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More Double Talk as Synod of Doom Approaches

by Christopher A. Ferrara
September 15, 2015

As the Synod of Doom approaches like a fast-moving hurricane, Francis continues to provide energy to the storm with more rhetoric about the imaginary gap between doctrine and pastoral practice.  As Francis declared last week in a video message to an international congress of theologians — i.e. gathering of Modernists — at the Pontifical University of Argentina:

One of the principal contributions of the Second Vatican Council was to try to overcome this divorce between theology and pastoral, between faith and life.  I dare say it has revolutionized in a certain measure the charter of theology.

Now is not the time to mince words.  We have heard this same revolutionary babble over and over again from Francis and his theologian, Cardinal Kasper, and the Synod controllers. This is simply Modernist propaganda designed to pave the way for subversion at the Synod. 

There is no divorce in the Catholic Church between theology and the pastoral, between faith and life.  Those whose lives are divorced from what the Church teaches on faith and morals are no longer Catholics.  That divorce is called apostasy, and it is not the Church’s fault.

For 2,000 years the Church has observed pastoral practices that are intrinsically connected to the doctrine Christ Himself revealed.  And we know exactly which pastoral practice Francis has in view when he says things like the above: the Church’s bimillenial refusal to allow divorced and “remarried” people — that is, public adulterers — to receive Holy Communion unless they repent of their adulterous sexual relations and cease engaging in them. 

As John Paul II affirmed in Familiaris consortio: “This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they ‘take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.’”

But it is perfectly obvious at this point that the Synod of Doom was conceived precisely to overthrow that constant teaching of the Church.  Hence Francis declared to the theologians in Argentina:  “Doctrine is not a closed system, deprived of dynamics capable of generating questions, doubts, inquiries….” Dynamics generating doubts? About Catholic doctrine?  What sort of nonsense is this? 

Francis further declares that the Good News of the Gospel must always be “new and above all good” or else it becomes “a sterile word, devoid of its creative force… and thus putting in danger the faith of the people of our time.”  So, for Francis “Good News” respecting the Gospel seems to mean literally news as in a news bulletin, rather than the news Christ and the Apostles proclaimed once and for all, whose meaning and content never change and are not subject to “creativity.” 

This is Modernism without much in the way of nuance — a thinly veiled appeal for the relativization of doctrine through changes in its “application” to “the people of our time,” as if “Thou shalt not commit adultery” could find some “creative” new application to 21st century adulterers.

This doubletalk is not fooling any Catholic who still has the sensus fidelium. The laity who still care about the faith are on guard against the Synod of Doom, and a growing number of cardinals and bishops are joining them. The redoubtable Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, West Africa, has just published in English his book God or Nothing in which he declares against the Synod of Doom:

The idea of putting Magisterial teaching in a beautiful display case while separating it from pastoral practice, which then could evolve along with circumstances, fashions, and passions, is a sort of heresy, a dangerous schizophrenic pathology.  I therefore solemnly state that the Church in Africa is staunchly opposed to any rebellion against the teaching of Jesus and of the Magisterium. . . .  The Church of Africa is committed in the name of the Lord Jesus to keeping unchanged the teaching of God and of the Church.

Vatican II did not “try to overcome” any “divorce” between doctrine and pastoral practice. Rather, Vatican II opened the way to that divorce by giving rise to an ecclesial climate of revolution — Francis’ own word — in which even Popes speak of “creative” ways to apply doctrine that cannot change to sins that are the same as they always were. This is what Lucia of Fatima meant when she told Cardinal Caffarra that “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.”  We are witnessing that battle right now.