Did the Synod Endorse “Lifestyle Ecumenism”?

I would like to suggest to you that so-called “lifestyle ecumenism” helps us see ecumenism for what it really is. You see, in my Anglican days, I used to think I was more catholic than the Catholics. I believed that “spiritual unity,” and maybe also a loose agreement on central doctrines, sufficed. As a Catholic, I now believe that all who profess Christian faith are called into a single, visible organization, through union with the holy Roman Catholic Church. I’ve been trying to find ways of sharing the truth of catholicity, and the deception of ecumenism, and John Allen’s article “Lifestyle ecumenism may be the real break through at 2014 synod”  just made it easier. Lifestyle ecumenism helps us see ecumenism afresh.

Lifestyle Ecumenism
What is “lifestyle ecumenism”? To find out, John Allen takes us back to the Second Vatican Council. One of the main achievements of the Council, he says, was to find a “theological logic for the widespread popular desire to break down the walls between the various Christian churches, and to usher in a new era of dialogue and partnership that’s come to be known as ‘ecumenism.’” The Council elaborated a “new theology” that non-Catholics deserve honor and respect. Since then, Catholics have been pouring into Protestant churches, ushering in one of “the most stunningly successful Christian movements of the late twentieth century.”

Something similar, we are told, may be happening at the 2014 Synod of Bishops on the family. You see, in the past the Church used the rhetoric of “living in sin” to describe cohabitating couples, gays and lesbians, people who are divorced and remarried outside the Church, and so on. But now, it is suggested, we are in the midst of a Copernican revolution! Now “the synod has clearly rejected that sort of barb,” which may “augur a new era of what might be called ‘lifestyle ecumenism,’ in which the church approaches people living outside its ideal for marriage with friendship rather than condemnation.” Here, “ecumenism” means dialogue and friendship, and “lifestyle” means anything the Church once cruelly called sin. The article ends with a bang:

Lifestyle ecumenism, in other words, may well be the real theological breakthrough at the 2014 Synod of Bishops. If so, it would be a fitting evolution under Pope Francis, the pope whose most famous sound-bite is, “Who am I to judge?”

Now, John Allen is an accomplished journalist and author who specializes in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, so I do not want to misrepresent him. Perhaps I have misunderstood his recent article and phrase “lifestyle ecumenism.” Perhaps he does not mean to suggest that calling sin “sin” is a barb, a nasty rhetoric that should be discontinued. Perhaps he does not mean to suggest that “lifestyles” like cohabiting and homosexuality should be embraced in the spirit of friendship and, at least tacitly, affirmed. Nonetheless, without overdramatizing things, the posturing of this particular article seems to be anything but inspired. Overlook for a moment how this article misrepresents the Second Vatican Council, how it misrepresents the 2014 Synod, and zoom in with me on how it misrepresents the Gospel itself. It joins the chorus of those who sing John 8:10, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” but leave out the final line in 8:11: “Go, and sin no more.” If it weren’t for those nasty Catholic redactors, maybe the exchange between Jesus and the woman caught in adultery would read this way:

Jesus asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go and sin no more.”

“Ugh,” the woman said, recoiling. “Can’t you drop all that Catholic rhetoric about ‘irregular’ folks ‘living in sin,’ and be more ‘welcoming home’?”

Jesus paused. “Good point,” he said. “Perhaps I should see the positive value in all relationships.”

“Yes,” she said, brightening. “I knew you weren’t a Pharisee!”

“You know, for the sake of dialogue I probably should not have used the word ‘sin.’ There are, after all, pieces of truth and holiness outside Catholic marriage in all sorts of other relationships. We need to transform the way Catholicism engages the outside world. Besides, there is a widely held hunger at the grassroots for a new way of relating to people in unconventional family situations.”

“Lifestyle ecumenism, if you will” she said.

“Exactly,” Jesus replied.

For God so loved the world that he sent his only-begotten Son that whoever believes in him should not feel discriminated against but feel good. Jesus is not so much a “Savior” (it’s not like our carefully groomed sexual identities are one last waltz on the Titanic!) as he is our Friend. What was it that St. Peter said, in Acts 2:37, when the crowd was cut to the heart? “Keep an open mind, every one of you, reject the rhetoric of sin, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” St. James gives us the key to lifestyle ecumenism: “Don’t you know that friendship with the world means friendship with God?” (James 4:4). Sing heavenly muse … that we may justify the ways of man to God!

“Lifestyle ecumenism” is just a fancy way of saying—without having really to say—anything goes. It’s moral pluralism. True, lifestyle ecumenists are not exactly saying that any given “lifestyle” (homosexuality, “re-marriage,” or cohabitation) is not a sin. But neither are they saying that it is. Under the blue skies of “ecumenism,” there is no discrimination.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Although the Synod does not augur a new era in which the rhetoric of “living in sin” is replaced with openness and dialogue, the new phrase “lifestyle ecumenism” does (unwittingly) expose what ecumenism really is, and the wrongness of ecumenism is the real subject of this essay. For I would like to suggest that ecumenism is no substitute for catholicity, and that there is no catholicity apart from the Pope—but I am jumping ahead.

Lifestyle ecumenism accommodates immorality as ecumenism accommodates heresy. But the lifestyle ecumenists go one step further. Where ecumenists claim that schism is not sin, lifestyle ecumenists claim sin is not sin. This way, everyone’s right, and no one’s wrong. No one’s feelings get hurt.

Ecumenism’s one premise is that talking about why we are not united is to be united. The questions are more important than the answers. Again and again, ecumenists shrug and repeat with Pontius Pilate the defining question of ecumenism: “What is truth?” Taking their cue from the ecumenists, lifestyle ecumenists shrug and ask: “What is right?” For while lifestyle ecumenists are pluralists when it comes to morality, ecumenists are pluralists when it comes to truth.

Quid est Veritas?
Again, I would like to suggest to you that lifestyle ecumenism helps us see ecumenism for what it really is.

Like I said, in my Anglican days, I thought I was more catholic than the Catholics. I was ecumenical. From some great Olympian height I saw the Pope go too far to the right and a Reformer go too far to the left. I surveyed all customs, all pieties, all spiritualities within “the catholica” and I divined the essence. To a Catholic I would say that only the Bible is infallible. To a Baptist I would say that we need more than the Bible, we need Tradition. To a traditionalist I would say we ought to be open to the Holy Spirit doing “a new thing.” With the Vincentian Canon in my back pocket, I was so “catholic” I made Catholics look like Protestants. I was an ecumenist.

If someone pointed out that schism is sin, I replied: “We’re all one in Christ.” By this, I meant that Christ is one. Everyone who is baptized is in Christ. Therefore, even though schism looks like disunity, it’s only a surface illusion. Deep down, we are all one in Christ—regardless of what extra-Church “communion” we are in.

But let’s apply my ecumenism logic to “lifestyle ecumenism.” What if someone were to point out that, say, adultery is sin, and I were to reply: “We’re all righteous in Christ”? By this, I would mean that Christ is righteous. Everyone who is baptized is in Christ. Therefore, even though adultery looks like sin, it’s only a surface illusion. Deep down, we are all righteous in Christ—regardless of what extra-marital “relationship” we are in. After all, we are in the “already/not yet” of the Kingdom. Did you catch that? Not yet.

Can you see how the ecumenical logic of schism and sin misses the point? It takes truths about Christ and Baptism and uses them to justify human behaviors that are anti-Christ. Christ prayed that his Church would be one? I do not need to repent and return to the Church he built on the rock that is Peter because, well, Christ is one! Christ told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more? I do not need to repent and return to my marriage bed because, well, Christ is righteous! Ecumenical logic misses the point because by the power of the Holy Spirit the Church is called to realize Christ, to give actual physical, personal and social form to the ascended Christ on earth, to be a city on a hill. Here and now, we are meant to imitate Christ. And for Christ, truth is a means to unity.

To the ecumenist, however, truth is an obstacle to unity. For as soon as you claim a to be true, you “discriminate against” b and c—and that closes dialogue and hurts feelings. In turn, for the ecumenist, unity is reduced to an abstraction, and for the lifestyle ecumenist, right and wrong are reduced to abstractions. Morality is reduced to feelings, and feelings are mistaken for truth. In the end, truth is just a fun game of semantics, and the tenured, John 8:10-reciting Scrabble buffs always seem to win.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Where have we seen ecumenism before? It was the sign hung outside Dante’s Limbo, technically the first circle of Hell, that pub where milquetoast intellectuals go to talk and talk and talk, “always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Over shouts for “more listening!” and “more dialogue!” one can hear, as if at the Inn of the Prancing Pony, a Sauron-like voice—the only voice that’s really seeking the truth … only to kill it—whispering: “Be open-minded. We don’t need to agree. We only need to work together.”

But where do ships go when there is no captain, no compass, no rules, no protocol, no agreed upon destination, nothing but endless chatter about whether or not everyone feels good? They go the way of the Titanic, as the lifeboats slowly disappear into the horizon, everyman raising his own Holy Spirit-guided interpretation of Scripture like a flag of surrender: “Looks like we’re in the already/not yet of the Kingdom!”

The Truth Will Set You Free
Sin leads to schism, and schism leads to sin. Ubi divisio ibi peccatum. The devil is diabolical; that is, he rips things apart. By accommodating sin, the lifestyle ecumenists will not make more Catholics. They will only make more ecumenists, more ecumenical dialogues, more ecumenical lifestyles, until everyone who is wise in their own eyes has happily signed up for the very polite, very nice conference to be held on the ground level of the building with the infamous sign: “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.” Hans Urs von Balthasar puts it this way:

Of course, there is a difference between schisms within the Church and the ultimate schism that separates people from the unity of the institutional Church. But there can be no doubt that the former were the cause of the latter. Sin in the Church is the origin of the (equally sinful) separation from the Church. The process can last for hundreds of years within the Church—think of the long prelude to the schism with the East and to the Reformation—but it can always be traced back.

What was it Jesus said? “The truth will set you free” (John 8:32). He promised to build his Church on the rock that is Peter, gave him the keys to bind and loose, and assured us that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it (Matt. 17:16-19). He guaranteed that the Holy Spirit would lead his Church into all truth (John 16:13), and then he prayed to his Father: “protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one” (John 17:11).

Like righteousness, unity is not a theatrical background, a tone, an atmosphere. It is a reality. You are either living it, or you are not. The emotional, subjective, therapeutic clamor of ecumenism is no substitute for the heart-awakening, objective, cruciform call of the holy Roman Catholic Church. In his speech at the conclusion of the Synod, Pope Francis put it this way:

So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ; it is that of reminding the pastors that their first duty is to nourish the flock—to nourish the flock—that the Lord has entrusted to them, and to seek to welcome—with fatherly care and mercy, and without false fears—the lost sheep … to go out and find them.”

The program of the ecumenists, university degrees coming out of their ears, demands unity without truth, truth without morality, morality without “discrimination.” But the Church Christ founded on the rock that is Peter is, like Christ himself, discriminating. She reminds us that all have sinned, all have fallen short of the glory of God, and all are in need of a Savior. Like her Husband and Head, she demands unity in truth, truth with morality, and morality that brings glory to the Father in Heaven from whom comes every good and perfect gift.

While every ecumenist is slapping his newspaper and wishing the holy Roman Catholic Church would catch up to whatever it is he’s found in there, the Church is joining Christ in his suffering, his oblation, his proclamation of life brim-full. But it begins with repentance. For a lot of us, it must continue with conversion. The Church’s arms, like Christ’s on the Cross, are wide open. Pope Francis put it this way:

This is the Church, the vineyard of the Lord, the fertile Mother and the caring Teacher, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to pour oil and wine on people’s wound; who doesn’t see humanity as a house of glass to judge or categorize people. This is the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and composed of sinners, needful of God’s mercy. This is the Church, the true bride of Christ, who seeks to be faithful to her spouse and to her doctrine. It is the Church that is not afraid to eat and drink with prostitutes and publicans. The Church that has the doors wide open to receive the needy, the penitent, and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect! The Church that is not ashamed of the fallen brother and pretends not to see him, but on the contrary feels involved and almost obliged to lift him up and to encourage him to take up the journey again and accompany him toward a definitive encounter with her Spouse, in the heavenly Jerusalem.

[S]he is the Church, our Mother! And when the Church, in the variety of her charisms, expresses herself in communion, she cannot err: it is the beauty and the strength of the sensus fidei, of that supernatural sense of the faith which is bestowed by the Holy Spirit so that, together, we can all enter into the heart of the Gospel and learn to follow Jesus in our life.

(Photo Credit: CNS/Maria Grazia Picciarella)

Tyler Blanski


Tyler Blanski, a Catholic convert, is the author of When Donkeys Talk: Rediscovering the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity (Zondervan, 2012) and Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred (Upper Room Books, 2010). www.holyrenaissance.com

  • ForChristAlone

    Once we have been successful at completely eradicating sin from our collective consciences, the next thing that we can dispense with is the Church since it is She who mediates God’s restorative grace. Along with the Church goes all sacred scripture, sacred tradition and authoritative teaching. No need for any of it. We will be the judges of right and wrong.

    Once we get rid of sin and the Church, we can get rid of Christ. Since He is the One sent by the Father to reconcile us to Himself by dying in expiation for sin, he is rendered superfluous since there is no more sin.

    And after we have rid ourselves of sin, Church and Christ, we can dispense with this notion of God altogether since we are sufficient unto ourselves. We now – each of us – are gods and form an olympian society. (There will be even more time for selfies).

    When all of this has finally been accomplished, Satan will have won the very victory he sought – the very ruin of souls. Satan is, at last, GOD – what he aspired to in eternity.

    But wait, the final denouement has not been written. Christ will come again. Oh, we Catholics have forgotten about that Second Coming that we pray at every Mass and never hear preached about. All this was for naught for He will come to judge the living and the dead. And to those who have been saying, “Who am I to judge?” HIS judgment will be swift.

    • Objectivetruth

      Excellent, FCA. Life is short: do we stand for Christ or for the ways of the world? Christ’s ecumenism was an invitation to the Truth that He was. With free will, one can accept, or reject His invitation. Many did reject this invite, Christ did not convert everyone as evidenced by His crucifixion. We insult the deaths of the martyrs if we accept some type of fluffy “I’m OK, you’re OK, we’re all OK!” ecumenism. Accepting sin or a lifestyle devoted to sin is not the way of Christ.

    • HenryBowers

      Get a life. Find the courage to leave the Church.

      • GG

        From your posts it sounds like you may have already left. The angry Left hates the Truth. It means they must stop doing what they are doing. That is why they hate the truth.

        • jacobhalo

          GG, correct. The teachings of the church interferes with the Left’s lifestyle.

      • ForChristAlone

        I debated whether I need reply. I decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

        • jacobhalo

          You are on the right side of truth. You can see by the many,many posts of many different articles on the CAtholic websites that the very large majority of Catholics are very critical of the synod.

        • jacobhalo

          FCA, Henry Bowers is “out of it”.

      • jacobhalo

        If you agree with this synod, you have already left the church.

        • Geoff Kiernan West Australia

          Jacobhalo: So True…

      • Geoff Kiernan West Australia

        To Henry Bowers: What!…… and join your ranks?????

    • GaudeteMan

      “Completely eradicating sin from our collective consciences…” This process is being aided by the hierarchy and clergy. Last Sunday we attended Mass at a rural Midwest parish where, after having delivered the disclaimer that sermons should never be political, the diocesan vocation’s director proceeded to offer ‘blessed anesthetic’ to the consciences of the voters present in the pews by placing immigration (no he did not call it illegal) and abortion on the same moral plane and that we had the green light to vote for any candidate or party as long as we wrote the candidate a letter explaining that while he/she had our vote we disagree on some of his/her stances. Not surprisingly the diocesan seminary which he heads is hanging on by a thread.

      • DE-173

        “Not surprisingly the diocesan seminary which he heads is hanging on by a thread.”

        Where’s the scissors?

        Write a letter to a politician. Oh please, like it’s going to get past the unpaid interns. What an idiot.

      • jacobhalo

        And the traditional seminaries are adding additions. SSPX has 50 new seminarians. The Diocese of Camden, NJ has 7.

  • James

    FWIW, I haven’t heard anyone born after 1970 use the phrase “living in sin” in any way other than ironically.

    The Church is beginning to realize that it’s mission is not to preserve Christian civilization, but to rebuild it. It’s not about instructing Christians to follow the tenents of Christian morality that everyone knows, but no one wants to follow, but about instructing semi-pagans of the good of Christian moral teaching.

    One can no more blame a secular western couple for cohabitating before marriage than you can blame a man for having multiple wives where this is the cultural practice (another problem for the global Church, but I digress). The key is not to denounce, but to show them a better way.

    • fredx2

      Good point. Our practices are no more valid than polygamy, yet we set ourselves up above “those people”

    • JP

      Nice sentiment. But, since Vatican II, the Church attempted to show the world a better way. Gone was the stridency, the demands for piety, discipline, and reverent worship. Gone too was the firewall of clericalism. At the parish and diocesan levels the laity was brought into positions as teachers, DREs, lecterns, administrative, managerial positions, as well as being invited to run non-profits, and colleges. The Church “reached out” to other Christians in a non-triumphant and ecumenical way; it “reached out” to other races, opened itself up to other modes of worship (including zen), and most importantly the Church “reached out” to women. No, it couldn’t very well open up the priesthood to women, but it stacked its offices and positions with women in every other possible way. The Church gave up its old patriarchal and Euro centric roots by dropping or making optional (which is the same thing) a whole host of traditional means of piety and worship. It dropped the TLM for guitar masses; it invited a new generation of Christian musicians (most notably Marty Haugen) to re-do the music of the Masses (aka the Liturgy). Post-Modern architects design our churches. The RCC did everything it could possible do to open up its windows and allow the fresh breeze of Modernism into its dusty rooms. And, in the process the Church as a cultural institution became irrelevant. The reformers got the Church they wanted. Everything is up for grabs. And if trends continue, some future Pope will be calling on the Bishops to at least consider the gifts that polygamists have to offer the Church.

      • James

        Many of the problem that conservatives complain about were there long before Vatican II. They were building mid-century modern, cinder block churches in the 1950s, long before the Council. The TLM is almost always done well today, because people take extra effort to do it, but when it was the norm, there were abuses then, too. Flannery O’Connor wrote about masses being boring and uninspired. It was not unheard of for priests to go through the mass as quickly as possible to get antsy parishioners out the door. Legalism was a problem, especially in the Anglo-American world.

        The problem is not the new mass. There is no reason the new mass can’t be done with all the smells, bells, chants, altar rails, as the old one. It can even be done in Latin. The 3 year lectionary cycle and additional scripture reading is a huge improvement. Changes in the liturgy have been helpful in the parts of the world that have no cultural history of Latin or Latin worship, such as Africa. They appear to be a non-issue in Latin America, where the Spanish translation of the mass is much closer to the Latin and there remains a lot of traditional piety. (I think this is why Pope Francis doesn’t get the appeal Latin Mass.)

        What is beneficial for missionaries may not be so back home. I think that too much change too fast cut the ties to centuries of Catholic cultural history. Liturgy is designed to be timeless. Changing the liturgy did not lead to innovation, but a decade of innovation and 4 decades of stagnation. The innovative masses of the 1970s are now the old hippie masses of the 2010s, appealing to only a relatively narrow demographic.

        Whatever the problems of the 1970s, you can’t turn the clock back by sheer force of will, which I think conservatives have been trying to do (unsuccessfully) since then. It’s time to stop looking back and start moving forward.

        • JP

          “Whatever the problems of the 1970s, you can’t turn the clock back by
          sheer force of will, which I think conservatives have been trying to do
          (unsuccessfully) since then. It’s time to stop looking back and start
          moving forward.”

          Typical comment I’ve seen over the years. Radical reforms were foisted upon the Church crica 1965-1975, reforms which included the New Mass; and things immediately began to fall apart. Mass attendance fell precipitously, divorce and adultery became normalized, a shortage of vocations evolved, and a general apostasy took root that continues to this very day(Which the Pope reminds us at every opportunity) Yet, the very people who created this mess say they’ve got the answers. We must move Forward!!!!. Do not look back!! Innovate!!!

          The old mass hasn’t been celebrated at the parish level since 1968-69. Most of the customs and old traditions were also eviscerated from parish life. All done from above and not at the grass roots. That’s over 40 years. And as far as Latin America is concerned, the fastest growing church in that region is Pentecostalism. Catholics are leaving the Church in ever growing numbers.This wasn’t a problem in 1965; it is now. The RCC is steadily dwindling there. And in some parts of Latin America, the second fastest growing religion is Islam. We don’t have to worry about the organic growth of Islam in the US (yet); but, I have seen a steady stream of Catholics leave the Church for Protestant Churches such as the so-called Emergent Church (see Rob Bell and his “ministry” in Grand Rapids Michigan).

          As I’ve said, the Church isn’t changing its Doctrine; however, few people really truly believe it anymore. They pick and chose what they like. The Church as a moral institution that informs society is today irrelevant. It is now the other way around. Society informs the Church. The just completed Extraordinary Synod of the Family proves this point.

          • James

            You’re missing my point. Catholics born after 1960 don’t remember the old customs. What may be a “restoration” to you is an innovation to us. The old customs for you are new customs for us.

            While the Church is not to change the faith based on cultural trends, it must change its tactics to best spread the Gospel in the current environment.

            In 1970, if a couple were cohabitating, they were “living in sin” and they knew that they were living in sin. They were making a conscious choice to live outside the social norms and the Church could disincentivize such behavior with consequences.

            In 2014, a cohabitating couple has no idea that they are “living in sin”. They are living inside the social norms. If the Church tries to sanction their behavior, they will simply go somewhere else or not go at all. Punitive sanctions simply will not work. Different tactics need to be employed.

            Second, you overestimate how many people truly believed it then. Quite a few people didn’t believe, but perhaps followed the rules out of a sense of fear or supersition.

            • jacobhalo

              James, i belong to a Traditional Latin mass parish. We have a 95% attendance rate, with many, many young people. We had to add an extension to our church because we are getting so many new members. We had an Assumption mass at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Phila, because our church was too small. It holds over 1000 people, and there was an overflow crowd, with many, many young people. We have 2 priests who give sermons about the issues of the day, abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, etc. The people love it. I don’t see anyone leaving because of these sermons. I see more people coming into the church.
              Take a look a the Novus Ordo churches, 25% attendance, and the clergy says that they don’t want to bring up those issues because they are afraid that people would leave.

            • jacobhalo

              have you ever head a Novus Ordo priest preach that people co-habitating were living in sin? No. How would the couple know it if they never heard it. You will hear it at our Latin mass parish.

              • DE-173

                Yes. Within the last year, multiple times.

                • jacobhalo

                  De, that is good news! I’ve been a member of the Traditional Latin mass church for the past 10 years.

                  • DE-173

                    Then why would you ask that question?

                  • jacobhalo

                    Well, you gave me an answer.

                • Geoff Kiernan West Australia

                  DE-173; I have not heard a Novus ordo priest say anything like you claim, anytime in 43 years. I attended the Novus ordo variety of the Mass for 43years. Now thankfully all that has changed in the TLM

                  • DE-173

                    Then come to South Central Pennsylvania, USA. I don’t know how things roll much beyond those confines.

            • jacobhalo

              The church did change tactics. It was called Vatican II.

            • JP

              I think you don’t give the under 35 people enough credit. Whether they were raised Baptist, Church of Christ, or Catholic, these younger people know that they are in fact living a life that they were raised not to live. As far as younger Catholics who attended Catholic schools go, most were given the rudiments of the Faith and the Catholic teachings on sex and marriage were at least given lip service. However, I can say from personal experience that those teachings were done under the backdrop of secularism and what once was called humanism. In other words, a Catholic education does not necessarily mean it was Catholic. I have no idea how effective most pre-Cana classes are; but given our statistics on divorce and adultery, I would say they are very deficient. Which brings me back to my original point. Since 1970, the Church in fact bent over backwards to accommodate a while range of non-Catholic thought and practice. Yet, listening to Pope Francis one would think that Torquemada had been Pope for the last 45 years.

            • Watosh

              You mean the admonition, “Go and sin no more” is out?

              Suggesting that in the past Catholics acted from a sense of fear and superstition appears to be an attempt to discredit the faith of people who lived in a preceding age. This strikes me as an attempt to excuse the sins committed by people of today.

              • James

                That’s what several Catholics of that era have told me, including my priest.

                In one homily, he talked about the time he asked his superior why so few people went to mass. The superior replied, “In the old days, people could either go to mass or go to hell. Most chose mass.” The point of the homily was the importance of having a relationship with God and not simply following rules. Because when people start looking at rules, then they want to do the minimum required, which misses the point.

                • jacobhalo

                  And without rules, the people left the church. Are you blind of what has gone on since Vatican II?

                • jacobhalo

                  Sure they are going to tell you that. They want to legitimize Vatican II with all its changes.

                • Watosh

                  So we should do away with rules? People will tell people what they want to hear. When we first moved to Northern Virginia the new high school bragged about not having walls. When we old fogies questioned whether the teachers found this distracting, we were told unequivocally, “No, this has not been any problem at all, in fact it has helped students concentrate.” Ten years later they were putting in walls. And I would like to point out there are some obvious flaws in extrapolating what “several people” told you to the entire Catholic population, and even then there were Catholic prelates who liked to denigrate the Latin Mass. I have heard some dismiss the liturgy as “smells and bells.”

          • Watosh

            In a couple of weeks we will all be “turning our clocks back” without much incidence.

        • jacobhalo

          I was born in 1946. I attended Catholic school for 12 years. We were taught the unvarnished teachings of the church, unlike today. We have full seminaries, convents, Catholic schools, long lines at confession, 90% attendance at mass, very, very few cafeteria Catholics, sermons which talked about the issues of the day, unlike the mush mouth clerics of today. I never saw any problems. Look at the problems today, empty seminaries, convents, Catholic schools closing at an alarming rate, very few people at confession, about 24% attendance at mass. I would love to turn back the clock to those days. Vatican II was a disaster, and the clergy thinks it was a success.

          • DE-173

            Anyone born in 1946 was young when those full seminaries began turning out the likes of Phillip Berrigan (ordained 1955); Daniel Berrigan (ordained 1952) and Robert Drinan (ordained 1953). It was also the time that the seminaries were invaded by the lavendar mafia. It was also the time Catholic priests and nuns regularly told their charges that the Democrat party was a Catholic Auxiliary.
            You never saw any problems because you were a child and you confuse mile wide inch deep piety with some sort of halcyon days.

            • Watosh

              Oh of course there were problems then, there were problems that Popes during the end of the nineteenth century noticed. But still compared to today, those of us who lived before Vatican Ii are tempted to look back to the Church in days prior to Vatican II with longing. One major problem that beset the Church that few were aware of then, and perhaps even now, is the virulent strain of Americanism which had a stronghold on the Church. We kind of felt it was good patriotic behavior, and not a competing religion.

              • DE-173

                There have always been problems. Do the names Arius, Nestorius, Mani, Luther, Henry, ring any bells?

                Likewise, you are another person looking back on your youth, and telling us what a fine house you lived in, because you were blissfully unaware of the termites in the beams and rafters.

              • DE-173

                I’m sorry, but in all candor, I find it very difficult to accept your reflections as accurate; so much of what you write is disordered.

            • jacobhalo

              I don’t think it was that early. I believe it was in the 60’s.

              • DE-173

                Well then disagree with the records.

                • jacobhalo

                  Could you direct me to those records? I would like to read them. I’m not being sarcastic. I would like to peruse them.

                  • DE-173


            • jacobhalo

              No, I just looked at “Goodbye young Men” and it said that the gays started to infiltrate the seminaries during and after Vatican II. After Vatican II, many priests and nuns left the church. That is when the gays entered the seminaries.

              • DE-173

                The criminal accusations date to the 1950’s.

                • jacobhalo

                  DE, originally, I was talking about how vibrant the church was pre-Vatican II, with full churches, seminaries, convents, schools. How very few people were cafeteria Catholics.

              • DE-173

                Quote: “I never saw any problems.”
                Now don’t make me angry, Mr. McGee, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

            • jacobhalo

              I never saw the problems because I was a child? I wasn’t born during the French Revolution but I know something about it. I read quite a bit.

              • DE-173

                I never saw the problems because I was a child?
                1 Corinthians 13:11. You are no exception.

                • jacobhalo

                  What I am saying is you don’t have to remember a period of history if can read about it

                  • DE-173

                    You said “I saw”, not “I researched”. Try to keep on track here.

            • jacobhalo

              De- It could not have been in the 50’s when the Lavender Mafia infiltrated it. The priests who have been arrested were in their late 60’s and early 70’s. They would not have been ordained until the late 70’s, which means they were in the seminaries in the middle 60’s.

              • DE-173

                Rembert Weakland, ordained 1951. Any other questions?

        • jacobhalo

          When the mass was in Latin, you could go to any country with you missal and use it.

          • Watosh

            This brings back memories. I was sent to Germany in 1960-61 to work on a project at an American base. I didn’t speak a word of German, and when I landed I felt like an alien from another planet because everyone around me was speaking a tongue that I did not understand. Even small children, and I couldn’t speak a word. But on sunday I attended a German Mass at a local parish and it was the same exact Mass that I grew up attending in a rural mission Church in the foothills of the Adirondacks. And immediately I sensed a bond existed between myself and my fellow worshippers. I belonged too, despite my initial feeling of being from another planet.

    • GG

      As the article points out you cannot show a better way without “discriminating”.

    • jacobhalo

      The goal of the church is to save souls.

    • DE-173

      “FWIW, I haven’t heard anyone born after 1970 use the phrase “living in sin” in any way other than ironically.”

      I have.

      The individual was born in the 1980’s, was educated in Catholic schools their whole life K-BS, was married on their college campus and now appears to in a state of perpetual adolescence, with facebook postings on various parties, libations and gastronomic adventures, but not a hint that children might result from this union.

      • James

        I don’t think you know what ironically means.

        • DE-173

          Since you weren’t party to the conversation, you wouldn’t know that it was a frank admission of fact, made with full awareness of the meaning. That would not be “the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning”.
          Next time, have all the facts at your disposal.

      • Kilo4/11

        Astute observations. Are/were you, in fact, a tin can sailor?

        • DE-173

          No. The Avatar is of the U.S.S. Eldridge.

          • Kilo4/11

            Guided missile cruiser? I thought the DE stood for destroyer.

            • DE-173

              Yes, a destroyer of World War II.
              Google “The Philadelphia Experiment” .

  • Guest

    It is really frustrating that the only way many feel the Church can be relevant in today’s world is to accept whatever the current beliefs are professed. Gay marriage, abortion on demand, co-habitation, free love, etc have all become the current mantra that we are told the Church must embrace in order to survive. If people are flocking to Protestant Churches looking for a truth that better fits their needs or beliefs, let them go! It is time we stood for something more than just the current fad. I feel we have stumbled, but now is the time to rebuild what we have misplaced. The Synod of Bishops has an opportunity to show the world the Truth and the Way. I hope they do so and do not give in to human pride and a desire just for more members.

    • jacobhalo

      I feel the same way. If you don’t agree with the teachings find a denomination with which you agree. I must have said this 1000 times, but the goal of Vatican II was to bring the church into the modern world, instead of vice-versa. As we can see, the goal continues.

    • jacobhalo

      As Pope Benedict said when he was a Cardinal, it is better if we had a smaller church, with people who believed in the teachings.

      • John O’Neill

        Benedict XVI was a real pope; orthodox, spiritual and rational. We were blessed to have him and we still have.

        • jacobhalo


  • AcceptingReality

    Strangely enough, your portrayal of “lifestyle ecumenism” is a fairly accurate portrayal of the prevailing mindset at my local parish; and probably at a lot of other parishes!

  • HenryBowers

    Oh, look, he’s attacking a straw-pope. Pass the cotton candy!

    • GG

      Hey look one who deflects the argument because they have no authentic credibility.

      Perhaps the dissenters at Commonweal would serve your taste better?

      • HenryBowers

        Yeah, that inauthentic credibility (whatever that is) is so noxious…

        • GG

          Your posts certainly show a lack of credibility.

        • jacobhalo

          Your posts show that you are not a Catholic.

    • Augustus

      If you had actually read the article, you would, if you were honest, have recognized that the author was critical of the idea of lifestyle ecumenism coined by a journalist describing the interim report that the pope did not write (though his appointees did). The author did not criticize the pope, real or straw. He quoted the pope favorably. Or are you just disappointed that the “lifestyle ecumenism” in the interim report was rejected by the Synod in the final version?

  • BillinJax

    In the most condensed form… we must ask ourselves if Christ’s message and the gospels were meant to transform our very lives or our social vocabulary. The spin as well as the sin has to stop or the decent into darkness will continue.

    • Objectivetruth

      We are called to radical transformation with Christ. Repeat RADICAL transformation. “When you speak in my name, they will hate you because they hated Me first.”

  • HenryBowers

    I think the obvious tension for the Christian is that in lifting up the wounded, the Christian risks becoming like the wounded company he keeps. The wounded are in a world of darkness. We need holy community to remain in the light; but the community at Crisis is a bunch of window-gazing Pharisees.

    • GG

      The Pharisees had the seat of Moses, yet they were hypocrites. They did not believe what hey taught. Phonies.

      Which group today is that? The ones who shout Pharisee the most often – the Libs. They hate the truth. They want it buried. They only see a false mercy as Christian.

      They claim fidelity to Christ, yet reject His authority. Such hypocrites!

      • jacobhalo

        We reject what the left wing, radical cardinals are proposing, heretical proposals.

    • Dick Prudlo

      Henry, I feel your frustration with doctrine. It is soooooooooo demanding and soooooooooooo yesterday. You are clearly a Catholic with a small c and belong to the group that is seeking the duChardin point. When you get there, Henry, give us all a call.

    • ForChristAlone

      Henry, I was going to respond with your own words to me (“Get a life. Find the courage to leave the Church”) but I decided that I would only “risk becoming like the wounded company” I keep and I did not want to descend into “a world of darkness.”

  • GG

    Thank you for another wonderful article. It is heartening to see there are still some who think clearly and with the Church. Unfortunately, the Liberal prelates do not use such limpid logic. No, they seem to either make things up, or reject authentic theology as too small minded and rule oriented. No, those types of people work by feelings alone. Feelings rule their day. All the logical arguments in the world will bounce off them.

    Just see what happened at the Synod. Some of the errors in theology asserted by the Left were easily debunked just on historical grounds alone. Did that give them pause? No.

    This evil agenda is not simply a matter of debate between faithful Catholics, this is a matter of rupture versus unchanging truth.

    As for lifestyle ecumenism that is not surprising coming from someone who took a paycheck from an anti Catholic newspaper for decades.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    The great issue facing the Church today is converting Catholics to Catholicism. What the hell is a ‘lifestyle’ anyway. My lifestyle is breathing and I had nothing to do with it, every breath is a gift.

    • jacobhalo

      Pope Francis said conversion is “nonsense” when he had interview with an atheist. The pope’s whole papacy is nonsense, so far.

      • Minaya

        What the Pope actually said (I read the Italian transcript) is that meeting people just with the aim of converting them is nonsense. You may meet with Jews, Muslim, Protestants or atheists just because they are your friends, co workers, business partners or family. Conversion would eventually follow, God willing, but should not be the only motivation for befriending other people. That is what His Holiness actually said.

  • BM

    When I read the relatio, my first question was: what are all those defenders of V2 ecumenism going to say now that this document’s most blatant and obvious affront to Catholic morality is proffered on exactly the same grounds? Doesn’t it show how indefensible and pointless ecumenism really is?

    What I don’t understand is why anyone ever thought it was a good idea in the first place. Consider: have any of you ever been part of a group that comes together for some general cause regarding something that you hold in common, and then as a result of this alone moved towards another’s more particular view??? I know I haven’t. Nor have I ever seen anyone who has in the years that I’ve been involved in such groups. Yet this is exactly what they claim happens, namely, that these outside elements “impel towards Catholic unity.” But this is falsifiable nonsense. Stressing what people hold in common is what you do when you don’t think someone should change their position, but rather to make sure they stay exactly as they are and consider your position superfluous. It’s just such a pointless undertaking from a missionary, Gospel perspective. It’s only a great tool if you’re a syncretist.

    • ForChristAlone

      Ultimately, people will gravitate toward the truth. If they do not, it’s because of the hardness of the hearts. But the ecumenism of “let’s meet in the middle” doesn’t work at all.

      • jacobhalo

        I hope they gravitate to the truth, but you won’t hear the truth from this present day church, especially this pope.

    • What I had to say: You shall know philosophy by its fruits. Ecumenicism has been the primary cause of “ex Catholic” becoming the fastest growing religion in the United States; therefore it is reasonable to predict that “lifestyle ecumenicism” will result in an equal abandonment of monogamous, committed heterosexuality.

      • jacobhalo

        Of course. we have Catholic priest in protestant churches having prayer services. Why would anyone want to convert to Catholicism, when any Christian church will do. We had Pope John Paul II having prayer services with other religious leaders, what we called false religions pre-Vatican II,in the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi. According to Vatican II, even other people in other religions can be saved. Pope Francis said to an atheist than he can be saved just by being good. I guess Jesus’s teachings, such as “I Am the Way, The Truth and the Life. No one goes to the Father except through Me.” Or, as he said to the Jews, “If you don’t believe that I am He, you will die in your own sins.” Jesus even used the word sin. He wasn’t being PC, as our esteem left wing clerics are. Jesus also said, Those who are baptized and believe can be saved. Those who don’t believe are already condemned.” These quotes were too harsh for Vatican II, so they are no longer in vogue. According to Vatican II, they were misinterpreted. For 2000 years, in Council after Council, not one pope picked up on the mistranslation.

        • Objectivetruth

          The older I get, the more I believe you can’t find middle ground. The bottom line is only one Church was founded by Christ, and that is the Catholic Church. The other 30,000 “ecclesiastical communities” were founded by erroneous men. What is there to be “ecumenical” about? If the Catholic Church contains 100% of the Truths of Christ, and a Protestant denomination only contains 60% of the Truth, what am I looking to them for?

          • jacobhalo

            This pope says that other religions have truth too.

          • jacobhalo

            I’ve have protestant tell me that Jesus didn’t establish the Catholic church. They say it was founded in 313 by Constantine. I told them that 313 was the Edict of Milan which took the Christians out of the catacombs and made it the religion of the state. They just don’t like facts.

      • jacobhalo

        Theo, actually it is not the fastest growing religion. According to a chart that I saw, the Protestant church went from 50% of the Population to 48%. The Catholic church stayed at 25%.

        • Islam’s the fastest growing religion,you are correct. Edited.

          • DE-173

            In hot competion with the LDS.

          • jacobhalo

            Not in the USA

            • Worldwide. There is a reason why nearly 10% of ISIS troops are Americans.

              • jacobhalo

                Sure, they are killing off Christians. 10% ISIS troops? That is disgraceful.

  • Or, more succinctly, it’s the old dictatorship of relativism yet again.

  • Objectivetruth

    A “must read” from Robert George of Princeton U. He puts things in a very nice perspective:


    • jacobhalo

      Yes, I read the other day in the Phila. Inquirer. A very objective piece for a secular rag.

      • Objectivetruth

        In Philly area, also. I haven’t bought the “Inqy” in years, it’s all anti Catholic, all the time. I don’t know how it stays in business.

        • jacobhalo

          Yes, it is anti-Catholic and a very liberal rag, but it does have some good national and international news.

      • Fred

        God bless you for your honesty. Your forgiven, and your penance is to promise to never buy another copy ever again (ha, no seriously).

        • jacobhalo

          I only received because my 94 yr. old mother, who lives with me, like to read it.

          • Fred

            God bless you for taking care of your Mom. Some in my extended family read the National Enquirer also to stay up on the latest celebrity news (oxymoron?), so I can like “totally relate man”.

            • jacobhalo

              National Inquirer? The only problem with the Phila Inquirer is its editorial page, all liberal all the time. The rest of the paper is very good, and I am a conservative.

    • Fred

      Well written and plain spoken. Are you sure he is a Princeton Professor (ha)?

    • GG

      It is a spin piece in a sense. While it is accurate no Church teaching changed, it is still a tad disingenuous to frame the entire event the way he framed it.

      The forces in play are not just mere terminology, or the ignorant media, or wishful liberals.

      • Objectivetruth

        Agree, partially…..

        But I did like this quote from George in the last paragraph: “Rather, there was a reaffirmation, as one would have expected, of the Church’s moral teachings in their wholeness: sin is sin and must be rejected. That teaching is untouched. Sinners are precious human beings, who must never be rejected.” The classic “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

        Ultimately, we must trust that the Church is Christ’s bride, and He will protect her. No matter how much we humans try to screw it up.

  • Martha

    Ha! Loved the convo between Jesus and the adulteress. And, ‘God so loved the world…’ It’s putting the ridiculous gooey ‘pastoral’ messages directly into Jesus’ mouth that takes the point home and shows them for what they really are: ridiculous!

  • publiusnj

    Lifestyle? We have the only lifestyle that offers people the selfless love that can be achieved uniquely in marriage. The selflessness that can be achieved when “they live happily ever after.” The happiness that cannot be achieved in the conditional marriages the State offers and most protestant, eastern orthodox and jewish sects echo.

    We Catholics have the most radical view of marriage possible: selfless giving of a man to a woman (and vice-versa) so that the two flesh become one and go on from there–God willing–to produce progeny, all of whom live together in an indissoluble union of the two until death them do part. That is what the Synod ought to proclaim as the good news of salvation as applied to “lifestyles.” Anything less is the kind of compromise politicians dish out because they only have the power to make laws, not the grace to help people through difficult days.

  • cestusdei

    Great article. Hit the nail on the head.

  • David

    Great article, but “whomever believes in him”? Mind them grammar, Tyler. It’s “whoever”.

  • pbecke

    My impression is that Jesus could have said a lot more to the woman caught in adultery, given her a right dressing down, rather than his brief command not to sin again. So, why would he have continued to show such sensitivity towards her, having got her off a death sentence, and some robust censure might have commended itself?

    Surely, Jesus was living at a time like today or the recent past, in the development of Judaism, when the faith had been overlaid by the the traditions of men, basing itself on clerical narcissism in the form of an overbearing, stultifying legalism (of a Tridentine-type persuasion), instead of on a mutual humility and compassion, which would invite respect for sound teaching.

    It’s seems clear to me that the main message was not even what Jesus told the woman after her acquittal, but his implicit condemnation of her would-be judges.

    • GG

      How do you know what Jesus said?

      • pbecke

        English is my first language, and I have an English bible. How else?

        • DE-173

          And your impression is in which book?

          • pbecke

            Why would I look to other people for my opinions? Because they’ve written a book?!?! Go back to sleep, there’s a good chap.

          • pbecke

            Impressions are personal. I didn’t quote someone else’s impression. I specified that it as my impression.

    • Steve Frank

      So what is your point, that we only should be concerned about what you’ve decided was Jesus’ “main” message, and so we don’t need to pay that much attention to “go and sin no more”? Are you suggesting that “go and sin no more” was just an afterthought on the part of Jesus? This was not an isolated example.

      “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, ‘See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.’” (John 5:14)

      Two chapters earlier in John’s gospel, Jesus said the same thing to the man healed at the pool of Bethseda. In that episode, the man was healed and went away before Jesus had a chance to finish to finish talking to him. Jesus tracked him down later in the temple and told him to “sin no more” in a bit more ominous language. According to the gospels, the call for repentance from sin was CORE to Jesus’s message.

    • jacobhalo

      Apparently, Jesus knew that the woman had sinned, when he said go and sin no more. From what I’ve read about the synod, sin was never mentioned. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      • pbecke

        Yes, of course. Why do you think there was any doubt?

        Re the absence of any mention of sin at the Synod – I take your word for it – personally, I suspect it was because it was a given, THE given. They didn’t convene because some of them disputed the sin involved in divorces. I doubt if any of them did. It was the Christian way – not necessarily at all epochs, the Catholic way – of dealing with the sin that was the topic under discussion. We saw how he abrogated the law’s demand the woman should be stoned to death. Could such a dramatic abrogation of the law indicate that Jesus would counsel mercy concerning the far less draconian sanction of denying reception of the Eucharist, in certain marital/divorce situations? Would he too not feel for the parent in relation to their children’s puzzlement, too?

        My own inclination is that men who abandon their wives, even with the children they’ve fathered, do not deserve any sympathy. To me, it is a hideous crime: like politicians working for corporations which will eventually ensure that even women and whole families will be made homelessness.

        However, I saw a YouTube video-clip some time ago, in which a Dutchman told of a NDE he had had. A young woman and a boy appeared to him, and the woman said, you didn’t do much to help us. He’d actually forgotten. Didn’t recognise her at first. The lad was probably to young to recognise. They may not even have been married.

        Be that as it may, he was received by Christ with forgiveness and great love in his NDE, but then had to return to his then wife. He later apparently tried to commit suicide a couple of time since then, in order to return. So, if I were called upon to make a judgment, I would have to temper my conviction that such men are irredeemably damned.

        However, I still find it hard to believe that the husband of a woman on a forum I exchanged messages with, could have cold-bloodedly two-timed her, leaving her to run a hot-dog stall or sandwich outlet of some kind, on some mendacious pretext, so he could spend time with a fancy woman he had, and who she found out later he was living with – though he spun some other lying yarn to her. And another woman I know whose divorced husband had two-timed her for twenty years.

        Both of those sound to me like annulment cases, since in neither case, did the husband evince a one-to-one commitment or seem likely to have even known the meaning of it.

      • pbecke

        Yes, of course. Why do you think there was any doubt?

        the absence of any mention of sin at the Synod – I take your word for
        it – personally, I suspect it was because it was a given, THE given.
        They didn’t convene because some of them disputed the sin involved in
        divorces. I doubt if any of them did. It was the Christian way – not
        necessarily at all epochs, the Catholic way – of dealing with the sin
        that was the topic under discussion. We saw how he abrogated the law’s
        demand the woman should be stoned to death. Could such a dramatic
        abrogation of the law indicate that Jesus would counsel mercy concerning
        the far less draconian sanction of denying reception of the Eucharist,
        in certain marital/divorce situations? Would he too not feel for the
        parent in relation to their children’s puzzlement, too?

        own inclination is that men who abandon their wives, even with the
        children they’ve fathered, do not deserve any sympathy. To me, it is a
        hideous crime: like politicians working for corporations which will
        eventually ensure that even women and whole families will be made

        However, I saw a YouTube video-clip
        some time ago, in which a Dutchman told of a NDE he had had. A young
        woman and a boy appeared to him, and the woman said, you didn’t do much
        to help us. He’d actually forgotten. Didn’t recognise her at first. The
        lad was probably to young to recognise. They may not even have been

        Be that as it may, he was received by Christ
        with forgiveness and great love in his NDE, but then had to return to
        his then wife. He later apparently tried to commit suicide a couple of
        time since then, in order to return. So, if I were called upon to make a
        judgment, I would have to temper my conviction that such men are
        irredeemably damned.

        However, I still find it hard to believe
        that the husband of a woman on a forum I exchanged messages with, could
        have cold-bloodedly two-timed her, leaving her to run a hot-dog stall or
        sandwich outlet of some kind, on some mendacious pretext, so he could
        spend time with a fancy woman he had, and who she found out later he was
        living with – though he spun some other lying yarn to her. And another
        woman I know whose divorced husband had two-timed her for twenty years.

        of those sound to me like annulment cases, since in neither case, did
        the husband evince a one-to-one commitment or seem likely to have even
        known the meaning of it.

        As regards NDE’s generally, I have the impression that many ‘cradle’ Catholics are as wary of even watching such video-clips as Protestant fundamentalists; the one because they’re not mentioned in the catechism or traditional Catholic teaching, likewise in respect of the incidents in paradise/purgatory/anteroom to heaven, whatever; and the other because they are not expressly referred to in the Bible.

        I think that is a great shame, as there is not only compelling scientific evidence that they are not hallucinations, but the descriptions are often consonant with a lot of references in Christian scripture and other literature – as well as being most edifying. The body language is unmistakably genuine, impossible to feign, even by the greatest actors.

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero


    No bone to pick. Spotless analysis. Couldn’t,’ even tack 98 theses to its posting!

    Yet I remain wary. Of course I am posting that wariness to Pope Francis. Do quote him. It is the, always, more telling speech of his actions I will be watching: his decisions for the preparation of the concluding synod next year. Will he countenance the use and application of the language of Queer Theory – for it was Queer Theory which informed the very language of those, now infamous, three homosexual paragraphs.

    There is a personal story aggravating this comment, which needs no retelling here. To be wary of fathers and shepherds who leave the gates unhinged is no sin. Little boys who fall over the cliff, their shadows descending into the chasm below – clinging with little boy fingers to some dangling anchor-less roots – with their yelp for help answered only the fathers who let in the wolves through the unhinged gates, who could blame those little boys who let go of the root-less roots to chase after their shadows to the bottom below?

    I would not: Blame little boys. Loosen the grip on the root myself. I refuse to speak the language of Queer Theory, or stay where it has confiscated a hearing.

    During the next 12 months I will keep my out near at hand. As I said previously, I will bolt to where I came from, the Orthodox Church.

    • jacobhalo

      If they change any of the teachings concerning marriage and homosexuality, I will join the sedevacantists, who say the last legit pope was Pope Pius XII.

      • Or rather, if the Latin Catholic Church breaks away doctrinally from the other 22 Catholic Churches, bolt to one of them instead of to a schismatic group. Those 22 Catholic Churches would then be the faithful ones, among which the Maronite Catholic Church would be my choice.

        • jacobhalo

          I know, but those other 22 Catholic churches are in communion with the pope. They would have to follow his so-called teachings, especially if he speaks from the Chair of Peter.

          • And the Patriarch of Rome is union with their patriarchs. All, in unity, hold on to the One True Faith. If the Patriarch of Rome apostatizes, it’d be on his head to have broken up the unity of the Church. As a matter of fact, he’d then be a heresiarch and not Peter anymore.

            I don’t think that it’d ever happen though. I do believe in the dogma of the pope’s supremacy and infallibility by divine protection. Therefore, were a pope to proclaim heresy, I think that the Holy Spirit would claim his life before he were able to do so.

            But to say that the SSPX, an unfaithful, disobedient, schismatic sect, even hypothetically, is preposterous when faithful, obedient , united Catholic Churches exist.

    • But then the Latin Catholic Church would still be more faithful to the Gospel than the Orthodox Churches, which accept what this synod proposes, remarrying, and then some, like contraception.

      Instead, if this apostasy comes to pass, which I doubt, pay attention to the position that the other 22 Catholic Churches take. Many of them use the same Byzantine rite as the one you grew used to.

      • CadaveraVeroInnumero

        You miss my point. If the Roman Church gives ground to Queer Theory — even in a pastoral way – – folding into its teaching the notion that homosexuality in itself is a gift, I cannot stay. For peace of mind and soul, I cannot.

        And, yes, that is what the language of those three offending paragraphs intend and imply: that homosexuals, because they are homosexuals, possess a special gnosis, a unique knowing of affection, of sexuality, of the ontological state of Mankind.

        Of course, all in the language of “gradualism”, bu it still spoke with the voice of Q. Theory. I could see it, smell it, sense it. I called byour savior not to look upon it, sniff in its savor, move within its ether. I am gone if next October Queer Theory has its day at the Vatican – even for the sake of “pastoral mercy”.

        I cannot rid my mind of the memory of how Pope Francis chose, promoted, and defended those who exhaled that smoke in the Synod Hall.

        • I hear you. It’s indisputable that Francis attempted to deck the cards this way. All the confusion from the last few months are rather clear now: Francis is a heretic.

          Now, whether the Holy Spirit will allow him to teach his heresies remains to be seen. If this synod is any indication, He will not, for He stirred a few good men to turn the table on Francis’ collusion.

          But, I repeat, pay attention to the 22 Eastern Catholic Churches. I’d love to hear how the Byzantine, Maronite and Melkite Catholics reacted to Francis attempted corruption of doctrine (pastoral mercy my foot).

  • I_M_Forman

    Get rid of sin, get rid of Christ and then you have the “Gospel of FeelGood” – the post Jesus Christianity that neither condemns nor stands for anything other than “All Dogs go to Heaven” mentality.

    • Griffonn

      I call it “Teddy Ruxpin Jesus” – looks sort of like real Jesus only he exists solely to hug you and say whatever you tell him to say.

      His willingness to affirm is his competitive advantage.

      Marketing triumph.

  • PoppaG

    It was inevitable that a liberally-inclined Pope would force Roman Catholics to choose between papal infallibility, and truth. As for Rome, and Roman Catholicism, it’s all over but the crying…

  • Kalpurrnia

    Leading the flocks astray. That’s what Lifestyle Ecumenism is.

  • M.J.

    Afraid that those who read this , without realising that a lot of it, esp. in the beginning,
    is meant to be tongue in cheek , might be misled ; glad that the latter parts clarify the point well, of need to remain faithful to the truth .
    Good thing of doing so would be that the real believers get to be ‘cut to the heart ‘ a bit more , to repent and plead for mercy on behalf of all , like St.John Paul 11 did – having read how he used to spend most of the night, prostrate in prayer .
    Is it that there is some misreading of the message , in the sense that , Catholics , in The Church, need to get more zealous for those who have become lukewarm or have separated themselves , which would need ever deeper ardency in prayer, hope and love such that , the words ‘ have mercy on us and the whole world ‘ would encompass all , while accepting that what happens with that pleading is upto God alone !
    That message most likely did not come from Vatican11 but from the Divine Mercy devotion , which is said to be given to us , to prepare the world for the Second Coming .
    The ever increasing popularity of books on deliverance , such as that of Rev .Fr.Carl Schmidt – Freedom through Deliverance is another hopeful sign ; it explains , in simplicity , how anointing , by being in good terms with The Lord , is the best thing and a necessity for those who want to work for deliverance for self and others !
    The theme of family healing with its emphasis on generational healing through repentance is also in similar category .
    Good thing might be , these noises get the attention of the world , hopefully of the young , who are bored enough, to spend hours watching someone throw a pigskin ball at each other – let us hope and pray that all those so engaged, would have their hearts moved, to throw away all forms of lust and greed , instead would find the joy and power , the purpose in life , of delivering heads and hearts for The Lord , by so desiring , from the heart , with every throw !

  • Catherine Masak

    “I am the Good Shepherd etc.” The sheep know the Shepherds (Christ) voice and will follow only him. Thanks be to God. Viva Christo Rey!

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  • Stephen

    There are only two positions to take concerning truth, and both of them had their hearing centuries ago in the court-room of Solomon where two women claimed a babe. A babe is like truth; it is one; it is whole; it is organic and it cannot be divided. The real mother of ‘the babe would accept no compromise. She was intolerant about her claim. She must have the whole babe, or nothing-the intolerance of Motherhood. But the false mother was tolerant. She was willing to compromise. She was willing to divide the babe-and the babe would have met its death through broadmindedness. -Bishop Fulton Sheen