Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Victory Ball

I am at St Edmund's College, Ware, formerly the diocese of Westminster's seminary, now a rather good school. I am here for the any colloquium of the Confraternity of Catholic Cergy, though one my presume it was a meeting for clergy bloggers, for some reason most of us seem to be here.

One of the masters here told me his son was recently at Mass in my church following a renactment of Waterloo Victory Ball in the Royal Pavillion. We always have a rather nice dinner, the eighty or so of us here, didn't quite have a ball but there was certainly a sense of celebration and optimism for Catholicism, following the Synod. As most of us would happily want to be buried with Newman's Biglietto Speech clasped in our hands to my mind there was a sense of first victory, a sense that despite everything done to determine otherwise the Church is still Catholic, still eternal, still truthful. There might be a few skirmishes to ensure that whatever comes out of the Synod is interpretted according to Catholic principles, but that as all of those very bright theologians, historians and canonists in our ranks say is the way in which it can be interpretted by anyone, including the Bishop of Rome.

One of the clergyhere ddid suggest that if only His Holinness had thought to invite Cardinal Burke to join the drafting committee of the final document any ambiguity might have been avoided. I am sure the Pope shares this regret.


JARay said...

Doe gratias.
I am hoping to be in England next year for the Lisbonian meeting in Leeds but nothing is fixed about that. Former members of the English College meet at what was our "Quinta" day which is the first Monday after the feast of SS Peter and Paul.
I really hope to be there.

Simple Simon said...

Fr.Ray, sincere thanks for your tremendous set of blogs on the Synod. I find myself invariably in agreement with your insights and suggestions. Sadly, I cannot share your optimism for the future. A victory ball is for celebrating a victory. I find nothing much to celebrate in the final document. Why should we be celebrating because much of Catholic orthodoxy remains intact? The scandal of this Synod was the very fact that the fight was necessary in the first place. Ambiguity is now enthroned as the norm for official Catholic documents. Every kind of interpretation is allowed. Nobody loses. Everybody wins. Except the plain truth. Who will discern the discerners? Pope Francis and his dearly beloved fellow travellers have set out their agenda (to themselves) with absolute clarity. They are still firmly in place and still have the power to push on. Watch them go.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I don't think anyone thought it to be the Vitory, just small vitory when all would suggeat we were heading for defeat. Anyting other would be playing into the enenies hands, don't do that, please.

JARay said...

I see that the blog Rorate Caeli has published a letter by +Bernard Fellay SSPX
As you would expect, it is sound and well written. I recommend it.

Anonymous said...

The war is far from over. There's still wriggle room in the final document for allowing communion after divorce and remarriage without real annulment. The pressure and the accusations of lack of compassion by anyone who argues against it will no doubt continue. But at least we can see that attempting to do this would be opposed by a substantial number of the world's bishops. It's clear that Pope Francis wanted to get a substantial consensus for Cardinal Kaspar's proposal at the Synod, but he didn't get it. And without that, he won't risk trying to push it through on his own authority. The bishops are holding Peter to his commission despite himself. But ideas of "decentralizing" Church discipline (and teaching in practice) on this and other issues are still on the table. So it's not time to put away the prayer mats yet!

Nicolas Bellord said...

The most remarkable account of the Synod is that provided by Professor Roberto de Mattei at:

This is an account of the last two days at the Synod. He says that on the Thursday a text was presented to the Bishops by the drafting committee which totally ignored everything that the Bishops had suggested in the previous three weeks including over 2,000 suggested amendments. There was a revolt and effectively the text was rejected as a whole by the Bishops. The Pope, faced with this revolt, withdrew the text and overnight a completely new text was produced. So on the last day Friday the Bishops were presented with a new text and asked to vote on it clause by clause. It is not clear whether any of the clauses were discussed but presumably they were seen to be a fair compromise and narrowly scraped through - clause 85 by one vote.

This account would normally be regarded as unbelievable but in view of the previous shenanigans surrounding the Synod it does seem credible. What an extraordinary way to behave though and what a slap in the face for Pope Francis. No wonder he complained! But how naïve were his troops in the Secretariat believing that they could ignore everything the Bishops had suggested. So here we have a document cobbled together overnight and voted on by the Bishops possibly without any real discussion. It is the sort of comic opera effort one would expect in a Latin American banana republic.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Let us hope that someone leaks the Thursday text. Failure to do so will only confirm de Mattei's account.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Sandro Magister seems to confirm de Mattei's account that there was a draft on the Thursday that was voted down in its entirety at:

but he does suggest that the final revised document presented on the Friday was revised further at the behest of the Bishops:

"But when the “German” solution went into the final document - which in turn was replacing a previous draft torn apart by criticisms - and went to the assembly for a vote, it could not be approved without further softening of its language, to the point of eliminating all innovation. And thus “access to the sacraments” was diluted to a generic “possibility of fuller participation in the life of the Church.” In the text that was ultimately approved, in the paragraphs on the divorced and remarried, the word “communion” does not appear even once, nor does any equivalent term. Nothing new, in short, with respect to the ban in effect, at least not if one holds to the letter of the text."

The failure of the German solution has been ascribed to Cardinal Pell says Sandro:

"The “Germanicus” report began, however, with a note of censure for the “public statements of some synod fathers.”

Asked to whom the note referred, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and a leading figure of the circle, singled out the guilty party in Australian cardinal George Pell and in what he said to the Paris newspaper “Le Figaro.”"

To me it all looks remarkably similar to some Marxist dictatorship which is 'democratic' in having some unelected assembly which rubber stamps what the Great Leader decides upon. Although in this case something has come unstuck. So much for 'synodality'.

Can we suppose that in future when 'power' has been devolved to Bishops' Conferences there will be diktats from Rome to more backward looking conferences, possibly in Africa, to get with the more progressive ideas coming from modern countries like Germany? Perhaps I am fantasizing?

However do we not urgently want a John Wilkes to tell us the full story of the Synod?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Just to correct my earlier comment. The first document was given to the Bishops on Thursday night. On the Friday it was rejected. On the Friday afternoon and night the document was redrafted and presented to the Bishops on the Saturday to be voted on.

richardhj said...

Nicholas Belford 4:36 29/10

I would hope that you are wrong in your suggestion that anyone not keeping up with "the more progressive ideas" (elsewhere called "the project"), would suffer from continual bullying.

But I have no doubt whatsoever that under the current leadership you would be correct.

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