The Synod's "Relatio Post Disceptationem," or interim document, has been released. It reminds the Bear of two things:
- The line from old westerns "speak with forked tongue."
- The gaseous imprecision of Vatican II documents.
Are Catholics doomed to be subjected to this kind of twaddle forever? Oh, for a real anathema or two. But on second thought, probably none of us want to see the kind of anathema the Franciscan Church would issue.
The "forked tongue" is used when the author wishes to satisfy two opposing camps. As an example, they have the temerity to quote Jesus' own words about the marriage being for life. In context, however, it is hard to say exactly what it is supposed to mean. As an example of divine "condescension," it may even mean the opposite of what Jesus said!
Trying to satisfy two camps by inserting contradictory language into a document is an old Vatican II trick. The tone, however, clearly favors a departure from Church teaching and practice. The Bear wagers it will not be thirty days before someone utters "the spirit of the Synod," in favor of some deviation from sound morals.
It even borrows one of the more troublesome passages of the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium. Lumen Gentium imagined that non-Catholic Christian faith communities had some part of whatever makes the Catholic Church the real deal. The Synod applies that principle to couples living together, "without benefit of clergy," as the old, quaint saying goes. Marriage is the ideal, but the couple who is living together up resemble marriage (i.e. one roof, sex) and, therefore, must share in at least part of whatever it is that makes marriage the real deal.
That's right. If you're a Catholic couple, your Church has just told you that the difference between your sacramental marriage and the couple across the street who are shacked up together is one of degree, not kind. How else are we to interpret the claim that the good "Catholic marriage stuff" we enjoy is also enjoyed by them, only not quite so much?
This is beyond sad. And it gets worse.
"While not denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions," the Synod goes on to celebrate them. This is "who am I to judge?" writ large. The Franciscan mode of operation is revealed. Pope Francis sets expectations with a seemingly innocent statement or action, then watches the noxious seed sprout and grow until it blocks out the light.
You must read this:
Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?
That's right. It is not enough to welcome them as struggling sinners. We must "value their sexual orientation." The good news is that homosexual unions are not to be considered "on the same footing" as legitimate Catholic marriages, but the language is ambivalent enough to permit anything.
As it turns out, the Church of our day came to its end with neither a bang nor a whimper, but a shrug. No, it's not dogma, but it is the official view of the Church.
Timman at St. Louis Catholic has his own take.