Some Synod Sanity from Sean Salai, SJ Seems Sensible

Some Synod Sanity from Sean Salai, SJ Seems Sensible October 23, 2015

Sean Salai, SJ, writes:

Thought you might appreciate this interview between our Rome correspondent and Cardinal Wuerl on the synod conspiracy theorists like Ross Douthat, whose accusations the cardinal says have “no basis in reality.”

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has flatly denied the allegations by some of his fellow cardinals and bishops that the fathers attending the synod are “somehow” being manipulated by the pope

I also hope my interview today with Jesuit church historian John O’Malley will help bring a little sanity and common sense to Catholics being plagued with anxiety by the synodal scandal mongers.

I have managed to completely avoid bothering with the synod and am now in Scotland, where it becomes remarkably easy to focus on real things and people and not care about the internet hyperventilations of people who pretty much hyperventilate for a living. I am a bit disappointed that the normally sensible Ross Douthat has fallen into the “papal plot” mode of journalism and hope that he will make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, Glasgow and environs is beautiful!

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  • Dave G.

    Exactly how many people have to make up some vague group of conspiracy theorists before we say ‘maybe there is something there’? I remember during the Clinton years, when every accusation by every person was dismissed as part of a vast right wing conspiracy. Yet even Ted Koppel, hardly a right wing advocate, admitted that at some point, you just can’t dismiss everyone every time there is a criticism, complaint or even accusation. At some point, somewhere, common sense says you have to think that maybe – just maybe – there could be at least a speck of substance in there somewhere. I think of that every time I see a person who questions Pope Francis discarded in ways similar to Hillary’s famous dismissal. Not that I’m saying the critics are right. I don’t know. But the speed and consistency with which any critics are being dismissed in the manner of Hillary is enough to make me take notice.

    • Alma Peregrina

      “… you just can’t dismiss everyone every time there is a criticism, complaint or even accusation.”

      So… you’re in favor of contraception?

      • Dave G.

        I don’t see how anyone could read what I wrote and come away with any other conclusion!. 🙂

        • Alma Peregrina

          I never doubted you were against contraception. Nor have I ever doubted that you don’t believe that Pope Benedict XVI hid several pedophilia cases. Or that you don’t think that the Church should sell the Vatican.

          However, “everyone” these days thinks those things.

          Look, you had your concerns regarding the Synod and I totally respect that.

          What I utterly repudiate is that an orthodox catholic would say such thing:

          “… you just can’t dismiss everyone every time there is a criticism, complaint or even accusation.”

          … when Catholicism is, by definition, contra múndi. “Everyone” is not, and never will be, an accurate marker of the Holy Spirit’s action on the Church.

          • Dave G.

            I guess I’m not following you. The statement was Koppel’s regarding the charge that the growing number of accusations and complaints filed against the Clintons were simply part of a vast conspiracy, nothing to see, let’s move on. I mentioned the Koppel statement because I noticed that for a man everyone says is not perfect, the same treatment is given to those who criticize him or complain about anything he is doing.

  • “I haven’t been paying attention at all, but I’ll throw Ross Douthat under the bus because this guy tells me so.” Seems reasonable.

    • CradleRevert

      Yep. Also….”Despite not having read the Douthat article, and admittedly not having been paying attention to the synod, I’m going to go ahead and conclude that anybody who has read what Douthat has said about the synod is also not sane.”

      That’s about par for the course around here.

  • If you have read what Ross Douthat has written, it isn’t true that you haven’t been bothering with it. And if you haven’t read it, you don’t have a right to criticize him.

    • chezami

      Anybody who uses the word “plot” to describe what he thinks the pope is doing immediately loses me. So yes, I read Douthat till I got to that word, than abandoned him as silly. And yes, the first amendment says I have a right to criticize him for describing the pope as plotting against the Church.

  • Wait and see the result of the Synod.

    • Andy

      A voice of reason.

      • antigon

        If it’s reasonable to pretend Padre Kasper’s ‘serene theology’ hadn’t already scored its blows against the Faith via these synods.
        *
        Fortunately seems to be some Catholics ready to uphold the Faith’s perennial teaching anyway, or ‘hide’ behind it in the words of those who would prefer to see it repudiated.

        • Jim the Scott

          The synod came and went and like the people who predicted the three days of darkness foretold by our lady and or the People who claimed the “true” third secret of Fatima would be revealed nothing came of it.

          Doctrine has not changed.

          • antigon

            Praxis seems ubiquitously to have, tho, seems fair to propose.

            • Jim the Scott

              K’ay?

              • antigon

                Not okay. Inimical to the Faith, what the clericalists promote.

                • Jim the Scott

                  Forgive me but I don’t understand your original reply?

                  • antigon

                    Nor I why your last declarative post merits a question mark. Teutonic grammarismo aside tho, me original reply was to suggest that inasmuch as there are many clericalists in potent ecclesiastical positions who pretend to speak for the Faith when in fact they not merely don’t believe it, but in fact hate it both as a perennial bar to their imposition of arbitrary power & a reproach to preferred perversions – that accordingly, looneybirds notwithstanding, Catholics need not be overly complacent about the clericalists’ imperfect triumphs at the recent Synod.
                    *
                    Alas James, since the original post was clear enough, greatly suspect the pleasures of complacency will convince not only you that this post too is, like the phenomena it describes, impossible to grasp.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      >Nor I why your last declarative post merits a question mark.

                      Because I didn’t understand what “Praxis seems ubiquitously to have, tho, seems fair to propose.” means especially in reply to my statement that no doom and gloom came as a result of the synod.

                      >me original reply was to suggest that inasmuch as there are many clericalists in potent ecclesiastical positions who pretend to speak for the Faith when in fact they not merely don’t believe it, but in fact hate it both as a perennial bar to their imposition of arbitrary power & a reproach to preferred perversions –

                      That is the clearest thing you said all day. There are hypocritical gay clerics who don’t believe the faith and think they can lobby to change it. They have failed.

                      >that accordingly, looneybirds notwithstanding, Catholics need not be overly complacent about the clericalists’ imperfect triumphs at the recent Synod.

                      Nobody is calling for complacency but I deny the liberal any triump even an imperfect one, unless it is given it too them by pseudo cons and trads who insist on granting them their potential misinterpretations as the authoritative ones.

                      >Alas James, since the original post was clear enough, greatly suspect the pleasures of complacency will convince not only you that this post too is, like the phenomena it describes, impossible to grasp.

                      Sorry but your response “Praxis seems ubiquitously to have, tho, seems fair to propose.” went over my head & was not clear to me especially in regards to my original post.

                      If I don’t understand something I am not afraid to state it. As Socrates said the beginning of (natural) wisdom is the words “I don’t know”.

                      Cheers.

  • Cypressclimber

    Mr. Shea is kind of stuck with his “all is well, everyone who says otherwise is kahRAYzee!” account of this papacy, despite mounting evidence that perhaps the present policy of our holy father is non-optimal (bullet points not in order):

    > Trotting Kasper out in front of the world to resurrect his mortal-sin-no-longer-matters proposal on communion;
    > Let’s progressives manipulate synod’s first round, causing uproar;
    > Keeps progressive trouble-makers from first round in charge of second round;
    > Naming Cupich Archbishop of Chicago;
    > Naming Cupich to synod;
    > Naming Daneels to synod…

    Indeed, the synod itself is looking pretty shaky.

    Now, Mr. Shea loves to claim that the only people who have any complaints are “conspiracy theorists” and hyperventilators.

    Well, let’s see. Does that include the 13 cardinals who wrote the letter raising concerns about the synod? Does it include Cardinal Burke, whose concerns are well known? Does it include those bishops at the synod, who have given speech after speech, sounding the alarm?

    Is Archbishop Cupich’s high-profile defense of conscience-trumping-all a good fruit of this synod process?

    Does anyone, other than Mr. Shea doubt that, as of now, those who dissent from Catholic teaching and discipline have been strengthened, and the faithful have been put into confusion?

    Now, it’s true, the pope may right the ship; so we all pray. But it is puzzling to see Mr. Shea continually repeat his “all is well! all is WELL!” amidst mounting disorder.

    And to quote, of all people, America magazine? Seriously? Will you cite the National “Catholic” Reporter next?

    • Well mark admittedly isnt aware of any of those things. He says hasn’t been paying attention

    • Stu
      • Alma Peregrina

        I don’t know the movie from which this clip was taken, but it seems to suggest that everything *indeed* is fine (I didn’t see any monsters or gangsters over there), and the only person getting injured is so by the panic of the mob.

        • Stu

          I guess you have to see the complete scene. Regardless, I only offer it as an amusement. Don’t read too much into it.

        • Dave G.

          The point is that he (Kevin Bacon’s character) is saying there is nothing wrong when, at that point in the movie, everything is going wrong.

          • Alma Peregrina

            I figured it would be such, but it isn’t obvious from the clip to a person that hasn’t seen the movie.

  • Cypressclimber

    This and the pointless gun hyperventilating seem to be intended to keep the comments coming. It seems to work.

    • I doubt Mark is intentionally working fellow Catholics up for the sake of blog hits.

      • Cypressclimber

        Why do you doubt this?

        • To say that my style and Mark’s don’t mix is an understatement. But I’ve never seen any evidence that he doesn’t take the faith seriously and strive to be a good Catholic.

          To seek to piss off fellow Catholic primarily for personal gain would be plain malicious. That’s not even a caricature of who Mark is.

          • Cypressclimber

            Like you, I don’t doubt he takes his faith seriously and tries to be a good Catholic.

            And, I agree, he’s probably not doing this solely for “personal gain.”

            That leaves other options, however:

            > Stirring people up because he thinks it’s somehow productive;

            > He’s just really angry about something and it’s not going away.

          • johnnysc

            Sorry but the endless diatribes against ‘the Greatest Catholics of All Time’ as opposed to the ‘New Accepting Church that Wasn’t Accepting in the Past’ says otherwise.

  • Could we get one blog post that doesn’t descend into ad hominems against anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with you?

  • Stu

    Sure, Douhat certainly may have been exaggerating and I’m typically willing to err on that side of thinking as I don’t care much for conspiracy theories.

    Regardless, the synods of the last two years have been disasters and there is one captain of the ship.

  • johnnysc

    America magazine and Cardinal Wuerl?. Well yeah sure……if you ask liberals of course they are going to say everything is hunky-dory. They are the ones that want to change the teachings of Jesus.

    Here’s a bunch of conspiracy theorists that you may be familiar with. My bookshelves are lined with quite a few published material from them. People like Gail Buckley, David Currie, Jennifer Fulwiler, Scott and Kimberly Hahn. They pull a lot of weight as far as what my concerns are regarding this Synod.

    http://aleteia.org/2015/10/05/an-open-letter-to-the-synod-from-over-100-converts/

    • capaxdei

      Objectively, this is calumny against Cardinal Wuerl — mitigated, I suppose, by the idiocy of calling him a liberal.

      • capaxdei

        I was wrong to call this calumny, essential to which is the intent to make a false statement. I assume johnnysc intended to speak the truth.

        What I should have written is that this is a material falsehood about a grave matter, and asserting it is at best rash judgment.

        • antigon

          Absolutely. A regular Athanasius, the DC spokespuppy.

          • capaxdei

            Dividing the bishops into regular Athanasiuses and liberals is idiotic.

            • antigon

              Would you prefer observing that there are bishops keen to uphold the Faith, & those keen to replace Her – after some proper semantics of course – with their better grasp of things?
              *
              You know, sort of like in the time of a regular – actually the first – Doctor of the Church?

              • capaxdei

                The claim that Cardinal Wuerl wants to replace the Faith with his better grasp of things is materially false. As such, to assert the claim is to demonstrate some combination of foolishness, stupidity, and malice.

                • antigon

                  But does the materially false claim such a charge qua was made against His Eminence also demonstrate a combination of foolishness, stupidity & malice? I think it does!

                  • capaxdei

                    “Cardinal Wuerl?. Well yeah sure……if you ask liberals of course they are going to say everything is hunky-dory. They are the ones that want to change the teachings of Jesus.”

                    • antigon

                      Save I never wrote that Cap, as regards the matter of foolishness & stupidity, tho am confident no malice.

          • Cypressclimber

            There is a certain dissonance in simultaneously being a vanguard for Tradition, and then speaking so needlessly contemptuously and disrespectfully of a successor of the Apostles.

            If Cardinal Wuerl merits criticism, state it. But the contempt and insults are unworthy of you and him.

            • antigon

              Save am no vanguard of Tradition Cc. True, am fond of the Faith, as well as of the vigorous contempt, insults, & want of respect Her Fathers bestowed upon prelates unworthy of Her.

      • johnnysc

        Yeah right because there are no liberal/conservative factions in the clergy. Talk about head in the sand.

        • capaxdei

          The reason it’s idiotic to call Cardinal Wuerl a liberal is not that are no factions in the clergy. It’s that he is not a liberal.

          • Cypressclimber

            A lot of these terms come out of politics; and even there, they aren’t always a good fit. They fit less well in an ecclesial setting.

            It’s possible to sort members of the Church according to whether they are orthodox or heterodox — but that’s not the same as “liberal” or “conservative.” Pope Francis might well be termed a “liberal” in many ways, but I think he is clearly orthodox. (My concern has been some of his decisions, which I think unwise.) And, as our host has pointed out, some people are “conservative” but their orthodoxy is, let us say, “frayed.”

            But there’s another way to sort the bishops, but it defies easy labeling. Some are more complacent; some feel greater urgency; but then, the things they are either complacent, or on fire about, vary. Those who accuse Cardinal Wuerl of being a “liberal” are, I think, objecting to him being too complacent about things for which they feel great urgency.

            • antigon

              Not to mention matters in objective need of great urgency, quite apart from anybody’s feelings (but appreciate your edit).

          • Dodger Dickens

            “Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry were unavailable for comment, having just received holy communion from His Eminence.”

            • capaxdei

              You mean Cardinal Wuerl has the same policy Pope Benedict XVI — who appointed him Archbishop and named him a cardinal — had in Rome?

              • Dodger Dickens

                You’re right. Who are we to judge. No more right and wrong. This bishop says it’s okay in this diocese, that bishop says it’s wrong in that diocese. Everyone come to communion. Burn everything between Trent and Vatican II.

                #surprise

          • antigon

            Absolutely. A regular Athanasius for our time, Padre Wuerl!

  • ivan_the_mad

    I was pleased to read the interview with Fr. O’Malley, I’ve read some of his scholarship. I have read comments Cardinals Turkson and Thottunkal made throughout the course of this synod which I have found very illuminating, especially on the relationship and balance of mercy and justice.

    • antigon

      Especially illuminating was Padre Turkson’s observation to the openly pro-sodomy New Ways Ministry that as to the glories of that predilection, ‘Western countries have grown,’ & ‘other countries [presumably not least retrograde African ones] have to grow in the same way.’
      *
      In the same way, said no less than the Vatican capo of the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace.
      *
      Not a unique view among clericalist opponents of the Faith, one is free to suspect.

  • Tweck

    Being a Catholic is so weird.

  • iamlucky13

    “where it becomes remarkably easy to focus on real things and people and
    not care about the internet hyperventilations of people who pretty much
    hyperventilate for a living.”

    Conspiracy theories aside…

    The problem is failing marriages ARE REAL THINGS, and people who think divorce is a real thing are also real, and very vocal. Ignoring the suspicion of conspiracies, there is still a lot of pressure on the bishops to recommend through the Synod that living with a person as husband and wife, despite being married to someone else, is either not treated as gravely sinful, or can be forgiven even without contrition and an honest intention of amendment.

    It is of real importance for the good of those struggling with the truth of a marriage they may have abandoned by divorce that the Church reiterate clearly, or at least not water down – with proposals like Cardinal Kasper’s that relate ambiguously to the unequivocal teaching of Christ about divorce – our moral obligation to live lives that are chaste in accordance with our state in life.

    It can hardly be denied that when a just reason for separation of a married couple exists, that vocation to chastity rises to level that could be considered heroic. That does not, however, make it “merciful” to do as Cardinal Kasper proposes and effectively teach people that sin can be forgiven without an honest intention of amendment. It seems to me that teaching such a thing is hanging a very heavy millstone around one’s neck.

    Pray for our bishops for the strength to do what is best for their flock even though the world will despite and ridicule them for it.

  • Jared B.

    While I wanted to be encouraged by Cardinal Wuerl’s reassurances, I was saddened by the unavoidable realization that somebody must be lying, big time, about what really happened at the Synod. And those somebodies aren’t hack journalists or anonymous blog commenters this time: they are ordained bishops, the successors to the Apostles. :'(

    The College of Bishops, when talking to and about one another, now resemble nothing so much as the internet hyperventilators and their disputants. Even after it is over, this synod needs our prayers, that some good can come out of it that outweighs this.

    • Cypressclimber

      No, no, calling this synod was a good idea! It can’t have caused problems! All is well (TM).

      • antigon

        Actually, t’is arguable the synods have brought to the surface what was pretty much oozing all over the place anyhow.

    • johnnysc

      I’m afraid that the fruits of this Synod is people parish shopping until they find a liberal priest that is willing to ‘walk with them’ which is code for ‘hey it’s not a sin.

      • Pete the Greek

        And this is different from how things are now, how?

    • capaxdei

      “Somebody’s lying” may be the simplest, even most probable, explanation of things, but at least at the broad level of whether there’s shady dealing going on, contradictory reports of the same events don’t necessarily mean at least one of the reports has to be false. It’s human nature, if you’re invested in a particular outcome, to see things that support that outcome differently than a person who is invested against that outcome, and from a person who isn’t invested one way or the other.

      As for the College of Bishops, yes. “Here comes everybody” applies to them too.

  • johnnysc

    What this Synod seems to come down to is what is the Eucharist? Is it a means to unity or the fruit of unity. Perhaps the Church should have a Synod on the Eucharist…..well maybe not…..we might end up with crackers and grape juice.

  • capaxdei

    Speaking of how people invested in outcomes see things, my major concern with the Synod is that people who are invested in it being a disaster will see whatever comes out of it as a disaster, not only missing the opportunity to learn whatever there might be for them to learn, but actively opposing the lesson.

    (Of course, my own investment in not worrying about it biases me against seeing disaster even if it’s right in front of me. I suppose the best bet for overcoming the biases we all have is to pray for wisdom.)

    • Cypressclimber

      The “outcome” of the Synod is not merely what report issues, or what decisions may result from it. The calling of the synod itself, and the handling of it thus far, have all had effects, which can be judged good or bad. Of course, subsequent events and outcomes may call for reassessing those judgments; but it’s not unfair of people to look at how things have gone thus far, and find things either to praise or to criticize.

      But certainly your observation can apply to some.

    • Dave G.

      Naturally the opposite could be said about those who are invested in saying that it’s impossible for anything to go wrong. Basically the best idea as far as I can tell is Pavel’s down below. Wait and see.

    • Stu

      I think the execution and starting point have been what caused the disaster. Why bring into question such a proposal? Hasn’t it been enough that such proposals have been addressed and dismissed before? Do we discuss the Trinity next time? Maybe we gir wrong.

      There is certainly a need by the clergy to discuss tough questions but this caused disunity and created false expectations and I believe it damaged Francis as leader among many other Bishops.

      Now, your point about keeping an open mind is well taken.

      • capaxdei

        What do I know, but my guess is the Pope wanted to make sure the discussions at the Synod were unfettered by concerns about being papally correct, and that he has a serene confidence that the final conclusions, as confirmed by the successor of St. Peter, will be fully orthodox.

        Leaving room for discussing the Kasper Proposal means the Synod fathers have to engage the pastoral question directly, instead of either merely repeating past Magisterial statements or lulling themselves into indifferentism with sophistries.

        Whether allowing the mess necessary for all this to happen is prudent or worth it is arguable. The fact that some people freaked out over the mess doesn’t necessarily settle the question, any more than the fact that some people are offended by Catholic doctrine establishes that Catholic doctrine offensive.

        • antigon

          ‘What do I know?’
          *
          Charity might demand a certain hesitancy before exploring that question too thoroughly Cap.

    • antigon

      Opening your eyes might be another good bet Cap.

  • Dodger Dickens

    Interesting. So what about the “hyperventilating” of the thirteen archbishops who wrote the letter in question, accusing the synod of being rigged? Can’t really sweep that under the rug, can we?

  • capaxdei

    And now the Synod has concluded, without attempting to change the teachings of Jesus. The hysterics are divided over whether to emphasize that the Synod was never a big deal, what mattered was the double secret plans set in motion elsewhere, or to emphasize that if you read the final report with just the right squint of dyspepsia you’ll see plainly how awful the Pope still clearly is.

    • antigon

      Save there was a most serious attempt, despite the hysterics who would libel anyone who’s noticed.

    • Jim the Scott

      I noticed that too.

      BTW the liberal heretics aren’t happy at all.

      http://ncronline.org/blogs/faith-and-justice/synod-ends-where-it-began-disagreement

      http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/24/left-tastes-sour-grapes-vatican-synod-leaves-doctrine-untouched/

      So why are some of the so called conservative, orthodox and or traditional Catholics still pissed?

      One gets the impression they would rather save face then rejoice over begin wrong and seeing God the Holy Spirit protect His Church from error.

      • Cypressclimber

        I suggest you read Fr. Reese’s subsequent writings at N”C”R, he certainly sees possibilities in the synod’s final report for the dissenters’ project.

        • Jim the Scott

          Last time I read the liberal NCR they where very upset about the Synod.

          http://ncronline.org/blogs/faith-and-justice/synod-ends-where-it-began-disagreement

          I hate to break it to ya but back in the day when Pope St. John Paul II
          issued Ordinatio Sacerdotalis which most conservative and traditional Catholics will tell you infallibly shut the door on so called “women Priests” I saw many a liberal say it wasn’t infallible and it COULD be interpreted to allow women priests or it could be “reversed”.

          You know the Bible is God’s Inspired Word and if you can read Calvinism, Lutheranism and even Arianism into the text & God is it’s author then I don’t doubt liberals can read what they want into any Church teaching.

          Why you lot give them cover & Pope bash instead of calling them out is the great mystery to moi.

          • antigon

            A great mystery because you prefer willingly to blind yourself to a most prominent bishop who’s steadily sought to provide such cover?

            • Jim the Scott

              Your responses sir are more ambiguous than Vatican II.

              Just saying….

              • antigon

                To those disinclined to see perhaps.

                • Jim the Scott

                  Rather you should employ the clarity in your words you claim to seek from the Church authorities.

                  • antigon

                    Am afraid that sentence isn’t very clear James.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      Clearly it is….

          • Cypressclimber

            Why you lot…Pope bash.

            Who’s “pope bashing”? Or do you define any criticism or disagreement with a decision of the pope as “pope bashing”?

            If so, well, OK then. In the Jim-the-Scott Catechism, thou shalt never disagree with any decision of the pope’s.

            But that’s just your, personal catechism.

            I don’t like pointing out what I think are mistakes by our popes, but fidelity to the truth often demands it. Was Pope St. John Paul’s coziness with Maciel a good thing? Do you maintain one must defend it, or else be a pope-basher?

            Was Pope St. Pius V’s decision to absolve the subjects of Elizabeth I of all allegiance to her a wise decision?

            When Pope Benedict XVI himself said he made a mistake with Bishop Williamson, was Pope Benedict wrong to fault his own decisions? Was he a pope-basher?

            • antigon

              ‘Was Pope St. Pius V’s decision to absolve the subjects of Elizabeth I of all allegiance to her a wise decision?’
              *
              How about very wise, Cc?

              • Cypressclimber

                Perhaps it was wise. I am not so sure. Did it not, by a stroke of the pen, render every Catholic in England an enemy of the state, and give Elizabeth an easy justification for her persecution?

                Of course I may be mistaken in my understanding of the historical situation; but my point wasn’t whether Pius was right or wrong in this decision. My point — which Jim the Scott is either too obtuse to follow, or else is too dishonest to acknowledge — was that being a faithful Catholic does not oblige one to refrain from evaluating such decisions, and finding them wanting.

                • antigon

                  Too complex to get into here Cc, save for suggesting that it spared Catholicism from becoming a bowl of oatmeal in England, at least until recent decades.
                  *
                  But do grant poor James seems to think being obtuse is somehow an argument.

                  • Cypressclimber

                    Yes, I see that. I was wrong to suppose him dishonest. He’s just not very bright.

            • Jim the Scott

              >Who’s “pope bashing”? Or do you define any criticism or disagreement with a decision of the pope as “pope bashing”?

              That is all I see these days. What is especially annoying is seeing jerks who praise the late JP2 while condemning Francis but where the first to bash Jp2 when he was alive. A

              >If so, well, OK then. In the Jim-the-Scott Catechism, thou shalt never disagree with any decision of the pope’s.

              I don’t agree with the Pope on politics, capitalism, and global warming but I see no utility in condemning him for holding these views.

              >But that’s just your, personal catechism.

              Only when it becomes extreme, overly frequent and unjust which it mostly is like the trash who treats “Who am I to judge?” as an endorsement of homosexual conduct.

              >I don’t like pointing out what I think are mistakes by our popes, but fidelity to the truth often demands it. Was Pope St. John Paul’s coziness with Maciel a good thing? Do you maintain one must defend it, or else be a pope-basher?

              Your red herring is amusing. So the final synod document is morally equivalent to leting Maciel run wild?

              >Was Pope St. Pius V’s decision to absolve the subjects of Elizabeth I of all allegiance to her a wise decision?

              In hine sight but how would one have predicted otherwise? Such descisions are fallible and there would have been no reason at the time to believe doing the opposite would have been better. It certainly wouldn’t justify attacking or undermining St Pius V authority of course if Trads and anti-Francis cons lived back then and showed St Pius V half the disrespect they show the modern Popes they would have been burned at the stake.

              Just saying…

              >When Pope Benedict XVI himself said he made a mistake with Bishop Williamson, was Pope Benedict wrong to fault his own decisions? Was he a pope-basher?

              Why would I condemn a Pope who judges himself? That is between him and God.

              • Cypressclimber

                I said:

                I don’t like pointing out what I think are mistakes by our popes, but fidelity to the truth often demands it. Was Pope St. John Paul’s coziness with Maciel a good thing? Do you maintain one must defend it, or else be a pope-basher?

                Jim replied:

                Your red herring is amusing. So the final synod document is morally equivalent to leting Maciel run wild?

                I made no such moral equivalence; and it’s not a red herring. I provided a list of decisions or actions by popes that might reasonably be subject to criticism.

                My meaning was clear enough to an honest person. Your attempt to twist it raises real questions in my mind about your honesty.

                You made the claim, earlier, that appeared to mean that any criticism of a pope is, quote, “pope bashing.” I posed questions to see if you seriously meant it. You respond by accusing me of an outrageous moral equivalency.

                So, I think I have your measure. You’re a dishonest person, or else not a very bright one.

                And, as it stands now, you continue to defend the absurd proposition that any criticism, whatsoever, of a pope’s decision equals “pope bashing.” Absurd; but you are free to believe whatever absurd things you wish.

                Best wishes.

                • Jim the Scott

                  >I made no such moral equivalence; and it’s not a red herring. I provided a list of decisions or actions by popes that might reasonably be subject to criticism.

                  I never said we should have condoned Marciel or JP2 being taken in by him either. I am just giving you a taste of your own medicine pal.

                  >My meaning was clear enough to an honest person. Your attempt to twist it raises real questions in my mind about your honesty.

                  I’m twisting words………*eye roll*.

                  >You made the claim, earlier, that appeared to mean that any criticism of a pope is, quote, “pope bashing.”

                  That is you twisted my words because I didn’t say that. I was talkign about the Synod and you went all over the place.

                  > I posed questions to see if you seriously meant it. You respond by accusing me of an outrageous moral equivalency.

                  My criticism where focused on the Synod out of left field you brought in Marciel.

                  >So, I think I have your measure. You’re a dishonest person, or else not a very bright one.

                  You have failed to impress me as well on those two levels.

                  >And, as it stands now, you continue to defend the absurd proposition that any criticism, whatsoever, of a pope’s decision equals “pope bashing.” Absurd; but you are free to believe whatever absurd things you wish.

                  Your hypocrisy is amazing. In one breath you rant “I never said Marcie and the Synod document where morally equivalent” and chide me for twisting your words & yet you accuse me of saying “any criticism of the Pope is Pope bashing” when I haven’t said any such thing.

                  If only you would use these sophistic tactics on persons who mattered like over at the NCR but allias……

                  • Cypressclimber

                    I have concluded you aren’t dishonest; you’re not smart enough.

                    And, by the way, if you click on my Disqus thingee, you will be able to see just how many comments I’ve made at the N”C”R. I do my part in defending the Faith against the heretics there. But, unlike you, I don’t imagine that I, by myself, or with 100 others, are going to prevent the N”C”R from spreading error.

                    In any case, I admit defeat: unraveling the tangle of absurdities and non-sequiturs that comprise your “arguments” is too much for me. Please feel free to ignore me, as I shall pay you the same favor.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      >I have concluded you aren’t dishonest; you’re not smart enough.

                      How droll.

                      >And, by the way, if you click on my Disqus thingee, you will be able to see just how many comments I’ve made at the N”C”R. I do my part in defending the Faith against the heretics there. But, unlike you, I don’t imagine that I, by myself, or with 100 others, are going to prevent the N”C”R from spreading error.

                      So if you agree with me and are really doing what I say should be done why fight me on it?

                      >In any case, I admit defeat: unraveling the tangle of absurdities and non-sequiturs that comprise your “arguments” is too much for me. Please feel free to ignore me, as I shall pay you the same favor.

                      Peace to you then.

      • antigon

        True there are those who will cling to that impression, along with the one that there’s absolutely nothing to see here beyond God’s protection.
        *
        One may have confidence in that protection tho, & gratitude for it, without ignoring the determined efforts on behalf of the Faith’s enemies.

        • Jim the Scott

          >True there are those who will cling to that impression, along with the one that there’s absolutely nothing to see here beyond God’s protection.

          Who said there is nothing to see? Are we straw maning again?

          >One may have confidence in that, tho, & gratitude for it, without ignoring the determined efforts on behalf of the Faith’s enemies.

          The faith has always had enemies and always will. They never sleep and they rage because they or rather the dark power behind them knows his time is short.

          • antigon

            ‘Are we straw maning again?’
            *
            Who’s this ‘we,’ kemosabe?

            • Jim the Scott

              Don’t be coy. It’s only amusing when females do it.

              • antigon

                Which is why I never am James, despite the shock of thy brutal sexismo.

                • Jim the Scott

                  Men should speak plainly to one another. You have declined to do so….

                  • antigon

                    So you keep pretending, James.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      I don’t need to pretend. I’m all about the moderate realism.

    • Dodger Dickens

      The pope didn’t write the final report, he just stacked the voting bloc. If someone can explain how a lay brother had a vote in this, but Archbishop Cordileone was told to stay home while the pedophile protector Daneels was given a significant voice, I’d love to hear the rationale.

    • Cypressclimber

      Actually, the liberals are trumpeting a “win” on communion for those in adulterous relationships. This is certainly an attempt to change the teachings of the Church; and if it spreads, it will do real damage, don’t you think?

      The problem was not simply, or even mainly, that the synod was going to change Church teaching. The primary danger was always that of ambiguity being exploited. The narrative-cranking-up is well underway.

      • capaxdei

        Of course there are liberals trumpeting a “win.” That’s how Catholics talk these days.

        What is the “win”? And is it a “loss” for the Church?

        • Cypressclimber

          The win is a purported magisterial decision — i.e., by the Synod — that opens the door to people in adulterous relationships receiving communion without repenting of the adultery. If the pope doesn’t clarify this, reaffirming the clear teaching of Familiaris Consortio, the loss for the church is many bishops, clergy and laity involved in serious confusion and misrepresentation of the church’s teaching and understanding of the Eucharist and personal conversion.

          Can you really be as naive as you pretend to be, here? You cannot see how this will be used to represent a change in Church teaching? Perhaps you think, contra St Paul, and the entire tradition, that mortal sin should not be a bar to receiving communion? Because how can we coherently say, yes people in adultery come to communion, but others in mortal sin, not you?

          Yes, of course the pope can fix this; I pray he will. However, even this process has been harmful. Or, perhaps you think the buildup to Humanae Vitae, with all the hype of big change coming, followed by Pope Paul VI closing that door, we’re not harmful to the Church? Do tell.

          • Jim the Scott

            St John Paul II clarified it back in the day and Francis hasn’t clearly and formally repealed it yet prior to these Synods the bloody Germans where still giving communion to the divorced and remarried even thought St John Paul II was Das Uber clear on the matter.

            In fact historically Nicea and Constantinople where clear on the Deity of the Word and Holy Spirit respectively yet the Arian heretics still over ran the Church for two centuries.

            This Pope has made clear statements condemning false liberal moral ideas & the media IGNORES him. “Who am I too judge” read in context can’t by any rational being be seen as condoning homosexual activity but the media doesn’t care. That I can accept what I won’t tolerate is so called “Conservative” and “Traditional” pseudo-Catholics running around treating the lying media narrative as the Gospel truth when they should be the first to call it out as a lie.

            With jerk-offs like this around who needs Protestants and Anti-Catholics?

            • Cypressclimber

              So, your position is, as long as the pope doesn’t contradict Church teaching, there’s no problem? So does that mean you think there were no problems associated with Humane Vitae — I.e., the buildup that focused on an expected change in teaching, a high-profile “commission” that was supposed to bring a new relaxation of teaching, a significant portion of the commission (in that case, a majority) voted for a change, followed by the pope reaffirming Church teaching in HV…

              In your theory, that ends the story. No problems, no harm. But, in fact, there was great harm that came afterward, which is still felt. But why? In your accounting, as long as the pope reaffirms teaching, nothing bad should result. Your theory does not explain what happened after HV.

              But mine does. I’m not claiming the pope will teach error. My concern is something similar to the Humanae Vitae aftermath, arising not from the pope’s orthodoxy,but from the “process” that fostered confusion and emboldened dissenters.

              Pope Paul VI was completely orthodox. His defense of true chastity in HV was heroic. But that doesn’t change the fact that events during his papacy, significantly a result of his governance, created moral and theological chaos, which Pope John Paul labored for many years to correct.

              Do you deny these things happened, or do you believe they can’t happen again?

              • Jim the Scott

                >So, your position is, as long as the pope doesn’t contradict Church teaching, there’s no problem?

                Of course since what has been taught earlier still applies. It is a modernist mindset that thinks only what is taught “today” matters and what was taught in the past can be forgotten.

                >So does that mean you think there were no problems associated with Humane Vitae — I.e., the buildup that focused on an expected change in teaching, a high-profile “commission” that was supposed to bring a new relaxation of teaching, a significant portion of the commission (in that case, a majority) voted for a change, followed by the pope reaffirming Church teaching in HV…

                Humane Vitae was clear & infallible according to the Unanimous Teaching of the Fathers and yet the Modernist liberals ignored it.
                Why is this shocking?

                >In your theory, that ends the story. No problems, no harm. But, in fact, there was great harm that came afterward, which is still felt. But why? In your accounting, as long as the pope reaffirms teaching, nothing bad should result. Your theory does not explain what happened after HV.

                Yes conservative Catholics went dark or complained about the Pope and Bishops, Trads rebelled and wasted a lot of time whining about the Latin Mass and liberals used the media to subvert the Church.

                Hear is a radical idea. Take the most conservative traditional uber scholastic orthodox interpretation of this new Synod document & go out there into the world and the public square and BITCH SLAP the shiznite out of those liberal modernist jerk-offs with it.

                Or we can do the same old idiocy of POPE BASHING, undermining the Church, encouraging people to loose their faith and giving cover to the liberals. CAUSE THAT HAS WORKED SO WELL IN THE PAST……………………..NOT!

                >But mine does. I’m not claiming the pope will teach error. My concern is something similar to the Humanae Vitae aftermath, arising not from the pope’s orthodoxy,but from the “process” that fostered confusion and emboldened dissenters.

                Maybe orthodox Catholics should stop surrendering to the liberals & dissenters & don’t give me nonsense that a plain orthodox interpretation of the Synod document cannot be found.

                here it is in black and white:
                http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/4315/final_synod_document_strongly_backs_church_teaching_beauty_of_family_life.aspx

                >Pope Paul VI was completely orthodox. His defense of true chastity in HV was heroic. But that doesn’t change the fact that events during his papacy, significantly a result of his governance, created moral and theological chaos, which Pope John Paul labored for many years to correct.

                Why does the Pope have to do everything? My company commander in Navy bootcamp told us “Who do you think runs the ship? It’s not the God [darn] Captain ITS US!!”

                >Do you deny these things happened, or do you believe they can’t happen again?

                If will happen again if orthodox Catholics keep doing the same stupid shite they have done before.

                • Cypressclimber

                  You are delusional to claim that there were NO problems after HV that were a consequence of the mismanagement of the issue beforehand.

                  • Jim the Scott

                    Where have I said there were NO problems after HV?

                    Nowhere, try again.

                    I think you are confusing me with that tweck guy?

                    Hello I’m jim.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      You aren’t even reading what I said. I said, you are delusional if you think there were no problems after HV — whoops, don’t stop reading! — that were a consequence of the mismanagement of the issue beforehand.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      >You aren’t even reading what I said.

                      If that is true then like Sandra Bernhard on a Saturday night it is going both ways.

                      >I said, you are delusional if you think there were no problems after HV — whoops, don’t stop reading! — that were a consequence of the mismanagement of the issue beforehand.

                      I that is what you meant then fine but I don’t deny there where problems before and in the wake of HV or the fact people where falsely predicting Paul VI would authorize contraception. I just stated why I think we keep having those problems. The faithful lie down and surrender.

                      Now antigon pointed out all the people who came out to the Synod to stand up for orthodox teaching. Those people did the right thing. Those however who insist on letting the liberals interpret and apply the final document I have no respect for nor are they helpful.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      Those however who insist on letting the liberals interpret and apply the final document I have no respect for nor are they helpful.

                      Who’s doing the “letting”? Please specifically name this individuals who “let” the N”C”R and others promote their narrative? In naming them, please explain how it is that these individuals have the power to prevent the N”C”R from doing so — which is implicit in the term “let” — which means having power to allow, or not allow.

                      I appreciate and share your respect for the pope. But it’s absurd for you to go to such great lengths to absolve him of all responsibility, whatsoever, for anything that may happen as a result of his own decisions — which is what you are doing with this narrative of yours:

                      Namely, that if there are any problems and confusions arising from the calling of the synod, and the surrounding campaigning, lobbying, and build-up of expectations, and then the uses made of the resulting document (which even Cardinal Pell, in the NCRegister, admits is “insufficient” in its defense of Catholic teaching. Not heterodox, but ‘insufficient”)…

                      Any problems whatsoever cannot and must not be attributed to the decision to call the synod, or how it was managed — no, the blame, per you, belongs squarely on the laity and clergy who fail to prevent liberals from lying about it.

                      How do you specifically propose we prevent the N”C”R — and their many, many allies, including bishops and priests — from lying about what this synod means? (I say “lying” on the premise you insist on: that the synod report gives zero ground for any change of discipline.)

                    • Jim the Scott

                      I have no respect for treating this whole process like it’s political. This is the Holy Spirit at work and to think otherwise and fear monger is the height of faithlessness.

                      >Who’s doing the “letting”? Please specifically name this individuals who “let” the N”C”R and others promote their narrative?

                      Every Traditionalist website and or anti-Francis conservative one who treats this document like it came from the Second Council of Ephesus or Council of Rimni instead of doing what I said getting there first and putting an orthodox interpretation on it. It’s not hard I’ve read it.

                      >In naming them, please explain how it is that these individuals have the power to prevent the N”C”R from doing so — which is implicit in the term “let” — which means having power to allow, or not allow.

                      You are doing it right now. You are surrendering and you are attacking the document instead of using it. That is just weakness coupled with a lack of imagination.

                      >How do you specifically propose we prevent the N”C”R — and their many, many allies, including bishops and priests — from lying about what this synod means?

                      >I appreciate and share your respect for the pope. But it’s absurd for you to go to such great lengths to absolve him of all responsibility, whatsoever, for anything that may happen as a result of his own decisions — which is what you are doing with this narrative of yours:

                      It is God’s place to judge the Pope. Not you or I. I am afraid I hold with Michael Voris on the subject of Francis bashing and I have no sympathy or pity for those who do. They are as bad as anything Francis has alledgedly done.

                      >(which even Cardinal Pell, in the NCRegister, admits is “insufficient” in its defense of Catholic teaching.

                      Then even Cardinal Pell has to shed the modernist tendency to ignore what was taught in the past and only refer to what is taught today.

                      >How do you specifically propose we prevent the N”C”R — and their many, many allies, including bishops and priests — from lying about what this synod means?

                      Debate them in the public square and challenge them. It’s easy for example where does the new document explicitly SAY we can give communion to the divorced and invalidly married? It doesn’t but it quotes documents from StJP2 that says we CAN’T.

                      Game, set MATCH.

                      Geez do I have to think of everything?

                    • Cypressclimber

                      Geez do I have to think of everything?

                      Nope; but since, on your account, it will be easy-peasy to prevent the N”C”R from deceiving many of the faithful, then will you accept responsibility for preventing that harm?

                      After all, you just made the argument that it’s no problem stopping the liberals from lying.

                      Which liberal forces will you, personally, stop from lying? How will we know you have succeeded?

                      If we come back to this subject in 5 years, by what measure will we be able to say, yes, Jim kept his word, and he, through his great efforts, stopped the deception of the faithful that arose from misconstruing the Synod’s work?

                    • Jim the Scott

                      >>Geez do I have to think of everything?

                      >Nope; but since, on your account, it will be easy-peasy to prevent the N”C”R from deceiving many of the faithful, then will you accept responsibility for preventing that harm?

                      Rather it would be productive vs doing nothing but complain about the Synod document. This is like watching an idiot apologist debate Evolution with an Atheist when he could simply concede evolution and show how it’s compatible with Faith (any traditional Thomist can do that read Edward Feser) . In a like manner instead of kicking the document use it. Quote it. It’s not hard.

                      >After all, you just made the argument that it’s no problem stopping the liberals from lying.
                      Which liberal forces will you, personally, stop from lying? How will we know you have succeeded?

                      You have this childish tendency to put words in my mouth I don’t say. It shows a profound lack of reasoning ability on your part. We can stop the NCR by going to their commboxes and picking a fight. I have NEVER seen a trad in my life quote V2 to silence a liberal. Why? Becasue they would rather treat it as a liability then a resource. They are like the idiot I just mentioned who wastes his time polemicing Evolution.

                      >If we come back to this subject in 5 years, by what measure will we be able to say, yes, Jim kept his word, and he, through his great efforts, stopped the deception of the faithful that arose from misconstruing the Synod’s work?

                      So now you falsely claim I am claiming to be able to fight the liberals all by myself? Gee buddy if you would use this ballbusting tactic on actual liberals over at the NCR comm boxes and use the Synod document as a resource to defend the faith you might actually stop them all by yourself.
                      At least you would do some good.

                      But we both know that is not going to happen. Complaining about the Pope is much easier.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      We can stop the NCR by going to their commboxes and picking a fight.

                      You’re hilarious. Your notion that the N”C”R is going to be stopped from their heretical agenda by “fights” in their “commboxes” is a hoot.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      I guess you are right. Lying down and doing nothing has worked so well in spreading the faith and stopping heresy since Vatican II.

                      Surrender and complain is the way! How did not not see that……….

                    • Stu

                      “I have NEVER seen a trad in my life quote V2 to silence a liberal. Why? Becasue they would rather treat it as a liability then a resource. ”

                      Really? I have.

                      And I got banned from NCR for quoting Pope Francis on homosexuality.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      Then you are my first. I hope there will be more of you & good on you for doing something constructive.

                    • Stu

                      We’re out there and more than you think.

                      Though nothing silences a liberal.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      Good to know brother. Peace.

                • antigon

                  Arguable the faithful are being quite energetic in defending the Faith these days, tho am not sure that means we need do so via obsessions about each & every document that comes down the pike.
                  *
                  Plus you may want to recall the open & steady repudiation by not just the media but potent clericalists against such as DC’s O’Boyle & Baton Rouge’s Sullivan who upheld the Faith’s teaching.
                  *
                  Because the faithful didn’t go dark, they were merely ignored & scorned by a clericalist establishment. And while there was very little complaint about Papa Montini, there was far too little about clericalist bishops.
                  *
                  So once again James, you’re invoking straw men, & using them to dismiss the real efforts by the faithful, then & now.

                  • Jim the Scott

                    >Arguable the faithful are being quite energetic in defending the Faith these days, tho am not sure that means we need do so via obsessions about each & every document that comes down the pike.

                    I agree with you hearer & there are proactive individuals doing that. But they in the aftermath are celebrating the results of the synod or at least they are relieved. But the idiots who claim the liberals “won” well their claims are tedious, false and in the end have the potential to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

                    >Plus you may want to recall the open & steady repudiation by not just the media but potent clericalists against such as DC’s O’Boyle & Baton Rouge’s Sullivan who upheld the Faith’s teaching.

                    Who are these clericalists who have repudiated these orthodox bishops?
                    It would help to name names because being ambiguous here isn’t helpful. 😉 Just saying…..

                    >Because the faithful didn’t go dark, they were merely ignored & scorned by a clericalist establishment. And while there was very little complaint about Papa Montini, there was far too little about clericalist bishops.

                    Ambiguity again….are we talking about the various converts and the gay man from Courage who showed up at the Synod standing up for orthodox doctrine or the fever swamp rantings of THE REMNANT or Sandro or RORATE CAEI?

                    >So once again James, you’re invoking straw men, & using them to dismiss the real efforts by the faithful, then & now.

                    Not at all I am taking issue with the clowns who said the liberals “won” and I am taking issue with the extremist conspiracy theorists and those misguided conservatives and trads who gave them cover.

                    But like the liberal media you can make up your own narrative and project it on me if you like.

                    • antigon

                      Save unlike said (plural) media, am not making anything up James.
                      *
                      Nor am I inclined to do the simple research for you of the hardly obscure assaults since Vatican II by the clericalist establishment on Humanae Vitae & its defenders, as well as much more the Faith upholds. Yet if instead of but pretense you’re really interested, get a copy of ‘John-Paul II & the Battle for Vatican II’ from Amazon or the like. It’s a thorough, entertaining, & straightforwardly Catholic review.
                      *
                      By definition the clericalists can’t win since the Faith is true. What they arguably can achieve is a strengthening in the minds of many their view that She isn’t. To pretend otherwise is of course as clownishly tedious as it is false.
                      *
                      We are talking about the fever swamp rantings of Padres Kasper, Marx, Cupich, Daneels & their numerous clericalist allies, & perhaps of the deluded who give them cover; albeit not the opponents of these men to be sure, save to express solidarity & gratitude.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      >Padres Kasper, Marx, Cupich, Daneels

                      You actually named names. See that wasn’t so hard now was it?

                      >Nor am I inclined to do the simple research for you of the hardly obscure assaults since Vatican II by the clericalist establishment on Humanae Vitae

                      Not interested I am already aware of the Problem reading your recommendations would merely give me redundant information and I prefer to read something new.

                    • antigon

                      And there are more where those reside!
                      *
                      As to your awareness, James, cling to the illusion if you like.

                    • Jim the Scott

                      I am unlikely to cling to illusion. I’m a moderate realist like Aquinas and Aristotle.

                • rmichael

                  Jim, I believe Cardinal Oboyle in 1968 would disagree with you. Relying only on an encyclycal or a council to promote/defend the teachings of the faith is not enough. It makes a real difference how and how often priests and bishops communicate to the faithful. To think that a teaching can not be undermined by a teacher is absurd. To think that this hasn’t happened in the recent past regarding contraception is naive.

                  • Jim the Scott

                    >Jim, I believe Cardinal Oboyle in 1968 would disagree with you. Relying only on an encyclycal or a council to promote/defend the teachings of the faith is not enough.

                    You need to re- read what I wrote more clearly. I didn’t say that & I believe the opposite. I believe you need to rely on all sources of authority together not just one. I clearly condemned that.

                    >It makes a real difference how and how often priests and bishops communicate to the faithful. To think that a teaching can not be undermined by a teacher is absurd.

                    I am sorry but I never said that & I don’t believe that. You are confusing me with someone else.

                    >To think that this hasn’t happened in the recent past regarding contraception is naive.

                    don;t believe that either. Gee you are batting a thousand today guy.

              • Tweck

                I personally deny that HV or V2 had any negative effect on the church that wasn’t an imaginary projection.

                The thing that impacted the church from the 60’s to now is the modernist sexual revolution. No amount of refined teaching, better catechism, or traditionalism was ever going to stop that tide. But rather than look at the stark reality that American society deteriorated sexually in a manner completely antithetical to church teaching, which was always perfectly clear, and dragged a huge percentage of the laity and even some religious with it… people blame the church.

                • Tweck

                  And I want to say that people would rather blame the church instead of the failure of society itself primarily because the driving engine underlying the social changes that so badly effected the church was the narcissistic materialism that we cling to so dearly because it’s wound into the fabric of this thing we call “free enterprise,” a theory of selfish economic idolatry that is at the core of the “American Dream,” something no American Catholic who embraces capitalist political dogma would ever want to admit… …so it’s much easier to blame the Church.

                  • antigon

                    No, no blame to the Church or the Faith, but to the ecclesiastical establishment that too often & too eagerly embraced the repudiation of Her teaching.

                • Cypressclimber

                  You didn’t read me carefully. I did not claim Humanae Vitae had any negative effect. I am asserting the surrounding circumstances — before and after — did. Can you really not see the difference here?

                  • Tweck

                    The effects of HV, err… peoples’ reactions to HV… Problems associated with HV… I dunno, I think it’s a lovely document. But I spent 25 years lapsed and ignoring it before gratefully coming back and embracing it.

                    The problems that led to so many leaving can be summed up, IMO, in pop culture, the sexual revolution, and young people wanting to rebel.

                    It wasn’t the Church’s fault, imo.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      Seriously? You actually assert that none of Pope Paul VI’s decisions, and management of the issue leading up to the issuance of HV had anything at all to do with the buildup of expectations? You say that with a straight face?

                      I love Humanae Vitae; it is, indeed, a wonderful document. I’m not criticizing the teaching, or the expression. I’m talking about the circumstances surrounding it, and how the whole matter was handled.

                      If you seriously think the summoning of a commission to reevaluate ancient teaching did not create harmful expectations, you’re delusional.

                • antigon

                  Your opening sentence is quite true of course, by definition.
                  *
                  As to your closing paragraph, t’is an assertion sans evidence, since the clericalist establishment ubiquitously opposed the Faith’s teaching & catechism. Thus not the fault of the Church qua nor the Faith, but of effectively apostate clericalists.
                  *
                  Had the ecclesiastical establishment energetically upheld the Faith’s teaching instead of so regularly scorning it, the tide might well have proved more vincible than we are encouraged to believe.
                  *
                  Still might, as to reversing that bloodswept rush to despair.

            • antigon

              Apart from the straw man non sequitur, James, Teutonic grammarismo recommends both greater attention to periods & commas, as well as that ‘media’ is plural, & thus instead of that it doesn’t care, they don’t.
              *
              Odd the bishop of Rome is so flummoxed by this approach tho.

              • Jim the Scott

                A few seconds ago I just answered you own straw man aimed at me enjoy it. As for your advice on grammar I am afraid it fell on def ears. I am renound across the internets for my bad grammar and spelling and I am far too old to change or at this point even care & I am at this point totally immune to any shame over it. But I salue your fidelity to good english grammar.

                • antigon

                  Thank you James, tho you might want to ponder the view that clarity of expression reflects clarity of thought. Not always true of course, or at least not as true as that want of the former reflects want of the latter.
                  *
                  Whether trouble with clarity prevents your seeing that quite sans any strawman it is realities I’ve addressed, may need some more careful expression on thy part tho.

                  • Jim the Scott

                    I quoted the words you wrote I did not understand. If you decline to explain them to me then so be it.

          • capaxdei

            Sorry, I was unclear. What I meant was, what is in the Synod’s final report, that the liberals are trumpeting as a “win,” and is it bad for the Church that it’s in there?

            The first step in deciding whether it’s bad for the Church is deciding whether it’s true. If it’s not true, then it’s bad.

            If it is true, then it may still be imprudent, in its expression or simply in its inclusion under the circumstances.

            That liberals are making hay out of it doesn’t in itself make it imprudent. I think liberals would have made hay out of anything in the report that wasn’t effectively a quotation of past Magisterial documents (as would conservatives).

            What are the choices? To assert that past doctrinal statements say all that needs to be said about the pastoral issues (Pope Francis referred to this as “falling into a facile repetition of what is obvious or has already been said”). To ignore the pastoral issues (“burying our heads in the sand”). To try to say something new, or at least use new language, about God’s mercy toward sinners.

            Clearly, Pope Francis was looking for the last, and that seems to be what the Synod has done, for better or for worse.

            • Cypressclimber

              How would the Church be worse off, had the synod never been summoned?

              • capaxdei

                Presumably, the good effects of the Synod would not have been effected.

                • antigon

                  Along with the evil effects.

                • Cypressclimber

                  What specific good effects do you have in mind?

                  • capaxdei

                    I’m not posing as an expert here, much less an uncritical defender of the Synod. So rather than answer the question (the good effects I have in mind are based on things I’ve read that you’ve likely seen as well), let me suggest that, if you can’t see any good effects yourself, then you need to change perspective.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      …if you can’t see any good effects yourself, then you need to change perspective.

                      Thanks for your suggestion; but the truth of it is not self-evident. Your comment presupposes there are — and necessarily would be — “good effects.” But is this presumption true?

                      Perhaps there are good effects. If there are, it shouldn’t be so hard to cite them. You needn’t. But I would like someone to cite some. And, if I may add this specification: what are the good effects of this Synod that couldn’t have been obtained in its absence?

                      Finally, it seems entirely reasonable to me to set whatever good effects one may see, against the negative effects, in order to judge whether this synod, in sum, was a net plus or minus for the Church.

                      You do allow for the possibility that good Pope Francis might, after all, have made mistakes in the calling, and execution, of the Synod?

                    • antigon

                      ‘…the possibility…Pope Francis might after all, have made some mistakes.’
                      *
                      What!?! Why, impossible! Only closed hearts that hide behind the Church’s teachings would even consider such a thought!

                    • capaxdei

                      “Your comment presupposes there are — and necessarily would be — ‘good effects.’ But is this presumption true?”

                      My proposition is that it would be diabolically perverse for an operation like the Synod to come and go with literally no good effects at all. Maybe not strictly speaking impossible, but the level and scope of viciousness, incompetence, and bad luck, sustained for months and years, that would call for makes it far and away more likely that someone who can see no good effects is overlooking them.

                      In which case, someone who can see no good effects doesn’t have enough information to decide whether the bad effects were worth it, although they may have a pretty good handle on how good the good effects would need to be.

                      (An operation like this with no bad effects isn’t more likely than the other way around, although “diabolically perverse” wouldn’t be the mot juste in that case.)

                      I have no reason to doubt Pope Francis made mistakes. Whether “The Synod was a mistake” is a matter of judgment, and people who are prepared to make a judgment one way or another can show the evidence they base it on.

                    • Cypressclimber

                      Philosophically, what you say is true: an event like this cannot come and go with “literally no good effects.” So, posed that way, you are correct. I ought to have been more clear.

                      That’s what I was getting at when I later went further, and asked, “what are the good effects of this Synod that couldn’t have been obtained in its absence?”

                      My judgment is as follows:

                      Calling this synod in this fashion was ill advised. First, because the doctrinal questions, if they needed greater clarity, did not need a synod to be made clearer. And, in any case, the synod was not called with the explicit purpose of clarifying or more firmly asserting doctrine. The doctrinal questions were maddeningly ambiguous, precisely because Cardinal Kasper and his doctrinal Trojan Horse were put front-and-center. Put there by whom? By the pope himself, alas.

                      So once doctrinal questions were seemingly “reopened,” then it became rather urgent that they be clarifyingly re-closed. Have they been? Cardinal Burke — not someone to dismiss lightly, I think — says no. Cardinal Pell — also not to be lightly dismissed — says yes, but very carefully (see his interview at NCRegister — he is positive, but very carefully. He deems the doctrinal content sound, but, quote, “insufficient.”) The partial citation of Familiaris Consortio creates ambiguity, where there was no ambiguity before.

                      In short, calling the Synod raised the real possibility of adding confusion where there was not as much before. That seems to be the case, now, pending whatever followup action the holy father will take.

                      Second, aside from doctrine is the question of pastoral practice. Specifically, the question of receiving holy communion while in a state of mortal sin. Does anyone think this synod has provided clarity that (a) wasn’t there before, and/or (b) could have been provided by the pope all by himself? The matter is, at best, only where it was; not improved. And, given the energy devoted to “spinning” this, the net result at the grass-roots level is almost certainly a diminishment in clarity. Even a small lessening of clarity is still a negative, not a positive.

                      Third, the Synod process — meaning, all that led up to it — has certainly elevated, and made prominent, voices of compromise and ambiguity. Who elevated Cupich? Who brought Kasper in from the cold? Who brought Daneels into this synod? These individuals — with their problems — are all more prominent than before. How is this good? None of this is a positive.

                      Fourth, no one seems to be asking about the “opportunity cost” of this Synod. The Church (speaking broadly) spent a fair amount of energy and effort on this project for the last couple of years, and will continue to spend a fair amount of energy on it for some time to come. This expenditure of time, energy and resources on this project was not, and never will be, available for alternative projects. Was this the best use?

                      Of course, judgments today are provisional, in relation to what we may judge after the pope responds, and after, say, two or five years elapses.

                      But at this point, I’m hard-pressed to see how calling this Synod has really strengthened the Church in a way that only calling a synod could do — i.e., as opposed many alternatives.

          • antigon

            ‘I pray he will.’
            *
            Does not seem impossible he won’t, actually. But for the record there is nothing strictly speaking that in any way formally opens the door to approved adultery.
            *
            The rest of your analysis is quite true of course, & what the enemies of sexual morality intended, not to say of Christ & the Faith He bequeathed.

      • Jim the Scott

        The Pope says a lot of things that are unambiguous and clearly contrary to the ideology of the liberals. Why not just admit the obvious? If Francis was more to the right of St Pius X himself the media would still spin him as a neo-liberal Episcopalian.

        They can’t help it. At best the Pope is politically semi-left but politics is a matter of prudent judgement. Not doctrine.

        • Cypressclimber

          See my latest answer to capaxdei.

    • Stu

      Dust hasn’t settled yet in my opinion.

  • Thibaud313

    During this Synod, I have chosen a strategy of complete media blackout. I have watched television, nor read any newspapers, nor any news media on the Internet, nor any blog. No form of news whatsoever, either Catholic or secular. And it was good. I am certain that if I had tried to follow the Synod as it was occuring, I would have litterally died.

    Now, as the Synod concluded, I decided 5 minutes ago to conclude this complete media blackout and to check the conclusions on the Internet.

    I am now immediately regretting this decision.

    • antigon

      Arguable you have that in common with ostriches Thibaud.

  • Cypressclimber

    From the generally calm, down-the-middle John Allen of Crux:

    Saturday night, the Vatican released the summit’s final report. In broad strokes, it seemed to reflect a narrow liberal win on the issue of allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, and a conservative victory at resisting calls for a more approving treatment of gay and lesbian relationships.

    No doubt the other, more liberal — and dissenting — publications will trumpet what Allen says here of a “liberal win”: communion for those in adulterous relationships.

    Since our host insists that all is well, nothing to worry about, does this mean he agrees that being in an adulterous relationship is no bar to receiving holy communion? I would have said no, previously. But we are assured, by him, that nothing bad will result from this synod. So I’m puzzled.

  • Tweck

    *Checks in*

    “Liberals” are still mad… check

    “Conservatives” are still mad… check

    Catholics are still catholic… check

    All is as it should be. 🙂

    • antigon

      And complacency is a high virtue among many…check.

      • Tweck

        *mind hugs!!*

      • chezami

        We now live in a time when conservative Catholics regard themselves, not Jesus, as the Saviors of the Church–against the pope! And they regard the virtues of faith, hope, and love as “complacency”. Folly.

        • antigon

          Friend chez:
          *
          I don’t suppose the above is a direct quote from an Arian bishop against Catholics of the 4th century, tho he would surely have applauded the piety of its epithets & libels.
          *
          As he would surely have done if it is a direct quote. Whether or no, t’was not ‘conservative’ Catholics, simply Catholics, who then as now recognize not themselves but Jesus as their Savior, & via the Trinity of the Faith He bequeathed.
          *
          Fortunately, tho, the Catholics of that era did not succumb to a quietest temptation of believing they had no active obligation to defend the Faith, both against Her enemies & those who hold there need be no cooperation between God & man in that effort. Nor did they confuse such complacency with the exercise of the faith, hope & charity that animated them & their defense, then as now.
          *
          Instead they understood those virtues obliged Catholics – all Catholics – to resist counterfeit versions of the Faith, even unto death if necessary, as often enough it was during Arianism & through the ages. Thomas More is not a singular example, if no less discomfiting to the bishops of his own era, as to so many in ours.
          *
          And to resist such counterfeits even if promoted, as the two great Catholic bishops of the Arian era Athanasius & St. Hillary insisted, by the Bishop of Rome; indeed, in St. Paul’s words, even if promoted by an angel from Heaven.

        • Jim the Scott

          Speaking as someone who in a heartbeat will disagree with you and condemn something you say in the harshest terms possible I really mean the following.

          You are SO RIGHT HERE DUDE it’s not funny.

  • ivan_the_mad

    The pope’s concluding address is worth the read and suggests careful, prayerful reflection.

    • antigon

      Yeah, especially that bit about ‘blinkered viewpoints’ & a want of ‘well-meaning,’ if perhaps not precisely as the bishop intended.
      *
      Plus given the number of straw men the reflection slayed, very particularly the proposed antagonism between the letter of Christ’s teaching vs. an elastic ‘spirit,’ t’is also possible it could have used a twitch more attention as to that matter of being careful.

      • capaxdei

        Every criticism in the speech (and yes, there’s a lot) reflects something you can find real live Catholics (if not Synod Fathers) doing or advocating.

        Nor did the Pope propose an antagonism between the letter of Christ’s teaching and its spirit. Quite the opposite, he criticized those who fail to see how they are joined.

        • antigon

          Save the bishop did mean the Synod fathers – ‘In the course of this Synod, the different opinions which were freely expressed – and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways.’
          *
          Tho doubtless he was referring to Kasper & Cupich & the clericalist crew.
          *
          And dunno Cap, arguing that the ‘Synod experience also made us better realize that the true defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit’ might sound like the proposition of antagonism between the two, if perhaps ‘only to closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge’ – that words have meaning.

          • Jim the Scott

            Why are you adverse to calling the Pope by his title?

            What’s this “the bishop” crap?

            Or are you continuing on your quest to be more ambiguous than Vatican 2?

            • antigon

              ‘What’s this “the bishop” crap?’
              *
              His title for one.

              • Jim the Scott

                Repeat after me guy.

                Pope Francis. P-O-P-E Francis.

                • antigon

                  Tell it to the bishop of Rome James, since am informed that’s, if perhaps depending sometimes on the occasion, the title he prefers.

                  • Jim the Scott

                    I would accept “Bishop of Rome” over “the bishop” too. In common speech the term “the bishop” usually refers to one’s local prelate. So unless you live in Italy “the bishop” is too ambiguous.

                    Good night.

          • Jim the Scott

            >’In the course of this Synod, the different opinions which were freely expressed – and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways.’
            *
            >Tho doubtless he was referring to Kasper & Cupich & the clericalist crew.

            Rather the more reasonable explanation would be it applies to any bishop whose conscience convicts him of this sin. Any whose conscience acquits will let this advice pass and any who take grave offense at the Pope’s suggestion clearly suffer from an guilty conscience & a malignant obstinate will.

            Just saying….

            2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

            But what did St Paul know anyway?

            • antigon

              That latter point James is most valid – a first for thee! – tho of course depending on the speaker’s intention; & that I was but noting another of Cap’s errors.
              *
              And while sorry you find me posts inscrutable, that bit about Cupich & crew might have been meant ironically.
              *
              But I fear your efforts to establish clarity – that matter of will & conscience I mean – fail yet again dear James.

              • Jim the Scott

                At last someone whose grammer & speking is as bad as mine. We can be friends. Mind you that doesn’t mean I will like you.

                • antigon

                  ‘At last someone whose grammer & speking is as bad as mine.’
                  *
                  No, James, that trophy belongs to thee alone.
                  *
                  But friends we are, unlikeable as I emphatically be, in the unity of our Savior.

                  • Jim the Scott

                    >No, James, that trophy belongs to you alone.

                    Says the guy who writes “tho” instead of “the”?

                    No matter friends it tis….in Christ Amen.

  • Sue Sims

    I’m late to the party, as I only dip into this website every now and then. However, reading Mark Shea’s piece on the Synod and its critics, I was irresistibly reminded of a classic Flanders and Swann song (for US readers, they were a singer-songwriter partnership half a century ago who specialised in songs ranging from gently humorous to definitely satirical. Here’s their comment on Mr Shea’s attitude:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S4q41dQRyc

    An etymological point: the words ‘ignore’ and ‘ignorance’ are cognate.