Be afraid. Be very afraid. [Read to the end]
As I have stated, the changes to the rules of the Synod are worrisome as they basically invest all power in the Pope. I mean, all power is with the Pope anyway and a synod is merely advisory, but the Synod rules basically punt on recommendations leaving it to the Pope to decide what his own synod should advise him.
I find this worrisome since this whole show and its troubling topics has been the Pope’s doing and I have been reasonably concerned that the rule changes, approved by the Pope, were made to make sure that the Pope didn’t get advice he didn’t want, like in last year’s synod.
So now we have a report from inside the synod in which the eminent Cardinal Pell gave a speech in which he gave voice to these concerns that the deck has been stacked by the rule changes.
This merited a direct intervention by no less than the Pope himself.
What was not shared with journalists — but tweeted yesterday by Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, one of the Pope’s nominees — was that Francis told the synod not to give into what he called a ‘hermeneutic of conspiracy’: in other words, seeing everything as a plot.
Such a hermeneutic, Spadaro reports Francis as saying, was “sociologically weak and spiritually unhelpful”. He asked the synod fathers to use instead the lens of discernment, “which helps us avoid seeing the devil in what are merely our own fears and obsessions”. The hermeneutic of spiritual discernment, he added, was “the only one capable of truly grasping the dynamics of the synod”.
The Pope’s remarks came in response to critiques of the changes made to the format of the synod.
The Pope intervening in such a way is startling, and even more startling is his language. It seems and over-reaction unless…
Now I buried the lede here. As scary as all this is, there is one quote that almost cinches the deal that the fix is in on this synod.
This quote comes from Cardinal Marx, president of the heretical German episcopal conference, the very man who declared that they are “not a subsidiary or Rome” on this matter and threatened unilateral (schismatic) action if their will did not prevail in this synod. Keep that in mind.
Cardinal Marx: “We must try to remain together,” he said. “The Church is the only institution in the world that can reach unanimous agreement. Thank God we have the pope. We bishops do not have to decide. Church unity is not in danger. And once the pope has decided, we will abide by his decision.”
So this guy who threatened as above is now basically saying “Oh we are unified with the Pope and whatever the Pope decides, everybody must go along with. You know, for unity’s sake.”
Do you get the impression that he knows something we don’t know? That he is supremely confident that the German position will prevail and that they will use unity as a nail-studded cudgel to beat orthodox Bishops with?
We are in real trouble here.