First Document causes Chaos…
A Nod to Sin at the Synod:
Gathering finds “Elements” of Holy Matrimony in Fornication & Adultery, wants to “Accept & Value” Homosexual “Orientation”
Vatican commentator John Thavis has called it a “pastoral earthquake”: The Extraordinary Synod on the Family currently underway in the Vatican has just released its first post-discussion document (relatio post disceptationem), an initial position paper, if you will, or draft of ideas and suggestions to be considered and discussed in the coming days at the synod itself and in the next 12 months before the final decisions are made at next year’s Ordinary Synod in October 2015.
As was to be expected, the document, which was read aloud at the assembly on Oct. 13, is filled with endless Modernist prattle about “mutual respect”, “cultural realities”, “socio-economic factors”, etc., ad nauseam. But the salient point of the relatio can be summed up thus: While paying lipservice to Catholic dogma, the document encourages “Catholics” to focus on the positive aspects supposedly found in “irregular” situations (read: fornication, adultery, sodomy) and thereby gradually help such people to embrace the Gospel’s teaching about marriage and the family. John Thavis summarized it this way:
While defending the traditional teachings that reject divorce and gay marriage, the synod said the modern church must focus more on the “positive elements” in such relationships, rather than their shortcomings, and open a patient and merciful dialogue with the people involved. The ultimate aim, it said, is to use these “seeds” of goodness to bring people more fully into the church.
(John Thavis, “A Pastoral Earthquake at the Synod”, Oct. 13, 2014)
Sound familiar? It’s Vatican II Reloaded. Just as the council discovered “elements” of “sanctification and truth” in other religions (see Lumen Gentium, n. 8; Nostra Aetate, n. 2), so today’s Novus Ordo bishops don’t see why such elements couldn’t also be found in people who are cohabiting without being married or who live in a state of adultery. Though the document does not explicitly say so, it hints at the same considerations applying to sodomitical unions, something that, in any case, would be merely a logical consequence of this principle. Hey, there’s a little bit of virtue in every vice, eh?!
We are reminded of the stern warning of the prophet Isaias: “Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Is 5:20). Sodomy is a sin crying to Heaven for vengeance!
Let’s have a look at some of the more explosive quotes from the Synod document (all underlining added by us):
In considering the principle of gradualness in the divine salvific plan, one asks what possibilities are given to married couples who experience the failure of their marriage, or rather how it is possible to offer them Christ’s help through the ministry of the Church. In this respect, a significant hermeneutic key comes from the teaching of Vatican Council II, which, while it affirms that “although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure … these elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward Catholic unity” (Lumen Gentium, 8).
In this light, the value and consistency of natural marriage must first be emphasized. Some ask whether the sacramental fullness of marriage does not exclude the possibility of recognizing 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 baptized persons.
In the same perspective, that we may consider inclusive, the Council opens up the horizon for appreciating the positive elements present in other religions (cf. Nostra Aetate, 2) and cultures, despite their limits and their insufficiencies (cf. Redemptoris Missio, 55). Indeed, looking at the human wisdom present in these, the Church learns how the family is universally considered as the necessary and fruitful form of human cohabitation. In this sense, the order of creation, in which the Christian vision of the family is rooted, unfolds historically, in different cultural and geographical expressions.
Realizing 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 recognize 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.
Truth and beauty of the family and mercy
The Gospel of the family, while it shines in the witness of many families who live coherently their fidelity to the sacrament, with their mature fruits of authentic daily sanctity must also nurture those seeds that are yet to mature, and must care for those trees that have dried up and wish not to be neglected.
In this respect, a new dimension of today’s family pastoral 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, is characterized 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.
A new sensitivity in today’s pastoral consists in grasping the positive reality of civil weddings and, having pointed out our differences, of cohabitation. It is necessary that in the ecclesial proposal, while clearly presenting the ideal, we also indicate the constructive elements in those situations that do not yet or no longer correspond to that ideal.
It was also noted that in many countries an “an increasing number live together ad experimentum, in unions which have not been religiously or civilly recognized” (Instrumentum Laboris, 81). In Africa this occurs especially in traditional marriages, agreed between families and often celebrated in different stages. Faced by these situations, the Church is called on to be “the house of the Father, with doors always wide open […] where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems” (Evangelii Gaudium, 47) and to move towards those who feel the need to take up again their path of faith, even if it is not possible to celebrate a religious marriage.
In the West as well there is an increasingly large number of those who, having lived together for a long period of time, ask to be married in the Church. Simple cohabitation is often a choice inspired by a general attitude, which is opposed to institutions and definitive undertakings, but also while waiting for a secure existence (a steady job and income). In other countries common-law marriages are very numerous, not because of a rejection of Christian values as regards the family and matrimony, but, above all, because getting married is a luxury, so that material poverty encourages people to live in common-law marriages. Furthermore in such unions it is possible to grasp authentic family values or at least the wish for them. Pastoral accompaniment should always start from these positive aspects.
All these situations have to be dealt with in a constructive manner, seeking to transform them into opportunities to walk towards the fullness of marriage and the family in the light of the Gospel. They need to be welcomed and accompanied with patience and delicacy.With a view to this, the attractive testimony of authentic Christian families is important, as subjects for the evangelization of the family.
Caring for wounded families (the separated, the divorced who have not remarried, the divorced who have remarried)
What rang out clearly in the Synod was the necessity for courageous pastoral choices. Reconfirming forcefully the fidelity to the Gospel of the family, the Synodal Fathers, felt the urgent need for new pastoral paths, that begin with the effective reality of familial fragilities, recognizing that they, more often than not, are more “endured” than freely chosen. These are situations that are diverse because of personal as well as cultural and socio-economic factors. It is not wise to think of unique solutions or those inspired by a logic of “all or nothing”….
Each damaged family first of all should be listened to with respect and love, becoming companions on the journey as Christ did with the disciples of the road to Emmaus. In a particular way the words of Pope Francis apply in these situations: «The Church will have to initiate everyone – priests, religious and laity – into this “art of accompaniment”, which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other (cf. Ex 3,5). The pace of this accompaniment must be steady and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates and encourages growth in the Christian life» (Evangelii Gaudium, 169).
Various Fathers underlined the necessity to make the recognition of cases of nullity more accessible and flexible….
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….
In the same way the situation of the divorced who have remarried demands a careful discernment and an accompaniment full of respect, avoiding any language or behavior that might make them feel discriminated against. For the Christian community looking after them is not a weakening of its faith and its testimony to the indissolubility of marriage, but rather it expresses precisely its charity in its caring.
As regards the possibility of partaking of the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, some argued in favor of the present regulations because of their theological foundation, others were in favor 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 favor 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.
Welcoming homosexual persons
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?
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. The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.
Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.
The transmission of life and the challenge of the declining birthrate
Probably here as well what is required is a In this light, we should go back to the message of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Paul VI, which underlines the need to respect the dignity of the person in the moral evaluation of the methods of birth control….
(Relatio Post Disceptationem, in “Family synod: full text of the mid-term report”, Catholic Herald, Oct. 13, 2014; some minor formatting and typographical edits made.)
Wow! What can one say to this? Perhaps we are supposed to be consoled and encouraged that the Vatican II Church still “affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman.” That’s nice to know: The abominable sin of sodomy is not exactly the same as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony — how reassuring!
Notice also the blasphemous reference to Exodus 3:5, where God in the burning bush says to Moses: “Come not nigh hither, put off the shoes from thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (source). The Synod’s Relatio, quoting Francis’ outrageous Evangelii Gaudium, applies this not to God but to man (“the other”), as thoughhe were the “holy ground” before which one ought to remove one’s shoes! Once again Francis blasphemes, as he has done numerous times in the past, such as when he made the Crucifixion the punch line of a joke (see here).
With regard to fornication and adultery, then, the Synod’s position is that although these mortal sins may possess “elements” of marriage, nevertheless they do not have the fullness of married life, which subsists only in the Sacrament of Matrimony. As the text admits, this is simply a logical extension of Vatican II’s Frankenchurch heresy, because once you admit the principle of “elements of truth and goodness”, there’s no reason why it could apply only to some things and not to others. (For more on the Frankenchurch heresy, be sure to watch this exciting debate and read the documentation provided.)
These ideas, by the way, are 100% Jorge Bergoglio. In his 2010 book On Heaven and Earth, which he co-authored with his rabbi friend Abraham Skorka, the future “Pope” Francis wrote that fornication does not have the “fullness” or “greatness” of marriage and that a priest does not have the right to tell a penitent what to do because this would constitute “spiritual harassment” — see our post here:
Yes, this is like saying that sewage does not have the “greatness” of drinking water. It may be technically correct, but misses the point entirely and is dangerously misleading.
In practice, all this wordy pseudo-theology amounts to saying that married Catholics should tell people living in sin, “What you have is good, but what we have is better!” This sort of strategy, even if it were theoretically justifiable (which it is not), never works and is based on a denial of original sin and its consequences. It has been tried many times in the past, for example, with regard to not harping on the obligation to assist at Holy Mass on Sundays and rather casting it in the light of an invitation which people are merely “encouraged” to accept. What happened? Empty churches. Invitations, you see, can be declined. Duh!
So, we are once again seeing Vatican II — in its teachings and its methods — being offered as the great “solution” to the problems which the Council and the whole Novus Ordo Sect themselves have brought about or fostered. The disease is again being offered as the cure.
We all know, then, where this is going, and it’s not anywhere good. Just a few days ago we renewed our prediction that a schism is forming within the Vatican II Church, and it seems that this schism has just come a lot closer. And so we ask once again: “How long until Schism?”
>>> MORE COMMENTARY HERE: THE DAY AFTER (Follow-Up Post)
- Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical on Christian Marriage: Casti Connubii (1930)
- Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical on Christian Education: Divini Illius Magistri (1929)
- Liberalism is a Sin: The Methods & Tenets of Modernism/Liberalism Exposed and Refuted
- Modernist, Blasphemer, Friend of Heretics & Sodomites: The Real “Pope” Francis
- Francis & Homosexuality
- “But there have always been bad Popes!” – Answering an Objection