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Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Secret Synod Freak Show, Brought to You by Pope Francis

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The Secret Synod Freak Show, Brought to You by Pope Francis

WARNING: Mordant Commentary. Reader Discretion Advised.

A shockingly blunt title indeed. But as entirely predictable events unfold in the New Synod Hall—wherein, we are told, all things will be made new—why should we bother with nuance? After all, we have a Pope who is no friend of nuance and whose intentions could not have been more crudely expressed over the past eighteen months of astonishing insults and denigration of practically all the elements of apostolic and ecclesiastical tradition. Francis has clearly been preparing for this moment since the day of his election, if not before, and now it has arrived in all its inglorious splendor.

Let us call this Synod what it is: a secretive, manipulated, progressive-dominated cabal, led by septuagenarian and octogenarian diehards of the conciliar “renewal,” who are rushing to finish their “work”—so rudely interrupted by Pope Benedict—lest death release the Church from their clutches before they are quite done.


Beneath all the bishops’ and cardinals’ blather about “mercy,” “graduality,” “new ways of accompaniment,” and their newly discovered imaginary divide between the doctrinal and the pastoral, beneath the Pope’s own blather about perceiving the “rhythm of our time and the scent of the men of today”—when has a Roman Pontiff ever uttered such nonsense?—we will find the real theme of the Secret Synod as expounded by its leaders. And the theme could not be simpler: Let us compromise on everything. Everything, that is, on which they have not already compromised.

synod on fam
The survivors of the post-conciliar revolutionary cadre who now dominate the Synod propose the Ultimate Reform of Vatican II: the abandonment of doctrine through a radical change of “pastoral practice” by which doctrine is affirmed at the same time it is taken out of commission. The plan is being hatched in a series of secret interventions stacked in favor of a pre-determined outcome to which Francis, now recognized by the entire world as the First Merciful and Humble Pope, will allow only token conservative opposition.

what the Church has always taught about adultery and other sins of impurity? Why would the members of the Secret Synod (the conservative minority aside) meet for any purpose other than to affirm their own longstanding defection in practice from the moral teaching they will mendaciously affirm in principle?

Ron and Mavis, two kids that really know how to love!
ron and mavi

Of course the Secret Synod is not so secret when its leaders wish the media to know of the most recent progressivist intervention in the Synod Hall, pregnant with the promise of radical change. Hence, for example, the worldwide media were delighted to convey the address of a laughably oversexed septuagenarian couple, unencumbered by any sense of shame, who boasted of their 57-year-long sex life, including “the telephone calls and love notes, the… outward expressions of our longing to be intimate with each other,” because “marriage is a sexual sacrament with its fullest expression in sexual intercourse.”  Marriage is a sexual sacrament? Such is the product of John Paul II’s impenetrable “theology of the body,” which he left assorted lay commentators to “unpack” like a suitcase full of naughty lingerie.

The same pair of kooks lauded the example of another family in welcoming their “gay” son and his “gay partner” to the family’s Christmas celebration, exposing their own grandchildren to the scandal of their son’s perversion: “They fully believed in the church’s teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family. Their response could be summed up in three words: ‘He’s our son.’” Cardinal Nichols told the press “the synod gave them a round of applause.” No doubt there were tears in a considerable number of episcopal eyes.

Cheap sentiment must trump morality and reason. That is the “pastoral” leit motif of the Secret Synod. In vain did the London-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children protest that “The homosexual agenda is forcing its way into schools, universities, workplaces and sports clubs. The last thing families and parishes need is for church leaders to tell them to welcome homosexual couples.” But the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children was not invited to the Secret Synod, which according to Francis was convened to hear “the cry of the people”—but only certain people, whose “cries” were rehearsed and approved in advance in the manner of all revolutionary assemblies.

Then there was Cardinal Nichols’s call for what is essentially the abandonment of the vocabulary of sin: “synod participants heard today of a wish to tone down the use of terms such as ‘living in sin,’ ‘contraceptive mentality’ and ‘intrinsically disordered.’ The suggestion appeared to have been warmly received.”No doubt the great majority of the Secret Synod did warmly receive Nichols’s intervention. For the very purpose of the Secret Synod is to receive the good news of the Death of All Condemnation in the area of sexual morality and the advent of the Time of Mercy inaugurated by the First Merciful Pope. Or so the media-assisted narrative goes.

As Francis himself declared the day before the Secret Synod began, the participants would “search for that which today the Lord asks of His Church,” so that “we will know how to propose the good news of the family with credibility.” In other words, the Church’s teaching on marriage and procreation lacked all credibility before the Secret Synod because she had failed to consult Our Lord for the latest update. It is long past time for a new revelation!

Traditionalists saw all this coming from a mile away: the Secret Synod would declare itself the quasi-gnostic Revelator of a new “spirit” that would dictate yet another round of revolution in the Church via a low-budget scale model of Vatican III that will finish what Vatican II started. After secret interventions by 70 “Synod Fathers” on October 7, Father Lombardi summarized the tenor of the proceedings: “From many quarters, however, there has emerged the need to adapt the language of the Church, so that doctrine on the family, life and sexuality is understood correctly: it is necessary to enter into dialogue with the world, looking to the example offered by the Vatican Council…”

Adaptation of the Church’s language and “dialogue with the world” again? Are these people serious? They most certainly are—as serious as any lunatic about the reality of his delusions. Just as I warned two months ago in “Stop the Synod,” the Synod “threatens to become Vatican II rebooted.” That prediction was about as difficult as predicting that the sun would rise on the Synod’s first day. The relators at the Synod have even applied Vatican II’s praise of the “elements of sanctification and truth” in Protestant sects to cohabitation, the divorced and “remarried” and “gay couples.” As Lombardi noted: “it was underlined that even imperfect situations must be considered with respect: for instance, de facto unions in which couples live together with fidelity and love present elements of sanctification and truth.” So, according to the Secret Synod, relationships between people living in adultery or sodomitical “unions” are now to be “accepted” in a bizarre extension of the conciliar novelty of ecumenism.

Pope Francis, said Cardinal Baldisseri, the Secret Synod’s Secretary, “wants to open a door that has so far remained shut.” Shut, that is, for 2,000 years; shut even during the reign of John Paul “the Great,” who apparently was not quite great enough to merit the coming prodigy of divine illumination that announces the reversal of his own teaching. The Church used to inform sexuality, but now, at the Secret Synod, sexuality informs the Church, the inversion of the proper order of things being a sure sign of diabolical influence. The Secret Synod is in the grip of madness.

Whatever Francis’s subjective intention may be, let us not shrink from recognizing the “door” he has opened for what it is: a portal into the pit of Hell. In the interview with the liberal Jesuit magazine America, the liberal Jesuit Francis delighted the world when he declared: “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.” As the moral edifice of the Church threatens to fall like a house of cards under the Secret Synod’s onslaught, we are reminded of how often Francis’s accusations against others apply precisely to him.

A challenge to our neo-Catholic critics as catastrophe looms: If the Secret Synod recommends radical changes, including abandonment of the perennial discipline of the Church—affirmed by the neo-Catholics’ greatest hero, John Paul II, only 33 years ago—what will they say and what will they do then? Will they accept even this in silence, as they have every other “officially approved” ruinous innovation of the Church since 1965? Will they reveal that they are willing to accept whatever authority decrees in order to hang on to their comfortable niches in the Novus Ordo establishment, or will they stand up for the objective and unalterable revealed truths of our religion and the practices that have embodied those truths for two millennia—no matter what it costs them and even if the minority of cardinals who have thus far opposed the Synod’s direction all capitulate? Will they, in short, recognize at long last the unprecedented crisis in the Church whose origin was described in two words by Sister Lucia in light of the Third Secret of Fatima, to which Pope Benedict so tellingly alluded before his mysterious abdication: diabolical disorientation.

It was Chesterton who wrote: “The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”  But now the very Vicar of Christ presides over a Synod he explicitly declares will be guided by “the rhythm of our time and the scent of the men of today.” We have clearly reached the final extremity of the post-conciliar debacle, and it should now be obvious to every Catholic of good will that we live in times like those of the Arian crisis. As Cardinal Newman famously observed, during that crisis—the greatest in Church history until now—the Faith was preserved not “by the unswerving firmness of the Holy See, Councils or Bishops, but … by the consensus fidelium [consent of the faithful].” Then, as now, “there was a temporary suspense of the functions of the Ecclesia docens [the teaching church]. The body of the Bishops failed in their confession of the faith. … There were untrustworthy Councils, unfaithful Bishops; there was weakness, fear of consequences, misguidance, delusion, hallucination, endless, hopeless, extending itself into nearly every corner of the Catholic church.”

Yet in this seemingly hopeless situation lies our very hope. As history teaches, and as the promises of Christ guarantee, the faithful need only hold fast to the traditions they have been taught (2 Thess. 2:15) by the authentic Magisterium until the storm ends and the men who unleashed it upon the Church have passed into history, along with all the bishops and even the Pope (Liberius) who persecuted Saint Athanasius and a remnant of the faithful who defended the divinity of Christ in the 4th century.

Barring divine intervention, the members of the Secret Synod may well have their day. But in the end that is all they will have. Meanwhile, no matter what, we must keep the Faith. And by the grace of God, we will.

Last modified on Thursday, October 9, 2014
Christopher A. Ferrara

Christopher A. Ferrara: President and lead counsel for the American Catholic Lawyers Inc., Mr. Ferrara has been at the forefront of the legal defense of pro-lifers for the better part of a quarter century. Having served with the legal team for high profile victims of the culture of death such as Terri Schiavo, he has long since distinguished him a premier civil rights Catholic lawyer.  Mr. Ferrara has been a lead columnist for The Remnant since 2000 and has authored several books published by The Remnant Press, including the bestseller The Great Façade. Together with his children and wife, Wendy, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.