San Diego synod fails to produce hoped for blueprint

Bishop Robert McElroy: “It became clear after three months or so there was going to be no model, because the reality from parish to parish is so different”

McElroy photo-op at the Mexican border [photo by Chris Stone]

Last October, Bishop Robert McElroy held his own diocesan synod as a response to two global synods on the family called by Francis that took place in Rome in 2014 and 2015.

One year later, he described it to Crux as a “stunning success,” as it both united the 100 parishes that make up the diocese and also reflected the diversity of its many communities.

While the original hope was to develop a blueprint for new programming that could be tested in twelve pilot parishes, McElroy noted that “it became clear after three months or so there was going to be no model, because the reality from parish to parish is so different.”

Such a realization is perhaps reflective of one of the major messages of Amoris Laetitia, that particular situations need particular responses.

“The parishes each took the principles and cast it against the background of their experiences and realities and needs in radically different ways,” said McElroy.

Law and Order Americans Meet a Mercy-Driven Pope

Perhaps no document has divided American Catholics more than Amoris Laetitia, with its cautious opening to Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. Yet McElroy, who has become one of the strongest and most vocal champions of Francis in the United States, says the heart of the document contains the necessary tools for giving the Church a much-needed boost.

“We Americans, on a variety of issues, tend to take a black-and-white view on a number of things,” McElroy told Crux.

For example, I’ve talked to people in different parts of the world about the way we look at the immigration question and the way the rest of the world does. My impression is that for the many Americans who are sympathetic to the president’s approach to immigration, it’s not from an anti-immigrant perspective as much as it is a black-and-white, law-and-order thing.”

Yet McElroy believes that a Church with nothing but a “law and order” reputation won’t be one capable of being a field hospital.

“One of the things that came out of this synod that we had is that virtually across the board, across the ages, across the cultural backgrounds, and the economic strata, there was a strong sense of crisis vis-à-vis the young people and that if the Church appears to be fundamentally judgmental then they will simply not listen, they will go elsewhere. And that’s a very serious problem.”

“My own view is that when we look at what Christ did in the gospels, yes he called people to reform their lives. However, look at what he did first,” said McElroy. “First, he embraced them. Secondly, he tries to see what’s wrong and tries to heal them. And then, he says reform your lives.”

“All three are important, but the order is important too,” he added. “What I think Pope Francis is saying is approach these things in that order.”

The Poison of Partisanship

McElroy – like many Americans, both inside and outside of the Church – is trying to make sense of the severe polarization that has come to define our times.

In a much-discussed essay published in July of this year, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro and Presbyterian pastor Miguel Figueroa – both of whom are close with Francis – argued that the relationship between conservative U.S. Catholics and evangelicals was based on “an ecumenism of hate” rooted in political alliances, further contributing to the polarization of both the Church and the country.

“They certainly had their finger on something,” said McElroy, while adding a few qualifiers.

“There is a group of actors in our society and within the life of the Church who utilize methods of confrontation at time that is a way not in keeping with the Gospel. That’s one group. Then there’s a group of actors who are antagonistic toward the changes that the pope has brought but are not using tactics like that  -that’s a different group,” he said.

“It’s important to engage with that group, and understand what are the realities behind it…Then there’s a group of people in the life of the Church who have question marks or who are uneasy, but those are three different groups.”

“I think it’s the first group the article was aiming at,” said McElroy, “but what happened is that in the structure of the article itself and the reaction to it, those three groups tended to all get blended into one thing, so it was like an undifferentiated attack upon ecumenical efforts with evangelicals.”

“There is a cancer in the Church,” in his assessment, “but it’s that first group that really uses tactics that are incompatible with the Gospel. With that group, we need to draw a line and say this is not acceptable.”

McElroy believes the election of President Donald Trump has only exacerbated these tensions within the Church – though he believes it has helped unite the Catholic bishops in this country, particularly as they’ve banded together on the issue of protecting immigrants.

“Since January, it really has become a front-burner issue and that will continue to be the case,” McElroy. “And that begins to lessen the stance of those who say the conference is politically aligned with the Republican party and so forth. More and more, it’s clear that the conference is not.”

Full story at Crux.

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Comments

  1. First McElroy says, “if the Church appears to be fundamentally judgmental then they will simply not listen, they will go elsewhere.”

    Then he says, “There is a cancer in the Church, but it’s that first group that really uses tactics that are incompatible with the Gospel. With that group, we need to draw a line and say this is not acceptable.”

    McElroy speaks with a forked tongue.

    Has he ever said that homosexual unions are not acceptable or that a line needs to be drawn or that they are incompatible with the Gospel? No. Never about them.

    McElroy is a fraud.

  2. Michael McDermott says:

    The Polarization caused by denouncing Catholics who actually adhere to (and believe to be correct and caring) the Magisterium passed along by strong leaders like Saint John Paul II & Pope Benedict is particularly painful. It not only runs contrary to common sense and established facts, but also signals that no teaching is safe from politically correct revision, provided it promotes the agenda of ‘SJW’ Social Justice Warriors
    Denunciations of those who counsel against ‘eating the seed corn today – and let tomorrow take care of itself’, as opposed to wise management that looks towards the future as well as today, cast doubt on a leadership ever more firmly in the Demi-Krat political world, as opposed to the real one
    This is made far…

  3. Michael McDermott says:

    All this is made far more sinister than a simple disagreement as to approaches on how to do the Work Jesus Gave to us here on earth. when we are constantly reading of the diversion of the donations of the Faithful, to promote depraved and debauched homosex ‘lifestyles’ – which said leaders say failure to pander to is ‘intolerant’ – and the simultaneous denunciation of those opposed to funding and supporting such perversions, by the same ‘leaders’
    Swiss Guard veteran claims existence of ‘gay network’ at the Vatican
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/20/swiss-guard-veteran-gay-network-vatican-pope-elmar-mader-homosexual
    The Gift of Priestly Vocation
    http://www.clerus.va/content/dam/clerus/Ratio Fundamentalis/The Gift of…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Be sure to click the link and read the full story.
    Thank you for publishing this.

  5. Ed Lindgren says:

    It would be nice if the Bishops would put as much enthusiasm into protecting the unborn as they do “on the issue of protecting immigrants.”

  6. Jim C Grisafi says:

    An opportunity to express peace and truth, instead the Bishop defaults back to blaming conservative Catholics, not once saying anything about the visceral left in the Church and their cunning lies, tactical violence, and speech suppression.

    We need to remove partisanship and ideology from Church life – the Bishop does not understand that. He is simply part of the “resistance” and too ideological and partisan to see that we see that.

  7. McElroy is campaigning to be appointed the next Archbishop of Washington, D.C. Everything he says and does is calculated to attract the attention of Pope Francis, who will decide who replaces Wuerl in that important archdiocese. McElroy wants power and the prestige like you wouldn’t believe. He is no friend of Jesus. He is an ecclesiastical politician of leftist persuasion.

  8. Clinton R. says:

    “We Americans, on a variety of issues, tend to take a black-and-white view on a number of things,” McElroy told Crux.

    Actually, Catholics should have a black and white view on things. Our Lord said “But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: but that which is over and above these, is of evil.” Matt 5:37

    The teachings of the Church are very clear, reflecting the Truthfulness of Jesus. It is the devil who is the father of lies and seeks to obfuscate.

  9. McElroy is a good example of the reason why I do not attend the new mass, or follow the tenets of his “new church”. When I stand before Jesus on my judgment day I will have a lot to answer for but I can’t help but wonder what will happen to those like McElroy and his boss Francis who have participated in the destruction of the church He founded. I don’t think Jesus, as merciful as He is, will send these guys to rehab. But then, who am I to judge?

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no new Church. That is heresy.
      The Church is not destroyed, not can it be. That too is heresy.
      Missing one Mass is a Mortal Sin.
      Please repent and seek sacramental confession.

      • Anonymous 2 says:

        Well, you need to preach to the nearly 80% of US New Mass Catholics that dont attend Sunday services, except perhaps on Christmas or Easter.

        And by the way, since you have your judge’s robes and wig on—in the era of the “Who-am-I-to-judge?” pontificate—Barbara didnt say she doesnt attend Mass, but that she, like many, refuses to attend the New Mass.

        You need to fix the huge non-attending New Mass crowd. You have a lot of people to accuse of mortal sin, there, so have at it. Sure it will be a rousing success.

  10. Michael McDermott says:

    Such a state they are in at newsweek, like the bishop – knickers all in a bunch over Paddy darin to speak up:
    “Newsweek runs ‘racist’ op-ed asking if all ‘conservative loudmouths’ are Irish-American
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/27/newsweek-runs-racist-op-ed-claiming-being-conservative-loudmouths-is-to-be-irish-americans.html
    “Why has the ascent of a bunch of people who in an earlier period might have been called Micks drawn no notice at all?”
    “The only thing “Irish” about them is… compelling style, a mix of pugnacity and certainty,” “They are smart, articulate, and not at all embarrassed…”
    Weeeell – Maybe just a bit over them what panders to pederasts
    Ahem

    • I do not know any ethnic group nor any race that has not fought among themselves or tried to lord it over another group. Nor do I know of any religion whose leaders have not tried to influence its people’s votes. What the writer said can be said for any group of people. Red, yellow, black, white or in between we can all be loudmouths at times, and I might add — are. And America was not just started by white Protestants. Many groups and countries have had territory that became states.

  11. Michael McDermott says:

    More targets for denunciation by the ‘leadership’:

    “Georgetown University Threatens Student Group For Upholding Catholic Teachings
    Love Saxa is in danger of being stripped of its status as an official student group at Georgetown University. Its offense: holding to a Catholic view of human sexuality.
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/27/georgetown-university-threatens-student-group-upholding-catholic-teachings/
    editorial board can vehemently reject a Catholic view of marriage and sexuality; label it archaic, hateful, and dangerous; advocate for Georgetown to de-recognize Love Saxa; and do all this without recognizing their own position as “foster[ing] hatred or intolerance of others because of their…religion.”

  12. Anonymous 2 says:

    “..[Those who say] the [US Bishops’] conference is politically aligned with the Republican Party..”–Bp. McElroy

    Who says that? Someone with a severe reality-contact problem? Bp. Mac blowing smoke.

    No one could seriously propose that the comfortably-left, quite liberal-with-other-people’s-money US bishops would be mistaken for Repubs, even RINO Repubs.

  13. Faithful and True says:

    This bishop has a clear line of movement: erode at all costs the doctrinal foundations and undermine the Tradition of the Church. This has nothing to do with the “Joy of the Gospel.” This is about using the Church as a weapon against her faithful member and warping Her into their own image while systematically and definitively removing Christ fromHis Church. The Catholic Church is not an instrument of social engineering in the likeness of men and their sin – She is the Bride of Christ and She exists as the Instrument of Communion between Heaven and Earth. Her Head is Christ and always will be.

  14. Michael McDermott says:

    Enrique Pearce and other political power brokers keep pushing Californians in to Language Ghettos to solidify their ability to Deliver Votes, from people who don’t even understand the issue voted on.

    Census Bureau: 44.6% in California Don’t Speak English at Home; 35.6% in Texas; 34.5% in NM; 31.7% in NJ; 31.0% in NY
    http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/census-bureau-44-6-in-california-dont-speak-english-at-home-35-6-in-texas-34-5-in-nm-31-7-in-nj-31-0-in-ny/
    Now you know why California prints thousands of forms in dozens of languages. Instead of mandating English as the official language, oh it IS, the government segregates residents using language as the dividing line…

    California is the modern Babel,…

  15. Michael McDermott says:

    “California is the modern Babel, populated by Brownshirts on campuses and Antifa in the community, with racists running the government. Any wonder we are bankrupt and our government schools have to give diploma’s to those with a “D” average?”

    So much for the claustrophobic / stifling effect of the all encompassing ‘Seamless Garment’ on the ability of a society to encourage the pursuit of individual excellence, or at least better than a ‘D’ Average – Which is now rewarded with expressions of solidarity against the “privilege” of those who actually try and excel.

  16. Michael McDermott says:

    Mäder said: “I also learned that many homosexuals are inclined to be more loyal to each other than to other people or institutions,”
    From: Swiss Guard veteran claims existence of ‘gay network’ at the Vatican
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/20/swiss-guard-veteran-gay-network-vatican-pope-elmar-mader-homosexual

    SSADLY, with the abominable Coverup for Homosex Ephebophile ‘priests’ Targeting Adolescent Boys, and the transfer of such Predators to Fresh Fields where they could re-offend, the “Loyalty” issue is clearly at the heart of the nightmare
    We Must Wonder at Bishops who (unlike Bishop Barron) who denounce ‘conservatives’ and yet remain Silent in the face of such Great Evil promulgated by those supposedly on guard…

  17. Michael McDermott says:

    Speaking of “an ecumenism of hate” rooted in political alliances, further contributing to the polarization…
    Consider the latest entry in the Contest, from the forces of ‘Tolerance’.
    Ahem
    Democrat Ad In VA Governor Race Depicts Gillespie Supporters As Racist Murderers
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/30/democrat-ad-va-governor-race-depicts-gillespie-supporters-racist-murderers/#disqus_thread
    A new ad depicts supporters for Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie as racist murderers who hunt schoolchildren from a pickup truck.

  18. Michael McDermott says:

    Michael Knowles of Prager U discusses the ‘ Alt-Right’, which he points out Rejects God and is much closer to the Radical Left than any other group, albeit much smaller.
    A truly insightful analysis of something that McElroy and Gang overly simplify to the point of bigoted stupidity.
    SEE
    What is the Alt-Right?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=178&v=MHXL00wY3nY

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Let us pray for all of our Bishops and the Holy Father!

    To much is given…..much is expected,

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