The Relatio Synodalis does not state directly the liceity of adulterous or otherwise immoral sexual relations; it does not state directly the ordination of women; it does not state directly that celibacy must be abolished. But it is the most extensive and deep program of subversion of the Catholic Church ever written. It is a base imitation of the strategies of the “21st Century Socialism.” Perhaps one can feel the hand of Arturo Sosa Jr. in it?
The concerns raised by the document are infinite. But I will focus just on some of the central ones.
- “Synodality” means, really, rejection of “representative democracy” but in order to adopt “a way of being Church that articulates communion, mission and participation” (see 1g). So, it is nothing else but the way towards what Hugo Chávez called the “protagonic democracy.” According to the Relatio, some oppose it because it seems to go contrary to the “hierarchical nature of the Church,” but really, “perplexity and opposition are born from the fear of losing the power and the privileges” that derive from the constant movement of the so-called “living Tradition” (ibidem).
- Of course, in this new “democracy” all the non-controlled institutions are disarticulated by the sheer dissolution of the authority that rules in them, but (and this “but” is the key point) the tyrannical power of the central authority is stressed more than ever. This is the reason why the document states:
[…] synodality and the primacy [of the Pope] are realities correlative, complementary and inseparable. The clarification of this delicate point is reflected on the way one understands the Petrine ministry at the service of unity (7h).
It is self-evident: the power of the “Dear Leader” must always grow so that he can “translate” the commands of “the spirit”!
- The dissolution of the structure of the Church is perceived especially in the paragraphs dedicated to the bishops. In paragraph 12b the Relatio states:
The Bishop in his Church has the main responsibility in the preaching of the Gospel and regarding the liturgy. He is the guide of the Christian community and he promotes the care for the poor and the defense of the weakest. As a visible principle of unity, he has particularly the power to discern and coordinate the diverse charisms and ministries roused by the Spirit for the heralding of the Gospel and the common good. Such ministry is realized in a synodal way when his rule is used sharing his responsibility with others, when his preaching pays attention to the faithful People of God, when the sanctification and liturgical celebration is nourished by humility and conversion.
Pay close attention to this text. There is no mention of the essence of the bishop. That disappears. When Leo XIII researched the Apostolic succession of the Anglicans (Apostolicae Curae), he concluded that they had lost it. Why? Because for a whole century they did not believe in the most important character of the episcopate, its very essence: the bishop is the High Priest of the Sacrifice of the New Law, and the minister who has the power to ordain other ministers of the Sacrifice. Well, it is clear that our new heretics, the brigands who are ruling the Church of Christ, do not believe either in any of this and, therefore, it seems that—were they to hold this position as stated—they could not ordain successor bishops, even as the Anglicans of the 16th and 17th centuries could not do either.
This becomes obvious in the total inability of these heretics to state in the Relatio synodalis that the jurisdiction in the Church has its root in the episcopate. This is why they can write that “women adequately formed may be judges in all canonical processes” (9r). In general, they have no idea (or pretend they have no idea) about the connection between the sacrament of order and the power of rulership or jurisdiction in the Church, including judicial authority.
- After these central problems, an indefinite number of other problems may be seen.
First, the document lays the ground for the future statement that women can be ordained as deacons, since it declares that this was practiced in the original church (9c), wrongly interpreting some expressions in the New Testament.
Second, when talking about the relationship between faith and reason, the “social sciences” are stressed much more than metaphysics (see 2h, 14h, 15c, 15g), which is typical, by the way, of the Marxist theology of liberation practiced by Arturo Sosa Jr., Víctor Manuel Fernández, and many other influential “theologians” at the Vatican.
Third, with astounding hypocrisy, so typical today, gender ideology is identified with mercy: any care for the weak and the marginalized is confused with accepting the demands of this untenable and utterly irrational ideology (see 16c-k).
Fourth, the Eucharist is said to be the fountain and summit of synodality, so, it seems that these heretics are approaching those Protestants who think that the Eucharist is nothing else but the communion of the faithful (1c).
Fourth, in line with the theologians of liberation, this document presses more and more the subject of “abuses” so as to ensure the demoralization of the Church of Jesus Christ (1e).
Fifth, the document “prophetically” denounces individualism, but by no chance denounces the much greater evil of Chinese collectivism (1l, 3g). It denounces the miseries suffered by displaced people, but not by the slightest chance mentions that the greatest displacement of the last century is that of the Venezuelans whose causes lie in the kind of regime that these heretics promote (5d).
There are many other problems, but with these that I have pointed out, perhaps the goal of stirring up the true members of the Church could be achieved. That would be an immense good God could draw from this immense evil. Cardinal Müller’s recent statements give hope in this sense: “To teach contrary to the apostolic faith would automatically deprive the pope of his office. We must all pray and work courageously to spare the Church such an ordeal.”
Of course, the canonical constitution of the Church requires that some part representative of the Church as a whole must declare this publicly, after judging about the issue formally. In the meantime, bishops need to know and understand that their authority comes from God and not from the pope. They have the duty to preserve the apostolic succession and the true Faith.
 See my recent article, “May a Bishop in Extraordinary Circumstances Ordain Another Bishop Without Papal Consent?” I will give a recent example: Francis removed a bishop in Poland because a priest had committed a grave sin and given grave scandal, despite the bishop was going to punish the delinquent priest. This is not in accordance with canon Law. The pope has no power to remove that bishop without a proper procedure and without proof of a crime committed by the bishop himself.
Antonio Francés is an academic from the Americas.