October 8, 2015•
There’s not really any other way to say this: A group of poorly trained ideological bishops have come to Rome to try and change whatever they want to or can with regard to Church teaching. It’s being disguised as just kind of tweaking around the edges, but if these men have their way, the Church may look more Protestant than Catholic.
And the funny thing: All the proponents of change keep repeating that there is no division; everything is peaceful inside the Hall; everyone is getting along just fine. Sadly, that may very well in fact be the case because from what has been officially relayed so far, it’s been one nutty idea after another. It seems as if anything goes at this Synod:
- Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried
- General absolution for everyone
- A new catechetical approach for those living in sin
- An end to mean, exclusionary language calling sin sin and sinners sinners
- Letting different parts of the world determine different approaches to dogma
- The ordination of women to the diaconate
- Avoiding calling sinful situations what they are because those are negative judgments
This is crazy, and it’s only the first week still. Talk about the beginning of woes. A step or two more to the left and they’ll be nominating Hillary for Pope. And then one of the primary agents of change, Germany’s Reinhard Marx, comes out and has the audacity to blame the media for creating this storm of controversy. Talk about gall.
For the record, or rather to correct the record, the media, including us, are talking to bishops, reading their interviews, listening to what’s being reported at the daily press briefings. We aren’t making this stuff up. For example, Abp. Paul-André Durocher gave an interview where he said women should be ordained to the diaconate.
Here’s what’s so crazy about this whole affair: that so many bishops from all over the place would feel so free to sound off like this. And for those anxious to blast the Pope and blame him for all, remember, almost all these men were bishops before Pope Francis came along, and it’s a pretty safe bet they did not just start holding these nutty opinions. They may feel freer to express them now given the self-admitted lack of precise language evident in this papacy, but they thought all these thoughts long before anyone ever heard of Pope Francis.
How bad are things? These men took an oath of fidelity to the Church, to Her teachings and to defend and promote them. Yet somehow they were promoted to the office of bishop — all over the world. Not all of them are bad and proposing heresy and nutjob ideas to solve the crisis — the crisis they all helped create — but enough of them are so far off the reservation that, at this point, we’re waiting for one of them to stand up in the Hall and propose that God retire and they’ll take over.
Canadian archbishop Durocher has repeatedly condemned, for example, the idea of a “Catholic ghetto,” meaning as he said walling ourselves in, not being accessible to the world. He forgets it is not the job of the Church to make itself accessible to the fallen world; it is the job of the Church to rush headlong into the world and change it, convert it, save it and smash Satan in the mouth on the way out the door.
Why is this so hard for these men to figure out? A Catholic ghetto? Really? What a weird analogy. Why not use the analogy of a Catholic castle shining on a hill? Why not use the analogy that St. Teresa of Avila used of a great Castle of Crystal with various rooms? See, using the word “ghetto” makes it seem all icky and ugly and doom-and-gloom and desperate. There is nothing “ghetto” about the Bride of Christ. That is a poor sociological term misapplied to Holy Mother Church.
And as an aside, the way the archbishop used the term doesn’t even make sense in the natural world. Those faith groups that have “ghettoized” themselves — which really means to insulate themselves against the evils of the world — haven’t done so poorly in their approach. In his native Canada, the Amish “ghetto dwellers” are doubling their size every generation, while his Canadian Church is shrinking into oblivion. So when we are talking all over the place about dialogue and accompanying every single person on earth with every single issue they have every single step of the way, perhaps someone in the Synod should be assigned to the Canadian Amish to figure out how they have done so well at passing on the Faith in their ghetto. Isn’t that supposed to be the point of this Synod anyway — to figure out how to help families pass on the Faith amidst all the challenges of the contemporary world?
What’s happening here is a diarrhea of vocabulary, a case of the verbal runs, where the point seems to be to ooze out as many weird verbal concoctions as possible and ramble on for as long as possible using all kinds of sophisticated, high-sounding platitudes of nonsense, which at the end of the day don’t say a darn thing, or mean anything, but have the predictable effect of being able to be spun any way you want so the faithful can be as confused as you can possibly make them.
Take, for example, the intervention offered on Tuesday by Antwerp bishop Johan Bonny, the bishop who wants the Church to bless sodomite marriages. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
The experiences of our contemporaries are very diverse and varied. More than in the past, their life stories follow a personal course. Next to risks and limitations, this development also offers possibilities and opportunities. It is important that the Church highlight the positive or constructive elements in this development, value the “seeds of the Words” which are dormant in life stories, recognize the graduality in the process of growth that people go through, respect and promote the “divine pedagogy of grace” on the path of life that God goes with people, and also welcome a praeparatio evangelica in the “symphony of differences,” and especially to end all exclusions.
See what we mean? I’m not sure Bp. Bonny even knows what he means.
This collegiality-driven bishop babble has got to be called out because it is damaging the faithful. It’s destructive to souls; it’s probably even heretical if you could begin to figure out what’s being said.