Hungarian cardinal champions Church teaching in synod address

By Andrew Guernsey at LifeSiteNews:

ROME, October 6, 2015

Cardinal Péter Erdő, General Relator of the Synod on the Family, walks into the Synod hall on the morning of October 6. (Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews)

Cardinal Péter Erdő, General Relator of the Synod on the Family, walks into the Synod hall on the morning of October 6.
(Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews)

In his opening plenary address on Monday to the Ordinary Synod, Pope Francis called for an “apostolic courage, which refuses to be intimidated.” Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő, General Relator of the synod, was not one to disappoint. In a ringing and lengthy address, Erdő championed Church teaching and discipline on the sanctity of life, marriage and human sexuality, and called for the synod fathers to reject the Kasper proposal to give Communion to divorcees in adulterous unions, and scrap the so-called “lifestyle ecumenism” of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn and Archbishop Bruno Forte.

At last year’s synod, Cardinal Erdő seemed caught unawares when he presented the scandalous mid-term Synod report, deflecting to Archbishop Bruno Forte to explain the supposedly “positive elements” in homosexual relationships, saying: “He who wrote the text must know what it is talking about.” At the opening session today, however, Erdő appeared to commit himself to closing those doors that Pope Francis and last year’s synod left open.

Erdő boldly rejected the notion of “lifestyle ecumenism” as an unacceptable instance of “gradualness of the law” declaring that “between truth and falsehood, between good and bad, there is no graduality.” Erdő resounded the synod hall with a restatement of the Church’s teaching in a 2003 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on homosexuality: “There is no basis for comparing or making analogies, even remotely, between homosexual unions and God’s plan for matrimony and the family.” Erdő insisted that even if “some forms of cohabitation…carry some positive aspects, [it] does not imply that they can be presented as goods.”

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Bishops walk into the hall for the Synod on the Family on Tuesday morning. Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews

On the Kasper proposal to re-admit divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in a state of adultery to Holy Communion after a period of “penitence” without amendment of life, Erdő insisted that Church discipline on the matter is not an “arbitrary prohibition, ” but rather, it is an “intrinsic demand” of the sacrament, essential to “the Church’s witness,” as St. John Paul II’s and Pope Benedict XVI’s teaching on the matter made clear.  “The mercy of God offers forgiveness to the sinner, but requires conversion” to “practice continence through the strength of grace,” that is, abstaining from non-marital sexual activity. Erdő further underscored that against Kasper’s “so-called penitential way” without amendment of life would contradict the “fidelity to the indissolubility of marriage” which requires that the Church help the faithful to repent from “concrete situations that are contrary.”

In an interview last week with the Hungarian newspaper Kath.net, Erdo said the synod fathers on the whole oppose the Kasper proposal, relating that “The majority is of the conviction that, according to the Church’s law, whoever lives in an invalid marriage may not then go to Holy Communion.”

In his remarks, Erdő also reiterated the Church’s teaching on abortion, euthanasia and contraception as key to the defense of the family in the modern world.  “With regard to the tragedy of abortion, the Church reaffirms the inviolability of human life,” Erdő asserted, and “likewise…the right to a natural death.” Defending the Church’s teaching on contraception in Humanae Vitae, which many Catholic scholars argue the synod’s Instrumentum Laboris document undermines, Erdő said, “Openness to life is an intrinsic requirement of conjugal love.” Far from backing away from these unpopular teachings in the modern world, Erdő insists, “We should therefore continue to disclose documents of the Magisterium of the Church that promote the culture of life in the face of increasingly widespread culture of death.”

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Cardinal Reinhard Marx, a leading advocate for progressive changes at the Synod on the Family, stands outside the Synod hall. Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews

Although Erdő’s previous opposition to the Kasper proposal and other liberalizing reforms was known, his choice to lead off the synod on Monday criticizing at length and directly the most controversial agenda items at the synod speaks volumes about the gravity of the internal divisions among the synod fathers. “If we speak frankly to others about what we believe, we don’t have to worry about not being understood because we, too, are children of our time,” Erdő said, asking for clarity about Church teaching. “Even if not everyone accepts what we proclaim, at least our proposal will be comprehensible.”

Erdő’s decisive opening remarks contrasted with the more tentative and general remarks of Pope Francis at the opening of the synod. At points, the pope’s remarks seemed to favor the agenda to liberalize Church discipline, although he avoided taking clear sides. The Pope called for the synod fathers to have an “evangelical humility that knows how to empty itself of conventions and prejudices… that leads neither to finger-pointing nor to judging others, but to hands outstretched to help people up without ever feeling oneself superior to them.” The Pope continued that the synod fathers must be open to “the God who always surprises, the God who reveals himself to little ones, who hides from the knowing and intelligent; the God who created the law and the Sabbath for man and not vice versa; by the God, who leaves the 99 sheep to look for the one lost sheep; the God who is always greater than our logic and our calculations.”

With characteristic non-specificity, the Pope addressed the divisions among the synod fathers, warning them to avoid the extremes of, on the one hand,  “extinguish[ing] the light of truth in the hearts of men, replacing it with small and temporary lights”, and on the other hand, the “petrification” of some hearts “which, despite good intentions, drive people away from God.” Amid these “temptations,” the Pope urged “fidelity to the Magisterium, the good of the Church and the Salus animarum [the salvation of souls].” Francis also emphasized that the role of the synod is not to “make deals and reach compromises” but rather be a “protected space” to engage in dialogue between the Church’s “deposit of faith” and “the deposit of life” of Church discipline and the lived experience of modern Catholics. Francis explained that the “deposit of faith” is not “a museum to view…nor even something merely to safeguard, but is a living source.”

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Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez walk into the hall for the Synod on the Family on Tuesday morning. Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews

In a press conference after the morning session, when asked if his opening remarks sought to end discussion about the Kasper proposal, Cardinal Erdő responded, “The synod only begins now. … Further developments are always possible. … We’ll see.”

270 bishops are set to voice their opinions in the Ordinary Synod on the family this month from October 4-25, with Pope Francis having the final word. But Cardinal Erdő has sent a clear message that those who seek to liberalize Church teaching or discipline through further attempts at “rigging the synod,” in the words of Vatican journalist Ed Pentin, will encounter a zealous and faithful resistance.

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32 Responses to Hungarian cardinal champions Church teaching in synod address

  1. A friend commented:

    “For faithful Catholics, Cardinal Erdo’s address is a further reason for a little hope, but we should keep in mind Yogi Berra’s comment, ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over.’ The Kaspar and the ‘gays-have-a-lot-to-offer’ crowd could still come roaring back. We still have three long weeks to go.

    “And this comment is priceless: ‘With characteristic non-specificity, the Pope addressed….’

    “‘Non-specificity’? I love it. This is the new term for ‘vagueness’ or ‘confusion’?

    “Of course, how could I be so stupid? We all need to remember that the Pope is NEVER vague or confused. He’s just ‘not specific,’ repeatedly, whenever he says almost anything.

    “Yes, with this pope, as Yogi Berra also said, ‘It’s déjà vu all over again’.”

  2. Michael says:

    Good work there Cardinal Erdo. His speech is especially heartening, given his prominent position in the Synod. As Jimmy Akin puts it in a recent article:

    …to have the relator general of the synod frame the discussion in this way at the outset is a good sign. Cardinal Erdo was not meant to be speaking for himself in these remarks but to be summarizing the feedback from bishops around the world in preparation for the current synod.

    For purposes of comparison, see the relatio that Cardinal Erdo gave at the beginning of the 2014 synod. It does not contain anything like the present remarks rejecting the Kasper proposal. This represents a shift in the discussion of the question. According to Vatican Insider, at the Monday press conference, Cardinal Erdo based his relatio on the feedback that came to the Vatican between the two synods:

    “I was trying to bring together all the elements of the Church’s voice,” Erdö said. He added that “most of the responses reflected a wish” for the magisterium’s existing documents on this issue to be “taken into consideration.”

    It is also unlikely that Cardinal Erdo included these remarks in his presentation without them being approved first. Barring explosive backlash and overt clarification, we may conclude that he did have approval. Failing such clarification, it is less likely than it might have been otherwise that the present synod will recommend the Kasper proposal for Pope Francis’s consideration.

    http://jimmyakin.com/2015/10/good-news-from-the-synod-9-things-to-know-and-share.html

  3. Plain old Toad says:

    “When you come to the fork in the road – take it.” Yogi Berra.

  4. johnhenrycn says:

    Michael: let’s hope Mr Akin’s analysis is borne out, but the phrase ‘stalking horse’ comes to mind when I think about the relationship between the pope and the cardinal, even though the cardinal may be an unwitting one.
    From Rorate Caeli:

    “[There are]…three possible outcomes of this month’s Synod:
    (1) The Synod will simply reaffirm Catholic doctrine on the family; or
    (2) The Synod will explicitly change Catholic doctrine on the family; or
    (3) The Synod will reaffirm Catholic doctrine but change pastoral practice in such a way as to weaken and undermine doctrine.

    …and as the author of that piece says, it is the third outcome that is most likely.

    Kasper, Marx, Danneels & Co are the religious equivalent of the hideously wicked Frankfurt School, and like the Frankfurter multi-generational project of undermining our political, cultural and social institutions, these bishops have been working at theirs a long time. This synod is just one of many more sorties that they and their acolytes will make until their intentionally or ignorantly destructive goals are achieved; so I can imagine they will be more than pleased with outcome 3.

  5. kathleen says:

    @ JH

    Yes, I’d read this grim article on Rorate Caeli yesterday morning. The third outcome of the three mentioned would be an absolute disaster, and in time, as good as if the second (unlikely) outcome had triumphed. Let’s hope and pray this will not happen, though when noting the list of Cardinals whose duty it will be to write up the final Synod report, I think we have every reason to be worried!

    The author of the Rorate article says:
    “During his in-flight interview last week on the way back to Rome from the Americas, Francis defended his [annulment] reform by noting that the doctrine of indissolubility [of marriage] remained intact and that he only wanted to address the “never ending” process of appeals. It was a defense that sought refuge in the fact that doctrine was preserved on paper. Intentionally or not he did not actually address any of the arguments advanced by many canonists to the effect that the reforms undermine the doctrine in practice.”

    The same threat hangs over all the unchangeable Catholic doctrines and teachings being debated at the synod if compromises are sought – preserved “on paper”, but undermined “in practice” – although naturally, owing to its fundamental importance as the bedrock of all humanity, Holy Matrimony is the one being given centre stage.

  6. Michael says:

    JH @ 18:29, October 6th:

    What about a fourth option – the Synod will simply reaffirm Catholic doctrine on the family, but this affirmation will be accompanied by a concluding statement that includes enough ambiguity to allow people like Kasper and the liberal media to imagine that they have been given ‘elbow room’ to work with, whilst everyone else will point to the fact that clear statements have been made against the moves they are in favour of.

    My point is that without going all out and anathematising the Kasper proposals* (which in this period of Church history is not likely to happen), those seeking to further a cause which essentially undermines Church teaching will always look to some perceived loophole or other in order to give suppose credence to their ideas.

    One more thing to give some hope is that while ‘these bishops have been working at theirs a long time‘ they still haven’t actually achieved anything, and whilst this is the first time they’ve shown their hand fully to the public eye**, they have had plenty of background control for a long time now, but still without being able to effect any core changes. They’ve done a lot of damage in other ways of course, but nothing to effect magisterial teaching.

    *I really think that this is the only way these issues will be solved – a firm, clear, unequivocal declaration of what is and isn’t acceptable with respect to a Catholic view of the family, etc. But as I say, this almost certainly won’t happen – and this is not just a Francis thing; it wouldn’t have happened under John Paul or Benedict either. Doesn’t seem to be the ‘in’ thing to do nowadays! But if any time were ripe for some anathematising, it is now – one certainly would not be able to say that people hadn’t been allowed to air their views first.

    *Another thing to remember – if they are not successful this time, they are out on their ear. No second chances after this – they’ve gambled everything on this one.

  7. kathleen says:

    Michael’s link @ 10:08
    😆
    No, it can’t be true! This is surely one of the most absurd and contemptible things to come out from Protestants’ departure from the One True Church. Not only does the lesbian ‘bishop’ remove the main symbol of Christianity from her ‘church’ on which our salvation depends, but opens her arms to the Christian-loathing Muslim heretics (who are already causing havoc in their path as they swarm into Europe) to ‘pray’ to their false ‘god’!!

    Really, is this what Christian Europe is becoming – a continent’s suicidal march towards extinction?

  8. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 10:31:

    I know, it is utterly ridiculous isn’t it! But this is the logical conclusion of the departure from the Faith that you mention – private judgement gradually eats away tenet after tenet, until whatever is left is but a parody of Christianity. I think someone should compile a dossier of cases like this and present it at the Synod, to illustrate the point that this is where the paths the ‘reformers’ wish to take would lead!

    I find it bizarre actually that, given the wackiness that exists even within the Church as a result of Protestantisation/secularisation over the years, people still think the key to making the Faith more attractive or ‘relevant’ is to have more of the same – it is like, having initially administered a drug to a subject believing it to be beneficial, but then its having shown to be clearly toxic and damaging to that subject, someone were to suggest that more of the same drug would be the best way forward!

    Really, is this what Christian Europe is becoming – a continent’s suicidal march towards extinction?

    Indeed; and the only hope is that the suicidal march eats itself before it destroys any more of our common heritage. These things take time, but I do see signs that the inconsistencies and destructive consequences of both Protestantism and secular humanism are becoming more apparent all the time, even to some of its erstwhile advocates. It’ll take longer for them to accept that the only real solution is a return to the Catholic roots of our culture, but there is some hope that insanity they have produced is showing these projects to be unsustainable.

  9. kathleen says:

    Well said, Michael!🙂

    I think someone should compile a dossier of cases like this and present it at the Synod, to illustrate the point that this is where the paths the ‘reformers’ wish to take would lead.

    I second that great suggestion…. And that the “only real solution [as the result of Protestantisation/secularisation over the years] is a return to the Catholic roots of our culture”, though I doubt whether we’ll be seeing that Triumph of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary for a very long time to come yet, with the downward spiral we are still spinning on at present.

  10. johnhenrycn says:

    Michael (10:01) – “What about a fourth option – the Synod will simply reaffirm Catholic doctrine on the family, but this affirmation will be accompanied by a concluding statement that includes enough ambiguity to allow people like Kasper and the liberal media to imagine that they have been given ‘elbow room’ to work with…”

    I fail to see how this fourth option is materially different than the Rorate Caeli author’s third option:
    “The Synod will reaffirm Catholic doctrine but change pastoral practice in such a way as to weaken and undermine doctrine.”

    Where will the “ambiguity” in the concluding statement be found if not in the comments it contains on pastoral practice? If there is “enough ambiguity” in it for people like Kasper to imagine they have “elbow room” to work with, then they most certainly will work with it and tough luck to the faithful.

    “One more thing to give some hope is that while ‘these bishops have been working at theirs a long time‘ they still haven’t actually achieved anything…”

    The progressive wing might well point to the recent relaxation of the annulment process as an achievement they are happy about and for which they can take a good deal of credit.

  11. Plain old Toad says:

    “…but this affirmation will be accompanied by a concluding statement that includes enough ambiguity to allow people like Kasper and the liberal media to imagine that they have been given ‘elbow room’ to work with…””
    I can’t speak for Kasper, but the “liberal media,” I can assure you, doesn’t give a monkey’s damn what the result of the Synod is. It’s just more fodder for minor, inside stories. Not worth page one, like Angela Merkel or Donald Trump..
    The “liberal media” doesn’t “have it in” for Catholics,” particularly – generally regarding all religion stories with scepticism and faint amusement. Talking statues are always fun. Except for Isis, who still kill people. So that’s serious.
    However, the media likes Francis a lot – very good readership figures on stories concerning him – so will give him a good shout, somehow or other. Often worth page one.
    There is, no doubt, a handful of journalists with a genuine anti-Christian bias, as there is with everything, particularly Muslims, but the vast bulk of them don’t care one way or the other. A cynical observation? Yes. Absolutely.
    Some people should really put a bit of time into trying to figure out how, and why, the media functions, before spouting nonsensically about it.
    It’s not the way they think. It’s probably worse, from their point of view.
    Yes, the media, liberal or not – has an agenda – it’s called readership, or viewing figures.

  12. johnhenrycn says:

    Here’s an example of how the progressives intend to use whatever “elbow room” the pope allows them at the conclusion of this gathering (from reported remarks made yesterday by Fr Thomas Rosica, the English-speaking media attaché of the Synod):

    There must be an end to exclusionary language and a strong emphasis on embracing reality as it is…Regarding the idea of divorced remarried Catholics being able to receive communion…it would be more difficult to come up with a universal response, but instead makes sense to come up with a regional treatment…it may make sense to examine and perhaps treat the situation on a more local, regional, even continental level. Certain other issues…may also make sense to consider locally, such as polygamy.

    http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/synod15-press-briefing-oct-6th

    This is exactly what the progressives wish to see – the end of the universal Church – and as far as I can see, nothing less than “anathematising the Kasper proposals” is needed to defeat them.

  13. Michael says:

    johnhenry @ 16:49, October 7th:

    I fail to see how this fourth option is materially different than the Rorate Caeli author’s third option…Where will the “ambiguity” in the concluding statement be found if not in the comments it contains on pastoral practice?

    Okay – mea culpa, I probably shouldn’t have put that word in. My point really is that, given that there will be no clear and forthright anathematising of their position, and that Vatican documents have for some time now been written in pretty labyrinthine language, in which viewpoints contrary to their plain sense can take refuge, Kasper and his party will find justification for their position their regardless of how ambiguous the concluding documents actually are.

    This, I submit, is how it is different from the third option put forward by the Rorate Caeli author – even if no obvious ambiguity is included in discussion of pastoral practice, the liberals will find something that they claim justifies their position/practices.

    The progressive wing might well point to the recent relaxation of the annulment process as an achievement they are happy about and for which they can take a good deal of credit.

    Or, they might see this as their being thrown a bone and told that however much they want it to, actual doctrine won’t change. For this we will have to wait and see – the annulment process reforms might look very different in retrospect, depending on what the concluding statements of the Synod are like.

    @ 19:49:

    This is exactly what the progressives wish to see – the end of the universal Church

    Pretty much yeah – which is why they’ll twist anything they can in order to further their ends. Just look at what Rosica made out the gist of today’s discussions was, compared to what Edward Pentin reported. Despite the reality of the situation being much more favourable to the orthodox position overall, Rosica puts out to the press his viewpoint alone – whatever happens, in process or in official documents, they will try and twist it. Which is why anathemas are needed🙂

  14. Michael says:

    I can’t speak for Kasper, but the “liberal media,” I can assure you, doesn’t give a monkey’s damn what the result of the Synod is.

    Funny then that at the last Synod the ‘news’ that the Pope was apparently going to change all sorts of things in Church teaching actually did make the front pages of quite a few papers, and headlined on the BBC website. Sorry for ‘spouting nonsensically’ again, but I have a pretty good memory, and am as certain as I can be that this actually happened.

    Yes, the media, liberal or not – has an agenda – it’s called readership, or viewing figures.

    Yes, and they know that people will always be interested in the downfall (real or otherwise) of the Catholic Church – an institution which, despite what you seem to think, still generates a considerable amount of animus towards it, and even in people who aren’t hostile, still generates quite a lot of interest. Throw in a handful (only a tiny bit, honest…just the smallest amount!) of anti-Christian bias in the liberal media itself, and bingo, there you have it – newsworthy.

  15. Plain old Toad says:

    “Funny then that at the last Synod the ‘news’ that the Pope was apparently going to change all sorts of things in Church teaching ..”
    Yes, Michael, the Pope. He’s very newsworthy. If it wasn’t him, would it have got the same play? Debatable. And of course a lot of religious material is also newsworthy. Undeniable. It’s also true, as you say, that the pope has revitalised the interest in Catholic squabbling and infighting.

    It’s a national thing as well, I have to say that In the UK popular press (which seems to be all of it, these days) much religious politics (like the Synod) is not generally front page newsworthy. unless it involves sex, of course. But here in Spain a good deal more is, and there is, in some papers, clearly a strong desire to kick the Church in belated revenge for Franco..

    The Synod is, to me, a good story, and I will personally be following it with attention and fascination But then, I’m strangely interested in the vagaries of religion, particularly Catholicism, (as you’ve probably gathered) and many – sadly – are not. It is their loss.

    To sum up: As far as the media is concerned, if the Trads win, it’s a story.
    If the Libs win, it’s a story.
    Doesn’t matter either way to them. Or, so I think.
    ( D’oh. I should have said that in the first place.)

  16. Plain old Toad says:

    What if, as a result of all this synodery – Catholic churches find themselves packed to the
    choir-stalls once more – with adulterers and sodomisers along with loyal worshippers?
    Will this be a cause for rejoicing?
    Or not? Is it better that the churches stay half empty?

  17. kathleen says:

    @ PoT

    For a journalist (albeit, long retired) you have a notable lack of objectivity. Plus a total lack of ‘fair play’ in your desire to bash the Church and raise its enemies to stardom.

    “there is, in some papers, clearly a strong desire to kick the Church in belated revenge for Franco..”

    You fail to mention that these are the extreme left-wing “papers” that many good Spanish citizens would only use to wrap up their fish! (Except that the Spanish don’t wrap their fish in newspapers like the Brits.)
    And what about the “belated revenge” the Church should feel (but does not) for the savagery of the republican sides? Conveniently forgotten by PoT I see!

    Atrocities were committed on both sides during the Spanish Civil War – no doubt about it – but those on Franco’s side were nearly all through warfare, whereas the atrocities of the communists, anarchists, socialists and republicans were often in cold blood! Bisops, priests, nuns, and even women and children were the innocent victims that were high among their targets. The first three of these above three groups (i.e. communists, anarchists and militant socialists) manifested a deep-rooted and ancient hatred of Christ and His Church that has its roots in the very beginnings of the history of Mankind. The Devil and his minions will by fighting the followers of Christ till the end of the world.

    “What if, as a result of all this synodery – Catholic churches find themselves packed to the
    choir-stalls once more – with adulterers and sodomisers along with loyal worshippers?
    Will this be a cause for rejoicing?
    Or not? Is it better that the churches stay half empty?”

    What a terrible thing to say on a Catholic blog! You are truly trying our patience to its limits.

    Of course it would be better if the pews were totally empty, rather than filled with unrepentant adulterers and sodomites.
    Apart from the fact that it has been clearly demonstrated that the more you give way to wishy-washy ideas and ‘openness’ to sin, instead of holding firm to Christ’s Eternal Word, the more hemorrhaging of the faithful will you find.

    Besides, where I live the churches are far from “half empty”, especially in the more traditional parishes.

  18. Michael says:

    Let’s compare some of your statements for a minute Toad. At 17:34, October 7th, you wrote:

    the “liberal media,” I can assure you, doesn’t give a monkey’s damn what the result of the Synod is. It’s just more fodder for minor, inside stories. Not worth page one, like Angela Merkel or Donald Trump..

    And now (07:28, October 8th), you write:

    To sum up: As far as the media is concerned, if the Trads win, it’s a story.
    If the Libs win, it’s a story.
    Doesn’t matter either way to them.

    as well as admitting that the Pope is ‘very newsworthy’. Given that the Pope and the Synod are deeply interlinked in this case, what with his being the one that called it, and makes the summary statements at its conclusion that create all the usual media overreaction, that would lead one to believe that the Synod is itself rather newsworthy. So it seems to me that you are contradicting yourself a bit here.

    Furthermore, I would suggest that if the ‘Trad’s win, it is very much not a story, because people aren’t interested when the Church just reasserts its teachings. The media are only interested when there is some (again, doesn’t matter whether it is real or perceived) threat of change to those teachings, either from within or without.

    When I referred to the ‘liberal media’ in the first instance, I was primarily thinking of liberal publications that are devoted to ecclesiastical matters (like the Tablet and the NcR), but your suggestion that the media (particularly its left-leaning elements) in general isn’t concerned one way or the other about what happens here, or that it is only fodder for ‘minor, inside stories’ is patently untrue – something your strange attempt to separate the Pope from the rest of the Church’s activities implicitly acknowledges.

  19. Michael says:

    Also, re your comment at 07:46, I second Kathleen’s response – as a prediction, more than a little bizarre, given the effect we’ve already seen watering down Church teaching has, and really rather distasteful as well. Poor form.

  20. De Profundis says:

    Yes!- too many of the liberal media have an easy ”desire to bash the Church”. Atheist hacks bashing the bishops seems to be a frenzied sport nowadays. ”Bishops, priests, nuns,(etc) were the innocent victims”, someone also wrote above. I really hope that abusing our bishops is a mere trendy fad, and will soon pass.

  21. Plain old Toad says:

    ‘”For a journalist (albeit, long retired) you (Toad) have a notable lack of objectivity. Plus a total lack of ‘fair play’ in your desire to bash the Church and raise its enemies to stardom.”

    I have never been “objective’ about anything in my life, Kathleen. Nor do I have any interest in “fair play,” anymore than you do.
    However, I don’t see myself as “bashing” the Church – just raising a few questions which seem worth considering, to me.
    But I don’t expect you to believe that. As to “raising the Church’s enemies to stardom,” God knows what that means. Dawkins? Fry, perhaps? Kenny? Darwin? Huxley? Camus?
    C.S. Lewis? All “stars” already – entirely without the aid of a small green toad.

    “…as a prediction, more than a little bizarre..”
    Agreed, Michael. That's why I didn't offer it as one. How do I know what will result? Exciting, though – isn't it? “It ain’t over ’til the fat bishops sing.” – Y. Berra.

  22. Michael says:

    That’s why I didn’t offer it as one.

    Fair point – bad choice of word on my part. I should have said ‘suggestion’ or ‘speculation’ or something like that instead. Still, as I said, strange to think that anyone would expect such an outcome given what similar measures have led to already.

    I don’t see myself as “bashing” the Church – just raising a few questions which seem worth considering, to me.

    Hmm. Interesting that you don’t see your comments/questions about the Church in this way. Would you even concede to the accusation of mocking the Church (if not bashing it) in the questions you’ve raised?

  23. Michael says:

    P.S. I don’t just mean questions raised here on this thread, but in general.

  24. Plain old Toad says:

    “Would you (Toad) even concede to the accusation of mocking the Church (if not bashing it)?”

    Well, it seems to me Michael, that to paraphrase Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis* (he won’t mind, he’a a very nice man) “There’s a whole lotta mockin goin on,” right now – mainly at Cardinals Danneel, Marx and Caspar’s expense – and why not? All’s fair in love, war and synods, innit?
    But no, on sober reflection I don’t think I “mock” the Church.
    Gently and affectionately tease it, on the odd occasion, I’d prefer to suggest.
    Although you will probably prefer to suggest differently.

    *Great Bowels of Fire!

  25. johnhenrycn says:

    De Profundis (16:53) – I do share your hope that the abusing of our bishops will soon pass, but the sad fact is some bishops need a good bashing, a good whipping. Orthodox anger at what now looms is a righteous anger which (I believe) Our Sweet Lord does not frown upon:

    And making a whip of cords, He drove many of them out of the Synod Hall.

    Zeal for the House of the Lord means that our precious prelates cannot be spared the scourging they deserve when they seek to turn His House into a Las Vegas wedding chapel or into a bathhouse.

    “The disappearance of anger presages the eclipse of standing in passionate solidarity with Christ. It also signals a sickly attenuation of human nature. Men without anger are only half-men: They are men who hold very little dear.”

    Fr John A. Perricone, On the Usefulness of Anger, New Oxford Review, October 2015, p. 40.

  26. Plain old Toad says:

    Quite right, JH. Give them hell.
    Though we agree, I think, it’s generally a mistake to get angry, Loss of control, and the like. But doing so is a very human thing, as Jesus demonstrates.


    Maybe a version of the above, with recalcitrant German bishop’s heads substituted for those of innocent moles, might prove both therapeutic and profitable. (Money to go the the missions, or fallen women?)

    ( Is it really being referred to as, “The Mortal Synod”? Or did I just make that up?)

  27. Michael says:

    Toad @ 11:31, October 9th:

    Well, I can’t personally recall any mocking of Kasper, Daneels, etc, but there has certainly been a lot of criticism of them, and rightly so. I don’t think calling out the faithlessness and deception of men who are meant to defend the Faith and provide the laity with guidance is really the same thing as mocking/gently teasing the Church though. Moreover, when one considers that both activities are taking place on an orthodox Catholic blog, I don’t think it is difficult to say which is and isn’t appropriate.

    Re your ‘gently and affectionately teasing’ the Church (as opposed to mocking), yes I think I would disagree. Clearly this is not either/or – there has certainly been plenty of the former, but I am fairly sure that over time you’ve written some pretty offensive things about her too. Comments that connect clerical dress with effeminacy is the most obvious thing that springs to mind, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the only thing. Unfortunately I don’t have an official dossier to consult and cite though, so we’ll probably just have to agree to disagree!🙂

  28. Michael says:

    johnhenry @ 14:40, October 9th:

    Excellent quote there from Fr. Perricone – a very important point. Also, your preface reinforces the point that I just made to Toad above – criticism of prelates who are openly promoting heresy and/or fomenting dissent is not only justified, but a duty of all who love the Truth and seek to defend it.

  29. johnhenrycn says:

    Thank you, Michael. Now, would you be so kind as to come over here and lend me a hand?😉

  30. Michael says:

    I’m afraid I’ll have to take a rain check/cheque* on that offer – it’s quite a situation you’ve got yourself caught in there! I’ve scrolled through the comments, and can’t quite see what it is you’ve said that people o’er there have such a problem with…

    * http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/80642/im-british-so-should-i-take-a-rain-cheque

  31. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad (08:56) says – “I think, it’s generally a mistake to get angry, Loss of control, and the like.”

    Oh, so sorry Toad. I sort of thought you would have taken this as read:

    “Problems arise not when we become angry, but when we become angry in the wrong way, for the wrong reason.”

    Fr Perricone again. Same citation.

    Please don’t type back something like: ‘But what is the wrong way. What is the wrong reason’?

    …because I have other matters to attend to, but wish you well

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