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The Phony Synod: Now Even Phonier

by Christopher A. Ferrara
October 2, 2015

From the moment it was announced, traditionalist Catholics knew the "Synod on the Family" would have little to do with the family and a great deal to do with advancing the continued subversion of the Church by a resurgent neo-Modernism operating according to what Msgr. Guido Pozzo, head of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, calls the "para-conciliar ideology."

The very title of Synod 2014's final report, "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization," was a dead giveaway: "pastoral challenges" is Modernist code for "sins we would like to accommodate." That is why this writer, for one, wrote an article a month before the Phony Synod got underway last year. The final words of the article were: "STOP THE SYNOD."

With dreary predictability, Phony Synod 2014 was rigged to achieve the outcome of accommodating sin in the Church: the public adultery of divorced and "remarried" Catholics, cohabitation and "homosexual unions." Traditionalist commentators sounded the alarm in this regard from the outset, based simply on their long and bitter experience with the "regime of novelty" that has afflicted the Church since Vatican II. And now Edward Pentin, a respected mainstream Vatican observer, has presented massive evidence confirming what we already knew: that Phony Synod 2014 was rigged from start to finish.

And yet the rigging failed, at least substantially. The Synod controllers failed to achieve the required 2/3 majorities for propositions that would have created an "opening" to Holy Communion for adulterers and toleration of "homosexual unions" in the Church. The disgusting "midterm report," which pretended to be the work of the Synod Fathers but was actually written and published to the world before they had even seen it, sparked a conservative "revolt," led by Cardinal Pell, which slowed down the pro-adultery, pro-"gay" juggernaut Pope Francis had set in motion but which failed to reach its intended destination.

Since then, opposition to the Phony Synod's seditious agenda, led by the African hierarchy, has mounted to the point where another drearily predictable move has been made: rule and personnel changes designed to shut down the opposition and create a steamroller effect leading to the issuance of a final document that will reflect the will of the Synod's controllers — including, of course, Francis — rather than the authentic teaching of the Church or even the will of the required 2/3 of the Synod Fathers.

The rule changes, announced by the Vatican today, are these:

First, the foundational document for Phony Synod 2015 and its final Report will be the Instrumentum Laboris issued last year at the conclusion of Phony Synod 2014. The Instrumentum lards 85 new paragraphs onto the final report of Phony Synod 2014, which in turn includes three controversial paragraphs the Synod Fathers rejected but which Francis insisted be retained in violation of the Synod's rules requiring 2/3 approval for each proposition in the 2014 report.

The 85 new paragraphs of the Instrumentum, never considered much less voted on by the Synod Fathers in 2014, contribute to a document that, as Voice of the Family (VOF) rightly observes, "threatens the entire structure of Catholic teaching on marriage, the family and human sexuality." To recall VOF's executive summary, the Instrumentum attacks the Church's teaching by:

  • undermining the doctrine of Humanae Vitae by proposing a false understanding of the relationship between conscience and the moral law (paragraph 137);
  • discussing artificial methods of reproduction without giving any judgement on the morality of such methods or making any reference to previous Catholic teaching, or to the enormous loss of human life that results from their use (paragraph 34);
  • proposing the admission of the "divorced and remarried" to Holy Communion without amendment of life (paragraphs 120-125);
  • reducing the indissolubility of marriage to the level of an "ideal" (paragraph 42);
  • suggesting that cohabitation and "living together" have "positive aspects" and can, to some extent, be considered legitimate forms of union (paragraphs 57, 61, 63, 99, 102);
  • preparing the ground for the acceptance of same-sex unions by acknowledging the need to define "the specific character of such unions in society" (paragraph 8);
  • denying the full rights of parents regarding the provision of sex education to their children (paragraph 86)

This atrocious document has been denounced as well by three eminent theologians, writing with the support of cardinals and bishops, who warn that it "compromises the truth" and "contradict[s] here and there the doctrine taught to all the faithful by the magisterium of the Church…" Yet that same document is now the foundational text of Phony Synod 2015, which means that its final report is already written in large part.

Second, as with Phony Synod 2014, at Phony Synod 2015 the interventions by individual bishops will be kept secret. No one is to know what each bishop says. Only the reports of the various small language groups will be published.

Third, there will be no general debate or discussion among the Synod Fathers as Phony Synod 2015 progresses and presentations by individual members will be limited to a ridiculous three minutes each. The small language groups will each debate among themselves and then present their individual documents for inclusion in the final report in some manner.

Fourth, there will be no midterm report, and thus no early warning of what the final report will include. The definitive text of the final report will be revealed only on the Synod's last day, when it will be submitted to an up or down vote by the Synod Fathers. (At this point it appears that the 2/3 rule has been retained, but who knows what will happen in that regard given all the other rule violations Francis has committed.)

Fifth, the final report will be drafted by a committee now composed almost entirely of partisans of the "opening" to "gays" and Holy Communion for public adulterers:

  • Cardinal Péter Erdo and Monsignor Bruno Forte: both involved in the control of Phony Synod 2014 and its scandalous midterm report, of which Forte was the principal author of the "gay-friendly" passages.
  • Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Cardinal John Atcherley Dew, Monsignor Victor Manuel Fernandez, Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, and Father Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, Superior General of the Jesuits: every one a radical progressive who advocates admission of public adulterers to Holy Communion and greater "openness" to "gays" and "homosexual unions." Wuerl, Fernandez, and Pachón were among the six progressives with whom Francis packed the drafting commission of Phony Synod 2014 in an "unprecedented" move.
  • Monsignor Marcello Semeraro, an avowed enemy of traditionalists.
  • Monsignor Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan: the Bishop of Gabon, Africa he is the lone opponent of the Synod's radical agenda. His token presence on the committee will undoubtedly count for little or nothing

In sum, the Phony Synod has just gotten a lot phonier. And now we learn from Marco Tosatti that a team of Jesuits, consulting privately with Francis through Father Antonio Spadaro, the director of the Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica, has already been engaged in drafting "the necessary post-synodal documents to implement whatever the Pope wants to implement."

May the Holy Mother of God intervene to protect the Church from the designs of Francis and this total sham of a Synod on "the Family".