Thursday, October 16, 2014

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Bishop revolt!

I don't know what the outcome of the Synod will be, I don't know if the Holy Father is playing a subtle hand allowing those who have moved beyond Jesus and the the Church's teaching to reveal themselves and then confronting with the full clarity of the Gospel, I like to hope but I don't think my hope is based on much, more wishful thinking than hope.

What is apparent is the divergence between the failing contaminated Churches with nothing but, as in Germany, money in the bank, and other parts of the world and where the Churches are rich in martyrs, young people, vocations and committed lay people and zealous pastors. In fact the fault-lines are precisely those that Kasper identified, the strong Churches are those of Africa and the East, those he doesn't want to listen to.

What fills me with dread is the feeling that really what Pope Francis wants is for the Church to get into a civil partnership with contemporary society to the point where it looses sight of the one to whom it supposed to be 'the bride'. It is adultery in its broadest sense that worries me.
Rather than the Gospel challenging 'this adulterous generation' the leaders of the Church seem to be dancing the tango with Salome and calling out for John the Baptist's head with Herodias.

Coming from a diocese where, rather than being thought a hypocrite, the ex-bishop tailored his preaching and teaching, and ultimately the direction of the diocese to fit his own flawed 'life-style choices'. I am wary of the Church's leadership, if it isn't deeply rooted in what the Second Vatican Council demanded: Scripture and Tradition. The 'gay lobby' appears to have taken control of the Church and until the Pope himself comes out with clear teaching, as Cdl Burke demands, to all appearances he seems to be at the very centre of that lobby.
I was speaking to a convert recently who said, 'this isn't the Church I joined', I had to tell her she was wrong, this is the Church as it has always been, the only difference is that for the first time in her history the Pope has allowed himself to be seen to be on the side of those who wish to dismantle everything we have known to be true. Apparently Cdl Marx has been going round the Synod expressing regret that the Synod Fathers appear to be too attached to Tradition than the will of the Pope but then someone else said but this is exactly as it was in the time of Paul VI, who was deceived by Abp Buginini, who went into the aula crying, Papa vult!

The revelations that Cdl Erdo didn't write the relatio,  to which he signed his name, which Cdl Mueller had described as 'unworthy, scandalous and totally false' and that actually the 'gay lobbyist' Abp Forte did write the most controversial portion or at least he inserted it for a friend, show that the very secrecy means that the guardians of the guards have no part to play. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  Bishops are indeed accountable to God, even if they don't believe in him (which I suspect could be true in not a few instance), they are also supposed to be accountable to the Apostolic See more immediately but more importantly to their people and clergy. A Synod before the modern era was always a prayerful 'liturgical' gathering, and consequently was public, as Cdl Mueller says people have a right to hear or read what their Bishop has said and they have a grave duty to hold them to account.

As I finish writing this, the Bishops, God bless them, have revolted, Marco Tosatti:

Erdo took the floor, implicitly distancing himself from the report that bore his name, and saying that if that “disceptatio” had been made public, then the others of the Circulo Minores ought to be made public.
His speech was followed by an avalanche from many others along the same line, underscored by thunderous applause.
The Secretary of the Synod, Card. Balidisseri, was watching the Pope, as if in search of advice and lights, and the Pope remained silent and very serious.


Just another mad Catholic said...

Francis is the urbane, sophisticated libirius and Burke is the rough, unlettered, tough talking Athanasius who is cleverer than he lets on.

If nothing else I believe that this synod will make it clear WHO the next man to sit on Peter's throne is.

Now if only more African Prelates had been involved with the drafting of the Relatio.........

Sebastian said...

Isn't it all for the best? If the bishops go crazy, the pope puts down the foot. If the pope goes crazy, the bishops put down the foot. And if both go crazy, the Holy Ghost puts down the foot.

George said...

Isn't that a gesture of disrespect for the English?

Joao said...

Thank you for writing this.

Liam Ronan said...

Another well-articulated, well-reasoned, post from you Father. Thank you!

If the wolves have been uncovered then they will slink back into the recesses of the forest and bide their time until next year gathering solace from the gushing media accounts lauding this present foray.

Unless...unless as the Bishop of Rome recently indicated: Be open to the God of surprises!" Perhaps another 'god' of surprises has set his cap at what this Synod must say no matter the sentiment of the majority. God save us from such a 'god', but be ready.

By the way, Father, do they still have priest-holes in England?

Anonymous said...

A most welcome post. Thank you Fr. Ray.

Dorothy B said...

1. Did Cdl Erdo read the entire relatio before signing it? If not, I hope he has learnt a lesson from the experience.

2. It looks as if the Synod Fathers are attempting to amend the document instead of scrapping it and starting again. This seems very risky to me. In his encyclical Satis Cognitum, Pope Leo XIII quoted the following from the tract De Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos: "There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition"

What if, despite the Synod Fathers’ best efforts, they leave a drop of poison in place?

Marie said...

"The Secretary of the Synod, Card. Balidisseri, was watching the Pope, as if in search of advice and lights, and the Pope remained silent and very serious."

The Italian journalist, in an earlier report, noted that the Pope had been passing little pieces of paper with notes on them to Balidisseri. But now Holy Father is quite and appears quite serious.

It might not be just German money in the bank that keeps the Pope tight-lipped.

It could also be the Pope's personal family's false expectations. Perhaps the Pope has promised the Bergoglio family that as Pope he would "update" the "stagnate and outdated" Church and will use the Synod as the tool to do it?
Didn't his niece, the "spiritual-but-not-religious" Cristina Bergoglio say so in an interview?
"I'm not afraid to say I see the Church as outdated, and that's why I believe life has put my uncle to renew this certain system of thought that was getting stagnated," Miss Bergoglio said.

Didn't Cdl. Kasper himself says the Pope hopes for "an opening" since the problem of divorce-and-remarriage also runs in his family?
"When I speak to lay people, also old people who are married for 50, 60 years, they never thought of divorce but they see a problem with their culture and so every family has a problem nowadays.

“The Pope also told me that [such problems exist] also in his family, and he has looked at the laity and seen the great majority are for a reasonable, responsible opening.”

River said...

As your final remark demonstrates there was no need to worry, after all is worry not a sin Father?

Annie said...

Fr. Zuhlsdorf has posted an article titled "Hagan lio! Synod bishops revolt against leadership and get their way - UPDATE!" that is required reading. The priest comments:

"Then Cardinal Balidisseri determines that the reports of the subcommittees wouldn't be published. That was a bridge too far. This in full view of the Pope, who seems not to have shown his hand, but also who seems not to have been pleased at what was going on."

What an astonishing statement! We're left to wonder what it was that the Pope was not pleased about. We're hoping he's upset about the way the lefties are hijacking the Synod. But then we read Fr. Z's answer to a confused reader:

"My take is that the Pope was not pleased with the reaction of the body of participants." Yikes! So the Holy Father did *not* wish the subcommittee's reports to be published??!!? This can only mean that he's siding with the agenda being pushed by the liberals. To another reader who can't come to grips with this and says, "How sure are we that the exchange between Balidiserri and the Pope took place?" Fr. Z responds, "It did. But you read it here first. That's what I can say about that."

Sean W. said...

"...the Pope remained silent and very serious"?

It is telling that at the same time that the Synod has been hijacked and manipulated by a band of liberals, many of them personally appointed to positions of authority within the Synod by Pope Francis, the same Pope, once notoriously talkative, has suddenly lost his tongue.

As you say, Fr., the appearance may be wrong, but it is what it is: he approves of all that has been done to date.

Anil Wang said...

Sebastian said...And if both go crazy, the Holy Ghost puts down the foot.

Well no. Read the Bible, in particular the Book of Judges and Romans 1:18-30.
God's judgement on the unfaithful is to let them have their way. Disaster usually follows which forces God's people to cry out to the Lord, he faithfully returns.

Both *have* gone crazy in Vatican II...perhaps not in the official council, but in the aftermath. Good and faithful bishops initially revolted at the liturgical innovations of Bugnini, but eventually just went with the flow or turned a blind eye to the craziness in their own dioceses. As a result, we've had to deal with a vocations, catechetical, and Catholic Identity collapse. Pope Benedict XVI tried to turn back the tide, but ran out of steam and left and things are continuing to slide under Pope Francis.

How far will things go? Only time will tell, but this synod might be a turning point that wakes up good bishops (who have been too timid or complacent in the past) to finally get some backbone and repent for the sins of the Church and cry out to God for help.

Francis said...

I rather think that the liberal campaign in the Vatican to demote/sideline Cardinal Burke has backfired badly -- Burke has been able to go in all guns blazing and lead the opposition to the abuses at the Synod precisely because he has nothing to lose!

Liam Ronan said...

I've made this observation elsewhere, but to my mind it bears repeating.

Pope Benedict XVI’s ‘resignation’ was the primary impetus for the ravening wolves to creep out into the daylight for all the sheep to see whereas had he marshalled-on the wolves would never have been exposed for what they are.

I think it may just be possible that Pope Ratzinger realized his ‘resignation’ precisely would have this effect and it was better for the flock to have the false prophets unmasked.

Pope Benedict has not fled from the wolves. He’s only a stones-throw away.

In any event, I think the October Revolution's Generalissimo has a card up his sleeve and I cannot forget Francis' (to me ominous) assertion just days ago:

"Be open to the God of surprises!"

JARay said...

I am becoming more reassured. It seems that the liberals are not having it all their own way. Fr Z pointed out the absence of any Africans to the little coterie which he put together to provide a summary of the Synod, but the Africans are making themselves heard and, indeed, for the good of all.

Fr Ray Blake said...

From the little I know RLB, nothing would hold him from the Truth, neither office nor status nor friendship, he would fear the loss of Christ too much - it is the Trads secret weapon!

Chloe said...

"Frim the little I know of RLB...." I agree wholeheartedly Father, but they've made it sooooo much easier for him! Result!

John Vasc said...

What will happen when these liberal clerics and tabletistas who have convinced themselves and nearly half the church that moral doctrine, liturgy and belief can all be relativized and subordinated to a relaxed, worldly personal agenda, and that mortal sin virtually does not exist - what happens when they are confronted with a sudden understanding of the chronic nature and gravity of their own sin?
That will be a mighty rage: to paraphrase an epigram of Oscar Wilde, it will be like 'the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass'!

John Vasc said...

PS That papal phrase 'God of Surprises' directly quotes the title of a rather famous liberal book of the 1980s by Fr Gerry W Hughes SJ.

So presumably Pope Francis is a fan of this book.

You can read its table of contents and first few pages at the Amazon link, it gives an idea of the book: Laissez-faire soft-centred theology for apostates, with a 'God' who is 'surprisingly' non-judgmental and totally cool with everything, yet definitely a convinced socialist CND supporter. Said to be a re-casting of the Ignatian Exercises, but actually bears no resemblance to them.
Very popular with a certain kind of reader, as the reviews indicate:-)
also see

Anonymous said...

We should all be a little sad tonight. Our Holy Father has lost his credibility. He has lost it with his brothers who watched the note passing, the high handedness, the slight of hand in which he wants transparency but then denies it, and his obvious alignment with a group that is more interested in the politics of the game than the life of the Church itself. He has lost control of the game.

I do not doubt his genuine love for people. But, he has shown himself to be less than merciful and less than honest by concealing his opinion on the issues under the guise of open debate. He will always be seen as the puppeteer whether he was the architect or not. It was his men who he appointed doing this.

Many proclaim that this battle will continue. I don't think so - something broke - the light of Truth was shown on the situation. I don't think it will go dim.

Just another mad Catholic said...

I submit for the edification of your readers Father a song which ought to have been sung by the revolting Synod Fathers Yesterday evening in the bars of rome

Who do you think you are kidding, Cdl Kasper If you think we’re on the run...

We are the boys who will stop your little game!
Burke is the man who will make you think again!
'Cause, who do you think you are kidding Cdl Kasper
If you think Our Lady's done?

Cardinal Burke he says his Mass on the 8:21,But he comes home each evening and he’s ready with his gun.

So watch out, Cdl Kaper
You have met your match in us.
If you think you can crush us.
We're afraid you've missed the bus.

'Cause who do you think you are kidding, Ccle Kasper
If you think that Bruke is done?

gemoftheocean said...

Pope Obama. Doing his level best to destroy the church one step at a time.

Mad Catholic: "If nothing else I believe that this synod will make it clear WHO the next man to sit on Peter's throne is."

More like "It's clear who the pope SHOULD have been." Not clear to me if Burke can outlive Francis." Maybe next time lightening hits the Vatican, God can do a little better targeting.

Православный физик said...

God help us all

Fr Ray Blake said...

The Sovereign Pontiff's name is, 'Pope Francis'.

Pelerin said...

For those of us feeling very unsettled during these times I recommend watching the short interview with Cardinal Pell on Fr Z's blog which should help us to be much more optimistic as to the outcome of the synod and not lose faith.

Anonymous said...

Of course, we who know and understand the Faith will not lose Faith due to the apostates leading the Church. However, we should be sober and have our eyes wide open and not deny the extreme extent and depth of the apostasy and how it has caused the great majority to either no longer hold to Church teaching and the moral law, or not submit themselves to same in the first place. Things could not be much worse within the Church. Only a small minority of cleric and lay hold to the whole Deposit of Faith, and most people have never been taught the true Faith over the past approximately 45 years. Let's pray hard that the heresies abounding (explicitly and implicitly) from the Holy See and the Synod which it convened, will be clearly and zealously denounced and that Pope Francis will vacate the Chair of Peter. Blessed Michael pray for us. St John the Baptist pray for us. St John Vianney pray for us. St Athanasius pray for us. All the martyrs for the One True Faith, pray for us.

Hailes said...

The God of Surprises book by mentioned by John Vasc in my opinion is a wonderful accompaniment to the Spiritual Exercises - as a Jesuit it's possible that Francis is aware of Gerry Hughes SJ book.

Just another point some of us remember the discussions and the schemas of the 2nd Vatican Council, the discussions, the worries, the liturgies and the arguments between Cardinal Ottaviani and the Fathers. All shall be well - the Holy Ghost never leaves the church. I'm feeling very positive about the Synod.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Deacon Augustine,
In the past I haven't mentioned that person here, I see no need to change that policy.

Jacobi said...

One thing that has come out of this Family Synod “gathering”, is that the politics of Vatican deliberations are now there for all to see, regardless of attempts to hide what is going on. The Pope is no exception. We are in the age of communication.

Another lesson the Vatican might take on board, is that there is now a knowledgeable Catholic laity who cannot be relied on just to do what they are told, as happened after Vatican II.

We have all assumed that “lobbies” are at work, in the Hierarchy and Vatican, and fiercely so. Now it is blindingly obvious. I can understand it’s not nice for the Hierarchy to be held so accountable. They are not used to it. But they had better get used to it!

One simple way to ease the pressure, to have a much easier life, is to adopt a clear policy of teaching, explaining, and implementing down to parish level in clear simple and unambiguous terms, the Catholic Faith as expressed in Scripture, Revelation, Tradition as in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Now not everyone, in the congregations or clergy for that matter will like that. Uncomfortable choices will have to be made. But then it’s a free world both in this and in the next.

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