Monday, October 13, 2014

Roman Catholic Family Synod: Early report called a "pastoral earthquake"

A document summing up the synod so far has been described as a “pastoral earthquake” by a leading Vatican commentator.

The document, called the relatio post disceptationem, was read aloud in the synod hall this morning. It has been drafted by synod fathers selected by Pope Francis and can be read in full here.

The document calls on the Church to build on the “positive aspects” of relationships that are deemed irregular – such as between remarried couples or same-sex partners – and keep the “doors always wide open” to people in those relationships.

Read the rest here.

Everything I have read about this synod from Roman Catholic sources and blogs has been deeply disturbing.

4 comments:

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Nothing like convening a council to answer the questions nobody was asking.

This is why I dread the supposedly forthcoming 2015(16?) Orthodox council. The only issue out there worth addressing is the so-called diaspora Churches and nobody's touching that one for at least the next century. Hopefully they restrain themselves with signing something that says give to the poor and don't pollute.

Does anything good come from convening hierarchs with time on their hands and pressure to appear to be "doing something?"

Stephen said...

I fear that many Catholics long ago lost the ability of ownership of faith, having delegated that to the clerical caste which of course embraced such a transfer of responsibility. So the faculty of the senses fidelium has atrophied,as any unused muscle would, and they are left with only the reflex to take whatever that caste, centralized in the Papacy, gives to them. And so called traditionalist Catholics are left as mere enablers, like the abused spouse, who know better but ultimately will allow any progressive innovation orchestrated by the Papacy, rather than take the patient to rehab and dry out.

Gregory DeLassus said...

I am rather lost as to what would be disturbing to an Orthodox Christian from the reporting that I have seen. Near as I can tell, there are two "big" issues being discussed at the synod: (1) communion for those divorced and remarried; and (2) communion for those involved in non-Platonic homosexual relationships.

To the extent that the Catholic Church relaxes the rules on #1, we would move closer to the Eastern Orthodox position, so it is not clear to me what would be disturbing to an Eastern Orthodox reader.

Mind you, as a Roman Catholic, I would be disturbed to see the Church were to go too far here. I do not see admission to the chalice as a radical change, but allowing second marriages (without annulments, and in circumstances other than Petrine or Pauline privilege cases) in a church would be the sort of Earth-shaking change that would make me reconsider my ecclesiastic allegiances. Mercifully, I have every confidence that the Church will not make such a change, because she cannot make such a change. The Holy Spirit will see to that.

As for communing sexually active homosexuals, I am also not sure why an Eastern Orthodox Christian should see this as radical. It has always been the case that pastors have been free to exercise economy (or exactness) when deciding whether to commune a given sinner. If a formal synod should encourage a warmer use of economy, this is hardly an Earth-shaking development. It is not as if anyone at the Synod is suggesting the formal blessing of same-sex unions.

We have spent ~5 decades now trying to deal sternly with the sexual revolution, and we do not seem to be getting anywhere with this approach. It is not crazy that we should experiment with a more gentle approach. It is the sick who need physicians, after all.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

It has always been the case that pastors have been free to exercise economy (or exactness) when deciding whether to commune a given sinner. If a formal synod should encourage a warmer use of economy, this is hardly an Earth-shaking development.

Then why do you need a formal synod to validate an extant practice of spiritual economy? For the same reason the perfectly workable "don't ask-don't tell" had to be jettisoned for "never shut up." Homosexuals don't want tolerance; they want validation. And they will take this document and run with it.

The Catholic Church needs Third World bodies supported by First World wallets. Her charities receive billions of dollars from social democratic governments who've made clear they consider such issues a test of loyalty to the State. The Church is just trying to stay respectable in the eyes of the State.