|I am eager to read the reactions of people I respect for their wisdom, gravitas in the Church and personal holiness before I make a judgement. But at first glance, I latch onto the last three words of the document: "truth in charity.” It appears that is what the Synod Fathers would like to achieve on whole. Where tough love does not work, they seem to be trying for a softer approach without giving away ground to error. They don’t exactly meet that challenge when they write:
“...we also indicate the constructive elements in those situations that do not yet or no longer correspond to that ideal.” That is like saying, “we recognize good qualities in pedophiles even though their sexual attractions aren’t ideal.”
That being said, this isn’t a document meant to hang our hat on…although the media and liberals will (if they haven’t started to already). It’s just meant to reveal their hand so we can see the cards they are playing with. We don’t know what they will ultimately wager. We don’t know what cards they will discard. We don’t know the final outcome.
That being said, we should all question the HASTE in which this document was produced. If B16 was in charge, this thing wouldn’t see light of day until after the New Year. Clearly, someone wrote this up long before the Synod was over. There is no way a committee could come up with this in like what? … a day or two? Impossible, especially for anything produced from the Vatican where EVERYTHING is late (including Papal Audiences). So, this thing is suspect from the get-go as far as any respectable skeptic would see it.
We can see that they are attempting to “meet people where they are.” Laudable AS LONG AS they do it the way Christ did. He met sinners where they were and challenged them to sin no more. What is missing in the formula we see beneath the words of this document? REPENTANCE and CONVERSION (and we only read about the Church’s need for “conversion" in #28-29). Today is the 97th anniversary of the miracle of Fatima. I have to believe that is significant for our thoughtful reading of this document produced on the same day. Charity yes. But Charity in TRUTH. Christ never gave ground to error—not one inch. He always challenges us to Truth. Not the truth of the Pharisees who put difficult burdens on people based on human standards not in conformity with God’s and certainly not based in any semblance of Truth in Charity. That was Christ’s point. Did he not tell the woman at the well the Truth? Did he give away any ground to error or point out the “constructive elements in those situations that do not yet or no longer correspond to that ideal”? Of course not. Yet, he was kind and compassionate to her. This is the longest recorded dialogue between our Lord and another person. That indicates it deserves our attention. He knew she was thirsty for Truth, so he gave it to her. She changed the subject to talk about religion. He turned the conversation back to talk about relationship and the reality of her situation that had nothing to do with “religion” but Truth. She tries to end the dialogue saying the Messiah will tell her the Truth. He tells her he is the one. He counters with Truth. Now THAT is the way to love people who are hurting (thirsty).
The longest recorded dialogue Christ had with a human being centered on the Truth of marriage. John the Baptist lost his head because of his proclamation of the Truth about Herod’s “marriage.” When Peter finally came up with the Church’s compassionate response to issues dealing with Gentile converts, he listed very few mandates so as to not unduly burden them—one was to obey the marriage laws.
This particular document is interesting more for what it does NOT include which we would normally see in something of this gravity--copious Biblical citations. This should concern us. What in the Gospel of Jesus Christ permits us to appreciate the “constructive elements” in sinful relationships?
Conversely, why not hold up for our edification “constructive elements” in situations in which people are actually taking it on the chin and living a life in conformity with the Gospel? Take the wife whose husband ditched her to run off with the babysitter? I thought the Church was supposed to be about JUSTICE? In some places, this document does not appear to smack of justice for the injured but appeasement to the assailant who doesn’t need to repent, apparently. Instead it suggests the Church needs to change (change harsh words, consider what other religions do etc.) Does it surprise us that some of the Cardinals proposing the Church side-step inconvenient Truths are the very cardinals leading countries with seven percent Mass attendance on any given weekend? We are to give serious attention and credence to THEIR solutions?
We lost a significant portion of Europe to the Protestant reformation because the Church held strong to the Truth of marriage. St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher and countless others lost their lives over the issue. Today, Catholic adoption services across our nation are being shut down because of the Church’s defense of marriage. Given the high prices paid for the defense of marriage (in the Bible and on down to our own time), we are to chuck all that and give ground in politically correct or convenient areas? I cannot believe the Holy Spirit would allow that.
Finally, I note this line:
"The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an important educative challenge.”That line would be stamped with a FAIL grade by any English instructor worth his/her salt. Gobbly-Gook sentences like that reveal a writer trying to lard over a point he either does not understand or does not wish his reader to understand. THAT is deception. Say what you mean and say it clearly. This sentence reveals a coward.
When Teresa of Avila heard about the Protestant wave engulfing Europe, she buckled down in prayer and mortification. Her prayer was for strength and courage the “men” in the Church needed in order to hold fast to the Bride. These Synod Fathers need the same help. That is our task. Time to break out more rosaries, fast and pray hard and often. In the end, “my immaculate heart will triumph.”
|Our company would never produce a document of this size in that amount of time for EMPLOYEE consumption, never mind WORLD-WIDE distribution. It has to pass by a lot of eyes for thoughtful deliberation and consideration of HOW we say things. I know this thing was an English translation, but still everyone around the world is commenting on how poorly it was written and how poorly words were chosen. But…as we know…this is how liberals operate. They are all too eager to relish the effects of spewing their “progressive wins” in the marketplace.|
Fr. Barron, I believe, hits the nail quite squarely:
|This is a somewhat more refined version of “those who enjoy sausage ought never to watch how it is made.” The interim report on the Synod represents a very early stage of the sausage-making process and, unsurprisingly, it isn’t pretty. Two more weeks of discussion will follow; then a full year during which the findings of the Synod will be further refined, argued about, and clarified; then the Ordinary Synod on the Family will take place (the one going on now is the Extraordinary Synod), and many more arguments and counter-arguments will be made; finally, some months, perhaps even a year or so, after that, the Pope will write a post-Synodal exhortation summing up the entire process and offering a definitive take on the matter. At that point, I would suggest, something resembling edible sausage will be available for our consumption; until then, we should all be patient and refrain from bloviating. - See more at: http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/having-patience-for-the-sausage-making-synod/4517|