To Nicolas Bellord:
Firstly Thank you Sir - it's more credit to your acumen rather than Mr Kahn's clarity that you were able to scry a Gradualist subtext from his meandering soporific inchoate 'Faith' magazine article.
[This is the subtle danger around us - that we're bored into submission, obfuscated by meandering irrelevance - that in the meantime they'll creep up behind us, hit us over the back of the head and be off with the crown jewels before we can blink...I have to confess I thought Mr Kahn's article mind-numbing and duplicitous - like chewing on polystyrene or drowning in cream soda]
Your article and its forthright scrutiny are admirably excellent.
You have reassuringly [albeit somewhat optimistically] confirmed what I already surmised - that the RS resolved the RPD-crisis and the work of skilled intellectuals able to 'seek & destroy' any legalistic or linguistic loopholes and to 'Catholicise' [with apologetic] that which was overtly secular and self-serving.
You appear to conclude [with reservations] that this affirmative action might allay many of our doubts and grave concerns regarding the imminent Synod?
To some extent I agree
It has granted some reassurance that the few Intellectual giants remaining in the Church know exactly with what they are dealing and how to counter it.
[yet I also remind myself that this time round there will be significantly fewer of these people there]
But my reservations are not concerns for the RS - I'm increasingly convinced that the orthodoxy [sans the three questionable papal impositions] was permitted and uncountered for ulterior motives. Primarily as a Muller-pacifier . The overt RS Orthodoxy plays right into kasperite hands - for now the only perceivable residual problem seems to be the remote kasperite one which was defeated once and now hardly seems a risk at all - meanwhile we remain at even greater risk from Gradualism as nobody seems to either know what it is or what havoc it can wreak.
So in response - as your exemplary work certainly requires no critique - I'm going to revert to singing from the same songsheet as I've done all year and call foul on last year's synod, suggest an insidious conspiracy theory behind it all, plead for a wider realisation in the inherent and imminent dangers in Gradualism and furthermore suggest we're at the Rubicon - this IS the moment - if Gradualism is given any precedent? National churches follow and Schism is inevitable.
a] Let's face what happened at the Last Synod and why it MUST NOT be allowed to happen again at Synod15
Depositions for speeches had to be submitted six weeks before synod to
ensure censorship, suppression, forced revision or selective partisan
adjudications eg 'regrettably removed due to time constraints'
2] The rigging of the preparatory consistory with the 'kasper' agenda
3] The postal interception,theft and destruction of the book "Remaining in the Truth of Christ"
sudden global synchronicity in preaching and interview comments
regarding the 'law of gradualism' - ie stooges being briefed to
misrepresent Familiaris Consortio-recognised gradualist effects as an
argument for the heretical principle of gradualism
5] The daily media briefings bearing no resemblance to what was actually occurring on the synod floor
6] The election of committee leaders being arbitrarily dismissed with the majority-imposition of kasperite papal appointees
7] The fraudulent forgery of a counterfeit mid-term relatio composed not by Cardinal Erdo
instead by Papal secretary Mgr Forte - already deposited at the
printers BEFORE synod commenced and bearing to relation to actual
discussions during synod.
8] The leaking of this mid-term relatio to both major Italian political parties - notifying them of its
content and arranging with these secular powers for a joint declaration
to be simultaneously timed with the TV report of the MTR to make a
joint declaration supporting same-sex marriage.
9] The Tuesday rebellion against the MTR ,
10] The attempted suppression of making the committee deliberations public leading to...
11] The BlueThursday rebellion and ultimately...
12] the papal ignoring of the final vote against the three clauses &
13] the imposition of these within the formal documents sent to every diocese with...
14] NO official records made that these did not pass the required 2/3 vote - hence for the first
in modern history we have papal records which deliberately misrepresent
and misreport the events and deliberations within a synod -and
throughout the entire synod process we had...
15] due process and procedurality being overturned, microphones turned off, schedules
revised preventing certain speakers being allowed to present positions
contrary to the Kasperite one - direct intervention from the Synod Chair
Cardinal Baldisseri - who was...
16] constantly being bombarded with repeated notes from Pope Francis [who was obviously
sending directives and involved with the interventionist alterations to process and procedurality]
No Synod has ever previously been carried out in such a disastrously
duplicitous,maniacally machiavellian and freakishly fraudulent way as
last year's extraordinary synod. Events more redolent of I Claudius, House of Cards or a Whitehall farce.
Theft, forgery, fraud,
gerrymandering, suppression,ultramontane arbitrary [if not whimsical]
draconian papal interventions [eg I don't like the people elected - so
I'll choose my own to make the majority - I don't like the final vote,
so I'll include the voted-down sections into the universal proposals
anyway]...it was a calamitous trainwreck readily available to peruse for
all who wanted to see it [regrettably the majority of Catholic
commentators and journalists preferred to be in utter denial of the
events and instead chose to promote a version of events where none of
the nightmare happened - conducive to the afterglow of the imaginary
assemblies of the in-standing Synod process SOLELY deal with pastoral
and evangelical issues in regard to non-negotiable, irrefutable,
incontrovertible Doctrine on Faith and Morals.
Changing Doctrine in
any way, shape or form is not an option - although a Pope may extend a
remit to discuss certain doctrinal interpretations or developments - A
Pope cannot possibly delegate any of His Apostolic Power regarding any
actuation to a Synod. A Synod is an advisory council - NOT a legislature
or a binder/looser of doctrine.
A mandatory Synod criterion is that
the pastoral applications deal with a FIRM undisputed doctrine - it is
presumptive and absolute - and may not be questioned [irrespective of
the requested so-called parrhesia - the doors are not merely firmly shut
on doctrinal change - there are no doors to be opened]
b] There is a prevailing confusion in regard to what Kasper and the progressives
are actually seeking at this Synod: They're NOT seeking a change in
Doctrine - they're seeking a mandate by which the Doctrine may be
ignored, defied, alienated and irrevocably severed from the pastoral
applications - through the heresy of Gradualism [ie sinners may continue
to live in a state of mortal sin and continue to sin providing they are
showing some willed effort towards a less-sinful life - and be
accordingly welcomed and not shunned or deemed scandalous in any way -
eg the Gradualist resolution to the divorced and remarried is to allow
the mortal sin to continue so long as they go through a 'feeling sorry
and saying sorry' process, for the active homosexual couple it's
'they've made their bed and can't go back without too much cruel
intolerant, uncharitable, injustice - therefore they have to compensate
and make some minor form of amends - but to expect immediate continence
would be unjust']
The Kasperites are NOT MERELY AFTER communion for
the divorced and remarried - they want Gradualism as an accepted
precedent which may be applied to ANY pastoral situation - all the
teaching can be ignored, all the canonical regulations or Vatican
directives or Gospel commands or natural law prohibitions can be
defied - in the name of compassionate, tolerant, merciful pastoral
ministry [within a decade there would be chaplains for abortion,
divorce, gay marriage guidance, euthanasia etc]
The idea we have increasing lay-participation and lay-empowerment is both fallacious and duplicitous
given we've had three generations of Catholics being defiantly uncatechised
and denied the Catholic apologetic [ironically especially those within
the religious education system] - to the extent that most of our clergy
under sixty [unless devoted extra-curricular academics] do not really
have the same knowledge and understanding that even a junior member of
the Catholic Evidence Guild possessed half a century ago. The majority
of Catholics in the West are well-meaning pagans who know a little bit,
understand even less and when attempting to answer any doctrinal or
moral issue would normatively 'best-guess wing-it' and in the process
fall into half a dozen blatant or obscure heresies...
In just the same way only an informed conscience may take moral precedent
an informed laity has any rights whatsoever to speak on behalf of the
laity - because only then would the opinions stated be grounded upon
precepts and principles of the Taught Faith - not on speculative whims
and tastes and wild imaginings of what they presume the faith to be.
We've had Six Synods on this very issue in the past fifty years - and each one has been ignored.
So how can the laity be consulted on issues about which
they've never been formally taught - articles on the faith and moral
teachings they have never been told?
Finally there is absolutely
no evidence whatsoever that the Synod this October will be co-ordinated
any differently from the last debacle where deliberate Papal and Chair
intervention [together with flagrant extra-Synodal misdemeanours - like
leaking documents to secular enemies of the Church or stealing and
destroying books which promoted authentic teaching on the Doctrine of
marriage] led to grave violations of procedurality and due process.
laity may not be informed enough to counter, question or conform to the
metaphysical, theological or moral issues at synod - but they are
certainly more than competent in adjudicating procedures on the grounds
of justice and the common good.
And the average Catholic - on either
witnessing or being informed of the scandalous shenanigans of last
year's Extraordinary synod [which one expert in the legal field not a million miles away referred
to as 'redolent of a banana republic']...
Would [if made aware of the scandal] all agree on one thing:
Which is why it will probably happen again this Autumn
Communion for active homosexuals/'divorced' and 'remarried' was an
obfuscation and diversion from the true socio-cultural and secularising
forces which are threatening, compromising and jeopardising the faithful and leading to marital and family break-up.
Ever heard of Nepreryvka?
It was the early communist Russian attempt to deliberately destroy the perceived
'lethal threat of the family' to the collectivist state.
Weekends were abolished and a five-day week was introduced - each day designated with a
colour - each family member having a different colour with
corresponding rest-days of that colour - hence family meals and social
gatherings were always fractured and dissociate by the alienating factor
of some members always being forced to work and not being able to
Notice the contemporary comparisons with today's working
conditions of mothers being economically forced into the workplace - the
majority working either continental shift patterns in factories or
retail hours which demand weekend work and their absence from crucial
aspects of their normative child-rearing and family-supportive roles?
Notice also the cultural absence of social support for those who are victims
of adultery and separation and divorce? Whereas there are virtually
every other form of support group or national charity or political lobby
group - victims of adultery and desertion seem to be abandoned.
Now these are merely two among the 1800 issues raised during last year's
extraordinary synod - and yet we are all in the nightmare-fug of
'merciful' communion for ongoing fornicators and adulterers...
Irrespective of all the hundreds of other issues regarding marriage and the family which have been supplanted in the wake of last years's Extraordinary Synod - even regarding the issues at hand?
The true crises are being ignored.
d] We have to recognise what is actually occurring within this ideological
upon the Church. Pastoral solutions are indeed the implementation of moral
BUT moral theology without the underlying dogma grounded upon the
metaphysical appreciation of Revelation and reason becomes mere casuistry. We are
facing three major threats through three heresies - we got the war wrong
- we misunderstood Satan's tactics - we thought this was all about
destruction of the liturgy and the sacraments and the
fracturing/dividing of the Church on analgesic ethical/ecclesiastical
issues - the plethora of contra-humanae vitae positions and the
dismantling of the very nature of the sacraments like holy orders,
marriage, baptism etc...we were wrong
is a war about the very nature of human beings - of creation - of grace
itself - and ultimately about the nature of God and God's will and
God's love for us.
e] Yes of course the majority of Gradualist proposals were excised from
the RPD in the final RS - it was a flooding experiment to see just how
competent the anti-Kasperite intellectual opposition were in picking up
the gradualism timebombs/loopholes - plus it left the trad/con
intellectuals complacently certain it was an issue that had been dealt
with - but nevertheless it permitted a flooding of mantras which
ostensibly only seemed to be overly appealing to tolerance and mercy -
it introduced a vocabulary which if repeated often enough would seem
like innocuous vaticanista verbalese - the familiarity with the trite
sayings would lead the majority into thinking they were merely 'turns of
phrase meaning very little other than at face value' when in actual fact they
were lethal viruses jeopardising the entirety of moral teaching and
praxis. As the orthodox intellectuals had so easily excised the
gradualist aspects in the RS - it now seems in this interval betwen
synods to be of little import - Gradualism is not a concern and won't be
a major discussion issue or priority concern of those preparing for
synod. They're lulled into a false sense of security and are not
shouting it from the rooftops and warning everyone around them of its
dangers - hence the grave risk - especially considering the majority of
the Catholic media and commentators haven't any idea what gradualism
f] The RPD was a diversionary tactic to subvert the Extraordinary Synod in preparation for the ultimate purpose
- Decentralised national Churches with their own agenda and their own policies which will accommodate both their hierarchical mindframes and the demands of the 'available laity'.
The major stumbling block to autonomy and self-determination and legislating/issuing directives of arbitrary whim or majority vote - is Church teaching - as Catholics they have to stay Catholic and have to remain in conformity with Rome, obedient to the Pontiff and subservient to Vatican directives.
If only there was some way for them to do whatever they want while still pretending that they believed, upheld and promoted orthodox Church credal and moral teaching?
How can they secede and become materially schismatic while ostensibly appearing in communion and 'formally' non-schismatic?
Well there is a way!
It's called Gradualism.
You can retain the Church teaching but 'pastorally' nobody is expected to follow it, or obey it, or not do what it forbids - merely to gradually aspire and evolve into conformity with the best intentions towards the 'spirit' of the Gospel and Church teaching.
The Germans are desperate for a National Church, so too the Canadians, as are major US factions still wounded after the billions lost during the abuse scandals, the Philippines want it - the Irish want it.
Gradualism - pastoral self-determination - is the first hurdle in achieving it.
The ability to introduce all manner of new pastoral policies and regulations - with no Vatican interference.
How does one get the principle passed through Synod?
Subterfuge, diversion, feint attacks, smokescreens!
Now the kasperites are in a minority - but so too are the Orthodox traditionalist intellectuals capable of confronting and arguing against the kasperites.
The major voting block are generally ignorant conservative Bishops with varying degrees of liberal socio-cultural leanings generally dependant upon geography and whichever elitist groups are in the political ascendancy; but in general they are administrative self-interested committee chairmen absorbed in their own local crises.
The ONLY WAY to get a vote past these people is to distract them into failing to realise what's actually happening and what they are actually endorsing.
Hence what do you do?
You create a secondary phoney war which will distract them so much that they will spend any effort or concern around that 'popular/zeitgeist' issue itself while ignoring anything else occurring.
In other words you give them a battle which they can fight and win - even though they are not exactly intellectually competent to comprehend or explain the intricacies or the apologetic behind why it is so wrong - the Orthodox intellectuals to whom they listen are categorical in telling them this is wrong - and hence they conform en masse to the 'orthodox' anti-kasperite position of refusing to give communion to adulterers and fornicators [well for the time being anyway - let's see how the wind blows in a few years time?]
Now how do you force them into this phoney war instead of the normal posturing, self-interested hand-wringing and publicity-garnering speech making that happens at synod?
How do you get them out of their torpor to actually do what you want?
You throw a firework into the middle of the room.
First you unsettle everyone with confusion and a sense of unease that they are being manipulated and puppeteered and the whole thing seems to be being 'rigged' by hyper-draconian procedurality and false media reports and concentrating the media onto issues which do not reflect the dozens of issues actually being daily discussed on the Synod floor. You then disconcert them even further by slapping them in the face - they vote for certain candidates to lead the discussion committees - this vote is ignored and countermanded and a kasperite majority of candidates are imposed as committee heads by papal intervention.
There was not one Conservative Bishop at Synod that did not feel decidedly ill at ease during that weekend.
Then came the bombshell!
Forte's fraudulently forged Mid-term Relatio - the RPD.
So the majority of the conservative Bishops thought:
"Aha! this is what it's all about - this is what the fight is - this is what the kasperites [with their support from those inside the Curia and the western clerical powerbrokers] were up to all along"
so they spent the rest of the final week concentrating their efforts on reacting to the RPD...
But it was all a sham! A game!
The RPD was a phoney war served on a silver platter for the Orthodox Traditionalist intellectuals to waste their time fighting and for the majority-block conservatives to waste their time trying to keep up with what was going on...and just in time for them to not get bored with the issues - or learn too much about the issues - the discussion committees are over, the votes are called - the battle against the kasperites is won! All this fuss about nothing! Phew! Time to go home - and we don't need to worry about the next Synod because we all know what it's about now and the kasperites won't be able to get away with that nonsense again.
Except they DON'T know what it was all about - they only think they do.
And that's now the most dangerous because we now have the majority block [liberal leaning but] conservative Bishops in a psychological position of;
1] They think they have shown their orthodox credentials in defending Catholic teaching and put the kasperites and their wretched RPD in their place - they thought they could pull the wool over our eyes? well they lost!
2] but hey - conciliation and unity and all that! And we did receive a bit of a media bashing by seeming to dash the promises and hopes in the media of a new more merciful, compassionate and tolerant Franciscan papacy. Maybe it's time to be a little more accommodating? Certainly we won't bend on Catholic teaching regarding marriage and divorce and gay marriage - but maybe a more inclusive, welcoming, merciful 'openness to dialogue' on the pastoral scene might be a consideration? Just so long as doctrine and morality aren't at issue - maybe I'll be a little more open to a more 'pastoral mindset' than I may have seemed at the last synod. It also seems to be what the Pope wants? So providing they don't pull any more stunts like the RPD I'll be more open to a compromise resolution in the pastoral arena - providing it doesn't go near the doctrinal issues. Maybe I won't listen so much or too much to the traditionalist elitist Orthodox intellectual block this time - I'm independent - I know what's going on - I'm my own man - I've proven I can make my own right decisions during Synod - so this time round? I'll make my own decisions thank you very much.
So now we have the scene set: The majority conservative block will be entering this autumn's Synod
1] Thinking they know what it's about
2] Thinking they know what they are doing
3] Thinking they know the risks and what should be avoided BUT
4] Thinking they should also be less confrontational and more conciliatory with the Francis-favoured kasperite position providing it doesn't go anywhere near doctrine they'll at least listen to some compromise 'pastoral' resolution.
...a perfect opportunity for a gullibly-endorsed subtly Gradualist-precedent subtext to be inserted within the final conclusions and thus open for inclusion in the final Apostolic Exhortation.
As a result Catholic moral teaching and praxis becomes dead in the water as whole nations and dozens of Bishops conferences and hundreds of dioceses declare pastoral procedures which directly contravene it...all appealing to the 'year of mercy' gradualist pastoral approach.
Catholic civil wars and ceaseless battles with the Vatican will ensue...
Chaos will reign. The National Churches sever all but the most nominal ties with Rome.
...and ultimately schism becomes inevitable.
The RPD also served several purposes external to Synod events:
1] An experiment to determine the secular media reaction and political reaction
2] A test to see how much this 'Francis effect' had instilled loyalty and conformity [irrespective of what was being said] among the opportunistic Catholic media and [sheep/lemmings] within Catholic social media
3] An experiment to test the mettle of Groundbase Orthodox Catholicism - to see just how vociferous, effective, convincing, communicative and capable they were in not merely distributing their message - but how many would listen them.
4] A test to see just how much the internecine animosity and divisiveness among Public Catholics in the media and social media - the political right vs left - the ultra-traditionalists versus the neo-conservatives versus the laodicean liberal luvvies versus the ultra progressivists versus the weathervane limelight-hugging opportunists - would result in infighting and personality clashing feuds rather than argue about or reach some form of consensus about the issues within the RPD
g] the RPD was contained in the post-synodal packages
sent to every diocese - along with the RS. Given the RPD's less
technical and more 'reader-friendly' language [despite its flagrant
ambiguity and overt heterodoxy] it would seem more likely that if
anything from the synodal package was used as either reference or
resource in parish discussions - it seems more likely that the RPD was
used more than the RS
h] When all is said and done the fate of Synod
does not lie in the Synod chamber but in the arbitrary whim of His
Holiness and how much he will scrutinise or seek advice from experts in
regard to the ghost-written apostolic exhortation Anyone who has read
Lumen Fidei will realise it's a composition of embryonic
note-considerations made by a lengthily-reflective Pope Benedict -
tagged together with ill-fitting conjunctions and link-phrases and
awkwardly inappropriate Franciscan 'corrections' in terminologies and
nomenclature [one almost feels they were scrawled in crayon] forming an
almighty mess - like unfinished Mozart manuscripts being rehashed into
an Andrew Lloyd webber musical...Gaudium Evangelii is a car-crash from
start to finish [it bears little if any resemblance to the
considerations/deliberations of the Bishops at the last synod - and is
more a vanity exercise of unrelated musings] - and Laudato Si? Nuff
said! So any expectations for a morally or pastorally coherent apostolic
exhortation are somewhat dampened by the past record...but we can be certain if a Gradualist precedent is passed by the Bishops - unless Cardinal Muller is able to pull off a miracle? Or Pope Benedict comes out of retirement to publicly fight it? It will be in the exhortation.
i] The Laity weren't really consulted on this Synod
all witnessed the ACTA hijacked/Tabletista parish meetings where the
progressivist agenda - even if treated with outright hostility and
vociferously opposed in the parish forum - was the 'approved 'doctored'
version' sent to the Bishop and on to Rome...
The priests who signed
the letters on both sides of the Atlantic - will be ignored - as will
the laity who supported and endorsed their position....
The war on
Grace has reached its cardinalatial battle - this is the turning point -
if Gradualism is accepted, even if it's only as a minor obscure
insertion in the apostolic exhortation - it will be an anti-morality
timebomb giving absolute laissez-faire 'pragmatic' libertinism to
pastoral applications - relativistic 'morality' - situationist ethics -
preference utilitarianism - while all being officially condemned in
Church documents - will spread like a pandemic in our parishes,
colleges, charities, schools, hospitals...
...all this is at
risk..this huge sword of Damocles swinging above the Mystical Body of
Christ...and all the commentators and journalists and professional
Catholic luvvies will be droning on about is the 'progress, the opening
up, the welcoming, the reaching out and the wonders of the guidance of
the Holy Spirit"....
maintain we're in grave danger - I seriously suspect a subterfuge of an
ostensibly waiveringly accommodating pseudo-orthodox set of conclusions
from Synod - with some cleverly, subtly hidden timebombs secreted
amongst the verbosity...The situation will be given time to settle, the synod will become a fleeting memory - and then they'll explode!
I am convinced they will attempt a Gradualist
insurrection...and if they succeed? Hell will follow...
But sadly I am even more convinced that even if the Gradualist revolt fails?
The rebels will simply resort to plan B.