On the chaos surrounding the Synod in Rome (by Deacon Nick Donnelly)

Published with permission of the Editor:  http://www.catholicvoice.ie

(Catholic Voice is  fast growing Catholic newspaper, published every two weeks in Ireland and the U.K. Their mission is simple, ” we exist only to serve the Church in complete fidelity to the Holy See through our writing and publishing.”)

Deacon Nick Donnelly

Cardinal-Vincent-Nichols-speaks-at-a-Holy-See-press-conference-in-Rome

Looking at the censorship of the bishops’ interventions during the Synod the bulletins issued by the Holy See’s Press Office which favour dissenting novelty, and, the travesty of Faith contained in the interim Relatio post disceptationem searching questions have to be asked. Has the Extraordinary Synod ‘by fitting means’ striven diligently to ‘inquire properly into that revelation and ‘given apt expression to its contents?

If it is confirmed that officials have manipulated the Extraordinary Synod then it’s integrity and authority are in grave doubt. 

Over the past week I have alternated between anger and anguish as I have witnessed the chaos unleashed at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. Never in my life have I witnessed such confusion and disorientation about the Faith at the heart of the Church, the Holy See of Rome. During the past 35 years I have looked to Rome for certainty and consolation while the storms of dissent and disobedience ravaged the local churches. However, in this week my faith in the competence, even willingness, of Rome to uphold the Faith has been badly shaken.
I know that I’m not alone in weeping for the Church and for the Faith and join my prayer to Our Lord’s prayer for Peter during His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane:
‘Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’ (Luke 22: 31-32).
The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church sets out that the Pope has a special care to ensure that Revelation is ‘transmitted in its entirety’ and ‘under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church’. (Lumen Gentium, 25). The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council also spelt out the fundamental responsibility shared in common by pope and bishops, that they:
‘by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents’ (LG 25).
And that ‘ a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.’ (LG 25).
Looking at the censorship of the bishops’ interventions during the Synod the bulletins issued by the Holy See’s Press Office which favour dissenting novelty, and, the travesty of Faith contained in the interim Relatio post disceptationem searching questions have to be asked. Has the Extraordinary Synod ‘by fitting means’ striven diligently to ‘inquire properly into that revelation and ‘given apt expression to its contents?
As faithful Catholics our love for, and loyalty to, the Holy Father, as the successor of St Peter, are strong and central to our identity as sons and daughters of the Church. It is heart breaking to ask these hard questions. But as Pope St John Paul II has formally stipulated in his Motu proprio Ad tuendam fidem [To Protect the Faith], as faithful Catholics we have a solemn obligation not to accept or obey anything that is set against that which is ‘required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith’. This obligation to the obedience of faith has the force of the Church’s law (Canon 750§ 2). We must not be frightened off or cast aside by wild accusations of Phariseeism.
Has the Extraordinary Synod been conducted in a fitting manner?
When I was in Rome for the first week of Pope Benedict XVI’s Synod on the New Evangelisation each evening we rushed to a local internet café on the Viale Giuolo Cesrae to read the verbatim English translations of that day’s interventions by named cardinals and bishops. This freedom of expression and access to the bishops’ deliberations is absent from Pope Francis’ Extraordinary Synod on the Family. If Pope St John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI had imposed such rigid censorship of the Bishops’ interventions as we are experiencing in this synod they would have been accused of authoritarianism and a lack of collegiality.
Instead of the usual synodal custom of publishing the bishops’ interventions the General Secretariat of the Synod has issued daily bulletins containing brief summaries of unattributed points raised the previous day. These bulletins have proven deficient on two counts: the editors of the bulletins have favoured dissent and novelty rather than the exposition and defence of the Church’s doctrine, and the bulletins have intentionally left those outside the synod in the dark about who said what.
A number of senior cardinals have publicly criticised the conduct of the General Secretariat of the Synod. Cardinal Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the press that, “These interventions should be published as before. All Christians have the right to be informed about the intervention of their bishops.” Cardinal Burke, the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of The Apostolic Signatura – the Church’s highest legal authority – went so far as to accuse the General Secretariat of the Synod of ‘manipulating’ the presentation of Synod’s work. He told Catholic World Report:
“The interventions of the individual Synod Fathers are not made available to the public, as has been the case in the past. All of the information regarding the Synod is controlled by the General Secretariat of the Synod which clearly has favored (sic) from the beginning the [objectionable] positions expressed in the Relatio post disceptationem [Mid-term report of the Synod]”.
“While the individual interventions of the Synod Fathers are not published, yesterday’s Relatio, which is merely a discussion document, was published immediately and, I am told, even broadcast live. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to see the approach at work, which is certainly not of the Church.”
If it is confirmed that officials have manipulated the Extraordinary Synod then its integrity and authority are in grave doubt.
Has the Extraordinary Synod inquired properly into revelation?
It has become commonplace for cardinals and bishops who propose undoing the Church’s doctrine on marriage and sexual ethics to camouflage their real intentions with the ‘doublethink’ phrase ‘Of course Doctrine will remain unchanged, what I am proposing is pastoral’. As George Orwell expressed it ‘doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.’
One of Pope Benedict’s gifts was his ability to cut through such ecclesial doublethink with the double edged sword of God’s Word (Rev 19:15). In 1998, Cardinal Ratzinger challenged Cardinal Kasper’s proposals to admit the divorced and re-married to Holy Communion. Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:
‘If at times in the past, love shone forth too little in the explanation of the truth, so today the danger is great that in the name of love, truth is either to be silenced or compromised. Assuredly, the word of truth can be painful and uncomfortable. But it is the way to holiness, to peace, and to inner freedom. A pastoral approach which truly wants to help the people concerned must always be grounded in the truth. In the end, only the truth can be pastoral. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”’ (John 8:32).
Unfortunately, with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI the doublethink that seeks to hold together two contradictory beliefs about doctrine and pastoral care is wrecking havoc at the Synod. Of the many examples in the Relatio post disceptationem I will give just one about the pastoral care of the divorced and re-married. Paragraph 47 states:
‘For some, partaking of the sacraments might occur were it preceded by a penitential path – under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop –, and with a clear undertaking in favor (sic) of the children. This would not be a general possibility, but the fruit of a discernment applied on a case-by-case basis, according to a law of gradualness, that takes into consideration the distinction between state of sin, state of grace and the attenuating circumstances’.
Simply put, this paragraph is proposing that divorced and re-married Catholics may be re-admitted to Holy Communion after undertaking some form of penitential self-examination. This proposal totally contradicts the doctrine, originating in Christ’s explicit teaching, that divorced and re-married Catholics are committing adultery because of the indissolubility of the original marriage. If the couple in the civil union don’t live together as brother and sister, the sacramental discipline derived from doctrine is that they cannot receive Holy Communion because they are in an objective state of sin (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1650).
Clearly, the doublethink expressed in the Synod’s Relatio post disceptationem is seeking to undo the indissolubility of marriage. The Relatio also attacks other fundamental doctrines, including those on homosexuality, and the reservation of sexual intercourse to marriage.
Has the Extraordinary Synod given apt expression to revelation?
The confusion and disorientation caused in just one week by the Synod on the Family shows convincingly that something has gone badly wrong in Rome. The chaos has been publicly acknowledged and challenged by senior members of the Synod.
Archbishop Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, told Vatican Radio that the Relatio summary of the Synod was not acceptable to the Synod Fathers because, among other things, its presentation of doctrine contained ‘sins of omission’.
While Cardinal Burke also challenged the doctrinal deficiencies of the Relatio and Bulletins:
‘While the document in question (Relatio post disceptationem) purports to report only the discussion which took place among the Synod Fathers, it, in fact, advances positions which many Synod Fathers do not accept and, I would say, as faithful shepherds of the flock cannot accept… The document lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium. In a matter on which the Church has a very rich and clear teaching, it gives the impression of inventing a totally new, what one Synod Father called “revolutionary”, teaching on marriage and the family.’
Cardinal Burke concluded his devastating critique of the Synod by calling on Pope Francis to intervene and publicly challenge the doctrinal chaos:
‘The faithful and their good shepherds are looking to the Vicar of Christ for the confirmation of the Catholic faith and practice regarding marriage which is the first cell of the life of the Church.’
With Cardinal Burke, and the other faithful bishops, we wait for Pope Francis to break his silence and confirm his brethren in the doctrines and discipline of the Catholic Faith, to challenge all who would seek to impose a new public revelation on the divine deposit of faith, to turn and strengthen his brothers in the faith of Christ which does not fail.

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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9 Responses to On the chaos surrounding the Synod in Rome (by Deacon Nick Donnelly)

  1. stlonginus says:

    With respect to the author, but the idea that doublethink has only entered the Church post Benedict XVI and with this synod is false. This holding of contradictory thoughts and trying to logically think of them as equal happened during the papacies of Paul VI and all subsequent popes- a la ‘hermenutic of continuity. Heck, it started with the Renaissance and in earnest, with the French Revolution. No, I’m sorry to oppose the author’s conclusions here, but, the Church has been infiltrated by “gradualism” for centuries. That’s why it’s called gradualism. Cardinal Burke is now speaking out rather late. And if he expects Francis to suddenly defend the Faith, I think Cdl. Burke will be disabused of that notion within the next year or so. Again, float all the ideas, let everyone go apoplectic about them (as if one paying attention couldn’t see all this coming), let everyone stew for about one year until the next meeting in Rome, by which time the fever and outrage has subsided and the revolution (like a slow motion wreck) can continue.

    As Uncle Joe Stalin said: ‘Always we have a clear and precise aim towards which we strive, for one of the great merits of Communism is that nothing is left to chance’ Call it Enlightenment, call it Communism, post-Christianity; it’s all feathers on the same bird from hell. And hell on earth is exactly where we are headed. Apologies if this is too difficult for people to think about…

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  2. Deacon Nick Donnelly says:

    I’ve always admired the name Longinus since a friend chose it as his confirmation name. Just to clarify, I didn’t say doublethink ‘only entered the Church post Benedict XVI’. I wrote that ‘One of Pope Benedict’s gifts was his ability to cut through such ecclesial doublethink with the double edged sword of God’s Word’ and ‘Unfortunately, with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI the doublethink that seeks to hold together two contradictory beliefs about doctrine and pastoral care is wreaking havoc at the Synod.’

    I think we can trace the first example of doublethink back to the serpents conversation with Eve. God bless, Deacon Nick

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  3. stlonginus says:

    In support of my earlier comment see Dr. Edward Peters’ blog. (excerpt below)
    http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/

    “…two main perspectives emerged: on the one hand, it was suggested that the doctrine not be modified and to remain as it is at present; on the other, to open up the possibility of communication, with an approach based on compassion and mercy, but only under certain conditions.” VIS 141016, emphasis added. Indeed, “only under certain conditions”.

    The door is cracked open and left open. It’s called GRADUALISM.
    See you in 2015.

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  4. johnhenrycn says:

    “I’m sorry to oppose the author’s conclusions here, but, the Church has been infiltrated by “gradualism” for centuries…Cardinal Burke is now speaking out rather late.”

    Not sure I understand your point, stlonginus. What happened centuries ago, or just last week, we can do nothing about, but if you mean to say all is lost, that doesn’t sound like a Cathoilc attitude. Yes, the Bride of Christ has always had sinners, including ambitious, power seeking, hubristic clerics in her midst, but our job is to oppose them today and tomorrow, and contra the opinion you express at 17:55 today on the ‘Polish Archbishop’ thread, Catholic blogs do indeed have a role to play in doing so.

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  5. stlonginus says:

    I meant what I wrote. It’s late meaning we’re post-Vatican II now by 50 years. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear has witnessed the auto-demolition of the church. The year-in, year-out, statistical numbers bear that out. Did I say “all is lost”? Did I intimate it? I merely stated the obvious, that it’s late in the day and the Church hierarchy has purposefully gone down a path which (given current world circumstances) doesn’t bode well for anyone who declares himself a Catholic and who expects the hierarchy to adhere to the 2 thousand year old Catholic magisterium. That expectation, in and of itself, if the last 50 years is an indication of ‘things to come,’ is evidence that adherence to Catholic dogma and doctrine will eventually be a crime against the state. That’s why the dogma will not be changed on paper, but it will continue to be subverted, slowly to be sure, but nonetheless subverted by media ‘leaks’ and then by so-called plausible denials from the hierarchy. This will weed out those who insist on adherence to the 2 thousand year doctrine from those who ‘go along to get along.’

    As for the many bloggers whose sites I’ve visited in the past seven years, I can say – my experience – is that most are acting as blind cheerleaders for the hierarchy. Whether it’s willful blindness or just squinting into the sun, I can’t be sure, but I’m permitted to form an educated opinion on it and that is that all media is permitted to exist for a reason, and often times is promoted and encouraged whether financially or otherwise by players who aren’t in the spotlight. But the reasons for the existence of media are most often not the reasons one is given to think.

    As for those in ‘mainstream’ catholic media, the resulting fruits of their labors are, IMO, more obvious, given where their daily bread comes from. Notice, I’m not naming any names here because I know all-too-well how the hammer comes down when anyone dares do that.

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  6. “I know that I’m not alone in weeping for the Church and for the Faith.” Nick is certainly not alone. He is joined by countless Catholics around the globe. Moreover, he is utterly, absolutely, one hundred percent correct when he says, “We must not be frightened off or cast aside by wild accusations of Phariseeism.”

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  7. toadspittle says:

    Monumental story boiling up regarding the supposed “schism” in the Church, with Francis as the demon pope. Except I suppose nobody outside the Church cares a hoot what happens.

    “(Nick) is utterly, absolutely, one hundred percent correct when he says, “We must not be frightened off or cast aside by wild accusations of Phariseeism.”
    …Who is making such wild accusations?

    “I can’t be sure, but I’m permitted to form an educated opinion on it and that is that all media is permitted to exist for a reason, and often times is promoted and encouraged whether financially or otherwise by players who aren’t in the spotlight. But the reasons for the existence of media are most often not the reasons one is given to think.”

    The main reason for the existence of the media is no secret, StLonginus.

    Money. No money – no media.

    The media exists primarily to allow journalists to live far better than they deserve, on expense accounts.
    And why not?
    A secondary reason is to act as organs of publicity for the political or economic theories of the respective owners (Viz: Murdoch, or Lord Beaverbrook, or The Catholic Church, in the case of The Catholic Herald.)

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  8. stlonginus says:

    Disagree. Media exists to serve the cryptocracy – regardless of the money involved. The media ‘owners’ serve the cryptocracy as well. The money isn’t even secondary. Money is nothing to these people. They own the money and they run the system.
    The talking heads, the ‘by-line’ people and/or ghost writers collect a paycheck but they don’t figure into the equation and they certainly don’t run the media. Whoever doesn’t appropriately tow the current agenda is gone in a NY minute and is replaced by another hack. Everyone knows their ‘role’. If they don’t and they discover they’ve been ‘had’ and then grow a conscience about it, they are dealt with swiftly.

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  9. toadspittle says:

    You are saying exactly the same as I am, Longinus, in a roundabout way.
    Yes, the Murdochs, Koch brothers, Bill Gates, and co., of this world – “The CryptoCzars,” run the system – but to suggest that money is nothing to them is naive.
    If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t charge for their products. Money may only be a measure of their power, but a measure is necessary.
    No money – no power.
    And I suspect they won’t run all that much media copy on the gigantic upheaval currently in the Church. Not because they “hate” the Church and want to destroy it, or muzzle it (as some on here think, in their paranoia) – but because they don’t see it as the remotest threat to themselves, and therefore irrelevant.

    “During the past 35 years I have looked to Rome for certainty and consolation….”
    Well, look on it as good news, Nick, After 35 years, you have finally learned that there is no certainty outside mathematics and a little formal logic, and that there is scant consolation ever to be had on Planet Earth.
    …That is something valuable, at least.

    “Their mission is simple, ” we exist only to serve the Church* in complete fidelity to the Holy See through our writing and publishing.”)”
    Simple mission, but difficult – it would seem – to accomplish; what with the Holy See currently enjoying a Perfect Storm. Fidelity to whom?

    *AKA “The Holy Cryptocracy.”

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