Those leprous courtiers, as the Pope himself calls them, seem unable to organise a ------- in the Vatican brewery. Everything about the Synod seems to be chaotic, from the working document, to the uncertainty of the process, from the exceedingly odd choice of the papally appointed members of the Synod (one needs only mention but one name, Daneels), to the lack of coordination between language groups, to say nothing of the secrecy - if a bishop speaks he does so not as a conspirator or as a private person but as the the head of a local Church, a successor of the Apostles, the Church has a right to know precisely what he has said.
I am sure some of the Fathers must be asking, "Why the hell are we here?" There is obviously outrageous manipulation going on but who is manipulating who? The Holy Father's intervention about the 'hermeneutic of conspiracy' in the wake of the letter of concern sent to him by thirteen prominent Cardinals, published here by Magister, has only heightened the sense of confusion. Here is Damian Thompson's take on it. His Holiness has certainly produced a mess, a rather expensive one, not just financially expensive either but expensive to the Church's credibility, but the question is can he produce order of his mess. It increasingly seems unlikely.I can't help thinking of the Pope's plea that every Catholic parish in Europe should welcome a refugee family, and yet with all the wealth and resources of the Vatican State over which he rules, only two families have been welcomed, temporarily, there. One is left with the idea of sheer ineffectuality, of words but no action. Mgr Gilby said of a certain knightly order, "they make a great deal of fuss to do comparatively very little good". In a Church where dialogue has taken the place of evangelisation we must expect only chatter.
Antonio Socci said over the weekend speaking of the Synod as a war machine, “One knows, in these times, that the German engines need to be scrapped and the Argentinian coachwork is junk mixed with Peronism and rusty liberation theology.” and “They want to apply their disastrous recipes to the whole Church, with devastating effects on a global scale.” Socci refers to the ineffectuallity of the Church in South-America and in Germany. Why has the Pope with great deliberation chosen that the Synod should be led by bishops of failing, even dying Churches? Why are the voices of fecund growing Churches almost ignored?
Socci perhaps should be read in an Italian context, along with Magister and de Mattei that seems to growing in its criticism of Francis, which should be worrying for Francis, especially with increasingly falling numbers at Papal audiences but even John Allen says:
In other words, Francis is basically shock therapy for the Church.Sometimes shock therapy can kill the patient, especially in the hands of a incompetent unproven practitioners.
Such therapy is notoriously painful and unsettling, often causing patients to experience confusion and disorientation — both of which are palpably present in some circles of Catholicism these days. Yet there are times when it’s the only way to jolt the patient out of a funk.
Psychiatrists will tell you that shock therapy should be used only as a last resort, and it doesn’t always work. It’s effective only about half the time, and even when it does succeed, its effects often wear off over time.
For English followers of the Synod our problem is the machinations of the pro-gay Fr Rosica, the English speaking presenter of the Vatican's not too competent press corps, has meant that a very partisan presentation of proceedings has come through to us.
What seems now to be the the main concern of the Synod Fathers is not the Kasper proposal or the homosexual agenda but the Synod itself or rather Pope Francis as the Synod's architect in chief. In the long run what being exposed is the manipulation of the Church by the one whose real function is to act as as a point of unity and order in the Church.
Our problem is if one pope can be forced to resign by one cabal, what can another cabal do?