The first week of the Synod on the Family is over. Much has transpired in one week and it is easy for noteworthy events to get lost in the barrage of news reports issued over the last week. For this reason, it might be helpful to recap the highlights of what has transpired.
The Erdo Affair
“The integration of the divorced and remarried in the ecclesial community can be realized in various ways, apart from admission to the Eucharist, as already suggested in Familiaris consortio 84.”
No sooner did Cardinal Erdo attempt to close the door on the Kasper Proposal than Pope Francis intervened and opened the door to it once again.
The New Ways Ministry Attempt
The executive director of the openly pro-sodomy group named New Ways Ministry were granted press credentials by the Holy See Press Office and given an opportunity to raise questions on the matter of sodomy before a Vatican press conference. This gave Vatican spokesman, Fr. Thomas Rosica, the opportunity to promote the sodomite agenda by getting rid of “exclusionary language”. Clearly, this was an attempt by some in the Vatican to bring the issue of sodomy to the forefront in order to promote its cause. As was reported here over the weekend, certain unnamed parties were also circulating pro-homosexual materials among the Synod fathers.
There have also have been both on and off-the-record reports from several Catholic journalists and publications (of an orthodox persuasion) that they are either unable to get press credentials, or have had them taken. The most notable on-the-record report comes from Father Nicholas Gregoris, who had his press credentials revoked after questioning certain public statements of Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of the Archdiocese of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.
The Rosica Manipulation
Fr. Thomas Rosica also delivered a distorted impression of the interventions given by the synod fathers in an attempt to further the Kasper Proposal and was met with criticism from no less than Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, who responded to one of Rosica’s comment as follows:
“‘Meet people where they are’ sounds nice, but is that what Jesus did? Didn’t he rather call them away from where they were?”
Fr. Rosica has also taken to blocking anyone on Twitter who seems the least bit critical of his statements, and some have reported being blocked without having engaged him at all. This has spurred the semi-humorous hashtag, #RosicaBlockParty, used by those who have fallen under social media interdict by the Vatican spokesman.
The Translation Challenge
The documents related to the synod coming out of the Vatican are written in Italian. This has caused some concerns because there are indications that the translations of the documents are being manipulated. Archbishop Chaput expressed his concern on this matter, stating:
“As we move on to the process, there is a bit of worry in our group that when the final document is pronounced in Italian, and we’re asked to vote, we may not be very clear on what we’re voting for.”
The Silencing of the Polish Bishops
The actual interventions that take place on the synod floor are not made available to the public, by the will of the Holy Father. However, Archbishop Gadecki heroically took notes on the interventions made by the synod fathers, and actually made them public on his blog here. They were quickly taken down at the behest of Cardinal Baldisseri. Fortunately, copies of these interventions were saved and thanks to the work of Archbishop Gadecki, we know what kind of evil is taking place behind closed doors. Case in point, one intervention made by Cardinal Lacunza Maestrojuan suggested that the church should return to the Law of Moses on the matter of divorce and remarriage, which naturally implies the words of Christ on this matter should be abandoned.
The Hijacking of the Synod Agenda
Several attempts have been made so far by several synod fathers to introduce all kinds of unrelated changes into the church, such as the relaxation of rules surrounding general absolution, women deacons and polygamy, among other things. It is clear that some synod fathers see the synod as an opportunity to bring about a revolution in the church on all kinds of matters, not just adultery and sodomy. So far, the Holy Father continues to allow such deviations from the synod’s agenda to take place.
The Pope Francis Dismissal
Cardinal Pell expressed concerns about the group chosen to draft the final document for the synod, and was shut down by Pope Francis in another intervention, who warned against giving into “the hermeneutic of conspiracy”. Some have noted this may demonstrate the Holy Father is not really interested in the consultation of other bishops, but had his mind made up before the synod began.
The Two-Thirds Vote Scandal and the “We Don’t Know” Contingency
At the end of 2014, there was a major controversy when the Holy Father allowed from various controversial paragraphs to remain in the 2014 Relatio Synodi document, to be used as a basis for the 2015 synod (in a document called Instrumentum Laboris), even though they didn’t receive the required two-thirds vote. To make matters worse, when those controversial paragraphs, which include the Kasper Proposal, were questioned by some synod fathers this week, they were told by Cardinal Baldisseri: “Well, if you want to get them out, it will require a two-thirds vote”! To be clear, this means that instead of needing a two-thirds vote to include paragraphs in the document, it will instead require a two-thirds vote to remove problematic language.
This demonstrates the Holy Father is allowing for the ramming of the Kasper Proposal down the throats of the Synod fathers, whether they like it or not.
When director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Lombardi, was asked if the controversial parts of Instrumentum Laboris will really require a two-thirds vote to be removed from the final 2015 relatio, they were told that it wasn’t even known if a final 2015 relatio will even be issued at the end of the Synod.
Clearly, much has transpired in this first week of the Synod on the Family, and much more can be reported. These are just some of the major highlights, which continue to demonstrate manipulation and deceit going on behind the scenes.
Michael Lofton is a Latin Rite Catholic working on a Master of Arts in Theological Studies at Christendom Graduate School. He has appeared on EWTN’s The Journey Home, SiriusXM Radio and Radio Maria.