Pope has incentives to step back from the brink

The 1970s vs. the JPII generation
Pope Francis with Cardinal Napier of South Africa

Pope Francis with Cardinal Napier of South Africa

The following comes from an article in the Oct. 26 New York Times by Ross Douthat.

To grasp why events this month in Rome — publicly feuding cardinals, documents floated and then disavowed — were so remarkable in the context of modern Catholic history, it helps to understand certain practical aspects of the doctrine of papal infallibility.

On paper, that doctrine seems to grant extraordinary power to the pope — since he cannot err, the First Vatican Council declared in 1870, when he “defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.”

In practice, though, it places profound effective limits on his power.

Those limits are set, in part, by normal human modesty: “I am only infallible if I speak infallibly, but I shall never do that,” John XXIII is reported to have said. But they’re also set by the binding power of existing teaching, which a pope cannot reverse or contradict without proving his own office, well, fallible — effectively dynamiting the very claim to authority on which his decisions rest.

Not surprisingly, then, popes are usually quite careful. On the two modern occasions when a pontiff defined a doctrine of the faith, it was on a subject — the holiness of the Virgin Mary — that few devout Catholics consider controversial. In the last era of major church reform, the Second Vatican Council, the popes were not the intellectual protagonists, and the council’s debates — while vigorous — were steered toward a (pope-approved) consensus: The documents that seemed most like developments in doctrine, on religious liberty and Judaism, passed with less than a hundred dissenting votes out of more than 2,300 cast.

But something very different is happening under Pope Francis. In his public words and gestures, through the men he’s elevated and the debates he’s encouraged, this pope has repeatedly signaled a desire to rethink issues where Catholic teaching is in clear tension with Western social life — sex and marriage, divorce and homosexuality.

And in the synod on the family, which concluded a week ago in Rome, the prelates in charge of the proceedings — men handpicked by the pontiff — formally proposed such a rethinking, issuing a document that suggested both a general shift in the church’s attitude toward nonmarital relationships and a specific change, admitting the divorced-and-remarried to communion, that conflicts sharply with the church’s historic teaching on marriage’s indissolubility.

At which point there was a kind of chaos. Reports from inside the synod have a medieval feel — churchmen berating each other, accusations of manipulation flying, rebellions bubbling up. Outside Catholicism’s doors, the fault lines were laid bare: geographical (Germans versus Africans; Poles versus Italians), generational (a 1970s generation that seeks cultural accommodation and a younger, John Paul II-era that seeks to be countercultural) and theological above all.

In the end, the document’s controversial passages were substantially walked back. But even then, instead of a Vatican II-style consensus, the synod divided, with large numbers voting against even watered-down language around divorce and homosexuality. Some of those votes may have been cast by disappointed progressives. But many others were votes cast, in effect, against the pope.

In the week since, many Catholics have downplayed the starkness of what happened or minimized the papal role. Conservatives have implied that the synod organizers somehow went rogue, that Pope Francis’s own views were not really on the table, that orthodox believers should not be worried. More liberal Catholics have argued that there was no real chaos — this was just the kind of freewheeling, Jesuit-style debate Francis was hoping for — and that the pope certainly suffered no meaningful defeat.

Neither argument is persuasive. Yes, Francis has taken no formal position on the issues currently in play. But all his moves point in a pro-change direction — and it simply defies belief that men appointed by the pope would have proposed departures on controversial issues without a sense that Francis would approve.

If this is so, the synod has to be interpreted as a rebuke of the implied papal position. The pope wishes to take these steps, the synod managers suggested. Given what the church has always taught, many of the synod’s participants replied, he and we cannot.

Over all, that conservative reply has the better of the argument. Not necessarily on every issue: The church’s attitude toward gay Catholics, for instance, has often been far more punitive and hostile than the pastoral approach to heterosexuals living in what the church considers sinful situations, and there are clearly ways that the church can be more understanding of the cross carried by gay Christians.

But going beyond such a welcome to a kind of celebration of the virtues of nonmarital relationships generally, as the synod document seemed to do, might open a divide between formal teaching and real-world practice that’s too wide to be sustained. And on communion for the remarried, the stakes are not debatable at all. The Catholic Church was willing to lose the kingdom of England, and by extension the entire English-speaking world, over the principle that when a first marriage is valid a second is adulterous, a position rooted in the specific words of Jesus of Nazareth. To change on that issue, no matter how it was couched, would not be development; it would be contradiction and reversal.

Such a reversal would put the church on the brink of a precipice. Of course it would be welcomed by some progressive Catholics and hailed by the secular press. But it would leave many of the church’s bishops and theologians in an untenable position, and it would sow confusion among the church’s orthodox adherents — encouraging doubt and defections, apocalypticism and paranoia (remember there is another pope still living!) and eventually even a real schism.

Those adherents are, yes, a minority — sometimes a small minority — among self-identified Catholics in the West. But they are the people who have done the most to keep the church vital in an age of institutional decline: who have given their energy and time and money in an era when the church is stained by scandal, who have struggled to raise families and live up to demanding teachings, who have joined the priesthood and religious life in an age when those vocations are not honored as they once were. They have kept the faith amid moral betrayals by their leaders; they do not deserve a theological betrayal.

Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan

Which is why this pope has incentives to step back from the brink — as his closing remarks to the synod, which aimed for a middle way between the church’s factions, were perhaps designed to do.

Francis is charismatic, popular, widely beloved. He has, until this point, faced strong criticism only from the church’s traditionalist fringe, and managed to unite most Catholics in admiration for his ministry. There are ways that he can shape the church without calling doctrine into question, and avenues he can explore (annulment reform, in particular) that would bring more people back to the sacraments without a crisis. He can be, as he clearly wishes to be, a progressive pope, a pope of social justice — and he does not have to break the church to do it.

But if he seems to be choosing the more dangerous path — if he moves to reassign potential critics in the hierarchy, if he seems to be stacking the next synod’s ranks with supporters of a sweeping change — then conservative Catholics will need a clear-eyed understanding of the situation.

They can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.

Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

To read the original story, click here.

To read Ron Dreher’s column about Andrew Sullivan’s criticism of the Douthat column, click here.



  1. From an article by the NY Times – an author who has not read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” which clearly already states homosexuals must be respected as people.
    But then again, alas, many Bishops do not encourage reading of the Bible and CCC at home. So people do not know their Faith in entirety.

  2. Why is no one crying out about the lack of transparency for the final document “Relatio Synodi” of Oct 18, 2014 ?????
    It has only been posted on the Vatican web site in Italian, yet all the preliminary documents have been posted in several languages as quickly as they happened.

    The number of votes for each paragraph have been posted at the bottom of the Italian version. However, the 3 paragraphs #52, 53, and 55 that did NOT get the required 2/3 vote are still in the document – why ????? http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2014/10/18/0770/03044.html

    Who is playing games at the Vatican ????? And under whose orders ?????

    • Catherine says:

      “Do you all remember the Holy Father’s words from his sermon at the “inaugural” Mass for his pontificate?”

      “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”


      My dear friends – at this moment I can only say:
      pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more.
      Pray for me, that I may learn to love his flock more and more
      – in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together.
      Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.
      [Pope Benedict XVI, 24 April, 2005]

    • Others are starting to ask the same questions.

      Who is making the decisions on what is being posted, and why are important documents on the Vatican web site not being translated into major languages, like all the lessor preliminary docs ?
      Even the Pope’s daily audiences are translated (as well as his closing Synod statement within a matter of hours.)

      And why weren’t the paragraphs that did not get the 2/3 vote removed from the document?

      Something smells of manipulation again.
      There is no legitimate excuse for this.

  3. INTERESTING observations in article which are accurate:

    “generational (a 1970s generation that seeks cultural accommodation
    and a younger, John Paul II-era that seeks to be countercultural) and theological above all.”
    Kasper is 81; Danneel is also 81; plus other old guys want accommodation.
    They preach the acceptance of mortal sin – “gradualism”.
    ” They have kept the faith amid moral betrayals by their leaders; they do not deserve a theological betrayal. ”
    This is really true and needs no explanation.

  4. Linda Maria says:

    I think that the belief and practice of true Catholicism, has been nearly forgotten, since the end of the Vatican II Council! Many liberal, immoral, and heretical Church leaders and laity, just float along, doing as they please, calling themselves “Catholic.” And no one seems to care– especially, the Pope! Eventually– without firm and true leadership, the Church could collapse, or else end up in a schism! Also– Pope Francis could end up in so much heresy, that he himself could get excommunicated, and dumped from the Papacy, by some smart prelates! We just have to place everything in Gods hands! When was the last time a Pope and his prelates met for a long session of daily prayers, like a big Novena– asking for God to truly guide the Church to right solutions, according to His Will?? Did the Fathers of Vatican II do this?? Well– it seems, all too often– that Church leaders leave God out– and do what they humanly desire to do!! Like the disobedience of the ancient Israelites– there are consequences to pay!

    • Anonymous says:

      fruits and nuts will take over the church. oh wait, it’s already happening. just read that comment by lindamaria.

      • St. Christopher says:

        You had best be respectful, “Anonymous”. “Linda Maria” makes some excellent points. Of course, the Liberal approach to anything approaching a belief-based comment is to attack the speaker, not with argument, but with Fourth Grade words and insults.

        In fact, the Church is in deep crisis. Pope Francis is very popular with the non-Catholic world, without question, as well as with Catholics demanding changes in sexual ethics and morality: those that are pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, pro-fornication generally; all these folks love the Pope.

        But the Catholic Faith is not something for barter, like a political issue might be. There is no consensus to be reached on matter of Faith and morals; it is not a field upon which a compromise to fighting might be reached. And, to the extent that Francis seeks to change doctrine, then the present Church ceases to exist. (It will not be entirely lost, as we were promised, but there is no promise that Church leaders will always be free from apostacy and heresy.)

        Catholics have much to fear from bishops and cardinal that almost passed the Relatio with truly revolutionary provisions regarding homosexuality. And why is that? Because these men are company men and want security and advancement: men like Cardinals Dolan, Wuerl, and Maradiaga, and others. They are not men of Faith, but are dissemblers, liars if you will, that want power and luxury at the expense of serving the Faithful.

        It is time to gear up for battle. Stop calling names to someone that has much to say.

        • Linda Maria says:

          Thank you, St. Christopher, for your post! The Church is truly in a deep crisis, and it is a big worry!

        • I still miss our retired ex Holy Father.

        • Anonymous says:

          It is quite clear the side with which she takes up. It is not that of a rational side, one of reason, nor of compassion. It is the one that desires a faith built upon fear and lothesomeness. This is not the faith of our Fathers, nor of our Scriptures, nor of our Catechism, yet she (and apparently you) peddles it here s though it is some authentic Gospel. It is not the authentic gospel. It is a self-hating, arbitrary and obnoxious God and his followers. We have no part in that Gospel, We follow Christ who died for us. Who loves us unconditionally. Who saves the world so that the entire world will be one with him. Linda Maria is not to be mocked, but her theology is to be disdained from start to finish because it is not of God but of some other creation.

          • Linda Maria says:

            Anonymous, do you see how much you get picked on, for attacking and harassing other writers, who are sincere Catholics?? How very SAD!! I most certainly do not want to hurt you! Neither does anyone else!

          • Linda Maria says:

            Anonymous, you will no longer be receiving any further responses from me, to anything at all, that you write! You will, from now on– be completely ignored! You really do not treat good Catholic ladies, with any chivalry nor respect!

          • Ann Malley says:

            “…her theology is to be disdained from start to finish because it is not of God but of some other creation.”

            Sorry, Anonymous, but the ‘new’ creation is the theology that eliminates all reality of God’s power and justice and righteous anger. Fear of the Lord is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

            The idea that the ‘entire world’ will someday be with the Lord negates the reality of Hell of which Our Lord spoke very clearly of in His earthly life.

            Please stop cutting off the merciful means of Our Lord, to include the fear of Hell, from saving souls. There are many souls that will only be moved to correspond with God’s grace via fear of Hell, much like there are people who will only avoid certain dangerous behaviors if there is a stiff penalty weighing in the balance.

            So if you disdain Linda Maria’s ‘theology’ then you disdain Catholic theology and the very teachings of Christ who warned of the results of God’s justice.

          • Well shouldn’t you provide a little evidence to back the plethora of sweeping statements you make about irrationality, lack of compassion, faith built on fear and loathsomeness, an inauthentic gospel etc. etc? How can you show her theology is not of God but of some other creation? It seems to me you are just hurling all the dirt you can at the wall and hoping some of it will stick.

      • As I used to tell my students, using derogatory words to describe people shows a limited vocabulary. If you think people are nutty here, why do you continue to intrude, nameless ? Linda Marie is passionate about her faith, and backs up her comments with her experiences and years of being a faithful Catholic. You, however, bring nothing but negativity and unpleasantness. Why don’t you just hit the road, take a hike, skip town or find another website to pester? And take the other anonymous with you…good grief, if I wrote such drivel, I wouldn’t put my name to it either. Their name is legion.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Good gravy, Linda Maria. You know you’ve revealed a portion of the rotted gooey center of Church crisis when mous tags you.

      God bless and keep posting. I *love* your indomitable and always direct observations.

      • Linda Maria says:

        This is in reply to Ann Malley’s post: Thanks so much! Bless you!

        • Ann Malley says:

          Anytime, Linda Maria. You speak truth out of love for God. There is nothing more faithful and/or Catholic than that! God bless you, too.

      • Anonymous says:

        Christ is the center of the Catholic Church.

        • Ann Malley says:

          Christ is the center of the Catholic Church, but not the center of the Church’s crisis, mous. And getting to the core of that nastiness is often what sets many mice off for their job is to foment more of that nastiness in the hopes of rotting the whole.

  5. GLORIA TV –
    “Pope knows exactly what he is doing, let no one doubt that” says German, Cardinal Marx;
    & the principle (heresy) of immoral “Gradualism”.

  6. ” War Against the Eucharist 10-30 ”
    ” What we’re dealing with at the Synod is an attack on the Eucharist.”

  7. Catherine says:

    Confusion is a tool of the devil. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Now we see that the Family Synod of Lasting Confusion has enabled more in society to proudly rebel against God’s Laws with the permission of mixed message blessings.

    ” So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

    Bloomberg Businessweek


    Tim Cook Speaks Up
    By Tim Cook October 30, 2014

    Tim Cook Speaks Up
    Photograph by Ashley Gilbertson for Bloomberg Businessweek

    “Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.

    At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.

    For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do people keep accusing the Pope of being confusing?
      He is not confusing at all. Perhaps they do not really know the Catholic Faith or perhaps they are using poor sources of information or just maybe not able to follow things. Or maybe they just do not like that he insists that we must obey the demands of the Gospel.
      I respect your feelings about being gay (although I am not gay so I do not really understand that) but you must never rebel against God’s Laws. If you do not know them, please read the Scriptures and get a Catholic Catechism. I hope you live in conformity with the Gospel. You did not say if you are a Christian.

      • Catherine says:

        “Why do people keep accusing the Pope of being confusing? = “Elton John: ‘Make Pope Francis a saint now, OK?”

        Bishop Tobin: ‘Pope Francis is Fond of Creating a Mess. Mission Accomplished.

        Taken from Creative Minority Report

        ‘Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid”

        “Not that any German Cardinal can be trusted to tell the truth, but for your consideration. This comes from Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Episcopal Conference. (For the uninitiated, the German Episcopal Conference is to the faith what Obama is to humility, unacquainted.)

        Anyway, here is what Cardinal Marx had to say about what the heretics achieved at the Synod and what we can expect in the near future from this pontificate. (NC Reporter –no link)

        “Anyone who comes to that conclusion has not had their eye on what has been going on in our church over the past one and a half years,” Marx said. “Up to now, these two issues have been absolutely non-negotiable. Although they had failed to get the two-thirds majority, the majority of the synod fathers had nevertheless voted in their favor.

        “They are still part of the text,” Marx continued. “I especially asked the pope about that, and the pope said he wanted all the points published together with all the voting results. He wanted everyone in the church to see where we stood. No, this pope has pushed the doors open and the voting results at the end of the synod will not change that.”

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Catherine, we have known for a long time that you have a certain obsession with homosexuality. Even understanding that, I don’t get your post. Why, may I ask, do you have to turn a conversation about Pope Francis into a conversation about the homosexuality of the man who heads the company that provides many of your computers? I ask in all honesty and with genuine curiosity. Your iPhones. Your USB devices. The very blog technology that is used by CCD? I just don’t get the point, unless you are asking all of us to give up all of our iDevices. Windows is no better. It is not headed by a gay guy (so far as I know), but it certainly as gay friendly as Apple. Remote participation in sin? Yes you all do it. Every time you log into CCD. Think that your motives will get you out of jail for free? No, please go back and read the Catechism. Your motives are no justification for your use of these tools of sin.

      • I find it ironic that a person who lives, eats, breathes his homosexuality is telling a happily married woman that she’s obsessed with the topic. What are you thinking, YFC? I can assure you that other than in my prayers you and your friends are not on my radar as I prefer pleasant thoughts, and I’m sure Catherine feels the same. That homosexuals have been plotting, planning and purloining power for lo these many years, is obvious. Such a minority are sure trying to make life hell for those of us who have families, for those of us who cherish values, a wholesome society and Gods Will in our lives, who have known a world where homosexuality was not only forbidden, but not spoken of…and then to be called unwelcoming and uncharitable because we don’t want you turning truth on its head is just way over the top.

        • Your Fellow Catholic says:

          Very simple and observable by gay and straight people alike that Catherine has a very big habit of turning discussions that have nothing to do with homosexuality in one. She threadjacks constantly. If you don’t like that objective reality, you are just not a fair observer of facts, and prefer instead to condemn the messenger. And your life is being made a hell by gay people? Because they aren’t styling your hair the way you’d like them to?

        • Thank you Dana! Excellent post because it is so very true!

      • YFC, we have known for a long time by your posts that you promote homosexual acts.
        When are you going to read and ABIDE by the CCC ? You are hypocritical when you tell others to do so but refuse to do it yourself.

        ADMIT that homosexual acts are Mortal Sins.

        CCC: 2357, 2358, 2359, 2396
        Gen 19:1-29; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 1:7 .

        If you really loved those with the temptation of same sex attraction, you would do your best to help them get to Heaven. Rather your lust is more important to you.

        CCC: “1791 … ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man takes little trouble to find out what is true and good,
        or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.
        In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.”

  8. Here it is in ENGLISH from the Vatican web site.
    (Thanks in part to Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register who is on site in Rome and made inquires.)

    ‘Relatio Synodi’ of Oct 18, 2014

    It includes paragraphs # 52, 53, 55 that did not get the required 2/3 Vote (even through the paragraphs were modified from the interim report of Oct 13.
    Votes are at the bottom.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for providing this link.

    • Anonymous says:

      What, exactly is your point? Are you saying that the two paragraphgs that did not obtain a consensus vote, as admitted by the Vatican, are not representative of Church teaching? Are you saying they are wrong? If So, what parts of them are wrong in yoru view that you would go against a MAJORITY of bishops to oppose?

      Are you saying that – as perhaps some prelates present there who voted agaisnt the paragraphs – that they didn’t go far enough in welcoming these people into our midst? What exactly is your point???

      • No one has any idea what you are talking about.
        Facts are facts, plain and simple. If you do not get that, no one can help you.
        No poster on this site set the rules for the Synod.
        If the Bishops wanted to include everything, they didn’t need to vote.

      • All Sinners are welcome, and always have been. That will not change.
        But their MORTAL Sins are not welcome.
        Their MORTAL Sins are hated, and always will be.

        • “All Sinners are welcome, and always have been. That will not change. But their Mortal Sins are not welcome”

          Excellent truth Dottie!

  9. This is a very interesting thread for a number of reasons, but it raises a key question for all of us. What does it mean to be Catholic? Is being Catholic simply an adherence to every single rule of the Church? Is being a Catholic a cultural state of being? Is being a Catholic a process of growing in faith over a lifetime? Is being Catholic a commitment to working with the poor disenfranchised? What does it mean to be Catholic? If I came to this site from who knows where, knowing nothing about the Catholic Church, this thread and many others on this site would have me totally confused. Seriously, when you say “I am a Catholic” what do you mean? Unless we can answer that question, all of our individual comments don’t have much meaning do they?

    • CCC: ” 830 The word “catholic” means “universal,” in the sense of “according to the totality” or “in keeping with the whole.” The Church is catholic in a double sense:
      First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. “Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.”
      In her subsists the fullness of Christ’s body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him “the fullness of the means of salvation” which He has willed:
      full sacramental life,
      and ordained ministry in apostolic succession.
      The Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost and will always be so until the day of the Parousia.”

      • CCC: ” 831 Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race:
        All men are called to belong to the new People of God. This People, therefore, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God’s will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one. . . . The character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods, under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit. “

  10. Cardinal Pell alluded to the fact that in history there have been many false popes and anti-popes. He said this without naming Francis of course but we all know who he was referring to. BERGOGLIO must step down he has damaged Holy Mother Church enough, only Cardinal Burke can save the Church and restore The Mass of All Times.

    • Anonymous says:

      We know who the anti-Pope is in this situation: The self appointed personal critic of the duly elected Pontiff. This is a scandal for which I hope Burke is sent into real exile very soon.

    • Cardinal Pell is a Faithful Bishop.
      He was also recently in charge of reforming the Vatican Bank.

      Gerhard Cardinal Muller is the Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and is very much against violations of the Faith as proposed by Kasper and Danneels.

  11. Sensorium lux says:

    Many bishops don’t hack on the ravages and pollution that is an outgrowth of sodomy…why?…many of these Post-Vatican II clerics, are “gay”! Many secretly hope that our Church and it’s members will endorse this pernicious depravity! Look at the conga-line of sodomites that were recently secretly filmed in Rome, at an underground sodomite party.

  12. The writing is on the wall: next year the continuing synod will pass sexual liberation for all. Pope Franciscus is beloved by the mass of Catholics but he intends to complete the now obsolete “Spirit” of Vatican Council II. Seems to me that, like 1964, 2014 is one of the worst years for the Church to open its doors to the secular world.

    Only two years ago we did not have a single state approving Gay marriage by free ballots. The tide has changed and the Pope is helping it along. Like Peronism and Obammunism, the new Church policy will leave the poor poorer.

  13. Purchase the book “REMAINING in the TRUTH of CHRIST” published by Ignatius Press 2014,
    and edited by Robert Dodaro, OSA.

    Writing contributors are GIANTS of the Faith – – -: Walter Cardinal Brandmuller; Raymond Cardinal Burke;
    Carlo Cardinal Caffarra; Valasio Cardinal De Paolis; Robert Dodaro OSA,
    Paul Mankowski SJ; Gerhard Cardinal Muller; John Rist;
    and Abp Cyril Vasil SJ.

    Send a copy to your Diocese Bishop as a Christmas gift,
    or in preparation for the 2015 Synod.
    They accurately and clearly refute Kasper’s assertions in his book.

  14. If the world were flat, the Pope might be leading us to the brink, but the world is round (although not everyone believes that). So he is not taking us over the edge, he is taking us to the new horizon, and then to the next. He has seen the damage done by those who resist Vatican II’s call for change. They, however, bask in the knowledge that most Catholics don’t pay much attention to what they think is important. People are, and have been leaving the church in droves, not because the church is becoming too “liberal” whatever that means, but because the church has not found a way to Pastoral in the midst of a culture that disagrees with much of what it teaches about, let’s be honest about it, about what goes on in the bedroom. It didn’t concentrate on the family in the last synod, did it. It talked about divorce and same sex relationships, etc. What about the family? How did it deal with the single mom family? How did it deal with the abandoned wife and children? How did it deal with the lack of educational opportunity that keeps a family in poverty? How did it deal with families that cannot feed their children because there is not work? How did the deal with the minimum wage earner who has to work three jobs to pay the rent? It really didn’t deal with family, did it? It dealt with those who are no longer married and same sex issues like they were the most important things in the world. The southern hemisphere Bishops are tearing the northern European and American folks with disdain for ignoring the plight of the people and worrying about Curia power, wouldn’t you agree? The Synod proved that we need a house cleaning in Rome. My fear is that our new Pope may not be up to doing what needs to be done.

    • Bob One, the teachings of Vatican II are contained in the CCC.
      The CCC includes teaching on Heaven, Hell, particular judgment, mortal (grave) sin, divorce with remarriage, and homosexual acts.

      Curia power was not even discussed at the Synod, Bob One. Why do you lie to people?
      If you are inferring that Church teaching should be changed by each individual Diocese Bishop rather than including the Pope in the Magisterium, you again are violating Jesus’s words when he named Peter the head (not merely an equal) to all the other Apostles.

      In addition, the Synod of 2014 made ZERO concrete/specific recommendations on how to be more Pastoral, or even how to teach more effectively.
      They merely stated what all of us already know.

      THIS is IMPORTANT – – – – – – –
      It is OK if people leave the Church in droves, as long as they are taught the Faith accurately and completely.
      God gave everyone a free will, and Jesus said many will not be saved, and the way to salvation is not easy. Mt. 7:13-14; and Lk 13:23-28.
      Many disciples left Jesus (Jn 6:66) when they thought His teaching was too hard. Jesus let them go. He did not change His teaching, nor his vocabulary, nor his method of teaching.

      • The continuing Synod next year is likely allow concubinage, lesbianism, sodomy, contraception and probably women ordination. This Pope is all in for Socialism, as explained in his Joy of the Gospel program, so enjoy aggiornamento Bob One while the pendulum is on your (left) side.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Bob One”: You are incorrect. The “damage done,” as you put it, is the fact of Vatican II implementation, not those that “resist” it. Implementation of Vatican II has created a wasteland in the Catholic Church, in any and all measureable respects. Resistance to this insanity is mandatory for faithful Catholics.

      The issue with the present Pope, the Curia, and the worldwide “Order of Bishops” is that they are basted in the sauce of Vatican II, and understand the foundations of the Church as beginning at that point. The hostility of present Catholic leadership to even acknowledging its own foundations, traditions, and practices is breathtaking. No institution can exist that denies its very self.

      Present leadership understands this better now. Unfortunately, the response of Francis is pretty much what you saw at the Synod: remake Catholic teaching. Oh, you can call it whatever you want: an exercise in “mercy”, or needed “pastoral” behavior, the point is that the Church leadership will be constantly hunting for an universal label by which it can change everything under the heading of, “discipline” (or some-such).

      Your comment — “something needs to be done” — is typical of people that simply do not know the Faith. How about this: teach the Faith, instruct with mercy so that those in spiritual need — homosexuals committing sodomy, remarried without annulments, using contraception, regularly fornicating — will know that they have a home, and application of forgiveness of sin. This is true mercy, this is how Jesus did it when speaking, eating, conversing with “sinners”: “Go and sin no more” is how He put it. Catchy phrase, full of mercy, forgiveness, and the promise of salvation.

  15. It ain’t over till it’s over, as the saying goes.
    The worst may still be coming from the Synod of 2015.


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