Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Read This

The English translation of The Synod's Final Report has been published on the Vatican's site, After an initial skim I can't see too much that is wrong with it.
What do you think?


nickbris said...

Not as long as War and Peace but it does cover everything some of it may get the attention of the Secularists and Schools teaching some of it might get closed down. We are living in crazy times

Nicolas Bellord said...

Thank you Father for spotting this. Not easy to download though! I wonder why it has taken nearly two months to produce. Looking at paras 84 to 86 they seem pretty clear and orthodox but no doubt they will be misinterpreted despite it making clear that the previous teaching of St John Paul II still stands:

85. Pope Saint John Paul II offered a comprehensive policy, which remains the basis for the evaluation of these situations

Unknown said...

I'd suggest, as a faithful Catholic pastors (whose flock are jolly lucky to have him), that you prepare yourself for this wonderfully vague time bomb (due to explode at a time that may very well prove itself to be most inconvenient):

'The situation of the faithful who have established a new union requires special pastoral attention: “In these decades [...] the awareness has truly grown that it is necessary to have a fraternal and attentive welcome, in love and in truth, of the baptized who have established a new relationship of cohabitation after the failure of the marital sacrament; in fact, these persons are by no means excommunicated” (Francis, General Audience, 5 August 2015).'

Note well the nice sentiments, I trust acceptable to all, and indeed the genuine witness to the Faith, re the formal terms of excommunication, but also a glaring omission in terms a still necessary Sacrament .. that of Confession. This - if it has not done so already - shall open a right ole can of wriggling worms; not among the sincere if sinful Catholics living in sin (of concubinage not merely co-habitation), I have a higher regard for most of them, but the eager salvers of itching ears, the very many wayward pastoral theologians. If you, and your wise readers, have any spare copies of - now long out of print - works by Alphonsus Liguori (rather than simple readers of him), may I suggest you hasten to send them to your bishop (with helpful explanatory covering letter), the nearest seminary (with return address and postage, lest it go straight in the bin), all Catholic colleges that you may know of, and - numbers of copies permitting - to any bright and shiny new theologians trundling out of (their Sacred Tradition free) studies. Failing that, in suggesting to your bishop, the CTS, and others, that new editions of Liguori be made readily available .. God knows they be needed to help deal with the far from new notion of having a 'a fraternal and attentive welcome, in love and in truth, of the baptized who' choose, obdurately, to live the scandal of a publicly affirmed sin: aka a 'new relationship of cohabitation after the failure of the marital sacrament'.


Jacobi said...

1. It is too long

2. It is largely a statement of the obvious which raises the question of why the Synod had to be held in the first place. Two years of confusion, contradiction and ambiguity which has done much to further weaken already dwindling confidence in the Church.

3. Also there is residual ambiguous language to keep everyone including the Gradualist happy, example 16, lines 2-5.

In dealing with refugees it is s PC, making no attempt to distinguish between the refugee, economic migrant and religious migrant, the latter being downright naïve in the present world situation.

Section 50 on Pastoral Care is OK but then why the various inference during the last two years on the acceptability of Holy Communion for all?

Section 86 is perhaps the greatest problem. It is in effect a green light for subsidiarity and therefore schism in the Germanic Churches

JARay said...

I too have only skimmed it but I do agree that there does not seem much wrong with it.

fzk5220 said...

I agree with the war and peace analysis but from the sane and normal human mind analysis it is IMHO confabulatory and perhaps encoded
The average, living and breathing Catholic will ask "What' da?"

William Tighe said...

Well, as Fr. Hunwicke commented:

"The Synodal Report ... having, at very long last, officially appeared in English (not, incidentally, the natural English of an Anglophone) has received some approval. I really can't see much wrong with it at all ... er ... except that I can't find any affirmation of the principle of the Church's Magisterium that adulterers need to refrain from Holy Communion (Familiaris consortio [1981] para 84; Sacramentum Caritatis [2007] para 29).

Perhaps this is time to re-examine the document called the Henotikon [482]. It couldn't be called heretical because of what it said ... but how about what it didn't say at a time when it should have said it?"

GenXBen said...

The document is OK, but I feel exhausted by the whole thing. I agree with the charge of vagueness. I was under the impression that the synod is supposed to a forum for Bishops to talk about the issues and challenges in their diocese and how they are dealing with them. It's supposed to be practical was my understanding. In the last two years of chaos we heard from all quarters that "something must be done" for the divorced and civilly remarried and here in the synod document it still says "something should be done" but no suggestions or specifics. The only people to offer a concrete proposal were the Germans.

So let's say the German's lose and there's no easy path to the Communion line. What about the divorced and remarried? Whats' the "something" to get them integrated into the Church? Can they be ushers and lectors? Can they be on parish council? Can they lead the choir or work in the school? Basically we have a situation where each diocese or parish can make it's own rules, but that's how things were two years ago. So what's the point?

The synod fathers said that the working document focused too much on what's wrong with family life today and not enough on what's healthy and good about it. True enough and that has been remedied somewhat. But what in this document would convince a couple living in sin that they NEED to get married. That their current relationship is a mimicry of the Godhead, not a participation in the Godhead? Again, I was under the impression that Bishops from around the world would discuss how they deal with this and what has been effective. On another blog was a comment from the Romanian doctor who shook up the synod with her pro-life talk. She said that an archbishop in her circle dismissed the term "domestic church" as an obsolete cliche. Is there anything in this document to restore the dignity of domestic church?

Finally, I can't get too excited about it one way or another because I just don't know what Francis will do. I got the Eleven Cardinals book on marriage but I can't bring myself to read it because I'm afraid it will be obsolete soon. Even if Francis doesn't fully embrace the Kasper proposal, he could easily re-introduce all the sociology of the working document, ridicule people trying to be faithful to Church teaching, embrace the Cupich understanding of conscience and blame the problems of the family on global warming and other such things.

William Tighe said...

Thought for the day - Pope Honorius redux?

fzk5220 said...

It occurred to me what would Moses do?
Coming down from the mountain, saying to the people: now hear this and proceed to read the synod report.
How many listened and how many remained?

MaryP said...

The main problem: It states that the operational criterion for treating second unions is "integration" into the Church. The operational criterion must be the safeguarding of the nature of the Sacrament of Matrimony. That was always the case in canon law, and now this gives way to a pseudo-pastoral criterion.

Jacobi said...

@Bernard Fischer

May I suggest that the divorced and remarried and all other objectively mortal sinners do what people in that situation have always done, namely, attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but remain in their pews, not taking Holy Communion,(which we are still required normally once a year to do, and that at Easter or thereabouts, if we can), praying for an outcome and trusting in the Mercy of Christ

John Vasc said...

Thinking about 'c'atholics who've remarried outside the Church, am I being cynical in surmising that - because of the advance in the man's age / career progression /salary /social standing, and because of the children of that 'new', 'young' relationship who are 'wanted' (ie have been consciously reprieved from the general life-style of contraception) - this quite numerous relatively well-off group may represent a lot of potential income for the Church's parishes, and schools, income that any hierarchy hates to lose? (Not just in Germany :-)
As well, of course, as being 'liberal' and 'tolerant' and willing to reinforce those 'liberal' bishops and pastors who yearn to be more go-ahead and less orthodox about what the Church teaches in general? And less willing to object if Father should want to speed Mass up by abbreviating the liturgy?

Deacon Augustine said...

Dr Tighe, given the current situation of fiddling while Rome burns, wouldn't it be more apt to suggest: Pope Honorius redivivus?

Kate said...

I know what I am writing sounds naive..but the synod results reaffirmed to me that the Church is Divine. So many weirdos and closet atheists in the Church want to destroy it or use it as something to meet their trendy ideas. But they couldn't! No matter how hard they try, the Holy Spirit will prevent it.
I truly feel sad for Anglicans. 70 years ago on surface it seemed Christian. Their baptisms were valid, but time has proven their sect was false and not under the binding promise of Christ.
we know there are bad bishops-- but they cannot defeat the Creator of the universe who promised us a Church to the end of the world.
Thank you Jesus for giving us a Church that can't defect.

William Tighe said...

"Dr Tighe, given the current situation of fiddling while Rome burns, wouldn't it be more apt to suggest: Pope Honorius redivivus?"

Yes, that's what I meant to write.

Unknown said...

It's basic Catholicism. In retrospect, they had no alternative, as if they possessed the authority to change or "re-define" truth! But the damage was done long ago, and it was serious. The very act of suggesting that change, of the nature suggested by the current reigning heresy, could occur in the Church undermined her at the root. This was their great triumph. They are following their course until they reach their goal. They wish to reduce the Catholic Church to just another mundane religion, replacing the “spotless one” to something mundane and very ordinary. This is why anything that appears to make her stand out must be destroyed. The fact that something like divorce could occur, as in other religions, would demonstrate that the “will of the people” must always be first. They tried to do the same to the Blessed Sacrament, reducing it to an expression of community rather than a radical encounter with God.

The Synod itself was totally unnecessary (like the last council), juat another symptom of a disease that is corroding and eating the Mystical Body – Modernism. Until we realise that the Modernist crisis, far from being defeated, took over the Church, especially the hierarchy, we will continue to witness the corruption and stagnation of the Truth.

Stephen Turton said...

Can't really see anything wrong with it. Only the Catholic Church behaves like this, sticking with truth in its entirety. The Church is it's own argument.

Anonymous said...

@Frank Karwatovicz- do you believe that if St. Moses (I'm Orthodox, he's Saint here in the Calendar), received a long message from God he would have shortened it for better understanding?
We sever our own arms, don't we?
The adversity to Matrimony is long, thousands of pages, and some 200 years I estimate. Why shouldn't the reply be long too?
I keep on thinking, if I were an agnostic (as many psy tests say I am), I would at least consider Pope Francis and the Roman Curia as human beings, children of God. They'd be flawed. Most surely they are. What right would their flaws give me, as another daughter of God, to judge them? Why do we always see the sin of the others as bigger as our owns? Why is that?
Mathew 5:38-48
When we are up against others (and many are against the current state of Church of Rome), there is nothing they can do that can be right.
How can one please one's adversary? Are dialectics (the argument on principle) the root of Faith? Why did we disobey God?
I'm not saying that the Pope or any other Bishop, or priest, or nun, is God. I am saying that how we relate to them might the root of all problem, and I don't mean problem with authority. God led Moses to lead his people to freedom. So clearly it wasn't the disobedience that (only?) bothered Him.

geoff kiernan said...

"After an initial 'skim' I cant seem to find much wrong with it"
With respect Father perhaps you should done more than simply 'skim' before commenting.
I am reminded of Cardinal Kaspers infamous comment printed in the L'ósservatore Romano Vatican Newspaper 12th April 2013...

" In many instances the council Fathers had to find compromise formulas in which the position of the Major are located immediately next to those of the minority , designed to limit them . Thus the council texts themselves had a huge potential for conflict and opened the door to a selective reception in either direction"

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

What does the synod mean by 'mission' and 'openess to baptism' or 'general vision of man and woman’s vocation to love and proposed basic guidelines for the pastoral care of the family and the presence of the family in society...'?

It means that it doesn't 'really' matter under the banner of modernist-post-Catholicism

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...


Any folks without a falsehood blankie for the 'season', the true heart of Christ be with you. And the better for it.

fzk5220 said...

This synod report reminds of the small print ln my car or home insurance policy
It seems to be written not with the ordinary fallible Catholic in mind but rather for the late night discussion of a few elitist theologians, who are still debating how many angels dance on the head of a pin
I think that a better and more both meaningful and merciful synod report would be simply a restating of the X Commandments
It contains all the elements of our faith and taught by JC and would supersede any single or multiple opinions, be they present or past

geoff kiernan said...

By now Father you will have had time to scrutinised the document... Are you still of the same opinion? Rgs and God Bless

geoff kiernan said...

Dear Father Blake: Have you now scrutinised the paper and what conclusions have you reached? Rgs and God Bless

Fr Ray Blake said...

I concur with those better informed than me, who see pitfalls

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you said there are others who see pitfalls and that you concur with them, Fr. Blake.

Cardinal Burke definitely sees pitfalls in the Final Report. See his interview about it at this link:

Cardinal Burke is also urging people to pray the Rosary:

An excerpt from the above:

During this Holy Year of Mercy, let us join Cardinal Burke in a spiritual crusade to storm Heaven with prayers to dispel confusion and:
• bring Hope to souls and minds throughout America and the world;
• provide spiritual support in the struggle against the temptations of discouragement;
• to protect our families and our Faith;
• to stop the advance of evil in our society;
• and to flood souls with Grace and Light and Truth.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...