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Baldisseri: Pope Francis Approved Controversial Midterm Relatio


Over at Aleteia there is an interesting post about last week’s International Conference of family and life movements held in Rome (January 22-24). With the theme, “The Vocation and the Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World”, the conference opened with an address by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary General of the Synod. His comments regarding last October’s extraordinary synod, as well as the papal approval of both the midterm and final Relatios, are worth noting:

Cardinal Baldisseri called the 300 conference participants, representing 80 different organizations, to enter into the synod process by reflecting on the preparatory document, called the Lineamenta. The document contains the final report from last October’s preparatory assembly (the Extraordinary Synod of 2014), together with 46 questions intended to facilitate its reception and examine the themes treated in it.

The Secretary General of the Synod called participants to consider carefully how devoted Catholic families can help those who are not living the “fullness of Christian marriage.” The mission of the organizations assembled, he suggested, could be deepened by evangelization efforts to those in irregular marital situations. Caring for wounded families, he said, demands a search for courageous pastoral choices.


Why did the final Relatio published in the Lineamenta include the paragraphs on homosexuality, extra-marital cohabitation and Communion for the divorced-and-remarried that failed to gain the approval of the Synod Fathers in October. (Paragraphs 52,53,55 in the Italian; the English has a slightly different numbering system.)

“It was the Pope’s decision to include the points that did not receive the two-thirds majority,” Cardinal Baldisseri responded. “The Pope said: ‘These three points received an absolute majority. They were therefore not rejected with a ‘no,’ as they received more than 50 percent approval. They are therefore issues that still need to be developed. We as a Church want a consensus. These texts can be modified, that’s clear. Once there has been further reflection, they can be modified.”

The Cardinal also informed us that the 46 questions published in the Lineamenta were the work of both the General Secretariat and the 15 members of the Council of the Secretariat. Responses are due April 15th.

Asked if the Pope had reviewed the questions before they were published, the Cardinal replied: “The documents were all seen and approved by the Pope, with the approval of his presence. Even the documents during the [Extraordinary] Synod, such as the Relatio ante disceptatationem [the preliminary report], the Relatio post disceptationem [interim report], and the Relatio synodi [final report] were seen by him before they were published.”

He added, wryly: “This point is important not only because of his authority, but also it puts the Secretary General at ease.”

44 thoughts on “Baldisseri: Pope Francis Approved Controversial Midterm Relatio”

  1. Well! This is exactly as surprising as learning that the Vatican publishing house was publishing a collection of the pope’s interviews, including the supposedly “unreliable” chats with Scalfari. Influential bloggers had spent months calumniating Scalfari for his non-verbatim interviewing style, but it turned out the Holy Father was perfectly comfortable with Scalfari’s representations of his words.

    Similarly, we have been assured for months that of course, the Holy Father couldn’t possibly have been aware of the contents of the interim relatio, that Forte and Spadaro had somehow foisted a put-up job on the Synod fathers without anyone knowing about it beforehand.

    But this has always been even less plausible than the Scalfari hand-waving. First, the Holy Father was clearly in full control of the Synod proceedings, monitoring the discussions and making several mid-course changes to suit his purposes. Second, the interim relatio features several passages that are curiously…Bergoglian in style:

    5. …It is necessary to be aware of the growing danger represented by an exasperated individualism that distorts family bonds and ends up considering each component of the family as an isolated unit, leading in some cases to the prevalence of an idea of the subject formed according to his or her own wishes, which are assumed as absolute.

    That sentence sounds very much like something out of Evangelii Gaudium. Granted, this is speculation, and maybe all Jesuits write and speak like this, but the interim relatio is clearly in harmony with the pope’s own repeatedly expressed sentiments. It’s wishful thinking to pretend otherwise.

  2. “It was the Pope’s decision to include the points that did not receive the two-thirds majority,”

    If that was the case what is the point of calling a synod? Why bother getting a group of bishops together to reach a consensus on something if the pope is going to include whatever he wants in drafting the final report and ignore protocol?

    • Because according to Cardinal Kasper, the pope needs the cover a synod provides to get his reforms through:

      The author of a controversial proposal to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion says he believes Pope Francis backs the measure but would not apply it without support from bishops at two upcoming synods on the family.

      “I had the impression the pope is open for a responsible, limited opening of the situation, but he wants a great majority of the bishops behind himself. He does not like division within the church and the collegiality of bishops,” German Cardinal Walter Kasper, speaking English, told Catholic News Service Oct. 1. “I have the impression the pope is ready to reaffirm such a thing, but now it depends also on the voices of the bishops in the synod.”

      All the circumstantial evidence supports Kasper’s claim: From the selection of the synod’s governing body to the pope’s mid-synod alterations to the interim relatio, the whole thing was a top-down attempt to manipulate the bishops towards a predetermined outcome. Fortunately, the implementation of the master plan was so transparent and so inept that the orthodox bishops were able to stall the Kasperites, if only temporarily.

      • Yes, the Pope is clearly behind this and is going to do it unless the backlash becomes overwhelming. But it is bigger than that. The Pope honed right in on this issue from the beginning because it can be used break the backs of the JPII / Benedict “conservatives” once and for all. Once this thing has been done, the floodgates will have been opened.

  3. It seems like some Catholics believe that the Church somehow belongs to the pope as opposed to the other way around. The Church is not this pope’s, or any other pope’s, personal plaything to do with what he wants. The pope’s job is to conserve and protect, not “make a mess.”
    It is not possible for the pope to change the Church’s discipline with regard to the reception of Holy Communion by people not in the state of grace. That’s a sacrilege, and it is Sacred Scripture itself that says so. True Catholics cannot, and will not, accept any change in that regard, as no one on earth has the power to change it, not even a pope.

    • It is not possible…
      Well, just watch him do it. Because he is going to do it. Anyone who thinks otherwise at this point is being incredibly obtuse. So, we need to start thinking through the implications now and planning for this. Are we going to let it destroy our faith in the Church? Will this “prove” to us that the Church’s claim to authority and infallibility was a fraud from the beginning? I wish my faith were stronger.

        • I agree that there is some danger in public speculation of this nature. I would argue, though, that it is a good philosophy to “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

          If the pope were to do such a thing — and despite his rather heavy hand on the last Synod, it’s still a big “if” — what would it do to the faithful? This is the very sort of thing I’ve long believed could cause a deep and lasting schism in the Church. Others would simply fall away entirely, coming to believe that if the pope could do such a thing, then the Church’s other claims are bunk, too.

          Being spiritually prepared for even an improbable outcome seems prudent, given the circumstances.

          • Am rereading the Newman’s texts now. I think it would be helpful if someone could explain to the layperson how, if such an event should happen, one can be “more Catholic than the Pope” and still remain faithful to the Church. In other words, instead of worrying “what would it do to the faithful?,” try to work out “what can the faithful do?”. At a minimum: “How can the faithful believe if the pope or the hierarchy refuses to believe?” Pray that it does not get to the point of Soloviev’s “Short Tale of the Antichrist”.

            I remember being told in Catholic school how the martyrs died in the Roman Empire, and how “We don’t have to be martyrs today.” This, of course, was in the century of martyrs. Seems that God still wants witnesses.

      • Yes, because we can all be certain what is going to happen several months from now. But first, what numbers will be drawn for Powerball next? If we can foretell the future, we might as well profit from it.

      • Jesus is at the helm. He may allow these things to happen to sift us and as a result of our sins, but Jesus is at the helm. THAT is what we can rely on.

  4. Card Baldisseri is a maneuvering, untrustworthy politician whose word is not to be taken as reliable unless it reflects badly on the Holy Father? Card Baldisseri took the document to the Holy Father and said “Here is our inaccurate, in fact, dishonest, summary of the discussions so far. All of the orthodox Cardinals will be upset when they read it. In fact, the bit about homosexuality is so messed up I don’t know what it says. Do you approve of our dishonesty, Holy Father?” I doubt it. From what the Cardinal said I’d guess the Holy Father saw it before it was released to the public. I doubt he thought he was “approving” it.

    • I’m afraid I find this defense unworkable. Consider:

      1) Baldisseri was appointed to head the synod by the pope himself.
      2) The progressive clerics who had a strong hand in writing the mid-term relatio were also hand-picked by the pope, ad hoc, without prior announcement (Cardinals Ravasi and Wuerl, Abps. Victor Manuel Fernández, Aguiar Retes, Bp. Peter Kang, and the Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr. Adolfo Nicolás Pachon.)
      3) The relatio was already translated into six languages on the day of its release. This is seen by people who know Vatican process as an indication that it was a pre-packaged document (which would make sense, considering that it did not accurately reflect the discussions) because these translations usually take far more time.
      4) It was widely reported even before Baldisseri’s account that it was the decision of pope Francis to retain the language the synod fathers wanted removed due to its controversial nature. Baldisseri’s account:

      “It was the Pope’s decision to include the points that did not receive the two-thirds majority,” he told Aleteia’s Diane Montagna.

      “The Pope said: ‘These three points received an absolute majority. They were therefore not rejected with a ‘no,’ as they received more than 50 percent approval. They are therefore issues that still need to be developed. We as a Church want a consensus. These texts can be modified, that’s clear. Once there has been further reflection, they can be modified.”

      5.) Pope Francis has had ample time to correct any misconceptions about the synod that were broadcast in his name. We now have both Kasper and Baldisseri saying “the pope agrees with this” and not a word from the press office or the pope himself amending it. I have sources in Rome that say the pope is most certainly aware of the way he is portrayed in the press. He is not ignoring his own PR. And there have been media accounts of certain items of controversy being brought to his attention. Why would he be silent about these men speaking in his name, saying he supports their agenda?

      I’m sure there are additional data points, but these are top of mind. You could attempt to eliminate any of these as unsubstantiated, but still the others speak volumes. I do not believe you can eliminate them all.

      • I “could attempt to eliminate any of these as unsubstantiated.” It seems to me you accept my premisise. Cardinal Baldisseri is, in general, to be treated as a dangerous source, and not reliable. Except when he says something that is detrimental to the Holy Father. Then, and only then, we should believe everything he says as 100% true and every implication as completely reliable.

        So we must believe that the Holy Father is the secret power behind a scheme to destroy Church teaching. He is maneuvering behind the scenes to trick the synod into teaching error. But the pope doesn’t need a synod to teach. He can say whatever he wants, whenever he wants, about any topic he wants. I think the present Holy Father gives the impression that he says whatever he wants, whenever he wants about any topic he wants. He doesn’t seem to me to be a reticent schemer.

        He recommends devotion to the Blessed Mother, prayer to St Joseph and the novel Lord of the World every chance he gets. He annoys liberals by teaching Satan is a personal being with plans for our destruction. The Holy Father could issue any regulation for receiving the Blessed Sacrament any time he wants to, and yet he doesn’t.

        Your source for the direct quotes from the Holy Father seems to be Cardinal Baldissery. Would you accept the accuracy of direct quotes from that source on any other topic?
        “I have sources in Rome.” I certainly don’t think that the people who talk to you are lying, but people repeating hearsay are generally repeating evidence for things they already believe. They are providing information that confirms their previous beliefs. Regarding topics the pope has not spoken about, I conclude that the pope has not spoken about them.
        Your other “data points” are his appointing liberals to positions of power in the Church. I’m certainly troubled by that, but among the popes who unaccountably appointed liberals to positions of power in the Church are Benedict, St. John Paul and Blessed Paul VI.

        So you think Cardinal Baldisseri actually did come to the Holy Father and say: “Your Holiness, here is our latest dishonest document subverting Catholic truth. Please approve it so I can go forward in our plan to destroy Church teaching”?

        • I absolutely believe that the pope knew what was going on and approved of it. He could have stopped it at any time. He could have silenced dissent with a word. He could have corrected those who were speaking publicly in his name. He could have followed the will of the synod fathers and ensured that the troubling language was excised from the final document.

          He did none of those things. I’m a papist by nature, but I’m not naive.

          • We will see what we will see. At some point we will know enough that this dispute will be impossible to maintain. It will be decided on facts. But certainly Bl. Paul VI, St John Paul and Benedict tried to silence dissent. Modernism remained very strongly rooted in the Church bureaucracy at every level despite their efforts. I’m not saying that the Holy Father is riding a tiger with upmost skill, in fact, impeccably. I’m just saying he’s riding a tiger. He teaches a lot of real Catholicism for somebody engineering a secret plan to undermine Church teaching. I’ve been exposed to a lot of Modernists in pulpits and classrooms and the pages of Catholic publications in the last 45 years. None has recommended praying to St Joseph.

            I have two basic points: 1) Every pope since Bl Paul VI gave the impression of tolerating Modernists and Modernism. They must not perceive themselves as free to act as their contemporary orthodox critics supposed. 2) The Holy Father can not silence dissent with a word.

          • I don’t think the insights in that document are worthless. I do think the conclusions of the author go to far. Wasn’t the Holy Father rejected by his fellow Jesuits as too Catholic? It seemed to me that the Holy Father had some facility in English during his trip to the Philippines. Why does he hate Satan and promote St Joseph and Lord of the World?

          • Yes, we will see. But consider this: because of the orthodox things he says, you, a man who evidently has no love for modernism, are defending him. Meanwhile, he says plenty of unorthodox things, and the progressives hang on his every word, speaking glowingly of his desire to change the Church irreversibly.

            Something doesn’t add up. If this is accidental, it’s remarkable, and he lacks the grace or prudence of any of his predecessors by quite a margin. This is why he is so easily co-opted. This is why the world loves him and hates the Church.

            His gaffes, if they are that, all slant deeply leftward. His appointments and those he has empowered are even more concerning.

            And never, not once, has he corrected anyone saying, “The pope says X. He believes X. He supports X.” This despite hiring a PR executive. This despite being questioned about how he appears in the media. This despite his love for speaking to reporters.

            I find this very difficult to explain. I’m not certain that you have a persuasive answer.

          • I have a lot to say, but at the same time I don’t like taking over the comment thread of someone else’s excellent blog to make my points when I may have more leisure to do so than he has to reply, so I’ll try to talk fast.
            Just as I think it wrong for someone who agrees with me to theorize the Holy Father is doing all this on purpose to trick the liberals, I think it’s wrong to theorize he falsely says stuff he doesn’t believe to fool people like me. The sleeping St Joseph and The Lord of the World isn’t the sort of thing liberals think orthodox Catholics are attached to. If its fake he’s doing quite a good job. And he doesn’t need people like me.
            It’s true that he never corrects how liberals characterize him. I’m not sure doing so would work out for the best.
            I don’t think he says unorthodox things. He’s quoted as saying unorthodox things, but always under unreliable circumstances. But he’s talking all the time under circumstances where he can be accurately quoted. He talks a lot. Maybe he does talk too much. But the story we get is he always says something unorthodox whenever there’s no mike.
            He’s trying to do something and he doesn’t handle other things the way we think he should. I think that’s all we have on him so far.

            I don’t have a pursuasive answer as to what he’s up to. I just don’t think you do either.
            Bl Paul appointed the wrong people to the contraception commission, allowed its procedings to be twisted to suppress the response of the few orthodox members, and allowed them to say in public and leak information that undermined the orthodox position.
            I failed at talking fast.

          • I simply can’t find a theory to explain what I’m seeing other than to believe that there is some level of deception at work. There’s too much self-contradiction otherwise. Now, you could argue that this is the result of rising to power in the dangerous waters of South American tyranny, saying what needs to be said to appease various contradictory groups, but even so, it doesn’t bode well.

            I’ve had a number of theological distortions in his thinking pointed out to me (by competent theologians), perhaps the most notable being his inversion of the “greatest commandment” in EG 161. (There were also his comments about sin in the soul of Christ; St. Paul boasting in his sins; and the several-times implied notion that the miracle of the loaves and fishes was not a multiplication, but in the “sharing.”)

            There’s also the rejection of traditional trappings of office, the trampling of rubrics, and the championing of progressive causes (ie., rehabilitation of liberation theology, a communist construct; embrace of the anti-fracking movement, which in Europe is traced directly to the Kremlin; the forthcoming eco-cyclical; the repeated condemnation of free markets and related economics; the prioritization of unemployment and loneliness over moral crises; and so on.) His selection of men like Kasper, Daneels, Forte, Baldisseri, Wuerl, Marini, and Maradiaga for positions of power when at best they’re feckless shepherds and at worst they’re active heretics continues to trouble. He also has been seen in public with well-known homosexual-activist Italian clergy, which on its own might not have been much, but then there was the reinstatement of the CDF-censured Fr. Sean Fagan, whose direct and scandalous contradictions of Catholic sexual teachings were never required to be recanted.

            There are other troubling comments, from “rabbits” to the ever-growing list of papal insults of faithful Christians (we’re promethean neo-pelagians here, it seems), the confusing statements about clerical celibacy and the need for women to assume more roles in an already over-feminized Church, and the facility with which he quotes from alternative ideologies (in his video with the environmentalists, who are marxist, he not only references the Shiva myth but quoted communist premiere Zhou Enlai from memory.)

            Additionally, there’s the continuation of the ecumenical digressions of the several preceding pontificates, from false statements about Islam in EG (and interfaith prayer with them in the Vatican!) to a rather alarming number of friends of “Fr. Bergoglio” who have come forward to say that he flat-out told them not to convert to Catholicism.

            I have a list of those here:

            There’s simply too much. It’s not our place to figure out his motives, but “by their fruits ye shall know them” is becoming increasingly relevant.

            Which brings us back to the main point, and this, for consideration:

            St. Robert Bellarmine (+1612), Doctor of the Church, in his work De Romano Pontifice:
            “Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.”

          • I will read again carefully and think about what you say here. The one thing I want to say right away is this: no one should become a Catholic who is not convinced it is the one true Church established by Christ. A Protestant who really likes and admires a priest friend and thinks that the Catholic Church is good and Christain and as good a church as any of the other Christian churches should be told not to convert. Chesterton should not have converted in 1910 when he was impressed with the truth of Catholic teaching. He rightly delayed. It would have been wrong for him to convert before he thought it was the one true Church. Whether those Protestants understood that as the reason or not it would have been wrong to accept them into the Catholic Church.

          • Most of the evidence is circumstantial or hearsay or the pope’s speaking off-the-cuff or to the unChurched, though not for these reasons dismissible. But EG 161 seems strange. It is easy to see that Christ’s commandment is “new” and the one by which all will know that we are his disciples, harder to see that it is “first” and “greatest.” (Apparently contradicted by both the Old and the New Testaments, including “The Father is greater than I.”) Likewise, it is easy to see that love of neighbor is the “heart of the Christian moral message,” but only if “moral” (our relationship to men) is distinguished from “religious” (our relationship to God). Are theologians saying that Pope Francis is revealing hitherto unknown or unappreciated aspects of the New Testament, or are they saying that he is sowing confusion, or are they saying some other thing or things? How should pastors proclaim EG 161 to “the lay faithful” who may have difficulty understanding its intended meaning?

          • I’m going to disagree with a lot of your points, but what are the points I want to make? These: It’s hard to make judgments about what the pope is up to without historical perspective. The world looks different from the perspective of the papacy than it does from here. Whether the pope should be doing what we want him to do isn’t clear. The Holy Father is a good Catholic man doing his best. Whether his fundamental approach is right or wrong is something we’ll find out in the next life, and which future Church historians may be able to determine in 400 years.

            I really disagree with your fundamental view of who the Holy Father is. I wish I was a better writer. I wish I could express my thoughts better, but I just think it is very unlikely that a biographical dictionary of the popes will say in the 25th Century: “Pope Francis I: Popularized devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots, teacher of error, enemy of sexual morality.

            I make much less of your examples than you do. Evangelii Gaudium is an overly long document that began as a summary report from a synod of bishops. It seems highly unlikely, impossible even, for the Holy Father to have written every word of it. Instead of ensuring that it was carefully edited and well-written the Holy Father issued a long, not very well organized document. He wrote parts of it and felt strongly (apparently) that he wanted to get that message out. Whether attaching those thoughts to this document was a good idea or not is unknown to me. EG 161 sure looks like an error. It seems to me that it is the kind of misrepresentation of what Jesus said that liberal priests take a special delight in slipping through censorship. I don’t think the Holy Father wrote it. I don’t think the Holy Father thinks it. It’s wrong, but it is a hidden error. It does not say that Jesus wrongly informed us about the greatest commandment, and now we know better. It implies that it’s saying nothing new at all while saying something exactly backward. A bad sign, but editing stuff like that out of a document is not the easiest thing in the world. You look for the controversial. You glide by what doesn’t seem controversial. It’s true that the Holy Father has not contradicted it, but it’s also true that liberals have not seized on it to teach that our duties to God are of secondary importance.

            I’m not familiar with any of the things you mention in the parenthesis. I’d like to look at the quotes. It’s not like we don’t have faithful and intelligent Catholics who are afraid to speak the truth. Again, I wish I could express this better, but if the Holy Father taught that Jesus sinned I think Cardinal Burke would have addressed the question.

            Next paragraph. “Rejection of traditional trappings of office”? He dresses like a pope. He has less tolerance for some of the stuff than previous popes had? I guess so. Maybe he’s wrong, but that’s it. “Trampling of rubrics”? Don’t think there’s many that he ignores. “Trampling” goes too far. I haven’t seen him say Mass from beginning to end, but I haven’t seen anything that could accurately be called “trampling.” “Championing of progressive causes.” Here’s my usual two answers: 1) I haven’t seen any “championing.” There’s been no global warming document yet. 2) This really tells us nothing. Popes, it seems to me, are usually wrong about politics. They are usually drawn from European elites and have the same incorrect political views that contemporary European elites have. I think Pope Clement V was wrong to favor Edward I over Robert the Bruce. Blessed Pope Paul’s policy for dealing with the Communists can criticized as wrong, but it’s not all that relevant to the issue of how he lead the Church. A good example of where the pope is not infallible is predicting the weather.

            Every pope since Paul has unaccountably appointed liberals to high office in the Church. I don’t understand it, but it’s not an indictment of our present Holy Father alone. If you think things are bad now you didn’t live through the 1970s.

            The reinstatement of Fr. Sean Fagin is again something that could have happened at any time and means nothing. I never heard of him until I googled. He seems to be an 86 year old priest who dedicated his life to undermining Catholic teaching. He did this throughout the pontificate of John Paul II without obstruction. He was silenced by the CDF when he was 80. Unsurprisingly he had connected friends who worked to get his punishment lifted. They succeeded. One thing about his life has changed, though. As far as I can tell he no longer attacks Catholic truth in public. There’s been no change in the teaching on liberation theology that I can find.

            The next category seems to include things that we know that the Holy Father actually said. “Rabbits” isn’t good, but it’s a reasonable shorthand for “Catholics should think about whether they should have more children.” He said it because he had just defended Humanae Vitae so strongly. He’s praised and defended large families a lot. Just today the Irish Times is mad at him because he pointed out that married people can avoid children for selfish reasons. As to his criticisms of religious views, if the shoe doesn’t fit, I don’t wear it. Reading comments indicates to me that there are some extreme and odd people who call themselves traditionalists. Confusing about celibacy? I don’t think so. Women to “assume more roles”? We’ll see, but he’s very clear that they are unordained roles. Quotes from “alternative ideologies”? I’d have to see the quotes.

            “Continuation of ecumenical digressions” by definition does not distinguish him from his predecessors. He doesn’t seem worse on this to me than St John Paul or Benedict or Blessed Paul. Maybe he’s mistaken. I think I have a different view of Islam than you do. Islam is nothing but a false religion. It has no essence. On a strict level the phrase “this is inconsistent with Muslim teaching” is meaningless because there is no true Muslim teaching that any statement can be compared to. I think some Muslims worship God, the way I think some ancient devotees of Jupiter were actually worshipping God. If no Muslim actually worships the Supreme Being Who made all things these statements are problematical. If some do, they aren’t.

            “Why would people lie about it?” Some unpleasant people grab onto a grievance and hang onto it for all they’re worth. For them every conversation is about their grievance and every conversation vindicates their position on the issue. Doesn’t this seem to be the case with all these people?

            I don’t think it’s too much. It’s what happens. As we’ve previously said, the truth will come out. You have no duty to try to convince me or defend your position or anything else, but what the Church bureaucracy does means little to me, because it’s always been bad. Things he’s unreliably quoted as saying don’t bother me. Things he hasn’t said don’t bother me. I don’t like the appointments but I’ve seen them before. What he says himself indicates he’s a faithful Catholic. He loves St Joseph and hates the devil. Those are pretty good indicators.

            Regarding “resistance” I guess I’m like Cardinal Burke and have a too casual view of it. If I were an Italian when Alexander VI was trying to help his son Cesare Borgia conquer Italy I would have felt free to resist. There doesn’t seem to be an obligation to help a Pope damage the Church. There seems to be no obligation to figure out where the Holy Father wants to go, and to try to help him get there, without regard to whether or not you think it’s a good idea. The SSPX people, though, seem to think “resist” means that they can always do whatever they want in their autocephalous church. It seems to me that if the pope were to try to a bad thing, and was simultaneously doing something else within his authority, the bad thing doesn’t allow us to ignore his proper acts.

            Again, I’m happy to defend the Holy Father, but I understand you have no obligation to engage people who leave comments on your blog.

          • simply can’t find a theory to explain what I’m seeing other than to believe that there is some level of deception at work.

            Well is it not a common to say that when one speaks on both side of the mouth that one is speaking with a forked tongue?

          • I think I’m going to write something responding to all of this, but I understand this puts no obligation on you to keep this up. Thanks for maintaining this great blog.

    • Why would what Cardinal Baldisseri said about the pope’s decision to include the points that did not receive the two-thirds majority reflect badly on the pope unless the cardinal did say to the pope what you imagine Mr. Skojec thinks he did and the pope agreed that this was so?

      • Yes. He’s a Modernist politician. Just as Archbishop Bugnini misreprested and exaggerated Bl Paul VI’s support for his liturgical innovations, Cardinal Baldisseri exaggerates the Holy Father’s support for the Modernists’ campaign against 1 Cor 11:27 and Mark 10. I don’t doubt that the Holy Father had the opportunity to read the document before it was published. I’m sure it was sent to him. I doubt that the Holy Father was told “We are waiting for your word before we publish this dishonest document. Are we being too dishonest with our misrepresentations, too honest or does this contain just the right amount of lying? Please let us know.”

    • “According to Pentin, [copies of ‘Remaining in the Truth of Christ, a series of essays about Catholic teaching on marriage, was published just before the Synod meeting’] were intercepted on orders from Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops. Pentin writes that Cardinal Baldisseri was ‘furious’ about the book, and said that it would “interfere with the Synod.” Synod office reportedly blocked delivery of book challenging Kasper proposal


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