Thursday, October 9, 2014

How the Synod Has Already Damaged the Church

Premature? Perhaps. But news coverage is already forming the opinions of Catholics. (Likely the only formation most Catholics are getting these days.) The mere fact that today's sexual and marital couplings in all their variety appear to be on the table is changing perceptions.

The fact that these perceptions may not be accurate doesn't matter. Catholics who want their kink or failures validated will seize on stories that seem to do so. They are going to have new expectations. And let's not forget priests. Want to bet how many of them will seize on buzzwords like "mercy," and "gradualism," and "pastoral" to make a de facto change on the parish level? We already saw this with Humanae Vitae.

Anyone who tries to uphold the right will get shot at with language right out of Pope Francis' mouth: legalist. The Pope does a grave disservice to the Church by pitting fidelity against mercy.

Aside from the issue of marriage, is it unreasonable to foresee a tolerant new world where all sin is seen as a challenge, an opportunity for growth, and not an evil to be abhorred? If the Church is taking a fresh look at how people really live their lives and becoming less "legalistic," and more "merciful," doesn't that apply to all sin? Virtue is just too hard. Sin is inevitable, the Church is merciful, so don't worry about it.

Now, as a matter of fact, yes, none of us are going to live a perfect life. We will go on sinning. The Church has recognized this for a very long time. It is fatuous to pretend the 21st century has discovered something new at long last. The remedy of the Church has never been to wink at sin! The remedy is the sacrament of confession! There is your mercy. (And yet how few avail themselves of it, possibly because it involves directly acknowledging one's sins.)

If some are in second marriages (or third) the Church offers a rich, and sufficient (if incomplete) devotional life. As precious as communion is, it is not the only reason we go to Mass, nor is it a "waste of time" if we cannot communicate.

For months now, the Bear has been saying "wait until October and the Synod." Well, the Synod is here, and it is not off to an encouraging start. It may yet end well, but if so, it will only be after overcoming evil that is already spreading abroad like the smoke of Satan.


  1. Why not eliminate confession, now? What's the point, eh? It's hurtful to have to say such things to another person you know...and the priest sees our face....(well not mine!)

  2. Sad to say, the sacrament of confession is hanging by a thread in many parishes, where perhaps a half dozen familiar faces can be seen on any given Saturday afternoon. If it isn't canceled because Father is on one of his out-of-town jaunts and no one bothered to arrange for a substitute priest, or even inform people.

  3. There's nothing that I can usefully add to the many eloquent commentaries that have been posted - but the combox offers me a safety valve for frustration and distress.

    When I left Protestantism and entered the Church ten years ago, I was turning my back on (among other things) the "gradualism" I had seen at work softening up Protestants to accept, and ultimately cheerlead for, "inclusive language" and sodomy. The Sacramental understanding of marriage having been tampered with long previously, divorce and remarriage for Protestants was -- except in a few rigorously old-school denominations -- no prob. Holy Communion had come to be viewed as an aid to some obscure and amorphous desired unity, not as a sign of an actual, definable unity among those receiving. Lately, in the denomination I left, it is all about everyone being at some point on their Journey, and wherever you are on your Journey, it's all good as long as you're non-judgmental and open to [fill in latest politically correct notion of What Jesus Would Do]. How familiar this "faith perspective" is becoming to Catholics.

    I knew, on entering the Church, that there were many, many nominal Catholics who hated key Catholic doctrines and wished for Catholicism to become as denatured as Protestantism was always been doomed to be. Like others, I've watched their stealth campaign of "gradualism" -- the dark poison inside the shiny "gradualism" currently being peddled -- succeed in doing dreadful damage. But it didn't seem possible that those who desired to see the Church become Protestant would one day succeed in overrunning the Vatican.

    As Pete often says, in the words of the Divine Mercy Chaplet: For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us -- and on the whole world.

    1. God bless you Jane. Your faithfulness will be rewarded!

      I had asked a few weeks ago what will novus ordo-goers who are orthodox in their faith do if the fullness of evil comes to pass from this synod? It becomes more and more a relevant query.

  4. I had a person whom I have a great deal of respect for write me today (after telling me how bad things REALLY were in Rome) that I should laugh more. I had previously told him my grumpy stubbornness would get me through. So I tried to be a little funny in today's article (yes I'm back to blogging thanks to the miracle of naturally occurring medicinal salts) while making some serious points. The Bear has snuffled out an interesting trail, if he says so for himself.

    But it's easy to say "Lighten up, Francis," as the drill sergeant in Stripes told Psycho. Yes, we can't get down, but yes, we have to recognize the horrible, horrible truth.

    I feel for you, Jane, having only escaped Protestantism a mere decade ago. What can I tell you? Only that WE are not deceived. We go on doing what we do, please God in our own ways. We can shudder for clerics who apparently have lost their faith, at least their faith in anything recognizably Catholic. I have my worries for their cheerleaders, as well. There was a really snarky piece by my least favorite blogger that was just juvenile, but praising the synod.

    If you know your WWII history, you know we had our Pearl Harbor, but then we had our Midway -- sort of the Lepanto of WWII. Will we live to see the Church restored? Probably not. Things could get much worse still. But eventually, and without our worrying about it, the Church rises triumphant. Chesterton wrote of the many times the Church apparently died, but, like Christ, rose again. Personally, I don't believe things have ever been worse. Maybe Arian heresy, but other than that, no.

    But we'll get through. We'll nail our feet to the floor in front of our favorite pews and die there. And, after Purgatory (if Bears go to Purgatory) we'll all meet, and rejoice! Imagine that! No more worries about the Church Militant, because I'll be in the absolutely spotless Church Triumphant, hardly daring to take a breath of heavenly air lest someone tell me there's been a mistake, and a disreputable old Bear isn't good enough to be there.


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