The Pope's First Big "No"

One of my children heard me discussing the upcoming Synod on the family currently in preparation for October. She asked me, "Dad, what is a synod?"

"Well honey, a synod is a gathering of Bishops in Rome with the Pope where they discuss certain issues in the Church with many possible solutions to which the Pope ultimately must say NO."

Despite the headline making reformation of the Curia now under discussion in Rome, the Pope's first big challenge will be the Synod on the family. It is not that the reformation of the Curia is not important, but that it is so much inside baseball. Whatever the decisions there, they will be difficult to decipher for most folks, particularly the financial elements.

What all the regular Joes and Marys are looking to, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, is the Synod on the family. Even 6 months out, expectations are being set, questions and solutions are being framed, and hopes are being raised. Hopes, I hope will be dashed.

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*subhead*Fraught with peril.*subhead*


  1. A synod is a collection of administrators, who pretend to be bishops of particular diocese, while the Bishop of Rome is the bishop of everywhere else, who pretends to be Bishop of Rome. I wrote Anarchy Breeds Tradition a while ago in an attempt to explain how having the pope behave as he does, and as you joked, with the synod, is, ultimately, just going to result in more wins for the progressives.

  2. August, get used to it. They are throwing us bones of keeping the TLM and remaining Anti-abortion while innovating away our NO masses and feeding the left leaning media. We are seeing the Charismatics totally emboldened and staging coops of even our most traditional parishes. I see liturgical dancers in our future.
    I'm trying to just take care of my own house and we are left with nothing, I'll grin and bear it, just like I did in the 90s. We don't have Mother Angelica to help us this time. Pray, pray, pray. (sorry to be a downer)

  3. The Pope should write a scathing document putting the blame for this mess on the bishops and priests who were verbally and pastorally disobedient to Humanae Vitae. He should state that the flock is now suffering because they were led by poor shepherds, who will face punishment for creating the situation in which many now find themselves.

    Then he should re-enforce HV point by point, explain to the flock that they must bear with joy their current suffering for the predicament they find themselves in, and take heart that in their suffering, they are passing on to some future generation of Catholics the gift of whole families and the lifting of the curse of divorce, and that their reward will be great in heaven. At least that what a saint would do.

  4. To be clear: ANY tinkering at this time with divorce / annulment / remarriage / communion , no matter at what level (legislative, pastoral, or process) or however benign it is framed, will be hijacked and implemented as Pat says, according some "Spirit of the Great Synod".

    I'm with Pat... actually, I'm past where Pat is: No, no, and hell no.


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