[ Yet another thought-provoker from the thoroughly provocative keyboard of Signore Mundabor – whom those in-the-know do know how to find. ]
You are so judgmental! Legalists! Pharisees! Dead inside!
There are rumours (also reported by S. Armaticus’ and Father Z’s blogs) that the Synod will be structured in a different way than the 2014 debacle. No relatio post disceptationem, no general discussion after the small group meetings and, most importantly for us, no official document with at least a pretence of doctrinal value at the end. Instead, the small groups would give their reports to the Clown, and he would simply give the usual, fluffy, nonsensical, and frankly stupid speech at the end of the, at this point, fairly useless proceedings.
We do not know if the rumours will be confirmed. If they are, it seems to me Francis has taken his decision: rather than go to battle and be defeated, he decided to avoid the battle in the first place.
One understands the reasoning. Any kind of general discussion would lead – from what has transpired in the last months, and what Francis must perceive even more clearly behind the scenes – to a brutally clear reaffirmation of Church doctrine on marriage, with the implicit threat of openly defying the heretical Pope if he dares to open his heretical mouth. It goes without saying that the leaking to the press of the statements of the orthodox bishops would be savage even if the Clown were to order secrecy. He would be brutally exposed, and he knows it very well. Not all fools are idiots. Not to that extent at least.
Add to this that most of the participants have learnt a thing or four from last year, and must now trust Francis less than they would a Palestinian used cars salesman. Francis tried the big surprise last year, and still got one on the nose in a matter of hours. This year, there will be a lot of clenched fists waiting for him from the start. No, the bishops and Cardinals owning the fists will not put it in that way. But my reading of the last eleven months is that this is exactly what will happen.
I do not trust the man one bit, though, and when I read the news the first thing I thought is that Francis would announce that there would be no official, “doctrinal” document at the end, and then suddenly vomit one prepared with his own buddies beforehand. But I think I am just being a tad paranoid here. Francis could vomit such a document every day if he wanted to; he does not want exactly because he knows what would happen to him afterwards. His only reasonable chance would have been to show at least a semblance of “consensus” behind him. Failing that, he is toasted.
Nor am a I afraid that Francis could try to rig things at the last minute calling a “simple majority” vote on controversial issues or texts. The Church does not work that way, and it is no coincidence last year’s synod considered “rejected” those paragraphs that did not get 75% of the vote. As the Church is, qua definitione, forbidden from proclaiming any “new doctrine”, no position with a mere majority of bishops could cause more than a schism at the most, but it would have less than zero chances of being seen as anything even remotely approaching validity from any orthodox Catholic. If Francis dared to do such a thing he would be destroyed, and he knows it very well, too.
Lastly, let us reflect on who the man is: a Jesuit of mediocre intelligence, with some skills in intrigue-making. but with nothing approaching both the stature and the attributes necessary to so openly defy the Church. This is no Antichrist. This isn’t even the False Prophet. This here is a mediocre Peronist with an utterly embarrassing lack of common intelligence, and a crass vulgarity that betrays the boor at every step. In any non-religious position he would be covered in ridicule day in and day out. Only the white habit protects him from the worst. Even on this blog, I hasten to add.
If the rumours are confirmed, it would seem this synod is going to be aborted.
In this, I am all pro-choice.