30 April 2014

A Positive and Helpful Post for the Synod on the Family

A holy woman once asked me, after one of my more satirical and critical posts, whether I thought such a post was doing anything to build up the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. I thought it a fair question and a helpful criticism. Since then, I actually do ask myself the question at difficult times (when I think about it, which explains why it might be honored more in the breach). So, after checking my level of cynicism the last few days and finding it pegged at a firm 8 out of 10, I've decided to do something purely positive.

I thought, "How can I build up the Church in advance of this Fall's Synod on the Family, which has been attended by much foreboding among Catholics, but with a level of anticipatory glee by the Church's enemies?"

Thus, I thought I could do some research on the question of divorce, remarriage, and Holy Communion, so the Synodial Fathers wouldn't have to trouble about "umbras and penumbras", to recall the unfortunate author of Roe v. Wade. But the research had to be super solid, from a source the Bishops would recognize as authoritative, because the two thousand year, unchanged teaching of Holy Mother Church didn't seem substantial enough.

I almost despaired, but then, voila!, I found this really incredible book.

It's called the New Testament, and it contains the inspired Word of God. I wondered if it said anything, anything at all, that could be helpful. Can you believe it, it does! Lots of helpful stuff. Well, as my contribution to the Synod, I'll post some excerpts below:

First, the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messias, Saviour of the World, Son of God, Consubstantial with the Father, the Eternal Word, God Incarnate:

Every one that putteth away his wife and marrieth another committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

Luke 16:18

And the Pharisees coming to him asked him, tempting him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? But he answering, saith to them: What did Moses command you? Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce and to put her away. To whom Jesus answering, said: Because of the hardness of your heart, he wrote you that precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. And in the house again his disciples asked him concerning the same thing. And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Mark 10: 2-12

There also are words of the Apostle Paul, on the gravity of presenting oneself to receive the Eucharist unworthily:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he comes. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11: 23-29

I hope that this small effort at building up the Church will save the Synodial Fathers some time and help to prevent any confusion about Cardinal Kasper's so-called "serene" theology.


Anonymous said...

I actually wrote an email to the Anchoress yesterday asking her to lay down a marker. I'd like to circulate the same question to anyone who's not in full blown crisis mode.

What is the least outrageous outcome from the Synod that would still cause you to have a serious crisis of faith? I stress the word 'least'. If your answer is "Well, obviously if Francis comes out and says that divorce and contraception are fine that would do it" then I'll assume that anything less than that is okay with you and you'll still defend it.

I'll let you know if the Anchoress responds.


Lynne said...

Great job! (and you'll fax this to them, right?)

Anonymous said...

Would someone tell me, please, where in the 10 commandments does it declare contraception to be wrong?


JAB said...

Dear Melissa,

Are you a) asking your question because you would really like a thoughful answer?

Or, b) using a misleading rhetorical device in order to "trap" the answerer and thereby somehow "prove" to yourself, and perhaps other readers, that your already firmly held position (that contraceptive use is not wrong) is correct?

If a), then I would like to give you a thoughful, respectful, response.

If b), nice try.

Best Regards,


JAB said...

*thoughtful, not thoughful, please pardon my mistake.


Bai Macfarlane said...

You might be interested in the fact that some of us are working to have the Church instruct a marital abandoner of his or her obligation to reconcile the marriage and restore common conjugal life --- long before any second so-called marriage occurs.

An updated Vindicate Rights Petition is available from MarysAdvocates.org catalogue LINK wherein the petition to the Bishop is now split into parts: LINK

- Reconciliation
- Rights
- Separation Decree
- Initiate Process to Inflict Penalty
- Repair Material / Financial Damages
- Prevent Sacrilege and Scandal
- Request For Suspension Or Simultaneous Adjudication, Response To Accused-Spouse’s Filing For Decree Of Invalidity

A multi-sectioned word.doc available as free download. The Petition to Bishop is 5th section

- Instructions (6 pages)
- General Facts and Circumstances That Will Prove the Allegations (6 pages)
- Wife’s Cover Letter to Bishop for Petition (5 pages)
- Husband’s Cover Letter to Bishop for Petition (5 pages)
- Petition to Bishop to Pursue Reconciliation, Separation, Penal Process, Denial of Holy Communion (5 pages)
- Historical Background of the Rights on Which the Petitioner Bases the Case (10 pages)




1) Petitioner asks the Bishop of ________________________________, in the state of ________________, to cite the Accused-spouse for the purpose of implementing the pastoral means of agreement and conciliation, in order for the conjugal life to be reestablished peacefully, according to the prescript of canon 1695. As described in canon 49, Petitioner asks the Ordinary to issue a singular precept urging the Accused-spouse to uphold the lawful obligations to maintain common conjugal life.