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Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The New Instrumentum Laboris Shows Why Catholics Aren’t Welcome in the Synodal Church

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The New Instrumentum Laboris Shows Why Catholics Aren’t Welcome in the Synodal Church

“Ecumenical dialogue is fundamental to fostering an understanding of synodality and the unity of the Church. Above all, it drives us to imagine authentically ecumenical synodal practices, including forms of consultation and discernment on shared and urgent concerns.” (Synod on Synodality, Instrumentum Laboris for the Second Session (October 2024))

 

eblast promptAlthough we have already seen more than enough to unequivocally condemn Francis’s Synod on Synodality as a blasphemous assault on the Catholic Church, it is worth considering how the newly released Instrumentum Laboris refines the Synodal Church’s anti-Catholic contours. As discussed in a recent article, it has been evident for some time that Francis’s Synodal Church is shaping up to be Protestantism in union with a Bishop of Rome. The new Instrumentum Laboris elaborates on two key aspects of the Protestantization of the Synodal Church: celebrating diversity of religious belief, and decentralizing doctrinal decisions.  

The Synodal architects show their true intent in the third passage: “Taking this plurality of forms seriously avoids hegemonic tendencies and mitigates the risk of reducing the message of salvation to a single understanding of ecclesial life and its liturgical, pastoral, or moral expression” This removes all reasonable doubt — it is evident that the Synodal Church celebrates not only diversity of culture but also diversity of “ecclesial life” and “liturgical, pastoral, [and] moral expression.”

Celebrating Diversity of Religious Belief. We have seen that the Synodal Church encourages confused Catholics to embrace the sins of those who do not follow the Catholic moral teaching, but the new Instrumentum Laboris includes a few passages that make it clear that members of the Synodal Church must also celebrate diversity of religious belief:

  • Throughout the synod process, the Church's desire for unity has grown hand in hand with an awareness of its diversity. It was precisely the sharing among the Churches that reminded us that there is no mission without context, that is, without a clear awareness that the gift of the Gospel is offered to people and communities living in particular times and places, not closed in on themselves but bearers of stories that must be recognised, respected, and opened to broader horizons. One of the greatest gifts received along the way has been the opportunity to encounter and celebrate the beauty of the ‘pluriform face of the Church’ (John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 40). . . . In this way, different cultures can grasp the unity that underlies and completes their vibrant plurality. Appreciating contexts, cultures, and diversity is key to growing as a missionary synodal Church.”
  • “The communal horizon of the exchange of gifts, outlined in Part I, inspires the relationship between the Churches. It combines an emphasis on the bonds that shape the unity of the Church with an appreciation of the particularities linked to the context in which each local Church lives, with its history and tradition. Adopting a synodal style enables us to overcome the idea that all Churches must necessarily move at the same pace on every issue. On the contrary, differences in pace can be valued as an expression of legitimate diversity and an opportunity for the exchange of gifts and for mutual enrichment.”
  • The pluralism of cultures and the fruitfulness of the encounter and dialogue between them are a condition of the Church's life, an expression of and not a threat to its catholicity. The salvific message remains one and the same: ‘There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all’ (Eph. 4:4-6). This message is pluriform and expressed in diverse peoples, cultures, traditions, and languages. Taking this plurality of forms seriously avoids hegemonic tendencies and mitigates the risk of reducing the message of salvation to a single understanding of ecclesial life and its liturgical, pastoral, or moral expression. The web of relations within a synodal Church, made visible in the exchange of gifts between the Churches and guaranteed by the unity of the College of bishops headed by the bishop of Rome, is a dynamic guardian of a unity that can never become uniformity.”

This may seem subtle, but the Synodal architects show their true intent in the third passage: “Taking this plurality of forms seriously avoids hegemonic tendencies and mitigates the risk of reducing the message of salvation to a single understanding of ecclesial life and its liturgical, pastoral, or moral expression” This removes all reasonable doubt — it is evident that the Synodal Church celebrates not only diversity of culture but also diversity of “ecclesial life” and “liturgical, pastoral, [and] moral expression.”

By now there can be little excuse for those who go along with the Synod, hoping that it will avoid taking a major step such as approving the ordination of women. Those headline issues now appear to be deliberate distractions to keep otherwise rational Catholics from realizing that Francis and his collaborators have been creating a universalized form of Protestantism in union with a Bishop of Rome.

Decentralizing Doctrinal Decisions. The Instrumentum Laboris also reveals another aspect of the Protestantization of the Synodal Church that is even more clear, the decentralization of doctrinal decisions:

  • It is up to the local Churches to increasingly implement all the possibilities of giving life to authentically synodal decision-making processes that suit the context's specificities. This is a task of great importance and urgency since the successful implementation of the Synod largely depends on it. Without tangible changes, the vision of a synodal Church will not be credible. This will alienate those members of the People of God who have drawn strength and hope from the synodal journey.”
  • “From all that has been gathered so far, during this synodal process, the following proposals emerge: (a) recognition of Episcopal Conferences as ecclesial subjects endowed with doctrinal authority, assuming socio-cultural diversity within the framework of a multifaceted Church, and favouring the appreciation of liturgical, disciplinary, theological, and spiritual expressions appropriate to different socio-cultural contexts . . .”
  • Today, the local Churches are also made up of associations and communities that are old and new expressions of Christian life. In particular, Institutes of consecrated life and Societies of apostolic life contribute much to the life of the local Churches and the vitality of missionary action. The same applies to lay associations, ecclesial movements and new communities. Today, belonging to the Church is expressed in an increasing number of forms not formally attached to a geographically defined base but related to bonds of association. This variety of forms must be promoted in the light of the missionary orientation and the ecclesial discernment of what the Lord asks in each context.”

At first glance, the third passage may not seem to relate specifically to decentralization of doctrinal decisions but it has the most intriguing implications because it allows for decision-making at the level of “Institutes of consecrated life and Societies of apostolic life” that may span various geographies. As discussed in a recent article, this may help explain why Rome has (at least temporarily) shown favor to the ex-Ecclesia Dei communities (e.g., the FSSP and ICKSP): it validates the model for “recognizing” the Catholicity not only of actual Catholic institutes that dissent from Francis’s revolution but also non-Catholic groups (i.e., Protestants) that dissent from both Francis’s revolution and Catholicism.

Again, we did not need anything further to alert us to the need to fight against Francis’s Synodal Church, but the new Instrumentum Laboris may open the eyes of some who have yet to see. By now there can be little excuse for those who go along with the Synod, hoping that it will avoid taking a major step such as approving the ordination of women. Those headline issues now appear to be deliberate distractions to keep otherwise rational Catholics from realizing that Francis and his collaborators have been creating a universalized form of Protestantism in union with a Bishop of Rome.

All of this helps us better understand why the German and other heretical bishops remain in good standing while Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has been “excommunicated.” Diversity of religious belief is celebrated in Francis’s new Synodal Church and those who make too much of a show about saying that the non-Catholics are wrong (and need to convert) will not be welcome. May God grant us all the grace to hold firm to beliefs that are not welcome in Francis’s blasphemous Synodal Church. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

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Last modified on Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

Robert Morrison is a Catholic, husband and father. He is the author of A Tale Told Softly: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Hidden Catholic England.