15 September 2015

The Rig is In for Marriage?

I admit that I put the question mark in the title of this post for mere form's sake.

The list of official participants in the upcoming Synod against on the Family is released today (Rorate has it here). The real breaking news there is that there is no surprise there at all.  Just a list of the most lamentable, worn-out, aging modernists who no doubt are tingling at the prospects of dragging the old Church out of millenia of vitality into all the effeminate anemia typical of the so-called church of England.

Notably, and completely unsurprisingly, absent from the list of Synod participants is the great Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.  You could pour all of the modernists in that murder of Kasperite Krows into one brain and they couldn't come close to conquering in a fair debate the Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Louis.  Far better to tell him he's not invited, and act like there will be a debate.

I'll leave it to Mark Shea to reassure you how the very few Bishops who will stand for integrity of marriage were also appointed by the Pope, and that this is a sure sign that Pope Francis is eager to reaffirm the faith of the Church in the direct command of Jesus Christ.  That is, until the Synod votes to discard Our Lord's commands.  Then Mark can tell you how that isn't at all what Pope Francis wants, and even if he does then it must be okay, and buy my book!  Hear me bloviate in Western Washington! Click on my donate button! Rad-trads bad!

But of course I digress.  God bless Mark Shea. I suppose that role is pre-ordained. If he didn't fill it someone else would.  In fact, hundreds do already.

As for marriage, this venerable sacrament has few friends indeed. The new annulment process has gutted the practical protections against easy decrees of nullity built in canon law.  In the last week, I have read two articles which really nail the issues at hand.  In this article in The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty sheds light on the pessimistic and not-so-merciful nature of this act:

Unfortunately, this reform amounts to vandalism on the sacrament of marriage, and is a deeply condescending insult to average Catholics.


…Francis deliberately conflates reasons to question the validity of vows undertaken with instances of failure to live up to them.

This is ludicrous. And if the pope's attitude is adopted in any serious way, it amounts to a dramatic reversal of the Church's traditional position on marriage, which presumes the validity of first marriages made inside the Church or outside it. If churchmen, including the pope, really believed that half of any of the other sacraments performed by the Church were invalid, it would immediately be recognized as one of the gravest crises in the history of the faith. No other sacrament is held to standards like the one Francis proposes for the vocation that most Catholics have to the married life. Even atheist priests can validly confect the Eucharist, or baptize a child. If half the instances of another sacrament were invalid, the correct response would be to rush to remedy the situation and restore confidence in the sacraments. Instead, the pope asks his bishops to doubt the bleating of their own sheep.

In an odd way, Pope Francis has navigated to his preferred "merciful" form of laxity on marriage by becoming a marriage perfectionist. He gets to a Catholic version of no-fault divorce by adopting the exacting standards and skepticism about human virtue that characterizes a heresy like Jansenism. This is a common error in the history of the Christian Church: Exalt standards of virtue to such lofty heights that sin becomes inevitable and justified.

Francis has done this in a way that unmasks the pretensions of his pontificate. He has put himself forward as the defender of "collegiality" in decision making in line with the Second Vatican Council's call for a church in which bishops truly govern alongside the Roman pontiff. But Francis has short-circuited the Synod with his own extraordinary legal authority.

Finally, Sandro Magister writes a scathing analysis of the new annulment pipeline.  You can read it here; I don't need to quote excerpts other than the title:

Forbidden To Call It Divorce. But It Sure Looks Like It

Have a great Tuesday!


Anonymous said...

And Timothy Dolan of New York is listed among the "conservative" appointees . . . Wow.


Long-Skirts said...

"You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just listen to me
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free."

Paul Simon, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover

PMKD said...

And my wife just asked me the other day WHY I am still keeping the MALÖRT in the house! Here's why!

Anonymous said...

@PKMD ... I think MALÖRT is also what is used to power fighter aircraft, yes?

The Remnant, once again, nails it with an article from the August 15, '15 issue, page one by Chris Jackson on Pope John XXII and the striking similarities to the current situation of Francis and John's own novel teachings on the Beatific Vision. It is a happy ending, and not without the hand of Divine Providence. We hope the present Pontiff takes heed of his predecessor's history.


Pete said...

How is it that discussions on fundamental Church teaching do not automatically include ALL cardinals?

Long SKirts--That's going to be codified into canon laws, I suspect!

PMKD said...


Yes, absolutely, MALÖRT is a worthy substitute for JET-A, diesel fuel, 2 AND 4 cycle chainsaw/lawnmower fuel, etc. Many purposes as well as, in this case, uber penance. I'm afraid my stash of Chartreuse VEP will have to be mothballed for awhile.

Talk amongst yourselves...

I'm getting verklempt...


Elizabeth said...

And also intentionally excluded is Archbishop Cordileone: