Browse Our Articles & Podcasts

8 Reasons To Believe The Synod Will Be Manipulated


Cardinal Baldisseri
Cardinal Baldisseri

Voice of the Family has arisen as a real champion since last year’s Synod, a clear voice calling for the preservation of the Church’s teachings on marriage and family. In a thorough analysis published yesterday, they offer seven pieces of evidence that plans to manipulate the Synod may already be afoot:

1. Those responsible for the manipulation of the Extraordinary Synod remain in control of the Ordinary Synod

Despite the widespread accusations of manipulation made against Cardinal Baldisseri, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and Archbishop Bruno Forte, Special Secretary of the Synod, they remain in their positions. The allegations against Cardinal Baldisseri and Archbishop Forte are discussed at length in The Rigging of a Vatican Synod?

Fr Federico Lombardi S. J. remains in charge of the Holy See press office despite also being implicated in the manipulation of the Extraordinary Synod. The press conferences held last October were widely considered to have deliberately skewed the reporting of the synod fathers’ interventions. Cardinal Burke, who was present at the synod, stated that “the daily briefings organized by Father Lombardi facilitated the manipulation”. Fr Thomas Rosica, who used his role as English-speaking spokesman to stress those contributions that pushed a so-called “progressive” agenda also remains in his position.

The President of the Synod of Bishops, of course, remains Pope Francis. Cardinal Baldisseri has stressed the centrality of the Pope to the work of General Secretariat:

“The pope is the president of the synod of bishops. I am the secretary general, but I don’t have anyone else above me, such as a prefect of a congregation or a president of a council. I don’t have anyone else above me, only the pope. The pope presided over all the council meetings of the secretariat. He presides. I am the secretary. And so the documents were all seen and approved by the pope, with the approval of his presence.  Even the documents during the synod, such as the Relatio ante disceptationem, the Relatio post disceptationem and the Relatio synodi were seen by him before they were published.

2. The Instrumentum Laboris remains the agenda of the Ordinary Synod despite, as demonstrated in Voice of the Family’s analysis, clearly undermining the entire edifice of Catholic teaching on human sexuality

Cardinal Baldisseri confirmed at a press conference at the Vatican this morning that the Instrumentum Laboris will be the basis of discussions at the synod. The text is divided into three parts, each of which forms the agenda for each of the three weeks of the synod.

In an interview with Portuguese broadcaster Radio Renascenca, which was released on 14 September, Pope Francis confirmed that the Instrumentum Laboris would be the basis for discussion at the Synod. He said:

“As for the synod, you journalists are already familiar with the Instrumentum Laboris. We are going to speak of that, of what is in there.”

3. The Synod Secretariat has “devised a new method” of conducting the Synod. The “new method” has only been made public two days before the Synod begins.

The Ordinary Synod will be conducted in a significantly different manner to the Extraordinary Synod. The synod fathers will spend much more time in small language based discussion groups and comparatively little time in plenary sessions. There will be no relatio ante disceptationem orrelatio post disceptationem. This means that, unlike last year when the relatio post disceptationem revealed the agenda at work and provoked a fight-back, the synod fathers will receive no indication of the content of the final report until the very last day of the Synod.

After being questioned by a journalist Cardinal Baldisseri stated that the synod fathers were informed a month ago that there would be a new method. He very noticeably fell short of affirming that they were actually told what the new procedures would be.

4. Cardinal Baldisseri refused to explain how the membership of the small groups was determined

The cardinals and bishops will spend most of their time at the Synod in small language based groups. There are thirteen such groups which include four groups conducted in English, three in Spanish, three in French, two in Italian and one in German.

Upon being questioned by a journalist Cardinal Baldisseri refused to explain how the membership of each group was determined. This will do little to allay concerns that the synod fathers will be allocated to the small groups in such a way as will best further the agenda of those controlling the synod.

5. Cardinal Baldisseri refused twice to affirm that Article 26 § 1 of the Ordo Synodi Episcoporum will be respected. This article requires a 2/3 majority for approval of items put to vote.

Article 26 § 1 states:

To arrive at the majority of votes, if the vote is for the approval of some item, 2/3 of the votes of the Members casting ballots is required; if for the rejection of some item, the absolute majority of the same Members is necessary.

Paragraphs 52, 53 and 55 of the Relatio Synodi (final report) of the Extraordinary Synod failed to achieve a 2/3 majority of the synod fathers’ votes. According to the rules of the synod they should have been rejected. However these controversial paragraphs, which discussed homosexuality and Holy Communion for those living in public adultery, were included in the published report on the direct instructions of Pope Francis. They were also included in the Lineamenta and theInstrumentum Laboris.

Texts that were rejected by the Extraordinary Synod therefore form part of the agenda of the Ordinary Synod.

Cardinal Baldisseri was asked twice whether Article 26 § 1 would be observed at the Ordinary Synod. He ignored the question the first time it was put to him and the second time he simply stated that it remained in place in the official rules. This gives us little confidence that the voting process will not be abused again.

6. Pope Francis has entrusted leading dissenters with the responsibility of drafting the final report of the Synod

The committee consists of ten prelates, at least seven of whom hold so-called “progressive” views. Voice of the Family has already raised particular concerns about:

Also considered “progressive” are Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, Bishop Marcello Semeraro, Bishop of Albano, and Adolfo Nicholas Pachon, Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

7. A committee has been established to supervise the synod… and it will include Cardinal Baldisseri and Archbishop Forte

At this morning’s press conference Cardinal Baldisseri reassured journalists that there was no need to be concerned about allegations that the synod would be manipulated because a committee of ten would oversee the proceedings. He then announced that the membership of the committee would include himself and Archbishop Forte. In other words, the committee which is supposed to give us confidence that no manipulation is taking place includes the very men most implicated in the manipulation.

Jonathan Swift, the foremost prose satirist in the English language, could not have invented a better tale than the true story of the Synod on the Family.

Voice of the Family also includes some words of warning from Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, about his concerns for the Synod. Please visit their full article to see the text of his comments.

One thing VoF did not mention is the information we shared with you earlier this week:

8. There have been reports of a “Parallel Synod” already at work on the documents that may be presented at the conclusion of the Synod, despite the fact that the work of the Synod fathers won’t begin until tomorrow.

In this context [that is, of the procedural changes mentioned by Edward Pentin], news has arrived to us for about twelve days that around thirty people, almost all of them Jesuits, with the occasional Argentinian, are working on the themes on the Synod, in a very reserved way, under the coordinatin of Father Antonio Spadaro, the director of Civiltà Cattolica [the official journal of the Holy See], who spends a long time in Santa Marta, in consultation with the Pope.

The discretion in the works extends also to the Jesuits of the same House, the villa of Civiltà Cattolica, Villa Malta, on the Pincio [Hill], where part of the work is done. One possibility is that the “task force” works to provide the Pope the instruments for an eventual post-synodal document on the theme of the Eucharist to the remarried divorced, on cohabiting [couples], and same-sex couples.

From where we sit, this looks like a pretty stacked deck.

29 thoughts on “8 Reasons To Believe The Synod Will Be Manipulated”


    • Those who are faithful need to be careful too. We may find ourselves in schism if we are not careful. If Pope Francis is the true pope (to which we have no evidence to the contrary at this point, only some subjective opinions), then we need to be in union with him as Roman Pontiff, even if we do not agree with the agendas he promotes. Remember the Bull Unam Sanctus from Pope Boniface the VIII in 1302 “…We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” If he is the Roman Pontiff we must be subject to him. What it means to be subject to a Roman Pontiff who is heterodox in practice… well, I don’t know for sure. I’m as new to this as everyone else 🙂

      • The Polish n African prelates have already said they will not go along w the proposed changes n Cardinal Burke said “to resist”. St Athanasius defended the true teachings of the Church even at the risk of his life n being exiled 5 times. The Church has NO POWER to teach novelties of doctrine. She has only the power to preserve n defend the Revelation given to Her by Christ n the Apostles n handed down over the centuries in the Holy Bible n in the Sacred Tradition of the Church. Per The Second Council of Nicaea, “If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the Church, let him be anathema.” St. Thomas Aquinas noted that resistance to teaching or practices against the Faith by anyone – even the Pope – is neither unlawful nor presumptuous, but is both a DUTY n an ACT OF CHARITY.There are 5 examples in Church History in which a Pope made serious blunders: St Peter; at the 2nd Council of Constantinople; Pope Honorius; Pope Paschal II n Pope John XXII (1322-1334). The First Vatican Council taught that the Church’s Magisterium cannot give us new doctrines but can only pass on n explain what God has revealed thru Sacred Scripture n Tradition. Popes are preserved from error WHEN THEY ARE DEFINING DOGMA, but at all other times even they can fall into errors. Popes Pius IV n Pius IX affirmed that the requirement of holding fast to ALL the traditions of the Church is itself part of the infallible Truth that cannot be changed or abandoned by any bishop or Pope. So WE MUST REJECT NOVELTIES OF THE FAITH. GOD BLESS US ALL..

  2. Now that they’ve got their man as Pope, they feel they’ve won and can do what they want and are accountable to no one. They’re in for such a fall. This is the purgation of God’s Church.

  3. I recommend everyone buy and read Phoenix from the Ashes by H.J.A. Sire. It’s like an effective antibiotic that destroys the seriously infectious disease known as papolatry. Most Catholics today need desperately to learn that we owe great respect to the holder of the See of Peter, but that we owe no special respect to his notions when they are clearly counterproductive to the Church. They need to learn the real meaning of infallibility, and they need to understand that many, many popes in history have been bad, some even criminally bad. If you think Pope Francis is leading us down the primrose path to disaster, if you are truly convinced of that after prayer and reflection, you need to respectfully disagree with his approach. You have to speak up, even if it makes you unpopular (as it most likely will in the confused atmosphere of the Church today).

    • The problem with speaking up is that it seems to have little impact. If you are a lay person, fellow Catholics are just going to think that you are probably wrong (because surely, the Pope knows more theology/philosophy and Church teaching than this guy?). They may even be biased because they personally want the Pope to grant those things. Some of the folks among them might even hold you up as a disobedient Catholic. If you are a priest, your Bishop will silence you. If you are a Bishop, the conference of Bishops will silence you. Persistent enough resistance and perhaps one might even get a penalty suspending various faculties.

      Bottom line is that if the Pope is batting for the other team, you can only do something about it by speaking out if you have a majority of good solid priests, Bishops and majority of faithful lay Catholics. Sad truth is that we no longer have that. So in our current climate, speaking up pretty much means getting crucified by fellow Catholics.

      So every Catholic pretty much has to weigh whether it is better to get crucified or just stay silent. I think most choose to be silent since speaking up doesn’t seem to convince anyone not already convinced, to stick to orthodoxy.

      • What you say is spot on except for one small detail, viz. we know that in the grand scheme of things it is better to be crucified. It’s the first thing we learned as Catholics.

        • You are definitely right about meritoriousness of being crucified for the faith.

          So my current understanding is (which admittedly might be very wrong and I am very open to correction and discussion) that being crucified/persecuted for the faith is good if one can face persecution and keep ones faith to the end. Otherwise, if one has no moral obligation, it might be better to avoid performing the certain act that brings about persecution?

          What leads me to this reasoning is the following thought experiment / scenario. Technically, we can all become martyrs by flying to some hard-line Muslim territory and preaching the good news. While dying this way is much meritorious, it seems OK if we don’t attempt this. One reason might be that we may have other obligatory duties (toward our children, wives, parents etc) that we must first fulfill. The second reason (and perhaps more important) might be that there is a good chance that when actually met with the persecution, we may fail to keep the faith.

          Essentially, putting oneself under persecution is kind of like putting oneself under a state of constant temptation. So my understanding is that a person may rightly choose not to enter into that state if it is not morally obligatory.

          From that perspective, I think you are right that our Priests and Bishops need to speak up. They may get crucified for it but they do have a moral duty due to their position of authority.

          But as lay persons, I am not too sure if there is a binding moral obligation that we correct the Pope. We might have to pick our battles considering we do not strictly have the moral obligation to speak up. Our moral obligation might be to make sure that we do what is right according to Catholic teaching, no matter what the Pope may want us to do.

          • I can’t see a thing to object to in what you say. In the small Catholic space you and I occupy, “white martyrdom” might entail something as simple as saying — respectfully — our piece at a parish council meeting or some other parish gathering. If others want to dispute our reading of weighty matters, we could offer to get together with them privately, but decline further public discussion (“locutus sum”). This self-imposed halt to further talk could prevent us from claiming pride (in our own minds anyway) by pretending to the local title of “defender of the faith.” Meanwhile, letters and even calls to the chancery urging that our bishop hold the line are always apropos, I believe.

      • It’s important to remember that at one time, nearly every bishop, priest, and lay person was an Arian (the first great crisis of the Church) and a few such as St. Athanasius and St. Nicholas (yep, Santa. Legend says he punched Arius in the face) stayed faithful and changed the course of the Church. A majority says nothing. The Holy Spirit says everything. Whatever comes from this Synod, if evil, will not last, and, if good, will endure. Why? The Gates of Hell shall not prevail.

        This evening I spoke with my parish pastor about my concern for these events and asked for a word of encouragement. He has a great deal of love for tradition and orthodoxy and I trust him for the most part. It seemed that in some matters I was educating him (some of the papal delegates, Cardinal Pell’s fist slamming at the last Synod, talk of schism, a few other things) but he gave me something that actually did help. He said to remember Phil. 4:6-7 “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And I think he’s right… There is something to be concerned about, definitely. This is a dangerous time in the Church. But the Gates of Hell will not prevail. I think it appropriate to remember also the following verses, which I think give us a guide on what to do in this situation. That’s what we’re all looking for right? We see this craziness and we want to know “What am I supposed to do???” I think this: Phil. 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of Peace will be with you.” (RSV:CE) Amen.

      • We are called to be faithful, not to be faithful only after calculating that in being faithful we’ll also be successful. Speak the truth regardless of how you think it will be received.

    • What’s the point of having a pope when you are the one deciding what’s right and wrong? To judge the pope is to become a de facto quasi-Protestant, using the Bible and old Catholic books along with your own judgement.

      • We don’t decide what’s right and wrong; that’s already been decided. We just have to adhere to what’s right.

        No one is “judging the pope”; they’re judging his actions and statements.

        Popes err, and when they err, true Catholics stand up and fight the error. Read our sacred history.

        John XI, John XXII (openly proclaimed heresy and was opposed by numerous clerics), Stephen VI, Sergius III.

        Learn something for gosh sake.

      • So if, as has happened in the past, the pope were to murder one of his opponents, the good Catholic would respond by smiling and going about his business? You give an enhanced meaning to the word “ultramontane.”

  4. I think what has us all worried is that everything points to Pope Francis being open to granting all the requests made by the dissenters. If that is true, then it seems to follow from it that Pope Francis will most certainly grant these requests if the synod can be manipulated to seem like lots of Bishops support the dissenting requests.

    Then there is also that lingering thought in the back of our minds, due to certain things that have taken place, that Pope Francis is not merely open to the requests but are perhaps in support of them. If that is the case, we know that the synod does not even matter and its only a matter of time before all dissenting requests are granted…….

  5. What’s going on in the Roman Catholic Church is unbelievable and mazing to me.

    The only place on earth where you feel safe morally speaking, where you should hear, see and learn about God and the only place where your faith suppose to strengthen, became the place where you try to have young kids avoid listening, seeing and be around for fear that they might learn immorality!!!

    What you learn from the Roman Catholic Church is talk about sodomy, gay “marriage”, homosexuality, lesbianism, child rape, atheism, denying the existence of God, paganism, globalism, worshiping “mother earth,” divorce, etc., etc., etc.

    The Roman Catholic Church became Satan’s Den.

  6. “Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense. Anyone who is so “progressive” as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works.”Friday, Evening Prayer, Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  7. (Vatican Radio)

    The director of the Holy See press office Father Federico Lombardi on
    Saturday reacted to revelations by a high-ranking Vatican official that
    he is in a gay relationship. [sic]

    43 year old Polish Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa has been living in Rome
    for 17 years and has worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
    Faith since 2003. He also serves as assistant secretary of the
    International Theological Commission and teaches theology at two of
    Rome’s Pontifical universities , the Gregorian and the Pontifical
    Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.

    In the brief statement, Fr Lombardi said “the decision to make such a
    pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the Synod appears very
    serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly
    to undue media pressure”. He added that Msgr. Charamsa “will certainly
    be unable to continue to carry out his previous work in the Congregation
    for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical universities, while
    the other aspects of his situation shall remain the competence of his
    diocesan Ordinary”.

    The Vatican “dismissed” the sodomite Monsignor, not because he is gay but because of the TIMING!!!

    Obviously, the Vatican knew about this sodomite but because they are all into this filth, they kept silence until he decided on his own to come out!!

  8. Is it not true that any proposal contrary to Catholic doctrine is to be considered false. If a Pope does such a thing it must be ignored and spoken against. This is our canonical obligation as Catholics. To not speak up against wayward clerics is cowardly and probably sinful.

  9. I forbade my kids and told my relatives and friends’ to forbade them from having any contact with the Catholic Church.

    We are all raised on high moral principles and Christian values and we are raising our kids the same way.

    It is our responsibility to protect the kids and our families from the moral filth and the sexual depravity that is coming from the Roman Catholic Church.

    We read the Bible and the Saints. We pray at home. And we await the Coming of Jesus. We don’t need Vatican and Church filth. We have enough of it already from the culture.

    • Clearly, Karl, one thing you and the folks there at home don’t read much is history. If you did, you would quickly realize that your homespun approach to Christianity fails the test of both Peter and Paul, the only one that counts in the long run. Christ himself came to establish His church — he tells you that in Matthew 16: 18 — and he didn’t mean by that some Protestant pipe dream of “church” defined as being just about anything one wants it to be. (Oh, and you’d better drop that reading you mention about the saints. They were all Catholics. After all, you don’t want scare the kids.)

  10. This is a rather simplistic way of looking at the workings of a ‘Synod’ but, I look at it as one big, mega, glorified Parish Council Meeting. In a Parish Council, the Pastor of course has the last say. And in the Parishes that I’ve been in anyway, the Pastor is the one to invite their chosen parishioners to sit on the council. With the members’ suggestions to a particular Parish initiative, the Pastor is the one to make the final decision. They await his decision which is conveyed to them either in writing or verbally which then is announced to the entire Parish. This is exactly the way this will flesh out with the Synod. The Pope will be the one to make the final decision on any initiatives they propose. The ball ultimately is in HIS court. HE will be the one making any final decisions on any of their proposals. So….as much as this Synod may indeed be manipulated, HE has the final say.

  11. I think #5 is no longer a concern. I read somewhere that the 2/3 rule will be in effect. On the other hand it didn’t make any difference the first time around, so…

  12. Voice of the Family has some interesting content. I especially appreciated the exhortation to prayer with quotes from St. Alphonsus Liguori . Does anyone know who their writers are?

  13. Fr. Peter Carota is very sick [may even be on hospice care at this time] but his article first posted in February has been reposted recently on his blog:

    “Pope Francis Is Not Saving Souls, But Losing Them
    “Pope Francis’ concept of the Catholic Church is a welcoming home for all the Lesbians, Gays, Transgenders, Bisexual, divorced and remarried, Evangelicals and atheists. He feels that these people have been oppressed by the Church by Her condemnation of these ‘sins’ and he wants to welcome them into the ‘hospital church’ to be accepted and healed.
    “I think he puts them in the same category as the poor, the unemployed youth and anyone else who may have been oppressed. Although his compassion is to be commended, it is misplaced. These people are living in sin and will go to hell if they are not corrected before they die.
    “The pope has a pattern.
    “1.He receives a letter from someone feeling alienated from the church because he is gay or had a “sex change”, (which is impossible genetically, a boy is always a boy no matter what operations he may use to change his exterior body. Boys have an X and a Y chromosome. Girls have two X chromsomes), or is divorced and remarried, or is a single mother separated from a violent boyfriend, who could have killed her baby by abortion but did not.
    “2.Then there comes the phone call from the pope to make them feel accepted by the ‘church’.
    “3.In some cases, they are invited to have a private audience with him.
    “4.Then somehow the media hears about it.
    “5.The liberals acclaim the pope as a hero.
    “6.Almost every Catholic and non Catholic gets confused.
    “7.People begin to believe that the Catholic Church can, and has changed Her teachings on sexual morality.
    “8.Most Catholics who have already accepted the ‘world’s new morality’ feel affirmed in their deviant life styles.
    “9.Their conscience is appeased because they have heard from the pope that their deviant life style is not immoral after all.
    “10.In fact it is something to celebrate and be proud of.
    “11.More people copy these sinful ‘Catholics’ immoral life styles.

    “These same people continue to die at every age imaginable, every minute, all over the world and here are the consequences:
    “1.These people are judged by God’s rules, not Pope Francis’ rules.
    “2.These people may be damned to hell for all eternity.
    “3.Their souls are lost, not saved.”

    Continue reading here, and please pray for the brave Fr. Carota:

  14. What do readers make of B. Erdo’s strong statement yesterday? I read it searching for any Bergoglio Buzzwords that might indicate weakness, but found none. Perhaps others saw news from the Synod I missed or simply have antennae more attuned to Kasperian capers than my own.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popular on OnePeterFive

Share to...