13 October 2014

Oh dear, what are they thinking?

Here's the unofficial translation of the official report at Synod 2014

Now, yes, I know this is merely a report and not a final document, but let's be real here, tone speaks to everything. As we've seen from recent history, even though nothing official changed in Church teaching, the mere change in praxis/tone really messes with the psychology of the faithful.

Giving a full paragraph by paragraph analysis would make me nauseous and probably resulting in a rearrangement of box time, but since I'm known for not mincing words, I'm happy to point out some of the text and not spin it. (My comments in red)

Paragraph 17:    In considering the principle of gradualness in the divine salvific plan, one asks what possibilities are given to married couples who experience the failure of their marriage, or rather how it is possible to offer them Christ’s help through the ministry of the Church. In this respect, a significant hermeneutic key comes from the teaching of Vatican Council II, which, while it affirms that “although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure ... these elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward Catholic unity” (Lumen Gentium, 8).

So many things wrong with this paragraph, but let's start with the obvious. The means for assistance in every irregular situation is already there. Something I truly believe is that all couples should have is a spiritual director. A spiritual director can look at their particular situation from the outside and see where things can be fixed. I also believe individuals need spiritual directors for their own individual growth. 

The fact that there are elements of good found in other religions/philosophy, does not make them a True Good, towards Goodness Himself Christ Jesus. As an extension of this point, just because good can be found within an irregular situation does not make the irregular situation ideal or even a good. 

And as the last 50 years has shown us, the emphasis of the positive at the expense of everything else is a recipe for disaster. It's almost as if there's some kind of insane disease infecting the synod which makes them want to repeat the 70's all over again. I'd laugh at this, but I'm afraid this is reality. 

If this is the tone that is wished to be taken, God help us, they might as well say "we surrender" and put a white flag up...but wait, there's more. 

Paragraph 20:   Realizing the need, therefore, for spiritual discernment with regard to cohabitation, civil marriages and divorced and remarried persons, it is the task of the Church to recognize those seeds of the Word that have spread beyond its visible and sacramental boundaries. Following the expansive gaze of Christ, whose light illuminates every man (cf. Jn 1,9; cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22), the Church turns respectfully to those who participate in her life in an incomplete and imperfect way, appreciating the positive values they contain rather than their limitations and shortcomings.

Discernment for what?...Oh dear, let's make exemptions because the law is soooooo hard to follow, yay, let's just throw away the Words of Christ why don't we? God help us...Okay, let's solve this

a. Co-habitation in of itself is more or less a cause for scandal. Precisely because one does NOT know what is going on behind closed doors. (The couple could very well be living as brother and sister prior to their marriage, there could be financial difficulties for one of them, but neither of these are the point...and let's face it, most modern couples do not exercise this option) And I do understand the tendency to "not assume" but again, would it not be better just for the whole thing o not occur in the first place? To live with another person in of itself does not exclude one from Communion, but as the old saying goes, give the people an inch to choke you with, they'll take a mile. If it hasn't been obvious with the lack of discipline in the Church, what in the world makes these people think it's a good idea to give even more slack than we already have? God help us!

Paragraph 42: Such discernment is indispensable for the separated and divorced. What needs to be respected above all is the suffering of those who have endured separation and divorce unjustly. The forgiveness for the injustice endured is not easy, but it is a journey that grace makes possible. In the same way it needs to be always underlined that it is indispensable to assume in a faithful and constructive way the consequences of separation or divorce on the children: they must not become an “object” to be fought over and the most suitable means need to be sought so that they can get over the trauma of the family break-up and grow up in the most serene way possible.

What needs to be made clear here:

a. A separation is not in of itself an evil act. As is usual in our theology, the ends do not justify the means. But it's converse statement: The means do not justify the ends is not so. The Church in her infinite wisdom has already considered these points through. 

Recall that an annulment is NOT a get out of marriage free card, but rather the exact opposite, it's a declaration that a marriage never happened because it was able to be proven there was a defect in form, matter or intention. 

One could possibly say that abuse would fit under intention and one could say if there was an intent to abuse from the very beginning that a marriage should be declared null (that'd violate the vows)...one could also say a few other things, but here's really what I want to focus on

b. How about we just avoid the break up of the family all together? See my previous comment about assisting every couple with spiritual direction. In order for us to really get to the crisis, we can't merely treat the symptoms of the problem, we have to get to the root cause. Divorce, re-marriage are merely symptoms of the core problem, and NOT the things we really need to be treating. 

There's a lot more things to say besides these paragraphs, we need to pray harder for the Church, if this is just merely the record of the discussions. God help us.

Pax Vobis.


  1. Your post is quite insightful. It's one thing for the laity to say as those who did in the Gospel of John, chapter 6: "This teaching is too hard. I'm outta here." But, for the Lord's own priests to indulge that in the laity is, well... I'm speechless. Our Lord did come as Savior, not as enabler.

    I recall my parents teaching my siblings and I the marriage laws of the Church from a pretty young age. I also recall hearing this teaching come from the pulpit back in the day.
    Vicky Hernadez

  2. Hi VIcky :), welcome....indeed so, the bar can't be lowered just because some are unable to reach the higher good. Let us keep praying for the Church.


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