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This excellent analysis of the mid-Synod (interim) report first appeared in The Wanderer and at Catholicism.org. It is reprinted here in order to reveal the extent of the apostasy and treachery; much broader and deeper than the few well-publicised sections.

Reasons for a Catholic Resistance!

DR. MAIKE HICKSON

“As the Rascals always say: 'If you can't pass the test, change the test!'
But it's hard to pass the test when the test itself keeps changing (or evolving!).”

(The Famous Words of a Living Virginian)

 

On the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, October 13, the Synod of Bishops released a mid-term report of the Synod meeting in Rome which has incited the resistance of many Catholics against the unmistakably revolutionary changes of the traditional moral teaching of the Catholic Church in matters of marriage and the family. This document constitutes a grave scandal to the faithful who might now be potentially misled into sin, or at least led to believe that they may remain in their state of sin without expecting any condign penalty from God.

Many Catholics, clergy and laymen alike, have already earnestly demanded that the Synod return to the fullness of the teaching of Christ on the nature and sacramentality of marriage. If this interim document were to influence (by means of insinuated ambiguity and equivocation) the official final document of the Synod — the Relatio Finalis — it would break many of the last levées that still hold out against the permeating decay of moral life in this world, and thus also do greater damage to many souls and their eternal salvation. In the following critique, important aspects of the document which are especially troubling will, therefore, be presented.

It should be made clear from the outset, however, that this interim report is not a magisterial document. It is only a report that engages formally the responsibility of the persons that presented this document, and it was supposed to be a summary of the discussions of the first week of the Synod's session. However, the grave effect upon the Faith of the Church is spread by this very document itself, quite independent of its formal legal status.

It should also be stressed from the beginning of this analysis that the whole document is permeated by a language — or a lingo — that is often amorphous, ambiguous, and equivocal and lacking clear definitions of its novel words and concepts such as “the law of graduality.” 

Seven specific problems that appear in this text will be discussed here. (I will put the sequentially numbered parts of the promulgated report from which I quote in parentheses next to the titles):

1. Mixed Marriages (Part I);
2. The Law of Graduality (Part II);
3. Positive Elements in Irregular Marriages and Forms of Cohabitation (Part II);
4. The Nullity Process (Part III);
5. Proposal Concerning Holy Communion for Remarried Divorcees (Part III);
6. On Spiritual Communion and Holy Communion (Part III); and, finally
7. The Positive Contributions of Homosexual Couples (Part III).

1. Mixed Marriages

The mid-term interim report claims that mixed marriages, that is to say marriages between spouses of different faiths, have “the great potential that derives from the encounter between the differences in faith that these stories of family life present.” With it, the report claims that there is a good to be found in the very existence of diverse and often contradictory religions.

However, in regard to mixed marriages we should continue the constant practice of the Church which forbids these types of marriages, or allows them only with reluctance and under very strict conditions. (See canons 1124 and following.) We should ask ourselves a strictly logical question: how is it possible to celebrate a marriage between persons who do not share the same belief and understanding on the nature of marriage. This can have a grave effect on the Faith of the children of such marriages who are faced with the fact that their most beloved parents disagree about and in the most intimate matters of life.

2. The Law of Graduality

The Report states that “Through the law of gradualness (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 34), typical of divine pedagogy, this means interpreting the nuptial covenant in terms of continuity and novelty, in the order of creation and in that of redemption.” Most troublingly, it continues:

Jesus Himself, referring to the primordial plan for the human couple, reaffirms the indissoluble union between man and woman, while understanding that “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning” (Mt 19,8).

The report makes here two incorrect references to other sources, while using them to argue in favour of a laxer attitude toward couples living in cohabitation or as civilly remarried divorcees. In so doing, it accepts their irregular and sinful status, while referencing the novel idea that one can gradually and (therefore) slowly grow out of a state of sin and participate in the Sacraments of the Church at the same time.

As the President of the Polish Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki, has recently stated: “Can you really treat cohabitation as gradual, [and] on the path to holiness?” If one reads the pertinent passage of Familiaris Consortio, it states:

They [married people] cannot however look on the law as merely an ideal to be achieved in the future: they must consider it as a command of Christ the Lord to overcome difficulties with constancy.  “And so what is known as 'the law of gradualness' or step-by-step advance cannot be identified with 'gradualness of the law,' as if there were different degrees or forms of precept in God's law for different individuals and situations. In God's plan, all husbands and wives are called in marriage to holiness, and this lofty vocation is fulfilled to the extent that the human person is able to respond to God's command with serene confidence in God's grace and in his or her own will.”(34)

So, it is evident that what was expressed in the passage quoted above is not in accordance, after all, with Familiaris Consortio. That means that the mid-term report erroneously quotes Church documents out of context, in order to use it to foster a specious argument contradicting the very source which is quoted. This sophistry is a serious method of operation in this interim text and was already detected in the speech by Cardinal Kasper to the Consistory in February this year, where he repeatedly manipulated his sources or historical events so as to bolster his argument. (The book Remaining in the Truth of Christ, with authors such as Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller,  and Walter Cardinal Brandmüller, has very effectively refuted this stealthy and dishonest method applied by Walter Cardinal Kasper.)

The same applies to the interim report's reference to Moses and to his allowance of divorce due to the hardened hearts of the Jews. Jesus Christ declares, in exactly that same passage of the New Testament, that this old law is abolished under the new law and therefore divorce is now disallowed! This attempt at sophism is a serious violation of honour and any honest academic argumentation, let alone in an official, and desirably trustworthy document of the Synod of Bishops.

3. Positive Elements in Irregular Marriages and Forms of Cohabitation

Another passage of the report concerns those marriages of Catholics that have been contracted (or vowed) outside the Catholic Church, which have no sacramental validity in the eyes of the Church and, therefore, may be, or may soon become, morally weakened and even sinful. The report, however, insidiously says:

Some ask whether the sacramental fullness of marriage does not exclude the possibility of recognising positive elements even the imperfect forms that may be found outside this nuptial situation, which are in any case ordered in relation to it. The doctrine of levels of communion, formulated by Vatican Council II, confirms the vision of a structured way of participating in the Mysterium Ecclesiae by baptised persons.

Between baptised Catholics the only possible valid marriage is the sacramental marriage. In the case that baptised Catholics engage in civil marriage, that marriage is invalid and therefore, there is no way that we can see, in moral terms, positive elements in such unions. This lax view concerning marriages contracted outside the Church will lead to a further weakening of the importance of the Sacrament of Matrimony in the eyes of the faithful. It will certainly not strengthen it.

Later the document states:

Realising the need, therefore, for spiritual discernment with regard to cohabitation, civil marriages and divorced and remarried persons, it is the task of the Church to recognise those seeds of the Word that have spread beyond its visible and sacramental boundaries. Following the expansive gaze of Christ, whose light illuminates every man (cf. Jn 1:9; cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22), the Church turns respectfully to those who participate in her life in an incomplete and imperfect way, appreciating the positive values they contain rather than their limitations and shortcomings.

It is a dangerous action to try to find good aspects in substantially evil situations. We run the risk that, in finding good aspects in fundamentally wrong relations, we might give to the persons that find themselves in those situations a reason to remain in them and avoid a true conversion.

The document furthermore adds:

In this respect, a new dimension of today’s family pastoral [sic] consists of accepting the reality of civil marriage and also cohabitation, taking into account the due differences. Indeed, when a union reaches a notable level of stability through a public bond, [and] is characterised by deep affection, responsibility with regard to offspring, and capacity to withstand tests, it may be seen as a germ to be accompanied in development towards the sacrament of marriage.

If we are speaking about baptised Catholics, how can we be asked to accept situations that are clearly against the teachings of Christ? This statement of the mid-term interim report is a slap in the face of Jesus Christ Himself. It opens the gates to a fundamental destruction of the Sacrament of Matrimony and will thereby lead many Catholics into sin, while leaving them to believe that they are not.

4. The Nullity Process

Concerning the case of nullity, where persons approach Canonical courts to evaluate whether their previous Catholic marriage was null and void from the outset due to a defective or missing, valid marriage vow, one has to be particularly prudent; because it is fundamental for the good of the souls of those involved that all the necessary procedural guarantees will be kept to assure that truth about their marriage will be found. One of those guarantees is the double conforming sentence, meaning that a second court has to confirm or reject the decision of the first court's ruling in a marriage case. Cardinal Burke has clearly pointed out the importance of a solid and thorough examination of each case in the aforementioned book Remaining in the Truth of Christ, published by Ignatius Press.

The mid-term report, however, states just the opposite and intends to loosen the standards of the process of nullity:

Various Fathers underlined the necessity to make the recognition of cases of nullity more accessible and flexible. Among the propositions were the abandonment of the need for the double conforming sentence; the possibility of establishing an administrative means under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop; a summary process to be used in cases of clear nullity....As regards matrimonial suits, the speeding-up of the procedure, requested by many, as well as the preparation of a sufficient number of operators, clerics and lay people, dedicating themselves to this, requires an increase in the responsibilities of the diocesan bishop, who in his diocese might charge a specially trained priest who would be able to offer the parties advice on the validity of their marriage.

This proposition will clearly lead to a laxer attitude toward the process of nullity, which might effectively turn these procedures into “Catholic divorces.” The standards for the canonical process will be lowered and perhaps even just handed down to a single priest. It shows a clear lack of concern for the salvation of the souls involved, because otherwise, one would seek the most careful way of ascertaining the truth about a marriage. This aspect of the report is clearly influenced by, or at least similar to, the views of Walter Cardinal Kasper.

5. Proposal Concerning Holy Communion for Remarried Divorcees

Cardinal Kasper also apparently influenced another proposal of the report, namely to allow those who are divorced and remarried outside the Church to receive Holy Communion. The document says:

As regards the possibility of partaking of the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, some argued in favour of the present regulations because of their theological foundation, others were in favour of a greater opening on very precise conditions when dealing with situations that cannot be resolved without creating new injustices and suffering. For some, partaking of the sacraments might occur were it preceded by a penitential path – under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop – and with a clear undertaking in favour of the children. This would not be a general possibility, but the fruit of a discernment applied on a case-by-case basis, according to a law of gradualness, that takes into consideration the distinction between state of sin, state of grace and the attenuating circumstances.

It should be clear to anyone that knows the teachings of the Church on marriage that this proposal, as well as the insidious proposal of Cardinal Kasper, is not acceptable.

Particularly troubling is the idea that, because someone has already lived for a longer while in a marriage outside of the Church, it would cause only more injustices and suffering if one were to dissolve that irregular marriage. To take another example while applying the same purported principle, it would mean that a man who stole his friend's car four years ago cannot (should not) now give it back, because he is already so accustomed to the car and is so habitually attached to it that it would only cause him suffering to make restitution and thus give it back to the real owner. Such way of argumentation limits itself to the subjective feelings of a selfish person who might be, objectively speaking, also in a state of grave sin.

The idea to admit remarried couples who are divorced to the Sacraments will remove any deterring tool of the Church to lead these couples out of their sinful state. It will make them believe that they are in the state of grace and therefore will feel no need and urge any more to change their lives. Yet, we remember that Christ Himself told the woman at the well that she was still married to her first husband. His words count. All in all, this approach will undermine the teaching and doctrine of the Sacrament of Penance, as well, following which we can only receive forgiveness from God if we truly, sincerely, repent of our sins and continue to strive to avoid the occasions of sin.

6.  On Spiritual Communion and Holy Communion

The whole teaching about the importance of a person being in the state of grace is further undermined by the following part of the report:

Suggesting limiting themselves to only “spiritual communion” was questioned by more than a few Synodal Fathers: if spiritual communion is possible, why not allow them to partake in the sacrament? As a result a greater theological study was requested starting with the links between the sacrament of marriage and the Eucharist in relation to the Church-sacrament.

How could a person receive Jesus Christ in the form of a spiritual communion if that person is in the state of sin? This kind of argumentation undermines once more the complex and differentiated teaching of the Church in a serious doctrinal matter. If we deliberately reject Christ and His teaching by our acts, He will not enter and dwell in our souls in Sanctifying Grace, until we repent and mend our lives. (Our Lord's generosity would, however, still offer Actual Graces.) Therefore, we have to be attentive to the false analogue that has been proposed here.

7. The Positive Contributions of Homosexual Couples

With regard to homosexual persons, the document notes:

Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

Here we should respond, that the homosexual person has gifts as a human person, but not as a homosexual, because homosexuality is in itself a pathology. It is not morally possible to accept and value their disordered sexual “orientation” without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony. Homosexuality is an intrinsic evil that has been clearly condemned by Scripture, Old and New Testament. To declare the opposite is to put oneself outside of the teaching of God Himself and His Law. It is a dangerous path, dangerous because it will lead to the loss of many souls.

Abandoning the flock

To make a final remark on the mid-term interim report, one should forthrightly state that the Church, realising how deeply her flock has sunk into the mire and swamp of sin, now seems to declare that sin is not so dirty after all. It is as if I as a mother, realising that my children are badly behaved and lacking any form of good manners or courtesy, declare that courtesy and good behaviour are no longer really important for a family nor for society, and as a consequence surrender my duties to raise the children to become good Christians and good members of society. Facing my own negligence and the lack of a moral-cultural formation of my children, I would then, rather, turn away entirely from my own responsibility and give up forming my children altogether.

Any parent with honesty and self-respect would likely declare me to be a slothful and even deeply inhuman mother, because I was leaving my offspring so bereft of any gracious dignity and true love. The same applies to this interim document. Instead of cleaning up the mess (or chaos) that a lack of deep Catholic formation and instruction have caused among the faithful; and instead of more fully enlivening the Faith of the flock, the Synod Fathers prefer to declare, as it seems, that the flock may, rather, often stay where they are. And they thereby let the flock sink even deeper.

Eminent critics

Because of the beguiling dangers emanating from this interim document, insofar as it concerns (or obstructs) the salvation of souls, many Catholics have already sharply criticised it. Among these individuals and organisations are: the Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Müller; the Prefect of the Signatura, Cardinal Burke; South African Cardinal Napier; Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki; Archbishop Zbignev Stankevics; Father Joseph Fessio, S.J.; the coalition called The Voice of the Family (among whose main members are Human Life International and LifeSiteNews); Brother Andre Marie, M.I.C.M., the Prior of Saint Benedict Center, and C.J. Doyle, Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts.

The purging of "mother" and "father"

Brother Andre Marie made the following, and incisively important observations on the mid-term report of the Synod, especially as it concerns the fathers and mothers of families:

A quick glance at the Relatio reveals, not only some very troubling commissions by the compilers of the document (e.g., on the subject of homosexuality), but also some stunning omissions. The word 'mother' is mentioned but once, and only refers to the Church. The word 'father' appears seven times: once in reference to the First Person of the Trinity, and six times when mentioning the 'Synod Fathers' themselves. In other words, the mothers and fathers of families are not even mentioned by a synod on the family. Instead, the synod refers to 'couple[s]' in the singular or plural — once in reference to homosexuals! Implicit in this shocking omission is the error that the family is headed, or merely produced, by a sort of diarchy. The father and mother have distinct roles in the family, willed by God and taught in Holy Scripture. Numerous pastoral problems — some highlighted by the bishops in the Synod, such as absent fathers in Africa — involve grave social phenomena that have impeded the proper living of these roles. Also, it is not surprising that, in a document favorable to unions built on unnatural lust, mention of the father as head of the family is completely absent. Yet, so many of the problems we are seeing in society result from the 'decapitation' of the family. A rapid return to the lucid doctrine of Pope Leo XIII's Arcanum is in order.

Pandering to the Gaystapo

C.J. Doyle makes some additional observations on the larger problem of homoeroticism, especially about the strategic networks and gathering effects of very well-organised homosexuals:

Organised homosexualism is an aggressive, neo-totalitarian movement which seeks to censor, silence, and punish anyone opposed to it, drive out of political life and public employment all those who support traditional morality, demonize as bigots, haters, and homophobes anyone who expresses the slightest reservation towards homosexual behavior, and use state power to coerce, oppress and penalize individuals and businesses who refuse to service so-called same gender marriages. We need to organize a resistance to this growing thuggery, rather than make pandering banalities about their so-called gifts.

Our moral duty to defend Christ's Truth!

A modest and magnanimous friend of ours, who is very well educated in the Faith, and who is also a long-standing counsellor to more than one Vatican dicastery in Rome, has recently said the following, and from his heart:

The “relatio” from the “out-of-the-ordinary” synod which has no doctrinal standing whatsoever is the least pastoral document that one can imagine. It will sow the seeds of confusion and lead people into making perhaps death-dealing decisions (both physically and spiritually).

We Catholics certainly have the moral duty to defend Christ's Truth even more fully now, and to put moral pressure on the upper hierarchy of the Catholic Church to resist, refute, and repudiate  these pernicious (often stealthy) revolutionary attempts to remake our historic Catholic Faith and to turn it into a sentimentalising, pandering, “politically correct” institution. One that will have much less moral relevance or important influence for the purified and abundantly good life of mankind, here and hereafter.

* * * * *

POSTSCRIPT 

At the editor's request, Dr Hickson has kindly provided this summary critique of the Final Report,
in light of her Mid-term Report analysis above:

Before commenting on the substance of the Final Report, it is important to note that, soon after the release of the English translation of the Final Report which was officially written in Italian (not in Latin), suspicion arose as to the reliability and idiomatic accuracy of the translation. Indeed, as it seems, half sentences have been omitted altogether, and in different places. Therefore, all the following comments should be read on the basis of this observation. We properly have to await the detailed analysis of the translation by a knowledgeable person. The coalition Voice of the Family (see voiceofthefamily.info) intends to publish soon a more thorough analysis of this matter of the English translation.

Before going into more detail, I would also like to note the general tone of the final document which is in most parts permeated by vagueness and “shyness,” especially in speaking about sin, repentance and a reparatory conversion of life. The whole spirit of the document invites laxity and softness, instead of reviving the sense of firmness and urgency within the Church — in reminding the faithful of Holy Fear and the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell (which could come to us individually at any unforeseen moment of our lives). A wholesome sense of the danger of sin will lead many souls to the higher life of the Faith. Indeed, the Church should remind us that we all are called to become saints.

To give only one example of the vague and empty language of parts of the document, I quote a sentence: “Cultural tendencies in today's world seem to set no limits on a person's affectivity in which every aspect needs to be explored, even those which are highly complex.” (§10) Too many times does the document refer to words such as “seem,” “search,” “misunderstanding,” “difficulty,” “socio-cultural realities,” and such.

It also may be noted that the document, unfortunately, refers to words that have been introduced into the discourse by the revolutionary UN conferences on the Rights of the Child and the Rights of Women. (The present writer remembers well how in the 1990s, the Catholic Church was still very much aware of the revolutionary and feminist agenda of these UN conferences, and tried to resist it. I fear that the increasing adoption of their terminology could signify Her giving up this resolute resistance.)

The document reads: “The positive aspects are first to be highlighted, namely a greater freedom of expression and a better recognition of the rights of women and children, at least in some parts of the world.” (§5)

(The document does not affirm at all what Ephesians 5 has taught to all Christian married couples, namely that the husband is, after all, the head of the family and exercises the supreme authority as well as his demanding ongoing responsibilities while also standing  ready for the  final accountability before God [coram Deo] that goes along with it.)

At another place, the document speaks of the “global village” (§2), also an equivocal, if not irrational, expression stemming from the conferences of the United Nations.

In the following, I shall review the aspects that I earlier criticised in the analysis of the midterm report. The Synod Fathers had to have a two-thirds majority to be able to approve of any of the listed paragraphs, which means that, depending upon how many Synod Fathers abstained from voting altogether on a specific paragraph, approximately 60 “non placet” votes were sufficient to reject a particular paragraph.

1. Mixed Marriages

The language has been somewhat altered with respect to mixed marriages, by now placing on an equal plane a critical, as well as a “positive,” view of such marriages. After speaking of “inherent difficulties” in mixed marriages, including “the danger of relativism or indifference,” the report then states that “such marriages can exhibit great potential in favouring the spirit of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue in a harmonious living together of diverse religions in the same place.” (§7)

Therefore, the traditional cautionary teaching of the Catholic Church on mixed marriages has still not been reestablished.

It might also be noted that the danger of relativism and of indifference does indeed also apply to any ecumenical and interreligious (i.e., “interfaith”) attempt on the part of
the Church.

2. The Law of “Graduality”

The growing resistance against this concept of “graduality” seems to have been able to remove it from the final document, at least in its explicit form. The misleading reference to Moses and his allowance of divorce has now been put into the right context, showing that it is not any more valid under the New Law of Christ. (§13 and 14)

3. “Positive” Elements in Irregular Marriages and Forms of Cohabitation

Unfortunately, a “positive” evaluation of Irregular Marriages and of Cohabitation is still in the document. With only 39 Synod Fathers voting against it, and 140 Synod Fathers approving of the innovations, the document now actually states:

“...the Church turns with love to those who participate in her life in an incomplete manner, recognizing that the grace of God works also in their lives by giving them the courage to do good, to care for one another in love and to be of service to the community in which they live and work.” (§25)

A lack of urgency is further underlined in para. 27:

“When a union reaches a particular stability, legally recognised, characterised by deep affection and responsibility for children and showing an ability to overcome trials, these unions can offer occasions for guidance with an eye towards the eventual celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage.”

“Occasion for guidance” and “eventual celebration” do not give the faithful a sense of urgency or moral earnestness in changing their risk-filled lives.
In para. 41, the purportedly “positive [and “constructive”] elements” of irregular unions are stressed:

“A new element in today's pastoral activity is a sensitivity to the positive aspects of the civilly celebrated marriages and, with obvious differences, cohabitation. While clearly presenting the Christian message, the Church also needs to indicate the constructive elements in these situations which do not yet or no longer correspond to it.”

(125 Synod Fathers approved of the paragraph. The 54 voting against it was insufficient to reject it. It would have needed only eight or so more Fathers voting against it, for it to have been rejected altogether.)

4. The Nullity Process

Cardinal Kasper's proposed attempts to accelerate and dilute and perhaps greatly to weaken the Canonical Process of nullity by, for example, removing the involvement of a second court in coming to a final sentence, still have a subtle place in the final document. While it states that some bishops had disagreed, it also says that a great number of Synod Fathers saw

“the need to make the procedures in cases of nullity more accessible and less time-consuming. They proposed, among others, the dispensation of the requirement of second instance for confirming sentences, the possibility of establishing an administrative means under the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop, and a simple process to be used in cases where nullity is clearly evident.” (§48)

Thus, the following paragraph still calls for “streamlining the procedure of marriage cases.”

5. Proposal Concerning Holy Communion for “Remarried Divorcees”

Paragraph 52 which openly discusses – in spite of the Sixth Commandment – the “possibility” for allowing “remarried divorcees” to receive Holy Communion (after an unspecified penitential practice) did not, however, receive the two-thirds majority of the Synod Fathers (74 rejected it). However, 104 Synod Fathers (the simple majority) still approved of it. A very troubling fact, indeed!

This paragraph received the strongest rejection by the Synod Fathers, indicating that many saw a clear breach of the Church's doctrine and continuous teaching. Pope Francis decided to leave this paragraph in the final report, and thereby to keep this specific discussion alive, as it were.

6. On Spiritual Communion and Holy Communion

The following paragraph 53 which raises the question whether sinners who are not allowed to receive Holy Communion can somehow receive a Spiritual Communion – and therefore might come gradually  to be allowed to Holy Communion after all – has been rejected by only 64 Synod Fathers, thus a very narrow margin disallowing its acceptance. 118 Synod Fathers approved of it. It would therefore have needed only three or four fewer “non placet” votes from the Synod Fathers to achieve the acceptance of that paragraph. Nonetheless, the rejected paragraph still remains in the final document due to the Pope's dubious intervention. This paragraph seems to me to be an indirect approach to allowing “remarried divorcees” to receive Holy Communion after all (which would be a sacrilege, if not worse).

7. The “Positive” Contributions of “Homosexual Couples”

The paragraph concerning “positive” contributions of “homosexual couples” — male and female — has been largely altered. It no longer mentions that homosexuals “have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.” It merely speaks now of the importance of treating such “couples” with respect, and of avoiding any form of unjust discrimination (if the English translation is correct). However, these words still remain in the document: “Nevertheless, men and women with a homosexual tendency ought to be received with respect and sensitivity.” (§55)

The paragraph itself was rejected by the 62 “non placet” votes stacking up against the 118 affirming votes of the Synod Fathers. (Again, it was a very narrow margin – just three “non placet” votes less, and the paragraph would have been accepted.) Last but not least, it is important to note that this paragraph does not make a clear moral assessment and critique of the intrinsic disorder of homoeroticism. Nor does it repeat the Catechism's restatement of the moral disorder and sinfulness of such behaviour.

Additionally, I think it highly problematic to discuss at all this explosive (and aggressive) issue of homoeroticism in an ecclesiastical document dealing with the Catholic teaching on Marriage and the Family. It implies that homoeroticism is a topic intimately related to the family, which it is not. It is anti-life, anti-family and in its practice a grave sin against God's Commandments. It should be omitted altogether and dealt with specifically and thoroughly in other Church documents.

It is also not clear from some of the votes whether or not the Synod Fathers rejected this paragraph because it was too soft for them, or, rather, because it did not go far enough in their eyes in showing a lenient acceptance of this sinful habitual behaviour (even to include the matter of their adopting little children).

Two additional considerations:

Finally, I would like to note two problematic parts which I have not yet discussed.

The first pertains to the question of contraception (or birth-prevention). The final document of the Synod merely states, and very weakly, that the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae

“highlights the need to respect the dignity of the person in morally assessing methods in regulating births.” (§58)

This is quite shocking when we think that these methods could easily insinuate the forbidden forms of contraception, including even subtle abortifacient deceptions, since they are not herein explicitly excluded. And we must also face the fact that births in too many cases nowadays are not thereby regulated by these methods, but, rather, altogether prevented or willingly (and slyly) avoided! In the context of the actual practice of many forms of birth prevention by Catholics, the Synod should state in much clearer form the continuous teaching of the Church in this matter, mindful of human selfishness and self-deception.

Last but not least, the document (§60) is very weak in warning parents not to allow their children unguided access to most of the promiscuous public secular media today. It only states that parents have the freedom to choose the education of their children, while not at all showing how subversive and detrimental most of the public media are today for those resolutely desiring the greater fostering of the Christian Faith and Grace-filled way of life in the souls of the children. It is a grave omission on the part of the Synod, which should help to protect the souls of the vulnerable ones from the sneers, violence and ugliness of the modern world, and from its many (and often narcotic) allurements to impurity.

Continued Reasons for a Catholic Resistance!

In summary, I would like to encourage the greater awareness of all Catholics about these matters of moment, so that we may become convinced that the manifold danger to the Faith (and therewith the salvation of souls) is far from being over, or even less insidious. We are still facing the danger of a specious altering of the irreformable teaching of Christ, at the next Synod in 2015.

The high numbers of Synod Fathers approving of some highly dangerous paragraphs — which put into ambiguous doubt some central elements of the Church's moral teaching, such as the condemnation of cohabitation and “remarriage” after a divorce — should alarm all of us. These troubling votes must have given the modernist-progressivist reformers enough encouragement to hope for a more effective and radical change of the Church's moral teaching in the coming year.

And let us not forget the Little Ones who suffer so much from the divorce of their parents. They deserve a good defense. They are the most prominent purpose of marriage as God planned it. When we defend the Sacrament of Marriage in its entirety, we also defend them.

Therefore, we are now called to consider the various permissible forms of honest resistance (strategic and tactical), and the ways for the  public expressions of our loyalty to Christ's teaching on Marriage and the Family. To begin with, some of us might be inspired to contact our Apostolic Nuncio.(1) May many individual Catholic institutions and even individual Catholic parishes also come generously to the help of Christ Himself, defending His full teaching before the world and within His Church! The more that voices of moral resistance and reasoned protest will be attentively heard, the more will be the chances for us to have an affirmative and salutary influence upon the Synod Fathers, directly or indirectly,  over the course of the next year, leading up to their final deliberations in October 2015.

In any case, let us not sleep or drift in sloth while a seemingly indefatiguable enemy is energetically working. Let us generously and perseveringly respond when we are called to the great honour of being allowed to do something to defend Our Lord — Who did Himself so much for us, that we might come to receive both in Time and Eternity a Life More Abundant.

 

FOOTNOTES

(1) UNITED STATES: H.E. Most Rev. Archbishop Carlo Vigano, Apostolic Nuntiature of the Holy See, 3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20008, e-mail: nuntiususa@nuntiususa.org;
CANADA:
Most Rev. Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nunciature, 724 Manor Ave, Ottawa, ON K1M 0E3, email: nuntiatura@nuntiatura.ca;
UNITED KINGDOM: Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nunciature, 54 Parkside, Wimbledon, London SW19 5NE;
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nunciature, 83 Navan Rd, Dublin 7;
AUSTRALIA: Archbishop Paul Gallagher, PO Box 3633, Manuka ACT 2603.

 

 

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