An Update on the “Shadow Council”


Yesterday, we told you about the secret meeting that took place on Monday at the Pontifical Gregorian Univeristy (aka, “The Greg”) in Rome. Rorate Caeli fills in a few details of the proceedings, with a translation of information leaked to Il Foglio:

The German Bishops’ Conference made public the anodyne communiqué at the end of this post, but today’s Italian daily Il Foglio has more revealing snippets of the confidential conference, obsessed with same-sex caresses and marital infidelity:

And who knows if in the post-synodal relatio to be given to pope Francis will be present also the expressions on “caresses, kisses, and coitus understood as a coming together” that resounded in the venerable halls of the Roman university directed by the Jesuit Fathers. After all, one of the participants focused his own conference on the verification that “sexual stimulus represents the basis for a long-lasting relationship“, while a colleague affirmed with great certainty that, “with the lengthening of lifespans, also the borders of fidelity are changed,” and that, in sum, being together with the same partner for decades can be quite annoying in the end.

Let us hope the actual transcripts of each conference delivered in this secret German-Swiss-French “Progressive” panel are made public soon. The faithful around the world must know what is being planned by some bishops and their theologians.

If that isn’t a strong enough emetic for you, I’m not sure what will be. Perhaps we’ll have to wait to see what other information makes its way into the light.

We do have, courtesy once again of Ed Pentin, a list of the attendees of the so-called “Shadow Council.” (If it sounds ominous, that’s because it is.) Writes Pentin:

The meeting, which aimed to explore various “pastoral innovations” ahead of the Synod on the Family in October, and reflect on a new “theology of love” that critics say would pave the way for Church recognition of same-sex relationships, was not advertised, even at the Gregorian.

The Austrian Catholic internet site reported Wednesday that they had learned, via episcopal sources, that many bishops “not sympathetic” to the issues discussed were “neither informed nor invited to the meeting.”

“Also only a certain ‘elite’ among media representatives were invited,” it added. “Many other journalists from Catholic media from German-speaking countries were not even told about it.”

Matthias Kopp, the long-serving spokesman for the German bishops’ conference who was present at the meeting, told me Wednesday that “high-ranking curial officials” were also invited to the meeting but were unable to make it due to the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops attended by Pope Francis on the same day. Kopp said the study-day was planned before they knew of the synod meeting.

Some of the journalists there reported on the event (Izoard and Ansaldo) and Father Hagenkord of Vatican Radio was a moderator, but that raises the question about the role of the other media representatives present who haven’t so far reported on it. Part of the reason may have been because everyone was instructed not to attribute authorship of the statements to the speakers under a kind of Chatham House Rule. But another possible reason may have been because they are to help further the agenda of the reformers before, during and after the upcoming synod.

Another question the study-day raises is who financed it? If, as Cardinal Marx told me, he was there in a private capacity, does that mean German Church tax revenue wasn’t used to finance the meeting? It’s unlikely that faithful German Catholics would want their taxes spent on a study-day aimed at Church recognition of same-sex relationships — the new so-called “theology of love”.

Hit the link for the full list of names. I noted that Cardinal Kasper was not present, but perhaps that’s because he was in my back yard over the weekend, speaking at a conference entitled, “Vatican II, Remembering the Future: Ecumenical, Interfaith and Secular Perspectives on the Council’s Impact and Promise.”

I wish I had known he was in town. I could have had him sign my copy of Denzinger.

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