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So this goddamn Synod is over (thank God for that). Mark, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, but do you have a statement on the Synod ?
Quite frankly, this disaster has lead to my greatest crisis of faith and I look to you for guidance since you are a wiser and more pious man than I am.
Though once again, if you thought “let’s never talk about what happened here again”, I think that would be a very reasonable reaction.
Thank you and God bless you.
I’m in Scotland right now and have little time to write. I will comment when I get back. Short answer: the Synod means very little. It legislates nothing and basically provides some ideas for the Pope to noodle as he writes what will really matter: the teaching document that will come out next year. All the hysteria and panic about the Church somehow changing doctrine is a massive waste of energy. Be at peace.
Thank you. I think you are absolutely right. I abstained from reading the news (Catholic and secular) during the Synod and this was the best decision I took in a while. If I had followed the “The Church is dead !” “No wait maybe not !” “Oh, never mind she’s actually dead” media circus for 3 weeks I may have literraly died.
I think I will prolong my “no Synod/Francis-related news” policy for an undeterminated period. It’s a wonderful experience to realize there is a world out of there, full of people, places and books that have nothing to do with this mess.
I never watch TV news, and I have been talking a Sabbath rest from the Internet for some time. Marvelously refreshing.
Perhaps I should make it a Week’s rest. Then maybe TWO weeks. Then…
But, I should have to retire my avatar, and knowing how dependent folks are on my opinions…
Well, they may not be interested in the Faith Thib, but the Faith is interested in them. That’s why Her enemies – the spiritual ones especially – work so hard to find clericalists willing to work for them instead of Him, to present a counterfeit faith that denies, dilutes & seeks to corrupt the One Christ gave us, & thereby keep Her hidden from a world hungry for Her embrace.
But apologies for an earlier dig at you regarding ostriches. If avoiding this current struggle against Her clericalist enemies robs you of a legitimate peace, then doubtless wiser to avoid it for a time, until a genuine instead of faux serenity provides you the strength & even joy to do battle on Her behalf, for the sake of the souls that need Her, including thine own, & mine.
…and even harder to find prophets of despair among the laity.
…let us hope smiley faces won’t do either.
Doctrine won’t change. We agree. The safeguards are in place to prevent that. And we also agree that this document means very little in the great scheme of things.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t get messy and it has. And that does do damage.
I’m a total layman, and I’ve not read a TON that’s come out about it (some, not a ton) but it strikes me that it is pretty much irrelevant. All the ‘openings for error’ that some people talk about were already there and being used by the dishonest and anyone who knows their Faith at all knows what our obligations are and what doctrine says. That leaves the mass of people who are Catholic but know nothing about their Faith (quite a lot, unfortunately). For these people, it seems it matters who gets to them first…. which is how it already was.
But, we have the Holy Spirit and our Lady on our side, so I think we’ll come out ok in the end.
Of course we will. But we will muck it greatly in between. It would be nice to avoid that and not have to rely on the Holy Spirit as the firewall.
Stu, that is one of the dumbest statements I have ever seen. The Holy Spirit is God Himself. He is the greatest firewall in stock, and actually the only one the Church should use.
Stu, are you feeling OK? That seemed out of character.
Wow. Made me read what I wrote to see how dumb it actually was.
Maybe we don’t have the same understanding of a firewall. In the aircraft, my engines were contained within a set of firewalls that would restrict any fire within from spreading to the rest of the aircraft. And while I was thankful for those firewalls and had faith in them to do their job, I just assume not have an engine fire or do things that might make such an event more likely. That always seemed smart to me.
Likewise, I am confident in God to ultimately keep us out of ruin, but we sure do have a history of mucking it all up. I just assume avoid that as well.
Yes. What could be worse than a Catholic relying on God instead of on his own highly politicized strength.
Indeed, we should rely on God and not our “own highly politicized strength.” We agree. Good thing I wasn’t advocating that. But I do thank you for the opportunity to again explain my remarks and even expand on them.
I don’t know about you, nor will I ask, but when I go to Confession, it moves me to a real sense of regret over the sins that I have committed. So much so, that even with my being extremely grateful that God provides me the Sacrament of Penance and faith that I am forgiven, I still reflect upon how things would have been better had I not chosen to sin in the first place. Or even in some of my major life decisions, while I ultimately have faith in God that His will be done, there have been times where I have acted without the proper discernment and gone against what He had planned for me. How better it would have been to go along with Him initially.
I’m quite confident that the same holds true for all of us and even our leadership. I have faith that God will ultimately keep us going in the right direction. After all, He promised such. But that doesn’t mean that the men He has chosen won’t get things wrong along the way and sometimes do serious damage. Biblical history shows as much. Men take part in the synods and councils. Men are flawed and will make mistakes. The Holy Spirit will be the firewall to ensure we don’t burn the whole place down. Is that really such a controversial view? Really? And does anyone really think that it wouldn’t be better if we didn’t try to burn the place down as we often do? Does anyone really think that even our Bishops don’t muck things up? Kasper? Daneels? Cupich? The latter of which I remember banning a certain blogger from speaking in his diocese in the past.
Otherwise, we could have simply left a pencil and paper in the synod hall, closed the door and rely on the Holy Spirit to simply write the document Himself. Heck, maybe we can have even more faith and let the Catholic blogs be written in the same way.
” Be at peace.” said chezami.
Now, where have I heard something like that before?
Then the Priest, with hands extended, says aloud:
“Lord Jesus Christ,
who said to your Apostles:
Peace I leave you, my peace I give you;
look not on our sins,
but on the faith of your Church,
and graciously grant her peace and unity
in accordance with your will.”
He joins his hands.
“Who live and reign for ever and ever.”
The people reply:
The Priest, turned towards the people, extending and then joining his hands, adds:
“The peace of the Lord be with you always.”
“And with your spirit.”
Then, if appropriate, the Deacon, or the Priest, adds:
“Let us offer each other the sign of peace.”
And all offer one another a sign, in keeping with local customs, that expresses peace, communion, and charity…
Absolutely. Just like all that wasted effort by Paul at the Jerusalem Council, or by Athanasius, the Church Fathers, & the faithful through history against Arianism & so many other assaults on the Faith, when obviously what was wanted was quietist complacency!
That is, unless instead of a massive waste, the energy against these assaults was a most laudable effort by the faithful then, as now.
And yet, it wasn’t just Paul or Athanasius that spoke at Jerusalem / Nicea.
Judaizers / arians as well.
Yup. Shame about all the hysteria & panic & waste of energy from the folks who fought them tho.
Yup, it was a shame when St. Nick, according to legend, slapped Arius for his heresies. He was put in jail and was condemned for it by the pope and even by God and he needed to repent before being set free.
So, being right about a council or synod doesn’t justify every reaction or behaviour you might have.
Wanna fight the good fight? Good. There are many ways of doing so. The way some conservative catholics have taken is not one of them.
It’s also a shame when orthodox catholics react with hysteria and panic for another reason. Since doctrine can’t change, this could be an awesome way of showing the world how faith works. They could be publicly saying; “Doctrine will not change and I know that the Church will never teach heresy. So I will wait for the results of this synod with serenity and will accept what comes out of it. If the teachings be hard, I will try, with the best of my abilities, to be docile to them”
What a sign, what an example it would be!
Instead, they reinforce the errors of the modernists, by claiming that the Church is a huge political battleground between conservatives and progressives and it’s up to us to make sure that the fight is won by the *right side*.
It is, indeed, a shame.
Perhaps less of a shame, tho, than when Catholics mistake complacency for serenity.
Arguably better to stand with St. Nick, & recognize that in the mysterious intersect between will & Grace God expects, instead of succumbing to the quietest temptation, some cooperation in defending the Faith.
I said: “Wanna fight the good fight? Good. There are many ways of doing so. The way some conservative catholics have taken is not one of them”
You said: “Arguably better to stand with St. Nick, & recognize that in the mysterious intersect between will & Grace God expects, instead of succumbing to the quietist temptation, some cooperation in defending the Faith.”
Now re-read my quote again: “Wanna fight the good fight? Good. There are many ways of doing so. The way some conservative catholics have taken is not one of them”
Do you see now? By doing these kind of comments, you’re not helping the synod *getting it right* or *defending the Faith*. In fact, you’re injuring your own position (which is my position, even though you don’t see it).
For example: When progressives use the ol’ argument that the majority of catholics don’t follow the Church’s difficult teachings on sexuality, the orthodox catholics respond (and rightly so), that the Church is not a democracy. But then, when they fear the Church will change Her doctrinal direction (which She never will, for She is supernaturally protected from doing so), the orthodox catholics panic and start signing petitions. Don’t you see how this is totally counterproductive and is just playing into the progressives’ game?
Save that, Alma, the remark you quote was not a response, or not directly, to the one of yours you quote; but to your 4th paragraph advocating, it does not seem unfair to propose, a kind of quietest complacency, & calling it, or anyhow confusing that, with serenity.
The fairness of this proposition is reinforced by the use of your, if you will, hysterical, unjust & sweeping categorization of folks like Douthat, Burke, & many more as being guilty of hysteria & panic because, like St. Nick, they weren’t complacent.
How to put it? By employing such shibboleths against the manifestly justified & not impossibly even decisive opposition – in that intersect between will & Grace – to the ubiquitous attacks on the Faith by numerous & prominent churchmen, rather than focusing instead on those attacks, you reveal, if I may be straightforward, a strange perversion of priorities as regards, in your words, defending the Faith.
Given the above, it seems unlikely you can produce any comments of mine that injures my position regarding these attacks, & the obligation of the faithful both to expose & resist them with full strength, as well as confidence if we do our part, by following the example of Sts. Nicholas & Athanasius & the laity that stood with them in their comparable hour.
I do not doubt that we both love the Faith, but do hold your approach to the current attacks on Her to be not just mistaken, but dangerously so.
And not seeking to provoke, allow me nonetheless to add that these – & I fear they’re the right adjectives – truly hysterical insults against those rightly resisting all the clericalist hostility to the Faith – since such insults are not really against the loose cannons but on the effrontery of the resistance itself – come not from serenity, but from fear of facing the genuine crisis & consequent obligations that obtain. And thus to avoid facing them, hysteria against the messengers has become the modus operandi from too many folk of otherwise good will.
One of the best parts about being Catholic?
Knowing that no matter what we screw up down here, God can fix it.
Fear not my friend!
Another good point. I have been trying to save the Church by myself (mostly by worrying a lot and making myself sick). Maybe I could try letting God take charge for a while.
I hear they’ve had like 50 of these things since Vatican 2. Was it really a disaster, or did the media just portray it that way? I don’t trust the media anymore at all, be it the Christian media or the secular media.
Jesus Christ said of His Church that it would exist until He comes again, and in the meantime, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
So we’ve got nothing to worry about – the media just likes to create division and unrest for its own profit.
“Was it really a disaster, or did the media just portray it that way?”
The media portrayed it this way, for two reasons:
1) It was about a theme that the media has told time and time again that the Church would, sooner or later, change Her doctrine. They thought the time of their prophecy had come.
2) It was called by Pope Francis, a pope the media has, time and time again, portrayed as a liberal that would change Church doctrine. They thought the time of their prophecy had come.
The spin from the media is that Pope Francis really wanted to change the doctrine of the church but the mean old conservatives ganged up on him and wouldn’t let him. Amazing how much of this gets propelled by “faithful Catholics”
Absolutely. Preposterous of them to think that just because Rome’s bishop waited not a week before praising the ‘serene theology’ of the public perjurer Kasper, or called to prominence not merely such Kasperettes as G. Danneels & Blaise Cupich, or issued what might not be a wholly media driven interpretation that the post-synodal snarls were directed at opponents of these men, why, just as you say, amazing.
So is the gd really necessary?
I saw some comments about the meeting that mentioned how people voted. Evidently they forgot that the final tally is one to nothing.
“Idiots” like Antonio Spadaro, S.J.?
“The big step forward of the #Synod15 was to open a big window toward the possible integration with #discernment and without #limits”.
The synod was for discussion. It was like Acts 15:1-6. Most of us don’t stop and panic at verse 5. Wise people keep reading.
The post-synodal exhortation will be like verses 7 and following. Let’s wait for that, shall we?
I’ve cited the “Council of Jerusalem” to sola scriptura adherents. I appreciate your response.
For a while now, the implication has been that the causes for concern are groundless and cited only by the-sky-is-falling “idiots”, even when rational Catholics like Fr. Schall, S. J., Phil Lawler, Carl Olson, Russell Shaw, etc. express concern, confusion, or the unpredictability of Pope Francis.
Is John Allen an “idiot”?…
“Still, the surface tension in his rhetoric…is part of a larger pattern, which has been especially intense lately, of Francis doing or saying things that leave lots of people deeply confused”…
I usually check the quotes before I accept them.
He really said that? To who? Seems odd that he would use “name-calling” and sarcasm like that, even off the cuff.
Please tell me you’re joking.
There’s a picture of him right next to the quote.
It’s visual evidence…
Have you seen the Simpsons episode where Homer is pleading for help because he can’t stop being sarcastic? It’s hilarious. It might apply to this blog at times.
And there, in a nutshell…
Obvious fake. Everybody knows that Pope “F-Money” (I hear from some other people that’s TOTALLY what he wants to be called) NEVER uses the word ‘idiot’. He prefers the more refined term ‘sh*theel’.
JEEZ Mark, stop believing EVERY meme that comes along!!!
ON EDIT: Although I have heard he signs all his apostolic exhortations as “Notorious P.O.P.E.”
Not to be an alarmist, however, let it be noted that in the 4th Century, when several heresies were floating about, Saint Anthony did not post memes, did not inundate comboxes with a lot of “com”, did not start or sign petitions, nor go picket the various Fora.
He went into the desert and prayed.
Then, the only logical and reasonable explanation for that is…
… Saint Anthony is a heretical marxist!!!
Thank goodness I spotted this menace just in time! What would the Church do without me? Hey, captain! Wanna sign my petition against Saint Anthony? Thank you, have a nice day… if we weren’t all dooooooooomed!!!!
“Saint Anthony did not post memes … He went into the desert and prayed.” OTOH, entering into the vast Empty Quarter, e.g., the internet, is rather like going into the desert. Let us pray.
The term for a papal “bull” derives from a letter from the pope sealed with a lead “bulla” or seal attached at the bottom as evidence of its authenticity.
Even in the 6th century, forgeries of the Pope’s writings were a grave concern.
Imagine how heavy the millstone must be for those who willfully lie about the teachings of the Church, whether by outright forgery, by quoting out of context, or other means.
Pray for those who might distort whatever the Pope will write in his exhortation that should follow this Synod in a few months. Given how many Catholics have been taught that contraception, and in some cases even abortion, is acceptable despite the explicitly clear teaching of Humanae Vitae, it’s a certainty that a very large number of people will be successfully deceived into believing that anything short of an explicit reiteration of both Familiaris Consortio and the unambiguous words of God Himself (in all three Synoptics – Luke 16:18, Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:12) means that divorce is now accepted by the Church or “a matter of individual conscience.”