R. R. Reno on the synod’s relatio

Hey, how come some of the most trenchant observations are coming from former Episcopalians?

Could be because they recognize what is going down.

R.R. Reno writes at the First Things site:

The first thing to say is that the Synod seems to be infected with an emotivist, subjectivist, and therapeutic tone. There are exhortations to “listening,” and lots of calls for more “dialog.” The document speaks of marriage allowing couples to find “ways to grow.” There is a mention of the hoary distinction between regulations and “putting forward values.” (Talk of “values” is always a bad sign.) Needless to say the former is tacitly condemned, while the latter championed. And there’s regular recourse to the claim that changing times have made things so very complicated and so we can’t be “content with theoretical meetings [meanings?] or general orientations.”

I experienced this sort of rhetoric as an Episcopalian, and I can report that it’s consistently used by authoritarian liberals to silence anyone who dares to speak about the truth. To do so “shuts down dialogue.” Truth-talk is “rigid” and “ignores human complexity.” And so I say to the bishops, beware. The dictatorship of relativism has a bureaucratic vocabulary that’s finding its way into the Synod.

The second thing to say is that the discussion seems to want something impossible: ideals without judgments, goals without rules, principles without “discrimination.” This reflects the incoherence of modern liberal culture, which is also finding its way into the Synod.


The misstep here is very, very significant. Paragraph 46 makes our feelings the criterion of the Church’s pastoral ministry. This is the express route to the dictatorship of relativism. Feelings are feelings, and nobody can question, refute, or debate them. If we make feelings the criterion, then the truth about discrimination (and much more) is subjective.

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One Response to R. R. Reno on the synod’s relatio

  1. John Walter S. says:

    Those who left the Anglican communion only to find this nonsense in Rome, please do speak up- faithful Catholics need you to testify to Tradition. We have too many “yes-men” who hide behind “Charity” and “Magisterium” to the effect of an ecclesiastical version of political correctness. “You are not being charitable, so shut up.” or “You are not being obedient to the Magisterium, so shut up.” is the analogue to “You are a racist” or “You are a homophobe” or “You are a Nazi” which are ways to shut up people of good conscience who voice objections to actual distortions of truth.

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