13 October 2014

Words Are Not Adequate, but Here They Are

You will read many takes by Catholic bloggers on the relatio post disceptationem issued today by the Synod against on the Family.  No doubt others will have better points of view, and will write their positions more effectively.  But since this is my blog, this is my take.  I feel compelled in conscience to write it, though I wish I didn’t.

First, the good news can be stated in its entirety as follows: the document is not binding upon the faithful.  That is it.  That is all of the good news in it, read it as often as you will.

The bad news is very bad.  This document encourages the enemies of the Church; it tends to confirm persons in objectively gravely immoral relationships to continue in them.  It notes positive aspects of sodomites, adulterers and fornicators living gravely immoral relationships.  This problem is of the very text itself.

Of course, the "tone" of the thing is far worse than that.  Ladies and gentlemen, says the Synod, "anything goes".  Keep sinning, Jesus is merciful.  If you can just try, maybe, to commit sodomy or adultery a little less often, maybe you can quit in 10 or 20 years.  Don't be so hard on yourself.

I say this.  IF this document were issued in such a way as to call for religious submission on the part of the faithful in any normative way, we are faced with an ontological and eschatological choice:  Am I Catholic or not?  Is the Church the Church Christ founded or not?  Can any Pope or those behind whom he hides say that Christ didn't mean what he said?

Fear not the Chastisement.  It is already upon us. 

The modernist heresy within the Church is so close to triumphing that were it not for the promise of Our Lord that the gates of hell would not prevail against her, that triumph would be all but certain.  Dear readers, these cowards and heretics within the bosom of the Church don't fear reprisal.  The Chastisement is here. 

That doesn't mean it can't get any worse.  Short of Divine intervention, it certainly will.

You already know the paid shills for the status quo will publish their reassurances that this is no big deal-- it's great, actually!-- and anyone who is upset by this Synod is just a Pharisee who thinks he is better than everyone else.  But beyond that obviousness, look to your family and friends.  Catholic family and friends.  There is a sorting going on, and if you are brave enough, or stupid enough, take your pick, to proclaim your disagreement with the new watered-down gospel of Low Expectations, you can expect a new level of ostracization you never before have experienced.

I would like to take on certain sections of this document-- a document that I have a hard time describing in any way other than putrid-- a document that the USCCB could not have dreamt possible even when they published the "Always Our Children" farce back in the 1990s.  And though your favorite neo-Catholic blogger might have criticized that document, don't look for that treatment here.

I apologize if this goes long, but certain sections beg for comment, and I would like to draw a couple of analogies to make sense of the disaster.

In the first part of the document giving its statement of the problem the Synod is trying to address, the relatio discusses the "relevance of emotional life", and says this: 

Faced with the social framework outlined above, a greater need is encountered among individuals to take care of themselves, to know their inner being, and to live in greater harmony with their emotions and sentiments, seeking a relational quality in emotional life. (paragraph 9)

Just imagine St. Pius X ever saying anything like that!  People just need to get in touch with their inner child!  Excuse me, but "to live in greater harmony with their emotions and sentiments" is just a really poor way of saying that people should just do whatever they want because they want to, morality be damned.  And if you can stomach it, this type of psychobabble is to be found throughout.

Then, after paying some lip service to the teachings from Christ's own words and an unbroken two millennia of Church teaching on marriage and procreation, the Synod gets down to the business of destroying it all.

In so doing, the Synod has done the Church one favor, a favor so huge that it may be the key to truly restoring the Church in all her beauty and indefectibility:

The Synod explicitly ties this notion of abandoning the faith to the "hermeneutic key" of the Second Vatican Council.  It makes the link explicit, and acknowledges it in a way that no SSPXer, crazy trad or progressive nut job has yet been able to do.  And this link, I believe, if we are spared to see the day, will cause the Council's documents to receive the weight that the Council itself gave them.

The key paragraph:

17.  In considering the principle of gradualness in the divine salvific plan, one asks what possibilities are given to married couples who experience the failure of their marriage, or rather how it is possible to offer them Christ’s help through the ministry of the Church. In this respect, a significant hermeneutic key comes from the teaching of Vatican Council II, which, while it affirms that “although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure ... these elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward Catholic unity” (Lumen Gentium, 8).

Let me extend this analogy.  Just as the fullness of the Faith “subsists” in the Catholic Church, so must the fullness of marriage “subsist” in sacramental (i.e., real) marriage.  But just as we value those truths found in false religions, so we should value the truths in immoral relationships.  You’re gay, great!  Bravo!  Good on you.  You like to sleep around, but manage to make serial monogamy a priority?  Fantastic.  You are not far from the kingdom, my friend.

Remember when Christ told the woman caught in adultery to try to limit herself to just a few trysts per month?  Me neither.

The Synod then gives a catalogue of the problems rampant in the world, due to the failure of the Church’s pastors and laymen to teach and live the faith for the last half-century.  Following that, the document sets up what is going to follow, once the initial shock has passed.  The tent is lifted up, and the camel’s nose is placed:

47.        As regards the possibility of partaking of the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, some argued in favor of the present regulations because of their theological foundation, others were in favor of a greater opening on very precise conditions when dealing with situations that cannot be resolved without creating new injustices and suffering. For some, partaking of the sacraments might occur were it preceded by a penitential path – under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop –, and with a clear undertaking in favor of the children. This would not be a general possibility, but the fruit of a discernment applied on a case-by-case basis, according to a law of gradualness, that takes into consideration the distinction between state of sin, state of grace and the attenuating circumstances.

I highlight the phrases above that are designed to soothe your conscience. The necessity of denying Holy Communion to those living in adultery is labelled “present regulations”, as though you change them like you change your socks.  The abuse of Holy Communion will not be “general”, but “case-by-case”, as though that makes it better.  And of course, it is a lie, as the “case-by-case” abuse of Communion in the hand shows us.

Regarding those inclined to the sin of sodomy, the Synod throws off all pretenses to Catholicism:

50.        Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

     52.        Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.

These two paragraphs make me wonder why we have not been obliterated by lightning falling from the sky.  Obviously, God is merciful, but are we not begging for destruction?  Valuing a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance?  God forbid!

Do you remember the Pope “excommunicating” members of the mafia some months back?  Well, let me apply the regime of fake mercy instead:

Truly, organized crime families are not the same as the natural family, but we must acknowledge the many good elements in them.  Loyalty, code of conduct, industry, mental and physical toughness, and a place of welcoming that walks with gangsters where they are.  It is important not to judge mafiosos, but to walk with them, experiencing the smell of the sheep, as it were.  Will we welcome these criminals into the Church, accepting and valuing their inclination to violent crime, or will we, Pharisee-like, condemn the murders, bribery and racketeering that may sometimes occur?

I’ll stop there.  It is bad enough, and this post long enough, already.  We need to pray and prepare.  Mary, come to our aid!


Steve said...

The incredible nonsense found in your penultimate paragraph -- where you attempt to satire the Synod's document by drawing an analogy between the mafia and gay couples who are committed to each other in a monogamous relationship -- is more revealing than you realize.

You have equated contract killings and "revenge" killings in organized crime with the actions of a gay couple in their relationship. You really are fearful of gay people, aren't you? God forbid that someday one of your many children comes to you and tells you he or she is gay. I hope that they would be able to see past your anger and fear -- your rejection of them as human beings who have intrinsic value. I hope that they would understand that God loves them no matter who else in the Church might be inclined to reject them out of hand as "sodomites," including their own parent.

Your take on the Synod is so full of panic and hyperbole. What is so ridiculous in imagining that people who are gay and are dedicated to each other's welfare, or people who are in a second marriage (perhaps of thirty or forty years duration, after the six-month first marriage of one of the partners) might just do each other some good, show each other some genuine tenderness, and thus be an instrument of God's grace in the formation of the other person? You seem absolutely closed to even considering that possibility.

Anonymous said...

The analogy in Paragraph 17 with the truths found in non-Catholic religions is highly disingenuous. Of course there is truth and goodness found in the context of sinful relationships. But they exist despite those sinful relationships, not because of them.

taad said...

A "Dictatorship of Relativity" has descended upon the Catholic Church.

thetimman said...

I do equate the gravely immoral acts committed by homosexualswith the gravely immoral acts committed by the mafia. That is the whole point of the analogy you label as nonsense. If committed knowingly with the full consent of the will both murder and sodomy are mortal sins that condemn a soul to hell. Your failure to see that is more revealing than you realize.

I am not fearful of "gay people", as you label them. Both they and John Gotti, for instance, have intrinsic value, and God loves them. That's the point. A loving Church, or parent, or friend, would want them to know the truth so they may be made free. Your mercy would leave them ignorant or consign them to hell. I would pray for better friends.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that arguing with liberals is like beating a dead horse. It's dead, it's not gonna budge! The Catholic Church has doctrine it must uphold regardless of what this synod concludes. If the pastoral work is contrary to the doctrine of the faith taught by Jesus Christ Himself, it is the pastoral work of the devil leading people to hell. Pastoral work must compliment the Church's doctrine, end of discussion! Your gay family and friends need to push away their sinful actions/desires and look toward a celibate lifestyle. If you are lawfully married as a Catholic, you continue this life alone as a celibate married, (but separated,) couple. Yes, life sucks, but heaven is just around the corner if you accept these crosses you must bare... your choice!

Karen said...

Our Lady of Fatima, please pray for us! Deliver us!

Long-Skirts said...

Steve said:

"You have equated contract killings and "revenge" killings in organized crime with the actions of a gay couple in their relationship."

Mortal sin is mortal sin.

"You really are fearful of gay people, aren't you?"

No, just mortal sin.

"God forbid that someday one of your many children comes to you and tells you he or she is gay."

And I would have to tell them they are in mortal sin if they would choose to engage in sex whether same sex or opposite sex outside of the Sacrament of marriage. Of course it would be heart breaking but for the sake of their souls and our own souls the truth must be spoken.


There are some couples
O, so nice
As nice, as nice
Can be.

They have their weddings
Roses, rice
And plan forever

No more.

They know the latest
Things to do
That pleasure their skins
And pore.

"What need for seeds
And eggs take space
We desire to be
In lust -

Our lives are erotic
Never neurotic
In cholesterol-free
We trust."

Some of these couples
Are Bob and Rick,
Some are Michael
And Sue,

No matter their genders
Each has his trick
Of blending secretions
Like stew.

Much money they'll save
On themselves these few
From their vows 'til their graves
They'll live well...

But because their intent
Was a-party-of-two...
Alone they'll be seated
In Hell!

Anonymous said...

I can only say this and with great anguish. If the Church approves this or anything like this, then the gates of Hell will have prevailed. Which logically means that Jesus is not who he said he is. Not only would I have to leave the Church, but in conscience I could no longer be a Christian. He will have been revealed to have been only a man, and a lying one at that.


The Bear said...

Good summary, counselor.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Frank Sheed who said something like-Nothing that any priest, bishop or pope might say or do would make me leave the Church though I might well wish they would-Blessed Virgin Mary pray for us.

Anonymous said...

Where may one find the document you critique?


thetimman said...

Magda, it is linked at the beginning of my post.

Martina Katholik said...

Steve said:
"You really are fearful of gay people, aren't you?"

No, but I fear for "gay people" who willingly commit grave sins against the sixth commandment.

God told us that their behaviour is a sin that cries to heaven.

Commiting grave sins and staying unrepentant is the surest way to hell and that is why I fear for them.

Karen said...

Anonymous (the third one),

Please don't leave the Church over this. What fallible men do does or say does not erase God, Jesus Christ, the Incarnation, the Passion and Resurrection, the Scriptures or Holy Tradition. Stay close to anything prior to Vatican II and you will be safe. Jesus will help you. Don't give up. I'll be praying for you.

JBQ said...

Very insightful posting.

thetimman said...

Everyone, I appreciate the discussion, but remember to put a name on your post, even if "anonymous". Use any name, so that discussion can be followed and replied to more easily.

Flee to the SSPX? That isn't strictly speaking, necessary. Unless the Church proposes a binding heresy, you are faced with the same decisions to make as we have for years. Perhaps things like this will make everyone make more of a conscious decision, and that may be a good thing. There are still so many loyal, orthodox priests and places that deserve support. We are all in this together.

Barto (with rosary in hand) said...

The “relatio” document issued by the Vatican Synod on the Family contained this statement: “Welcoming homosexual persons: Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation…?”
My question: Does that mean that the Vatican and bishops will mandate that known homosexual couples (some of whom will be known to be “married” under civil law, some of whom will be raising children too) will be welcomed in all our Catholic parishes as lectors, extraordinary ministers of holy communion, ushers, choir members, song leaders, organists, St. Vincent de Paul charitable worker, and catechists to our children? Will we see the known lesbian couple, Jan and Betty, distributing communion at Mass? Will we see the known gay couple Steve and Adam acting at lectors, reading the first two Scripture readings to us? Apparently this is what the “holy” Synod document means when it says “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community… guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities.” When Catholic parishioners see this, there will be no need for an explicit declaration of change in doctrine on sexual ethics—the parishioners will get the message loud and clear. These liberal “reformers” (heretics) are clever!

Barto (with rosary in hand) said...

In 1997, Mother Angelica, the founder of ETWN TV and radio, while speaking live on the air on TV, accused the archbishop Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, of issuing a pastoral letter that called into question the Church’s doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Mother Angelical said that the pastoral letter was “fuzzy” and “confusing.” She said, “I felt the letter was unclear to what the church teaches about the real presence -- the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus….when I read the letter I was distressed by the lack of clarity….It is very confusing to people when leaders seem to ignore the real problems in the church that need to be addressed, seem to tolerate and encourage liturgical fuzziness and practices that don’t, to me, show or manifest the holiness of the sacrifice of the Mass, that awesome gift where you and I can be really present at Calvary….The cardinal of California is teaching that it is bread and wine before the Eucharist and after the Eucharist.” She added, “I am afraid my obedience in that diocese would be absolutely zero. And I hope everybody else’s in that diocese would be zero.”
Source: http://www.natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/1997d/120597/120597d.htm

Alison said...

I can't stand to read this and I become so sick at heart. Thank you for having the courage to report and comment on it. You prevent the Church from becoming a white washed tomb. I was happy to see that Cardinal Burke came out swinging in a Catholic World Report interview. The Sensible Bond, the only other blog I read on this,
pointed me to it.

Barto (with rosary in hand) said...

According to theologians whom I respect, here is the Big Picture of what’s going on: The Vatican II Council liberalized the DOGMATIC theology of the Church (with the unprecedented teachings on ecumenism and religious liberty, that broke down the wall between Catholics and Protestants [heretics], and exalted “freedom of conscience” for Catholics and everyone), but left untouched the traditional, perennial MORAL theology of the Church. The post-Vatican II popes (Paul 6, JP2, B6) all strongly upheld the moral theology of the Church, holding the line on things like abortion, homosexuality, birth control, cohabitation, sex-in-dating, masturbation, pornography, prostitution, adultery, etc. But now the other shoe has dropped. Now Pope Francis and the bishops are going to liberalize MORAL theology.

But this is NOT the end of the Church. It just means were are in period (and have been since the Vatican II Council) like the period in the Church when Pope Liberius excommunicated St. Anthansius for adhering stubbornly to the Nicene Creed instead of adopting to the Ararian Heresy. For decades, the Arian Heresy we held by most of the bishops of the Catholic Church. But in the end, Orthodoxy prevailed.

This gut-wrenching crisis didn’t begin with Pope Francis or this synod. It began with John XXIII and has continued with the VII Council all the popes since. The VII Council liberalized dogmatic theology because they estimated that in the 1960s that is what they could get away with. Dogmatic theology is difficult to understand, has many subtleties, and requires much study. But people who hold liberalized dogmatic theology as their foundation of faith are eventually led to accept the premises and conclusions of a liberalized moral theology. This is why Cardinal Kasper and others cite the VII Council at the inspiration for their liberalized moral theology.

Some Catholics are right now in a state of apocalyptic shock because they believed for years and years that Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI were conservative doctrinally sound teachers of the Faith. But now we see that the great throng of bishops and cardinals appointed by them are ready to sign on and endorse the new moral theology that the Jesuit pope is leading them into. Did all these men switch from being conservative to being liberal after they were appointed bishop? No. They were always liberal, as were the two popes who appointed them. Just research all the promotions that John Paul II gave to Cardinal Kasper. The conservative parishioner has been clinging all these years to the proposition that the problem wasn’t the Vatican II Council itself, or Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict, but just bad liturgy and a few wacky nuns, theologians, and bishops. Now we know better. (Archbishop Lefebvre said all this for years, but few listened.)

Barto (with rosary in hand) said...

On October 3, 2014, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, had shown the specious reasoning of Cardinal Kasper: “He proposes applying pastorally to marriage the new principles concerning the Church that were spelled out at the Council in the name of ecumenism: there are elements of ecclesiality outside the Church. He moves logically from ecclesial ecumenism to matrimonial ecumenism: thus, in his opinion, there are elements of Christian marriage outside of the sacrament. To see things concretely, just ask spouses what they would think of ‘ecumenical’ marital fidelity, or fidelity in diversity!”

These propositions—which purportedly claim to be merely “pastoral” without any doctrinal implication, just like at the Second Vatican Council—will be subject to debate by the members of the Extraordinary Synod this week and in all dioceses during the year 2014-2015, before the meeting of the Ordinary Synod that is to be held in October 2015.

But already, by the very admission of Cardinals Kasper and Erdo, we can say that, as Vatican II introduced ecumenism with its notion of more or less perfect communion, the Synod is working to propose the ecumenical marriage with a modular notion of indissolubility, that is to say, more or less soluble in the “pastoral”.

On October 3, Bishop Fellay said: “we blame the Council for making this artificial distinction between doctrine and pastoral practice, because pastoral practice must follow from doctrine. Through multiple pastoral concessions, substantial changes have been introduced in the Church, and its doctrine has been affected. This is what happened during and after the Council, and we denounce the same strategy that is being used today against the morality of marriage.”

Source: http://www.dici.org/en/news/synod-on-the-family-a-doctrinal-revolution-under-a-pastoral-mask/

Lee Frank said...

Absolutely no need to get your panties in a twist over this.
LGBT people are not even slightly interested in joining or coming back to the Catholic Church. I know hundreds and not one is paying any attention to this synod or what it is proclaiming. They simply do not care. The media is lying , as usual, and trying to create a tempest, to make money.
So do not leave your church over this. It is all yours.

Marie said...

Dear Confused Anonymous,
Please don't leave the Church. Our Lord did say, "The gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church." That means that although evil may be able to enter the Church, evil will not prevail. We must trust the Lord in His promise - the gates of hell will not prevail.
Our Church is being crucified right now by Her own sons. We must stay at the foot of the Cross with Our Blessed Mother Mary, sheltered by her mantle. We keep our vigil praying and fasting as we watch the Pope and many members of the hierarchy stew in their own juice.
God bless us.

Anonymous said...

Is there not one cardinal or bishop that has the backbone to stand up to Francis and his charlatan sycophants?

What is there to lose at this point?

The Church left us a long time ago. We are just finally realizing it. I feel like a disciple on the road to Emmaus...."we had hoped..."