The ongoing confusion left by the October synod

I see signs things are going to get far worse before they get better.  Lots to pray about this Lent.  Please join me in praying that a spirit of reconciliation, forgiveness and mutual respect despite differences will  prevail.

 Robert Royal, who was in Rome to cover the synod, examines some of the fall-out:

The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops of 2014, contrary to belief in some quarters, did not change Catholic teaching.

But synod participants were encouraged, by the Pope and others, to modify its style. Separating words and concepts, however, is not as easy as it sounds — witness the confusion after Vatican II.

By the mere fact of advocating “outreach” to various groups, for example, we now have — probably as a permanent thorn in the side of the Church — battles among Catholics themselves over divorced-and-remarried people receiving Communion, a practice never allowed in the Western Church. And (though Pope Francis made clear that same-sex “marriage” was not spoken of at the synod) deep divisions exist over how the Church is to deal with people in homosexual relationships.

Read more:

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3 Responses to The ongoing confusion left by the October synod

  1. EPMS says:

    There is much that could be commented on here, especially how this article touches on issues of “retention” raised in the British survey you cite. One interesting point is the collapse of social opposition to homosexuality. It took a long time for its popular image to change from a sexual choice, like having the light on or off, which was entirely in the control of the individual and thus appropriately addressed in moral terms, to that of a mental illness—not in the individual’s immediate control, but still, like any illness, undesirable. This already, however, undermined the perception that it was primarily a moral issue. Once the “mental illness” label, dependent as it was on now-discredited psychoanalytic models, was discarded in favour of some kind of innate predisposition, there seems to be little inclination for most people to maintain a moral objection, and the change in public opinion on this subject has been drastic and rapid. I would contrast this with, for example, pedophilia and other forms of coercive sex which are much more highly censured in today’s society than they were a generation ago. So we are not talking about across-the-board “permissiveness” here. Regardless of what exactly Pope Francis meant when he stated “Who am I to judge?” I would say that sums up the prevailing view at this point in the 21stC.

  2. John Walter S. says:

    Oh, and they Vatican’s suing bloggers for having the “wrong” opinion about it, because it’s traditional-minded.

    Here’s the story of a Canadian blogger based in Toronto.

  3. Rev22:17 says:


    You wrote: I see signs things are going to get far worse before they get better. Lots to pray about this Lent. Please join me in praying that a spirit of reconciliation, forgiveness and mutual respect despite differences will prevail.

    The unfortunate reality here is that many of the situations about which there is supposed confusion are far too complex to admit simplistic solutions that many people seek. The child born out of wedlock is not culpable for the fact that his or her parents were not married to each other, and thus does not deserved to be (1) stigmatized or (2) excluded from full participation in the community of faith, yet historically there was a time when “bastards” were excluded from the sacrament of holy orders. In most cases, the same is true of homosexual individuals: they are not culpable for their “orientation” (sense of sexual attraction to persons of their own sex), and thus should not be stigmatized or excluded from the church for it. Of course, they still must make moral choices with respect to their lifestyles — and we must support their efforts to do so. Even for those who are “divorced and remarried” or in other irregular canonical situations, it is certainly fair to ask whether the present processes for resolving those situations might present a higher burden than necessary and whether it might be possible to establish a simpler, more accessible, process that would still provide adequate safeguard for the sanctity of the authentic sacrament.

    These questions do not admit easy answers. Thus, the process to sort out these questions will take some time.


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