The Fiasco in Rome

 

I have never before heard of Andrew Ratelle, I confess, but he has just produced one of the most insightful–and disturbing–observations I’ve come across about the fiasco last week in Rome:

By upholding the nuclear family, the Church made what was perhaps the most important social investment in history. People in the poorer, more pagan regions of the world where polygamy, polyandry, arranged and child marriages were common, now had a place to look for support when it came to building a life that was most beneficial for themselves and their children. By weakening this support, or at the very least dispersing it to include more “diverse” arrangements, these bishops have weakened the very shield from which the nuclear family has received so much protection. Even in our own country, where “diverse” familial arrangements have almost become synonymous with urban poverty and crime (at least for those who have no gilded safety net to fall into), where should families look to now, since the Church has seen fit to dilute the medicine they have thrived on for so long?

Where indeed should families look now?

 

 

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  1. eyrkos Member
    eyrkos
    @eyrkos

    Peter, as always, we should look to our Father in heaven and to the inspired writings found in the New Testament. In its pages one will find support for the nuclear family (among other things), examples of faithfulness in suffering, and the promise of all things working together for the good of those who love Jesus. Even the folly of fallible humanity.

    As Jesus himself said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

    Be encouraged friend (-:

    • #1
  2. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    I find this more disturbing:

    “With Islamist terrorist groups like Boko Haram recently murdering 2500 Catholics in one Nigerian diocese alone, and with Christian children being crucified or cut in half by ISIS, you might think that the world’s bishops would have more pressing things on their mind than the compatibility of same-sex unions with Church teaching. You would, of course, be wrong.”

    • #2
  3. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    As I recall, Benedict XVI had a plan to re-evangelize Europe and all of the West through African priests. I’ve seen a little of that in our local diocese, with several Nigerian priests having come here and have inspired a new sense of holiness among the faithful. Cardinal Kasper’s self-indulgent, self serving, and often dishonest tactics seems in direct opposition to Benedict’s approach. I could never understand the need for the Synod. But Ratelle’s piece is eye opening. And deeply disturbing.

    • #3
  4. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    The beginning of Delahunty’s article is stronger.

    The Church changed nothing in recent weeks. Rome’s supposed change of views on sexual matters is in actuality merely political opportunists among a minority of bishops pretending to represent a general consensus. As Father Dodaro has reminded today’s Christians, lively disputes among bishops is normal and healthy.

    The problem is that the traditional moral teachings of the Church, thoroughly clarified and affirmed by Vatican II and decades of papal encyclicals, were deliberately excluded from the Synod summary which has caused so much distress. Those traditional views were expressed at the Synod but downplayed in the press release. Cardinal Kasper in particular has been misrepresenting the situation like a liberal politician.

    To trust in the Church is to trust in the Holy Spirit, sometimes in spite of our anointed shepherds. The faith has been protected for two thousand years. It will not be corrupted now.

    The deeper sadness in Delahunty’s article is the cultural myopia which perhaps distracts too many Catholic theologians from the challenges of less affluent nations.

    The consuming obsessions of the West, now in the terminal phases of the sexual and cultural revolutions that have swept over it for more than half a century, are dominating the Church’s agenda once again.

    EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo always asks good questions and interviews strong thinkers. His coverage of the Synod might offer you more hope, Peter.

    • #4
  5. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Peter,

    Rome came out not as bad as I thought it would. However, to echo Mr. Ratelle’s concern, I would add that undermining support for the Monotheistic Monogamous Heterosexual Family is the worst thing we can do in the face of an assault by Jihadism. MMHF has been the pillar of Judeo-Christian Western Civilization for the last 1,000 years. Anyone who would not respect one man – one woman is not likely to respect one man – one vote or a constitutional system based on one man – one vote.

    I think the Pope is taking his tactics from the old Russian generals. He is letting the enemy advance into unsound positions. He will counter-attack when winter comes.

    Have faith.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
  6. Rawls Inactive
    Rawls
    @Rawls

    Same-sex nuclear families and unmarried, cohabitating nuclear families are pretty much the same thing as opposite-sex nuclear families when being contrasted with polygamy, polyandry, and arranged child marriages.

    The first three are as close to each other as A, B, and C in the alphabet, and far away from the latter three, which could be represented by X, Y, and Z.

    • #6
  7. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Rawls:Same-sex nuclear families and unmarried, cohabitating nuclear families are pretty much the same thing as opposite-sex nuclear families when being contrasted with polygamy, polyandry, and arranged child marriages.

    The first three are as close to each other as A, B, and C in the alphabet, and far away from the latter three, which could be represented by X, Y, and Z.

    Rawls,

    This is the fantasy of those who think Western Civilization is some kind of accident and now that we understand the Quantum Theory we can change what ever we like and it will all just work out fine. SSM is rarely nuclear, is rarely permanent, and is rare period. To the extent that it exists it is a parasite on the values of MMHF. Remove the host and the parasite dissolves into the chaos of perversity that fuels it in the first place.

    Again, those who would not respect one man – one woman will not respect the constitution of one man – one vote. The secular result is totalitarian tyranny. The religious result is jihadist tyranny.

    We have been over this ground before. I hope we do not need to again experience economic collapse and world war to realize this simple self-evident truth.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #7
  8. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    Mike Rapkoch:As I recall, Benedict XVI had a plan to re-evangelize Europe and all of the West through African priests. I’ve seen a little of that in our local diocese, with several Nigerian priests having come here and have inspired a new sense of holiness among the faithful. Cardinal Kasper’s self-indulgent, self serving, and often dishonest tactics seems in direct opposition to Benedict’s approach. I could never understand the need for the Synod. But Ratelle’s piece is eye opening. And deeply disturbing.

    Yes! We had a Nigerian priest visiting in our church for a year, and he was wonderful. Orthodox, warm, well-read and well-educated, and the author of one wonderful homily after another. Africa may be the Church’s best hope.

    • #8
  9. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    It’s not my place to criticize the Catholics, but this is a bit dispiriting. I have long admired the Church’s willingness to hold the line on some fundamental values at the same that other Christian denominations have folded their tents (and have suffered for it).

    Hang in there orthodox Catholics. You’ve been a beacon on a hill for others who, like me, wish to hold the line.

    • #9
  10. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Rawls:Same-sex nuclear families and unmarried, cohabitating nuclear families are pretty much the same thing as opposite-sex nuclear families when being contrasted with polygamy, polyandry, and arranged child marriages.

    The first three are as close to each other as A, B, and C in the alphabet, and far away from the latter three, which could be represented by X, Y, and Z.

    I wouldn’t go quite that far, but had a very similar reaction. Arranged child marriages and SSM are so vastly different from each other that listing them together in this context is morally sloppy.

    • #10
  11. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Peter, the real problem is that we are stuck with Pope Francis. Kaspar claimed that he spoke for the Pope, and my bet is that he was right. Consider the fate of Cardinal Burke. Pope Francis is the Catholic church’s answer to Barack Obama . . . who, in his arrogance, would have made a good Jesuit.

    • #11
  12. user_3444 Coolidge
    user_3444
    @JosephStanko

    Peter, why are you calling this a “fiasco?” The conservatives won, the proposals to water down Church teaching that generated such a media firestorm last week failed to pass in the final vote:

    In the interests of transparency, Pope Francis broke with custom and asked that the voting numbers relating to each paragraph of the final report be published. The results, presented on Saturday, showed that all but three of the 62 paragraphs passed with a two-thirds majority. Those that failed to achieve a “synodal consensus” were proposals to allow some civilly-remarried divorcees to receive holy Communion after fulfilling certain conditions and a period of penitence; a call to deepen discussions over such couples gaining access to the sacraments in view of them having recourse to spiritual communion; and a mention of pastoral care of homosexuals, who, it said, must be received with “respect, compassion and sensitivity.”

    • #12
  13. falsbach@sbcglobal.net Inactive
    falsbach@sbcglobal.net
    @Floydz

    James Gawron: I think the Pope is taking his tactics from the old Russian generals. He is letting the enemy advance into unsound positions. He will counter-attack when winter comes

    Nicely done

    • #13
  14. falsbach@sbcglobal.net Inactive
    falsbach@sbcglobal.net
    @Floydz

    What I keep wondering is; Why does Pope Francis continue to yank hard on the chain of faithful Catholics? Does he want to run us off too?

    Although I was much younger then, I always understood exactly what St. Pope John Paul 2 was doing. He was brave, clear and always a giant among mankind.

    • #14
  15. user_645127 Inactive
    user_645127
    @JenniferJohnson

    Pope Francis beautified Pope Paul VI. This is HUGELY significant, because Francis did not have to do this. Frankly, after hearing about this, I quit worrying about Francis.

    • #15
  16. katievs Member
    katievs
    @katievs

    The synod repeatedly re-affirmed Catholic teaching on sexual morality and the family.

    Dogma has not changed an iota.

    The only fiasco I see is the divisiveness, nastiness and hysteria among traditionalists.

    • #16
  17. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Peter Robinson:

    Mike Rapkoch:As I recall, Benedict XVI had a plan to re-evangelize Europe and all of the West through African priests. I’ve seen a little of that in our local diocese, with several Nigerian priests having come here and have inspired a new sense of holiness among the faithful. Cardinal Kasper’s self-indulgent, self serving, and often dishonest tactics seems in direct opposition to Benedict’s approach. I could never understand the need for the Synod. But Ratelle’s piece is eye opening. And deeply disturbing.

    Yes! We had a Nigerian priest visiting in our church for a year, and he was wonderful. Orthodox, warm, well-read and well-educated, and the author of one wonderful homily after another. Africa may be the Church’s best hope.

    We have a local priest from Nigeria who has a very thick accent and has to slow down when delivering his homilies. Yet he is the most articulate defender of orthodoxy I have ever met. And his command of English, and the power of his delivery, make us native speakers look like 3 year olds.

    • #17
  18. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Parent A:Pope Francis beautified Pope Paul VI. This is HUGELY significant, because Francis did not have to do this. Frankly, after hearing about this, I quit worrying about Francis.

    This IS hugely significant. Francis may be modeling his Papcy along the Paul VI line. Paul was a liturgical reformer, and opened the Church to the world through his many travels and olive branches to Non-Catholics. But he was tough as a two-bit steak when it came to dogma. And he suffered for it–deeply. I wonder if Francis is setting himself up to suffer too.

    • #18
  19. user_536506 Member
    user_536506
    @ScottWilmot

    Peter Robinson: Where indeed should families look now?

    Where should families look? The Synod Fathers propose this:

    We offer you the words of Christ: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me”. On his journeys along the roads of the Holy Land, Jesus would enter village houses. He continues to pass even today along the streets of our cities. In your homes there are light and shadow. Challenges often present themselves and at times even great trials. The darkness can grow deep to the point of becoming a dense shadow when evil and sin work into the heart of the family.

    The entire Message of the Synod Assembly on the Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization 2014 is worth reading.

    Yes, the initial relatio was made to be seen as an “earthquake” as many Catholic blogs reported, but as with Vatican II, the line between the Church and the world is still blurred, confusion still reigns. We saw again, a “Synod of the Media” and a “Synod of the Fathers” – don’t get caught up in that mess. I don’t see where the Church “weakened the support for the family” during this Synod. Take time to read the Relazioni dei Circoli minorthey seem to indicate that the Church is still Catholic.

    • #19
  20. Pencilvania Inactive
    Pencilvania
    @Pencilvania

    We have an African priest at our parish too – his sermons, his worship, his devotion to the people, in one word – joyful. I have seen no American priest that matches his joy in his calling. And orthodox, yowza! I sincerely pray the next Pope is African.

    • #20
  21. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Pencilvania:We have an African priest at our parish too – his sermons, his worship, his devotion to the people, in one word – joyful. I have seen no American priest that matches his joy in his calling. And orthodox, yowza! I sincerely pray the next Pope is African.

    I had hoped the same in the last conclave. But I haven’t yet despaired of Francis, though I’ve been tempted. Still, a “3rd World” Pope could reverse the squishy theology that has often invaded the Church. African bishops know and see suffering, and are acutely aware of the dangers of the secular culture.

    • #21
  22. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Mike Rapkoch:

    Pencilvania:We have an African priest at our parish too – his sermons, his worship, his devotion to the people, in one word – joyful. I have seen no American priest that matches his joy in his calling. And orthodox, yowza! I sincerely pray the next Pope is African.

    I had hoped the same in the last conclave. But I haven’t yet despaired of Francis, though I’ve been tempted. Still, a “3rd World” Pope could reverse the squishy theology that has often invaded the Church. African bishops know and see suffering, and are acutely aware of the dangers of the secular culture.

    I’d prefer Sri Lankan to African, but, yes, a lot of the hope for the future comes from the marginalized and excluded.

    • #22
  23. katievs Member
    katievs
    @katievs

    James Of England:

    Mike Rapkoch:

    Pencilvania:We have an African priest at our parish too – his sermons, his worship, his devotion to the people, in one word – joyful. I have seen no American priest that matches his joy in his calling. And orthodox, yowza! I sincerely pray the next Pope is African.

    I had hoped the same in the last conclave. But I haven’t yet despaired of Francis, though I’ve been tempted. Still, a “3rd World” Pope could reverse the squishy theology that has often invaded the Church. African bishops know and see suffering, and are acutely aware of the dangers of the secular culture.

    I’d prefer Sri Lankan to African, but, yes, a lot of the hope for the future comes from the marginalized and excluded.

    Which is, of course, one reason Pope Francis emphasizes them so often and ardently.

    • #23
  24. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Member
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    The synod was a fiasco and a failure. But in the end the Conservative Bishops won out and by a good margin. Sanity prevailed. Other than the infighting between the factions, I don’t see what harm it did. It was a complete waste of time and energy. But I wouldn’t be so down over it.

    • #24
  25. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Member
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    Never mind…

    • #25
  26. katievs Member
    katievs
    @katievs

    Manny:The synod was a fiasco and a failure. But in the end the Conservative Bishops won out and by a good margin. Sanity prevailed. Other than the infighting between the factions, I don’t see what harm it did. It was a complete waste of time and energy. But I wouldn’t be so down over it.

    I disagree completely. The only ones who think it was a failure are those (on both right and left) who seem to assume its aim was to change Church teaching. But that was never its aim. Its aim was to address a novel pastoral problem (viz. the collapse of the social consensus on the family) within the limits of Church teaching, and to do it by means of a fraternal exchange of ideas under the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    That process has begun, just as the Pope intended. It will conclude a year from now, according to the Pope’s plan. And I, for one, expect good things in surprising measure to come from it, as I always do from the Church.

    Nor have I ever been disappointed.

    • #26
  27. katievs Member
    katievs
    @katievs

    The reaction to the Synod has reminded me very much of the reaction to Vatican II. Liberals going wild; traditionalists freaking out, both missing the gist of what was really going on.

    In his closing remarks to the priests of Rome, Pope Emeritus Benedict, looking back on the Council as the central achievement of the Church in our day, spoke of the confusion of “two Councils”—the true one and the false one promoted by the media.

    Traditionalists and liberals were alike in treating Vatican II as if it were identical with the imaginary council of the media. Hence, the mess and confusion that followed, so that only now, 50 years later, is the true Council revealing itself fully, while the false council dissipates like the ephemera it was.

    The same thing is happening with the Synod. The media send out an image, and both liberals and traditionalists pounce all over it. Meanwhile, the true thing goes on, under grace.

    • #27
  28. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Member
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    katievs

    Manny:The synod was a fiasco and a failure. But in the end the Conservative Bishops won out and by a good margin. Sanity prevailed. Other than the infighting between the factions, I don’t see what harm it did. It was a complete waste of time and energy. But I wouldn’t be so down over it.

    I disagree completely. The only ones who think it was a failure are those (on both right and left) who seem to assume its aim was to change Church teaching. But that was never its aim. Its aim was to address a novel pastoral problem (viz. the collapse of the social consensus on the family) within the limits of Church teaching, and to do it by means of a fraternal exchange of ideas under the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    I’m a Traditionalist. I didn’t want any of those changes that were actually stated and documented during the course of the synod. It was the Conservative Bishops who got them deleted. As far as I can tell the objective was to strengthen the family. I see nothing that came out of it that strenthened even one family. Most of the public discussion got redirected onto homosexuality and very little on the family. How did anything strengthen that family that was on the verge of divorce? So in that respect the synod was a failure and a public fiasco since it exascerbated internal sore points and put before the public Catholic divisions. If you see positive things to have come out of this, I think you’re looking through rose colored glasses.

    I think Hadley Arkes at The Catholic Thing had a really good assessment:

    http://www.thecatholicthing.org/columns/2014/a-moderate-facade-and-a-radical-interior.html

    • #28
  29. user_645127 Inactive
    user_645127
    @JenniferJohnson

    Guys, Pope Francis beautified Pope Paul VI at the close of the synod! Do you “get” this? By so doing, Francis made it clear where he stands.

    • #29
  30. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Member
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    Parent A

    Guys, Pope Francis beautified Pope Paul VI at the close of the synod! Do you “get” this? By so doing, Francis made it clear where he stands.

    And he said, and I quote, “God is not afraid of new things.” Now what is that supposed to mean? And he pushed out Conservative Cardinal Burke to Malta of all places and personally had Liberal Cardinal Kasper speak and set the tone at the synod. By now we know where Pope Francis’ sympathies are, despite what he said at the closing.

    • #30

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