Youth Synod Fiasco: The Facebook Magisterium?

by Christopher A. Ferrara
March 27, 2018

The Vicar of Christ with a “Prophet of Facebook”
As described here by John Allen, the pre-Synodal meeting of “young people” in Rome to prepare for the upcoming “summit of Catholic bishops on youth,” was an even bigger fiasco than I had thought. It was, in fact, a preposterous inversion of the proper order of things in the Church. As Allen writes:
“Some 300 young people from all over the world from different backgrounds and even different religions, gathered this week in Rome to provide advice to an upcoming summit of Catholic bishops on youth, have discussed a wide array of topics, and among other points plan to offer the bishops a frank admission that they simply couldn’t reach consensus on hot-button issues of sexual morality. On Thursday, they debated over a first draft of the document they’re going to present to Pope Francis, who will then pass it on to a Synod of Bishops on youth and discernment that will take place in Rome in October.”
That’s right. Three hundred youths, some of whom aren’t even Catholic, debated non-debatable matters of the divine and natural law, reduced for purposes of discussion to “hot-button issues of sexual morality,” and will be advising the Vicar of Christ that they cannot reach consensus on God’s law, while Francis in turn will so advise the bishops at the “youth Synod” in October.
As if this were not enough, consider the manner in which this absurd “debate” was conducted. To quote Allen:
“Behind the scenes, several dozen young women and men, also from around the world, have broadened the discussion by moderating six Facebook groups in different languages, processing and compiling 9,617 comments that came in response to 15 questions, the same as those being discussed in Rome.
“All in, 26 reports coming both from the small working groups gathered in the eternal city and from private Facebook groups were presented on Wednesday and condensed into a 7-page draft, to which Crux had access.”
So, the “prophetic” charism Francis proposes is intrinsic to young people, just because they are young (see my last column), extends to Facebook submissions by Facebook groups composed of unknown persons.
One James Kelliher from England, pictured above with Pope Francis, “was a volunteer tasked with helping coordinate one of the Facebook groups.” To join Kelliher’s Facebook group, weighing in on matters of divine and natural law, all that was necessary, according to Kelliher, was that “‘they had to answer three questions,’ none of which was overly personal, instead related to their age, which had to be between 16-29, and their willingness to follow the rules, which included for instance limiting their responses to the questions to 200 words.”
The Facebook group managed by Kelliher and three other “prophetic” young people obtained 1,114 comments from cyberspace, embracing “a big spectrum of opinion,” said Kelliher. Opinion, that is, on matters which have nothing to do with anybody’s opinion, but rather are matters of God’s law.
But this insane nonsense is only reflective of the theme of this farce, as expounded in the document to be presented to the Pope, which arrantly declares: “Today’s young people are longing for an authentic Church. By this, young people mean to say, especially to the hierarchy of the Church, that they should be a transparent, welcoming, honest, inviting, communicative and accessible community.” As Allen further describes the document: “A credible Church, they write, is one that is not afraid to be seen as vulnerable, that is quick and sincere in admitting past and present wrongs, and that is made up of people capable of error and misunderstanding.”
A gaggle of young people meeting in Rome and by Facebook in order to lecture the Church on what they expect of her, while advising the Pope — the very Vicar of Christ — that they, including the non-Catholics among them, have not reached “consensus” regarding the Church’s infallible teaching in obedience to God’s law!
Now, of course, the “youth Synod” will pay lip service to Church teaching on sexual morality, and its documents will probably, with the usual post-Vatican II verbosity, piously summarize it. But who can doubt after our bitter experience with the laughably misnamed “Synod on the Family” that the “Synod on Youth” will be anything but another occasion to undermine in practice the very thing that will be affirmed verbally.
What just happened in Rome is a joke. A diabolical joke. And a great sign of the diabolical disorientation that characterizes what we are now witnessing: the greatest crisis in the history of the Catholic Church — so great that it now seems only the most dramatic of divine interventions can bring this surreal perversity to an end.

Get AQ Email Updates

Leave a Reply