Get Ready for Regional Truth
by Christopher A. Ferrara
November 6, 2015
I admit it: I’m a lawyer. And because I’m a lawyer I have a deeply ingrained habit of wanting to get immediately to the heart of matter, to sum it up succinctly in the hope of revealing its essence.
Where what I call the Synod of Doom or the Phony Synod is concerned, the heart of the matter is this: Pope Francis conceived, set in motion, and controlled from start to finish a cabal of Modernist subversives that attempted to topple the moral edifice of the Church but could not quite pull it off — this time.
Despite the rigging of Synod 2015, despite the stacking of the synodal electorate with 45 progressives handpicked by Francis to offset the conservatives and assure the triumph of his will — laughably passed off as the “Spirit” at work in the Synod hall — the Synod majority still rejected the attempt to force down their collective throat as “their” final Relatio the abominable Instrumentum Laboris. That document, among other atrocious elements, called for “case by case” sacrilegious Communion for public adulterers, suggested opening to acceptance of “homosexual unions” in civil society, and reduced the intrinsic evil of contraception to a matter of personal conscience.
Faced with a rebellion like that in 2014, Francis was forced to withdraw the Instrumentum, replacing it with a hastily drafted “compromise” document that moves back one step after the “synodal journey” had already progressed two steps toward the destination Francis so clearly demands: that adulterers who purport to have “remarried” civilly be granted absolution and admitted to Holy Communion with no commitment to cease their adulterous sexual relations.
Infuriated by the need for retreat, Francis denounced his conservative episcopal opposition on the Synod’s last day, declaring that the Synod was about “laying bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.” Yes, incredibly enough, we have a Pope who denounces bishops for “hiding” behind Catholic doctrine.
That it was Moses who had allowed divorce and Christ who forbade it once and for all seems to have been lost on Francis, who seems determined to return precisely to something resembling the Law of Moses. The “compromise” paragraphs on this subject, nos. 84-86, which barely achieved the required 2/3 majorities despite the stacking of the vote, clearly open the door to that ultimate result. As the courageous defender of the faith, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, put it in an article published by Rorate Caeli, the drafters of the “compromise” document — also handpicked by Francis — “masked their practical denial of the indissolubility of marriage and of a suspension of the Sixth Commandment on a case-by-case basis under the guise of the concept of mercy, using expressions such as: ‘way of discernment,’ ‘accompaniment’, ‘orientations of the bishop,’ ‘dialogue with the priest,’ ‘forum internum,’ ‘a fuller integration into the life of the Church,’ a possible suppression of imputability regarding the cohabitation in irregular unions…”
Here I focus on the phrase “orientations of the bishop” — meaning, whatever the local bishop wishes to do regarding the admission of public adulterers to the Sacraments. This, apparently, will be the back door by which Francis expects to obtain the result he demands. As he told his militant atheist friend Eugenio Scalfari by telephone after the Synod: “The diverse opinion of the bishops is part of this modernity of the Church and of the diverse societies in which she operates, but the goal is the same, and for that which regards the admission of the divorced to the Sacraments, [it] confirms that this principle has been accepted by the Synod. This is the bottom line result, the de facto appraisals are entrusted to the confessors, but at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask will be admitted.”
After this bombshell was published in the Pope’s favorite newspaper, La Repubblica, Father Lombardi issued his usual lame attempt at an “official denial” that does not actually deny anything, but merely questions Scalfari’s credibility in general — even though the major Scalfari interviews of Francis have been published in book form with the Pope’s consent. Conspicuously absent, as always, was any indication that Lombardi inquired of Francis, even indirectly, whether he said what Scalfari attributes to him. Of course, Lombardi did not inquire because he does not wish to know the answer. The Francis-Scalfari-Lombardi game continues.
So, at this point it seems obvious what is going to happen, barring a miracle. Get ready for the latest advance of the post-conciliar “regime of novelty”: regional truth! By way of a post-Synodal apostolic exhortation or otherwise, it would be left to the bishops of each country to decide, according to their “orientations” in “diverse societies,” whether to follow the teaching of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the entire bimillenial tradition of the Church on the impossibility of admitting public adulterers to Holy Communion without an amendment of life. Depending on where one lives, a teaching intrinsically connected to the indissolubility of marriage will be defended as an essential truth or abandoned as what Francis likes to call a “roadblock.”
If this happens — which God forbid — the Church will immediately fragment into numerous schisms, with practice undermining the indissolubility of marriage in some dioceses or countries, while in others the practice will continue to defend it, at least for a time. At stake here is nothing less than the universality of the Catholic Church, which distinguishes her from all other religious bodies.
No wonder Sister Lucia of Fatima told Cardinal Caffarra that “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” The outcome of that final battle will of course be victory for Christ. But every battle has its casualties, and here the casualties may well be vast before the battle is over and the insanity erupting from the Synod hall in Rome is exorcized from the Church by the only human instrument of God’s grace that can accomplish the feat: a holy, orthodox and courageous Pope.