The Synod’s Interim Report: Ambiguity and Misinterpretation

The Interim Report (IR) of the Synod of Bishops on the Family released on Monday, October 13, represents a summary of the discussion of the first week of the Synod. Here’s the problem with the IR in a nutshell. It claims to offer “a significant hermeneutic key that comes from the teaching of Vatican Council II” (§17). There are elements of sanctification and of truth outside the visible boundaries of the Church that are forces impelling toward Catholic unity (Lumen Gentium 8). Furthermore, there are positive elements present in other religions and cultures. Analogously, there are positive elements even in the imperfect and incomplete forms of relationships that may be found outside of the fullness of marriage, but these forms “are in any case ordered in relation to it” (§18).

In fact, however, Vatican Council II does not argue that in the divine plan of salvation other non-Christian religions as such are vehicles of salvation ordered to the fullness of salvation. They may have goods and truth that are a preparation for the reception of the gospel, but these other religions as religions are not incomplete or imperfect realizations of the gospel. That is why Vatican II says that whatever goods are found in religion and culture need to be transformed by the gospel and integrated into the revelatory narrative of creation, fall, and redemption.

Because IR seems to read Vatican II in a way that suggests—wrongly—that religions not only contain goods/truths, but are themselves as such vehicles of salvation, it falsely interprets relationships like cohabitation not only to have some goods but also that they are themselves as relationships good, albeit imperfect or incomplete realizations of the full good of marriage. Furthermore, because it approaches marriage only from the perspective of creation, rather than from the comprehensive perspective of creation, fall, and redemption, it suggests that these so called irregular situations are relationships that may historically unfold in an individual’s life as they allegedly did in the divine pedagogy of the history of redemption on the way to the fullness of truth about marriage taught by Christ. Let me briefly unpack my argument against IR in light of specific paragraphs from this document.

In §16 of the IR, marriage is placed in the context of creation, fall, and redemption. Like the Catechism of the Catholic Church (nos. 1601-1617), marriage is seen in God’s plan as grounded in the order of creation, under the regime of sin, and in the order of redemption, particularly in the sacramental economy of that divine plan. Although ID doesn’t unpack the meaning of marriage in this normative perspective, it does provide a starting-point that is indispensable for articulating the Church’s teaching on marriage. So far so good.

Discernment of Values?
The IR makes a move that is, however, rife with ambiguity and potential confusion. In §17-23, it chooses to limit its perspective to what it calls a “discernment of values present in wounded families and in irregular situations.” One of these “irregular situations” is cohabitation. The IR (§20) calls these situations “incomplete and imperfect,” relationships containing “positive values,” indeed, IR says “family values” (§38) that we need to appreciate “rather than [focusing on] their limitations and shortcomings.” What values does the IR have in mind? It’s not clear, but perhaps it is suggesting that such values are shown “when a union reaches a notable level of stability, through a public bond, [which] is characterized by deep affection, responsibility with regard to offspring, and capacity to withstand tests” (§22).

Now, I am willing to grant for the sake of discussion that we can discern values in some such irregular situations like cohabitation. The question that now arises is whether cohabitation is itself a good relationship, albeit imperfect or incomplete, that is ordered to the good of marriage (IR §18)? Alternatively, does cohabitation contain good values that appear in a relationship that is as such a reflection of our fallen human condition, and hence that whatever goods are found there must ultimately be chastened by the transforming power of the Gospel and inserted into the revelatory narrative of creation, fall, and redemption? If the latter, if this relationship is a sinful one, then cohabitation cannot be ordered to the good of marriage.

Ambiguity and Misinterpretation
This ambiguity is present in IR because of the false interpretation it uses, suggesting a correspondence between a perspective “the [Second Vatican] Council opens up […] for appreciating the positive elements in other religions and cultures, despite their limits and their insufficiencies (cf. Nostra Aetate, 2)” (§19), on the one hand, and “the possibility of recognizing positive elements even in the imperfect forms that may be found outside this nuptial situation, which are in any case ordered in relation to it” (§18; italics added), on the other. The flaw is that Lumen Gentium 16-17, Ad Gentes 9, and Nostra Aetate 2 never state or imply that other non-Christian religions as religions have salvific value, being vessels of salvation. So in themselves other religions are not ordered to the Christian faith. Yes, they have goodness by the common grace of God’s general revelation—for instance, they may recognize a monotheistic God and the goodness of creation. Those who hold these views may be in the state of being receptive to the Gospel, as LG 16 holds that “Whatever goodness or truth is found among them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the gospel.”

But a monotheistic religion like Islam holds a version of Unitarianism—God is one and solitary—and hence even the good of monotheism is not ordered to the fullness of the Christian Faith wherein the “divine Unity is Triune.” In fact, even the truth of monotheism needs to be redeemed, transformed by the Gospel. As LG 17 states: “whatever good is in the minds and hearts of men, whatever good lies latent in the religious practices and cultures of diverse peoples, is not only saved from destruction but is also healed, ennobled, and perfected unto the glory of God, the confusion of the devil, and the happiness of man.” So, Vatican II looks at the elements of goodness outside the visible boundaries of the Church from the comprehensive perspective of creation, fall, and redemption.

The implication—and hence its falsity—of this interpretation appears clearly in IR’s claim that it is looking at marriage only from the perspective of the “order of creation.” On this interpretation marriage “unfolds historically, in different cultural and geographical expressions” (§19). IR seems to be suggesting—amazingly enough—that cohabitation, and other irregular situations are part of the historically unfolding path of marriage, albeit in an “incomplete and imperfect way” (IR §20). Analogously, IR suggests that the path to marriage in an individual’s life may similarly unfold. But how can cohabitation be a “path to marriage” when it is itself not a good relationship, but merely a sinful one—when viewed from the order of God’s normative intent for marriage—albeit that it also includes some good values? Don’t polygamy and same-sex relationships also often include kindness and sacrifice? But they are not ordered to the good of marriage.

What is distinctive about cohabitation is that the couples are having sexual intercourse without having made a lifetime commitment to each other (and as the divorce rates show is a bad preparation for marriage). What is distinctive about polygamy is that it involves many spouses; what is distinctive about adultery is that it involves having sex with someone who isn’t your spouse; what is distinctive about same-sex relationships is that they are not heterosexual and hence cannot attain a two-in-one-flesh union that is open to life. What is distinctive to cohabitation and each of these other relationships is that they are incompatible with marriage. They are not a suitable preparations or precursors to marriage. Simply stated, they are sinful relationships. They are not incomplete or imperfect relationships that are as such ordered to the good of marriage but they are violations of marriage.

Back to Creation
Intriguingly, the IR does acknowledge (§14) that Christ himself (Mark 10: 1-12) refers us to the seminal texts of creation (Gen 1:27 and 2:24) as foundational for the canonical and hence normative understanding of marriage. “Jesus Himself, referring to the primordial plan for the human couple, reaffirms the indissoluble union between man and woman, while understanding that ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning’ ” (Matt 19:8). This statement of Christ refers us to the normative order of creation—permanence, twoness, and sexual differentiation are foundational to a biblical understanding of marriage—because that understanding of marriage is universally valid.

Christ didn’t suggest that there were “incomplete and imperfect forms of marriage” on the way to the fullest realization of marriage, as if to suggest that these other relationships were part of the historically unfolding path of marriage. His divine pedagogy did not accentuate the “positive values they contain rather than their limitations and shortcomings” (§20). Rather, he refers us to the light of the normative creation in order to let it shine upon the fallen human condition in which human beings had made choices that were not worthy of the divine calling to marriage. The Church should continue to do the same.

(Photo credit: CNS / Paul Haring)

Eduardo Echeverria

By

Eduardo Echeverria is Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. He earned his doctorate in philosophy from the Free University in Amsterdam and his S.T.L. from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. He is the author of several books, including Dialogue of Love: Confessions of an Evangelical Catholic Ecumenist (Wipf & Stock, 2010).

  • jacobhalo

    log onto “Edward Pentin” and listen to the interview with Cardinal Kasper.

  • tom

    A Great Schism away from the Rome of weaklings like Dolan, O”Malley and Wuerl would be good. The smoke of Satan swirls inside the Vatican and across former Christendom. These boys look on in confusion.

    • Watosh

      It would appear that the Dolans, O’Malleys and Wuerls are de facto schismatics.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        Are you suggesting that they are not in communion with the Pope?

        • Watosh

          No, unfortunately it appears that is the problem.

          • jacobhalo

            You have it backward. It appears that the Pope and his modernists are not in communion with the church teachings.

            • Watosh

              Now how did you jump to the conclusion you jumped to.

              In response to my comment regarding Cardinals Dolan, OMalley and Wuerls being de facto schismatics, MPS responded by asking if I was suggesting that these worthies are not in communion with the Pope. I then responded that “it appears that is the problem” i.e. they share the same failing the Pope does, hence one could say, a bit elliptically I confess, that they therefore unfortunately are in communion with the Pope, given that the Pope also is not in full communion with Church teaching. Given this clarification, do you now believe I “have it backward.” I believe all these worthies, including the current Pope, have made a number departures from traditional Church teaching. I think you did not read these exchanges carefully and read into them something that wasn’t there. I wasn’t trying to mousetrap anyone, sorry. I wasn’t sure that MPS’s response was meant to imply that these Cardinals could not be schismatics and still be in full communion with the Pope, or exactly what, but this was why I responded in the manner I did. I was trying to avoid a long argument!!

              • jacobhalo

                Sorry, Watosh, I misunderstood your first post. I apologize.

              • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                I believe Mgr Ronald Knox was right, when he said, “The fideles, be they many or few, be their doctrine apparently traditional or apparently innovatory, be their champions honest or unscrupulous, are simply those who are in visible communion with the see of Rome… the Roman theory does give a test for defining the fideles without the question-begging preliminary of ascertaining who the fideles are, from an examination of their tenets. And in fact there can be little doubt that, in the West, our labelling of this party as orthodox and that as heterodox in early Church history comes down to us from authors who were applying this test of orthodoxy and no other.”

                The Assyrians say that the Council of Ephesus departed from “traditional Church teaching” and have cut themselves off from the rest of the Church since 431; the Armenians and the Copts say the same of Chalcedon in 451 and still continue their distinctive witness. Catholics do not have to engage in a prolonged and possibly inconclusive theological and historical enquiry; it is and always has been enough for us that we have the bishop of Rome in our camp and they do not.

                As Cardinal Manning put it, “But perhaps it may be asked: If you reject history and antiquity, how can you know what was revealed before, as you say, history and antiquity existed? ‘I answer: The enunciation of the faith by the living Church of this hour, is the maximum of evidence, both natural and supernatural, as to the fact and the contents of the original revelation. I know what are revealed there not by retrospect, but by listening.”

                • Watosh

                  This is a perplexing question, being in full communion with Rome. For instance we have the SSPX, they hold all the traditional Catholic teachings, but they will not accept Vatican II in toto. They openly have serious reservations about some of the statements made during Vatican II, on the grounds that they conflict with some traditional teachings and Vatican II was officially declared to be a “pastoral” council. Consequently they consecrated Bishops without gaining the approval of Rome, as Rome did not want their order to continue. So they are considered to be not in full communion with the see of Rome.

                  On the other hand we have countless bishops and cardinals who do not accept some traditional Catholic teachings that have been an integral part of the magisterium. Despite many who openly rejected these teachings are nevertheless considered to be in full communion with the see of Rome. It does make one wonder from a logical consideration.

                  While I appreciate the dangers in forming a splinter group, as has occurred in history as MPS points out, the situation as I mentioned does perplex me.

                  Further when I find the Pope welcoming all sorts of heretical sects that have split off from Rome and have little beliefs in common at all with traditional Catholic teaching, and treating them as legitimate while treating the SSPX as being persona non grata lepers, well gain I am perplexed by this. Those groups that teach things that are against traditional Catholic doctrine are embrace, while a gout that is at worst, teaching traditional Catholic doctrine are pushed away. I do not quite know what to make of all this myself.

                  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                    But the whole point of Knox’s test is that it avoids ” the question-begging preliminary of ascertaining who the fideles are, from an examination of their tenets.”

                    Visible communion is a simple to determine. It is a test remarkably easy of application; just what one would expect of the criterion of a divine message, intended for all, regardless of learning, capacity or circumstances.

                    • Watosh

                      Visible communion is unquestionably easy to ascertain, and can be unambiguous. But I am bothered that visible communion while it gives a certain criteria for being in full communion does beg the question of ascertaining what the fideles are. Which to me is more meaningful than appearances of full communion. That is someone might say they are in full communion on the rounds that they haven’t declared they want to separate officially, but at the same time some of their beliefs may be heretical, and today there seems to be a lot of heretical views that are tolerated. It is like people such as Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden announcing they support homosexual marriage and abortion, but consider themselves “good loyal Catholics”. Are they then in full communion? It is true some Churchmen have condemned these stances, yet they have not been officially read out of the Church, and in general, in many dioceses are not denied receiving communion. And then we have the example of theologians who were branded as being in error, yet a few popes later they were invited to give expert testimony on a number of issues. This does not give me much comfort.

                      Well maybe Knox’s test has the virtue of giving a practical criteria of who is in full communion, in order to avoid confusion, still it seems to me that there still is a question of what constitutes a truly full communion. I still am bothered that some Church prelate can deny certain Church traditional teachings that have been subscribed to as official, unchangeable Church doctrine that Catholic must believe, and still be considered as being in full communion. Technically one might argue that they are in full communion, but again to me, “full communion” means “full communion.” Maybe this question will not be resolved until the persecutions start.

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      Visible communion is obviously severed, when a person refused communion with the Pope (or a bisop in communion with him) – which would appear to be the case with the SSPX, or when their ordinary or the Pope excommunicates them, or withdraws a priest’s or a bishop’s faculties, as happened to Modernists like Loisy or Tyrrell, or to Leonard Feeny

                      Any other criterion necessarily tends to the Protestant error of the Invisible Church, besides being unworkable in practice. If the Body of Christ has a visible presence in the world, the criteria for membership must be visible, too.

                    • Watosh

                      well I recognize grey areas exist, though they do not give certitude which we would all like. Now many believe the SSPX is not in communion with the pope. Many believe that the SSPX has been excommunicated. Now in reality, the SSPX members who had been under an excommunication that was not at all crystal clear, had the excommunications recently removed by Benedict XVI. Priests of the SSPX were not excommunicated. I believe the official Vatican pronouncement is that the SSPX is in an “irregular status.” Their masses are considered valid. They profess to follow all orders issued by the Pope, except they find certain pronouncements emanating from Vatican Ii are not in accordance with certain Catholic teachings, and they have good reasons for taking this position. Of course since they maintain a certain independence from those who are in control of the Vatican, this is an undesirable situation. The danger is that they might become a separate Church, though they do not wish to be seen in this light. Their existence is quite upsetting to many and I think it regrettable myself. There is a lot of rancor directed at the SSPX by even some Catholics who are unhappy with the modernist tendency in the Church. Some Catholics who love the Latin Mass, have little use for the SSPX. I have heard some members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter denounce the SSPX, yet I doubt if they would have been formed and allowed to say the Latin Mass had not the SSPX made their stand. I can understand those who feel the SSPX took the wrong road, but on the other hand, does anyone not believe that we are in an emergency situation, and be just a little more tolerant of the SSPX. They may be misguided, they may be disobedient, but they are not evil and they are not interested in destroying the Church, which some in full communion seem to be bent on.

                    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                      Perhaps, one can see similarities with the Ultrajectine schism that started as a row in 1701 over the refusal of Archbishop Codde to sign the anti-Jansenist formula. Codde refused to resign and went on to consecrate bishops for Deventer, Haarlem and Groningen.

                      After the restoration of the Dutch hierarchy in 1853, they became known as “Old Catholics” to distinguish themselves from the new hierarchy or “Roman mission.”

                      Following Vatican I, various groups in Germany, Austria and Switzerland who dissented from that council sought consecration of their bishops from a sympathetic Abp of Utrecht.

                      Eventually, the various Old Catholic groups formed the Union of Utrecht, which is now a rather liberal Protestant sect, for the principle of private judgment had already been implicitly established by their refusal of the submission of faith to Rome. What their rigorous Jansenist forebears would have made of it, one shudders to think.

                      Once unity is broken, anything can happen.

                    • Watosh

                      Yes, you are right, and we can see it happening once again.

                    • Watosh

                      Well Knox’s test reflects appearances rather than adherence. And it does discriminate between the Church and some splinter groups, and as such may have been useful in the past. But today we are faced with condition that I doubt Knox ever dreamed would exist.

                      Such tests remind me of the sampling dilemma, no matter what sampling scheme one picks there will always be a probability that it may reject a good lot, i.e. a lot within the desired specs, and likewise it may accept a bad lot, i.e. a lot that does not meet the specs. The only way around this would be tot test every item in the lot, which is time consuming and expensive.

        • ForChristAlone

          The Pope is not in communion with the papacy…that’s the issue.

      • jacobhalo

        Dolan,O’Malley and Wuerls are continuing to preach the teachings of the church. The pope and his modernists want to change the teachings. “If anyone preaches to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be an anathema.” (Gal.1:9)

  • jacobhalo

    Elements of santafication in other religions? It has been said that there were no new teachings or doctrines from Vatican II. You could have fooled me. I know I sound like a broken record, or we would say today, a broken CD, but Jesus said ” I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one goes to Father except through me.” ” Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. Those who don’t believe are already condemned.” These quotes are straightforward. There is only one way to interpret them, as they were interpreted before the heretical Vatican II council. When I went to Catholic schools in the 50’s and 60’s. All other religions were considered false religions. Please don’t tell me that doctrines were not changed during Vat. II.

    • Steve Frank

      There’s no question that many statements from Vatican 2 about other religions seem to contradict what pre-Vatican 2 popes and councils taught. One attempt I’ve heard to reconcile the contradiction is the idea of the “anonymous Catholic”. What that says is that in as much as people from other religions sincerely seek God, they are Catholics without realizing it. This idea opens salvation to non Catholics, while trying to preserve the integrity of prior church statements that only Catholics can be saved. As an evangelical Protestant, I guess I’m glad to know the post Vatican 2 Catholic Church is willing to see me as a genuine Christian who might be saved. However I do understand why very traditional Catholics might struggle with this “anonymous Catholic” concept. I can see why some may think that it’s an attempt at squaring a circle. If you examine the precise language of some past papal bulls it does strike me as a bit of a stretch to think you could plug into them the concept of an “anonymous” Catholic and preserve the integrity of the statement. But again, not being a Catholic myself , this is not a contradiction I need to seek to resolve, since I would see the Church as including all those who accept the ancient creeds of the early church. But I do understand the dilemma for those who believe in the infallibility of popes and councils…it is tough to reconcile pre and post Vatican 2 on that issue and preserve the infallibility idea. Maybe others have heard better explanations than the “anonymous Catholic” but that’s the only one I’ve ever heard.

      • Salvelinus

        The church of Vatican II newchurch is a new religion… not Catholic, closer to Episcopalians

        • jacobhalo

          Sal, you are correct.

      • Martha

        You’re soooooo close, Steve! Come on over! The fact that you’re interested in Catholic doctrine shows that you’re being prompted to join the fullness of the Church! 🙂

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        The notion of the “anonymous Christian” can be found in an oration of St Gregory of Nazianzus in 374: “He was ours even before he was of our fold. His manner of life made him one of us. Just as there are many of our own who are not with us, whose lives alienate them from the common body, so too there are many of those outside who belong really to us, men whose devout conduct anticipates their faith. They lack only the name of that which in fact they possess.”

        St Justin Martyr, writing 150 years earlier, says, “Christ is the Logos of whom the whole race of men partake. Those who lived according to Logos are Christians, even if they were considered atheists, such as, among the Greeks, Socrates, and Heraclitus”

        • jacobhalo

          St Justin martyr was wrong. The infallible doctrines were written from the words of Jesus. “Those who are baptized and believe will be saved. Those who don’t believe are already condemned.” I am the Way, The Truth and the Life. The only way to the Father is through Me.” Jesus said, to the Jews. If you don’t believe that I am He, you will die in your owns sins.” These quotes were used for those infallible doctrines, not the quote from St. Justin Martyr, and not any other saint. Jesus is the Truth.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” (Acts 8:30-31)

            The holy Fathers well understood and faithfully expounded the words of Jesus, in accordance with the teaching they received from the Apostles. “To you,” said He to His Apostles, “it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Matt. xiii. 11).

            That is the same sense in which the Church has always understood them, from the 2nd century to the 21st.

            • jacobhalo

              Michael, my point is that Vatican II changed the teachings by saying that certain doctrines were misinterpreted. Read the prayer about the Jews during Easter. For 2000 years, during many, many councils, not one council said it was misinterpreted. Vatican II came along with its ecumenism and inter religious dialogue, and all of a sudden, it was misinterpreted. If you believe that no teachings were changed, I will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.

          • fredx2

            Nothing in what you have quoted says anything about being Catholic only belief in Jesus.

            • jacobhalo

              I don’t understand you post. The church wasn’t called Catholic until the 2nd. century when began to spread. Secondly, everyone I quoted was a Catholic. The word Catholic (universal) wasn’t used until about the 2nd. cent. when it began to other parts of the world.
              St. Ignatius of Antioch in 107 a.d. in letters to the stmymaeans wrote, ” Wherever the bishops appear, let the people be there, just as whenever Jesus Christ is there, there is the Catholic church.”
              Before it was called the Catholic church, it was called, The Way.

          • Anthony Zarrella

            So… you’re trying to be “more-Catholic-than-thou” by effectively arguing sola scriptura? Remember, even Martin Luther wasn’t originally trying to liberalize Christianity, regardless of the fact that modern mainstream Protestantism is “looser” doctrinally than Catholicism. Luther was trying to be stricter and more doctrinally rigid than the Catholic Church of his era – just as SSPX is doing today.

            If Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church, and Saints all think that Jesus’s words can be interpreted to allow for salvation of those who are not self-professed, baptized Catholics, then that’s good enough for me.

            Also, if you insist on going back to Scripture, check out Paul’s sermon to the Athenians (Acts 17:22-28) – he argues that in dedicating a statue “To An Unknown God,” the Athenians were in fact grasping for the truth of the Lord without knowing what it was that they sought.

            [Edited: When I wrote this, I had not yet seen your lower post, confirming your belief in baptism of desire and of blood, so I had a long excursus about that.]

      • jacobhalo

        Steve, The infallible doctrines, concerning no salvation outside the church, were written well before Luther’s Revolt. At the time of the doctrines, the Catholic church was the only Christian Church. I do agree that all Christian churches are included today. The different Christian churches have different interpretations of Jesus’s teachings, but we all take Jesus as our Savior. Secondly, I wish you were a member of the Catholic church, and I am a traditional Catholic. You sound like a very good Christian. God Bless!

      • fredx2

        There is no real problem. Some of those bulls had far less weight than their current day promoters think.

    • Salvelinus

      All one needs to do is flip through a 1962 missal to also see that we used to pray for “conversion of Jews, heretics, and schismatics”— now, the “missalettes” in the pews of the local neighborhood parish actually have a statement from the USCCB about how “the Jews aregood people and the harsh language of the passion was written in another time”…this “sorry for being Catholic” disclaimer is present in most American pew missalettes,written by some ecumenism group from the USCCB around passion week.

      • Objectivetruth

        Actually, I like what the Missal says concerning the Jewish people. It’s purpose is to correct a misinterpretation of Matthew 27:25: ” And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” Many Catholics for generations interpreted this as an admission of guilt of the Jews crucifying the Christ. But Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI teaches us that it’s not a recognition of guilt, but a prayer, realization and hope that they and their children will be blessed by the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God.

        I miss Benedict. His writings speak the Truth of the Church clearly, in an almost beautiful, poetic way. Read the Catechism and see the beauty in the way it is written. Pope Emeritus Benedict was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith when the current Catechism was produced. You see his beautiful love of Christ throughout.

        • jacobhalo

          Another words, Jesus have been misinterpreted for 2000 years and just now they saw that? Don’t believe it. These quotes by Jesus were reinterpreted because of Vatican II’s ecumenism and inter religious dialogue. Secondly, you say many Catholics for generations interpreted this as an admission of guilt. It was the popes who interpreted that way and it filtered down to the people.

        • John O’Neill

          For many of us Benedict XVI is still the pope; the legitimate pope. Francis is a disaster.

          • ForChristAlone

            I think we ought to have a recall election. Instead of those dumb questionnaires the Vatican sent out for input for the Synod From Hell, please send us advisory ballots about whether we need a new consistory.

      • jacobhalo

        I still use the 1962 missal when I attend the Latin mass on Sundays. I guess the clerics since Vatican II only want to teach the teachings of Jesus with which they believe. That was a heretical council and that is what SSPX is against.

      • jacobhalo

        Jesus said to the Jews, If you don’t believe that I am He, you will die in your owns sins.” Jesus said that “in another time” too. This is what has been going on since Vatican II. They are changing the teachings of Jesus, and saying they are from another time, or saying that they were misinterpreted. This pope needs to retire. He is really a heretic.

      • fredx2

        The USCCB language may be well intended but misplaced. The Good Friday service once referred to the “perfidious Jews” Now, in modern English, perfidious has a very bad connotation. But when the Latin Good Friday service was translated into English, “perfidious” there merely meant “without faith”. as in “without faith in Jesus Christ”. So it was merely a statement praying for our brothers the Jews to be saved, as we would be saved.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      “These quotes are straightforward. There is only one way to interpret them.”

      Well, Pope Bl Pius IX thought there was more than one way to interpret them.

      Insisting that ““it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood,” nevertheless, he goes on to say that “on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labour in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty of this in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things?” [Allocution Singulari Quadem].

      Similarly, in his encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, August 10, 1863 (a century before Vatican II), he teaches “”Those who are hampered by invincible ignorance about our Holy Religion, and, keeping the natural law, with its commands that are written by God in every human heart, and being ready to obey him, live honourably and uprightly, can, with the power of Divine light and grace helping them, attain eternal life. For God, who clearly sees, searches out, and knows the minds, hearts, thoughts, and dispositions of all, in his great goodness and mercy does not by any means suffer a man to be punished with eternal torments, who is not guilty of voluntary fault.”

      So did the Holy Office, in its letter condemning the heresiarch Feeney – “(T)his dogma must be understood in that sense in which the Church herself understands it. For, it was not to private judgments that Our Saviour gave for explanation those things that are contained in the deposit of faith, but to the teaching authority of the Church (Suprema haec sacra, in The American Ecclesiastical Review, 1952, vol. 127, pp. 308-15). Significantly, this letter is incorporated by reference in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium (Note 19*)

      St Justin Martyr, writing at the beginning of the 2nd century says the same: “Christ is the Logos of whom the whole race of men partake. Those who lived according to Logos are Christians, even if they were considered atheists, such as, among the Greeks, Socrates, and Heraclitus”

      • jacobhalo

        Michael, I agree that all Christians get rec. salvation and I believe in the baptism of desire and blood. St. Justin Martyr was not a pope, and his quote is not an doctrine.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Pio Nono was a pope and his teaching is the same as Justin Martyr’s.

          It would be surprising if it were not, for Justin, who lived from c100 to 165 is a witness of the faith of the Apostolic age, more especially as he lived in Palestine and Asia Minor and his life overlaps with that of St John the Evangelist.

          St Irenaus, too, writing around 200 says the same: “Christ came not only for those who believed from the time of Tiberius Caesar, nor did the Father provide only for those who are now, but for absolutely all men from the beginning, who, according to their ability, feared and loved God and lived justly. .” Irenaus remembered Polycarp (69-159), who had seen John and others who had seen the Lord.

          So does St Gregory the Theologian, writing in 374, “He was ours even before he was of our fold. His manner of life made him one of us. Just as there are many of our own who are not with us, whose lives alienate them from the common body, so too there are many of those outside who belong really to us, men whose devout conduct anticipates their faith. They lack only the name of that which in fact they possess.”

          Now, a consensus patrum is doctrine, for Trent forbids us to interpret scripture contrary to the common consent of the Fathers.

          This teaching of the Apostlic age is repeated by an ecumenical, most holy and inspired council in Lumen Gentium. Just what we would expect

          • Steve Frank

            Michael,

            I believe all the examples you refer to involve saints and theologians wresting with the question of how could someone be saved before Christ came, before there was any Church or sacraments. They are dealing with the fate of people who lacked any means whatsoever of availing themselves of the Church and it’s sacraments. That’s why the term invincible ignorance was used in one or your quotes. What happened with Vatican 2 is that “invincible ignorance” was redefined as anyone who is not Catholic. So now all Jews who are good people are saved according to Vatican 2. That’s why the prayer for the conversion of the Jews was removed from the liturgy after Vatican 2. But I have a hard time thinking Pope Eugene would agree with Vatican 2:

            “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot have a share in eternal happiness; but that they will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the Devil and his Angels (Matt 25: 41), unless they unite themselves to the Church before their death; and that so precious is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those who abide in it can benefit from the Church’s Sacraments for their salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militancy. No one, no matter how much he has given in alms and even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, Denzinger n. 714)

            Clearly there was a sea change that took place after Vatican 2 regarding salvation outside the Church. In any case, I didn’t bring this up to start a debate on the issue. I’m not Catholic so I don’t have the need to reconcile what I see as contradictory strains of teaching in the Church on this issue. The reason I brought it up is because Relatio brought it up. The main thing to understand here is that AMBIGUITY is the refuge of those who wish to twist traditional church doctrines to “catch up with the times”. Few churchman will renounce traditional doctrine. Instead they seek to muddy the waters with ambiguity so that while the rules may stay the same down on paper, nobody will believe them anymore because in practice they are treated as if they don’t exist. Vatican 2 did that with salvation outside the Church. Relatio tried to do it with sexuality. And this is by no means only a Catholic problem. I’m Evangelical and I am well aware we have the same problems going on now in our tradition. The only difference is that Evangelicalism has no central teaching authority so the stakes are not as high as they are for Catholicism since the whole edifice of infallibility would collapse if there ever was a true change of doctrine (I realize that has not happened yet and perhaps never will).

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              Steve Frank

              Thank you for your reflections.

              Bl John Henry Newman, writing a century before the Second Vatican Council has this remarkably polished account: “One of the most remarkable instances of what I am insisting on is found in a dogma, which no Catholic can ever think of disputing, viz., that “Out of the Church, and out of the faith, is no salvation.” Not to go to Scripture, it is the doctrine of St. Ignatius, St. Irenæus, St. Cyprian in the first three centuries, as of St. Augustine and his contemporaries in the fourth and fifth. It can never be other than an elementary truth of Christianity; and the present Pope has proclaimed it as all Popes, doctors, and bishops before him. But that truth has two aspects, according as the force of the negative falls upon the “Church” or upon the “salvation.” The main sense is, that there is no other communion or so-called Church, but the Catholic, in which are stored the promises, the sacraments, and other means of salvation; the other and derived sense is, that no one can be saved who is not in that one and only Church. But it does not follow, because there is no Church but one, which has the Evangelical gifts and privileges to bestow, that therefore no one can be saved without the intervention of that one Church. “

              • Steve Frank

                Mike,

                Again, we have to limit discussions to official church teaching, not the musings of famous Catholics or even Church fathers. I don’t think the RCC considers church fathers infallible. Augustine is considered one of the greatest Church fathers and yet the modern RCC rejects his view of double predestination. I’m talking only about the pronouncements of papal bulls and Church councils, that’s where official church teaching comes from. I’m not arguing that Vatican 2 made up the idea of the anonymous Christian. But you can’t tell me nothing changed from the council of Trent (where Protestants were anathematized) to Vatican 2 where they were declared “seperated brethren”.

                • fredx2

                  You need to read JP II and Benedict’s Dominus Iesu. Benedict is as careful a scholar as you are going to get, and he knows how to weigh all the various bulls, etc throughout history.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    We all ought to send His Holiness a copy of DI to refresh his memory.

            • jacobhalo

              You are a better apologists for Catholics than Catholics are.

            • fredx2

              From EWTN:

              “Father Christopher Buckner of our diocese, commenting on it in an article, describes its historical context as follows: “The key to this passage is the four categories mentioned, pagans being listed first. They have received none of the message of salvation. The Jews have received only part of the message, that of the Old Testament. Third are the heretics who, although having received the complete message of salvation, seem to have lost some of it by way of a conscious separation from the Church. The fourth group is the one to whom the document is primarily directed, the schismatics. They have deliberately cut themselves off from the Church by a complete break from its head, the Pope. The reason for the strength of this statement was that it was hoped that it would bring the separated Eastern Churches back into unity with Rome. Such a strong statenebt was issued againnst the schismatics because of the relation between unity and charity. St. Thomas holds that unity is made by charity and therefore the schismatics are separating themselves from the unity and therefore the charity of the Church. The concern of the Council of Florence was pastoral; it was trying to bring back lost sheep.” The Church has always taught that no soul is lost except by its own fault, its rejection of truth and charity. Simply adhering to another religion does not necessarily mean such rejection. – Dr. Carroll

              • Anthony Zarrella

                The bolded passage is very apt.

                Furthermore, in response to Steve, all Vatican II did was to confirm that “invincible ignorance” doesn’t have to mean “never even *heard* of Catholicism.”

                Imagine that someone’s only exposure to Catholicism was, for example, the late, excommunicated, Fr. Feeney. Surely, most, if not all of the doctrine he taught (with the exception of his specific heresy) would have been true doctrine of the Church… but if it’s taught by an abrasive, arrogant, intolerant jerk, then is it really the listener’s fault for not paying enough attention to discern the truth of what he’s saying?

                Or, what if the only Catholic someone comes into contact with is a wonderful, faith-filled person, but one with little to no book learning, and a simple mind (not necessarily a bad thing, mind you)? Perhaps then the messenger is palatable enough to engage the listener’s interest, but all he can do is *state* Catholic doctrine, and lacks the wit or eloquence to engage in apologetics and actually *persuade* the listener. If you meet a nice guy who tells you about his nice, but kooky-sounding ideas, is it your fault if you don’t find those ideas credible?

                In other words, “invincible ignorance” was simply clarified to encompass those who may have physically *heard* the teachings of the Church, and who are honestly seeking the truth, in good faith, but who are (honestly and in good faith) unconvinced by what they’ve heard. (I admit to intellectual agnosticism on the question of whether this can ever apply to atheists or Satanists – though St. Justin Martyr answers the former in the affirmative.)

          • jacobhalo

            Again, they are not infallible doctrines. 500 years from now, someone will quote Pope Francis and say “The pope said anyone can be saved” There is no infallible doctrine that say that. 500 years from now, someone might quote Pope Francis who said, Muslims, Jews, pray to the same God.” Again, it is not true, and it is not an infallible doctrine.

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              500 years from now, someone may well quote Pope Francis and say that he, too, taught what all the Holy Fathers and Catholic Doctors have always taught, from Apostolic times down to our own day. He will be one link in the chain of Holy Tradition.

              But their first and final question will always be: Do you or do you not believe that there is a Divine Person teaching now, as in the beginning, with a divine, and therefore infallible voice ; and that the Church of this hour is the organ through which He speaks to the world ?

  • Objectivetruth

    Excellent piece, Eduardo.

    Jimmy Akins also had a very good take on it, see the link below. His tenth point quoting some of the synod fathers is worth noting:

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/good-news-from-the-synod-of-bishops-12-things-to-know-and-share

    • Salvelinus

      PoorJimmy Akin. He must be putting in overtime these days blaming “interpretations” or the “press convoluted” statements. Sooner or later, he and the Pollyanna attitude gang over at Catholic Answers will need to either fold and agreewiththe heretical statements coming from the Borgolian empire, or admit that it’s heresy

      • Objectivetruth

        Go to the link, read the article. He slams the IR document.

        • Martha

          Really? If it wasn’t coming from you, OT, I wouldn’t believe it. I like to avoid Jimmy as much as possible, but I’m gonna have to go read it now…

          • Objectivetruth

            Read it? See what I mean?

            • Martha

              No what I expected! Good to know he’s not a complete stooge.

  • Dick Prudlo

    Once again we are provided with combing the screeds of Vat 2 gibberish as the starting point in explaining the problems with this IR document. Ambiguity plus more ambiguity does not provided clarity. This document is the most profane effort to discredit the Faith ever and we wish to parse this crap?

    • Martha

      Yes. Let’s use V2 as our guidelines. No confusion there.

      “Hey, Cardinal ___. Pass the bong. What were we calling this document again? Lumen Gentium? Yeah. I liiiiiiike it.”

    • jacobhalo

      Dick, you are correct. The Vatican II interpretation of the three infallible doctrines concerning “no salvation outside the church are confusing.
      e.g. “There is only one universal Church of the faithful, outside which there is absolutely no salvation” IV Lateran Council. No ambiguity there. “It is a sin to believe there is salvation outside the Catholic church” Pope Pius IX. very clear.
      “There is only one Catholic church, this we firmly believe and profess without qualification. Outside the church there is no salvation and no remission of sins.” Pope Boniface VIII. “Ther is no entering into salvation outside the church, just as in the time of the Deluge there was none outside the Ark which denotes the church” St..John Paul II. “I profess that outside the Catholic church no one is saved.” Pope Sylvester II. “The Church alone is the entrance to salvation.” Pope Pius XI
      “The mystery of salvation is continued and accomplished in the church. There is no salvation outside the church” St John Paul II. ” There is salvation in no one except Christ, and the Church is His Body.” St. John Paul II
      These are only a few quotes taken from a book entitled, ” The Apostolic Digest” I suggest that all Catholics get this book. It also includes chapters on “The Book of Mary” Salvation”, Faith. In fact, we should send this book to the synod. Since Vatican II we have had nothing but confusing teachings.

  • Vinny

    “Because IR seems to read Vatican II in a way that suggests—wrongly…” Does he mean to say that the clergy are mis-interpreting the Second Vatican Council for their own agendas?? That would be a first. It also may show why Islam is defended by so many.

    • jacobhalo

      Pope francis says that Jews and Muslims pray to the same God. No they don’t. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one goes to the Father except through Me.” Muslims and Jews don’t go through Jesus (God) to get to God. Jesus said to the Jews, ” If you don’t believe that I am He, you will die in your own sins.” Shouldn’t the pope tell that to the Jews? Should the pope teach what Jesus taught? I don’t know where the present day church comes up with “anyone can attain salvation. Jesus never said it.

  • GG

    The Pope says he does not like legalism and casuistry. Well, what is trying to be done is exactly that. Taking objectively mortally sinful situations and then parsing them in such a pedantic way to make it smell clean is simply disingenuous and certainly not the Gospel imperative.

    Such manipulating and stretching in no way serves the truth.

  • Daniel P

    The IR has it right, I think, that there are different cultural expressions of marriage, some of which do not fully participate in its sacramental nature, but at least approximate it. So, for example, Roman marriages were like that, and marriages in aboriginal tribes are like that. But I am very bothered by putting current cohabitory situations under the same umbrella. The sorts of goods they participate in — self-sacrifice, compassion, steadfastness — are goods of *friendship*. So we should encourage the friendship that such lovers show to each other, but also encourage that friendship to be unsullied by uncommitted sexuality.

    • JP

      Roman marriages featured matricide, infanticide, homosexual orgies, as well as allowing for males to have sex with both their female and male slaves. Yes, they is a lot we could learn from the Romans. From the looks of it, Archbishop Forte would agree.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        And yet in the Digest, the Christian Emperor Justinian takes his law of marriage, word for word, from the Roman Juristsof the 2nd century, notably Ulpian, Paulus and Papinian.

        Similarly, St John Chrysostom in his Homilies on Matthew 32 cites Ulpian on marriage with approval (Ulp 36 ad Sab)

        With the revived study of the Roman Law in the 11th century, so did the Canonists, starting with Gratian.

        • Harry

          Your citation of St. John Chrysostom’s Homily on Matthew 32 would be much more credible is there was a chapter 32 of Matthew.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            No, but there is a chapter 32 of the Homilies

            St Nicholas says, “According to the laws (leges), the consent of those whose union is arranged should be sufficient. If that alone is absent, all the other solemnities, even including coition, are in vain, as the great teacher John Chrysostom attests, who says: ‘Not intercourse but will makes marriage’” (Homilies on Matthew 32) [PL 119, no. 97, pp. 978–1016 at 980]

            This is the same as Ulpian: “Nuptias non concubitus, sed consensus facit” – It is not sleeping together, but agreement that makes marriage. [Dig. 50.17.30 Ulp 36 ad Sab]

  • Harry

    Robbing a liquor store can be an “incomplete and imperfect form” of providing for one’s family. Rape is an “incomplete and imperfect form” of sexual activity. Demonic activity is an “incomplete and imperfect form” of angelic activity. Every sinful behavior, as it is being performed by a being created by a good God Who gives it the capacity for good behavior, is an incomplete and imperfect form of that basic good, if one wants to put it that way. Putting it that way does not make sinful behavior any less sinful, or decrease the irresponsibility of doing so in the case of grave sinfulness.

    • GG

      Right, and how does all that parsing help anyone?

      • fredx2

        By making clear that the relatio was mush that was bound to cause massive trouble

        • GG

          No, the parsing about Catholic teaching not the report.

          • cestusdei

            Clarity is essential for the truth.

            • GG

              True, and that is why the report is so bad.

    • fredx2

      Good point

  • BM

    Ches over at the Sensible Bond makes some good points about us being in a language war, which is prior to such a document and its details. And his analogy of footrot to pastoralism towards the end is particularly apt.

    • Tamsin

      “[Our problems extend to the] lies that people are prepared to fabricate to protect power, even when no law of God or man says power must be thus protected.”

      Treachery, indeed.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    This ‘gradualism’ was a dead giveaway to me. It smacks of Teilhard, of endless ‘becoming’ and not the essential Catholic being. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

  • JP

    Great summary. I’d dare say that ambiguity and confusion are built in to the IR – they features and not bugs. There’s enough confusion in it to allow bishops, priests, and theologians to make what they will of it.

    Einstein once quipped the God doesn’t play dice with the universe. Congruently, Christ doesn’t play games with people’s souls. As Cdl Mueller wrote earlier this week, “The IR is totally unacceptable.” To me, it looks like a report written by gays for other gays as well as for aging Baby Boomers with a guilty conscience. The IR speaks of nothing to long suffering Catholic families who’ve done it right but are struggling both materially and spiritually. It says nothing to Catholic spouses and their who’ve been abandoned by their fellow spouses, but remain faithful to Christ and his Church. The IR doesn’t even throw these people on bone.

    Welcome to the Brave New Catholic World.

    • Martha

      “To me, it looks like a report written by gays for other gays as well as
      for aging Baby Boomers with a guilty conscience. The IR speaks of
      nothing to long suffering Catholic families who’ve done it right but are
      struggling both materially and spiritually.”

      Beautifully said; that really spoke to me. What of us faithful Catholics? We need encouragement and support, too. The road is hard, and you’re left with a nagging ‘why bother’ in the back of your head sometimes. Everyone else seems to be whooping it up at the party, while we’re left to clean up the mess and carry on with our mops and brooms, doing the Lord’s work.

      Don’t get me wrong, I have found great happiness in my vocation, but there is no denying the difficulties of a faithful life, no matter what that may mean for any individual person. I need a cheerleader, not a devil’s advocate.

      • John200

        Dear Martha,
        Unfortunately, a cheerleader can be a DA. We’ve got them, believe me.

        Just do the Lord’s work, detach your affections from all silliness, counsel the silly when you get the chance, maintain your serenity, be patient, persevere as well as you can, and let Him decide what to do with His opponents.

        You will find out soon enough what He is going to do about all that. Maybe you can guess, but the point is to keep on your narrow path.

        • Martha

          Thanks for being my cheerleader, John! 😀

          I like your proposal for the 8th spiritual work of mercy:

          Counsel the silly. 😉

          • John200

            No charge, ma’am. You have one of the most evocative names in the Church.

  • John Albertson

    Whlle the Relatio is far from the teaching of Vatican II, ambiguities in the Relatio are of the same sort that marked the ambiguities in the documents of Vatican II. Such ambiguities have been the source of problems ever since: eg. the meaning of “subsistit – subsists” in Lumen Gentium. The style of the Relatio is effeminate (only men can be effeminate – women can only be feminine.) So JP is on the mark in saying that it seems like “a report written by gays for other gays as well as for aging Baby Boomers with a guilty conscience.” The reputations of its authors are not helped by this fey substitute for Catholic reasoning. – HOW MANY BISHOPS DOES IT TAKE TO SCREW IN A LIGHT BULB AT A SYNOD? ABOUT THREE HUNDRED, INCLUDING SIX TO SCREW IT UP.

    • jacobhalo

      Modernists purposely used vague language. They want to confuse the people, which they have done since Vatican II. As my grandfather used to say, “they go to school for that.” Yes, I have a problem with the Catholic church subsists in the Church of God. Isn’t the church of God the Catholic church? I never knew there were two churches.

  • Glenn M. Ricketts

    Never was the title Crisis a more appropriate name for this web site. So glad that it’s here.

  • John Albertson

    Does the Holy Father think that the People of God are so naive as to believe that the length yRelatio was written, translated, and published all within 24 hours? If he believes that himself, we are in double trouble. It would be appropriate for that group of six who prepared the Relatio to recuse themselves from further commentary. As for Cardinal Kasper disgracing himself in his old age by offending sacred tradition and scandalizing the Church by publicly lying about his dismissive attitude toward Africans, he should at least have the decency to absent himself from any future Curial deliberations. If he does not, the Holy Father should gently show him the door with his pastoral staff. I apologize if I sound like a Sourpuss Self-Absorbed Promethean Neopelagian Promoter of the Poison of Immanence – to quote Pope Francis.

    • ForChristAlone

      Nailed it x10

    • ForChristAlone

      Nailed it x10

  • fides249

    When Pope St. John Paul II came to the U.S. in the 1980s(?), some of the American bishops told him that they cannot tell the people the things that the Pope wants them to convey. “They would not listen”, they said.

    The saintly Pope responded, “the Faith has never been easy….”

    Cardinals Marx and Kasper are leaders of a nation where Catholicsm is ‘dying’ unlike the continents of Africa and Asia where it is growing.

    You know the tree by its fruits!

    “And He said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?'” (Luke 13:7)

    • fredx2

      And they make 120,000 to 180,000 per year while their church dies

  • Fred

    Kasper be damned, Cardinal George Pell is here to set things straight. Still, a quarter were comfortable with the language and that’s a disturbing number.

    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/cardinal-pell-no-abandonment-catholic-doctrine-synod

    With some helpful insight into how much worse it was during the pagan era of the Holy Roman Empire. Would like to think we’ve progressed in almost 2000 years, but like ebola it keeps rearing it’s ugly head from time to time.

    • Tomacz Tesla

      Satan took a third of all the angels with him — Revelation 12:4.

  • The Truth

    I can’t help but wonder is the Society of St. Pius X right about Vatican II?

    • jacobhalo

      Society of St. Pius X is right about Vatican II. Many post Vatican II people don’t know the teachings before the Council.

      • ForChristAlone

        I’ve had the same thought about them. They might be reconsidering how badly they want to pursue reconciliation.

        • jacobhalo

          right, I wish the Catholics who only know the teachings of the church since Vatican II would read such publications as “The Remnant” and The Catholic Family News. Many Catholics think that the Church started in 1962. Read what was taught pre-Vatican II.

          • ForChristAlone

            Found an old yellow and tattered copy of the Baltimore Catechism which I intend to give to my grandchildren.

            • jacobhalo

              Yes, that is the way that children, even adults, should learn the faith. That is how I learned it. We used to have “Bible History” in Catholic school, with the books being on grade level. Vatican II didn’t want to use the Baltimore Catechism, probably, because the faithful would know the truth, instead of the vague language used by the Modernists. There is a reprint of “Bible History”, very similar to the one we used before the natural disaster, Vatican II. By fr. George Johnson, Fr. Jerome D. Hannan, et.al. published by tan books.

  • your own ability in order to accurately customize curriculum on the sole continues to be your current holy grail involving educational philosophy pertaining to numerous years. this golden age associated with technological development will soon enable the particular dream to be the reality.

  • john

    Unfortunately, even if one takes the most generous view of the document (that it was simply a record of discussions had, it was merely speculative, yadda yadda) and tries to give all the cardinals the benefit of the doubt (that they were not intentionally poisoning the reception of any document from the synod that was bound to concur with established doctrine), I’m afraid it has caused grave damage. Because of this document, much of the non-Catholic world now believes that a large number of cardinals favor unlimited divorce, gay marriage, and contraception (which is doubtful). Worst of all, the fact that this synod will most likely NOT approve any of these things is evidence to the secular media that a cabal of reactionary cardinals is blackmailing their peers, and not that the Holy Spirit is guiding Catholic teaching. THAT is the damage the document has done–it immediately preempts the beauty of whatever the synod might still have to say about the family From my perspective, it seems a classic example of how the father of lies and confusion works against the Church in the modern world.

  • Fred

    Split personality, or are we just to quick to judge in this age of instant media awareness. Puzzling to try and understand behavior, words and deeds. So, I’ll leave you with this interesting news to ponder (in response to Kasper)..

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, for example, has emphasized the importance of the African bishops in the synod. “The bishops of Africa,” he said, “are prophetic in reminding us that the role of the Church is to transform the culture, not to be transformed by the culture.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/10/16/German-Cardinal-Kasper-Ignites-Firestorm-by-Dissing-African-Bishops

  • GaudeteMan

    The Lavender Mafia is alive and well.

    • jacobhalo

      The Lavender Mafia just lost a round.

    • GG

      The homofascists thought they had fate on their side. Their manipulations will not win in the end. There are enough good people who will never be silenced or pushed back.

  • hombre111

    What fun to watch Crisis in crisis over the intermediate report. I await the final document and look forward to the Synod next year.

    • CR89

      If it goes anything like this, http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/10/blue-thursday-orthodox-counter.html, I look forward to next year’s Synod too, though not for the same reasons as an apostate like you. Read it and weep, mi hermano.

    • Daniel P

      That “fun” you’re feeling — it’s not Christian. You’re tempted to delight in other people’s confusion or frustration. Don’t do it.

    • GG

      The real Catholic men stood up to the pretenders and won. Now the Gays can go back to their underhanded ways and strategy.

      • jacobhalo

        Yes, it was a great victory!! They hold true to the Church teachings. Those who wrote the report are heretics, plain and simple.

      • hombre111

        The real Catholic men were in the vast minority. Remember, it took a 2/3 vote. The tide is shifting.

        • GG

          Let us be honest for once. The Gays feel they can come out and force vice on everyone and call it mercy. They feel empowered. But, the real men, the ones bound to Christ, will fight to the end.

          The Holy Spirit, and the age of technology, will unveil the perverts. Let it shine, baby.

        • jacobhalo

          The real men? The real men are heretics and should remove themselves from the Catholic church.

    • jacobhalo

      Hombre, that report will never pass in its present form.

      • hombre111

        Agreed. They softened it but it still didn’t pass.

    • ForChristAlone

      You should be preparing your Sunday homily about social justice instead of lurking here (which you promised not to do). You might stop at your confessor’s place to tell him about your sin of pride.

    • Objectivetruth

      See below, hombre, from the Catechism. Because of your pro abortion, pro gay lifestyle, pro contraception beliefs, I’d say you’d fulfill the incredulity and heresy definitions nicely, wouldn’t you agree?:

      “2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”11 (162, 817)”

  • Tomacz Tesla

    Pope Francis should have a TV program, He has the qualities to be most effective on television: he is quick and spontaneous with his lines, never pauses for a “hum” or “ah,” keeps the studio audience clapping, and knows how to smile at the cameras. And whatever nonsense he happens to be spouting will be forgotten by the end of the show.

    • ForChristAlone

      Yeah Jorge is a stand up comedian. Too bad orthodox Catholics don’t find him funny at all.

  • ForChristAlone

    We’ll let Cardinal Napier describe the Synod proceedings:

    Getting lost in “sideshows” such as homosexual unions is one of the “big negatives” of the Vatican summit on marriage, according to South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier.

    “You can’t be distracted by sideshows,” the Cardinal said in an interview with Vatican Radio on Friday. “It’s a sideshow whether we should be talking about same-sex unions as marriages or not marriages. That’s really a sideshow.”

    Curiously, the Vatican Radio article on the interview, which faithfully transcribed much of the conversation, omitted the Cardinal’s reference to “same-sex unions” altogether, preferring instead to leave the topic of “sideshows” without any clear reference point. Fortunately, the website included a taped recording of the conversation, which allowed for fact-checking.

    Tangential topics like same-sex unions take the attention away from the real issues, the Cardinal suggested. “The majority of the people who are involved in marriage…those are the ones that need us to be with them” and help find answers to their problems, he said.

    “We are here to describe the problems that marriage and family life are facing. We must be clear on what those problems are,” he added.

    The real problem, Napier noted, came with Monday’s publication of a summary of the bishops’ discussions.

    Things were going swimmingly in the Vatican summit until then, the Cardinal said, at which point people got “very angry.”

    The Cardinal said he had “never been in a Synod where there was such a good atmosphere.”

    Then came the publication of the report, “and this was not to the liking of many Synod Fathers,” he said. According to Napier, the bishops took issue with the fact that the opinions of “one or two people” were presented “as if it was the considered opinion of the whole synod. And that makes people very angry about that,” he said.

    He said that there were two issues in particular that got people “hot around the collar.” One was “presenting homosexual unions as if they were a very positive thing.” The second one regarded broken marriages “and the fact that people should be facilitated to get access to the sacraments,” Napier said, referring to the push to offer Holy Communion to divorced Catholics who have been civilly remarried.

    The Cardinal noted that these two issues had not been properly debated, so when the bishops saw them published as if they were a consensus, “it caused a lot of hurt.” As a result, Napier said, “that beautiful spirit of openness suddenly got a little bit cloudy.”

    Then the news that the group reports were not going to be published caused “much disappointment.” Why publish something that we haven’t seen, the Cardinal queried, and then not publish what we had seen and composed?

    This caused “suspicion” and “loss of trust,” he asserted.

    The Cardinal also said that he missed a more spiritual tone in the discussions.

    He said it repeatedly occurred to him that in the documents they have been working on they are saying that these situations are difficult, and they were sympathizing and offering encouragement. “But we are not saying anything about repentance, turning around, conversion, and yet those were the very first words Jesus used when he started his mission: ‘Repent and believe the Good News.’”

    This week Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Napier to the drafting committee for the final report on the synod, after continued complaints from the bishops about the quality of Monday’s text.

    The appointment followed comments by German Cardinal Walter Kasper, downplaying the importance of the input from the Africans.

  • jacobum

    The IR was deliberately designed to confuse and leave a false message that Church teaching had change on homosexuals and communion for divorced and re marrieds. That’s the message that went out and was heard. Any revisions, corrections etc will not be heard. It’s an old marketing device that still works. Scandal on the front page and corrections/retractions of same buried in Section B page 22. The fact that the subjects were even considered and the Pope allowed/encouraged it are the real story. “Un-Catholic” is really a polite way of saying the majority of Bishops do not believe the Faith anymore. It just confirms what the informed faithful already know and suffered over the last 50 years. Vatican 2 unleashed an ongoing modernist disaster and this “joke” of a synod is just the latest “putrid fruit” in the same “Spirit of Vatican 2”.

    • HenryBowers

      That’s downright uncharitable. It’s not the reason that all American Catholic politicians are radical pro-aborts. They are what they are because they are tempted by the devil. They are not confused by the bishops; they only pretend to be. If the Church were stalwartly unflinching and unequivocal in her expression, down to every last cleric, more and more heretical sects would blossom. The Church has a responsibility to reach genuine converts saddled with irregular marriages. This is a first step, as daunting as it is. No doctrine whatsoever has been changed or will be changed.

      • GG

        Irregular marriage = perpetual adultery.

        If you do not grasp what is going on then you are either not paying attention or deliberately ignoring the obvious.

        • HenryBowers

          Not necessarily; what’s in a name? Could the Church recognize a marriage that ontologically doesn’t exist? Yes, that’s why we have annulments. Therefore, not every nominally irregular marriage is ontologically adultery.

          • ForChristAlone

            Except with issues of lack of form, we should but few annulments of priests and deacons exercised due diligence in marriage preparation

          • GG

            Marriage is a public act. If a decree of nullify is not issued then one is in adultery.

            • HenryBowers

              Baloney. If one party privately intends, on the wedding day, to contracept in the marriage, then they did not make a vow to be open to life.

              • GG

                That may be grounds for a tribune to explore, but that subjective guilt is not the sole or overriding issue. Playing that game then no one has a valid marriage as the almost every person has some mental reservation.

                • HenryBowers

                  Human action is deeply mysterious, deeply sacred. Perhaps the synod is an appeal to that reality?

              • ForChristAlone

                Not accurate

                • HenryBowers

                  Then correct me, please! Not informative.

                  • ForChristAlone

                    I can’t be bothered. Just take it from me, you’re wrong.

                    • HenryBowers

                      You could correct me in one sentence if you knew.

      • jacobum

        The Church has one mission…Save Souls. It is not uncharitable to state the Truth. What is uncharitable is to do otherwise.

      • John200

        “genuine converts saddled with irregular marriages” are not as genuine as they would be if they put their (and their spouses’) eternal destination ahead of these “irregular marriages.”

        The Church’s teaching about marriage is simple and clear. Only an idiot can actually miss its simple truth, goodness, and beauty. Thomas Aquinas had much to say, as did Augustine and Aristotle before him.

        The Church’s teaching is also charitable, because we tell you what will get you into heaven. Along with your spouse and children and their children, and your ex- (if you have one), et al.

        None of this is particularly complex. It is sitting right there for you to learn, understand, and live.

        • HenryBowers

          Your name-calling is off-topic, like the rest of your post.

          • John200

            It is sitting right there for you to learn, understand, and live.

            Just like last time I wrote.

        • ForChristAlone

          I agree. He is an idiot.

          • John200

            Henry Bowers seems to have missed something important, as if a set of misfortunes (not just one) were at work on him.

      • ForChristAlone

        So we’re now to call adultery by its new name – “irregular marriage”?

        • jacobhalo

          Liberals like to change labels. Illegal aliens undocumented workers.

        • HenryBowers

          You commit the material fallacies of composition or hasty generalization: that chapter was moving, the whole book must be moving.

          • Objectivetruth

            You speak in puzzles and riddles…….

            What the heck are you saying??

            • ForChristAlone

              Mind games that used to confuse. We’re on to them all now.

      • Objectivetruth

        But should the Church change the teachings and will of Christ to fit the wants, desires of sinful man, or should sinful man change his wants and desires to fit the teachings and will of Christ?

        • jacobhalo

          I must have said this a thousand times. Vatican II wanted to bring the church into the modern world. It is succeeding to the detriment of church teachings.

        • HenryBowers

          You’re equivocating. Doctrine is the will of Christ directly; discipline is the will of Christ mediately.

      • jacobhalo

        henry, since Vatican II, the church has become the church of “nice”. Have you ever heard a sermon on abortion? I do, because I attend the traditional Latin mass.

        • HenryBowers

          I have, because I have a firey priest in a small parish. On that particular issue, however, we must be wary of post hoc ergo propter hoc. It just so happens that *no* sermons on abortion & contraception would have been popular prior to Vatican 2, because both practices were widely illegal.

    • fredx2

      The message the media is feeding the public is that doctrine will not change, but the church has decided to cleverly IGNORE doctrine.

      • jacobhalo

        Fred, the church has been doing that since Vatican II.

  • ForChristAlone

    In the early Church there was often up to a three year period of preparation for the catechumenate. This made sense since the converts were pagans who worshipped gods other than the one true God.

    Since this Synod has to do with marriage and the family which we know is infected with the virus of secular pagan thinking and practices, I propose that one of the the things that this Synod enact as a reform of the Sacrament of Marriage is a THREE YEAR WAITING PERIOD during which the couple are catechized in the faith and the very meaning of a sacramental marriage. I would promise you that the number of annulments were drop to almost zero.

    Wait, you say, that would mean virtually no sacramental marriages taking place. My reply: 50%+ of those sacramental marriage now are ending in divorce, remarriage and subject to Kasperian theology. Is that better? Marriage preparation now in the Catholic Church, given all the sinful thinking and practices that color relationships these days, is clearly inadequate to the task and really are just a few hurdles that couples must cross to get to the altar

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      What is required for a valid marriage? All canonists agree that, in the absence of any impediment, all that is needed is that the parties mutually agree, unequivocally, seriously and deliberately and with a genuine purpose immediately to establish the relation of husband and wife. The requirement is not a demanding one, which is why the Church fixes the minimum age of marriage at 16 for men and 14 for women (Can 1083). That is why the Church has always presumed the marriages of non-Catholics to be valid.

      That is also why, if it be proved that, notwithstanding the trappings of a formal marriage ceremony, the parties thereto did not exchange their consent for the purpose of obtaining married status, the ceremony must be denied the legal effect which it was designed to produce. Formal compliance with the procedural requirements of regular marriage is not conclusive of the contraction of a valid marriage. Thus, marriages celebrated in facie ecclesiæ have frequently been avoided on the ground of force, fraud or error and these are only so many ways of proving want of mutual consent and there are others.

      How will an extended period of instruction address this?

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    NOTE TO HOMBRE, BELOW:

    Hey Hombre,

    Why not have a wee bit of fun and predict 1.) The content
    and wording of the final report in ’15; and 2) What events and
    attitudes will be born and borne aloft between now and them.

    From the BANKRUPT Diocese of Stockton

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