’re here to strengthen and keep our Catholicism, and to convince other confused wayfarers like yourself of the Truths of the Faith that have been obscured over the last half century.

          I had to remind one other of the Spiritual Works of Mercy today; looks like you’re up:

          To instruct the ignorant;
          To counsel the doubtful;
          To admonish sinners;
          To bear wrongs patiently;
          To forgive offences willingly;
          To comfort the afflicted;
          To pray for the living and the dead.

          Read them. Really, really read them. Do they sound judgmental to you? Yeah? Some are. We are our brothers keepers. That means helping them to Heaven, even when it’s impolite or difficult or requires admonition. THAT is what charity is. Believe me, it’s not easy. So much easier to ‘live and let live,’ but that is not what we’re called to do.

          • Jdonnell

            Martha, you are confusing stating general principles with applying them by accusing individuals of violating them. Actually, there is additional confusion here: noting in the list is judgmental.
            If you think that the truths of the faith have been obscured over the last half century, you are taking the sort of stance that the Reformation figures took. They set themselves up as standing for the Church that had obscured truths. The Church has a history of such thinking; it often ends in breaking with the Church, as did some of the goofs who broke on the basis of no more Latin mass.

            • Martha

              “…noting in the list is judgmental.”

              How can you call the commenters here ‘judgmental’ then? We are practicing the works of mercy. We are upholding and defending the timeless Truths of the Faith.

              The commenters that frequent this site are outstanding members of the Church. If they were typical Catholics, we’d have nothing to talk about but nod and smile, which would be great! They, like myself, are concerned with the state of the Church today, and the general confusion among its members. You can call it ‘judgmental’ if you like; I call it Truth.

              • Jdonnell

                The “outstanding members of the Church” you seem to know all about contain, in many of the comments on this site, people who think they are more Catholic than the Church. They have no qualms about insulting Cardinal Kasper, even though they show no sign of ever having read his books, especially the one most relevant to the Synod. They are the kind of people, like Leonard Feeney, who ended up out of the Church for thinking he was more Catholic than it. What you mistake for practicing “works of mercy” in these comments are too often, as I have shown in several responses to comments, remarks made in ignorance of the facts.

                • GG

                  Oh, stop the propaganda. Orgasm is not our god. We bind ourselves to the barque of Peter. We do not bind ourselves to trendy vicars or grave error.

                • Martha

                  Whoa, Nelly! You bet we have no qualms about insulting Cardinal Kasper! He is a manifest heretic. He is not within the bosom of the Church. If he has said some wonderful things, good for him. That does not make up for him defying Church teaching in what he preaches.

                  We are not more Catholic than the Church; we are the Church. We are what true Catholics in the true Church must be, and that does consist in following rules, although with love and sincerity, not in an aim to be Pharisaical.

                  It is an unfortunate truth that many within the Church these days are not followers of its rules; they are outside the Church, although they may not know it.

                  This is all Baltimore Catechism No. 1 stuff, J. I’m not trying to be ‘holier than thou.’ I’m just trying to make my way through this messy secular (and very heretical!) world with my soul and the souls of those I love intact and full of grace so that we may enjoy everlasting life with our Father in heaven. It is also our job, as well as we are able, to bring others along with us. That means speaking the Truth at all costs. No comfy-cozy Catholicism for the narrow way.

                  • Martha

                    By the way, the most ‘relevant book to the Synod’ would be the Catechism. The synod did not need to happen; we simply need some basic Catholic Catechism snippets read aloud, printed, and distributed. There is nothing to discuss; sin cannot be reasoned with or made more gentle, although the devil would certainly have us think so!

                    That is what is so beautiful about the Church, as opposed to heretical churches; it has timeless truths, guidelines that are perennial, eternal, forever. God does not change, neither do His rules. They are there in black and white for all Catholics to see. They are Christ’s rules. We are to follow them, end of story.

                    I’m sorry that you seem to have difficulty embracing Christ’s teachings, and it would appear that you are having a problem with one or more of them in your own life. I will pray for a resolution for you. Things can (and do!) come across differently over the internet’s comboxes than they would in person, especially when we’re dealing with people we don’t know. Everyone has their own style of banter, and some may just have a bit too much natural ‘snark’ to seem charitable (including myself), but I try to read all comments in the best possible light, and hope that you do, too. I assure you I love our little debates- what fun!- I always look forward to that little red convo sign lit up for me- and I hope and pray for the best to all that come here seeking Truth and a good conversation. 🙂

                  • Jdonnell

                    You are another ex. of someone who condemns Kasper without having read his arguments. The Catechism has been revised before and can be again. Just about all those who have ended up breaking with the Church started by making the sort of self-righteous statements about being most “true” to its teachings.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Jdonnell, I’d be interested to learn what you mean by “the Church.” As far as I can see, it’s confined to the writings of Cardiinal Kasper.

                    • Jdonnell

                      Kasper is important to the Church. His writings on Christology are widely respected. You might actually try reading some of his books instead of turning up your nose at the mention of his name. He is in line with thinkers like Newman, who wrote about “The Development of Christian Doctrine.” The Apostles Creed contains what is needed to be a Catholic. Too often the Church hierarchy is concerned with pro forma matters. It is keeping the Church Christian that matters, not power over Christians. As Kasper says in his latest book, “A superficial understanding of God’s mercy would contradict his justice and his holiness.” Again, “Under the mantle of mercy, there is a place for everyone of good will. It is our refuge, our hope, and our consolation.” The Church is much more comprehensive than some Crisis readers understand. Reading the Catechism doesn’t get anyone into Heaven.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Do me one favor: please respond specifically to what I write. I didn’t express an opinion about Cardinal Kasper or his writings, here or elsewhere in this thread, yet you play the same recording about “tuuning my nose up,” I should read him (I have, actually), etc., etc. And finally, please respond to my question: what is “the Church?” What are Her authentic teachings?

                    • Jdonnell

                      I was not aware that it is incumbent on me to respond to your queries. My comments express my views; it you don’t like them, you can ignore them. You haven’t responded the substance of my comments, though you find it objectionable when I don’t respond as you want me to. Anyone who can accept the Apostles Creed can be a Catholic. If you want to see a definition of the Church in these comments, you supply one.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Read what I wrote again. I’m interested in an exchange of views. I said that it would help if you could leave out the snarkiness, i.e., sarcastic suggestions that I actually read Kasper, rather than turning up my nose. Was that necessary? Why would you assume that I haven’t read him? I simply asked you a question. These topics are worth discussing, and we can agree that we see them differently without rancor, but that should include both of us.. I’ve been trying to understand where you ground your own position, and seemed to be centered almost exclusively on one man’s writings. Since the Church is much bigger than that, I wondered where else you drop anchor. So far, I’m still wondering.

                    • Martha

                      The Catechism can be revised? I think not. Not in doctrines and dogmas, anyway. If you look into those who broke with the Church, you’ll always find innovation and a clear break from dogmas and doctrine; a flat out refusal to submit to Church teachings. That rings true of Kasper, and many others. I believe it is safeguarding one’s faith to avoid things written by people who have said things that are clearly antithetical to Catholic teachings.

                      Romans 16:17

                      Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and
                      offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid
                      them.

                    • Jdonnell

                      The Church never had a catechism until the 1600s, and then in response to Protestant ones, especially Luther’s. Subsequent editions made revisions. In 1985, a new one came out, with the stipulation that it was not to replace local ones. That gives you a sense of variety. One of the thing that appeared in the new one was a reinterpretation of “Thou shalt not kill,” which was now applied to the death penalty; Pope Paul supported an end to it, based on changing world conditions. The same argument can be used to argue for accepting marriages that have heretofore–in modern times–been held sinful. Kasper has said nothing antithetical to Catholic teaching, which you would know if you had ever read his books.

                    • Martha

                      Changing world conditions? Yes, because we are SO unique! NO one in history has ever been like us! God needs to give us special stipulations! The humanity! Clearly, the Bible doesn’t apply to us, we’re so civilized, and complex!

                      You are splitting hairs and making silly arguments. I’d like to know what you’re really after, and methinks it’s a salve for a guilty conscience. There are no free passes. When Christ said ‘no adultery’ he meant no adultery.

                      Buck up and be a soldier for the Church; it is called the Church MILITANT for a reason. Not the Church at the beach, the Church having cocktails. Do you love Christ? If you do, you will keep HIS commands. If something was held sinful, it will continue to be held so, for God is immutable.

                    • Jdonnell

                      To say that I’m “splitting hairs” without support is just faking an argument. The remark about changing world conditions as a reason to end capital punishment is hardly splitting hairs; it’s the position expressed by Pope Paul and in the revised catechism off 1985. To point out that there was no Catholic catechism until the 16th Century is hardly splitting hairs. You have no argument and so fall back on accusation. If calling for mercy is a sign of a “guilty conscience,” you are accusing Cardinal Kasper of one. Get an argument or get lost.

                    • Martha

                      Get lost? How charitable of you. Really, there’s no need to be angry. You are quite vexing, though.

                      Again, I’d like to know what your position is. Are you one of the pro-contraception, pro-divorce and remarriage, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage crowd who is just waiting for the Church to catch up with our nifty times?

                      My point of splitting hairs, or rather semantics, is that the ‘Catechism’ was just a writing down of what the Church already held. And yes, some things can be clarified (not changed), that hadn’t been previously defined. The Church has always condoned capital punishment, and JP’s catechism is no different. When I argued that the Church said it was a no-no, about ten years ago, someone whipped that copy out, and showed me the passage that okayed it.

                      But I digress. It’s much like how the Bible wasn’t written when Christ was here, or even anytime soon after. It was tradition, and written later, just as the Catechism.

                      Finally, what you’re calling mercy is sin. If you’re alluding to allowing remarried, divorced Catholics to receive Communion, that is. The true merciful act would be to correct those in a state of mortal sin because you love them and don’t want them to lose the gift of God’s grace.

                    • Jdonnell

                      If there is anything uncharitable in our exchanges, it’s your accusations that are uncharitable. Telling you to get lost isn’t uncharitable, any more than is flicking dust off a sleeve. You now falsely accuse me of anger, which is unwarranted by my comment; you don’t seem to be capable of perceiving nuance. Your remark about the catechism was first made in ignorance. Now that I’ve pointed out to you that there was no catechism for the first fifteen hundred years of the Church’s existence, you take a different tack–and your are not quite right, even now. Much of what was in the first catechism was not what the Church had always said. And, the one issued in 1985 directly reverses a long-standing position. Earlier thinkers, even Aquinas, had supported capital punishment–in his case, even for heretics. The new catechism opposes it. And, as the Pope said at the time it was issued. conditions in the world justify the reversal of position.
                      Your comment about divorced and re-married couples is simply naïve. It is admittedly a difficult matter. Your accusation–(you are full if accusations, aren’t you?)–about such couples as living in sin is for God to decide, not you.
                      If you want another comment from me, go read Kasper’s brilliant, beautiful book first, and then get back to me. I don’t want to hear from you until then.

            • Daniel P

              Jdonnell,

              No one is taking the sort of stance Reformation figures took unless they advocate breaking with the Church. There is nothing schismatic about saying that “the truths of the faith have been obscured over the last half century”. The truths of the faith were obscured in the late 15th century too, and reformers were *right* to object to it! They went wrong insofar as they decided schism was the proper antidote.

              The unity of the Church is much more remarkable than its division. There are simply no other organizations in the history of the world that have been more long-lasting and stable than these three: (1) the very loosely structured edifice of Judaism, (2) the loosely structured assembly of Orthodox Churches, and (3) the highly organized system of the Roman Catholic Church. The kind of unity displayed in the Church is remarkable, and it shows no sign of stopping.

              There may be correctives needed, since the Church clearly makes mistakes in emphasis and mistakes in “on the ground” teaching. The Church has a very long history of such mistakes and of people correcting them. Both the “liberals” and the “conservatives” in the Synod see themselves as part of this theme of correcting false emphases and catechesis.

              But it is God at the helm. Our job is to pray that our shepherds submit to Him.

              • Jdonnell

                The Reformation leaders did not start by breaking with the Church but by taking the view that they were more Catholic than it was. They ended up out of it. The mistakes by the Church to which you refer have sometimes been the result of a failure to face changing conditions in the world. Something of that sort is now likely going on.

                • Daniel P

                  Of course they said they were more Catholic than the Church was — that’s precisely what ANY person who tries to reform the Church believes. Humanae Vitae was written because Pope Paul VI was more Catholic than the Church, at that time. You seem to think that we should reject reformers merely because they want to reform things, and that’s not a Catholic attitude at all.

                  • Jdonnell

                    The Crisis commentators think, as so many of their spiteful words attacking Kasper show, that they are some sort of saving remnant, more pure than the rest of the Church. That’s how Feeney and others started. As the Pope said about some people in the Church: “The temptation to neglect the depositum fidei [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them ‘byzantinisms,'”

                    Kasper has said since the close of the Synod that “I would not call myself ‘a confidante of the Pope.’” But on the question of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, he added: “He [the Pope] has let me know several times that he wants an opening.”

                    • GG

                      Kaspar spreads a false Gospel that much is evident to any honest and thinking person.

                      The Pope’s words. as you quote them, can apply to almost any situation. How is it you claim they apply to those who criticize a false gospel?

                    • Jdonnell

                      Your nonsensical and insulting remark hardly merits a reply. If you actually knew his work–or even how to spell his name–you might not be quite so obtuse.

                    • DE-173

                      GG’s mispelling is more forgivable that”prick”.

        • jacobhalo

          Jesus said that we should admonish a sinner.

          • Jdonnell

            Jesus said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Maybe your remark is itself a possible sin.

            • DE-173

              Then again, maybe all of yours are.

    • Jdonnell

      Are you not aware that “families” may include the re-married or gay couples? Your implied definition shows that your thinking is pretty narrow.

      • Sure, you beat that straw-man down and slander your interlocutor!

      • DE-173

        Are you not aware that counterfeit “families” may include the re-married or gay couples? Your explicit definition shows that your thinking is pretty disordered.

      • jacobhalo

        Are you aware that you are not a Catholic?

        • Jdonnell

          Have you ever thought of a career as a stand-up comic in a school for the deaf?

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    The scathing criticism of the relatio by Circulus Gallicus B (of which the moderator was Cardinal Schönborn identifies why it will have little traction when it goes out for discussion before the Ordinary Synod in 2015.

    « un style touffu, filandreux, excessivement verbeux et donc, assez généralement, ennuyeux » [An impenetrable, rambling, verbose and generally boring style.]

    Now, bishops are, for the most part, by taste and training, neither philosophers nor theologians, but administrators. All they ask for is a distinct though moderate conclusion that they can repeat when asked. They know, from their experience of affairs that often there is much to be said for several courses, where nevertheless one course must be determinedly chosen and fixedly adhered to. This is precisely what the Relatio fails to offer them. They are far more likely to accommodate their supple consciences to a clear lead (which the conservatives are providing) than to find rambling arguments persuasive.

    • DE-173

      “Now, bishops are, for the most part, by taste and training, neither philosophers nor theologians, but administrators.”

      Are you kidding me? Few if any have ANY training in administration; they are required to take philosophy, many have degrees in philosophy, theology or divinity.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        Their training is the experience gained in the ranks of the Church’s bureaucracy and the habits of mind it engenders.

        Their knowledge of philosophy is mostly a smattering gained from scholastic manuals, with little or no knowledge of Western philosophy from Descartes to Derrida; their theology is entirely derivative as they lack the linguistic skills to invetigate the Hebrew or Greek texts for themselves. Few have any taste for such studies; they are, at best, a moyen de parvenir.

        How many have a single published article in a learned journal, let alone a book?

        • DE-173

          “Their training is the experience gained in the ranks of the Church’s bureaucracy and the habits of mind it engenders.”
          That’s not training as an administrator, since it lacks instruction, inquiry, correction graduated intensity, etc.
          Just as “ground school” is necessary but not sufficient for a pilot; there should be programmatic instruction for Bishops.

  • JP

    Another thing that is very worrisome as we swim through this lake of mercy and tolerance is that on one speaks for those victims abandoned by their Catholic spouses. When a spouses leaves his family for another spouse or lover he/she eviscerates Christian bonds that form the foundation of society as well as the Church. In their wake, these spouses leave a trail of collateral damage that transcends generations. Broken lives, heart break, loss of faith, chemical addiction, and even suicide often are the result.

    But, hey. We’re trying to be merciful. Why can’t those who abandon their spouses and children have a place at the communion table? Why can’t the local bishop give these spouses provisional absolution? And if the broken families disagree? Well too bad.

    Think of how this all looks to the abandon children and spouses. Not a peep about them from the Synod fathers.

    • jcsmitty

      Exactly, JP. An adult married woman called EWTN’s “The Journey Home” the other day. She broke down about how her parents’ divorce when she was a teenager had hurt her so deeply. Children of divorced parents are the victims here, as are the spouses who don’t want the divorce.

      • DE-173

        I once dated a girl shortly after she broke of an engagement because her former fiance could not agree that divorce was a remedy when “things don’t work out”.

        On the next date, she proceeded to lament how her Father left her Mother.
        Needless to say, she was a victim. I don’t believe she ever married.

        • jacobhalo

          I had a girl banging on my door for 45 mins. last night. But i wouldn’t let her out. ( a litter humor to break the tension)

  • Thank you for your reporting what you experienced at the
    Extraordinary Synod without diatribe.
    The Extraordinary Synod did not create a crisis. The crisis was already damaging and
    destroying the lived faith for many decades.
    The crisis was created by many, many of us choosing the ‘wide road’. The devil has been working very diligently to
    put forward the desire of secularism that would have us “have our cake and eat
    it too!” Why should we be surprised that
    such attitudes, that erode the very foundations of our lived faith, should be
    prevalent even within the hierarchy?
    They are as human as the rest of us.
    When our spirituality has been diluted, and constantly inundated by all
    that is ‘good’ offered by the world, we
    no longer have the moral stamina to distinguish between “compassion” and
    license.

    We drastically need this cataclysmic upheaval to reveal the
    hidden hearts and minds that have been warping our faith both from within the
    church – much like the Scribes and Pharisees – and from within the secular
    world. We are always learning how to be in the world but not of the
    world. We are always in need of re-examining
    our roll as sojourners here. We are
    truly living today what the last 5 weeks of Sundays have been telling us.
    I have no doubt that the heartfelt, fearless, simple faith and love of the Lord
    will prevail, but as is always the case – not without much pain and redemptive
    suffering. The Apostles learned this when they experienced the storms at
    sea that were threatening their lives.
    Jesus, on one occasion slept in the boat! On another occasion he walked
    to them over the stormy sea! This is
    still his ‘ship’! Many mighty will fall and hearts will be
    revealed. And each of us will come to recognize our need to say ‘mea
    culpa’ for our roll in the secularization of our faith. We are none of us innocent. The media, and what passes for
    entertainment in our society would not
    be so successful without the support of many hundreds of ‘Catholics’ and Christians
    of other denominations, supporting what degrades humanity and flies in the face
    of the Lord’s call at our Baptism. Healing
    will happen, as will new awarenesses of how we are called to live our
    faith. How very, very courageous and
    faithful Francis has been in opening all matters to discussion! I see his
    actions as very prophetic. It is only
    thus that minds, and hearts, and sinfulness can be revealed, and putrid pus can
    be expunged! And primarily that in the end simple, faithful, insightful
    goodness can be revealed. When we are comfortable and secure – something
    is very much the matter! We are always called to grow, to be alert, awake and
    ready for action. Let us have our ears
    listening to the Lord, and our eyes of the Lord. “The Lord hears the cry of the poor!” We are in a real way his ‘poor’.

  • What this narrative shows me is that the synod has taken far too naive and passive and timid an attitude toward the secular press. Let’s get some savvy heads in here who’ve learned a lesson or two from the Humanae Vitae experience. This “disaster” isn’t the result of any kind of mischance. The secular press has been an active player in the synod, just the same as any of the synod’s different factions have been active players. The Kaspar faction has simply taken advantage of its natural affinities with the press, has made teammates of them, and both are all suited up now and playing some aggressive ball. Perhaps — without intending any invidious comparisons here whatsoever — it might be instructive for us as their opponents to ask ourselves, how would somebody like, say, a John Paul II play the rest of this game?

    • DE-173

      Didn’t you hear you are supposed to be as wise as doves when surrounded by serpents?

      • Yes, I agree that more of that is probably at play than I think. Good for Cardinal Burke, for instance. But I wish the doves had been a little wiser about letting the press get ahead of them with that so-foreseeable leak.

        • DE-173

          And Muller and Pell.

    • jcsmitty

      Agreed. Why am I NOT surprised at this very outcome? Kaspar’s proposals and the manipulation of the synod by a small group of liberals was predictable. What continues to surprise me is the naivete of the synod fathers going in and the gullibility of the Vatican press corps.

  • languedoc

    Forte, Wuerl, Kasper and the whole lot involved with the draft Relatio seem like a bunch of Metrosexuals. – or, as one one writer said, Beta-males. The language of the draft Relatio was fey, to put it mildly. Sadly, this Pope sounds the same. Once we get more Alpha-males like Pell, priestly vocations will increase. Until then we’ll only have a handful of temple eunuchs running things. Th archdiocese of New York, for instance, has hit rock-bottom in vocations. No surprise.

    • Atilla The Possum

      For Metrosexuals see BGBs = Big Girl’s Blouses.

  • Bill Russell

    I highly recommend an article by Stephen Wood (Dads.org) on the asting harm the Synod has done to men. A few quotes:

    Leon Podles in his important book, The Church Impotent: Feminization of Christianity, states:
    “If the feminization of the Church continues, men will continue to seek
    their spiritual sustenance outside the churches, in false or inadequate
    religions, with high damaging consequences for the church and society.

    Catholic churches that cultivate a gay atmosphere (Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian
    Outreach, gay choirs, gay tolerance talks in schools) will keep
    heterosexual men away. Fear of effeminacy is one of the strongest
    motivations in men who will sometimes die rather than appear
    effeminate.”

    Millions of Catholic wives wonder why their husbands don’t want to
    go to Mass with them. Likewise, thousands of bright and beautiful young
    Catholic women wonder aloud, “Where are the marriageable young Catholic
    men?” I’m afraid it’s goodbye to many good men because of the effeminate
    atmosphere of the contemporary Catholic Church. The contemporary
    homosexualized church atmosphere is the penultimate level of
    feminization, and it stinks in the nostrils of normal men.

    In case
    anyone in the United States had any lingering doubts about the
    homosexual-friendly atmosphere in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Dolan
    dispelled them when he agreed to be the Grand Marshal of the annual St.
    Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. In his announcement he said that
    he welcomes the inclusion of a homosexual group. This is an
    out-of-the-closet group of NBC’s homosexual activists marching under a
    homosexual banner with the cardinal’s blessing.

    Never before in
    the history of this annual parade, which first took place on March 17,
    1762, has an in-your-face group of militant homosexuals marched carrying
    a homosexual banner. Rest assured that next spring Cardinal Dolan’s
    being ok with the homosexual activist participation in this parade will
    be broadcast coast to coast in the secular media.

    Oh, I almost
    forgot Cardinal Dolan’s widely reported exclamation of “Bravo” in
    response to a news story about a professional athlete who came out of
    the closet. Bravo? What was he thinking? Most men seeing the homosexual
    NFL player kissing his little boyfriend on ESPN were repulsed.

    Tragically,
    the Family Synod modernists have set Catholic fatherhood backwards for
    our lifetime. It will be Catholic families, wives, children, and single
    young women who feel the brunt of men of all ages repulsed from the
    Church because of the sodomite smoke seeping from its midst.

    • DE-173

      “Bravo” in response to a news story about a professional athlete who came out of
      the closet. Bravo? What was he thinking? Most men seeing the homosexual
      NFL player kissing his little boyfriend on ESPN were repulsed.”

      The interesting aspect of the use of the term “Bravo” is that is the name of a notorious cable channel.

    • CR89

      Powerful stuff. Thanks for posting it.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      I happen to like beer and the NFL. Back in the day, so did most priests.

    • Watosh

      Very true. Another aspect of this is it seems like the balance between men and women have been upset. Now I am making a conjecture here and I could be all wet. Men are born bigger and stronger than women. Women are prettier than men and women, and only women have the ability to bear children. aside from the companionship they each need and contribute to, for many, many years the roles for men and women were clear. Men needed women in order to have sons and daughters, women could fill this need, and at the same time because children had to have a lot of care for a long time, women needed the protection and and the financial support from men. I am sounding rather simplistic, but you get the idea. Each provided a unique contribution to the family’s existence, each had unique contribution, each had rather well defined roles.

      Today with machines and and power equipment, women can do just about any job a man can. There are exceptions yet, but we no longer are supposed to admit them. We are opening things like combat troops, forest fire fighters etc. to women. Men are gradually being forced to the sidelines, they are only needed to father children, after that their job is done, after that men are considered dispensable. Men no longer are felt to have the role of being the head of the family. Men have sort of become superfluous for the most part.

      One sees this reflected in our young men. Their ambition seems to be to ride around in boom cars and view football games while wearing the jersey of some NFL football player , while swilling beer from a can or bottle. They strip down to the waist and paint themselves like savages to attend their college’s football games and exist to shout were number 1 when their team wins. I was living in an apartment with young men and women, and the young women seemed much more focused and directed than the young men I met. Well look at the sitcom the roles that young men are depicted in.

      Is it because men no longer have a clear cut role in the family? Now the feminization of society seems to be one manifestation or one of the forces that are at work in our modern society. Look It is just a thought, something to be considered in all this. Men are and have been under attack. It is bad for a man to be “macho,” but to say a woman is “macho’ is praiseworthy. Men are depicted as bullys and wife abusers regularly by the media. Now on the local TV station i am told over and over during commercials, “It is not right food a man to hit a woman,” and that 1 women living with a man in any capacity, out of four is abused by some man. I can’t help but wonder about where this will end.

      • I must also add that only heterosexual sex can be called sex because only a man and a woman can have sex using their genitals at the same time. Everything else, same sex, more than two, less than two, is not sex, but masturbation, or a mockery of sex. As pleasurable as they may be, they are all selfish and closed to life, one of the inseparable ends of sex.

        • Martha

          I guess that’s why we should stick with calling it ‘sodomy.’

          • jacobhalo

            And they are sodomites.

        • Watosh

          Well I am in no position to dispute that.

      • DE-173

        “We are opening things like combat troops, forest fire fighters etc. to women”

        And people will die to support the fantasy of intersexual fungibility.

        If I’m incapacitated in a burning building, and my “rescuer” is a 135 pound female, I’m charbroiled, she will not be able to carry my 245 pounds out.

  • Tessa

    I’m tired of homosexuals behaving like they’re special because of their sin.

    • Objectivetruth

      In a nutshell, this says it all.

      • jacobhalo

        Homosexuals have many gifts to bring to the church, say Pope Francis I. I wish he would had named one.

    • GG

      Part of the syndrome.

  • Vinny

    I can’t escape the similarity between the Obama administration’s way of doing things and the Vatican’s.

    • Correction, Francis’. Much like Obama, who declared himself “a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views”, the same can be said about Francis. A role willingly crafted by Francis himself.

    • St JD George

      I laughed after their meeting in March. Reading the press releases you would have thought they weren’t even at the same meeting. Translation, Barry heard what he wanted to hear only about income inequality (funny how it’s the most disparate in history under him) and largely ignored the concerns about his attacks on people of faith.

      • Barry is quite happy at the widening inequality of income between the Beltway and the rest of the country tough.

        • St JD George

          Well, you can’t say he isn’t succeeding. The income gap for the 99% is getting closer and closer all the time in the “race to the bottom” program. Got to still care and feed the 1% donor class to feed your ego and campaign coffers though.
          Funny how nobody questions why the wealthiest counties are now on the Potomac yet nothing of lasting value is produced there.

    • jacobhalo

      Pope Francis I and his supporters are a mirror image of Obama and his supporters.

  • The great manipulator of the synod was Francis, first by promoting Card. Kasper, then by appointing secretary, then by overriding the redactors chosen by the synod fathers. Anyone with political experience, even school or office politics, knows that one lends the stage to someone else with whom one shares his opinions to speak for one. Anyone knows that one willing to override the will of a group tries to control the process that governs such group to achieve what one wills. Anyone knows that if one doesn’t like a discussion he tries to rewrite it to fit his views.

    Methinks that Card. Imbroglio chose his papal name after the city of San Francisco.

  • Dan Kennedy

    I welcomed Franics’ papacy with great joy, but shortly thereafter, I have been uneasy, confused, and sometimes like I’ve been sucker punched. That, I do not think is helpful to the faithful or to evangilization efforts.

    • Francis blew my mind at WYD, but since then I’ve been progressively disappointed, even to the point of wondering if his words at the WYD had already been written by BXVI, so different were they from those coming out of his mouth.

      • Illinidiva

        Really? Benedict’s words would have been more strident and scolding like they always were.

        • DE-173

          Here’s some strident ans scolding words. Yours.
          “But the Latin Mass types are obnxious.”

          • Illinidiva

            They are obnoxious. I’m just accurately reporting on my interactions with them.

            • GG

              They are obnoxious. I’m just accurately reporting on my interactions with them.

              • jacobhalo

                Do you know all Traditionalists? Such a sweeping statement.

                • GG

                  I was repeating the poster’s own words back to her as they fit her.

                  • jacobhalo

                    Sorry, GG. I misunderstood.

            • DE-173

              They probably think the same of you, but I don’t see any calling B16 “strident and scolding” while calling you obnoxious.

            • jacobhalo

              Some might be obnoxious, but at least they believe in the teachings of the church as they were taught for 2000 years, unlike the progressive Clerics since Vatican II, who have changed some of the teachings of the church.

              • Illinidiva

                Yeah.. Like the teachings on anti-Semitism. Those teachings.

                • jacobhalo

                  Where in the world does the Traditional Catholics teach anti-semitism? If you mean what Jesus said, and we follow that, Jesus said to the Jews, “If you don’t believe that I am He, you will die in your own sins.” We follow the teachings of Jesus, which, surely, this pope and his heretics don’t follow.

                  • Illinidiva

                    The SSPX certainly does teach anti-Semitism.

                    • jacobhalo

                      One priest from the SSPX showed anti-semitism and he was admonished and banished by his superior Bishop Fellay.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Fellay is an anti-Semite himself; he is just more subtle about it. He claimed that the Jews and the Freemasons were blocking reconciliation with Rome a few years back. Jeanette Pryor used to be associated with the group and wrote a series of articles stating that the entire group is an anti-Semitic cult. http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/01/13/the-society-of-st-pius-x-and-antisemitism/

                    • jacobhalo

                      SSPX is more Catholic than Pope Francis and his heretical bishops. They follow the teachings of the church of pre-Vatican II, which were the teachings for 2000 years. Pope John Paul II kissed the Koran, which is heretical. He allowed other religions in St. Francis Cathedral in Assisi to worship their gods. That is heretical. These acts and many of the teachings of Vatican II are what SSPX is against. I went on a pilgramage with SSPX to the Holy Land. I didn’t hear any anti-semitic talk from them.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Yeah, as I figured, you are SSPX. Did you read the link I provided you? Jeanette Pryor used to be SSPX; her husband had the misfortune of being an associate of Bishop Williamson. She states flat out that the group is anti-Semitic.

                    • DE-173

                      One person’s opinion. She’s left the group; not exactly unbiased.
                      I’m not listening to her any more than I’m take Mr. Halo’s opinion on John Paul II.

                    • Illinidiva

                      I think that a conservative writer who left the group would have good insight into the group.. You?

              • GG

                Let us be honest here. Their god is orgasm. That is what this is always all about. All heresy begins below the belt. Why have the “gay” friendly prelates suddenly decide to show themselves?

        • GG

          Lie.

          • Illinidiva

            How so?

            • GG

              Benedict was not a scold nor strident. Only the dissenters claim that because they hate truth.

              • Illinidiva

                Different people react to different styles. And there was no need to open a debate about Vatican II or obsess over the SSPX. I think that Benedict was trying to drag the Church back to the 1950s.

                • Actually, BXVI was trying to drag the Church back to 33AD.

                  • Illinidiva

                    The Pre-Vatican II Europeanized Church somehow represented the early Church?

                • DE-173

                  And you are trying to drag it to 1984 or hell.

                  • Illinidiva

                    How so?

                    • DE-173

                      ” I think that Benedict was trying to drag the Church back to the 1950s.”
                      You first.

                    • Illinidiva

                      By playing patty-cake with the SSPX, restoring lots of the Papal pomp and circumstance from Ye Olde Vatican Court prior to Paul VI, beginning to jettison the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, and generally obsessing over Vatican II to the point he interpreted it in the most narrow way possible. Okay, now it is your turn.

                    • Jettison the liturgical reforms of VII or restore them to how they were specified in Sacrosanctum Concilium and implemented in the Roman Missal? Every pope is free to adopt whatever style suits him, silk capes or felt banners. Their sense of fashion is not a matter of faith.

                    • Illinidiva

                      I’ll disagree. They completely ruined the English translation of the Mass. As for Benedict’s style, yes it was his prerogative, but it also suggested that he was more comfortable with the imperial papacy under the Piuses rather than the post-Vatican II papacy.

                    • Why does his comfort bother you? Are you a radical fashionista, diva from IL?

                    • Illinidiva

                      I don’t think that the Catholic Church should be projecting such a temporal royal court image. More Jesus and less Versailles.

                    • Like the court of the King of Kings whose Vicar who holds the keys to His Kingdom is the pope?

                    • Illinidiva

                      Jesus was born to a poor family whose stepdad was a working man. He could have seized power and declared himself king, but he didn’t. He was very clear about not wanting a temporal kingdom set up in his name. Why would he want the Church to act like the decadent court of Versailles?

                    • He did size power and declared Himself king: on the cross. His Kingdom is not of this world, but is already in this world, in the Church. That you consider the court of BXVI is decadent says more about you than him.

                    • Illinidiva

                      So Jesus wore jewels on the cross? I don’t think so. That was a horrific death. How did Benedict’s vestments reflect that.

                      And yeah Benedict’s court was screwed up. Benedict was focused on externals and playing sparkly dress up while the butler leaked his private documents.

                    • Annie Rickerton

                      I was right. You are a Calvinist.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Is Pope Francis a Calvinist because he thinks that the pomp is ridiculous as well? There is no need for bishops to go around looking like they are petty medieval princes.

                    • Annie Rickerton

                      Protestant clergy, like Calvinists, look more like Z-list extras from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible than our hierarchy look like Shakespeare’s Hamlet!
                      Why not have a go at the Orthodox clergy while your on your plain, boring, philistine designed hobby horse (or is that a hobby Tibetan Yak, as horses belong to medieval princes)? Their vestments would be an assault on your miserable, dull, puritanical mincers! (mince pies – eyes)
                      Pope Francis didn’t always wear that steel pectoral cross, you know! When he was plain Cardinal Jorje Bergoglio, he had a gold one or it could have been gold plated. It matters not what the material was but the design was lovely… not that you could tell the difference between the Hagia Sophia and a public lavatory.

                    • Illinidiva

                      “Why not have a go at the Orthodox clergy while your on your plain, boring, philistine designed hobby horse (or is that a hobby Tibetan Yak, as horses belong to medieval princes)? Their vestments would be an assault on your miserable, dull, puritanical mincers! (mince pies – eyes)”

                      At least some of the Orthodox bishops have compassion for the “serfs”. They don’t make abuse victims remain with their abusive husbands and allow them to remarry. Can’t say that about the traddie Catholics. They enjoy seeing women being abused and subjugated.

                      “Pope Francis didn’t always wear that steel pectoral cross, you know! When he was plain Cardinal Jorje Bergoglio, he had a gold one or it could have been gold plated.”

                      Umm.. No. That has always been Father Jorge’s Pectoral Cross. This isn’t a new one at all. Father Jorge just kept his old cross from when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires when he was elected.

                    • Jesus reigns right now in glory. The day that lovers give gifts of pebbles and fabric scraps to each other churches will be lavished thusly. Until then, precious stones, fine fabrics and gold are it.

                    • Illinidiva

                      I think that the concept of Jesus reigning in glory is different from the concept of a temporal rulership.

                    • Annie Rickerton

                      Correction. St. Joseph was Jesus’ foster father, not step-father. Our Blessed Lady was neither married nor widowed before they were espoused.

                      Have you read the Psalms which mentions lots of references to gold, pearls, jewels, anointing, crowns, sceptres, thrones, trumpets, harps of gold – all referring to the Messiah?

                      Christ mixed with the rich as well as the poor. He didn’t mind the rich – only the rich who couldn’t care less about the poor, who used their position to rip off people and look down upon them. Christ speaks figuratively as well as directly – you could take it literally when Jesus says sell everything you have and follow me … but he also asks us to dump our personal baggage, anything that holds us back from following Him.

                      Don’t forget, it was a rich man’s spare tomb that took the Body of Christ for three days

                      I worry that you are not in full grasp of the facts in Scripture, that your outlook and attitude towards the Catholic Church is more Calvinistic than anything, that you cannot see the wood (upon which Christ was crucified) for the trees.
                      Christ appeared in the form of the Chi-Rho and commanded Constantine the Great: ‘With this sign, conquer!’

                      Many beautiful Catholic Churches (especially in industrial cities) were built by poor people and for poor and working people by benefactors who wanted to give something exquisite to God – a tangible anticipation of heaven to give their spirits a respite from their working week.

                      I’d hate to think that the Kingdom of Heaven would look more like a tatty potting shed than a place of beauty and colour, light and bliss of the Beatific Vision.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Yes.. There is a difference between Notre Dame Cathedral and the ridiculous vestments favored by Benedict and like minded prelates (Burke.) Notre Dame Cathedral was for the edification of God. The ridiculous vestments are to make the wearer look like a temporal ruler.

                    • GG

                      Oh, you like rainbow vestments and relativism.

                    • Illinidiva

                      I’ve never seen a rainbow vestment or a clown Mass. I think that these only exist in traditionalist Catholics heads.

                    • GG

                      But, you would like them.

                    • Illinidiva

                      What? Your imaginary friends?

                    • GG

                      Off your meds?

                    • Annie Rickerton

                      You clearly haven’t looked hard enough at the goings-on in many Western diocese like the Archdiocese of New York where Gay Masses are celebrated with priests wearing rainbow stoles and where the rainbow flag was actually placed beneath an altar.
                      Clown Masses is an umbrella term for Masses that resemble Carnival Night at the local pub than anything solemn and sacred.
                      It is either that you are wilfully ignorant or that you have not looked further at the Catholic sites beyond the National Catholic Reporter or the fuzzy felt display boards at your local Calvinist Hall.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Yes.. I don’t spend enough time obsessing over the orthodoxy of Masses that others attend. Really, get a life on this one.

                    • DE-173

                      No, you spend to much time trying to convince others that you have something other than a rejection of rules. I’m guessing based on the number of your comments, you are divorced and remarried
                      Newflash “diva”.. your name is a Freudian slip.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Actually, I’m not remarried and divorced. But I am a single woman who knows how sad it can be to be without a family. I also have been in an abusive relationship. An atheist friend of Jewish origin told me to leave it; no one in the Church could have cared less. Heck if we had asked, the Church would have married us.

                    • Annie Rickerton

                      You have so far not acknowledged that you got the status of St Joseph totally wrong.

                      I wonder if you are more suited to replacing the late Joan Rivers on her TV programme The Fashion Police instead of obsessing about the clothes that Pope Benedict XVI and previous pope wore?

                      Clothes – whether worn by popes, kings, queens or secular types like Lady GaGa – make bold statements.

                      Take ermine. Ermine is symbolic of purity. The Church, the Bride of Christ, is pure. Canons of the Church were given mozzettas lined with ermine (the Cure of Ars was given one of these and he sold it. He used the money to further strengthen his parish) and kings, queens and other royalty were ranked symbolically by their ermine.

                      Pope Benedict XVI and even Pope John Paul II wore red cloaks trimmed with gold. They also had their papal arms embroidered on their sashes.

                      Mitres represent the tongues of fire that descended on Our Lady and the Apostles in the Upper Room at Whitsun. The gilt ferula which BXVI carried was a gift donated to him, as were the other gifts replaces the crozier. The crozier is symbolic of bishops being the shepherds of souls like the shepherd’s crook which is used to rescue sheep caught in a hole or a hedge etc.

                      Gold is purified by fire, which is why consecrated vessels used at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are lined with pure gold.

                      Popes like Pope Benedict XVI did not wear these garments because he was vain or they looked good, bad or dodgy. Being brought up in the faith and understanding what each garment symbolises (and that you don’t have to be CoCo Chanel or Christian Dior to know that clothes make statements), Pope Benedict XVI brought these symbols back.
                      Pope Francis, however, being a Jesuit and an Argentine would view things differently. He made a statement by not wearing the red shoes etc. even though they are also symbolic and not extravagances (I bet, Illinidiva, that you still believe that urban myth about Benedict XVI wearing Prada – which is as laughable as it is completely false).

                      Dutch Protestant pastors wear black gowns and stiff white ruffs around their necks. Would you call their look ridiculous?
                      High Court Judges wear wigs, red gowns and ermine – Would you call their look ridiculous? Barristers in the UK wear black gowns and wigs – Would you stand in the Witness Box and tell them how ridiculous they look, without first looking up the origins of these wigs and gowns and what they symbolise?
                      Devout Jews wrap tiny pieces of the Torah in boxes around their heads and arms, their Talliths round their shoulders and some even have prominent curls on both sides of their face when in prayer. Would you call them ridiculous?
                      Oh, and unless you are Richard Branson, what would you wear to make a statement to a possible business partner to let them know you mean business? A smart, immaculate suit or hair curlers, a pinny and carpet slippers?

                      Notre Dame Cathedral had its original bells melted down by the perpetrators of the French Revolution. The bells were recently cast and restored.

                    • Illinidiva

                      “You have so far not acknowledged that you got the status of St Joseph totally wrong.”

                      I learned in Catholic school step daddy.. Of course we are probably talking with someone who affirms the existence of Adam and Eve.

                      “I wonder if you are more suited to replacing the late Joan Rivers on her TV programme The Fashion Police instead of obsessing about the clothes that Pope Benedict XVI and previous pope wore?”

                      Actually I think that it was a pity that Joan Rivers couldn’t cover the SP pilgrimage and then she and Burke could chat about what he is wearing.

                      “Clothes – whether worn by popes, kings, queens or secular types like Lady GaGa – make bold statements.”

                      Yes they do.. And Benedict’s ridiculous vestments made the wrong statement.

                      “Take ermine. Ermine is symbolic of purity. The Church, the Bride of Christ, is pure. Canons of the Church were given mozzettas lined with ermine (the Cure of Ars was given one of these and he sold it. He used the money to further strengthen his parish) and kings, queens and other royalty were ranked symbolically by their ermine.”

                      Really so all the kings whoring around while wearing ermine in their robes are pure.

                      “Popes like Pope Benedict XVI did not wear these garments because he was vain or they looked good, bad or dodgy. Being brought up in the faith and understanding what each garment symbolises (and that you don’t have to be CoCo Chanel or Christian Dior to know that clothes make statements), Pope Benedict XVI brought these symbols back.”

                      Yes.. And they symbolized that Benedict was living in Versailles right before the French Revolution.

                      “Pope Francis, however, being a Jesuit and an Argentine would view things differently. He made a statement by not wearing the red shoes etc. even though they are also symbolic and not extravagances (I bet, Illinidiva, that you still believe that urban myth about Benedict XVI wearing Prada – which is as laughable as it is completely false).”

                      Pope Francis is a man with a little bit of political sense and therefore understands how ridiculous the jeweled vestments are. And I think that any girl would love handmade Italian shoes whether or not they are Prada.

                      “High Court Judges wear wigs, red gowns and ermine – Would you call their look ridiculous? Barristers in the UK wear black gowns and wigs – Would you stand in the Witness Box and tell them how ridiculous they look, without first looking up the origins of these wigs and gowns and what they symbolise?”

                      Like Priest’s collars and black suits? Different from bejeweled mitres.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      If you’re still there Illinidiva, I recommend that you read this articel on the EF Mass by a priest far, far removed from SSPX: http://americamagazine.org/issue/636/faith-focus/my-second-first-mass

                      If for some reason the link doesn’t work, the article comes from America, December 3, 2007, “My Second First Mass,” by Rev. Michael Kerper. It’s not my intention to convert you, but to draw your attention to a very different perspective.

                    • Atilla The Possum

                      ‘If you’re still there, Illinidiva…’
                      LOL! I don’t think she or he is ‘there” at all, Glenn M. Ricketts!

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Right, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Have a look at the link yourself, and see what you think.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Yeah… Most people at America magazine disdain the Latin Mass so I will take that with a huge grain of salt. I doubt that Father Malone precedes over the disgusting anti-Semitic liturgies.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Did you actually read the article?

                    • Annie Rickerton

                      You are the poster person of the Church of Nice.
                      Oscar Wilde said of people like you that you know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
                      Not all Catholic schools learned anything that was faithful to the Magisterium.
                      Do you not know the difference between a step parent and a foster parent?
                      All this stuff about liberalism under the disguise of the so-called ‘spirit of Vatican II’. One of the last surviving clerics who was actually there at every single session is far more qualified than anyone to say that VII was misinterpreted. He was once a liberal but realised, in time, the early signs of damage was beginning to show and he rapidly rectified his position.
                      Does your Catholic education stretch you to give a guess as to the identification of this person, ‘diva?
                      You see, a lot of people who boast that they have had a Catholic education actually never had one – a proper one. They either smoked roll-ups behind the bike sheds or read TeenBeat between the covers of their text books during Religious Studies class. Tsk tsk tsk! You should have been paying attention, kidder.
                      I notice that my ox-leather, stainless steel soled designer boots slammed pretty hard onto your corns and bunions. Oops! Sorry.
                      Sorry I didn’t ram them down hard enough.
                      Oh, and as for telling me to get a life. I think people like you should go out more and stop obsessing about the thread count on Pope Benedict XVI’s socks or the origins of the jewels on his mitre – most unhealthy obsession. And as for the surgically attached peg on your nose which is keeping it up so that you can look down on Catholic Truth. You can either keep it on and fool yourself and others or get it removed and begin to smell the freshly brewed coffee on life’s stove top.
                      It smells gorgeous. You should try it sometime.

                    • Illinidiva

                      “Do you not know the difference between a step parent and a foster parent? ”

                      So do you think that Adam and Eve were real people.. Inquiring minds want to know.

                      “All this stuff about liberalism under the disguise of the so-called ‘spirit of Vatican II’. One of the last surviving clerics who was actually there at every single session is far more qualified than anyone to say that VII was misinterpreted. He was once a liberal but realised, in time, the early signs of damage was beginning to show and he rapidly rectified his position.”

                      So the place that educated Senator Ricky S. and is right next to Father Barron’s magic playhouse is an evil libtard school? Believe me it was a horrific conservative Catholic hellhouse.

                      “You see, a lot of people who boast that they have had a Catholic education actually never had one – a proper one. They either smoked roll-ups behind the bike sheds or read TeenBeat between the covers of their text books during Religious Studies class. Tsk tsk tsk! You should have been paying attention, kidder.”

                      Please.. I never skipped a class in my life because I was that sort of student.

                      “I notice that my ox-leather, stainless steel soled designer boots slammed pretty hard onto your corns and bunions. Oops! Sorry.Sorry I didn’t ram them down hard enough.”

                      I don’t have any corns and bunions because I’m not a shriveled up witch like you yet.

                      “Oh, and as for telling me to get a life. I think people like you should go out more and stop obsessing about the thread count on Pope Benedict XVI’s socks or the origins of the jewels on his mitre – most unhealthy obsession.”

                      Benedict or any pope playing absolute monarch is not where I wish the Church to go.

                      “And as for the surgically attached peg on your nose which is keeping it up so that you can look down on Catholic Truth. You can either keep it on and fool yourself and others or get it removed and begin to smell the freshly brewed coffee on life’s stove top.”
                      Really? The one where my only value is as a brood mare and maid who bows and scraps before men.

                      “It smells gorgeous. You should try it sometime.”

                      Yeah.. It certainly has made you a pleasant person.

                    • Annie Rickerton

                      While you’re at it, you can have that chip on your shoulder surgically removed, too. Harley Street has the best plastic surgeons outside of Los Angeles who can do it for you at a reasonable price – mate’s rates.
                      I did the Christian thing for you and I rang them up. They said they’d rearrange your face, too, but I said there’s no need and here’s why:
                      It’s because there is no reference in the Guinness Book of Records for the most amount of mirrors broken just by looking at them and you were going to give it a go.
                      Apart from that, it matters not whether you look like Jenifer Lopez or the Elephant Man – it’s all that nasty stuff you’ve bottled up that needs a good old jet wash… in the Confession Box.
                      God love you.

                    • DE-173

                      The name “diva” is strongly associated with “ridiculous vestments”.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Yes.. I know that I am a handful which is why I chose the name. And this is one diva who thinks that closeted gay men should at least be open about their sexuality before trying on the bling.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      I think there’s a bit more to it, actually.

                    • DE-173

                      What makes you an expert on Jesus?

                    • Illinidiva

                      And you are one?

                    • Illinidiva

                      And I mean the previous English translation.. the one with proper grammar and syntax and lacking in run on sentences.

                    • Clearly form seems to be more important than content to you.

                    • Illinidiva

                      See.. The Mass is the same in the new and old translation; the syntax is just crappier.

                    • Atilla The Possum

                      Right on!

                    • DE-173

                      First means expla

                    • DE-173

                      “playing patty-cake”
                      Just one example of a meaningless series of accusations.

                    • Illinidiva

                      What do you call snuggling up to the group of Holocaust deniers?

                • GG

                  It is not about style, but truth. Many hate the truth because it means they must stop doing what they are doing.

                • jacobhalo

                  I wish he would have driven the church back to pre-Vatican days, when we had full seminaries, convents, churches, Catholic schools, long lines at confession, and very few cafeteria Catholics.

                  • Illinidiva

                    See there was this thing called WWII and then this other thing called the 1960s and the Sexual Revolution that would make that impossible.

                    • jacobhalo

                      The goal of Vatican Ii was to bring the Church into the modern World. Mission Accomplished. The goal should had been to bring the modern world into the church.

                    • Illinidiva

                      The modern world wasn’t interested in the pre-Vatican II Church and without Vatican II the Catholic Church would be as influential as the Amish.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      Actually, conversions to the Church had reached flood proportions in the 1950s, to the point that some Protestant leaders were panicked, and wondered what they could do to compete. Unfortunately, those figures tailed off immediately and sharply after VII, and have never recovered. There may be many reasons that would explain this development, but that’s obviously not what we wanted or hoped for in the heady days of optimism right after the Council. At the very least, we must have been doing something right back in the day.

                    • Illinidiva

                      What made the world less religious – World War II and the Sexual Revolution come to mind. Without Vatican II, it would have been an even more dramatic collapse. No one in the modern world is interested in a monarchical European institution where they are treated little better than medieval serfs and told to shut up and pay, pray, and obey.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      That doesn’t address my comment. In any case, how can any one know what would have happened “without Vatican II?” I’d argue that it was in the post-VII church that I experience a micromanaging clericalism and VI-style exercise of super papal authority – Paul VI promulgated the new rite of Mass pretty much on his own initiative, without consulting the bishops or especially the laity, who were now supposed to be treated with more respect.

                      But still, if the papacy of Pius XII was such a repellent “monarchical European Institution,” why did it attract so many converts? Why has the much more “updated” church attracted so many fewer? I’m asking seriously, not rhetorically.

                    • Illinidiva

                      “But still, if the papacy of Pius XII was such a repellent “monarchical European Institution,” why did it attract so many converts?”

                      Because 70 years ago was a different time than today. There weren’t that many democracies in Europe during the time. Most people lived under absolute temporal dictatorships as well. Also, many of the vocations occurred during severe upheavals and economic turmoil. People were looking for a hot meal and steady job.

                      ” Why has the much more “updated” church attracted so many fewer?”

                      The sexual revolution? Gender equality? The 1960s? Democracy? Traditional Catholic teachings, especially those on sex, aren’t attractive to people today. Women have achieved greater equality in society in general. A woman who is able to attend a top university and become a CEO, top scientist or doctor, or leading politician isn’t interested in being a second class citizen in the Church. Women aren’t interested in being told that they are subservient to their husbands in marriage or that their only value to the Church is to pop out as many babies as possible. Gay people aren’t interested in remaining in the closet or being told that they are diseased. People aren’t interested in remaining in loveless marriages because the Church tells them to. People of different religions mix all the time; they don’t think it is a sin to attend their co-worker’s son’s bar mitzvah and don’t think that the Sikh couple down the street is headed for Hell. Americans especially, but other people in general, aren’t interested in an institution that has a liturgy that comes out of medieval European monarchies or where they are treated as a serf by the priests. Divine right of kings (or priests) no longer flies.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      I was speaking specifically about the United States in the post WW II era, where bishop Sheen was the most popular personality on TV and converts to Catholicism had reached record levels, which then tailed off sharply in the aftermath of Vatican II and have never bounced back.

                      What “dictatorships” are you referring to? In western Europe? They look like social or parliamentary democracies to me. Surely you don’t mean the totalitarian regimes of Hitler, Stalin, etc. which were militantly atheist/secularist, where the bravest souls actually did dare to convert secretly or keep the faith at great cost.

                      It’s hard to respond to the rest of your response because it’s simply a string of caricatures. Who says these things and where? Who now or ever did tell “women” that their job is to pop out babies or that they’re subservient to their husbands? Is there any pulpit anywhere, over the last four decades, from which such thunderbolts are emanating? Which “women” are you referring to? The most striking thing about the “enslaved” women of the feminist movement is that they hailed from such upscale, privileged, highly educated backgrounds, as did most of the rest of “60s” rebels. Whatever you want to call them, “subservient” doesn’t do the trick for me Far from remaining in loveless marriages, so many people who divorce these days seem to be casual almost whimsical in their reasons, almost as if they were changing jobs. In any case, I can’t all of these people who are in mortal fear of the Church’s wrath. They pay attention when they want a nice wedding or have their kids baptized for their parents’ sake.

                      If you can point to the place where the Church commands and the laity obey, I’d be interested to know where it is.

                    • GG

                      Nope. What you mean to say is that cry babies are too self absorbed with the drama of their upbringing to be faithful to Truth. They want pan sexualism and constant license with a patina of religion which is mere dressed up social work.

        • Daniel P

          Scolding? I think Benedict may have sounded more “professorial” or “distant” than Francis. But certainly not scolding.

          • DE-173

            He was far more precise.

            • Daniel P

              Agreed.

  • Dick Prudlo

    All this is going according to plan, and the plan is “make a mess at the parish level,” while I make a mess worldwide. Can you tell me who that quote comes from?

    • jacobhalo

      I believe it was our esteemed Pope. Mission accomplished!!

  • Susan

    It seems those interested -even in the slightest sense- in this Synod, are allwowing themselves to be carried away by anxiety or distrust over the role that Pope Francis may or may not have played. Mary Jo Anderson is correct in keeping our focus on the besuty of marriage and the sacraments. As faithful catholics we must not fall into the temptation to turn our faith into a political game; no matter what come out of the synod, each of the faithful, each individual must live out our Treasure, which is the Catholic Faith, as faithful witnesses to the beauty which the sacraments hold. I think we are living through another historical phase of deep temptation by Satan as he spins his web of confusion. It (confusion) proves He is gaining territory among catholics perhaps due to laxity and indifference in our faith; we may call ourselves Catholics, but do we really know and put it into daily practice?

  • Guest Gay Perspective

    OK…I have read enough! I am a Gay person who has returned totally to the Church and ALL her teachings!! The thought that with a pen and paper we can re-write the parts of the Bible and Catholic Teachings that we disagree to make everyone feel better is frustrating beyond words. The Press reports about any and all things related to the Catholic Church with a slant that is beyond belief and it is impossible to make them report responsibly because that does not sell papers or increase their likes or whatever measure they are using. It would seem to me that with all the watering down (both attempted and actual) that has taken place in the past 50 years (since Vatican II) has only served to make matters worse. When will people wake up and realize that it is time to reflect on the changes we have already experienced before they want to launch and totally turn the Roman Catholic Church into something that is no longer representative of our Faith! If you do not stand for something…you stand for nothing!!

    • DE-173

      Welcome home. Godspeed.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      Good show.

  • Ann

    PERFECT summation of the crux of the matter. Your post needs to be repeated over, and over, and over as THE central matter that it is. Kudos to you! 🙂

    • Ann

      (That was a reply to poster FernieV. )

  • Aliquantillus

    The situation is too bad to be optimistic. We have a Church which is at the brink of apostasy, led by a heretical and revolutionary Pope who personally backed the first edition of the Relatio-Report. While the conservative Bishops can claim victory because of the two-third majority rule, things look very different if one considers the absolute numbers and one gets an idea of the horrors that happened and which don’t predict any good thing. Admission of the civilly divorced and remarried to the Sacraments got 104 votes pro, 74 contra. Admission of those living in gay unions got 118 votes pro, 62 contra. These are devastating numbers, indicating that a majority of the Bishops simply have left the faith. Nobody knows what they believe in, but one thing is sure: it is not Catholicism. Faithful leaders are a minority in today’s Church, and the Magisterium is working against them.

  • justanotherlittlesoul

    What I see happening with the Relatio is a political ploy used effectively by pro-abortion advocates for years: introduce something outrageous that is four steps ahead of where the group is currently. In the fury of debate that ensues after the proposition, a compromise is reached that is not four steps ahead, but two steps. The conservative side heaves a sigh of relief that things didn’t go as far as the opposition proposed, and the liberal side rejoices to see their agenda leap ahead two steps beyond where it was when they began.

  • cestusdei

    This is what liberals do, they know if they can control the process and communications then they can get their way. If we surrender the truth then we have lost everything. Mercy without truth is not mercy.

  • St JD George

    Though oft quoted, maybe now is a good time to re-post the sweet words from our beloved Rev. Fulton Sheen:
    Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops like bishops and your religious act like religious.”

    • More Tea Vicar?

      Oh, for more like the Venerable Fulton J Sheen! Santo Subito!!!!
      He would had those liberal, agenda-driven bishops like Kasper not so much for breakfast but for a four course meal with jam roly-poly followed by coffee and mints!

  • ColdStanding

    How do you vote on the the Truth?

    Pontius Pilate in dialog with the people of Jerusalem, “Behold your King.”

    But, realizing it was unpastoral to have a king, they cried out: “Away with him; away with him; crucify him!”

    Pilate polled the gathered citizens: “Shall I crucify your King?”

    The chief priests answered: “We have no king but Caesar!”

    Voting on the Truth. It was bad then. It is worse now.

    Jesus Christ is Lord! Viva Cristo Rey!

  • More Tea Vicar?

    The Extraordinary Synod on the Family – which could or should have been entitled: The Thick Of It – Vatican Edition

    Stuff That Happened At The Synod You Could Not Possibly Make Up Number 1:
    Secular media personnel who were overheard to comment amongst themselves about the huge presence of Catholic media outlets reporting the Synod and asking themselves why they were there.

    I mean, come on! What was it Cardinal Raymond Burke said at one stage to the bishops that could also apply here? ”It’s not rocket science!”
    Stuff That Happened At The Synod You Could Not Possibly Make Up Number 1a:
    The expressions of surprise from the bishops that the world’s media is actually interested in the Synod!
    It gives ’em hacks something to do, I s’pose…

    Stuff That Happened At The Synod You Could Not Possibly Make Up Number 2:
    The Relatio. The fact that hard copies of the document was released to the media BEFORE the Bishops had a sniff of it!
    You can’t kid a kidder…
    Initially, it appeared to me that releasing the document in this was was done ”accidentally on purpose” I watched the unedited Vatican Press Conference, when Bishop Forte was quizzed about it at the press conference. Rather than holding his hands up, he ducked and dived out of giving a straight answer like a cross between a wide boy caught bang to rights and an incompetent goalkeeper at a five-a-side soccer match at the Dog and Oak Tree Pub!
    I half expected the ‘Eastenders’ drum riff … you know the one, it comes at a cliff hanger moment before they roll up the end credits!
    Seriously, these members of the Hierarchy need prayers: Add Saint Jude …

  • lifeknight

    Thanks for the update and “boots on the ground.”
    We can only hope and pray that in the next year someone gets the memo to include the entire synod in the write up!
    We can pray for the conversion of all Catholics—even those who lead the flock.

  • a fool

    Please, live and speak the Word of God as Christ Jesus did, as all the saints before us lived, as the Great Saint John Paul II did! As Mother Teresa did. We know them, don’t we? We loved them, we respected them, we looked forward to see them whenever there was a chance. We will try to do that time and again and again. What caused that? Because, they lived The Word. Thus, let us all LIVE In The Word of God! “The Word was made flesh and dwelled among men.” The Word of God made Jesus the God-Man. The flesh of Jesus the Man lived every word He spoke. So must we, if we want to be SAINTS! That is what every Catholic is called to be~~ A Saint! We eat the Flesh of Jesus, we drink His Blood. the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist makes us HOLY ~ Being one with Jesus, thus, with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Are we HOLY? If you do not feel you are that good, then go for a good Confession! The difference between a saint and a sinner is a Good Confession! The problem is not the Church, it is the sinful people in the Church who refuse to go and have a Good Confession! To live as a Cathoic should and must!! Their Pride got the best of them! their selfishness for lust rule their lives. Thus, they hide in the slogan of “Discrimination, anti human rights…” How much right can anyone have when one declares oneself as a A member of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, yet refuses to live as ONE. is that person ONE of the Member of the Mystical Body? Of course, not! The Membership dues must be paid that is to live like one!

  • a fool

    the problem is due to the lack of “Discernment” how and what to keep silent until the JOB is done! Anxious lip got burnt from the HOT POT!

  • Bernonensis

    Fortunately, there were at least some synod participants who didn’t give a fig for what the Bishop of Rome thought of them, but who do care very deeply about what Christ thinks of them.

  • Edward Petkus

    Why doesn’t the Church grant FREE annulments to all divorced Catholics then they to can rejoin the church

    • publiusnj

      When the pope reinstitutes taxes on the faithful, we might be able to make the Church judicial process free just like the state-supported divorce process now is free….Oh, never having done one, I forgot the state-divorce process isn’t free either. Oh well….

  • Mrs Baker

    The smoke of satan enters…

    • GG

      I suppose we get the type of bishops and Popes we deserve. What does that say now?

    • The smoke of Satan is not longer just smoke. It’s thick fumes, suffocating the Church.

  • “Francis’ Patient Revolution”
    http://bit.ly/1t8BXij

    According to Sandro Magister, everything’s according to plan.

    May the Holy Spirit stop Francis again, as He did through faithful bishops at the synod, and once for all.

    • GG

      Yes, but the soft right will spin and spin and spin and spin…

      • Their typical knee-jerk reaction borders on idolatry. Rather, the Church expects mroe from us:

        Can. 212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which [the Christian faithful] possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

        • GG

          I hope that Cardinal Burke is getting together with other Cardinals and praying and talking about how to stop the insanity. You know many of those men must be deeply concerned to say the least.

          Notice he does not spin, nuance, and parse words to make everything fit even when it does not fit.

    • publiusnj

      Thank you for that article. It is truly frightening to think the Church elected a “Manchurian Papabile,” and yet that is exactly what we would have if the heterodox camel gets its nose under the Big Catholic tent with a “disciplinary rule” that would allow Remarried communicants. As Sandro Magister observes, that would just be a way stop on the way to Catholic Divorce (and don’t let anyone say that Annulment is already Catholic Divorce. Big difference and the proof is that if this were just a small change, nobody would be pushing for it in the sneaky way they are).

      We need to let our bishops know that this is not a “pastoral” approach for real Cataholics but reaping the whirlwind. Why should I pay attention to any of the rules the Church teaches–like going to Mass and supporting the collection–if the clear big, very scriptural rules on homosexual conduct and Communion for remarried, divorced adulterers can just be thrown out by parliamentary (or synodal) maneuver? Where does this very smug pope get off ignoring the Catechism of the Catholic Church which was carefully thought through and put together by the Pope who appointed him bishop, archbishop and cardinal? When the question “is the Pope Catholic” must be answered with at best a “maybe” (and I am being charitable), then the Church is in a parlous state. We need Catholic bishops to oppose this Pope’s not at all Catholic proposals.

      Before anyone starts: I am not now nor have I ever been a sedevacantist; I have never been even an anti-Novus Ordo mass type. Even though a number of Francesco’s pronouncements had given me indigestion, I had always been ultramontane until release of the “relatio post disceptationem” on Oct. 13, 2014. That document though woke me up to just how radical the Kasperite agenda is (I call it Kasperite but I fear it is Bergogliesque as well).

      • The progressive heretics are old and dying without having a younger generation pick up their baton, since they were either aborted, contracepted or just got tired of coloring books with pictures of bob-head Jesus. After half a century of the progressive heresy, I think that this is the last putsch of this failed, dying agenda. Were it successful, Protestant sects wouldn’t be dying faster than the Church and non-affiliated and atheist wouldn’t be the fastest growing religions in the West.

  • jdumon

    WHO is behind this mess, WHO sowed this confusion?
    He remained silent, but Card. Kasper the heretic, the liar, the racist, claimed to speak instead of Him, and He, the Pope never denied.
    But who am I to judge?
    The matter was settled once and forever by St John Paul II in “Familiaris consortio” 30 years ago.Why did the Pope decide to reopen the file? Because JPII erred? If so, then why to make him a saint?

  • Blobee

    The Synod was like a family gathering together to discuss what to do for Christmas, and then hordes of others come pounding on their door asking where they are going, and when and can I stay here while you’re gone? So it goes with the rabid media in these days of push button journalism. It’s not even worth spending time reading about until articles such as this one comes out, because in most there’s not even a whisper of truth. “News” has become gossip. Immature and untrue. Propaganda. Yellow journalism.

  • Bob332

    Diabolical disorientation. The lefties/progressive/liberal’s are intent on destroying Christ’s church from within similar to what Obama and his Regime are doing in the U’S.

  • @Cincinnatus1775

    The Director of the press office was surprised by the number of reporters and allowed the release of a draft that hadn’t even been seen by the bishops, let alone approved? Time to send him to a small parish on the far end of Sicily and hire a professional.

    • MJ Anderson

      Fr. Lombardi of the Press office was surprised by the number of journalists! but it was not he who authorized the release of the Relatio, it was the Secretary General of the synod! cardinal Baldiserri.

      • Cincinnatus1775

        OK, but you can’t argue that the Vatican’s handling of the press during the synod and indeed throughout Francis’ papacy has been anything but a disaster.

  • Yankeegator

    “Thus I make it known to you that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of morals… As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and deeply profaned. Freemasonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the aim of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin and encouraging procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church… In this supreme moment of need for the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.”

    – Our Lady of Good Success, Quito, Ecuador, 1610 A.D

    CCC 675…

  • Peatbogjeff

    Locutions.org for the truth everyone.

  • This is the Synod:

    “During this unhappy period there will be laxity in divine and human precepts. Discipline will suffer. The Holy Canons will be completely disregarded and the clergy will not respect the laws of the Church. The Holy Canons and religious dogmas are clouded by senseless questions and elaborate arguments. As a result, no principle at all, however holy, authentic, ancient, and certain it may be, will not remain free of censure, criticism, false interpretations, modifications and delamination by man. These are evil times, century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere. Bishops, prelates and priests say they are doing their duty, that they are vigilant. They seek all excuses but God will permit a great evil against His Church: Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly, they will enter Rome and lay Rome to waste.” ~St. Francis of Paola

    One must pray that Rome returns to the True Faith.

  • PADDY

    A fifty percent illegitimacy rate seems to sum up the problem, topped by 55,000,000,000 abortions. Leftists love it.

  • GTB

    Choose your own Catholic survey and read the incredible sadness. The crisis in our Catholic Church is not only allowed by God but willed by God as a punishment for our sins. We have been given the many Clerics and priests that we deserve for being unfaithful and not strong in our faith. Just read the following survey by example: ” The Univision poll found that 54 percent of U.S. Catholics supported same-sex marriage. Fifty-nine percent supported admitting women to the priesthood. Sixty percent thought Catholics who had divorced and remarried outside the church should be eligible to receive communion. Sixty-one percent thought priests should be allowed to marry. Seventy-six percent thought abortion should be permitted at least in some circumstances. Seventy-nine percent supported contraception” ……not to mention other Catholic polls showing that the majority of Catholics are on the wrong side morality and truth when it comes to mortal sin, Holy Days of obligation, Salvation, Confession, proper and clear catechesis, etc etc….
    Love the Sinner and hate the sin and go and sin no more. What part of that does one not understand?
    JMJ,
    George Brenner

  • Rosemary58

    Yes, the HF initiated this squabble and then sat silently observing the mess. Not a very charitable thing to do.

  • Fr Jim Rosselli

    As one of your Russian Orthodox cousins, I must say that I admire Pope Francis’s attempts to reconcile. with Orthodoxy. I pray the effort will succeed.

    Without going into lots of Theological advocacy here (I am, after all, a guest in your house),
    the Pope has suggested “the Orthodox solution.” Why not?

    I believe that If the Body of Christ is to heal, we all have tio go back to the unadorned, pre-“pastoralized” Patristic Church. It is there that God formed us as His Theanthropic institution on earth, and it is to there that we need to root our aspirations.

    We also need to screen out the voices of the spoilers. We are God’s people, not the spawn of liberal secularism, liberal “new theology” or any other of hell’s creatures. We need to ignore the “world press,” which almost unanimously speak for satan, and stop trying to
    explain things to people who do not seek information but only hooks on which to hang their opinions.

    We must once more speak to the world, and stop trying to court its favor by being spoken to by it.

    Just my two cents.

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