viernes, 18 de septiembre de 2015

Did key leaders of the recent Extraordinary Synod of Bishops try to manipulate the outcome to support a change in Catholic practice and perhaps in Catholic teaching ?

The Africans Will Save the Synod, the Church, and the World

by Austen Ruse

I understand spin. Spin is not lying. It is capturing the narrative. If your side does not capture the narrative, the other side will. The other side most likely will have the media on their side so capturing the narrative is so much easier for them. Still, you must try.

Therefore, I fully understand the gaggle of faithful Catholics gathered here and there in cafés near the Vatican pressroom during those October days of the Extraordinary Synod last fall. Huddled together, coming up with talking points, trying to capture the narrative.

The progressive narrative on that first day when the Vatican released the interim document was that Church teaching on homosexuality and on communion for the divorced and civilly remarried was at least softening, if not changing altogether. This news rocketed around the world in the moments after the document was released. Some hopeful people practically danced in the streets.

The counter narrative cooked up in those cafés that afternoon and on subsequent days was that nothing had changed. The interim document did not change doctrine. It only softens the practice. We are meeting people where they are. We were told the Holy Spirit protected the synod and that everything would turn out okay.

There is a tendency, a good tendency, for faithful Catholics to step in and defend the Church, to explain what is almost always misunderstood, either through ignorance of Church teaching, or through willful manipulation. It is natural to step in and defend your Mother.

It seems to me that these faithful Catholics, some of them anyway, were being used. Still others were taking advantage of their good natural inclination. In actuality, this counter narrative was not so much counter after all. It was a narrative hewing closely to what some in the synod were driving for all along, that nothing much had changed when, in fact, a great deal had changed. Moreover, while these good Catholics thought they were defending the Church and the Pope, they were actually supporting something called the “synodal process” that was cooked-up by those wanting to change Church teaching.

There was a third narrative coming from faithful Catholics who were also huddling around Rome that week: that is, a great deal might change, and that the document was an enormous problem striking at the heart of Church teaching born from Scripture, tradition, and other sources of Magisterial teaching. The document represented nothing short of revolutionary change. These people had the better argument.

I was in the pressroom during that week when the document was released. It was a remarkable scene for a synod. Something big was clearly up because we were told the pressroom for a synod is usually largely empty. This time, it was packed to the rafters.

It was hard not to see that controversy would surround this synod. It was preceded by a deeply misguided attempt to discern popular Catholic opinion about certain hot button Church teachings through a survey sent to all the bishops in the world. Not surprising at all that those pushing certain points of view used the results for their own ends.

The pressroom was electric; journalists practically shouted their questions. Experienced Vatican journalists exchanged shocked expressions as the Vatican spokesman and two bishops fumbled through answers about how adulterous couples could be accepted for communion, or exactly how the Church could or would welcome homosexual couples. Question after question, fumbled answer after fumbled answer. It was a disaster. Subsequent days in that room further revealed a synod out of control, and one that pitted bishops against each other.

What we saw in the pressroom that week was only a peek into the machinations going on behind the scenes. Some of this broke into the open, by means of what some bishops said in the pressroom, especially Archbishop Wilfred Napier of South Africa, who was disgusted that the initial document misrepresented the actual discussion in the synod.

One of the journalists in the pressroom made global news when he caught German cardinal Walter Kasper denigrating the African bishops, who were the biggest block to the German attempt to change Church teaching. Edward Pentin of Zenit and National Catholic Register caught all this on tape, so when Kasper denied it, he walked right into a revealing moment: the Germans might do and say practically anything to advance their cause and denigrate their critics.

Pentin tells this and many other stories in his new e-book The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? I think his Ignatius editors must have insisted on that question mark because the book is page after page of evidence that the synod was rigged stem to stern by the synod secretariat led by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Archbishop Bruno Forte, and others in cahoots with the Germans Kasper and the aptly named Cardinal Reinhard Marx, all of whom were explicit in their desire that Church teaching change.


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