17 October 2014

So what do we learn from all this?

Not to overreact. That Relatio was in no sense magisterial but simply an unsubtle attempt by a tiny faction to promote an extreme agenda; unsubtle because they attempted to land their paratroops at least one bridge too far ... far further than they could have realistically hoped to get away with. It is very good that they made such a bad mistake.

It is clear that the panic which followed the publication of the Relatio was right over the top. The publication of the comments of the circuli minores revealed that the Fathers themselves were determined not to let their Synod be kidnapped in the way that the First Session of the Council was.

One reason why I reproduced in red that passage recently from Newman ... itself reproducing a passage from S Gregory the Theologian ... was to make the point that the Church has been through ropy moments often before, and that Black Monday was by no means the ropiest of them. In fact, it was really quite low in the Richter Scale of Ropiness. Ask S Athanasius, when you get a chance.

As Newman found, it helps to keep ones nerve, having a bit of knowledge of the messiness of Church History. Joseph Ratzinger, also, showed that an examination of the messiness of earlier Councils enabled one to see Vatican II in a balanced way, and to avoid hysteria.

Unlike Fr Zed, I have no experience of Vatican politics. I merely spent three decades mastering the politics of an English Public School (and great fun it was too). But it seems to me that (exempli gratia) manoeuvring the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith into the position of being a rebel against the system just has to be one very serious piece of bad politics. The wise general selects a modest and attainable objective and then organises a broad coalition in support before he advances, keeping a prudent eye all the time on his lines of supply to make sure that the enemy doesn't snip them off with a pincer movement (as happened when poor Bruno Forte was hung out to dry by the Hungarian cardinal with the umlaut).

If I have a fear, it is that their next attempt (because, as somebody once said about a different gang of terrorists, "They haven't gone away") will show that they have learned elementary tactics from this particular dismal failure.


Patricius said...

Nothing will change. Everything will work out for the worst, for everyone.

The fact that every lay person has an opinion on this synod (and other things beside) justifies the contempt most secularists have for religious people.

Tereze Avila said...

Kasper did not misfire. I see this as a calculated long-term plan just to teach clergy that they have to expect changes. It is like a cold shower before throwing you to the deep end. The worst is in front of us. 2015 will create full earthquake of ropiness. Do not put your guards down... you will see.

Francis deSales said...

So much for faith and hope Patricius!

I have a lot more faith in the church and in Jesus. The world will never overcome us, no matter how hard they try, Jesus already has the victory.

Eques said...

I found the first part of this article right enlightening: http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350897?eng=y

Woody said...

The Magister piece offers evidence to suggest that it is in fact the Pope who wants the changes. We will know more following the 2014 synod as we watch what happens to Cardinal Mueller, Cardinal Burke, and the other "dissidents". If the Holy Father is truly determined to see the changes through, then it would not be unthinkable for there to be some examples made, pour encourager les autres.

Ttony said...

Father: on a point of nerdy pedantry "the Hungarian cardinal with the umlaut" should be "the Hungarian cardinal with the double acute".

Conchúr said...

Fr Zuhlsdorf has already tentatively labelled the current proceedings as the Robber Synod of Rome.

B flat said...

Dear Father, I disagree that there was an overreaction. Anything less may have been insufficient to stop the liberal tendency. They had given more than sufficient evidence of being in control of the Synod and what was to be fed to the public in its name.
The letter of St Jude, vv3-4, 17-19 struck a sympathetic chord in my heart this evening, in fitting the reality as I saw it.
But of course, I may be entirely wrong, and value your blog postings enormously. Thank you for them.

Jacobi said...

Regarding your last para Father, rest assured they will be back having learned their lesson.

And we, Catholics, must be ready - this time!

Melinda said...

Woody, it looks as if Burke's transfer is more or less confirmed now.

asdfgh said...

Maybe this is good. With errors like these coming to public light, maybe more and more Catholics will see what the Church is becoming/has become, and will stop being complacent about their faith. My anger with some of the recent issues has made me look deeper at where as a simple layman Ive failed to live up to Catholic standards, and how I can improve, and help the Church improve.

Highland Cathedral said...

What exactly was it all about? We saw one group trying to change Church teaching (under the disguise of being merciful and pastoral) and another group being successful in defending Church teaching. Is the Church any further on in any meaningful way? Has there been some outcome which would not have been achieved if there had been no Synod?

William said...

Highland Cathedral: I would suggest there have been at least three outcomes which might not otherwise have been achieved:
1. The attempts to alter the Church's unchanging teaching on sexual and marital ethics – attempts which did not start with this Synod but have been going on for a long time – have been exposed to the light, met head on and firmly rebuffed by a clear majority of the Synod Fathers.
2. We now know, with far greater clarity than before, who are the key figures in promoting a heterodox agenda – and who can be relied on to stand up for orthodoxy no matter what the cost to themselves.
3. We also know that the voices of orthodoxy are both more numerous and more potentially influential than we had previously been led to believe or allowed ourselves to suppose.

I do not, of course, suggest that any of these were among the intended outcomes!